Sunday, April 29, 2012

Daughter's Bday Weekend

My daughter had her 14th B-day party this weekend, so she decided to wear this special necklace we made.
She made a polymer clay birthday cake and then cut a piece out of it. I used my new power drill (woohoo) and drilled some holes to insert eye pins and attach it to a chain.

She decided she wanted to take her girl friends to San Francisco Japantown for lunch and shopping!
We ate at Mifume. The popular dish of the day was the Teriyaki Chicken Ramen...7 of the 9 girls ordered it!
For dessert we had crepes and ice was a beautiful day in the city!
One of the best parts of the day was when the girls took a group photo in a oversized Japanese photobooth.
After the machine takes your pictures, you get to embellish your photos with assorted digital images. How adorable the photos came out!
Then the girls were off and shopping. :-)

This weekend, I also had a calligraphy class, "Introduction to the Pointed Pen", at Castle in the Air. The instructor was Bill Kemp.
Did you notice that small potato at each station? The potato is a cool trick to clean your nib, if it's been sitting with ink.
Below is a sampling of my writing. What a fun class! I'm signed up for another class next week, Spencerian Upper Case letters. I love the ivory ink on black paper!
I also went to an estate sale by my house this weekend and picked up some fun items at great prices.
See that mini trophy? I've been searching for them lately...the women checking me out gave it to me free. I think they'll make fun holders for odds and ends. That pair of glass ash trays will be a holder/water bath for my calligraphy pen. Ashtrays are perfect for holding your pen because of the groove on the edge of the dish. Love that pink talcum powder tin...perfect for a doll body. That large silver bowl was a steal at $5. I picked up a pair of mini salt and pepper shakers and then I'm always picking up vintage rhinestone pieces.

This was one of those weekends where it seemed like I needed a vacation for my vacation!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wooden Art Dolls

Laura Robberts has created these wonderful wooden art dolls. She has an online class at Paperwhimsy ( with great step-by-step videos on how to make them. These are the ones I made after taking her online class.

Thanks to Jackie Peters who shared the wooden dolls she made on her blog. They're so cute!(

I had so much fun making these dolls and I learned a new method for doing image transfers that works perfectly. I ordered supplies to make another 15 dolls and just might sell some :-). Another great aspect of this project is that I was able to justify purchasing my own drill. (Shh! :-)

I've been wanting a drill for a couple of years now, ever since I saw Gina use it in one of our classes. I purchased the cordless Dremel 8200 with a flex shaft and a multipro keyless chuck (wow, I sound like I work in a hardware store). The flex shaft is that long cord with a marker size tip, which makes using your drill very easy to hold. The keyless chuck enables you to insert your drill bit without using a key. I love that it's cordless too. I read the reviews to find the recommended accessories. I can't wait to find more things to drill!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Jewelry Workshop & More

Yesterday, I taught my first workshop on jewelry making...the focus was creating a found object necklace - as well as learning some basic jewelry making techniques.
The necklaces above were all created by the students...they're all beautiful! I love how they're so unique and I'm sure they'll receive many compliments.
Above is a picture of the calm before the storm. If you look at each person's workstation, I collaged the cover of a jewelry box for each one of them. I actually used those large numbers I bought the other weekend.
It was a wonderful group of friends & family..I love being with them all and creating.
 I didn't have to do much, as these girls were quick and caught on fast.

What a fun day it was...thanks for everyone's support!

This week is my daughter's birthday. She came up with making hand-delivered bday invitations. So, in the car are balloons and bags with the invitations attached.

Inside the bag, Rachel made hand painted rocks. We were looking for something to weigh down the bag. I suggested oranges, she suggested rocks...but not just plain painted with faces, designs and words. She used a glue pen and pink glitter - how adorable are they :-).

Rachel also made her own bday cake - a little larger than the size of a dime.

This week I started working on Laura Robberts' wooden dolls. I first saw it on Jackie Peters' blog and fell in love with them. I'll share them with you later this week.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Banana Upside Down Cake

My daughter found a great recipe for using up ripe bananas, Banana Upside Down cake. We always seem to have ripe bananas around. My husband is the only one in the house that eats bananas and he likes to buy them, but for some reason, never eats them. Sometimes, I think he does this on purpose so that we have to make a dessert with them before they spoil. Our normal pattern is to make banana bread, but we felt like doing something different this time.
Rachel found the recipe from Dulce Delight,'s usually an accompanying video to her recipes too. We've made this recipe twice and both times it came out perfect. You should try it, it's a keeper!

