Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Visita da Vovó.

Meus filhos estavam super ansiosos para receber a vovó aqui em casa, e levá-la aos nossos lugares preferidos.
Esse fim de semana ela visitou um campo de abóboras, numa fazenda aqui perto, e adorou.

Geralmente as pessoas usam essas abóboras de enfeite na casa.

Mas claro, chegando em casa, dona Marlene nao teve sossego e foi até a cozinha.
Usou uma faquinha, e descascou a abóbora inteira (tanto a casca como o fruto sao muito duros e difíceis de descascar).

Quando eu já havia desistido de ajudar, ela cortou tudo em gominhos.
Depois cada pedaço ela cortou em fatias fininhas.
Colocou tudo na panela, com meia xícara de agua, e umas 3(acho) xícaras de açúcar (ela faz tudo a olho e jogou o tanto que achou necessário).

Pois por uma meia hora, cozinhou em fogo brando, mexeu, picou mais...

...até ficar bem cozido.

E depois de esfriar, eu coloquei num vidrinho pra deixar mais bonitinho.

Mas o mais importante foi saber que, ela teve todo esse trabalho, mais pra fazer um agrado pros netos... pro filho...e pra nora, claro.
Cozinhar é um ato de carinho, mas ter tanto trabalho pra fazer deve ser um ato de amor... e amor é o que ela mais tem no coraçao.
Obrigado Vovó Marlene.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pumpkin: from the farm to the jar.

Even with all the things I like to make myself, I still like to take the shortcuts, and have the convenience of buying food from the can.
But this weekend my mother-in-law, visiting from Brazil, starting to cook the way she usually does. And I was surprised to see how much easier it is for us, who choose to drive to the store.
So I think she deserves to have all her work presented to everyone.
In the morning we went to Schmitts Farm and she picked a pumpkin (which I thought it would be a decoration).

After lunch she was bored, so she decided to peel the pumpkin. Granted, the skin is so hard I gave up helping.

When I walked away, she cut the whole thing in strips.
Then I came back, and we took turns slicing in my Mandolin slicer.
I was relieved to see we were able to finishing slicing. So she could start cooking, adding about 3 cups of sugar, and about 1/2 cup of water.

And cooking, stirring, and breaking in pieces constantly for about 1/2 hour.

Until it was finally ready.

It tastes so good, that I had to put it in a little jar, and make it more official.
It reads:" Grandma's Big Dessert"(or something close to that).
But the point is, it is a nice thing to see Grandma going to all this process, to see your kids happy.
Thank you Vovo.

Friday, September 26, 2014

My Neighbor Totoro.

Once the forecast predicted a rainy holiday, we decided to watch our favorite movie at the moment, My Neighbor Totoro.
Since I was due for a post on my blog, I decided to make some last minute decorations for our snack table.
Early in the morning I went to the store, and saw this spaguetti squash, and it seemed to me it would be the perfect shape for my purpose.

Good thing I had my Wilton Food Color Spray in a silver color.

Since I was in a hurry, I had to use a hair drier before I glued his belly, mouth and eyes cut out from a piece of white felt. For the nose and whiskers I used black puffy paint.
The leaf on his head is made of a piper cleaner.

Totoro's bunny-like friend is made out of a hard boiled egg and paper ears.
In the movie these creatures collect acorns, and I saw the cutest acorn cookies made from Evermine Blog. Her recipe calls for Hersheys Kisses, Peanut Butter Chips, Peanut butter to "glue" them together, and Mini Nilla Waffers.
But I could not find the Mini Nilla Wafers, so I had to make tiny sugar cookies instead.

Some of my sugar cookies came out too big to be on top of the kisses. So I drew some characters in food coloring pen on the extra cookies, and placed them on top of some muffins.

My cabinet had a pack of brown bags, that I could fill with popcorn and Doritos.

And I used my Sharpies to illustrate the bags.

We are all have Totoro fever in this house, and the movie was really inspiring to me, starting with this party.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Scary Bird Halloween Hat.

It has been a year that I made my Bird Halloween Hat, and it was such a hit that I decided to post again how it was done.
So for those who want to make their own, I'll show the steps, as best as I can.
First I sculpted the skull using paper clay.
After dried, I painted the piece with Martha Stewart Metallic Paint.

To make the body, I used a foam construction hat from Michaels. After cutting the edges, I glued black feathers using a hot glue.

I saved a spot without feathers to attach the head with hot glue.

To make the eyes, I used paper clay, painted with acrylic paint,and covered with liquid acrylic to make it shiny.

The legs were also sculpted with paper clay and painted with acrylic paint.

After everything together, you can make a fun makeup, to go out on Halloween.

Sorry I had to use myself to take the pictures. Could not get a model for this photo shoot.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Chocote Chip Cookie Surprise.

Sometimes you want to do something nice to your loved ones, but you really don't have the time or energy to bake, cook, and deal with the mess. That is how I was today, so I started playing with a pack of cookies.
I wanted to dress it up a little, and make a cute cookie plate.
I found my Wilton food coloring pencils and used to draw on Soy Wrappers to decorate the cookies (note: in the end I noticed you can just use paper to do this, if you don't have access to Soy Wrappers).

Then they are cut with scissors just like paper.
Here are the results.
I thought this would be a good idea to make a nice surprise to someone, write a special message, or to make your cookies a little more festive.

And the cute tablecloth behind, it is a curtain that I found on sale. Pretty good to give more color to the scene.
I hope you make your own.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cardboard kitchen appliance, AKA recycled toy.

My son has been walking around the house with a cardboard box, pretending it is an oven.
Santa didn't bring one last time, because I didn't want more plastic toys around the house.
That is why I decided to make his box a little more realistic.
So I collected things we had around the house:
- a cardboard box
- a bakery pie box (with a window)
- pipe cleaners
- 4 bottle caps (I used vitamin bottles)
- an old bag or any paper to cover the cardboard
- 4 old CDs or DVDs

First I attached the the pie box to the bottom of the bigger box to make the oven door. The bottom of the pie box was cut to fit inside the big box.

I placed the top flap of the box down, so I could place the burner knobs.

Next I used the red paper to cover the box.

Then one piper cleaner I used to make a handle.

I taped shorter pieces of piper cleaners to the bottle caps to make the knobs.

Then I poked 4 holes on the front of the box, and placed each one to the the holes. The piper cleaner was twisted in the back, to secure the "knob".

I used 4 old CDs and glued to the top of the box, to make the burners.

We found a cooking pan and some utensils at the Dollar Tree. And we made some paper food to cook in our stove: and egg and a pizza.

Now his cardboard box looks a little happier, and we spent a few hours together in this project (away from the video games).

I placed also a smaller box inside, to make a shelf for the oven. And some stickers to decorate the stove.
I am not sure how long it will last, but hopefully he will be satisfied with this one.