Monday, August 22, 2011

Back in the sewing saddle

Other than the appliques on these cute "monthaversary" onesies. I haven't done any sewing since Kate was born. 

But that's about to change as I just ordered the supplies I need to make my friend's ring bearer pillow and bow tie and her garter!  I first wrote about it here.

They were my first ever purchases on Etsy.  The Dupioni silk in the middle is from a seller in India so I'm excited to tell Emily it's made of "imported silk."  Hopefully that will minimize the disappointment when it comes out crooked with last-minute hot glue strings all over it.

I haven't even started the project and I already feel a little like Denise when she is commissioned to sew a shirt for Theo.  Anybody?  No?  Here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The solution is clear.

This is a beautiful glass bowl handed down to me by my grandma.

Here's a better view of the etched design.  She told me I should use it for serving ice.  I later saw a bowl just like this on Mad Men.  Peggy served ice in it.  Grandma knows her stuff.

This is a $2 glass bowl from Wal-Mart.  I used it to serve Grandma's Texas Trash at Kate's baptism.  You see, people used to make their own Chex mix before Chex did.

This is what happens when you wash dishes in the sink.  Boy meets girl and ain't nothin Momma can do to split 'em up.

Aunt Joanne enlisted the help of her daughters, sisters, nephews and I to come up with all kinds of different removal tactics.  
Like hot water.

And cold water.

We tried olive oil and butter.

Then, we decided to quit messing with it and let it dry completely for three whole weeks.  We figured once the water dried up, the suction would be gone and the inner bowl would plop right out onto the pot holder.

So.  It's three weeks later.  No water's left and those suckers are still hanging on to each other for dear life.  So, given the disposable nature of bowl #2, I decide the solution is clear.  Bust it out.

Me, my hammer and my screwdriver pound away.  150 knocks later with only a small chip to speak of, I realize it's time to get aggressive.

Whacking away, hoping the Mad Men bowl stays in tact and wishing I owned protective goggles, I begin to make progress.  Once glass started actually coming out I filled the bowls with water while I continued breaking it so that the glass wouldn't fly up into my face.

And there you have it, Aunt Joanne.  It's out!  Kellerwoman 1, glass bowls 0.  Ok, maybe it's a tie.  It did take three weeks.  Scotch on the rocks, anyone?
Excuse the pigtails.  They ease the pain of the recent hair pulling going on around here lately.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sweet cake!

I didn't take pics of the process, but I want to share this lemon raspberry cake I made for Kate's baptism.

It's made with two boxes of white cake mix and three nine-inch layers.  I made the filling and icing from scratch, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with using a cake mix.

Here's the recipe I used for the raspberry filling.  I skipped the raspberry liqueur since liquor isn't sold in grocery stores here and I was not about to make a special trip for two tablespoons of anything!

Once I baked the three layers, I cut the tops off to be as level as possible and slopped on the filling.  It becomes a nice gelatin-like texture if you leave it in the fridge long enough.  I was afraid it would be a little too thin and turn the buttercream pink around the edges, but it worked very well.  If you look at the picture of the cake on that site, you'll see it's better to circle the edges of your layers with icing (imagine outlining the filling on the layer) so it doesn't seep out, but I had to get it filled and stacked the night before I made the icing.

Here are the videos I used for the icing: recipe (plus lemon extract) and smoothing technique.  If I'd had more time I would have been more careful and decorated the edges for a crisper look, but it didn't work out that way.

For the cross, I rolled out some premade white fondant and traced a scallop pattern on top of it, then cut it out with a knife.  I punched holes in it (a must for the pretty eyelet look!) with a round tip and then made some royal icing to add the detail.  Royal icing consists of some meringue powder, a lot of powdered sugar and a little warm water.  I don't have the measurements, because I only needed a little bit so I just tossed it together.  I tried to do a star scallop around the bottom with the leftover royal icing but it was too warm from being in my hands so it got kind of melty.  At that point I just needed to get it done so I could get the rest of the house ready for the big party!

The rose is just a strip of fondant -- maybe 3/4 inch? -- rolled into itself.  I did it several times until it turned out right.