Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Chinese New Year: Year of the Horse!

Thanks to a third grade school project I learned a little more about Chinese New Year. And during research on the web, I found so many beautiful decorations and ideas that it would be sad not to make them.
So we learned that according to the legend, Buddha asked all the animals to meet on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. This is the year of the horse, so I found these cute horses on Amm, and she gives the pattern and instructions on how to assemble. I loved it!
Next for anything Chinese, we had to have dragons. The meaning of the Chinese dragon is believed to bring forth radiate power and bestow greatness, bravery, and intelligence (according to So I searched for dragons on kid's crafts, and found Click on the link. and you can print, the kids can paint and assemble. And it gives hours of playing.
The lanterns I found at According to different sources, each color lantern represents something different. In our case, red seem to bring good luck.
Trying to make fortune cookies was a little tricky, I couldn't make the dough be crispy. So on the second trial and a different recipe, they came out better. The recipe I got from It was fun for the kids to write the fortunes and make up their own.
Note: fortune cookies were not invented nor consumed in China, they were invented in California in the early 1900's.
And these colorful noodles I assume they are not traditionally Chinese at all, but they looked so colorful for the table...
I just made different batches and added food coloring to each one.
For these appetizers I used my won ton soy wraps and filled with leftover chicken. The signs on the sticks are from the lantern I printed, from

And we learned a little bit more, and we ate a bit too much. As usual.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My first doll

All this time I have been mostly making animals, and never had a chance to take time and make a cute, delicate, girly doll. So when I had a request for a princess, fairy- like decoration, I had to jump into the Internet world and do my research. It is incredible how many, sooo good artists you see. So I did my best to make my own.
Her body is entirely made of polymer clay, the dress is fabric, and the hair is synthetic hair. To attach the hair was very tricky, because each lock had to be rolled in a barbecue skewer and placed in a hair drier for a few minutes, then glued. The flower I bought at Micheals and glued with craft clay.
The two eyelashes are individual feather pieces.
It was a lot of work, but I am happy with the final result.
I love you my first fairy/princess/doll.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day, in an easy way.

I decided to make some pretty Valentine's Day desserts, on Valentine's morning, in a snow day. So I had to work with what I had at home, and try to impress.
Lucky I had a bag of chocolates, 2 boxes of instant pudding, milk, strawberries and ingredients for a cake.
My first task was to melt the chocolate, place in a piping bag, and make different shapes on top of parchment paper ( those images didn't come directly out of my brain, it came from Google). I also piped some chocolate on the strawberries.
While it refrigerated, I prepared a vanilla instant pudding, placed half in different cups, then placed a couple of drops of red food coloring to make pink pudding.
After a few minutes refrigerated, I could place some of the chocolate decorations I made before.

Then I made this coconut flour cake from Nourished Kitchen, but you can make any chocolate cake.
I cut half of the cake and arranged some of the decorations.
Then with the other piece I used my heart cookie cutter to make this plate.

All done in the morning, so now I have time to shovel more snow, and hopefully I spend some of the calories from the leftovers I ate.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's in a hurry.

I still feel not organized enough for school activities, and sending different items on specific days. And of course Valentine's Day is 2 days away, and I had to send something for my son's kindergarten class the next day.
I was lucky enough to have time to stop at Michaels, and found some inexpensive items: a pack of 24 Valentine's pencils on sale for $2.99 (and I used my 40% off coupon), heart stickers and a Valentine ribbon each for $1.99.

Using my hole puncher and leftover paper, I made little cards, placed a little sticker heart on each one, and wrote Anderson's name. Then using the ribbon, I tied the cards to the pencils.

And there it is, twenty minutes were enough to make little gifts for 19 kids in the class. Easy and not spending much.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Live with Kelly and Michael!

I was so excited I got to go with my friend Diane to see Live with Kelly and Michael show, that the day before I grabbed my clay to make them a little gift.
As best as I could, I made the little figurines kind of "cartoonish", and try to resemble them.
First I made Kelly,

then making Michael.

I just wanted to create something that would be cute and funny, on the hopes that it would get to their hands.

But in one of the commercial breaks, when they go and interact to the public, Kelly heard me calling her! And for my excitement, she saw the dolls and I was able to hand them to her. Then Michael saw them too, and they were so nice and grateful for the gift! And while I was grinning from ear to ear, they thanked me and looked at my face (I felt like I was looking at the TV).
I don't know if they will keep them, but I am just so happy that they had a good reaction, and that they were really nice to me. Oh, it was soo good...
And me and Diane had a great time at the show.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow day calls for beach party.

There was another snow storm last night, and I can't see any more white in front of me. I was already anticipating schools closing today. So like the sanitation department, I have been preparing for the snow and planned for a beach party.
This idea came while I played in the snow and made a snow castle, inspired in a sand castle.

Yesterday I decided to make a beach car to decorate the table (yes, I do have too much time in my hands now), using leftover pasta boxes.

I wrapped in white foam paper to cover all the sides, cut and glued the wheels and used acrylic paint to paint the car and the windows. Then I cut and glued other paper scraps to make the details.

Using also foam paper I made two surfboards, and painted the details with puffy paint.

While I prepared the table, the kids played with sand. This is called Kinectic sand and it sticks together, not spreading all over.

For quick snacks, I made some wraps in a cone shape, using this soy wrap that comes in different colors. It is called Takaokaya Soy Crepes. Some ham and cheese, spinach and carrots and done. I placed a dollop of guacamole on the plate.

I saw this fruit plate on the Internet, and used the idea. The life preserves are made from fondant.

The rest of the decoration was all from the Summer storage box, pretty useful to put snacks and other food available in the refrigerator.
Vanilla instant pudding.

Veggies chips.

Chips with babaganoush and salsa. A couple of olives for me.

So we got a little distraction from the snow, and I really really hope this is the last time I have to shovel, at least this year. Or until those boys get big and strong fast to do it for me.
And this is the video made this time:

A beach song to inspire a party in this cold day(s).