Sunday, December 23, 2012

KU Jayhawk Cookies

My husband asks for so little, that when he asked if I would use my new found cookie skills to make Jayhawk cookies for his Doctorate Nurse Anesthetist Class for Christmas I decided to try it (he had bought a Jayhawk cookie cutter at the beginning of school from the bookstore, Hmmm I wonder if this was planned all along…..except that he had bought the cookie cutter months earlier than my dress cookies). I had never tried a four colored cookie but, was willing to try it….how often does a husband ask for such a fun Christmas Gift for their class….I was up for the challenge.
Here is how they turned out but, let me show you how they came to be….
I baked the cookies, piped the edges then had to leave to go to the Book Club Dinner Party(the one I decorated the niche’s for). I came home and flooded the cookies before I went to bed. Yep, shouldn’t have stayed so late but, it was too fun talking with the ladies to cut it short.
I flooded them with the blue, red, yellow and white icing and then started on the detailing the next day (after I got home from work). I used my handy dandy craft projector strapped to the kitchen cupboard (with a strap I use for furniture) to project the image. I needed the image at a certain height to make it the same size of the cookies. I tried masking tape because it wouldn’t hurt the cabinets but, the craft projector was too heavy. So a simple strap(also didn’t hurt the cabinets) and I was good to go for hours while I piped. If you look close(above pic), you can see the projected image on the counter. It’s real faint but, gives you a starting point. Logo’s are hard to get perfect without help. I used the logo from the KU website (there is a whole section on the different JayHawks through the years).
The projector allowed me to trace the logo (it is a little tricky to pipe and not let your hand get in the way of the light to block the image from the projector light) My lovely projector isn’t very powerful so it was only a faint image but, still it helped keep me coloring in the lines with icing. LOL
This time I only had to do 32 JayHawk cookies (unlike the 75 dresses) yet, with all the extra colors, it took just as much time. I did a few more than 32 because I was sure that I would need a few practice cookies. But, 32 was the magic number because that’s how many came out perfect!
I had asked my husband to let me know (he had asked me to make the cookies in November) when the last day of class was in December and he kindly reminded me on Tuesday of that week, that the last class was Friday because Finals were the next week.(I thought I had another week) I just gave him a smile that said, “Thanks dear, for the notice!” But, I was happy to do something for my husband since he really doesn’t ask for much!
So, before I leave for work that Friday morning, I get them all ready to take to his class. (this is the point where I got nervous because he was taking them to his professors as well, No pressure!)
They turned out pretty good for the first time with multiple icing colors and I waited anxiously from work to hear if they like them (come on, everyone worries a little). It wasn’t until I saw them posted on his classmates Facebook pages that I could take a deep breath that they had turned out great and everybody loved them!
Merry Christmas KU Doctorate Nurse Anesthetist Class of 2015!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cookies are off my Bucket List

Have you ever found something you wanted to try that looked really hard? Well, I saw a segment on a local TV show(back in Utah) about these awesome looking cookies. I always wondered how people made them look so professional. She showed some basic techniques and that’s all I needed to put this on my Creative Bucket List. Someday…..I was going to try this!
I was sitting in a meeting with ladies from church that were planning a 100 dresses event. We wanted to collect 100 articles of clothing for a battered women’s shelter so that when they were ready for their first interview, they had a dress to wear to their job interview. It was a big undertaking and as we were talking about the dessert for that event, we knew we wanted it to be nice: a sort of Thank-you for the ladies giving so much to help others in need.
My mind instantly went back to this bucket list item and decided that I would make these awesome cookies (that I had never made before) for the 100 dresses event. I told them, let me try a batch and if it doesn’t work, we can go with a plan B.
The event was in November, so I made my first attempt on Halloween cookies. I learned: I needed a smaller tip for the edges, a way to project the images if more complex and the gel food coloring. But, all-in-all….a great first attempt. Side note: I used my co-workers as my guinea pigs and they gave me the thumbs up to try the cookies for the 100 dresses event.
My friend Kirsten found the cookie cutter online (no local stores had a modest dress shape, I checked, and she could get the cookie cutter with free shipping). The 100 dresses were for job interviews, and the only shape I could find locally was wedding dresses with a sweetheart neckline. Ha ha Not the shape we were looking for!
I rolled out a fourth of the dough at a time and the last batch, I let the kids make their own shape.
Then it’s time for special royal icing. I had never made icing with a meringue powder before.DSC_0602
Then you pipe the edges and flood the cookies. Thank goodness my husband was willing to stay up and flood them with me because they have to sit for 12 hours to set (even better to let them sit overnight) and do the detailing the next day.
Then the next day, you pipe all the details. I took some photos with my phone at the event and didn’t realize their was a lovely child’s fingerprint on the lens until I got home. So, the photos aren’t the best but, it was such an awesome event, I had to share.
The afternoon of the event, I re-read my email and realized that I was supposed to decorate the dessert table along with the cookies. I panicked for a second then realized I could make a clothesline with dresses hanging on it. I used the cookie cutter to cut the dress shape out of scrapbook paper and used a vintage button garland as the clothesline. The apothecary jar filled with vintage thread was from my studio and I grabbed the scale to add some height. It turned out beautiful! The only stressful part was when I was getting ready to drill the holes in the bases(I had just painted and were barely dry) and found out my husband had lent out our drill to our neighbor and had to call them to see if I could get it back….because I only had an hour until I needed to leave to the event. Everything worked out and I got everything loaded up and got to the event in time to set up.

