Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sneak Peek: Fox & Bunny Christmas

As I have been hinting, I have been working on my first true stop motion.
Over Thanksgiving break I shot, compiled and edited the whole thing. 
The last bit I'm waiting on is the soundtrack, which is being very thoughtfully created by a dear friend at Georgia Tech.  
However, it's a rather exhaustive and laborious process, attempting to create moods with music that synch with the ferretings of tiny creatures, so we'll be waiting a bit longer before I post the finished film.
I needle felted the fox and the bunny, and Cam's mom made their tiny winter outfits for them.  
All props were made from a mixture of Michael's Christmas decorations, and ink-covered cardboard.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mini Can Cakes: Funfetti Flavored

Inspired by our new little fairy door, I thought I'd try my hand at baking miniatures.
These are three of the homeliest little cakes I have ever made.
I tried my hand at tin can cakes, and was fairly successful:
I baked four, and came out with three topsy-turvy little uglies.  
 1. Remove paper from cans and wash thoroughly.
I ended up using four for one standard box cake mix.
The mix I used was a simple yellow cake mix, and then I threw in sprinkles to make them funfetti.  
Not bad.
2. Grease and flour the insides of the cans thoroughly.  
This is very important, because you want you little cakes to pop right out after cooling.
3.  Fill cans with batter until they are just above half way full.
WARNING: Do not be liberal with your pours.  
Better to underestimate than over.  
I was too generous with my first can and it spilled over in the oven. 
4. I baked mine for about 20 minutes on 350 degrees.  
However, I wish I'd zapped them for an extra five to ten because, thought the tops were bouncy and done, the very bottoms were mushy.
 5.  Pick a fun contrasting color for you icing and mix it while you wait!
 6.  As you can see my left one bubbled up.  
Check you mini cakes with a toothpick.
 7. Ta-Dah!  
Let them cool completely.  
Then run a knife along the edges of the cakes and upturn the cans to allow the little chubbs to fall out on a plate.  
8. Slice them in thirds or fourths.  I should have done fourths, they would have been more stable.
WARNING:  Do not mix up the pieces or you will end up with very topsy turvy cakes like mine! 
9. Ice.
10. Enjoy!  

Fairy Door at the Bottom of the Stairs

This, I realized, will most likely be my penultimate Christmas at home, and I wanted to engage my family in some sort of fun game or tradition that would draw us close together.
So, three nights ago, a little door appeared on the side of our stair case with a note left from our newest Neighbor, "Mr. E."  
We have now corresponded with Mr. E three times and have found him to be a grumpy, crotchety, yet nice little fellow, whom Grant, after considerable internet research, has decided must be a fairy.  
His letters always arrive on his door mat in tiny scrolls tied with ribbon, and Grant has been replying on post-it notes.  
After the rather harassed response we received from Mr. E this morning, Grant had decided to give him a day or two to cool off before pestering him with anymore questions, and has also resolved not to knock on the side of the stairs or attempt to prize his little door from the wall again.  
If you want to try this yourself, simply search for dollhouse supplies on amazon, and paint them any color you like.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Watch, New Radio, Steady Love

I may sound like a scratched cd, but over and over again I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the love God has given me in Cam.  
We're going on six and a half years right now, and still God reveals new ways to love, communicate, compromise and learn from one another.  
For Christmas this year, we exchanged watches.  
We both knew what the other was ordering, so we simply got too impatient and gave our gifts last weekend.   
Mine is a lovely brown and brass watch, stamped with bold, chrome numbering and with thick, contrasting stitching on the leather strap: Little Havana by TOKYObay.  
I love it so much and have worn it every day.
I purchased Cam an automatic skeleton watch by Kenneth Cole.  
What is interesting about his is that the movement of his arms charges the watch--also you can see straight through it to the inner mechanisms.  
My mechanical engineer loves it.  
In addition to a gorgeous watch, Cam sweetly purchased me a new radio for my car and installed it this weekend.
We spent two sleepy hours attempting to heat solder and taking apart my dash whilst listening to Sufjan Stevens and the rain plinking on the hood of my car. 
The majority of time Cam and I spend together is also spent in the company of friends, which we do intentionally.  
Alone time is more frugally spent, and far more precious.
We are the best team, and that afternoon was one of my favorites we've spent together in a long time.  
After installing the radio we wrapped up the quiet evening with brie, chocolate almond cake, and a pot of chai at our familiar favorite: Cafe Intermezzo.
Cam, your conversation, kisses, and steady presence break my heart anew every time we see each other.  
Thanks for the radio.  
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