Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cookie Exchange Party....YUM!!

I participated in a lovely cookie exchange holiday party last Saturday night.  We were asked to bring 3 dozen cookies to share.  Look at all the goodies! About 8 different types of cookies with all manner of spices and chips and fruit and nuts.  There was even little spice cake loaves, key lime fudge and gooey chocolate caramel squares.
This was my contribution.  My Award Winning Snickers Surprise Cookies.  ON A STICK!  I made these a few years ago for another cookie exchange party where we had to taste each cookie and vote.  Mine won first prize - appropriately enough, a cookie cook book.   Nothing special to making these, just wrap a mini snickers chocolate bar in peanut cookie dough and bake.  A few weeks ago i made them with store bought sugar cookie dough - just as good, but i like the peanut butter - nut - caramel combination better. For an added fun twist this time i added the sticks - they are Wilton, purchased at Michaels. And no, they don't burn in the oven.  Just stab the snickers bar and wrap with a ball of dough.  They spread and flatten as they bake - so leave space.
And here displayed on a pretty wicker tray provided by our lovely hostess Karen, are the cookies i got to take home!  She set up a cookie decorating station for the kids - but i had a blast creating my sparkly snowflake and Christmas tree shaped treats.
Karen also prepared a tasty dinner for the party and had all her beautiful Christmas decorations around the house.  Including three full size trees decorated in different themes!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Play Date - Altered Bird Houses

 Yesterday, i had the pleasure of spending a rainy Sunday with three artist friends.  We were told we were going to alter houses.  Bring some stuff. Not sure what to bring - i chose my standard ephemera and robin's egg blue assortment of papers, and grabbed a few metal embellishments.  The houses turned out to be wooden bird houses - designed to hold a wine bottle that Karen's husband made.  These were leftovers from another project.  We had the option of using corrugated metal roofs, or using foam core. (sorry for the grainy phone camera pics - i'll update later with better ones)
 It is fascinating to me to see what 4 people will do with the same canvas.  Here you can see how varied our houses turned out to be! Mine is mostly pale blue and cream, bird themed of course.  Dorothy's is an eclectic mix of collage and chunky three dimensional objects.  Shelley's is a deep rich blue with metallic accents.  And Karen's was created with an assortment of white gauze and ecru lace glued onto the white box.
 On this side you can see some of the house numbers we added.  And the lovely beaded fringe on Shelley's eaves.
 (note not all of us were finished!)  On mine you can see i tried a photo collage where an image of a house was cut into cubes and spaced apart.  A cool technique i'd like to try again.  Dorothy's face has the eyes and lips of a different magazine image - also very effective.  Karen plans to paint one side of her house to match another painted row house.
 On this view you can see the cherub i have sitting on the brass key i stuck into the house as a perch. Love Dorothy's use of gears and game pieces on her house.  Shelley's roof was gold metallic paper printed and embossed to look like eyelet.  Karen isn't finished her roof of shingles and lace.  and she plans to add buttons.
 Those eggs are cut from a napkin - so the papers underneath show through.
Here's a better shot of that house cut into blocks.  The flower applique is a metal finding that was meant for a wine bottle.I glued some ecru lace around the top edge of the box and sat the corrugated metal roof on top.  I painted it white and added some blue splotches.