Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

Sharing some gift tags I've made for this joyful time of the year ~ This is done using Studio Calico's December add-on kit- :

Hope everyone is keeping warm and having lots of happy time with family!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Mind's Eye's sketch challenge #6!

Hello! I somehow amazingly found time just in time to submit for My Mind's Eye's Challenge #6! It's such a fun sketch~ it inspired me to pile on the embellies to no ends! Here's the sketch~

Here's my take!

All material used are from my beloved My Mind's Eye stash!
  • My Mind's Eye "Celebrate" Die cut
  • Bella Bella "French Flea Market" A Bit o' Dots Paper
  • Bella Bella "French Flea Market" The Rouge Bird Paper
  • Laundry Line Rub-on - Coastal "Authentic"
  • Laundry Line Natural "Embark" Mini Die cut
  • Laundry Line Natural "Encourage" Die cut
It was so much fun making those paper flowers...I tried several different techniques and settled with this one. Perhaps one of these days I will post a tutorials of my other attempts. Anyway, let's get this tutorial started first!
  1. Things you need:
    • 1/2 inch by 4 inch strips - 3 or more (although 3 is my recommendation because otherwise your flower will get really thick and full)
    • 1/4 inch by 3 inch strips - 3 or more
    • 1 brad
    • A hole puncher
    • Mini Glue dots ( you can use other types of adhesives, but this is the most convenient).

2. Attache a piece of glue dot to one end of all the strips like this:
3. Then twist one end of the paper to form a shape similar to the Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon-Make sure the glue dot end up on top(we're going to attach the other end to this on the next step):4. Then do the same to the other end to form 2 pedals
5. Repeat 3 & 4 to all the strips of paper you have prepared from step 1.
6. Punch a hole in the center to all of the pieces above.
7. Finally, stack them all together starting with the smallest one on top, then put a brad through all the pedals and VOILA!
An instant pop to your page! It adds so much depth to your page like you wouldn't believe. So easy, and it's a great way to use up your scraps.

Well I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and please let me know if there are any unclear instructions!

Buh bye for now~


Monday, December 14, 2009

My Mind's Eye Prize Pack blows my mind

THE most awesome prize pack EVER! I can't believe how generous they were! Check this! All SMASHING 8LBs of scrapbook yumminess!

I just can't wait to dip into it! Challenge 6 layout coming up soon!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Macaron Fail

Ok. So I was overly ambitious on trying to make not one but TWO colors of macarons on my first attempt. Actually, maybe that wasn't the problem. The problem was I guess-timated the proportions when I was splitting the mix as oppose to measuring it out carefully.

The first batch (green ones if you care) turned out too watery and it just turned into a giant blob of almond crisp (it actually doesn't taste bad).

Attempting to fix this problem, on the second round (pink ones) I added an arbitrary amount of almond meal to the mix. This seems to have fix the consistency issue. The beautiful dome-shaped macaron-halves did not collapse on me this time. After baking, it also formed the "macaron feet" - a phenomenon that I was looking forward to. Everything seemed to be rather successful on the second round until I tried to remove them from the foil.

oh dear. I forgot to grease the foil.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! NONE of them would come off! I had to scoop them off with a butter knife! This of course ruins the smooth shells of the macarons. They're all cracked and jammed beyond oblivion. I am so disgusted at my own mishap that I ended up throwing the whole batch away. Urgh. Another try some other day I guess.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

French Macarons

One of my major finds in Paris is the French Macarons. They are these little colorful delights that instantly makes my mouth water....not trying to be gross or anything.


THESE ARE HEAVENLY. I've tried these macarons from several French bakeries while I was in Paris...including the famous Laduree on Champs-Elysee. This alone could warrant another trip to Paris in the future.

Lucky for me. I found this awesome recipe for them. I can't wait to take a stab at making these tonight.

The French Macaron is a grown up almond cookie that is delicate and perfect as a wedding favor or stocking stuffer this holiday season. Each almond sandwich cookie is filled with creamy buttercreams, preserves or rich chocolate ganache. Here are some helpful tips on making your own! –from Vanilla Bakeshop


3 ½ cups Powdered sugar
½ tsp. Vanilla extract
3 cupsAlmond meal
6 Egg whites
Pinch Salt
½ cupGranulated Sugar

Helpful tips before you get started:

*Oven temperatures vary. Test this recipe first, before you begin production to ensure the cookies bake perfectly. If the cookies crack on top, your oven might be too hot. Turn your oven down by 5-10 degree’s. The cookie should have a smooth shell top.

*Chose three different food colors for your cookies and decide what flavor will correspond with the color. Example: A pale green macaron filled with mint chocolate ganache.

*Gel based food-coloring works the best. Divide your batter mixture into three separate bowls, and add a different color per bowl. This will allow you to have three different colors and flavors.

*Use a toothpick when adding the food coloring. A little goes a long way.

Pre-heat Oven 240 degree’s

1. Whip egg whites in a mixer with whisk attachment until frothy. Rain in granulated sugar slowly. Whip until the egg white is a soft peak. Add salt, vanilla extract and food coloring.

2. Continue to whip until a medium peak forms. Do not over whip.

3. Sift powder sugar and almond meal together.

4. Fold powder sugar and almond meal into egg white mixture.

5. Fold together until mixture is the consistency of slow moving lava. (About 20-30 seconds of folding.) Be careful not to over mix.

6. Fill pastry bag fitted with #828 tip with macaron mixture.

7. Pipe into small silver dollar size rounds on parchment covered sheet pans.

8. Once all rounds have been piped, allow it to sit out for 30 minutes to dry and create a shell.

9. Bake at 240 degree’s for 9-11 minutes. Rotate halfway through baking process so cookies are evenly baked. Cookie tops will pop up creating a macaron “foot” below the shell top.

10. Allow to cool before piping filling.

11. Fill with your favorite butter cream, preserve, or chocolate ganache filling.<> 12. This recipe yields 40 French macaron sandwiches.

Pictures coming up in the next post!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Daily

A project inspired by the famous Ali Edwards! Click here to learn more about the project.
Day 1!

Who doesn't love a late night snack?

Who doesn't love a late night snack? I really need this today as I had a pretty long day at work. Steamed milk and a bit of a sweets(not to mention WINE cake!) at night soothes my soul. All our Black Friday purchases started to roll in. Jeff's got his Mac book pro and I got my new bike. Jeff spent most of the night assembling my bicycle in the garage while I pigged out in the house and vegged out in front of the TV. What a lazy day but it is JUST what I needed.