Saturday, March 21, 2009

Recent Photography

I haven't posted and photography shots in a while. Sorry bout' that!

Last weeks photography challenge on Splitcoast was the 25th challenge. We were asked to post something that makes us smile. And then there was a bonus challenge where we posted a photo that we have taken that could be a postcard. So here are my iSmile photos:

I read the challenge and immediately thought of my husband, my daughter, and my dog. Well, my daughter is at her dad's, so I couldn't do a photo of her. My husband was sleeping, the thought of taking a picture of my sweet wonderful husband taking a much deserved nap after a hard day at work made me smile even more, so I tip toed into the bedroom and took this:

My dog always makes me smile, he cracks me up. He's such a funny dog, if you knew him, he would make you smile too:
Now for the postcard challenge, I actually posted a picture I had taken at White Sands while my in-laws were visiting back in January. That is sand, not snow in this picture.
Now this weeks challenge is to take a picture of something at an odd angle, whether looking up at it, down on it, angle the camera, etc. The weather has always been really nice in New Mexico, with the exception of a few days here and a few days there. It has been so nice lately that my hubby has started watering the lawn on our designated days (since we live on a military post, they have days that are designated for us water our lawn.). Well yesterday was one of those days, I went outside and took some pictures, here is one I took of the trees turning green and the sun peeking through. I love this shot!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Scrapbook Profile

Our caseworker for our adoption asked us to do a profile online, which we have done, it will be posted to the agency's website as soon as we are approved. In addition though he asked us to do a scrapbook profile. When they meet with birth families they don't always have a computer to show them our online profile, so the scrapbook profiles are to tell them a little about us. So I created these pages for our profile. The scrapbook profiles are 2 pages all about us, just kind of a teaser if you will. I was just waiting on the photos from Snapfish to add to it. I got those on Thursday so I was able to finish the pages. I'm not a major scrapbooker, although I am trying to get into it more. So these aren't the best pages, but I was still happy with them.

I used the Bali Breeze DP from SU (I love this paper, I wish I had more, I'm running out.) I paired it with Tempting Turqouise and Certainly Celery. The Our Family is printed on Whisper White cardstock with my computer printer. I used my crafter's tool kit to paper pierce the pages and then hand stitched them. They took quite sometime, almost 8 hours total, but they were well worth the effort.
A detail shot of the stitching:
Tomorrow I will post some of my latest photography shots from the recent SCS photography challenges.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Cake Idea

I got an email last week from the bride-to-be (and my soon to be sister-in-law) telling what she wanted in her wedding cake. She likes the idea of the pillars and asked if I could do something on the sides of the cake so that the cake wasn't just smooth on the side. She also asked if I could do frosting flowers instead of silk flowers (she has seen some of my past cakes I guess and likes the flowers I have done on those, the thing is, most of those are frosting flowers, but they are non-edible since they are fondant flowers). So I took her thoughts and ideas and came up with another cake choice. I am actually really pleased with this one. If they choose this one it will have more roses on it (I ran out of blue buttercream frosting, now I know I need to do lots of blue frosting for the actual wedding cake if they choose this one). Anyhow, here is what I came up with:

My sweet wonderful husband made me a second 10 inch dummy cake, this time with holes in it for the pillars so I could actually do the cake with the pillars like they are meant to be.

Here is a close up of the cake, looking down on it a little. Here is a close up of the top tier (left bare on the top so if they get a cake topper they can put it on there). You can also see the scallops on the sides. I did rosettes at the top of each scallop. I did a larger shell border on the bottom of each tier and a small shell border on the top of each tier. A close up shot of one of the roses (the roses are a denim blue, I can't get them darker without the coloring effecting the flavor, this is actually my favorite of my blue colorings too, and the leaves are a Juniper green). I love how the roses came out! They are the best buttercream roses I have every done!

I did try a cake with a more elaborate filigree pattern on the sides, but I did one layer and my hands were killing me. There is no way I would be able to do a cake of that calibure in the amount of time that I have an still be able to function afterwards. So this is about as elaborate as I can get and still be o.k. after making it. This practice cake took about 4 hours (partly because I had no clue where I was going with it when I started it). I would spend 5-6 hours on the actual cake to make sure it is as perfect as I can get it. Such as the scallops being evenly spaced on their actual wedding cake.

We'll see if they like this one. I hope so, I had fun doing it. I'll let you know!

