Monday, June 22, 2020

Wedding Cake Part 2

Last week, I shared this picture of my sister's wedding cake before I brought it to the church.

Here are the pictures of the cake once I got it onto the cake plate at the church. I added more roses around the bottom and had a piping bag filled with chocolate buttercream to fill in any areas that needed it. Three angles below:

This following photo is from their wedding photographer:

Photo Credit: Ahrens Photo Studio

Love and Cake,
Leah Joy

Monday, June 15, 2020

Modeling Chocolate Roses: Wedding Cake Part 1

After much discussion and pondering of cake toppers (probably more on my part than on theirs), my sister, her fiance, and I decided on modeling chocolate roses for the top of their wedding cake. Lots of practice ensued. I also purchased luster dust in silver and blue (their wedding colors), and later some gold, too. To start, I made a partial batch of modeling chocolate each of white chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate colored blue. I then tested the silver and blue luster dust on all the colors, using two techniques (dry dusting or making a paint with lemon extract).

Blue on silver felt like too much.

Silver on the blue was pretty, but we decided it wasn't quite what they wanted on their wedding cake.

I discovered dark modeling chocolate is much stiffer and harder to work with, so this looks rather chunky.

I started running out of practice roses, so I had to start using multiple colors on each one. The painted luster dust was too bold.

Brushing looked better, but made the dark chocolate look a little dirty.

Yep, painted is too bold for this cake.

And then: stunning.

All the above roses I made completely by hand, free-forming each petal using only piping tips (as cutters) and a spoon to thin out the petal edges. About a month or two before the wedding, I was gifted a fondant rose cutter set. The friends who gave this to me had no idea I was making roses for my sister's wedding cake; they just thought, "Hey, Leah likes to decorate cake." Well, it ended up being perfect. I have very warm hands,which makes working with modeling chocolate difficult. The less I had to touch it, the better.

Look how much nicer the roses looked once I started using the cutter:

All the petals still had to be thinned out by hand, but I actually started using the handle of a paint brush (which I greased a little with coconut oil to prevent sticking).

I made white, milk, and dark modeling chocolate and made dozens of these flowers in the weeks before the wedding (because they can be stored for a few weeks). Here they are on top of the cake before I brought it to the church:

See more next week!

Love and Chocolate,
Leah Joy

Monday, June 8, 2020

Delft Tulip Table Runner

Get ready for a lot of pictures, because this is another one of my Top 10 all-time crafts. This was my wedding gift for my sister and her husband. Chloe appreciates Delft and tulips as much as (if not more than) I do, so this was the perfect thing to make for her and her husband.

After several hours of research on Pinterest, I decided I really liked this quilt, but there was no link to a pattern, just the picture. So again, I spent a long time doing math and more math, etc. I made a sample patch out of scrap fabric:

After a few more tweaks, I made several tulip patches and moved them around until I was happy with it. (Yep, that's my basement floor and my bare feet.) (And yes, there are a few extra tulip patches - Chloe, you'll probably be getting some matching potholders one of these years.)

I added some spacers in the plain white cotton, and also a border.

I quilted vertically on both sides of each row of tulips, and horizontally just above and below each tulip. I bound the quilt using the same fabric I used for the quilt back.

I found this AMAZING Delft tile fabric at Field's Fabrics. It was like $16/yard, but I found a remnant for about a $1, and got enough pieces with 'fussy cutting' to make a big difference in this table runner. You can see it below in the many pictures. :) (#sorrynotsorry)

And yeah, let's just repeat this picture because IT'S SO PRETTY!

Love and Tulips,
Leah Joy

Monday, June 1, 2020

Some Recent Crafts

These are unrelated projects, but both too small of projects to merit their own post.

While at Meijer sometime last year, we walked past the hair things, and Jo asked if we could purchase some hair bows for her. I looked at the price, and thought, "I could make those from my scrap fabric and they would be cheaper, cuter, and sturdier." Some of the ones below will end up being gifts for others, but here's my first batch.

I used this pattern. They're super easy and simple to make. I chose to sew the bows onto an alligator clip instead of gluing them, because I feel like it's sturdier.

Another project I made was these mugs for my sister and her fiance (now husband). They are both huge book nerds and have (or almost have) degrees in English. Pete is working as a book agent, and Chloe aspires to be an editor. Because they are so bookish, I chose to make them bookish couples mugs. The first says, "Once upon a time..." and the second reads, "...and they lived happily ever after." On the handle is their wedding date.

I used my Pebeo porcelain pen for the words, but I also recently purchased a jar of Pebeo porcelain paint in gold, and it was fun to add details with that.

Love and Crafts,
Leah Joy

Thursday, May 28, 2020


This is more recent than many of the items I've posted recently and will share in the next few weeks, but I just couldn't wait to share it any longer!

HGTV Handmade released this video by Meg Allan Cole several years ago, and I admired it because it used a canvas in a way I hadn't ever considered. The clean black and white look is fine if that's your style, but I like a little more color. I thought, "It kind of looks like a constellation; why not make it on a galaxy?" Of course, I'd never painted a galaxy before, so I did lots of research on that, and here's my first ever galaxy painting:

It was so much fun to paint, and it's really not very hard. It takes patience and a lot of layers, but it's a very forgiving craft.

Next, I spent a few hours adapting a picture of a hippo to make it 'geometric', and here's the final result:


This goes straight into my Top 10 favorite things I've ever made.

Love and Hippos,
Leah Joy

Monday, May 25, 2020

Christmas 2019 Round-Up

Okay, final Christmas post for a while. Here's a round-up of some of the other gifts I made for Christmas 2019.

I made a few sets of leaf potholders. I love this craft - it's fun and they turn out so cool looking!

I also did some knitting and crocheting for my best friends:

We purchased an used children's tool bench for the kids for Christmas, so I sewed them each a tool belt to wear. 

Now on to something less Christmassy. :)

Love and Velcro,
Leah Joy

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Christmas 2019: Jewelry Boxes

Every Christmas, I make a gift for my aunties (and some of the other women in my life). This year, I decided to make little jewelry boxes from bangle bracelets. (Idea here.)

Because I wanted to make so many of these, I actually purchased the bracelets in bulk from Etsy. I stained some of them, using a bit of leftover stain my dad was throwing away because it was old and chunky. The others I painted with gold acrylic paint. I think the stained ones look prettier. 

I made lids from Sculpey clay, and I had a blast designing all the different lids. These ones were my favorites:

The handles are just little balls of leftover clay. I left some of them unpainted, but the ones that were a real mish-mash of colors, I painted gold.

I also made discs of clay for the bottoms of the containers. Everything got sealed with Sculpey sealer. (I actually tried using a clear gloss spray sealant, but it started eating away at the clay. Yikes!)

Finally, I cut two discs of green felt for each box, one as a no-scratch pad on the bottom, and one inside the box to make it soft.

I'm really pleased with how these turned out. They took a lot of work, but were a fairly inexpensive craft overall.

Love and Glaze,
Leah Joy