Monthly Archives: April 2010

DIY Paper Banner – update

You may remember last month when I posted about a large project M and I are working on. It’s a 6-foot by 10-foot paper banner collage made from old book pages and Mod Podge.
Well, this huuuuuuge canvas has just been rolled up and hanging out in our kitchen for a month, looking awkward and taking up space. We didn’t get to step two until this week.

The next step was to paint words onto our cool collage. We want three different excerpts, though at the moment we’re only positive about the one that will go in the center of the banner: a song lyric from one of my favorite bands, Cloud Cult.

May your lives be long, and may your wishes all be simple.

You can listen to the song here – it’s a haunting song, that builds and builds. This lyric is taken from the chorus, and I love the sentiment. M and I both think it exemplifies what we want our wedding to be about.

SO, to put the text on the banner, what we did first was choose a font, which is called Selfish (haha) and we printed out the words – large so they can be read at a distance. (Sorry about the blurry photo!)

collage banner - text layout

collage banner - text layout

After penciling in a straight horizontal guideline for the words, we used the ol’ “graphite on the backside of the paper” trick to make a kind of carbon-copy. By tracing the letters with a ballpoint pen, the pencil outline gets transferred onto the banner.

With the pencil outlines in place, I used a fine tipped paint brush and filled in the letters with black acrylic paint.

collage banner with one line of text

Don’t you love how the words really pop? I was afraid the text would get lost in the background, but it really works!

Here’s the banner with the rest of the lines in place:

collage banner with full text

banner text - detail

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Obviously this was an ambitious project due to the sheer size of our banner, but I think this could be a very fun small-scale project too! All you need is some book pages, something to mount them on (like another sheet of paper, cardboard, particle board, etc), Mod Podge to apply the pages, and then some kind of text or graphics to place over your background. You could paint on the letters like we did, or you can even get vinyl stick-on letters from an office store or stationery supply store. It’s a great project to get creative with.

As for us, the banner is rolled up and back in the kitchen :-p
until we get figure out the other two sets of text!

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Filed under Crafts, DIY, projects, Wedding

Pavlovas with rhubarb sauce

One of the tastiest things I’ve ever made with leftover egg whites…

pavolva with rhubarb sauce

I had a dilemma on my hands, because for the past few days I had a bowl of three egg whites sitting in my refrigerator. They were the leftovers from a couple other recipes I had made that only needed the yolks. So what does one do with leftover egg whites?
I know you can make egg-white omelets, but those have always grossed me out a bit. I thought maybe some sort of meringue pie would be nice…but I didn’t really want to make a whole pie.

After a bit of searching on the ol’ internets, I found this recipe for Pavlovas on one of my favorite foodie blogs, Simply Recipes. As of last night, I had never heard of a pavlova, but what sold me on it (other than using up my egg whites) was that it’s a great way to serve seasonal fruit, and I just bought a bunch of rhubarb and strawberries. 🙂 Perfect.

The recipe is very simple, and it has great instructions and pictures for you to follow. I cut the recipe in half (for 3 whites instead of 6) and I still got six large pavlova boats from it. And they look beautiful!

pavlova boats on parchment

To top these cute little meringue nests, I made a batch of rhubarb sauce with strawberries – a springtime favorite of mine that always makes me think of my grandma. It is such a simple dish. Here is how I make it:

Rhubarb Sauce with Strawberries

4 cups rhubarb – chopped into 1/2″ sections (about 6 good stalks)
2 cups strawberries – chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar

(all these measurements are approximate – play around with amounts to find your own ideal ratio!)

Put your rhubarb into a deep pan on the stove top over medium heat. As the rhubarb heats up, it will release water and soften. Stir occasionally to get even heating and break down the larger rhubarb chunks; I like a few intact pieces of rhubarb in my sauce, but I do mash up a lot of it. Stir in the sugar (you can add more or less, depending on how tart you like your rhubarb). The sugar will cause the sauce to thicken. Add the strawberries and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Let the sauce cool. Serve on top of pavlovas, ice cream, french toast, anything! Or eat it my favorite way – straight with a spoon 🙂

pavlovas, rhubarb sauce, tulips

As for the pavlovas topped with rhubarb, I’d say they were a success. So light and fluffy! And you can’t go wrong with rhubarb 🙂
This is definitely an egg-white recipe I’ll be using again!

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Homemade boutonniere

Let’s talk about wedding flowers.

