I Mirror-Glazed a Cake!

Hello friends! I thought I’d share something a little bit different today. We’ll call this a little something from the “baking diaries,” and I’ll make a confession here that I watch a lot of baking videos on YouTube. I’ll even give you a list of some of my favorite channels: The Scran Line, Zoe’s Fancy Cakes, Rosie’s Dessert Spot, and Cupcake Jemma.  I’ll stop there, because the list is quite long! And I’m realizing as I’ve just listed out some favorites that I might have a slight affinity for Australian and British accents…At any rate, I can’t really explain the obsession with baking channels, except that I do love to bake when I find the time (I think I get that from my grandmother), and I just really like to eat sweets. :)

Mirror glaze cake

Anyway. Mirror Glazes seem to be pretty trendy lately. You can mirror glaze cakes in all kinds of colors with all kinds of different, beautiful results, and it’s pretty simple and super shiny. I’ll include a recipe for the glaze I used, below.

As some of you may know, I’m a librarian by day, and I work in a research library that focuses on the collection of materials (books, newspapers, ephemera, etc.) printed in American before 1876. There’s a lot of marbled paper in our library stacks. Every month, we have a birthday party to celebrate staff who have birthdays that fall within that particular month, and I signed up to bake one of the celebratory cakes for the March party. I’d been wanting to try a mirror glaze (I practiced it once before and it went…ok), and it seemed like this was just the occasion to try the technique. And if I could get the glaze to resemble marbled paper, even better!

Mirror glaze cake

I baked a chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream frosting and froze it overnight. I used this recipe. The recipe calls for coffee in the mix, which I think makes this particular cake especially delicious!

The next morning, when the cake was good and frozen, I got to work on the glaze. Of the two recipes I’ve tried, I like this one best. It requires the use of real white chocolate chips (instead of white chocolate melts that one may be tempted to use) which make a world of difference. Ask me how I know.

I separated my glaze into three different bowls and colored one white, one a deep burgundy and one a lighter shade of red. I only used a small amount of the glaze for the lighter colors, and colored the bulk of my glaze the darker red, because I knew I wanted it to be the dominant color. I waited for my glaze(s) to reach the correct temperature (also vital…) and then poured them on . First the darkest color, and then drizzles of the lighter colors here and there. The pouring was rather haphazard, intentionally. I ended up with this great, random marbled effect. And it was so shiny! The gelatin in the recipe means that the glaze firms up a bit once it cools completely, so your design stays put.

Mirror glaze cake

Another word to the wise: transport can be tricky! Make sure you handle with care (aka don’t let the side of the cake hit the side of the cake carrier. You’ll be sorry…Ask me how I know).

So, if you really want to wow your friends at a party, I’d recommend a mirror glaze. Mine’s not perfect – there are some air bubbles here and there, and then we had that little mishap during transportation…But it was still a hit! And it’s not hard at all if you’ve got a good recipe!

kimberly

Simple Watercolor Wash Thank You Card

Last week we got a bit of snow here in central Massachusetts. Fourteen and a half inches, to be exact. It was quite a lot of snow for one storm, especially in March, and especially when you have a long driveway and are armed only with a shovel!
Thank you card

Thankfully, many of my neighbors have snow blowers, and during this last storm, several of them were kind enough to help me out by snow-blowing parts of my sidewalk and driveway. You know that dreaded area at the end of the driveway where the snow is super high because the plow has pushed all of that extra snow into it? That’s always the worst place to shovel, and I’m so glad we didn’t have to shovel it this time, because a snow-blowin’ neighbor helped with that! So, I whipped up some thank you cards to drop in their mailboxes.

Thank you card

This card was fairly simple and straight forward. I started by stamping several floral images from the Hello Sunshine stamp set, using Intense Black ink on to Canson watercolor paper that I had but to about 4.5″ x 6″ or so. I then painted a watercolor wash over the top and cut out a 4.25″ x 5.5″ panel using a stitched rectangle die. I used the Hand Lettered Thanks die by Wplus9 for the sentiment, along with a secondary sentiment from the coordinating stamp set (which I stamped with embossing ink on black paper and heat embossed in white).

Thank you card

After arranging everything on the panel, I decided the sentiment needed a bit more separation from the panel itself, so I die-cut a circle of vellum and then embossed the edge with some white embossing powder, and added it underneath my sentiment arrangement. A few sequins and I was finished!

In related news, I’m asking for a snow blower for my birthday.

kimberly

 

 

 

Smile Three Times // Second Generation Stamping

Three happy cards seem like a good recovery from last week’s sympathy card post, don’t you think?

Smile Wplus9 Punny Produce

I have been making lots of card sets lately (see here, and here…and here) and this Punny Produce: Pear set from Wplus9 was so cute and simple I couldn’t stop with just one card, so I made three! I started by stamping the pear outline in a medium-tone brown ink onto three different scallop-edge card panels. Next, I chose three colors of ink and stamped the solid image inside each outline.  I did something a little different for the stamping this time, though! I used second generation stamping for each solid filler image. So, I’d stamp off once (using varying amounts of pressure) onto some scrap paper before stamping the image onto my project. This created a nice effect along with some variation of tone on each image, which I really like.The ink colors I used were: Appletini, Old Gold and Cranberry Crush, all of which are dye inks from Wplus9.

Smile Wplus9 Perfect Pear

The stamp set also includes a solid image to fill in the stem and leaf outline, but I decided to skip it for this design.

Smile Wplus9 Punny Produce

I kept the sentiment fairly simple, using only the Smile Circle wafer die and some vellum (cut into a circle using this die set). I cut the die twice for each card, and sandwiched the circle of vellum between each smile die cut with some Multi Medium Matte glue before adhering it to my panel with the same adhesive.