New color

Shelly and Lydia loved both cards, although they were in agreement that the red roses was their favorite (it was my favorite too). They asked if I could do it in pink instead of red though. So here is that card in pink, black and white. I hope you like it girls!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Announcements and Invites

For the last 4 days I have been working on the announcements for my brother-in-laws wedding. It took me over 20 hours, but I finally got them done! I did 200 of the announcments and then another 50 sealing cards (for those who are invited to the ceremony). I changed the info on the announcements, pulled out all the personal indentifying information, but this sample shows what I did for the announcements.

Both the bride and the groom have blue as a favorite color and Navy blue is one of the wedding colors. So for the announcements I did a 5x7 invite. I used the ticket corner punch to notch the corners. I did white cardstock over top of that (cut to 4.5x6.5) and stamped the cherry blossom image from Garden Silouhettes in Navy cardstock. Then I did the vellum over top of that with the announcement part printed on it. I tied a navy organdy ribbon at the top.

The ceremony cards were done on shimmery white cardstock. They are 2x3 and have the info printed on them with a flower from the came Garden Silouhettes set in Brocade Blue ink (stamped off once). (I didn't take a photo of those, sorry)

I hope the bride and groom like them (the have seen pictures of them, I just hope they like them in person!). I do need to revamp the wedding cake design. When I did the 3 that I posted in my last post, the bride had said that she really didn't know what she wanted. It wasn't until after I did the cakes that she told me what she had in mind. So I need to revamp the design to fit what she is wanting. Hopefully I can do it. That is my next project.

My friend Shelly emailed me the other day on Facebook and asked me if I would be willing to come up with an invite for a bridal shower she and her sister (my friend Lydia) are throwing for her brother's fiancee. They are doing a tea party bridal shower (how cute is that for an idea!) and asked me if I had any cute tea party stamps. I have almost 200 sets, and no tea party sets. But I told her that if I were her I would do an invite with spring flowers and the words You're Invited on the outside and then the tea party info on the inside. She loved that idea. So I came up with two announcements for her and Lydia to choose from. I hope this is what you had in mind ladies! Here they are!

This one is done with red, green and black and has roses. (Wreath of Roses from SU, I forgot I had this set actually! So glad I found it because I love this set)

This one is done with SU's set A Rose Is A Rose. I did the roses in spring colors of pinks, yellows and greens. The card is paper pierced around the edges of the focal image with a pink ribbon tied around it.

If you like the color scheme of one but like the images of the other, I can combine. Just let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

3 to choose from!

So I ended up doing 3 mock cakes for my BIL and future SIL for their wedding. They will get to choose thier actual cake from these 3. I hope they like at least 1 of them! Two of them are o.k. in my opinion, but one of them, one of them I really love. And I hope they choose that one. But we'll see. Anyhow, here they are!

The wedding colors are various shades of blue, with a little bit of lavender. I bought some silk flowers that are some gorgeous shades of blue and some purple ones that are a little darker then lavender, but compliment the blues so well.

(keep in mind, the actual wedding cake icing will be smoother then this, these are styrofoam cake dummies -that hubby made of course- and I had a harder time icing them then I expected. so ignore the bumpiness of the icing).

Cake #1-
This is a classic 3 tier cake, stacked construction, navy satin ribbon, dot border, with some flower clusters. (If they choose this one I will do more flower clusters then just the ones you see here)

Cake # 2-

On this one I did a shell border, I used seperator plates between the layers. I added the flowers to hide the gap between tier 1 & 2. If they choose this one the pillars won't be so tall. Since this is a cake dummy and I will want to use it for future use I didn't want to put holes in the middle one to make pillars smaller (which is what I would do on the actual cake, the bottom part of the pillars would go into the middle tier itself.)
I added some flowers around and inbetween the pillars and a flower cluster on top.

Cake # 3-

This is actually the 2nd cake that I made (and the 2nd one that I showed them) but it is my favorite so I wanted to show it last here. This one is a 3 tier cake. Seperator plates are used in between the layers, and flowers are used to hide the gaps. Shell border is done on the bottom of each layer and a flower cluster on the top. Do you see why this one is my fav?

All in all I'm pleased with how these turned out. I had contemplated some more elaborate cakes, but since I will only have about a day to do the cake (including bake time) I didn't want to present something that I can't finish, or that I can't have look perfect on wedding day.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Invites and dummy cakes

My brother-in-law (hubby's brother that is just younger then him) is getting married in less then 6 weeks. He asked me if I would make the wedding invitations. I said sure. Silly me! They need 200+so I will be a busy little bee getting them done. I have some of the supplies, hopefully the rest will get here soon so I can knock them out and get them to the bride and groom with ample time still left to mail them out.

