It’s been quite a year for 2020, and a crazy year for me since last September. I broke my leg while setting up for a craft show and had to have surgery to repin it. Yup, leave it to me! I’m still dealing with a torn MCL that they didn’t find prior to surgery so I still have trouble bending my leg (although the break itself has long since healed). The first week of February my husband and I decided that since the virus wasn’t on the east coast anywhere yet, we’d head down to Atlanta and then on to Orlando. Lucky me, I came down with a very mild case of Covid-19- I’ve since heard of people who had it in November-January – all on the east coast of the USA. Later I had a tear on my muscles up under my ribs, giving me a scare about my heart. Whew! What a year – and we’re only part-way through!
Enough about all that, though. I’ve been in my studio designing up new things. One of which is sandblasting! I design in Illustrator, cut the image in vinyl with my Cricut, then place that onto the glass. Then it’s sandblasting with a 220 carbide grit. The fun part it peeling away the vinyl to see the image in glass! Then I break out my paints or alcohol inks and dye it so it’s extra special. That’s how I did the words, ABBY and the date, above.
You might have noticed that I don’t have too many items on my Etsy store at the moment. I’m in the midst of six weekends of shows. I’ve done two weekends at the CT Renaissance Faire followed by a Saturday at Roseland Cottage for the Compass Rose Steampunk Show. Now, I’m back to the Lebanon fairgrounds for three more weekends of Renaissance!
I’ll be doing three shows in December:
I’ve been making the purple ring box with the dragonfly for a few years and occasionally have gotten requests for other colors. Here’s a few recent ones! They can be ordered from my Etsy site, just put in the color choice in the personalization section.
Hope everyone has a Happy Valentine’s Day. I recently started selling at Frill – Gifts, Home Decor & More in East Hampton. She sold this cute little red heart yesterday for me. I also have my tiny boxes (3″x2″) for sale at her store, along with my angels. She’s asked me to make these hearts available year-round as well.
Small ring boxes are a perfect gift for someone special. Their small size makes them great to place on your desk, nightstand or bathroom vanity. I use mine to hold rings and earrings at the end of the day, so I don’t have to put my jewelry away right away but at least I know where they are!
I’m adding these little jewelry boxes to my Etsy listings of custom designs and ones that are ready to ship. The pink one above can be found here.
One of my most popular items are my Tiny Boxes, which sell great at Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and all year long for Weddings. Brides love to give them out as bridesmaid gifts – being a useful item, colorful, long lasting and truly unique. Each one is hand crafted and can be made to fit the personality of the recipient or done in the colors to suit the wedding theme. They’re even great for that hard-to-please new Mother-in-law 🙂
I’ve been asked to make another naked cake for two weeks from now! Here’s my first one above, made last summer. Well, technically this was my third one, I made two in preparation for this one and brought them in to work for comments and taste testing. I had made two versions: one completely from scratch and the other used a recipe from the Cake Mix Doctor. The cake mix won! Obviously I added my own touches to the recipe, because that’s just what I do 🙂
I learned a lot from making these cakes. While they save you some time in decoration they have their own unique issues.
- You MUST bake each layer so that they are the same color when they come out of the pan. Easier said than done! This means they can’t be on two different shelves in your oven, or they come out lighter or darker and this shows. You can see that my 6″ layer on top is slightly darker than the rest. It’s hard to gauge when baking because you can’t see the sides of your cake.
- Try not to sugar your fruit on a hot day. This cake was done in July and the fruit was sweating as I was putting it on. I had made them the day before and left them on the counter. I had read NOT to put them in the fridge as this makes them get even more condensation and sweat further. Good advice!
- I tried a few versions of the sugaring that I found online. In my opinion the best was warm water and unflavored gelatin. Just drag the fruit or leaves through it, and then into superfine sugar. I didn’t have superfine, so I put regular sugar into my food processor and whipped it around on low. Don’t use high, you might end up with cotton candy!
- Filling: if you’re going to use a preserve for a filling you need to decide whether or not to let it drip out. On Pinterest I see ones where they let it just drip completely. If you don’t want it to come out, make sure to pipe a dam of frosting to hold it in.
- What to use for fruit? I found the best were smaller fruits. I used grapes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries and red currants. I used sage, grape leaves and vines and raspberry leaves from my garden. As an artist, I look for different shapes and different colors that still relate to one another. My favorite part of this was the sage leaves, the cascading currants and the grape vines trailing around.
It’s fun to create this type of cake. At first I was nervous that it wasn’t going to look good, but as soon as I started to put the fruit on, it magically came together and looked great. Have fun creating one – and I’ll post the next one after it’s made!
Here’s a simple but pretty wall hanging for an invitation. This one was for a wedding. It’s made with textured glass called Everglade. The swirls in the glass make it special. I used decorative brass corners plated in antiqued silver, which I added just a hint of gold powder onto. The frame uses a traditional picture framing “sawtooth” hanger. This way you don’t have an unsightly line showing through the clear glass!