Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thinking outside the gift box......


or bag.




I'm always searching for inspiration to add a new flair to my cookie or candy gift packaging.
I'd like to share a few ideas with you that I've used. Maybe they'll  come in handy for a-l-l those confections you've
(so tirelessly) baked for your family and friends.


TINS


Little Drummer Boy Drum
♫ Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum ♫
These sugared cookies with the pretzel/marshmallow drum sticks are so cute in their tin drum case.
These tins are readily available at most stores.
The silver cording crisscross and ribbon creates the drum effect perfectly.
You can purchase Pecan Sandie's.....roll coat the edges with white chocolate and sanding sugar.



Chocolate Truffles

Here's a sweet vintage inspired tin with
a little silk seam binding.
An antique brooch would be a nice finishing touch.



Snowman

This Frosty character tin would be a festive way to house your Snowball Cookies.

Snowball Cookie Recipe
1 cup butter (2 sticks) softened
2 1/2 cups- flour
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 pinch of salt
Combine
Form balls, bake 325 10-12 mins.
Dust in powder sugar


VASES


White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Canes
For a charming rustic vase... repurpose a Pringles potato chip container by wrapping it in upholstery webbing or a strip of tartan plaid wool fabric.
Attach a rusty charm with a jute (twine) and raffia bow.
Embellish with a small swag of evergreens and dried berries.
It's simple and festive.

Shortbread Medallions

Colorful paper shreds nested in  white pedestal bowls adds color and padded protection for those fragile baked goods
Completing the look with a combination of red and white bakers twine and ribbon.
Tags and or recipes add a nice personal
touch.



Meringue Christmas Tree Swirls

Glassware really creates a touch of elegance in any gift presentation.
Vases, urns, apothecary jars, can also be used to
serve your sweet treats.



Cornucopias...

in copious amounts.
During the Christmas holiday season we receive surprise visitors.
I like to have a selection of "Sweet Surprises" waiting for them.
I'll prepare various styles of cornucopias and fill them with a variety of candies and
set them out in baskets and trays for my guest to take home.

When I found this Waffle cone photo I wanted to add this design to my collection, but I couldn't find any instructions.
It seemed simple enough; so I gave it a try.
When I'm making copious amounts I'm always looking for shortcuts.
Pulling out the waffle maker
along with all the ingredients was the one big step I cut out.
I purchased my waffle cones from the local
grocery store.





Easypeasy!
Double dip the waffle cone rim in melted white chocolate with another quick double dip in sanding sugar crystals.
I filled the Cornucopias with traditional hard Christmas ribbon candies and wrapped them cello bags.

Foiled Doily Cornucopias

These are the directions for my traditional foiled cornucopias.
I also set these at each place setting on our Christmas dinner table.

Simply....
Roll a 10 inch foiled (paper) Doily into a cone, hot glue into place.
To form the handle dab another spot of hot glue on the tip end of either...wired tinsel garland or pipe cleaner and affix to each side of the cone.
I tie a few jingle bells on with metallic thread.
Fill with cookies, candies, toys, etc.



PAPER

This Country Living cookie envelope along with the single strip wrap concept (in the next photo) is one of my super easy favorites, especially adorned with the crystal snowflake ornament.
It can be applied to so many types of paper...
Glassine, scrapbook, tissue, etc.



 
Just by cutting a strip of decorative paper and wrapping the sleeve around the cookies.
Tie and tag,
Voila!




I hope one of these techniques will help in the last minute preparations, that always have a tendency to sneak up.










Monday, December 6, 2010

I'M B-A-C-K!!!




For some in denial reason I thought my youngest sons departure to college would be a breeze. I had planned to utilize the so called great wisdom I'd  acquired after barely surviving his brothers send off to college years prior. Like a Hoover I was sucked into this fantasy just like the self induced amnesia I've embraced after the last (college) departure. Unfortunately the bucket of ice cold reality splashed upon my face in a... cold, wet, wave (forming unquenchable tears).
As you could tell since I've been MIA... it wasn't the "breeze" I'd thought it would be. Those suspicious noises you may have heard in the far off distance that were chalked up to wild animal noises were... just the echos of little old me wailing.
Time and several visits from my college student have helped the healing process.
I'm happy to report my creative mojo has slowly made it's way back.
During my absence I've continued to check in with you from time to time.
The holiday spirit has really sparked your creative juices.
I've discovered such grand Christmas ideas!



Craftberry Bush
posted these lovely paper roses, featured as a gift topper.



Craftberry  Bush
shares a lovely variety of styles to wrap  up the holidays







"A gift within a gift"


Taking my found inspiration..... I created ice skates that can be used as an ornament or gift topper.
  Only a few stitches are needed to secure the pieces on these skates, making it easier to snip and use the socks whenever  so desired.





Start with a pair of socks any pattern or size.



Stuff with Polyfill . Be careful not to over stuff, causing the sock to stretch out of shape.
 Insert a sturdy gauged wire through the center of the Polyfilled sock from top to toe.



For a ruffled edge,  run a gathering stitch just below the top of the sock.
Pull the gathers and tie with a secure bow. 