Smile card set

I mounted each panel onto an A2-sized card base made of Neenah Desert Storm card stock and then added a few sequins in coordinating colors to finish each card!

kimberly

Another Simple Sympathy Card

These are, for me, the least fun cards to make. But, sometimes the challenge of making a sympathy card that conveys a message of heartfelt condolence (while not being a total downer) is a worthwhile one to take on.

Simple sympathy card

I really love a simple watercolor wash for the background of a sympathy card. I find the ethereal nature of the watercolor effect to be really soothing yet poignant at the same time. So, the few sympathy cards I’ve made in the last few years have really given me the opportunity to play with watercolor washes – building up layers, mixing colors, messing up and starting over. All of that good stuff. And, if you just let the water do the work for you, you end up not overthinking the end result, which is nice when you are working on this kind of card.

Simple sympathy card

I used my Gansai Tambi watercolors on some Canson watercolor paper for the panel. As I said, I let the water do most of the work and painted several layers, letting each layer dry before adding more color.

Simple sympathy card

I cut out the dried panel using a stitched rectangle die. For the sentiment, I used a With Sympathy die from Simon Says Stamp. This one is quite delicate, and I find I always like the end result best if I layer up several die cuts on top of each other (I typically adhere them together with spray adhesive.).  I used some double sided tape to adhere the panel to an off-white colored 4Bar card base and called it a day. I debated sequins, but decided it would be best to leave this one un-embellished.

Simple sympathy card

Happy Hump Day, Everyone!

kimberly

Cas(e) This Sketch #211 Guest Designer

Sending love card
I’m so excited to announce that I’m a guest designer for this week’s Cas(e) This Sketch challenge! If you’ve never participated in the challenge before, it’s great fun! Every week there is a new sketch to inspire your creativity. Here is this week’s sketch:
cts_211
For my card, I decided to stamp a few images from the Altenew Beautiful Day stamp set with Versa Mark Ink and then emboss them with white embossing powder. I then added several layers of a watercolor wash in some blue and green tones, letting each layer dry in-between.  Sending love floral watercolor

Once my panel was dry, I embellished the edges using a stitched rectangle die. I then die-cut a sentiment using a Sending die and some slate gray card stock. Before I adhered the sentiment, I stamped the word love from a Wplus9 Hand Lettered Hello stamp set with Versa Fine Onyx Black ink. I popped the Sending part of the sentiment on using multi matte medium glue. That stuff never does me wrong.

I added a few clear droplets to finish everything off.

Sending love SSS altenew

I can’t wait to see what everyone creates for the challenge this week!

kimberly

Sending Lots of Love

Sending lots of love

Hello again! Today I’m sharing a card that is very similar to one I created a few weeks ago

Sending lots of love

I started with an A2-sized card base and masked off about 1 and a half inches at the bottom, and then began stamping various floral images from the Altenew Hello Sunshine stamp set. I used SSS Intense Black Ink for this, because I knew I’d be coloring the images in with my Copic markers after I finished all the stamping.

Sending lots of love

I colored everything with a combination of Copic colors and I really ended up loving the color scheme. I then outlined each image with a gray marker (N2) to make everything stand out a bit more. After that, I added a line of liquid platinum embossing powder across the bottom of the card to delineate the space between where the white space and the stamped part of the card met.

Sending lots of love

For the sentiment, I die cut the SSS Sending wafer die from some dark gray card stock several times and stacked them up (using spray adhesive to stick them together). I stamped the lots of love part of the sentiment on the panel before adhering my Sending die cut just above it.

Sending lots of love

I also entered this card into the current Simon Says Stamp Flickr Challenge. You can read more about the challenge (and enter a card!) by clicking here.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

kimberly

A Birthday Card for Jake

Happy Birthday distress inkIt’s turning into a bit of a tradition that every year my godson Jake and I spend the day together to celebrate his birthday. Because I can rarely get my act together on time (and because he has a busy social calendar) this day usually takes place about a month after his actual birthday, but it happens! This past weekend, we went out to lunch, played with my kittens, and saw a movie together (we saw Sing, which was really cute).

Happy Birthday distress ink card

Each year the card I make him incorporates some blues and greens, since that seems to be the easiest way for me to end up with a boy-suitable card. I stayed in my comfort zone for this one, too: geometric shapes and bold sentiments. An 8 year old’s birthday might have been a good time for me to bring out the cutesy critter stamps and dies. Maybe next time!

Happy Birthday distress ink

I stamped my abstract triangles stamp in VersaMark ink on a piece of Bristol paper, and then heat embossed it with clear embossing powder and my heat tool. I then did some ink blending with a combination of Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers, Cracked Pistachio and Twisted Citron distress inks. I added some water droplets and some white and black watercolor paint splatters as well. Once I was happy with that, I put a piece of printer paper on top of the panel and pressed a hot iron on top to remove the embossing powder, just to give the card a flat look. I then cut out the panel with a stitched rectangle die.

Happy Birthday distress ink card

Then got to work on my sentiment. I used Winnie & Walter’s Happy Cutaway die and cut that from some white card stock several times and stacked it up to give it a chip board quality. Like I always do, I rooted around through my stash for a simple “birthday” sentiment and then heat embossed that in white on a strip of black card stock. I positioned that under, around and through the happy and attached it to the bristol paper with some tiny staples. Lastly, I mounted the panel onto a piece of teal card stock cut to about 4.25″ x  5.5″  and then onto a card base of the same size.

Happy Birthday distress ink

I think Jake liked the card! There was a gasp and a “you made this?!” when I told him it was handmade, so I was feeling pretty good about myself for the rest of the afternoon. :)

I also entered this card into the current Simon Says Stamp Flickr Challenge (SSSflickrchallenge#65). You can read more about that, here.

kimberly