Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tourquise Sparklers

I'm a sucker for Joe Fresh nail polish. I'm particularly smitten with their turquoise colour called Lagoon. I wear it every chance I get.  

I paired it with their silver glitter polish that's almost completely opaque with one coat. Love the sparkle! I topped it all off with Sally Hansen's Insta-Dry #110 Clearly Quick. Drys FAST and is very durable. I re-coat the design every evening after work to maintain the nail art longer. I can keep designs for up to two weeks by maintaining them like this. 
What's your favorite nail colour?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Progress, Slow and Steady

Thought I'd give a sneak peek at how I develop some of my designs. A big part of helping an idea become an actual piece is sketching it out. I grab my STAEDTLER pigment liner four pack and get on with it.

I start with a soft pencil and go over my lines with the pigment liners. If the sketch turns out to be something I want to continue on with I can erase the underlying pencil and elaborate on the ink lines.
George is keeping a very close eye on me.

My sketch books are filled with ideas roughed out like this one.

These sketches help me remember construction ideas and possible materials. Do you use sketches to rough out ideas before you create?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cath Kidson Inspired Nail Art

I'm a HUGE fan of Cath Kidson prints. I particularly like their vintage roses. They remind me of old oil cloth fabric. For some strange reason they always make me feel like baking. I'm sure there's a connection. Maybe clean fresh oilcloth covered kitchen tables for rolling pastry? 

These will be fun Easter time nails too. They're a wee bit Easter Egg like.
I coated my ring fingers and my thumbs with a medium blue base and the rest of my nails got a coat of pink. I added blue dots to the pink nails using the tip of a bobby pin. The blue nails got a splotch of dark pink and then I swirled medium and light pink over the dark pink splotches. I added leaves by dipping my bobby pin into two greens at once and dotting beside the rose swirls. I let them dry and then gave them two coats of clear top coat. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ridiculously Teensy Cupcakes for Absolutley No Reason

This is really a tutorial on how I made my mini cupcake liners. There are a billion and eight cupcake tutorials out there and most of them are pretty spectacular. I think it might be helpful to show how I make the thin translucent STAEDTLER Fimo Effect cupcake liner, so here goes......

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Icing Made Without Icing Sugar Recap

In April 2011 I posted this recipe I found on YaHoo Answers. I've gotten a HUGE amount of feedback from this post and was recently asked if I thought the icing could hold up when piped. Here are the results of what happened when we tested it's pipe-ability. This time I added yellow and green paste food colouring to the batch and cooled it off in the fridge for a few hours before I tried to pipe it onto the cake. It did pipe........ but it wasn't fun. I'm by no means a cake decorating expert. We just really enjoy making cakes for each other at home. I have some experience piping butter cream and this was nothing like that. It's very sticky and held onto the piping tip instead of dropping off like butter cream does. It's worth all the extra work though. Man this is some delicious icing.

This is an image from the first time we made this icing. You can see it's quite soft. It firms up a bit with some chilling though. Hope you try it too!
It really is delicious!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mini Croissants and a Mini Mold

I've been playing with mold making lately and loving every second of it. Here's one of the first of many tutorials on making your own home made molds.

Don't they look delicious? I love buttery croissants all warm and flaky. Now I can make as many mini pastries as I want in no time at all. 

Things you'll need to create these mini croissants and their mold:
Eye pins

Tools needed to make these:
soft round paintbrush #2 - 4
Craft knife
Parchment paper

The first thing to do is to sculpt your shape. I made a flat sheet of clay about 1/8th inch thick and then cut a triangle out of it that was close to one inch by 3/4 inch. Then I rolled up the triangle and smoothed out the seams with the tip of a toothpick. I turned the ends in a bit to make a slight horseshoe shape. I tried to keep in mind how a real croissant was rolled while I was making my shape. When I was completely happy with the shape I baked it in a preheated 230 degree oven on a parchment lined baking sheet for 20 minutes and then let the piece cool before the next step.

Next I mixed equal parts of the easy mold until there was no more marbling and placing my shape face up on the work surface, I covered the clay shape with the mold making blob. I made sure not to just push the mold making medium down but also in to the piece from all sides. I turned the piece over and checked to make sure I was leaving an opening to remove the piece. After the easy mold has cured  (About 25 minutes) you can use your craft blade to trim away any of the mold that is covering the bottom of your piece.

Here are a few of the different pieces I made. There is a tea cup shape, my croissant and the bottom of a cupcake. When you remove the original from the mold, you'll see that it's quite flexible and you can bend the mold to remove the clay piece easily.

I made little conditioned balls of STAEDTLER fimo soft #70 sahara and pushed them into the mold. I cut away any clay that was extra and then bent the mold to carefully un-mold the pieces. There was no need for any release agents. You can also bake the piece right in the mold to reduce deformation while un-molding. Mine came out pretty clean unbaked so I made a heap of them right away. I used my STAEDTLER Karat soft pastel chalks and a soft brush to add colour to the bready curls. I started with an ecru colour and worked my way to the darker colours.

I must admit that I'm pretty chuffed with these little guys. They really do look toasty and delicious. I added my head pins to the end of each croissant and then I baked them in a preheated 230 degree oven, on a parchment lined baking sheet for 20 minutes and allowed them to cool before adorning them with toppings.

For the buttered croissants, I added a small square of STAEDTLER Fimo effect #204 translucent yellow to the top of each pastry and covered the butter pat with a drop of STAEDTLER Fimo liquid Deco gel. I re-baked the pieces for another 20 minutes and they were done!

For a little chocolate drizzle I mixed up some brown chalk dust with a bit of the Fimo liquid and drizzled it over some croissants. I re-baked the pieces for 20 more minutes.

I like these little guys too!
Maybe I'll make some delicious teeny pastry earrings with these.
Can't wait to share more.