Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Is a snowman considered edible art?

It is if you ask Bea.

I swear, Gus and I would have been finished building our snowman 30 minutes earlier if she hadn't munched on him the whole time. "Nummy snowman, mommy. He's deelishush."

Never mind the leaves and grass that she probably swallowed in the process, our snowman did have some edible features - a carrot nose and some Russell Stover chocolates for the eyes. (You know, those nasty pink-marshmallow-centered ones that nobody likes.)

We've had just enough snow over our Christmas break to keep us entertained and not cabin-fevered.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wii wish you a Merry Christmas.

Gus and Bea must have been extra good this year, because Santa brought them some very nice presents. Gus got the Wii he desperately wanted and Bea danced with delight when she opened up her box to find a pink unicorn with wings.

Nothing's more magical than Christmas time with kids.

Christmas Cookie Craziness

I love baking cookies. Don't get me wrong. But making 16-dozen, frosted and decorated sugar cookies last week for Christmas just about put me over the edge. (On top of all the other hub-bub that goes on the week before ol' Santa Claus comes to town!)

Why 16 dozen? Because I have a lot of nieces and nephews that LOVE Aunt Sandy's sugar cookies. And I would hate to disappoint.

When all was said & baked, I think I used: 8 cups of butter, 6 cups of sugar, 16 cups of flour and 6 bags of powdered sugar. Six bags! That's insane. But mighty tasty.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pet Project

Sometimes, after I've worked on design projects all day at WSU, I come home and work on more design projects... just for fun. Oh, and a little profit too. (Backyard rocketships aren't cheap you know...)

In June, a friend-of-a-friend of mine at the Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital of Wichita contacted me to create a new brochure for them. Well, it was suppose to just be a brochure. But then it turned into a new logo. And then of course, that turned into designing some new business cards, letterhead and envelopes to go along with it. Which kinda snowballed itself into a few months of work for me. But it's work that I'm very proud of and happy to have been given the chance to create.

If you ever find yourself needing a vet in the middle of the night, on the weekend, or over a holiday, these are the people you call - Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital of Wichita. You can pick up their new brochure and handy-dandy refrigerator magnet (for quick reference) from your local vet clinic.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gotta love Target.

I'm such sucker for all the cute product lines at Target. Which is why I couldn't resist these adorable melamine penguin plates. I got 10 of them back in November, to give to Bea's little buddies at daycare for Christmas. Attach a bag of Oreo cookies to each wing, and voilĂ  - penguin present perfection on a plate.

Thanks Target, you rock! Can't wait to see what you have for Valentine's Day....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Behold, the WuChock - a chocolate WuShock.

I've been at Wichita State University for almost two years now, and this is my first attempt at making an edible version of our lovable mascot, WuShock.

To make a chocolate WuShock, you have to use Rolo candies, Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Tootsie Rolls and chocolate frosting.

Do they look creepy? Yes. But then, so does WuShock. He's on every possible Top 10 List of funniest, creepiest, lamest or most ridiculous college mascots.
And yes, I'm aware that my chocolate WuShocks could also be mistaken for Beaker from the Muppets, or Sideshow Bob (Krusty the Clown's half-brother) from the Simpsons. But I don't care. They were delicious.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Turning 38 with sprinkles on top.

My birthday cake this year was a family affair.
Eric did the difficult part - the baking, the frosting & the cleaning up.
And the kids joined in on the fun part - SPRINKLES!

Nothing makes you feel young again like cake with sprinkles.
Lots and lots of them.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A frosting foible.

So, what do you do when your frosting won't cooperate? You texturize it with the tip of a corn-cob holder so that it LOOKS funky on purpose.

This brown sugar frosting is one of my favorites, but's a bitch to get right. It's either too runny or too clumpy or too dry or too much of a pain-in-the-ass. I've decided to quit fighting it and try texturizing it.

I like it.

Ho, ho....hey Santa, you're crushing me.

The kids went to see Santa Claus and The Gingerbread Man today, and Gus got more than his share of holiday love. Ol' Santa had an elfin-grip on him so tight, I thought he was going to squeeze Gus' breakfast right out of him. Maybe someone needs to have a talk with Kris Kringle about "personal space?"

Bea asked Santa to bring her a unicorn. And Gus said he would like a Nintendo Wii. And Santa promised that he'd find room in his sleigh for both.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gobble, gobble.

Turkey time in Colby, Kansas with the Denneler family. Lots of food, family and the occasional shooting of firearms. It's also Dan & Margaret's 49th Wedding Anniversary! What a great day to celebrate all that we're thankful for.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Little Miss Olive

We finally had a chance to meet Olive Marie Glanzer this weekend. (I worked with Matt at SHS, and he & Chrissy had their first baby about 3 months ago.)