The purple/lilac colored dresses had two pearl buttons on the front and the yellow dress had a blue flower tie around the waist. They were both so pretty!
The cookies were a huge success and I am so glad that I can now cross them off my creative bucket list….although they may be off my creative bucket list…I keep making them…..must be good!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Feeling Blessed

I feel so blessed that we’ve been able to keep up with all our family and friends. Every time one came in the mail, it felt like Christmas had come early! I guess Santa might find us in Kansas after all!
Thanks everyone for making my day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Club Dinner Party Decorating


My cute friend Karen asked me to come help her set up her niche’s for Book Club Dinner Party and to keep up for the holidays. She had wonderful things to work with had these large presents wrapped(which were real presents inside). We used what she had and found a few things from around the house.


The first problem I noticed is that they are deep, really deep and had a large shadow from the chandelier overhead. The niche’s needed some light so, we stole borrowed some lamps from her husbands office and upstairs. It was the perfect way to make the niche’s glow. Made such a difference with the feel of the space.


We wrapped a few more presents, used a lot of natural elements and even used a vintage Pepsi-Cola crate for height.


This beautiful fabric was the inspiration for the decorating.


We kept with a very natural theme.


We hung wreaths in the back to add dimension and interest. The log rounds are left over from her daughter’s wedding reception. I love when you can use what you already have!


It turned out so pretty and was so much fun decorating….I always enjoy decorating but, having a friend to decorate with, is all the better!


It was a delightful dinner party and now I have a whole new list of books to read! Thanks Karen for thinking of me to help you get ready for such fun dinner party. It looked great and the company was even better!


Friday, December 14, 2012



I saw the idea for a Hot Chocolate Station a year ago. I saw it again in a magazine this year and realized the one in the magazine was the one I saw over a year ago on one of my favorite blogs.


So I decided to use all my pretty apothecary jars (that I already owned) and make my own hot chocolate station. It has been a HUGE success! We have used it twice and both times has led to some great conversations with the kids. We have laughed a lot together- Somehow the chocolate makes the kids talk and we have had some fun moments together! (Why haven’t I done one of these every year?)


I used my three compartment apothecary jar for the hot cocoa mix so I could do three different flavors (although they are all the same…couldn’t find my specialty cocoa’s this year)


And a Hot Chocolate Station wouldn’t be complete without some Mix-Ins!


Some candy canes to stir the hot cocoa! I want to find some cinnamon sticks to add as well!


I made myself a cute sign for my Hot Cocoa Station in chocolate colored lettering with grey/white chevron print background. I printed on an off-white paper and punched the corners with a decorative paper corner punch. Here is the download for free that I made. Yep, you can make one too! It’s white, grey with chocolate brown lettering but, printed on off-white textured paper created the pretty vintage look.


Hot Chocolate Station copy

The image is 3.75 inches tall and 4.75 inches wide. I printed in the middle of my paper, flipped the paper over and printed on the other side so that it would be a double sided sign. So, now you can have your own Hot Chocolate Sign!! Just Save the Image above and Print your own!!


I love the punched corners! I like when I can use what I already have.


I Completed the Hot Chocolate Station with iron stone white Hot Chocolate Cups!


Some pine clippings and greenery were set in between the Apothecary jars.


The part the kids love the most is the marshmallows and the chocolate chips. Just a few sprinkled in and it makes the Hot Cocoa something really delicious and special!


I even found the small marshmallows that usually come in the hot cocoa packets. They were on the shelf above the Hot Chocolate Mixes. The kids L-O-V-E, love them! A fun addition!


So come have some Hot Chocolate with us….we have some to share!


Happy Hot Chocolate Making Everyone!



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