Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday How To - Now Let Me See Your Pumpkin Rolllll

Forgive my throwback title, I couldnt resist.

Does your family have a traditional holiday dessert? Every year I try to make one of my favorite seasonal baked goods - a pumpkin roll. If you ever use Libby's brand pumpkin puree, there is a photo of one on the can and a note to visit their website for the recipe. I've sent the recipe to people for swaps, too, so I thought that it would maybe help to document the process in case some people dont know what I'm talking about. I'm a visual learner myself, so pictures always help me when I'm trying something new.

To start, here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Roll

3/4 C. Flour
1 Tsp Salt
3 Large Eggs
1 C. Sugar
2/3 C. Canned (cooked) Pumpkin/ pumpkin puree

8 oz cream cheese
1 C. sifted confectioners sugar
2 TBS butter (softend)
1 Tsp vanilla

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees (F).

Then you butter and flour (well) a jelly roll pan. If you're not familiar with what a jelly roll pan is, it's about 12 x 17 and 1 inch deep. Essentially a baking sheet with sides.

Combine your cake ingredients in a bowl (dry first then add the wet), and mix until thick. Then pour your batter into the jelly roll pan and spread it out evenly, like so:

Sometimes if it's bubbly I lightly "tap" the pan on the counter to get them out.

Pop the pan in the oven for about 13-15 minutes, or until its springy (it might not take that long, depending on your oven).

While the cake is baking, prep a clean, dry, flat weave towel by laying it flat and sprinkling it generously with powdered sugar. If you want to buy one, they're usually labelled as "flour sack" towels.

Here's what mine looks like -

 Dont lie, I know you think it's hot :)

When you take the cake out of the oven, make sure you dont reach around the potholder and burn your thumb like I did (ouch). Pull it out, loosen the sides, and turn it onto your prepped towel, then dust the top with more sugar. My cake usually ends up sticking to the pan, but just use a long spatula and carefully separate it if the cake needs a little help.

Next is the most difficult part - rolling the cake. You need to do this while it is warm because it is easiest, and as it cools the cake will keep the "memory" of being rolled, and make it easier when you put the filling on it. Starting on the LONG side, carefully roll it up in the towel, like so:

Let it cool about 15 minutes. While you're waiting is a good time to mix up your frosting. Make sure your cream cheese and butter are softened, and that you sift your confectioners sugar as this helps keep the smoothest consistency for the filling. I usually forget about the sifting, but thats just because I dont have anything to do it with. Add the ingredients in a bowl and mix it up.

By now your cake should be cool, so unroll the towel and get to fillin'- I usually fill on the "under" side (that was in the pan), because then the nice top part is what you see when you eat it.

Then you roll the cake up again - leave the towel out this time, though.

Wrap it up in waxed paper or parchment, and pop it in the fridge. When its ready to serve, slice it up and make it pretty on a plate.

nom nom.

Happy Eating!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Salt City Chains Worldwide

I love sending out orders across the globe, so I thought I'd share a map of where my jewelry has gone off to

Within the US -

And everywhere -

I wonder where I'll "go" next?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Indie Garage Sale 2011

Now that I've taken a few days to recuperate from the whirlwind that was the Holiday Indie Garage Sale, I thought I'd share the experience with you -

One thing I notice with every show I do is that my table displays get invariably better. With my latest line of ornaments I thought it would be appropriate to display on a christmas tree. Of course, toting around a live tree wouldn't be practical, and my first attempt using a fiber optic tree resulted in the ornaments just blending into the branches. On a visit to Hobby Lobby I found they had the perfect little tree - It matches my color scheme, and lets the ornaments shine (and I got it for 60% off).

