Thursday, February 23, 2012

Photographer Cookies

A group of lovely ladies got together this past week to go to the WPPI {wedding photographer's conference} in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand.  The event looked amazing and since they're all friends, can you imagine how fun that would be?  Lucky!  Three of the ladies are professional photographers and one is a self proclaimed "newb with a lens".  

So my friend Darby of Darby M Photography asked if I could create cookies based off her photog friend's websites to give to them during their girl/photography getaway.  I don't know about you, but I LOVE sitting and looking through galleries of beautiful photos.  The personality and happiness that is captured by these talented ladies is PHENOMENAL!  I know I was supposed to be scoping out their sites for cookie inspiration, but I found myself getting lost in the slideshows of gorgeousness!  Amazing, each and every one.  I will put a link to their sites and you can also get lost in some beautifully captured moments.  {You didn't want to finish that laundry anyway!}      

 Darby M Photography






Even though Clisty is not a professional photographer, her blog is HILARIOUS and definitely worth a visit.  Since she doesn't have a website, I made a "logo" for her.  So fun to create something for Clisty because she is a hilarious and awesome woman who I had the pleasure of running in a two day, 187 mile relay with last fall.  For her second cookie I created a "Jewel Kade"ish charm for her because she sells JK and I painted on an old fashioned camera advert.  I later learned that one of her nicknames was Brownie when she was younger! { a take-off of her maiden name }.  Love it when that happens :D


Each of the ladies got a chip cookie as well with the WPPI logo 


What a fun time they must have had!  Taking pictures on the strip, hanging out with 15,000 of their closest photographer friends... and most importantly eating cookies.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wood Block Tutorial



I've been wanting to do a tutorial on these blocks for a while.  I think every time I've made a set I started taking pictures to make a tutorial, but somewhere in the process I forgot about being a photographer and suddenly found myself done with the project!  That's why I always appreciate a great tutorial; it takes time and thought to put those together.  So today I made one block just so I could make sure I documented the steps.  

Without further ado, here's what you'll need to start:




My favorite place to get blocks is at a hardware store.  I buy long lengths of fencing material and have Mr. John cut blocks for me.  You can make them any size and you can even do rectangular blocks {I have an example of those at the end}.

1.  Paint each edge of the block
2.  Cut coordinating paper into squares {6} to fit the sides of your blocks.  In this case I cut them all 3 1/2"
3.  Pour some mod podge into a lidded container that you fished out of the recycle bin.  That way, just in case you get interrupted you can close that puppy up and you won't come back to a pool of dried mod podge.


4.  Paint one side of the block with mod podge and place one square onto the glue.  Burnish and rub the paper flat and turn over so the newly glued side faces the table.
5.  Repeat step 4 on the side facing up.


6.  Take a scissor and using the block edge as a guide closely trim the paper to fit.  {don't worry if it's not perfect; the edges are getting sanded}


7.  Alternate sides until all sides of the block are covered.
8.  Let dry and then sand the edges.  You can do a lot or a little depending on the look you want.
9.  Paint on another layer of mod podge over the whole block and let dry.


Here is where you decide if you're done with the aging process.  The initial sanding gives an edge-worn look to the blocks and the next step of antiquing gives it a well-used aged look.

10.  Paint on an antiquing gel.  There are several kinds but here is one that is very intriguing: this antiquing medium from DecoArt that you can mix with any color.  Very cool because you can decide if you want to antique with brown, black or give it a pickled look by mixing the medium with white!  I used a brown antiquing gel that I've had for a hundred years.  They don't make it anymore... I've looked : (

11.  Rub off as much or as little antiquing as you prefer.
12.  Print a monogram out on paper in desired size and font.
13.  Turn over to the backside of the paper and trace the letter with pencil leaving lots of graphite.
14.  Place the monogram onto the block and trace the letter, pushing with a ball point pen to transfer the graphite onto the block.


15.  Paint or pen the outlined letter in.


16.  Cover the painted area with glue and sprinkle with glitter.
17.  Enjoy!


I love making these blocks because the possibilities are endless!