3 large ripe bananas
1/2 lemon
8 tbsp unsalted butter (room temperature) , plus 4 tbsp butter for carmelization
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Slice bananas 1/4" thick and toss with lemon or lime juice in a bowl and set aside. Take a 9" round pan and put it on the stove over low heat. Add 4 tbsp of butter and the brown sugar to the pan. Stir and heat until brown sugar is dissolved and is caramel like. Turn off heat. Place one layer of sliced bananas on top of caramel and set aside.

Cake: Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a mixer, whip butter until fluffy - about 5 minutes. Slowly add sugar and mix together. Add 1 egg at a time and mix. Add sour cream and vanilla extract and mix. Add dry ingredients just until incorporated - don't over mix at this point.

Pour cake batter over pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 40 min. Let cake rest for 15 minutes before turning upside down onto platter. Enjoy!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Break - College Tours

We spent this past week touring colleges in Southern California for my son, Christopher, whose's a junior in High School. First, we stopped at San Luis Obispo to visit Cal Poly. We stayed in the lovely Apple Farm Inn.
It has a bed and breakfast type atmosphere. Our room was an Americana theme, very cute.
When we arrived at the guided tour for Cal Poly, we were surprised at the number of people also attending.
There must have been over 1,500 people in that auditorium. Luckily, we split into smaller groups for the campus tours. The school is very nice.
Next, we went to UC Irvine. This college turned out to be one of our favorites.
UC Irvine has this beautiful park in the middle of the campus.
It's in a great location and the college is recognized for its engineering son is thinking of majoring in Computer Science. 
The next day we drove to UC San Diego.
The campus felt like being in the middle of a park...eucalyptus trees everywhere.
 The building above is the main library.
Check out this house on top one of their buildings. It was just erected a year ago to symbolize the change in life from home to college.
The final stop was Occidental...President Obama went to undergraduate school here.
Also, a very nice college, but much smaller.
The guide told us that the average class size is 16 people and sometimes you can even have a class of one.
It was a fun week in LA touring colleges and being together as a family. It's sad to imagine my son leaving home. Before we left, we had to use up some bananas and found a great recipe for banana upside down was delicious! I'll post the recipe this weekend.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sample Necklaces for Workshop

This week I made a few necklaces to use as samples for my found object necklace workshop in a couple weeks.
For the one above I used a watch face, broken earrings, mini bottle, frozen charlotte and various beads and baubles.
The necklace above has a bit more bling with some pearls and crystals. I love mixing objects together for a fun and interesting piece to wear.
My last piece is a black and white necklace. I purchased this brooch from craft depot, it's unusual to find a brooch with black and rhinestones together.

Now to share my Friday purchases...I can't get enough of the French General line. I was at Scrapbook Territory this afternoon and I had to pick up more items. They've totally re-stocked their supply of French General items.
Some of their items are too cute to use...I just want to look at them in the package!
Then Amy Tam has a cute line of scrapbook items out. I love this book below...I think I'll use if for journaling our spring break next week.
And last, I just wanted to show you my daughter's latest creation made from polymer clay...a bento box with noodles, egg, lettuce and a Rilakkuma face. It's like an inch wide and 3/4" cute!
Happy Spring!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Weekend of Workshops!

This Saturday, I taught a molding workshop in my home. The students brought great items to mold and we all had a great time!
My two favorite products to make molds are: Amazing Mold Putty and Oomoo 30 - each one is good at molding different items.
We also made castings from our different molds, using Sculpey polymer clay.
Here are some of the finished molds and castings the students made.
Created by Debrina and her daughter Emily
Created by Kathie
Created by Valerie
Created by Ruby
Sorry, I didn't get a picture of Lana's items.

During the same time, my daughter, Rachel had a workshop with Valerie's daughter, Nina, on polymer clay charms.
The girls made some adorable items below!

On Sunday, I attended a fabulous workshop taught by Nily, held at Gina's store, Tangerine, in Dublin ( Gina has a great store full of some handmade items and other assorted goodies you can't find at most places! Nily creates these adorable bird heads...they have so much character.
I purchased these precious bird heads from Nily...just love them!

Today's workshop was about making a shadow box. Here's some of the samples that Nily made.
Nily's adorable place settings & personalized name tags for each of us adorned our workspace.
Below are pictures of the workshop in progress...
And here are some of the finished projects...
Below is the one I made...
What a fun workshop we had today! Nily was so organized, generous and helpful. I'll leave you with more of Nily's adorable work!