Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happily Ever After

My dear friends, Jim and Brian, have been a couple for 22 years.  They recently celebrated their love in a civil union and my husband and I were honored to be their witnesses.  It was an unseasonably warm, fall day in October that allowed us to enjoy an outdoor luncheon amidst the bright, colorful foliage.  After a long trip to celebrate the union, Jim and Brian are hosting a small reception tonight for a few friends.

Although Thanksgiving is behind us and it seems that everyone is rushing into the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, I decided that since the ceremony was on such a beautiful day and it is still November, a collection of fall cookies would be the theme for the reception.

Wishing you many more happy years together, love you both. 

A towel found at a discount store was the inspiration for my centerpiece cookie.

Thick royal icing was used to give dimension to the tree trunk and food markers were used for the initials.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bill's Retirement

I have known my brother-in-law, Bill, most of my life.  We went to grade school together, he lived just a few blocks away, he started dating my sister in high school and he has been the brother that I never had.

Bill recently retired after a 40 year career as an ornamental iron worker.  During that time he helped to change the Chicago skyline. The installation of the antennas high atop the Hancock Building, supervising remodeling work at both Wrigley Field and Soldier Field and consulting on the design and installation of the Gargoyles perched on the public library are just a few of his achievements.

I thought about trying to recreate some of these places in cookie form, but I decided that retirement is a time to look toward the future and all the new opportunities that are ahead.  The result is an eclectic collection of cookies that reflect the leisure activities that he enjoys, the places he loves to visit and the things he values most in life.

Congratulations Bill!  You've worked hard, now it's time to play hard.

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Turkey Time

A few weeks ago I traveled to western Illinois to spend time with my wonderful friend, Donna.  We had good food, a little wine, and long talks that included cookie decorating.

During the weekend we discussed plans for Thanksgiving and what cookie designs we were going to make.  Of course, it wouldn't be the traditional holiday without turkeys, so Donna and I brainstormed and came up with the idea of combining turkeys with football, another holiday tradition.

Over the years I've made a variety of turkey cookies, so it was nice to have something new to create.

Since I will be heading from Chicago to Packer territory for the holiday, both the Bears and Packers are represented.  I also tried to make them somewhat whimsical to reflect the silly turkey in the book,  Blue Hat, Green Hat, by Sara Boynton.  In our family it is lovingly referred to as, the "Oooops book" because that's what the turkey says throughout the story.

The turkeys are wearing numbers that represent the ages of children in the family.  My great-niece, Leann, likes to say, "I'm 4 AND A HALF."  The upside down turkey wearing the colors of both teams is for Elliot.  He's very diplomatic and cheers for both teams, but he's only 2.

If your family is like ours, your Thanksgiving dinner will be served with a side of football.  However, one thing that I know I will be grateful for this year is that the Bears and the Packers are not playing each other on the holiday.

You can view Donna's turkeys here.

Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fall Is In the Air

Sure signs of fall--Football; Halloween is over; the World Series has been won; we've set the clocks back; the neighborhood is decorated with a mix of Jack-o-Lanterns, Scarecrows and Turkeys; the stores at the mall have Christmas decorations and long hours; and we have finally elected our President.  In the cookie world, it's my favorite season!

Thanks to Sweet Sugar Belle for providing an easy step-by-step tutorial to create these simple and elegant cookies.

A few gift bags to share with special friends this weekend.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pink Baby Shower

A simple set of baby onesies in pink and white for baby shower favors.  I decided to try making some RI transfers to use as flower embellishments, but I decided that I didn't like the deep coral color with the soft baby pink.  Sometimes less is more.

Ooops, the piping line broke so I added a few dots to fill in the space.
Every flower looks different, but that's the way they look in nature, right?  The color was a deep coral, not quite as red as they appear in this photo.  I definitely need some practice if I want to stop buying pre-made flowers and use my own.
All dressed up for the party!

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