Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Beach Cookies

I made these super fun snorkel cookies following the uber talented design of Susan from The Painted Cookie. I think she may have even designed this cookie cutter for
These were a perfect design for my son to bring to his potluck party at work today. Since he's a lifeguard, I made a whole bunch of beach theme cookies - many more to come. 
I hope you are enjoying your weekend. I went on a long bike ride yesterday and had the joy of pulling the group through massive headwinds. We had a tight peloton trying to hide from the wind with the gal all in pink up in the front. That was cool. It was so windy that it was hard to hold my bike in a straight line. My bum muscles are sore and the quad muscles on my thighs are tight, so I must have had a good work-out. It was nothing compared to the really strong guys that went and did the Santa Cruz Mountain Challenge ride yesterday with over 11k feet of climbing! Ouch!

My bike shop asked me to try out these cool compression socks. They are supposed to give you 30% more blood-flow which equates to 30% more energy. They seem to be working. The ones I wore yesterday were hot pink - surprised? Everyone asked me if I was going to a soccer game after the ride ;-) I have to get a photo of me dressed in all my cycling gear with long compression socks on. It must be quite a sight, but hey whatever works right?! ;-)

Have a fantastic weekend all!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Beach Cookies for a Potluck

I ordered a new cookie cutter and when it arrived the other day, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was! I actually had to go look up my order to figure it out :-) What do you think it is?
Looks a little like a baby rattle and from some of my Facebook friends, it looks like something obscene...! Maybe this will help to see the cookie itself.
Still don't know huh. Well how about seeing it outlined and ready to decorate? Are you getting it yet?
After outlining, the first step was to fill in the flesh tone. If you haven't figured it out yet, it is the back of a gal at the beach.
After filling the flesh tone for skin, I filled the bathing suit and hat and waited a bit for those to dry and then added dots for details on the swimsuit to match the accent ribbon on the hat. 
If you notice on the 2 pictures above, I made a mistake and made the hat rim go through the accent ribbon of the hat. Since it was a small area, I used tweezers to lift off (scrape off) the black outline from that part and fill in the accent ribbon. No one's perfect right! ;-)

I thought these were just adorable. My son has a potluck at work on Sunday and he asked me to make cookies for the event (he is a lifeguard). He will be getting an award for being a good worker, so how could I say no? I made the dough and rolled it yesterday and today I decorated 37 cookies - almost all day today. Lots of colors and 11 different styles. Are you excited to see what comes next???

I'm off for a bike ride tomorrow and then to a birthday party, so you'll have to wait to see more cookies ;-) Have a WONDERFUL weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cancer Ribbons for LiveStrong Supporters

A couple weeks ago, my daughter and I participated in the LiveStrong Challenge in the fight against Cancer. We still don't have the photos from the event, so I'll share those soon. In the meantime, I made some cookies for my top supporters in fundraising. I've been wanting to try leopard and zebra print for quite awhile, but figured it was above my level of ability. Sugarbelle did a tutorial a while back on both prints and so I referred to that for inspiration and guidance. I should have used Royal Icing for my stripes and the lines would have stayed where I told them to go a little better (glaze icing doesn't always listen very well to what it's told to do), but I still was very happy with how they turned out and I'm sure my top supporters in fundraising will like them!
I bought clipart of these two cute designs at Digi Web Studio and printed it out and used my KopyKake to draw the design onto my cookie. I thought they were just perfect for the fight against Cancer.
Here are my zebra stripe cookies. They are not perfect, but I'm really overjoyed with them actually.
 These turned out to be my favorite. I just love this leopard pattern and Sugarbelle's tutorial was really easy to follow. My niece will freak out when she sees these ;-) I must put the pattern on a shoe for her...
Sugarbelle also has a tutorial on how to make camouflage cookies. I only saved one cookie to try this because I thought for sure it wouldn't work out and I ended up loving it. I wish I had more to play with this design.
Then I bagged all the cookies to give to my supporters with the cute clipart that I had purchased. This clipart was from J.W. Illustrations and I know I will have many uses for it over the years in our support of the fight against Cancer. For the zebra stripes, I used both pink & black ribbons and if you click on the picture, you can see it also has a cute pen at the bottom that says I believe in a cure. Very cute clipart, thanks Jessica!
For the leopard print, I used pink & brown ribbons in the same clipart package from J.W. Illustrations. Cute huh!
and of course my very favorite colors of pink & lime for this fun camouflage cookie. All of these cute ribbons & pens came in the J.W. Illustrations clipart package. Can't beat that!
and two versions of the pink ribbons & pink pen on this pink ribbon. I wrote believe and courage on these cookies. I still find writing on cookies frustrating. I have beautiful writing, but you'd never know it with seeing it on a cookie!
This clipart was the package from Digi Web Studio. Have you heard the song Fight Like A Girl from Bomshell? It's one of my favorites.
I love this little pink gal. She wasn't the easiest thing to make for sure, but super cute and worth the effort. 
See the matching clipart. How fun is that?!
So a HUGE THANK YOU to all those that support the fight against Cancer. Whether it's the LiveStrong Challenge, Relay for Life, Breast Cancer Walk, donations, volunteering, whatever it is, YOU are making a difference and Eddie's Angels thanks you!

