Monday, December 5, 2016

Funny Family Christmas Cards

Each year I try to find new ideas for our Christmas Cards. I love doing fun ones, one year I'll get everyone to dress up like the Christmas Story (I'm still working on them). Here are a few poses we did this year. Hope you can find something fun to do also. Merry Christmas!


What you Need:
A Great photographer
Fun poses to try with your family!






Click HERE to see who I link with.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Christmas Photo Booth Props DYI

We had our annual Christmas Photo Shoot this weekend. I wanted to do something fun, I went to Amazon and they had a photo booth props for $7.99 but wouldn't get here in time, I could have paid the extra for the next day shipping (but free 2 day prime is so much nicer lol) . So I had a Photo Booth Cartridge for my Circuit I used for the Emoji Party. This cartridge is the best it has a TON of different props you can use!  I made a few of the fun Christmas ones for our photo shoot. I'm so excited that my favorite dance class is having a fun party and will use them so I don't have to throw them out.
What you Need:
Photo Booth Cartridge (link above bought on Amazon)
Craft Glue
Card Stock paper (in all the Christmas Colors)
Cricut
Cricut Board
Bamboo Sticks (Craft Isle)
Hot Glue Gun
After the props are cut, you will take the craft glue to make them complete. Once dry take a hot glue gun to attach the bamboo stick to the backside of the prop. Let the hot glue dry and you have the best photo props.
Here are a few from our family Photo Shoot:
 


 
Click HERE to see who I link with.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Featured on Posed Perfection .. Fall Cookies

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and Happy Black Friday. I'll be in Boston for work so I won't be posting for a week. Hope you all have a happy Holiday weekend and next week.

I was so over joyed with my Fall cookies were featured on Creative Ways Link Party. I must say these have been my favorite cookies to date I've made. I've been trying my hand at Royal Icing Cookies for about a year, and each time I can't believe how they turn out. I can't believe I started close to 40 years old to make these kind of cookies, they are so clean and pretty. And to make these leaf and acorns have been my favorite so far. It's the closest I will ever get to making art and I must say I pretty proud of them.





Posed Perfection

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pokemon Cookies used as Cupcake Toppers (Royal Icing)

One more fun cookie project made! As you most know that I work with a charity that brings birthday's to homeless kids staying in shelters. Please check out Birthday Dreams (they can use all donations). I had a request for an 9 y/o little girl wanting a Pokemon Theme. I've done a few Pokemon themes before for them so I thought I would try to do something different. I'm really loving royal icing and how the cookies make the perfect toppers.

  
What you Need:
Sugar Cookies cut into circles
Royal Icing in yellow, red white and blacj(recipe below)
AmeriColor Gel Food Coloring yellow, red and black (to dye Icing - This is my fav brand)
Food Pen in black and red
I used the dipping method with my royal icing. I started to do the dipping method about 6 months ago to speed up my decorating time. You can pipe each cookie which is a little cleaner but I find the dipping method to be the best. You get your royal icing to the outline consistency and put into a pie dish (I find this is not too deep). Once you dip the top of the cookie you tap off the extra icing and then you let dry! Once dry you can add your details.

For Pikachu I dipped in the yellow royal icing. When that was dry I took the food pens and drew on different Pikachu face's. I started with red cheeks using a red food pen (little circles toward the bottom of cookie). I than took a black food pen to draw on the eye's, nose, mouth and tongue (on a few). For the ones I added a tongue I used a red food been to color it in. for the open eyes I used white royal icing it add a dot like a twinkle in Pikachu's eye.  I'm no artist and was very worried about how they would turn out.

For the Pokemon balls I had to use the piping method. I started with white and made a half circle. I then piped on red for the other half of the circle. When that was dry I took black in a pipping back and drew a line between the red and white halves. I then added a black circle in the middle. After that dried I added a white circle in the middle of the black circle. I did this last part right before I left so when I put lid on some of the white came off (make sure you do this with time for it to dry!!). I let those dry before moving or adding to the cupcakes.

Once the cookies had dried I then added them to the top of frosted cupcakes. I'm obsessed with royal icing and love the way they come out. This way the kid not only gets a cupcake but a cookie, best of both worlds.
 

Click HERE to see who I link with.
INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
DIRECTIONS:
1.In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3.Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Julie Usher, she has a GREAT YouTube video on how to make, color and make consistency adjustments

Royal Icing what you need:
2 lbs Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
5 Large Egg Whites (or equivalent) 
Flavor to Taste
Gel Icing Color

Mix powder sugar and cream of tartar in your mixer, just to make sure it is incorporated in. Slowly add egg whites, then whip start of slow then go to very high speed. She says around 2 minutes, my friend had an older mixer so it took almost 10 minutes. You want stiff peaks that hold on and won't fall off the spoon. Add in your flavor, I would suggest you use a clear flavoring.  This would be the glue texture great for ginger bread houses etc.

