Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Graduation Cookies - Just a Few! & Free Printable Too

My son doesn't graduate until next year, but many of our friends graduated this year and we had many events needing baking. So I did A LOT of baking of graduation cookies! Thankfully my daughter came over one day and helped bake and my mom came over to help bag them when they were all done. It was too large of a project and I won't be doing that again! I was very happy with how they turned out. Here is the main collection of them:
These are my favorites. Last year I made these without the outline, but I prefer them being outlined as it shows more detail and helps them to stand out better. The cookie cutter is from CopperGifts.com
 This was a new cookie cutter for me this year also from CopperGifts.com. My daughter did the beautiful writing on the gown. I'm always jealous of Susan from The Painted Cookie because she writes so beautifully on her cookies. I couldn't believe my daughter could do it too. I'm always so impressed by her!
 The graduation face cookie was also a new cookie cutter for me from CopperGifts.com they show it as a yellow smiley face that is really cute, but then Sweet SugarBelle did this amazing tutorial on how to make cool graduation face cookies so I followed her suggestions and came up with these. They aren't nearly as pretty as SugarBelle's, but they were really fun to try.
 This was a cookie cutter that I had from last year from CopperGifts.com. Notice that I used 3 different shades of blue for the cookies to have a variety. The profile is a Royal Blue, the faces are in a Sky Blue and the grad caps are in Navy Blue.
 and this was a brand new cookie cutter also from CopperGifts.com that arrived the day I started to roll out cookies. I had just placed my order a day or two prior. I expected that I would save this cookie cutter for next year, but they ship so lightning fast there, that I got it in time to make for this year's cookies!
 And this is our school mascot. A friend of mine asked if I could make these and I was excited to give them a try. I actually had to scan my son's hockey sweatshirt for the image because I couldn't find one anywhere on the internet and then I sized that image and projected it on my KopyKake projector to draw onto the cookie. I'm really happy with how they came out and I made enough extras that I can give them to the hockey team at our play-off games coming up.
 I made only one girl cookie. Just one. Our school is all boys, so I didn't have a need for girl cookies ;-) but I wanted to at least try one out. Again this was from Sweet SugarBelle's awesome tutorial. You have to check it out if you haven't yet.
and just to give you an idea of how many cookies I made...
and lots...
 oh and some Cal Poly Mustangs too
 and still lots...
 and footballs and volleyballs too.

Phew that was a lot of cookies. I think I made 293 total last week for graduation. Never again. I think I slept a total of 20 hours for the entire week. Next up... rest!
Oh and I almost forgot, if you need cookie tags for your graduation project, I made these that you can print for free here: Free Graduation Cookie Tag Printable

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tutorial - How to Fill Icing Without Air Bubbles & Using Sanding Sugar

On this Memorial Day, let me start by saying THANK YOU to all the veterans and military families that have sacrificed to make our country what it is today. You are truly heroes and we appreciate your service and dedication. My father was a veteran. When he died a couple years ago from Cancer, his wife received a flag at the burial in his honor from his years of service when he was younger. We are hoping that my son will receive his grandfather's flag at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor later this year. What an incredible memory that would be for our family. My cousin was in war at Afghanistan and thankfully is home now. One of my very close friend's has a son that was away at war also and is thankfully home now. So thank you veterans and military families. You are true heroes. 

Okay onto the tutorial...Have you spent hours beautifully decorating your cookies only to come back to them later and find they have ugly holes in the icing? Ugh! Air bubbles are the enemy. For some reason when we fill small areas with icing, it can create an air bubble underneath the surface that we can't see or know that it will develop. I made this little video of how I alleviate air bubbles in my icing. I hope it helps! Sorry about the light in the background and the dorky gal on the video! ;-)
Unfortunately I don't have pictures of cookies with the small air bubbles. It really takes away from the design to see the little craters on your cookies! For instance, these cookies are just calling out for air bubbles because of the small areas to be filled from the outlining:
but using the toothpick method and thin icing, helps to alleviate air bubbles so your finished cookies can look like this:
Next up graduation cookies...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bridal Shower for Mellissa

