Friday, August 31, 2012
I found out the reason why the kitchen table I bought was so inexpensive. Not even a year after, the white cover started to peel, the sides started to scratch, and the top also had food stains all over. But it was still solid, usable, so why not repair it? In the first picture I have the white cover already peeled (it was white plastic), and just the raw piece of the table. After that it was painted with regular black spray paint, which dried after a couple of hours.The final touch was to give that high gloss finish, using a product called Pour On. It is a little tricky to apply, because it needs to be spread carefully so it doesn't leave bubbles. Then it takes 3 days to dry, so nobody can touch it until ready. But in the end I got my new table. I like this product because it gives a shiny coat, giving the appearance of glass. Like it?
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
fondant to make the roses. It is not a complicated process to make the roses, shaping the individual petals and folding around each other. Then the roses were placed around the cake, and some bows to make it prettier. Having the chance to show our moms another country was incredible. And I consider myself very lucky that I got to show my mother the life I chose to live, and the meet the city she always saw in the movies. They enjoyed their trip as always, and went back with a whole new wardrobe.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Divas came from Brazil with her family, my sister came from West Virginia for vacation, and my good friend Dinarte was back from Portugal so he came to join us. I always wanted a Luau Party, so working around this theme, I planned an evening of entertainment and food. Planning my table, I made one piece myself for the center of the table, that could be used for cupcake holder or just decoration. I don't know if martini glasses have anything to do with Hawaii, but they looked nice at the table, especially with the little umbrellas. They were both inexpensive and found at Party City .
Then went to Michaels to make a centerpiece for my table. For the base, I stacked two large styrofoam wreats glued together, and cut a disc with cardboard to glue it on top. Then used scrapbook paper to wrap around and on top. For the second level I did the same thing, using a smaller diameter styrofoam wreath. For the smallest cylinder on top, I cut an empty container of oatmeal, and wrapped the same way. At last the fun part, I found stickers related to the theme, and put ll over it. Just for the Luau sign to stand up, I had two wine corks with barbecue sticks to help hold the sign. It dressed the table very well. luau torches from Party City But the color flames came from Lowe's, and sold in cans.
And one last detail that made the night complete: NO MOSQUITOES! I found this product called Therma Cell, and had the best reviews to keep mosquitoes off from an area as big as 15X15 feet. It comes in a lantern light and the repelent come in refills that last 12 hours. We all spent hours outside at night, including the kids, and nobody got one mosquito bite. And THAT makes a perfect night.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
My boss hired me once to make a cake for a baby shower, so I had to show up with something special. Since I wanted to try something different, I decided to put a baby on top of the cake. The bed was a rectangular shaped cake covered with white butter frosting, to make a mattress. But since I decided to complicate, I had to make another thick cake, so I could sculpt the the head and the body. Once the cake piece was cut up with a sharp knife, in the shape of a head, I covered with fondant and placed on the bed. The body was roughly shaped and placed with the head, with no need to make legs or arms, because everything as to be covered with the blanket. The ears, hands, and feet with toes were made only with fondant. The baby was painted with airbrush, and eyes and mouth painted with a small paintbrush. For the blanket, the fondant was mixed before using food coloring and roughly kneaded. The sides of the bed were made also with fondant, previously rolled out and dried. Once dried, the pieces were cut with a big knife, and the heart shape cut with a cookie cutter. They loved the cake, but unfortunately the mother-to-be had gestational diabetes, so she couldn't eat it. Hopefully she kept the pictures (although this is a low quality picture, done before the digital camera era. And plus the photographer, which would be me, cut a piece of the head in the picture).
Friday, August 24, 2012
Even though I try to stay away from sugar, one thing I always use is sugar paste, or fondant. It is a wonderful, pliable material, so easy to make any king of sculpture. And makes any party fun or a nice gift, like this Venus Flytrap cake. What I usually do is baking a cake a in a terracotta pot, that was washed and lined with parchment paper. After cooled, the top is covered in chocolate frosting and crumbled chocolate cookies, to make the dirt. For this cake in the picture, there was no time to get a terracota pot, so a regular cake pan was used for the cake, and the topping was made the same way. At last the fondant was made in different colors using food coloring, then the face and little details were added. Just one tip, if the sculpture is big, it is better to make a day before, so it can dry, become more firm and don't collapse. Is this cake photogenic or not?.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Cake pops are such a hit right now, a cake that is easy to serve and looks like a decoration. The genius that came up with this idea is the woman that created Bakerella, a wonderful site with sweet recipes and ideas that I use all the time (thank you). But recently I discover a short cut, and when I feel lazy or short in time, I use my new kitchen gadget called baby cakes. It is a little machine that bakes the cake batter in a pop shape. Once the little balls are baked (takes 4 minutes each batch) and cooled, they are dipped in melted chocolate and decorated with candy, sprinkles, or painted using food coloring pens. It brings up a smile even on those who don't care for sweets.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Waiting for someone to come from the airport is nerve wrecking! I never know if the cab driver will find my house, if there is traffic, or if the rain today delayed my cousin's flight. She is the extraordinaire chocolate maker from Divas. She built a successful business in Brazil making fine desserts for weddings, birthdays, gifts, and teaches her art for chocolate lovers. Her amazing blog Chocolatria gave me inspiration to start my own, and maybe one day I will have as many followers like she does. Well, using an opened cardboard box I wrote the sign and used all the different paint I had available: fabric paint, paper paint, oil and even chalk. To draw the taxi, airplane and the house I looked at different illustrations on the Internet. Then two final holes on top with a piece of leftover ribbon to hang in front of the house. Hopefully they will see it.