I hope this all makes sense!  I'm still planning on doing a "family" set and would love to see what you come up with!  You can always email me at artymcgoo@yahoo.com

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!


My little love bugs had to put up with my Valentine accessories this morning.  

The thing I love most about this happy lovey day is making it special for the kids.  Don't get me wrong, I love going out on a hot date with Mr. John too, but something about sitting at a table covered in paper scraps and glitter glue with my kids makes the day for me.  I think the kid-centric celebrating began when Mr. John was away on business for several consecutive years for Valentine's Day.

        

This year Denver said he didn't want to make valentines!!!  Though I know it's a losing battle, I can't give up on him at the tender age of 6.  I showed him how to stamp a simple valentine and add rhinestones and by the end he was getting creative with glitter glue and edge punches.  I'm sure next year he will be picking out a box of SpongeBob valentines with Mr. John.  Oh the travesty!

The only way to start Valentine's Day!

Hope you have a splendid-bedazzled, covered in stickers and doilies kind of Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl and The Manly Cookie Challenge

Are you ready for some football?!  I'm ready for some football cookies, but the game eh.  I like watching the commercials and the halftime show, but I could really care less about those guys that run around throwing an oblong ball around.  Mr. John on the other hand eats, breathes, and drinks football.  He told me he sees a lot of sparkly, girly cookies coming out of our kitchen, so he made a special request challenged me to make some "manly" Super Bowl cookies for him.  Then he got another great idea (or he's just plain greedy) and said he'd love to see cookiers around the world make manly cookies in honor of the big game.  What, is it his birthday or something?!

So I posted the challenge on Facebook and several of my cookier friends stepped up to the challenge.  Since this is Mr. John's idea and he knows football, I thought he should do a play by play:
{Disclaimer:  Mr. John is opinionated about his football and what he deems "manly" food :D }

MR. JOHN:  First let me say that I am NOT a cookier.  I do however enjoy getting into the kitchen and making my favorite chocolate Chip Cookie recipe with the kids.  See.... I do know my way around a kitchen.
      { I can't BELIEVE he bought cookie dough.  I am ashamed!}

I am thrilled so many of you decided to take me up on my challenge of producing some manly cookies.  Of course, the Super Bowl is the the manliest event of them all, so the material to pull from is endless!  I have my ideas of what would make cool Super Bowl cookies, but some of you got really creative.
Hillary of The Cookie Countess
Logos are the most identifiable part of any team.  The logo, the uniforms and the helmets are worn by fans, seen throughout their respective cities and through the nation when it comes to Super Bowl Sunday.  I really love the skills you all have in recreating the very specific and intricate logos from each team, but Hillary, your logo cookies are PERFECT!  With the NY Giants, you included the small red outline of the "NY", and the script is awesome.  On your Patriots cookies, the streaking patriot logo looks perfect (even if the logo does suck... from a purely football standpoint)

Julie Costello says "Go G-Men!"
Face masks are really tough.  They never come out right... doodles, graphic art... they always look awkward... unless you are Justin Tuck (sorry for the football reference here, but his face mask is SICK!  It looks like a gladiator mask.  Hope you take a look at this thing here).  So... that said, I was apprehensive about them, but the helmet cookies that were submitted look fantastic!  Julie, Susanna, and Alyson you got the placement of the logos in the EXACT place.  Not an easy thing to do.  Most people will assume that the logos are straight across the helmet, and that leads to some bizarre looking mistakes.

Susanna of Rolling Pin Productions

Alyson of Corner House Cookies

There are 2 men that are ALWAYS the most irritating guys on the team.  They are the pretty boy poster children that the media and most women put too much emphasis on... that's the quarterback.  However, those are the two guys that carry the most name recognition, and it is most appropriate to want to create art, pictures, or cookies of these two QBs.  Jen, you created the whole package.  Great job with the logos, helmets and the Jerseys.  I don't fault you for concentrating on the QBs either.. .but I bet you took a little more time concentrating on the Tom Brady cookie... didn't you.... why do girls like that guy?... but I digress.