I got the shelving units at Target - they were really handy for bringing my items up into view. Like these awesome new scale earrings -

They were really popular - I also found some nice bottles to display my wine bottle jewelry on -

The venue itself was amazing - I had only been to the train station once before a long time ago, but the interior is just lovely. Why cant public buildings have the same detail as they used to?

view from my booth

We were also lucky enough to witness the Polar Express ride. It was fun to see the kids walking around the station in their pyjamas, especially when their parents wore a matching set. There were "elves" singing carols, too, it's too bad the accoustics could be better in the building:

Of course I couldn't help but make a few purchases myself - I tried to get around to the shops I included in my Etsy treasury, here are a few things I came home with - 

Zombie Dinosaurs - Tyrannosaurus Print (5x7 Matted Print)
A Zombie Dino Print (plus two others) from Our Secret Treehouse

Choose any 3 buttons out of 31 designs  --  Free Shipping
Dumpling Animal Pins from Goats N Glory - I got the boston terrier, the narwhal, and a deer.

I also bought some gorgeous paper crane ornaments from East Knot West - They look great on the tree.

I wish I had been able to get around more and really shop, but I was there by myself and it was a crowded event! It's awesome that the show had such a great turnout - I love being in a community that supports local crafters and artists, and it is always fun to make new friends. The coordinators Rob and Alison always do a great job (even when there are setbacks they can't anticipate), and I know I appreciate all the effort they put in to make sure the show runs as smoothly as possible.

Now that there is only a week or so left until Christmas, I am busy fulfilling some orders and tweaking photos and things in my shop. After the holidays I'm going to give myself a little break to work on some side projects I haven't been able to get to, and then I'll get back to the workbench creating new pieces to ooh and aah over. I have a few more posts ready to go for the blog so stay tuned for those, too.

I wish you all a warm and Happy Holiday

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tutorial: Origami Cherry Blossom

Ok, here's Part 2! How to make an Origami Cherry Blossom, I hope my photos help explain it -

Start with a square piece of paper, I used 3" x 3" -

 Fold it in half

 Then fold the bottom right corner so the right edge meets the top like so:

Repeat with the top right corner - fold so the side meets the bottom edge:

Next fold the left bottom corner to meet the "x" created by the creases

Then fold the point back so the edges meet like so:

Take the bottom right corner and fold the paper so the bottom edge meets the edge you just created:

Fold the 2 halves backwards on each other along this line:

So they look like this:

Next, get out your scissor & a pencil - you can mark out the leaf shape or just cut

So you get this:

Clip off the points -

If you open it all up, the flower will look like this:

Now fold the petals together until they're "sandwiched" between 2 others -

Like this:

Then fold the bottom edge up

Flip and repeat

Then C-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y pull the leaves apart and flatten out the flower

Heres the back side:

And heres the front!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tutorial: Origami Gift Box

Here's the tutorial I promised to share with you last time - a simple origami gift box!

  • I started with a 12 x 12 piece of scrapbook paper, you can start with any size that has equal sides
  • Fold it in half both ways
  • Then bring the points in to meet the "x" created by the folds
  • unfold 2 of the flaps like so:
  •  Then fold the flat sides to meet in the center:
  •  Then take the pointed side and fold it to meet the edge like this:
  •  do that in both directions, on both ends:
  •  Open it back up and fold the point down to match the creases you just made on the opposite side:
  •  do that on both ends, your paper should look like this:
  •  The creases and folds should pretty much do the work for you from this point -
  •  fold the sides in to meet
  • Then fold the pointed "flap" over the sides to hold everything together-
  •  Repeat on the opposite side. Ta Da!
To make the bottom of the box, cut your sheet of paper roughly 1/2" smaller than the size you just used.

You can use just about any type of paper for this - scrapbook paper, plain white paper, I've even used paper bags in a pinch! This little box is a great way to add an extra special handmade touch to a gift. I've also taken to using them as the packaging for my jewelry, or when I'm working on chainmaille or beadwork and need an extra container. These also work great just making one half and using it as a catch all on your desk, to hold coins, paper clips, or even candy! The uses are endless. What would you use it for?

Next time around I'll share how to make the flower on top!

**addendum - My origami box was also featured on One Pretty Thing in the Flickr Friends Roundup!**
Thanks so much!