Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Let's fly to Brazil to make Chocolate!

Besides the fact that my trip to Brazil was ultra short- one day for birthday party, one day to meet my family, and two days to finish pending paper work- I had the incredible opportunity to spend five hours with one of the biggest chocolate connoisseur in the country. Not because she is my cousin, but with over ten years of experience with gourmet chocolate, owner of Divas chocolates, writes the food blog Chocolatria, she teaches people the secrets of making the most amazing chocolates, and I was so lucky to have a little bit of her knowledge shared with me.
She was nice enough to squeeze some information in a few hours, and made me put my hands on, and make not only beautiful, but delicious ingredients, including my favorite passion fruit.
I am so very grateful for this experience, as soon I will be applying the skills I learned in my house. Lucky me she is one e-mail away.

I love you Simone Izumi!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Baby Ana Luisa is 1!!!

I just came back from a wonderful trip in Brazil, saw family, friends, made new friends and met new family members. But meeting my niece for the first time, and be present for her first birthday, was a dream come true.
Before she was born I made a sketch of what I imagined she would look like. My sister-in-law liked so much that she wanted my drawing to use for thank you gifts. We found this company called TotallyLipBalm.net, and they custom print what you want on their lip balm. Since in Brazil every single person you know visits the baby after she is born, we had 200 of them made and shipped to Brazil.
Also for the baby shower, she had a cake made with the same image. As the baby grew, we thought she resembled more and more my own version in paper. So for her first birthday, my sister- in - law Camila used it for her party invitations.
For decoration, she also had he picture printed in a poster, and used my handwriting on her name.
I was so excited that I made a little doll using Fimo clay, which I posted previously on my blog. And she used it for a cake topper.

And for party favors, they had magnets made with my doll.

But then... if all of this wasn't enough for my ego... the greatest surprise of all is that, Camila liked so much my version of her baby, that she TATTOOED it on her!!!! So HOW ELSE can I get a bigger affirmation that people like my work? That was the greatest compliment I could get! And for this, it just validates my belief that I have a talent, that I should believe in my work, and most of all, myself. This was the greatest trip ever!
I love you baby Ana!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mimicafe is the Best!

I finally took my first official art class, with the incredible lady from Mimicafe Union. She has such a creative mind, that combined with her hand skills, can create dreams with fondant. Everything looks sooo cute, and I HAD to take one of her workshops.
She is so nice, and starts the day bringing a croissant and a cup of water for her student. The four hours went flying, and definitely it was the best money I paid for something. She showed me her secrets on how to make a little doll face, tiny hands, and how to work with fondant.
It made me so happy and in the end I got my own certificate.
Everyone loved the toppers, and I am so grateful I found Sachiko and her wonderful Mimicafe!

I recommend it to all the crafters around. You'll have a great time.
Thank you Mimicafe.

Friday, August 9, 2013

It is Shark Week!

Since everything sounds like a party, how about get inspired on Shark Week from The Discovery Channel ?
First image I found on the Internet were those gorgeous watermelon sharks, so I decided to give it a try. With some kitchen utensils and a melon baller, I got the look I wanted.
Then for some appetizers, I used my son's favorite cheese BabyBel Light. It was just the perfect shape for some scared fishies. I colored the eyes with black gel food coloring, using a toothpick. The base was made with a piece of styrofoam covered with magazine paper.
Another related item I found is a fish ice cube tray, at Ikea for $0.99. The kids had some V8 juice leftover, so we made the icy fishies. They had fun looking at the water.. And drinking.
The final project was a surfboard with a shark bite. I used a sheet of styrofoam and used my precious special electric styrofoam cutter. Then I painted the board with my kids Art fresco Tempera Paint. After dried, I just placed some stickers I had from my Hawaiian party from last year.
The kids enjoyed and had some water fun in the backyard.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Baby Ana

Baby Ana Luisa has black curly hair, pretty earrings and a beautiful smile! I wanted to make my niece a little doll for her first birthday, so she has her baby version as she grows.
I made the doll with the same fimo clay I use in other projects, making only the body.
After baked and dried,I used tiny pompoms and glued using a hot glue gun to make her hair. And a small rose was glued to the hair.
Then her clothes were made of a pink ribbon, also glued to her body. Also little shiny sticker for her earrings, and decorations around the skirt.

The final baby looks very cute, just like her.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cake pops for Alice.

So Meredith texted me last weekend, asking if I would provide some cake pops for her friend's baby shower. Of course I said yes, and of course I complicated the work.
Instead of supplying just the pops, I really was itching to make a centerpiece to stick the pops, plus adding decorations with the theme. So she agreed with the idea, and trusted me with the work. After a few sketches, I decided to start molding the face of the Cheshire Cat. I used Fimo polymer clay to mold, starting with the mouth, then face, then the rest of the body.

Next step was to make tea cups, also with Fimo clay from Michaels. It was a little tricky to make tiny pieces, but with patience I achieved the look I wanted. Also using the same material, I used a rolling pin to open a white piece to make a tablecloth. Then placed little blue squares pieces of the clay and rolled on top to make the pattern effect.
After baked and cooled, I used some gold glittery nail polish for details, and after this layer was dry, I painted with clear nail polish, to give a shinier look.
To continue with the Alice theme, I made some of the card soldiers using cardstock paper from Michaels.

Then I decorated the bottom tier of my piece, made of styrofoam and cardstock around.

Putting everything together, this is how it looked.

Just because I was ahead of schedule, I decided to make more details. So I made some mushroooms, and the catterpillar, using also Fimo polymer clay, then after dried painted with clear nail polish.
I glued everything with a hot glue gun.
So finally getting to the edible part, two days before I made the litte clocks. I rolled out fondant, cut small circles with a cookie cutter then let them dry for a couple of hours. Then using black gel food coloring and a paintbrush, I made the numbers and the pointer. Then using gold food spray, also with a paintbrush, I painted around the clock.
Finally the day before delivery, I made the cake pops using my wonderful Baby Cakes cake pop maker. Then after dipped in chocolate I attached the clocks, also using melted chocolate.
And the final product came out, just the way I had it in my head. It was more work than I expected, but it made me happy. And Meredith was excited to bring it to her party, which made me even happier.