Thursday, July 23, 2015

Hope You En-JOY This Cookie.

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Have any of you seen the new Pixar movie, Inside Out? I can’t stop telling everyone how much I loved it. Seriously, it was an absolute joy. And so was the main character – Joy. Her bubbly positive attitude, wild blue hair and fun-loving smile were intoxicating. I just wanted to reach out and hug her from my theater seat. I laughed. I cried. And then I laughed a whole lot more, because it was a genuinely funny movie. 

I was so overcome with emotions (pun intended), that I was inspired to craft a cute little Joy cookie with some store bought sugar cookies and a few candies. It took some grocery aisle searching to find the right ingredient for Joy’s blue spiky hair, but I found that Twizzlers Pull & Peel licorice worked perfectly. 

For the first time ever, it’s perfectly OK to eat our emotions! 

Here's a list of ingredients and easy step-by-step instructions.

Ingredients and supplies:
Store-bought sugar cookies
Blue licorice
White candy melt wafers
Blue Airhead candy
Peanut butter chips
Black gel icing
Black sugar sheet (edible paper found at most craft or baking stores)
Small plastic squeeze bottle

1. Gather your ingredients and supplies. Its helpful to have everything unwrapped and pre-cut for easy assembly. Heat 10 – 15 white candy melt wafers in the microwave for 30-second intervals. Stir and repeat until smooth. Pour candy melt into a small squeeze bottle.

2. Cut the blue licorice into assorted sizes of spiky hair pieces. Attach them to the sides, front and top of the cookies with tiny dabs of candy melt, adjusting as needed to make them look like Joys hairstyle.

3. To make the nose, gently scrape the curl off the tops of the peanut butter chips to form a smooth, rounded oval. Attach the noses to the cookie faces with tiny dabs of candy melt. Then, make the whites of the eyes by squeezing tiny ovals of candy melt onto the cookie face.

4. Tear off tiny bits of blue Airhead candy and form ovals for the blue part of the eyes. Attach these to the white oval with more candy melt.

5. Add black pupils to the eyes with just a small squeeze of gel icing. (Optional: you can also add a tiny white highlight dot to the bottom of the eyes, using an edible sugar pearl/ball.)

6. Using a small round cutter, create Joys mouth by cutting half-moon shapes from the black sugar sheet. Cut the tops of the mouths with a slightly larger cutter to give her a nice smile. Attach the mouths with tiny dabs of candy melt.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fresh From the Oven

Look ma, I baked a book! 

I've been keeping a very big, very sweet secret. For a very long time. So long, that I was starting to think it was never going to happen. But it did. (Insert squeals of delight here.)

Today, I received ten, hot-off-the-press copies of my first edible art book, appropriately named: Oh, What a Treat!

Can I just tell you how thrilled, nervous, and beyond excited I am to share this with you? 

I've been making and baking my entire life. With encouragement from so many friends and family members, I've developed a talent and a passion for food art. And, while my photo and writing skills may need some honing, I hope you will find that my new book is packed full of creative, fun and clever ideas. 

Now, where can you get a copy? Good question.

My book will be available at bookstores beginning August 18, 2015. BUT.... you can also pre-order a copy from Right here. Right now. Go ahead. I dare you. I triple-cupcake dare you. 

Stay tuned, because things just got exciting. My publisher, SparkPress, has all kinds of promotional plans to get the word out about my book. Plus, I'm going to host a fun art gallery/edible art/book release party Friday, August 28th at Watermark Books & Café in Wichita. More details to come.

Sweet dreams do come true.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ridiculously Cute Bird Rocker

Tweet. Tweet. 

Eric built two of these little blue bird rockers and they are soooooo gosh darn adorable. It was hard for me to give them away.

He made them for the waiting room of Redbud Pediatric's new west Wichita office. I dropped them off today, and within minutes of their arrival, they were being used by a couple of cute toddler boys. Fun. Fun. Fun.

Here's hoping they bring a smile and lots of playful entertainment to all the patients at Redbud Pediatrics.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tree Fudge for my Favorite Lumberjack

Eric had the thankless job of removing a large, dead tree from our backyard a few weeks ago. It was so hot, and it took him quite a few days of cutting, chopping slicing and digging to get everything removed. I felt so guilty that I couldn't do much to help, so I made him some "Tree Ring" fudge to reward him for his hard work. 

If you roll really thin layers of chocolate and peanut butter fudge together, they create swirled slices with "tree rings" inside. You can check out my super-easy tutorial here, at Handmade Charlotte. I think these would be a sweet treat to make for a forest-themed party or a rustic, outdoor wedding.

Not that Eric didn't appreciate the fudge, but I bet he wishes I was as good at using a chainsaw, as I am at using a spatula. (Or a camera.)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Now Open - Redbud Pediatrics (West)!

It's only been 3 1/2 years since Redbud Pediatrics opened in east Wichita, but they've already expanded and have a new west side location! Redbud Pediatrics (West) is now open at the Reflection Ridge Office Park - 7570 W. 21st Street, Suite 1006B. Dr. Venessa Lopez and her staff are ready to take care of every bump, scrape, fever and well-child visit your kids may need.

I've been a busy little beaver the last couple of months, creating some fun interior designs for the waiting room, reception area, nurses' station and 12 exam rooms. Oh... and every window, wall and door in between.

All of the large vinyl graphics were printed and installed by my good friends at Signs Now. They've done a fantastic job of helping me give Redbud Pediatrics a unique and bold brand identity over the years. 

Knowing that Eric would be busy at the nursery this spring, I tried not to volunteer his woodworking talents on too many projects this time around. He's building some adorable bird rockers for the waiting room, but they're not quite done yet. (I'll post more on those later.)

Here's a sneak peek at some of the fun.

Bea, Eric, Gus and Dr. Reddy in the waiting room.

A giant, adhesive vinyl "measuring weed" on the waiting room wall.

Gus and Bea measuring themselves. Gus is definitely growing like a weed!

Reception desk with vinyl tree and Redbud birds on the wall.

Fun childhood sayings on the front window.

Large PVC signs with vinyl graphics in the nurses' station.

Clipboards with fun, healthy phrases.

Cute and clever melamine plates from Jane Jenni.

Large canvas wrapped frame made by Signs Now.

Cute Jane Jenni stickers on plexiglass.

Vinyl adhesive words and giant rubber ducks that I bought at World Market.

Vinyl adhesive door numbers for each of the exam rooms.

We ordered these plates from Jane Jenni and used velcro to attach them to the wall.

Even a fun octopus wall graphic for the public restroom!

I bought these giant rubber ducks from here.

Many thanks to my family for their help and support getting everything done.