Yes, my baby girl is getting married. I am the picture of excitement, calm and prepared. Um... NOT! That would be a picture of my daughter, not the Mother of the Bride. I don't know how she does it. She is planning this huge event and hasn't stressed and is completely excited and yes, in love. Mellissa and Irik's wedding is in 27 days - OMG 27 days! There is still so much to do. Ok, I'm not going to think about that right now. Instead I'm going to tell you that we had a bridal shower for her last weekend. It was incredible. Look at this dessert table! 
My friend, Haniela made these beautiful cookies for Mellissa's bridal shower. Aren't they incredible? It was so sweet of her to make them so personal. She decorated the ring to look like Mellissa's real engagement ring and the E on the center of the circle cookies is to represent their new last name and the M & I is for Mellissa & Irik. Aren't they incredible! Thank you so much Hani for your incredible work!
 My mom and I asked Hani to also make these pink meringue roses from Haniela because they are so beautiful and dressed up our dessert table for the bridal shower perfectly. They were yummy too! We were very excited to see they arrived all in tact during shipping!
 My friend, Christine, from Scrapbooking Stuff made these adorable cupcake liners & toppers in pink & brown to match my daughter's wedding colors. Aren't they fantastic? I just thought these were the cutest things. I made chocolate cupcakes with pink vanilla frosting and vanilla cupcakes tinted pink with chocolate frosting. As a fun surprise, I added an oreo cookie to the bottom of half of the cupcakes. I told everyone that if they ate a cupcake that didn't have a surprise at the bottom, then they had to eat another one ;-)
 Here's a picture up close of those adorable love bird toppers that Scrapbooking Stuff made for us.
Then of course, I made cookies too ;-) I used pink & brown from Mellissa's wedding colors and made lots of different designs. In all, I think we had at least 100 cookies. I don't know why I made so many. The plan was to give away a cookie favor to each person that won a bridal shower game. We had LOTS of games, but there were still LOTS of cookies left after the games, so then we just told everyone to fill up their favor boxes with cookies before they left. Every single cookie was taken. That was easy!
Speaking of the party favors, here are the boxes that we made to hold all their goodies. They came out so cute! Inside was a set of heart-shaped measuring spoons that said cutesie things on them and a heart cookie cutter and lots of cookies.
 These are the pink & brown present cookiess that I made with a matching present cookie tag.
 and the Bridesmaid dresses with another cute cookie tag.
 and I just love these Love Birds. I got the cookie cutter from CopperGifts.com along with the dress & corset and ring. I just love CopperGifts.com they ship so fast!
 Here are the corsets. I had to make these since it was a bridal shower, but Mellissa did not want it to be a lingerie bridal shower. Okay, okay...
 and these engagement rings. I "painted" them with silver luster dust and put disco dust on the ring's stone. They were very sparkly and fun.
Here is our guest of honor, the bride to be, Mellissa. Did I mention that we had a game that no one was allowed to say her name throughout the party. They had to say "Bride". I bought these super cool light up bling rings and gave them to 6 of the guests. The plan was for the guests to catch each other saying her name and steal the ring, but no one messed up! Oh and yes, I made her wear a tiara :-)
 The Bride to Be and the Mother of the Bride/Matron of Honor just before the guests arrived.
Grandmother of the Bride, my incredible mother, Betsy. I never could have planned this entire bridal shower without her support. It was way over my head. She came up with all the cutesie details. She is truly amazing and I adore her.
By the way see this beautiful flower below? My mom made that! I love it. It is a party favor inside all that pretty flower paper. I think she said she saw the design in a Martha Stewart catalog and the next day she had made a bunch of them. She's so cool.
 Mellissa's bridemaid, Christine, also came early to help set-up for the bridal shower. Christine and her husband, J.P. just got married LAST week! Congratulations to them and thanks so much for jumping in and helping!
Ok here's the mean mom part. One of the games was Stump the Bride. I emailed Irik and asked him a bunch of questions and printed them up and handed one to each person at the party. They had the chance to ask Mellissa the question about Irik and if she got it wrong, she had to chew a big piece of Hubba Bubba bubble gum. I think she had 9 pieces in her mouth at the end of the game! She didn't like me very much at that point ;-)
 and her beautiful bouquet from ribbons on her bridal shower gifts. She will use this at her rehearsal in a few weeks...
So it was quite an event. Soon I need to start planning the bachelorette party, but I'm taking a bit of a breather first! Next up... graduation cookies.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mothers Day Cookies and a Cool Cycling Video Too

Here are some more Mothers Day cookies that I made.
I decided to use brown and pink as my main decorating colors after all the flowers that I made.
and the cookies boxed as a gift for my Mother-in-Law:
But then I decided to add in pink & lime green. I'm on a bit of a pink & lime green obsession right now. My poor husband is scared and rightly so. Every time I go through a color obsession it is HUGELY expensive. When I worked at Cisco and for about 10+ years I was completely obsessed with the color lavender. Everything I owned was lavender. I know all my cycling friends are gasping right now! Yes, there was a color obsession before PINK! The pink obsession started on August 1, 2006. The day my husband gave me my beautiful bicycle and it was gorgeous PINK. Yes, he very much regrets that day ;-) My entire wardrobe has become pink, every single item in my office and our beautiful kitchen and yes, you've seen the pink hair...
So we'll see if I can hold onto the pink or if I might need to do a little adding in of splashes of lime green. Poor hubby. I already bought lime green handlebar tape and a lime green saddle bag. Uh oh ... ;-) Speaking of cycling, I know many of you don't understand the craziness of the desire to get out there and ride lots of miles. I saw this video today and it captures it completely. Keep in mind that these are MY hills. They are literally in my neighborhood and it really shows the beauty of the sport and the amazing sites we see from the bicycle. Enjoy, I promise you will when you see this:

2011 Tour of California — Stage 4 from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Tomorrow I will be posting Girl Scout cookie pictures after we tour a college campus for my son.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Want To See The Wedding Dress ... Psyche!

