Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fabulous Summer on the Cheap

Summer is coming, but new outfits really make a whole in the pocket, especially if you use nice materials. I am no seamstress, but I decided to overcome my fear of silk and come face to face to it. But first I did a little research, and found some tips on how to deal with silk on Tips and Tricks.
Finding the fabric was harder than I thought, everything I saw did not resemble the beautiful dresses I saw on sale for U$200.00 (and up and up). Finally I saw these beautiful pieces at I got three pieces of fabric in order to make one dress, and everything plus shipping came out to U$37.00. The only thing I didn't expect was that it took about a month to get them. I didn't know they were shipped from overseas, but it came nicely wrapped in paper, with a bow, and with a couple of cute buttons and a heart as a gift.
Still very anxious, I placed the fabrics on top of my body to decide what to make, and what style would look better for my body. I even had to look at some websites to find my body type and what would look better. The one it was very helpful was Ways to Dress Your Body Type.
So instead of making a dress, I decided to make a skirt and 2 tops, so then I would have more outfits to mix and match.
The first top was an "off the shoulder", and I took my 1/2 yard of fabric and connected the ends, to form a tube shape.
After sewing the ends, I tried it on, and marked where the strap was going to attach. But then I didn't have anything to make a strap for it, so going through my stuff, I found a little bracelet I bought last year on sale for $4.00. I placed on top of the fabric, and thought they looked nice together. So I hand sewed the bracelet, and in the front I "bunched up" some fabric to go through on the last ring. This make the top not to look so flat in the front, and gives a little more shape to my upper body, that is not so curvacious. Reminding that the pattern of this top is flat on the sides, so it doesn't shape up the waistline. But I found that silk is very forgiving to wear, so it falls graciously in the body. And because I am very impatient and have difficulty finding a pattern to buy.
The second top I decided to make a halter top. I cut my 1 yard fabric on the shape of my T-shirt that is tighter on the sides (I cut a little bigger because silk doesn't stretch). Closed the sides, finished the ends, and sewed the neck of the halter to place a string to it, that will make the drawstring (for a clearer explanation of these steps, you can look at this: DIY link). I wanted to use a black, elastic string to hold on the neck. And I found one in a jacket that wasn't in use anymore.
And my second top was ready.
To make the skirt, I just wanted to find the simplest and laziest way to make it. This was the best explanation that I found on this cute blog called Sweet Tea and Pumps. And that is my skirt with the top.
I spent one weekend to make, wasn't that stressful, and saved lots of money.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Gravity Falls Birthday Party

For my son's 8th birthday, he asked me for a party inspired on the cartoon Gravity Falls. So the first step was decide about the cake, and I decided to take on the challenge to make their house called the Mystery Shack. First I made the sketch.
A week before I made the totem pole with fondant, as you can see on my last post.
A few days prior I also made the smaller part of the house, using Rice Kryspies Bars.
To make the roof I first made a cardboard "mold", so I using the homemade recipe for Rice Kryspies, I stuffed in the roof mold to shape it.
To make it look like a log house I used UTZ organic pretzels rods. And to cover the roof, I used this great recipe of candy clay, made with chocolate and corn syrup (click on the highlighted word candy clay to find the recipe). The other details were made with fondant and food coloring pens
To make the bigger part of the house, I also made a roof with cardboard, and stuffed with Rice Kryspies to make the shape. Then after dry and firm, the whole thing was covered with the candy clay pieces.
The lower part of the house was made of 2 boxes of chocolate cake (using 4 8X8 baking pans), filled with icing to make a 16X8 2 layer cake. I measured the roof on top and cut the excess on the sides ( the leftover cake was used to make the pig cake pops).
Then using icing, I placed the pretzel rods to cover the sides, and the door was made using the candy clay.
Finally placing the roof on top, the rice kryspies area was also covered with pretzel rods.
The two houses were connected together, and the "grass" was made of coconut dyed in green. Dipper was made of fondant a few day before too.
Using the leftover cake I was able to make Waddles the pig, using Bakerella's cake pop recipes.
The 3 kids we invited for the party had a lot of fun. Maybe next year I will be able to handle more kids.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Totem Pole for Gravity Falls Birthday

I took on this big project for my special client's 8th birthday: my son decided to ask for a cake inspired on the cartoon Gravity Falls.
Since I have 2 weeks to complete, I decided to start on the details to make it more like the cartoon. I first looked at different pictures online, then made a sketch of the cake.
One detail that looked cool was the totem pole sitting on the side. So today that was what I decided to work on. And after trying to decide on the material, I thought sugar paste would be the easiest material to shape it, and the only thing available in my house. Starting the body of it, I cut a big rectangle, then shapping the sides with a knife and cutting also the details. The tip of the knife was also used to make the ridges of the tree trunk. The wings were made separetly, then attached with toothpicks. I had to use two cups to support them until everything was dry.
Then last, everything was painted with food coloring using a paintbrush. Stage one is finished, now let's see if time and energy will let me complete the project until Caio's birthday.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Legos for dessert.

When my son asked me to make a Lego cake for birthday, I just wasn't sure if I should use fondant again for decoration. So my husband reminded me of this product that lets you make your own chocolate mold, called Easy Mold, and then I could use chocolate LEGO blocks to decorate the cake.
It works like clay, and after dried, you can use for food (FDA approved). So I mixed the two color clays that come in the box, then shaped it around the Lego toy piece. You only have a few minutes until starts to harden, so have everything handy.
It takes 24 hours to air dry, but I wanted ready today, so I baked in 350 F for 30 minutes.
After cooled and washed, it is ready to be used as a regular chocolate mold. So I melted my chocolate, poured carefully, and left a few minutes in the refrigerator to harden.
They came out nice, so maybe using brighter colors when I make for his birthday, it will look more real.
For today I am satisfied.