Jen of Elemental Cookies
I need to say... there is NOTHING wrong with a cake pop on the manly food scale (not a fan of the term "cake balls" though) and I would love to have a display like Renee's at my party.  Seriously, they look great, and I bet they don't last to Madonna strutting her misshapen, over yoga'd, old butt across the stage at halftime (a performance that has no place at the Super Bowl, but again... I digress)

Renee of The Cake Fairy
Elizabeth of Lone Stars And Stripes
Elizabeth, I love your cookies..... I think they look great!  the Patriots logo is awesome, and the color scheme is brilliant.  However, I get to bust your chops a little bit.  The manly factor is stripped away by the little blue dots along the edge.  Again, they look awesome, and I want to eat one now with a large glass of milk... but ... when was the last time a man said "this is good, but I wish it had some decorative doo-dads along the edge."  With manly cookies, it's always best to keep it simple.  Don't spend time making them pretty.  All that is lost on us.  Again... this is just Mr. John's opinion; I'm letting my inner Tim Allen out to assist the cookie world.

Susan of Painted Cookies
 Displays with multiple cookies are always nice.  I like them because if I eat a cookie, nobody will notice and I can probably sneak over and grab a couple before anyone notices the diminishing plate of cookies.  So, Natalie and Susan, thanks for creating a sneak-play plate of cookies that will be enjoyed for a while at the game.  Also, Susan, I love the special edition XLVI football cookies.  Nice touch.  Natalie, MAJOR props to you for including a Lombardi Trophy!  a little known company called Tiffany's created the trophy for the NFL, and yours is  perfection.  that cookie would be the first one I grab, and everyone at the party would frown at me for taking the only one, but I would wait... and at the end of the game, I would raise it high, do a victory lap around the living room and eat that thing up!

Natalie of Palestine Painted Cookie

Finally, I need to take a moment and say that Jill... your cookies made me laugh.  fantastic creativity here.  I don't know if you are a Packer fan, but I bet you are.  What happened to your team?  You were supposed to be here!  The Giants and the lesser of 2 Mannings beat you on your own turf!  I know for a fact that your Packer fan cookie is SOOOOO true, but your Giants fan cookie needs a MUCH bigger smile, because they are as shocked as anyone that they are here too!

Jill of Jill FCS

So... I know I'm pretty dang partial, but my favorite cookies have GOT to be those from my own Mrs. Arty McGoo.  I LOVE her take on the Brady & Manning cookies, and I KNOW she took a lot of time getting every brush stroke perfect on that pretty boy Tom Brady cookie!  I can't wait to bite off his head today!
Enjoy the game!  -Mr. John

Liz of Arty McGoo
Thank you so much to everyone who shared their awesome Super Bowl cookies and treats!  I loved them all, but they really could have used some glitter and maybe some cute frosting ribbon roses?  Okay, we'll save that for our Valentine's cookies.


If you have some pictures of your Super Bowl creations I'd love to see them!  Link up and share yours below:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Color Combination: pink & green


 Today's post was going to be about the awesomeness of owls, but I think we all agree that owls are 100% awesome.  I completely understand and embrace this trend because most owls are cute and not like that really scary one we saw at the zoo with the milky eye and the deranged feathers that still gives the kids nightmares.  I just made these owl cookies that matched the invitations for the incredibly gorgeous and fun mama-to-be Lissa Moon's baby shower.  I wish I took pictures at this shower, but I was so in awe of the completely hip and fun people, music, and let's not forget the incredible cheese assortment and one of a kind art plastering the walls to distract me.

As I was gathering my owl cookie photos I realized how much I love pink and green together.  And then with my gnat-like attention span, I started thinking about all the projects I've done that are pink and green.  What is it about those two colors together that makes me downright happy?



These are just some of the few pink/green projects I've done and if my daughter's room was clean I would have about 50 million more examples, but I digress... once again.  Anywho: owls, pink and green, that's what highly intellectual musings are filling my head today.

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