My daughter and I went to have the bustle fitted on her wedding dress. Seeing my baby girl in her GORGEOUS wedding dress was so exciting and lots of other emotions too. Am I really ready for this? Um - NO! But I'm very excited for her and she is going to be such an incredibly beautiful bride. Her groom is an extremely lucky man for sure. Don't you wish you could see inside that bag she is holding? Sorry, no chance. Not til the wedding June 25th!
Since I can't show you all the pictures of beautiful Mellissa in her wedding dress, I'll show you the silly Mother-of-the-Bride and Matron-of-Honor super excited to be helping the Bride. Oh, what's with the Texas sweatshirt you ask? That's my SugarBelle want-to-be sweatshirt since she's a Texas gal and I just think she is super cool. On my recent trip to Florida, we had a lay-over in Texas and I just had to buy this cute Texas sweatshirt because it's PINK! I know you're so surprised, right? I had to wear pink & brown to Mellissa's dress fitting of course since those are Mellissa's wedding colors.
Okay enough of the wedding chat for now. Here are some cookies that I just finished tonight for a friend that is hosting a music event for her son's music band. 

I was going to make a fun tutorial of how to draw the design and how to fill without getting air bubbles in tight spaces and then putting on the sanding sugar, but no one else was here to hold the camera and I'm just not talented in that multi-tasking way! 

One last photo for today and then I HAVE to get back to decorating the bridal shower cookies for this weekend. This is my son at one of our many college tours this past week. Do you know what college this is? Yep, Cal Poly. Nick has basically been an Engineer since he was two...!
Bridal shower cookies coming later.... if I ever get back to work on them! ;-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bridal Shower for My Daughter

Have you heard yet that my daughter, Mellissa, is getting married this summer?! It's very exciting and just a little overwhelming. She asked me to be her Matron of Honor in addition to being the Mother of the Bride. Yes, that means I'm MOH & MOB and incredibly honored to be! As the MOH, it is my honor to throw her a bridal shower. I've never thrown a bridal shower before, so I feel completely out of my element. Thankfully my mother has offered to assist and help guide me and we're sorting through the details as best we can. After a lot of shopping and not really being too impressed by the bridal shower invitations, we decided to hand-make the bridal shower invitations. About now you should be wondering "what did she get herself into?" Unfortunately I find that to be the case in many areas of my life!

So I did some shopping online and bought brown cardstock paper, a digital clip-art image that I love of a bride from Peach Pops ClipArt, a ton of envelopes and borrowed some pink cardstock paper from my daughter. It turned out that the clip art image looked better printing on white paper with a pink background, so Peach Pops made a slight adjustment for me on the clip art and I printed it that way without using the pink cardstock paper. My mom offered to stop by Michaels Craft Store and she bought a ton of pink & brown ribbon, a decorative hole punch, a butterfly hole punch thingy and glitter and little pearls and all kinds of things that I never would have thought of. Great job Mom! We ended up spending 12 hours, yes TWELVE hours!, creating the wedding invitations. I did all the printing and paper cutting and envelope stuffing and address writing and crossing everyone off on the excel spreadsheet and also the ribbon threading . My mom did all the difficult decorative hole punching and the glittering and the pearl placement. I wish I had taken a picture of my mom with the bridal shower invitations. She literally was sitting among a pile of glitter and hole punch pieces. It was hilarious and really quite adorable. So here's the finished product (minus some personal info of course) that went out on May 2nd! The paper background looks black here, but it's a nice dark brown to match the pink & brown colors of my daughter's wedding.
All of those spots of glitter on the veil were hand-done by my mom and there are bits on the floral bouquet too. The butterfly in the bottom left corner stands up and all those decorative elements on the sides of the brown paper are from the decorative hole punch my mom purchased. If you look at the top of the bride's veil, those are little pearls that my mom glued onto the finished invitation. They are pretty fun invitations huh!

I don't have any cookies to share today, but I will be working hard on bridal shower stuff this week and share some as I go. My lovely baking friend, Haniela is making some bridal shower cookies for my daughter because we won her exciting give-away online. I can't wait to see them! Ooh when I went to her blog to link her blog, I got the first viewing of the cookies she made for Mellissa! How exciting is that?!!! You'll have to go to Hani's blog to see them... Thank you Hani! You are absolutely amazing! My mom also ordered some of Hani's beautiful pink meringue roses too: Hani's beautiful pink meringue roses tutorial. Can you just imagine how beautiful the dessert table at the bridal shower is going to be? Food - not so much, but desserts - yeah baby!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies

A friend of mine asked me to make Girl Scout cookies for her Girl Scouts that were bridging to the next level and they were doing this on the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge! How cool is that! So I ordered a bridge cookie cutter and also used a shirt cookie cutter to make Girl Scout vests. They were very happy with their cookies and that made me smile!

And here's a fantastic picture of the Girl Scouts enjoying their cookies! How fun is that!
After a long bike ride tomorrow and a big volunteering event on Sunday, I will start my next cookie project. Bridal shower cookies for my daughter's bridal shower! My daughter is getting married next month and we are doing college campus tours with my son. Seriously where does the time go???