By the way, I've been receiving very sweet emails with questions and kudos about cookie decorating. Thanks so much for reaching out and leaving a comment or contacting me. It always makes my day! And just a reminder you can get a blank version of my cookie tag template here: Cristin's Blank Cookie Tag Template. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ice Cream You Scream

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream, For ICE CREAM!
I have been wanting to make Ice Cream cookies for quite a while now. I had bought most of the cookie cutters from a while ago and just didn't have time to make them. I finally did and I'm SO happy with them. My father-in-law is celebrating his birthday this week and he always takes the family out for ice cream, so what a fun birthday gift these will be! There are ice cream cones...
and ice cream sundaes...
and my favorite frozen yogurt softie...
and milk shakes...
and snow cones...
and even a popsicle...
These were really fun to make after I outlined each one with the detail that I wanted.
and added lots of colors...
I even made individual cookie tags with clipart that I bought on Etsy. I was very happy with them and hope Fred will be too! 

I hope you are all able to stay cool in this heat wave!
Happy Summer!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Daisies For A Celebration of Life / Tutorial

This is a simple cookie that I'm providing a tutorial for those that are interested or new to cookie decorating.

A friend of mine recently lost his mom. He was hosting a Celebration of Life, so I made these Daisy cookies for the event. I made 7 batches of cookie dough which I figured should yield a minimum of 105 cookies. I let the dough set in the refrigerator overnight as I prefer to not have to add flour to gooey cookie dough since it changes the taste of the cookies. The next day I rolled all the cookies. The cookies are so large that I ended up with 101 cookies - no chance for any mistakes...

After the LiveStrong Challenge, I started outlining the daisy cookies so that I could ice them the next day. I knew that to keep the colors from bleeding, I needed to outline them and let them sit overnight before icing the bottom layer. Here is a picture of the "naked" cookie. 
 To draw the circle in the middle of the flower, I decided that I was too tired (after just riding 106+ miles) to see straight and get a perfect circle, so I drew around one of my small circle cookie cutters and I projected the image onto the cookie using my KopyKake Projector so that I could ice a perfect circle. I did this on all 101 cookies.
 So as you can see from the image below, I outlined the daisy and also outlined the center of the flower.
 The next day I filled the bottom coat of all the daisies with pink & lavender icing. I made sure to spread the icing out to each corner of the daisy so there weren't any air bubbles.
 The next day I filled the center of each flower with yellow icing and then topped each of those with yellow sanding sugar. 
 Directly after filling the centers and the sanding sugar on all the cookies, I then added these detail dots of yellow icing around the center of each flower. 
 Directly after that, I added detail to each of the petals. I started the first one with yellow details on the petal, but decided that I didn't like that so I scraped it off and used the same color as the petal.
 And here they are done. My friend came and brought a beautiful photo of his mother with a poem on the back and we tied a coordinating ribbon to attach the photo to each cookie. I wish I had taken a photo of that. They came out really nice.
As you can see, decorating Daisies is pretty simple. Decorating 101 of them with 2 days out of town in between was the only difficult part. 

I have a long list of ideas of what I want to bake next. I finally wrote them all down so my head isn't so full all the time! I haven't decided what's next just yet as there are so many. My little 9-year old friend just had a birthday and I want to make cookies with her and I'd like to make cookies for my top LiveStrong supporters and I have a bunch of new cookie cutters that I'm dying to play with! So much fun to have!

I hope you're all baking something yummy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LiveStrong Challenge with Lance Armstrong

Sounding as casual as possible.... so I saw my good friend, Lance, the other day. You know... Lance Armstrong. Yaa him. We go way back. Anyone believe that? Ok, just look at the picture:
 You'll know that Lance Armstrong and I are not good buddies because as you can see, I look like I'm about to jump out of my skin in excitement. Look at my hand.... see the stress there? That's when Lance put his arm around the back of my waist and I forgot how to breathe at that point!

 So Mellissa and I set out on our exciting journey to the LiveStrong Challenge this past weekend. With freshly dyed pink hair and a new pink ponytail attached to each of our helmets, we were ready. 
My wonderful friend that I consider to be my sister, Noha, sent me this beautiful Cancer ribbon to wear in memory of my dad at the LiveStrong Challenge. For those that don't know, my dad lost his battle with Esophageal Cancer 3 years ago. My daughter and I have participated in the LiveStrong Challenge since it started 4 years ago and our little Eddie's Angels Team has raised about $15,000 in the fight against Cancer.
My friend, Russ, earned tickets to the top fundraising dinner the night before the LiveStrong Challenge. He wasn't able to use the tickets because he had a music gig with his band, SAGE that evening so with his huge heart, he offered his tickets to Eddie's Angels. We were top fundraisers in 2008, but didn't raise enough for the special dinner with Lance Armstrong this year so we were hugely excited when Russ offered us his tickets! Here is some of our Eddie's Angels Team: Cristin, Mellissa, & Stephanie.
 Mellissa with her dad,  Rich at the fundraising dinner.
 And look who arrived on scene!!!!!  

So Lance Armstrong is super cool. Yes, he's won the Tour de France 7 times and lots of other huge accomplishments. The most amazing thing to me though is that this man had less than 10% chance of survival from Cancer and he's here. This man has been such a role model and such an incredible inspiration to those battling Cancer. This is the way I look at it. The devastation that I feel from watching my father die could easily keep me from getting out of bed every day. I miss my dad, my mentor, my biggest fan, my friend. Instead I made the choice to get up and ride 106+ miles and raise money in the battle against Cancer so that one day, a gal won't lose her dad to Cancer. Lance Armstrong made it possible for me to do that. He makes it possible for all those that participated in the LiveStrong Challenge to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Each person that donated to Eddie's Angels has become one of my dad's angels. We are all raising awareness and being a part of the fight against Cancer. Thank you Lance Armstrong!