And I with a great name like Olive, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to bring some olive-themed sugar cookies. Oh, and a little pimento-red had. It's a tad big right now, but she'll grow into it.

Gus and Bea liked Olive too. But they LOVED Bailey the dog even more. We could have left them there all day to play. (Which probably would have given Matt & Chrissy a chance to think twice about having more kids.)

Welcome to the world, Little Miss Olive. So nice to meet you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Eric's lastest distraction.

I'm terribly jealous of this wooden "mistress" that's now sitting in my garage. Mostly because she's occupied my husband's thoughts, hands and precious spare time the last two months. But also because she's so elegant and beautiful and perfect.

Eric's been wanting to make a Krenov-style cabinet for a long time now. So once the backyard rocket ship was mostly complete, I set him free to whittle away in the garage. And whittle, he did. And plane. And carve. And dovetail. And on. And on. And on. For what seemed like FOREVER. (OK. So I'm exaggerating a little. But I don't like competing for my husband's time & attention.)

But she's done. And she's fabulous. A solid cherry body with maple shelves, glass door fronts and gorgeous long legs. ( I'm beginning to see why he wanted to spend so much time with her.)

And believe it or not, she's for sale. Eric built this just to build it. He does that a lot. And we truly don't have room for it in our house. So if you're interested in this one-of-a-kind, hand-made, solid-wood, Denneler/Krenov original... let's talk. We're asking $500. (Or $5000 if you actually want to pay for all the man-hours it took to create this little beauty.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Whooooo doesn't love owls?

I don't know about you, but I just love the look of these funky retro owls. So bright. So cheerful. Almost makes me want to have another baby, just to decorate the room in owls. Almost.

One of my regular freelance clients contacted me last month to help her with some invites for a baby shower she's hosting in December. (This woman hosts more parties than I've ever been invited to in my life, seriously. She is definitely the hostess with the mostess.) But the best part about her invite requests: complete creative freedom. Whatever I can dream up - theme, color, size - anything goes.

So this time, it was owls. A sticker on the back of the envelope says "A little birdy told me it's a boy." And inside, the owl's wings open to reveal the invitation. It's a Month-to-Month shower, so guests are asked to "feather the parents' nest" with a gift that would be fun or appropriate to use at a specified month - 3 months, 16 months, 24 months .... That way, the couple gets 40 different gifts for the first 40 months of the baby's life. Kinda neat huh? Instead of 8 onesies that the kid will grow out of in the first 30 days.

Obviously I had fun making these. It was a real hoot.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ta-da! Ta tas!

Stayed up late last night making 36 pairs of "boob cakes" for the 2nd Annual Dig for the Cure volleyball tournament at Ell-Saline High School in Brookville, Kansas this weekend. (It's a breast cancer fundraiser started by one of my old high school buddies, who is a cancer survivor herself!)

This year's boob cakes are strawberry flavored with butterscotch-caramel buttercream icing. And the "nipples" are made of gummi Lifesavers and pink chocolate meltaways. My favorite part is the packaging though. That pink box just sells it.

I don't know if cupcakes are a cure for cancer, probably not. But it sure can't hurt to try.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A knight in shining armor and his noble... poodle.

For the first time ever, we let the kids pick out their own Halloween costumes - no building, gluing, sewing, painting or flocking involved. And it was kind of nice. Gus wanted to be a knight - his school's mascot. And Bea had a plethora of costumes to pick from: a chicken, a pink poodle, a witch or a banana. Friday at daycare, she chose the banana. But Saturday night (in true female-fashion) she changed her mind and wanted to be the pink poodle. Whatever.

The weather was perfect for trick-or-treating. Ideal, actually. We went door-to-door for over an hour and gathered up more Reese's Peanutbutter Cups & Kit Kats than any two kidneys can possibly handle. And what's the deal with Almond Joys? We got a ton of those. Blech. Kids don't like Almond Joys. Grandmas like Almond Joys. Stick to the Snickers, folks.

Spooktacular 2nd Grade

Every Halloween at Gammon Elementary School, the parents of each grade decorate vehicles for a Trunk-or-Treat costume parade. And since this month wasn't crazy enough at our house, naturally I volunteered to do the 2nd Grade trunk. Just shoot me now.

Not bad for a couple hours of work though, and Eric's handy saw skills. It was a big hit. I'm thinking next year, we need to add some lights, spooky sounds and fog. Better start working on it now, huh?