For whatever reason, despite being a self-proclaimed crafty person, I have never gotten the hang of flower arrangements. Perhaps this is just due to not receiving any guidance or instruction in the art of arranging flowers, but the fact is, if you give me a pile of beautiful individual flowers, I will most likely make them look terrible in a vase.

So, I was completely inspired when I read this post on Once Wed several months ago on DIY herbal boutonnieres. The tutorial was so simply laid-out and gave such a charming end result, it made me think that even I could craft a beautiful homemade boutonniere out of plants I have growing on my balcony!

So here is my own attempt to make a green and white boutonniere from plants I already have. This is really only an experiment – I don’t know if I intend to make the groomsmens’ boutonnieres for the wedding day, but at least now I know that I could!

So I gathered up a small stash of plants: Dusty Miller, Lamb’s Ear, two “flowers” I knicked from roadside bushes, rosemary, and mint

I made all of the stems roughly the same length, and then began layering them. I knew the lamb’s ear should be in the back for a nice back ground, then the rosemary and mint, then the white flower-thingy in the middle, and then the Dusty Miller sprigs in front.

I held all the stems together and then wrapped them up with floral tape. I was amazed at how easily I could make something that looks this good! It looks like a real boutonniere, haha 🙂


So when M got home from work I showed him what I had whipped up, and to my delight he thought it was fantastic. He especially loved that it smelled of rosemary (he loves rosemary). And then he kept petting the lamb’s ears.

So I’d say this was a successful experiment. Even if I don’t end up doing the flowers myself, we’ll at least be able to tell our florist that we want something similar to the herbal boutonniere I concocted. It feels like progress 🙂

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Teeny Mushrooms

After assembling my own little moss terrarium (made from a 69 cent bowl from Goodwill and moss from the backyard), I was inspired to make some super cute little accessories, and now I’ve put some of them in my Etsy shop!

I think these little guys are so adorable! The tall skinny ones are modeled after enoki mushrooms, which are so cute.

I had a lot of fun making them, and I hope to make more soon. We’ll see if they get any attention on Etsy – I know there are quite a few sellers who are already very established in Terrarium Accessories. But I haven’t seen any Enoki-styled mushrooms. Here’s us giving it a try 🙂

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Filed under Etsy, Jadeflower Ceramics

A weekend summary

We had a very fun weekend, with lots of driving for me. Here are some of the highlights I was able to capture with my lil camera.

We got free tickets to the Muse show at Key Arena on Friday, thanks to M’s awesome coworker who had the hook-up! Our seats were so great (we were in the fancy XO Boardroom in the box-seat level!) and the concert was a fantastic spectacle. Those Brits do know how to put on a memorable performance!

Complete with 50-foot moving stage towers, lasers galore, and a finale of giant balloon eye-balls filled with confetti.

Compared with the concert, the rest of the weekend was pretty low key 🙂
I fired a bisque load in my kiln, which now needs to get glazed. I made an Anthropologie-inspired set of mugs for M and me. I love their Monogrammed Mugs, but wanted to see if I could make my own version with a different font. And since I don’t plan to sell these on my Etsy site, I don’t feel guilty about it 😛

Also from that kiln load was a set of bowls I DO plan to put in my Etsy shop, but they’re not quite ready yet. I made these super cute little bowls, which I glazed in Celedon Green, and put shards of glass from a Sapphire Gin bottle at the bottom (such a gorgeous blue color!). I’m not quite happy with them yet, so I think I’ll be firing them one more time before they go in the shop.

And for Easter I made Hot Cross Buns for a breakfast treat – so yummy, chock full of raisins, lemon zest, cinnamon and nutmeg, topped with a sugar glaze. And I read about the interesting history of the Hot Cross Bun – there is more to this pastry than the song you learn on the recorder in 5th grade.

M had to work on Easter, but we were still able to get to my parents’ house for a lovely dinner in the evening. All in all, it was a great weekend.

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Filed under Day to Day, Events, food, Jadeflower Ceramics, Music

Pretty Tulips

Happy April 1st! Nope, no April Fools jokes for me today. But I do want to share some pics of my pretty pretty tulips that have finally bloomed!

These purple and white tulips are just gorgeous.

The yellow tulips were the first to bloom 🙂

I still have some fiery orange ones and cool minty green ones on the way.

There’s nothing quite like being able to step out your door and pick beautiful fresh flowers. This is my kind of instant gratification ^_^

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