Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pink & Green Swap

I seem to still been in an "I'm unemployed but I really don't feel like crafting" funk lately so I decided to jump back in the pool and join a swap. This way I could focus on someone else for while, make something cute and fun, and have a project for the week. Just as this thought formed in my little mind I received an email that the Lovely Miss Gypsy Mermaid was hosting a Pink & Green Swap. My favorite colors! Perfect!

I was paired with the most wonderfully fun and talented partner, Lisa. I could just tell from her beautiful blog that she deserved a fabulous swap package. And she certainly didn't disappoint me either. I received a beautiful swap package overflowing with pink and green goodies.

We needed to find a box and fill it with pink and green items. Here is the package I sent to Lisa.

I secured two small band boxes together to create a faux cake. Each "layer" was filled with glitter, trinkets, cards and other goodies.

I added decorative papers, rhinestones and needle felted flowers to decorate the "cake" box. I really love how this turned out.
We both love cupcakes so I made Lisa a custom feltie.

Here is the lovely package Lisa sent me:
Isn't this the cutest banner? It says "Life is Sweet", my motto. I LOVE it!!

This clipboard is to-die-for cute! It's also decorated with vintage cookbook images on the other side. It's so cute that I just can't image putting it aside until I use it, so I've hung it up on my studio wall.
The box she sent me is the beautiful vintage pink jewelry box filled to the brim with pink and green treasures and ephemera.
I absolutely love everything! Thanks Lisa!

I really needed this swap. It was a great way to focus on something other than my stupid job search. If anyone else is interested in doing a swap sent me an email!

My new goal is to create a least one new item per week and post it. Keep your fingers crossed!

Hugs, Heather

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Scones, Cookies and the Job Search

I have to apologize for not keeping up with this blog as I should. I'm in this weird limbo land. I've finished culinary school but have decided that it isn't something I want to do full-time. So as much as I hate to admit it, I'm heading back to the corporate world. I promise I won't give up baking and crafting! They are two things that I really need to keep me sane.

I have fully accepted the idea of going back to the 9-5 grind, but the job search is just brutal. I won't bore you all with how sucky the job market is right now, just watch the news to find out. And I'm not asking for sympathy. I fully accept that I chose this path over the past year. It's weird to try to explain my daily existence. I feel that my full-time job right now is getting a full-time job. That takes time even if others in my life don't see the results at the end of the day. I seem to be getting more leads and follow-up than others I know, but companies are just slow to pull the trigger right now and actually hire for positions they've posted.

Here's my internal struggle: My husband has been so supportive of my crazy decisions lately and I feel I owe it to him to find a job as soon as possible (which I'm working on). But I also feel this is a cool opportunity. When you have a desk job you dream of all of the things that you would do if you didn't have to work full-time. Well, I'm here! What do I do?

Of course, I have my Etsy shop. I do enjoy my faux treats, but they take a LONG time to make each piece. They are really more a labor of love than something I would consider doing to pay the bills. Honestly, they couldn't ever pay the bills. The labor and material cost are just too much to recoup. I just enjoy making them for people who truly appreciate them. If there are any foody/cottage artists out there that want to do a swap, let me know!

There is another side of my life that I've been holding back from the lovely readers of this blog: I'm a romance novel junkie. I love them. I read them. I write them. OK, I'm not published yet, but this is something I've been working on a long time. I took time off while in school, but this down time has really made me realize once again that getting published is one of my top life goals. I started a new blog to document this journey, if you're interested check out Heather's Romance Bistro. I hope to share my writing journey, book news and reviews, and of course recipes and snack ideas. It's a bistro after all!
I've also been baking this week. On today's menu: chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries soaked in Southern Comfort, and Cranberry Orange Scones.
My kitty Leela decided that when I put out the plastic containers for the scones & cookies and laid the cover to my Kitchen Aide mixer inside it all, I was actually building her a nice little bed. She supervised the rest of the baking from her new kitchen table bed.

I hope anyone else out of work right now is able to take advantage of this time, and dedicate at least a little part of the day to doing or trying something you've always dreamed of when you were sitting behind your desk. Maybe a new more fulfilling career might come out of it!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What Kind of Cupcake Am I?

You Are a Vanilla Cupcake

You are very sweet and mellow. You are easy going and easy to like.

You are drawn to those stronger personalities. You get along with powerful people.

You are like a cupcake because you appeal to almost every type of person.

You are friendly and accepting. You bring out other people's best qualities.

Monday, January 26, 2009


You have to see this magical dessert themed claymation short. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The New Year Tidy Up

I decided to start the year off right and clean up my studio. I'm still somewhat in limbo trying to decide my next move in life. I've actually been getting quite a few orders from my Etsy shop, which has been keeping me busy, but I'm also trying to decide what new products I should be working on. Should I stick to 3-D needle felted items? Should I include flat embroidered felties? Should I bring back my hand painted signs with bakery themes? So many ideas, so little time. So while I'm pondering all of these questions (and many more like how do I make an actual living) I decided to clean out my studio. Here it is in a rare pristine moment.
You can see some naked felt cupcakes ready for their color and sprinkles. On the tall shelf is my treasured pink mixer from my dear friend Julie (CupcakeDD), on the white shelf are my adorable faux cupcakes from Emily at Sugar & Meringue,
and the lemon bunt cake and pink strawberry donuts from The Soapmaker (which smell AMAZING!)
This shot has three of my favorite things in my whole studio: the cake painting by Jenny/Everyday is a Holiday, the top shadow box shelf holds the cardboard cupcake made especially for me by my friend Patianne at Art on the Menu, and my LolliDolls having a tea party by Be Cheery herself, Miss Jenny.

I love my studio, spend nearly all my time at home here, and do all of my work here. Hope you like it :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Well, 2008 has been quite a year. I made my first Etsy sale and continued to make and sell felted sweet treats all year. I left my temporary job at the Craft Center, started culinary school in May, finished classes in November, and am nearly finished with my pastry externship. I’ve made lots of amazing and delicious cakes, cupcakes and cookies. I’ve learned to work with gumpaste, fondant and pastillage. I can make a wicked awesome Swiss buttercream (not a fan of Italian buttercream). I’ve reconfirmed my hatred of crème brulee and soufflés. And ultimately realized that my pastry passion lies with cake decorating.

I’ve had an amazing externship at Cake Haven in Danbury, Connecticut. I want to give a HUGE thanks to the owner, Francine Bové, for being such a fantastic teacher and mentor. She is a true artist and has taught me more than I could have ever asked to learn in ten weeks. Thanks Frani! You’re the Best!

As this adventure is coming to an end, and we’re starting a new year, I need to figure out my next move.

For starters, my new LolliShop is OPEN!! I just adore what Sadie Lou Who has done with this new online candy-colored, sugar-coated shopping dreamland. Be sure to check out my store and all the other super sweet vendors. There really are some amazing artisans and crafty gals in LolliLand.

2009 will definitely see an increase in merchandise in both my Etsy and LolliShops, with new designs and fun sweet filled gifts. But while I’ve had fun in pastry school, and learning the fine art of cake decorating, I just don’t think I’m ready to make the full career change to pastry chef. I’m thinking that I’m ready to go back to the oddly balanced life of corporate America by day, and craft queen by night. The job search is on (yeah, great time of year and economy for a job search), we’ll see how it goes.

I wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year! I wish you all an over abundance of creativity, more love than you know how to reciprocate, and a world of wealth to make all of your dreams come true.

XOXOX Heather