Take 1 cup of royal icing in a smaller bowl then add your coloring, lightly mix so you don't get air into the the icing. I'm like her and like the gel coloring. 

For Top Coating - Add 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tsp Water (This is if you don't want to outline and flood)
For Outlining - Add 1/2 to 3/4 tsp Water
For Flooding  - Add 2 to 3 tsp Water

WATCH her video on How to Top-Coat, Outline, and Flood Cookies. YES it is around 7 minutes BUT if you have never done this technique it's a MUST she explains it perfectly.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Pumpkin Pie Shaped Cookies (Royal Icing)

By now you know I'm now totally obsessed with royal icing for cookies. I try to always make something for the boys to take to school for each holiday. I found these really cute Pumpkin Pie cookies on My Cupcake Addiction's Instagram. I gave it a whirl and think they turned out very cute!

 
What you Need:
Sugar Cookies cut into leaves and acorn
Triangle Cookie Cutter or Pie Shaped Cookie Cutter
Royal Icing in orange (I used Terracotta) and Ivory (recipe below)
AmeriColor Gel Food Coloring Terracotta and Ivory (to dye Icing - This is my fav brand)
Food Marker - Black and Pink

I used the dipping method with my royal icing. I started to do the dipping method about 6 months ago to speed up my decorating time. You can pipe each cookie which is a little cleaner but I find the dipping method to be the best. You get your royal icing to the outline consistency and put into a pie dish (I find this is not too deep). Once you dip the top of the cookie you tap off the extra icing and then you let dry! Once dry you can add your details.

After the pie slice cookies were dry I added the pie crust top. I used a Ivory color that turned out a little browner than I wanted. I added the tops for the pie crust. I waited for everything to dry. I then added the face on the cookie. I added the rosy cheeks with a hot pink edible pen. I then added the mouth, eye and eyebrows using a black edible pen.

As you can see I made a Army size batch of cookies. The boys will take some to school for their friends and teachers. I also wanted to give some to my amazing Dance instructors that help me on my fitness journey.



Click HERE to see who I link with.
INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
DIRECTIONS:
1.In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3.Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.


Julie Usher, she has a GREAT YouTube video on how to make, color and make consistency adjustments

Royal Icing what you need:
2 lbs Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
5 Large Egg Whites (or equivalent) 
Flavor to Taste
Gel Icing Color

Mix powder sugar and cream of tartar in your mixer, just to make sure it is incorporated in. Slowly add egg whites, then whip start of slow then go to very high speed. She says around 2 minutes, my friend had an older mixer so it took almost 10 minutes. You want stiff peaks that hold on and won't fall off the spoon. Add in your flavor, I would suggest you use a clear flavoring.  This would be the glue texture great for ginger bread houses etc.

Take 1 cup of royal icing in a smaller bowl then add your coloring, lightly mix so you don't get air into the the icing. I'm like her and like the gel coloring. 

For Top Coating - Add 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tsp Water (This is if you don't want to outline and flood)
For Outlining - Add 1/2 to 3/4 tsp Water
For Flooding  - Add 2 to 3 tsp Water

WATCH her video on How to Top-Coat, Outline, and Flood Cookies. YES it is around 7 minutes BUT if you have never done this technique it's a MUST she explains it perfectly.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Minion Cupcakes (Modeling Chocolate Toppers) for Birthday Dreams Charity

Here's another post I'm behind on posting. These cupcakes I made a few months back. I signed up for for a Minion themed party for Birthday Dreams (bringing birthday's to homeless kids). I did a little searching on Google and found some minion faces and I went to decorating. Some modeling chocolate and bam cupcake toppers!


What you Need:
Modeling Chocolate in yellow, purple and black (See Recipe at the bottom)
Circle Cookie Cuter
Square Cookie Cuter (formed into straps for eyes)
Candy Eyes
Black Food Marker 
Frosted Cupcakes

I had modeling chocolate in several different colors made up before from previous projects. I took yellow and purple and cut out circles. For the faces I cut out black for the straps of the eyes. I added candy eyes to the faces, for the circles around the eyes I added circles around they eyes. For the yellow faces I took some silver dust and went around the eyes. Purple I left purple around the eyes. I took the black food marker to draw on hair and mouths. I then put the toppers on top of frosted cupcakes.


Click HERE to see who I link with.

Modeling Chocolate
12oz Candy Melts
1/4 Cup light corn Syrup

Melt your Candy Melts in microwave (mine takes about 2 minutes). Stir them to become smooth and add the corn syrup.  It will become thick and form a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit out and dry.  Takes a few hours or over night is best. (Alexis note: I found to roll this out use a little powder sugar (like you would do with flour), also you have to kneed it a little like you would dough to make it easy to roll out).

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