Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wires and Lights, not my forte.

Being a computer challenged person, having a husband into technology is a blessing when I need help with Internet and putting music in my IPod. But when he gifts me with something that are more related wires and power adaptors, for me to use, my creative brain suffers a seizure and gets into a coma.
So he gave me this wire that glows, and it is made to sew into clothes, called EL Wire. Making an effort to build something with it, I started to bend it, fold it, and the only thing it could resemble was something that belonged to a robot.
So I sewed it to a snow glove. The arm part was sewed to a piece of foam sheet, cut into a "T", and folded around the arm and placed together with a paper clip.
The kids approved it and played super hero, and it would be a cool idea for Halloween. Maybe I will start to use more of these wires.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Academy Awards 2013

For my Oscars party this year, I decided to step up and be more creative, since my friend Dinarte moved back to NY from Hollywood. He is already very successful in Portugal, directing and acting (my favorite comercials and interviews here), won an award in a movie festival in Brazil for best actor, and now is being requested in America for commercials and movie roles.
So my morning preparation started with a self manicure. Harder than I thought, painting tittle figures with a tiny paintbrush and toothpick took a couple of trials. But finally I made something worth of a picture.
To make more fun we had a red carpet. We stepped on a red table cloth from the dollar store, and my gown was silver tissue paper stapled on top of a garbage bag. Not so fancy when you hear that. And I probably spent about five dollars for it.
To make the cookies, I first had to make a cookie cutter, using an aluminum lasagna pan (process described on the site WikiHow ). For the cookies I used Alton Brown's sugar cookie recipe recipe. I covered with icing ready in a tube from Wilton. Then after the icing was dry, I sprayed gold spray paint from chef Duff. To make it standup, I placed in a round cookie with melted chocolate. these cute cookies were not my original idea. I saw them at one of my favorite baking inspirations, Bakerella.
The cupcake tower were two baking pans upside down, covered with scrapbook paper, shiny ribbon and movie stickers. All from another great craft store, ACMoore.
We served cheese and grapes, and ham and cheese baked in wonton wraps wonton wraps.
Another decoration made from sugar paste served to decorate the chocolate plate.And pretty champagne glasses from party city were great to serve pop corn and fruit.
Finally my work was done, now time to relax and watch the Oscars on TV.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

100 Days of School.

School projects are usually cute and fun. But on the 100th day of school, the project was a little more work than I thought. The concept was writing a 100 times of whatever we wanted: book titles, math facts(?)... so what came to my mind was the many ways to be healthy. When I started writing the first 20 ways to be healthy, I was already out of ideas. So thanks to the power of the Internet, and using other ideas that my kids had, we found 100 ways. But it took several days, maybe around 100 hours, to finish the drawing, and had my son write and paint everything (one short cut that I take for painting, is use old make up).
It is hard to read all the ideas, but feel free to copy and I also can write it if you request.
Hopefully the teacher will like, and the kids remember the lesson on how to be healthy.

Friday, February 15, 2013

No cookie cutter?

My dilemma is always about buying more kitchen stuff or save money for other more important things. I was about to order cookie cutters online, until it looked like something I could make. So just searching on google, a handful of websites and videos on how to make your own cookie cutter appeared. The most helpful was this one on WikiHow, using a aluminum lasagna pan.
So first I found a picture on one of our kids books, Scaredy Squirrel. The picture of a raccoon seemed to match the colors of icing I had at home. So following the instructions, I was able to make the raccoon shape.
I made a modified recipe sugar cookie, using coconut butter instead of butter, whole wheat flour and spelt flour instead of white flour, and brown sugar instead of white sugar.
The icing I had was Wilton, but I had to put in a little plastic candy bag, to make the hole smaller and so it was possible to make the small details.
I had so much fun, and this opened a whole new door for making cookies with any shape desired. Let's see what the future will bring

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Rush

Having 2 kids is enough to get me rushing through holidays to make little gifts to their classmates. Two teachers, two assistant teachers and thirty three kids total.
For my son's pre K class I had several ideas, but with small kids is always harder, because of food allergies or harmful food shapes. So I thought the safest thing would be little Goldfish. I just put a small amount in little colorful bags, some ribbon, and pretty paper cut with my paper punch. Simple and quick, and make a good impression when they are all together.

For my other son's second grade class I made rice krispies treats a day before, packaged in a candy plastic bag and dressed up with stickers that were on sale at Michael's and a cute ribbon from them too.
Everything express, in a hurry, but with lots of love.

Pie for special event!

To celebrate our American citizenship, I really didn't have time to make, bake or build anything for a celebration at my job. Especially after the big blizzard of 2013, my arms we so tired that I couldn't lift a spoon. But lucky me, I stopped by a BJ's, where I bought a apple pie, and next door was Michael's, where I found this perfect stickers. So all I had to do, was wrap the box, in a way that I could open to get the pie out after transporting.
It was not just a celebration for me, but also to thank the people that helped learn the language, the culture, gave me a job and gave me support the times I needed, like a family.