17 October 2016

Illustrated Lists

Hi there! How was your weekend?

Last week, I baked from the book The Little Paris Kitchen.

It's by British cook and food writer Rachel Khoo.

What an honor to have met her during a book signing event! 

Apart from the recipes and photos, I was drawn to the illustrations inside:

Rachel drew these herself (she studied art in college and she takes a notebook everywhere she goes). Such a nice way to add an author's personal stamp to a book.

Inspired by these drawings, I made a few illustrations myself: 

 My regular lists have now been transformed from blah to TADA!

10 October 2016

Mondays are for Madeleines

Let's do some baking today, shall we?

These little sweet snacking cakes are called Madeleines and it's a staple in many patisseries.

The batter is baked in a special pan, the shell shape being unique to the Madeleine.

What makes this version special is that it has sweet raspberries and tart lemon curd.

The recipe is from this book by Rachel Khoo

I loved watching her show, also called The Little Paris Kitchen on the Cooking Channel. It was filmed in her tiny Paris apartment where she made French cooking approachable. It was also like a travel show where viewers got to see her favorite places in the City of Lights. 

I got to meet her three years ago during one of her book tours in New York City. She did a cooking demo and book signing. She was a delight! 

Rachel made Cafe' Gourmand. It's a trio of desserts: Orange Mousse, Black Currant Trifle, and a Strawberry Tartlet.

I wish I could share these Madeleines with you. 

I hope your week will be filled with yummy treats!

03 October 2016

Metallic Print Paper

Hi there and thank you for hanging out with me today.

Remember this gift wrap?

It was printed using paint and bottle covers. I decided, we should print some more. Are you with me?

I have some black tissue paper rescued from a shipping order. Instead of throwing it away, I'll turn it from blah to TADA!

I think metallic paint would go well on black paper.

I made different sized circles using a variety of bottle covers.

Just dip the bottle cover in the paint and press onto the paper.

And this is what it looks like. TADA!

But why stop there, when you can make a matching card?

I have a lot of relatives and friends celebrating milestone birthdays this year: a cousin turning 40, a friend is now 50, an aunt and uncle both marked 80, and and uncle celebrated 90. 

Birthdays, they truly are gifts. Please don't think otherwise.

Trim around the "age" and attach to cardstock.

Use the handprinted paper to wrap a gift like a well-deserved bottle of Champagne.

And now, we're ready to celebrate!

26 September 2016

A Cascade of Paper Flowers

A little start of the week eye candy:

I spotted this inside Anthropologie where one can always find inspiration.

It's a trellis of flowers. Even if they're not real, they look lifelike.

They're made of cupcake liners and the edges are dyed with either watercolor or diluted food color. TADA!

19 September 2016

Luscious Lemon Curd

Hello there! I don't know about you but citrus fruits make me happy.

The colors evoke sunshine and depending on the fruit, so does the taste. 

If life gives you lemons, I say make lemon curd

Top it on yogurt or baked goods like scones and pound cake. Put it in a pie. Make it part of your frosting. It's a little bit sweet, a little bit tangy. TADA!

12 September 2016

Embroidered Botanicals

A sign on display at a craft store said, "Crafting is cheaper than therapy." In many ways, I think it's true. Crafting keeps you focused, mindful and the repetitive motion calms you down. If you craft with like-minded folks, even better -- you can chat while you craft! And the finished piece is a reward in itself.

That's the reason why I take time to craft. 

Here's an easy one that can be accomplished in one sitting.

It starts with some fabric. It doesn't matter what kind. Even fabric remnants will work. Be sure to use an iron to get the wrinkles out.

Mount the fabric tightly on an embroidery hoop and trim the excess.

Draw some of your favorite prints. I chose these simple botanicals.

"Color in the lines" using embroidery thread.

Play around with different colors and stitches. It doesn't have to be perfect.

And here is my hand-stitched art ready to be put on display. TADA!

05 September 2016

Decorated Tins

Let's start this week's craft with a photo collage:

Decorated Tins

I love how these tins are decorated with painted swirls and flowers. Even 
if they're mass produced, the packaging still gives a handmade touch.

I'm using these as inspiration for turning some tea tins from blah to TADA!

 Such a shame to throw these away now that they're empty.

Gift wrap (or a pretty print torn from a magazine), scissors and 
double-sided tape are all we need to give the tea tins a fresh look:

Aren't they cute? 
I would use them as storage for treats like candy.

 Or for crafting tools like pens and craft stamps. TADA!