Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hand bracelets

I caught my first glimpse of a hand bracelet on a model in a recap of NY Fashion Week. But that was it - just a glimpse. And my Google searches garnered only a small group of images.  The hand bracelets I could find were very dainty and ornate...not my style. I finally decided to give up the searching and just try making a couple with heavy sterling wire.



I did a little test drive with them to make sure I didn't miss the mark on the angles and I'm happy with the outcome - now I just have to talk myself out of keeping one...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Graveyard cake

Ben helped me design the cake for his birthday party - he wanted a graveyard cake to go along with his Halloween-themed party favors. He picked a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and approved all of the individual elements as I was decorating. 

I considered making some of the elements out of fondant, but decided against it since the cake was for a group of eight year old boys.  So all of the decorations are chocolate.  I piped the chocolate fence, skulls and crossbones, and the tombstones and used chocolate rocks for the pathway.  We added some LED lights behind the tombstones to give some illumination - they looked great in the lower light of the party.  I love those things - I used them in Ben's ghost cake and his Monster House cake and when everything is over, I just clean them up and turn them off to use again another time.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dracula Halloween

Ben is all about Dracula this season.  We saw the movie Hotel Transylvania several weeks ago when it opened (which was surprisingly entertaining from my point of view - I had very low expectations but really enjoyed it) and after that, he decided he wanted to be Dracula for Halloween. He also asked for a Dracula cake for his birthday - specifically, Dracula resting in his coffin.

Here is Dracula getting ready to go to a Halloween celebration at the zoo:

And later, we had a family celebration for Ben's birthday with his Dracula cake. 

The coffin is cake and the lid is made with rice krispie treats - all covered in fondant.  Dracula is technically edible, all fondant.  The skulls and bones are all chocolate made in silicone molds. Happy Birthday, Ben!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I'm trying out a new giveaway app on my Ellies Jewels Facebook page...go enter!

Here are the details:
The winner of the giveaway will choose one of two personalized items: either
  • a sterling and crystal pendant or
  • a set of intital stacking rings
All you have to do is "like" the Ellies Jewels FB page and fill out the sweepstakes entry form. If you have already liked the page, just fill out the form and you are entered.  Once you get to the page, select the giveaway app at the top of the page near the photo albums, etc.  The process is really quick and easy, I promise.

The winner will be chosen November 3, 2012 using a random number generator and notified by November 4, 2012. The chosen item will be custom created based on personalization desired and mailed via USPS first class mail within a week of the notification/details being worked out for the personalization. (I think that should be *plenty* of time to give this extremely fun yet personal gift to a loved one if you hate sterling jewelry or don't really wear jewelry. See? You should still enter to win.)

There are no limitations placed on who can enter...friends, family, acquaintances, everyone is eligible to win. Let's face it, there aren't that many fans of that page and many of them know me personally or know me vicariously through a sibling. So go enter!

Here are some sample pictures of the personalized pendants and the stacking rings I make...I will work with the winner around the details once the giveaway ends.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Side trip: Midwestern wedding how to

Ok, so the obvious disclaimer on this "how to" is that you have to have an enormous family willing to pitch in to make the event successful.  And also access to a home on a large piece of property in the middle of the United States.  But if you don't have these things and want this experience, I bet I know where you can access all of it to rent out for a weekend!

Element #1:  Gorgeous backdrop.

My parents have a house in the country on beautiful land.  They got this little archway to put up and surrounded it with flowers and bales of hay for guest seating.

This huge planter is an upcycled old satellite dish.  Genious?  I think so. 

If you time it right, you can get some great sunset photos.

Element #2: Mason jars, mason jars, mason jars.

Mason jar lights hanging in the trees, twinkling to light up the pathways and line the property as it got dark.

Mason jars filled with cake.

Element #3:  A family who gets involved in all aspects.

Brothers, sisters, in-laws, cousins, nephews, friends...people willing to pitch in and clean, bake, organize, rearrange seating, make an occasional emergency batch of coleslaw, create table decor, and anything else that needs to be done.

A sister who home brews brought two kegs:  one of Caribou Slobber and one of Breakwater Ale.

A brother who is an A/V genius.

A photographer sister.  In this case, the bride...so she developed an incredible way to capture images even though she wasn't able to be the one taking the images: an outdoor DIY photo booth!  It was a huge hit - these pictures were taken long after the sun set:

Element #4:  A plan for the end of the event.

Since this really was out in the country, my parents arranged for a bus (yes, a big yellow school bus) to drive guests from the hotel about 45 miles away to the wedding and drive them all safely back at the end of the evening.  No worries about people driving after having a beer or two.  Everyone got home safely, and as the bus pulled out onto the country road, the event cleanup got underway.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Domed cut out earrings

The materials for these earrings are minimal; just three metal circles and sterling wire.  But I spent a lot of time dapping and hammering the pieces to prepare them for connection.

I sawed a sterling disk into two pieces then hammered and dapped them before soldering them to the copper circles.  On the finished earrings it isn't too obvious, but the sterling cut outs are like little puzzle pieces.  

I polished and oxidized the pieces before hanging them from sterling wires.  I love the texture and the interest the domed silver adds - it creates a little pocket on each earring.