BIL also kind of "joked" in Jan. when he was here visiting that if he got married I could make his wedding cake. Well, what do you know, he gets engaged. I ask him if he was serious and wants me to make the cake. He says yes but he will talk to his lovely fiancee' (who I have never met since we don't live there, but I hear from everyone who has met her that she is great, a perfect fit for him) I hear nothing back from them. Another BIL tells me that as far as he knows yes, they want me to do the cake since they are telling people I am doing it. So o.k. I talk to BIL who is getting married to confirm with him, and he says that he hasn't heard anything to contrary from his fiancee' so yes, I'm doing the cake.

Rather then having them choose a cake off the internet or from a photo and having them fall in love with it only to find out I can't do it and make it look perfect I figured I would do some mock-up cakes and then let them choose which one they like. That way I know that I can do whichever one it is they choose and do it well. Rather then baking and decorating multiple cakes and having to find some poor soul to pawn them off on my sweet hubby decided to make me some "dummy cakes". These are cakes made out of styrafoam. This way I can decorate them, take the picture, wash the frosting off and decorate the next cake, take that picture, etc. Then the bride and groom can choose which they like that way. Saves a lot of un-needed baking. Not only will this work for mock-ups, but once they choose their cake if it is one I need to practice I can do that on the dummy cake as often as I need to so that the cake will look fabulous come wedding day. (or as fabulous as I can make it) So this weekend hubby has been working on dummy cakes for me. He is almost done with them and then I can start decorating.

As for the invitations, I did 7 samples, the bride chose 1 that she liked, but asked me to incorporate a couple of things from some of the others. So I did that. Now I am just waiting on them to choose an ink color (that and the rest of my cardstock) and then I can start on those. So hopefully by the end of the week I will have some cakes and invites for you to see (the invites with all the indentifying info taken out of course).

As for the scrapbook pages for our adoption profile, I am waiting for a few photos to come from Snapfish. I love Snapfish, I am getting 10 photos printed and I'm only paying 90 cents!

In the meantime, I found this project that I never shared with you. It is one I did for a friend of mine before she moved from KS. Yes, it is that old! I made one similar for a few of friends, each taylor made for them.
I sure miss my KS friends....

Friday, March 06, 2009


Just wanted to post a quick update on our adoption. We had our home study today. It went fantastic! Our case worker was very impressed. He said they are just waiting on the background checks and 1 more letter of referrence (we have 4 of our friends who are writting letters and they are waiting on 1 still). After they receive those he will write up our adoption study and then we will be approved! He said that it should only be a few more weeks!!!!
We are so excited and beyond thrilled!

I am working on our online profile stuff. I am mostly done with that though, just tweaking a few things here and there. As soon as I am done it will be ready to be posted, so as soon as we are approved the agency will post that on their website. In the meantime I am also working on our scrapbook profile. I have 1 of the 2 pages done. Hopefully I will have those done in the next few days and will be able to show you all those.

Anyhow, I just wanted to let you all know how well it's all going. :) After we are approved we just wait to be chosen by a birth family. Hopefully that won't take too long to be chosen but we are prepared for it taking a while. Hopefully it won't, but it might. In the meantime we are so excited that the approval process is flying by!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Happy Birthday to my honey! My sweetheart turned 32 today! (the above picture is one that I took of him while scouting for picture locations the other day. I made him "model" for me so I could figure out if I liked that particular location or not. I told him to sit on the rock for me, he decided to strike some poses. hehe)
As you my faithful blog readers know, hubby asked me a few weeks ago if I would make him a birthday cake done with Chocolate Fondant. He said he didn't care what it looked like and I could use that as my opportunity to practice my skills. I haven't made flowers for almost a year so I thought that this would be a good time to try. This cake is a cake of firsts, my first time making Chocolate Fondant (recipe from Michelle Foster on Cake Central just sift 3/4 cup of cocoa when you are sifting your powdered sugar.) This was also my first time making chocolate buttercream frosting (Recipe from a Wilton tiered cake book that I have). And since I didn't have regular fondant, I use gum paste for my flowers. This was my first time making gumpaste flowers. The fondant was harder to work with them I thought it would be. I added 3 lbs. of powdered sugar like the recipe called for but it was a little too much. It was brittle in spots so I really had to manipulate it. But it turned out alright, ecspecially for my first time making it.

The cake is done in a heart shape. Hubby wanted chocolate cake (with chocolate fondant, that combined with the chocolate buttercream is a whole lotta chocolate)

Now I know what you're thinking, either you're thinking that "there is a rose missing in the front there" however,that was intentional, the roses cascade down the side and end up in front
Or you're thinking "that is a whole lotta roses!" That too was intentional. Hubby is 32, total there are 32 roses and leaves. :o) See, there is a madness to my method.
Happy Birthday Honey!