Gifts from the Kitchen

Oh my… My blog is quite deserted these days. But at least I’d like to send some advent greetings to whoever takes a look here from time to time.

I made these little hot-chocolate-on-a-sticks as gifts for friends and kindergarten teachers etc.

schoko22

schoko

Here’s how I made them (metric system, sorry…):

  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 100 g milk chocolate
  • 100 g milk or dark chocolate coating (or another 50 g chocolate plus 50 g coconut butter)
  • 100 ml cream
  • spices (as you like; in my case, I used cardamom seeds, plus a pinch of this really nice spice mixture containing ginger, cinnamon, orange peel, cloves, allspice, lemon grass, and cardamom).
  • Just a tad bit of Rhum
  • You will also need sticks; it can be popsicle sticks, or also cinnamon sticks, or any wooden stick; and for the molds, you could use large silicon ice cube molds, mini-muffin molds or espresso cups lined with plastic wrap).
  • Paper gift packaging

Melt the chocolate over a bain marie and heat up the cream with the spices; let the spices infuse for a while. Once the chocolate has melted, strain the cream and stir it into the chocolate mixture. Stir well, then at the end – if wanted – add a small shot of alcohol (Rhum, Grand Marnier, whatever you like).

Put the chocolate in the molds and let sit for 15-20 min. Then add the sticks. Let harden completely, wrap in plastic wrap and gift packaging.

VoilĂ !

You may use the template I designed for the packaging for personal purposes.

Matting Workshop

The new year is starting and I hardly have had any time to breathe – at least in terms of creativity – since mid-December. But during the last few days I participated in a very interesting course about matting and framing. It was the “real” thing, at a bookbinder’s workshop (traditionally, matting and framing original pieces of art, especially printed art, is part of a bookbinder’s tasks)… just using a carpet cutter and a steel ruler.

Let’s say, it’s not easy, but it can be done. And it takes practice. But it was a real lot of fun, we made everything by ourselves – we put together the mat from cardboard and paper, we even got to learn how to make our own frames from raw picture frame moldings, how to cut the glass. Especially doing all the required math for the glass and the matting and the frames was an interesting challenge. It was a 20 hours course full of information about paper and the different traditions… A special thanks to my husband for having me have this much fun and taking care of our son so I could participate.

Here’s an example of a mat I made using Ulla’s moo cards. It was not at all easy to cut the three mats, but I think it turned out OK and gives the pieces even more depth. Thanks again, Ulla, for these nice pieces.

Unfortunately, the scan doesn’t show the colors evenly and doesn’t focus on the images, but rather the mat.

matting.jpg

GPP Street Team – Make Some Noise

Michelle challenges us this month to add music to our blog musings…

I have decided to go for my nostalgic self and bring you a memory of Alexandra, a singer and songwriter between kitsch and kool… who died in 1969 at the young age of 27 in a car accident. The American band The Czars have recently covered one of her most famous songs “Mein Freund der Baum ist tot.”

I have a few CD’s of her songs and I absolutely love her soft and at the same time strong voice. It is a childhood memory for me – I remember when she died, and I was only 5 years old at the time.

The song itself may be bringing about this special late 60ies feeling which ultimately led to the Green movement in Germany.

GPP Street Team Crusade: Mail Art Envelope

Good that I have an RSS feed for Michelle Ward’s GPP Street Team Crusades, ’cause this way I get to know about the new challenges right away, and, boy, do I love those challenges. Although I am thousands of miles away, living in a different country, and although I never met her personally, I think she is a wonderful artist and very special kind of person. She rocks!

Although a stamper, I normally don’t embellish my envelopes since I don’t have a lot of time for creating anyway. But with the new crusade, I felt challenged to give it a try, and I decided to make a “custom-made” envie for the swap I am participating in at ArtMix. Here you go:

umschlag.jpg