 Bend sock to form the skate then, stitch a crisscross pattern to form shoe laces.




Cut wire the length of your skate, leaving extra for
bending/ curling
I curled the blade, but you can leave a slight bend at the tips following the pattern of a traditional ice skate.
Trim ice skates with your favorite embellishments.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Watermelon..........



not only is it a cool, crisp, refreshing, taste treat it's packed with phytonutrients, vitamins A, C, and has a good hit of potassium, plus some B6 and thiamine.
Also a good source of Phosphorus, Zinc, Manganese, Magnesium and
it's great for a calorie, sodium free diet.

Many summer favorites can be created with watermelon: salsa, smoothies, sorbet and salad, to name just a few.

Every part of a watermelon is edible, even the seeds and rinds.



Watermelon Sorbet




Watermelon Cup

The perfect vessel for your appetizer.



Baby Shower Carriage





These lil' watermelons are simply made by hollowed out limes, watermelon Jello and
mini Nestle chocolate morsels for the seeds.




Melon Boats

Prepare Jello, add diced fruit, pour into small seedless watermelon or cantaloupe halves.
Refrigerate until set.





Slice and serve.




Watermelon Slice Cookies








Watermelon Bombe made....



mini!


Don't you just love these old fashioned fuchsia and white barber pole straws!!
If there's enough interest I'll consider adding them to my boutique's fall line up.
For the holiday's, red or green with white stripes will be available
(in limited supply).





All hearts....

young or...



old **love**
watermelon.






It's cryin' time!



For the full effect of my misery
please play as you read .


My nest will be empty.




He's off to continue his education.



Where he'll have a new home,
meet new friends, and experience new adventures.




If only when he drives away........



I could convince my heart this isn't who's leaving.




MySpace Images





Please stay tuned for my summer finale.....
*Summer Snowballs*
It's sure to get you in the mood for the upcoming holiday season with a hint of summer fun!




Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"A rose.....


by any other name would smell as sweet."



We have over 150 rose bushes through out our garden.



All colors...ranging from peach to pink with every shade in between.





In a variety of shapes and sizes.





Heaven *scent*.



What do I do with all these lovely roses, you might ask?





For starters, I put several arrangements in the guest rooms for our family and friends.





Followed with centerpieces for both the dinning and kitchen tables.







We've collected several small vases that are filled with roses for the sweet little ladies who stroll on over from the retirement home.
We'll also donate a few to those in need of roses for weddings.



To no surprise...I like to reserve a few for creative projects.
Like this one from my archives.






I took that previous idea and combined it with another favorite technique from
Its-Time-To-Celebrate post.

I stamped French text onto the petals with food coloring.
It's important when stamping..... to use a *gentle touch*.
Taking a liner brush I coated the edges with white chocolate and...





added a sprinkling of Non-Pareils on some, (coarse clear) sanding sugar on others.




Non-Pareils


I now have the perfect Embellishment for any confection.






Clear Sanding Crystals

Je t'aime=I love you




Along the same creative lines this next idea will impart an added sweet surprise to any...... tablescape or tuck a few into a note.
I used the same application, changing out the food coloring with ink for stamping my French text.
After allowing the petals to air dry, they were stored in a airtight container.
As a gift I've given a collection of French petals wrapped in a rose infused jar, that I've embellished,
which I could share the "how to" in a future post, if you'd like.





These dried petals are beautifully delicate.





Now, here's an easy Floral Caplet you can whip up for the lil' sweetheart in your life.
My friend Miss Shelia from Note Songs can make a petite version for Carter by replacing the metal or plastic headband with stretch lace or elastic and attaching the ends making a complete circle.



Step 1.
Pick out a 1 1/2- 2 inch width wired ribbon.
Measure the length of the headband (form) then double it.
Cut two strips of your ribbon to those specifications with an
extra 1/2 inch at both ends.
This will allow for the tuck and fold over for concealing the raw edges.




Step 2.

Hot glue or sew the two strip along the edge, creating a casing.
Smoothing the hot glue as you go, no lumps or clumps.
Don't panic if the hot glue squeezes out from the edges.
When the glue cools trim the excess with scissors .





Step3.


Fold over and glue the raw edges.
Slip the headband form into your ribbon casing.
**Important reminder: Seal both ends
by hot gluing the last inch or two to the headband form before sliding the end of the casing over the edge. **
This will prevent the casing from slipping off the headband form.





Step4.

Select and hot glue a charm to the center of your silk flower.






Step 5.
Flatten out the ribbon, glue your flower to the smooth area.
Once it's set It can be repositioned by sliding to sit center or off to the side.






Ruffles
and...





Flowers





make the prettiest Caplets.





I've got a smile on my face and you put it there!!
I would like to thank you for A-L-L your sweet comments!
In answer to your questions...yes these are my original ideas.
They come from many avenues of inspiration. I've had several years of practice in the creative process, through teaching craft classes. The ideas flow freely, but to my dismay the set of instructions aren't always included when they come to mind.
Sometimes it'll take a few (hundred) bloopers to get it right.
Thankfully I have you, my Blogettes to share them with when they do come to fruition.