Remember my twinchies?  Gah, that seems like forever ago.  (“Time’s fun when you’re having flies.” – Kermit the Frog)

Anyway, I had so much fun making them that when another round of the twinchie swap appeared on Craftster, with send-outs in September, joining in was a no-brainer.  I might be a bit late in posting these, but think of them as undiscovered gems.

My partner had a variety of themes offered as suggestions, and I was thisclose to running with Bob’s Burgers – can’t you just picture Louise’s bunny ears immortalized in four square inches of felt?! – when I saw that she also had Muppets on her list.  In that moment, the first coherent thought in my brain was, “Beaker!”

Muppet Twinches 2

That was followed a split-second later by, “Bunsen!”

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It wasn’t until I began trawling the internet for source images to use, scrolling past picture after picture of Dr. Honeydew, that I realized with a start that he bears a striking resemblance to my dad’s old boss, only slightly more green.  I tried to find a picture of him, but came up empty-handed, so you’ll have to take my word on this.

With Bunsen n’ Beaker done, how could I round out my quartet?  Statler and Waldorf would have been fun, and practically begged to have a note included in my swap package complaining about what terrible needlework this was (“Ha ha ha!”), but they didn’t feel as iconic to me as some of the other Muppets.

Iconic Muppet?  Why, that would be…

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Miss Piggy was the most challenging of the four, I found.  Her various pieces felt a bit more jigsaw-y to me than the others, and trying to capture that heavy-lidded look on a very small canvas wasn’t easy.  But the sparkly fuchsia background seems perfect for the self-proclaimed star of the show, and there’s a joke in there somewhere about casting one’s pearls before swine, but I haven’t found it…  (Comments welcome below.)

Knowing that my partner had already received a Kermit twinchie in the previous round, I couldn’t grab for the low-hanging fruit for my last piece.  Instead…drumroll, please…

Muppet Twinches 3

Big Bird!  Stitching him up made me so happy!  The bright yellow and blue felt, the thin lines of blue and pink around his eyes to make them pop…and those fun little feathers on top of his head to add some texture to the whole deal.

All together:

Muppet Twinchies 1

They made it to my partner with all their embellishments intact, and had me envisioning an entire installation of felt Muppet portraits…

Thanks for looking! 🙂

The Oscar the Grouch cupcakes I made a few weeks back went over well with everyone who tried one – and I was so excited by the way the grass tip created his fur.  I couldn’t wait to try other Sesame Street characters!  I was pretty sure that Cookie Monster was going to be next on my list, because I’ve always felt a strange kinship with him.  My grammar may be better than his, but honestly, the reason I learned how to bake was to feed my cookie addiction.

While searching the bulk food store for some chickpea flour, I happened upon bins of flavoured drink crystals, including a vibrant blue-raspberry.  It was fate.  Yes!  Now I absolutely had to buy some, and mix them into my frosting instead of/in addition to blue food colouring, and I had to make Cookie Monster cupcakes post-haste!  This was going to be great!

Not, perhaps, a spitting image, but certainly recognizable.  My fatal mistake (I realize now) was adding in the drink crystals along with some food colouring after I had mixed all the other frosting ingredients and already had a nice, fluffy buttercream.  I had thought because the icing was “wet” – as in, not yet dried and hardened – that the crystals would dissolve.  They did not, at least not entirely.  And they might be miniscule, but that didn’t stop them from clogging up my grass tip.  After six incredibly frustrating cupcakes, including several attempts to clear and re-clear the holes in the tip using a toothpick or just unscrewing the coupler and rinsing the silly thing out with water, I got fed up, switched tips, and did this:

It may look and feel like a cop-out, sure, but I’ve always liked blue-and-brown as a colour combination, so it’s not that bad.  They’re still whimsical, just in a non-licensed way.

Oh, and in case you were curious: the drink crystals did impart a lovely blue-raspberry flavour that is noticeable without being overpowering.  I’ve learned from my mistake, though, and next time they’re being dissolved in the almond milk first before being mixed in.

Birthday Bonanza

January 31, 2010

Update: I was finally able to give the birth sampler/card to my coworker last week, more than a month after the baby was born, but no matter…

My mumsie’s birthday was also last week; naturally, much home-made goodness was in the works.  I made her blue velvet cupcakes (blue is her favourite colour) with vanilla-coconut buttercream frosting.  It’s kind of hard to tell in the photo what colour they are, but trust me, they’re blue.

I think that icing may be my favourite thing that I’ve ever made…all coconutty and yummy…

She still collects hedgehogs, so a hand-stitched card was a must:

It’s from issue 216 (I think!) of Cross Stitcher, and originally said “Nice Cross Stitch”, but I took some artistic liberties with it.  I still have a baby-sized callous on my finger from doing the backstitch on that.  Uurgh.  Trying to pierce the fabric where there’s no hole and it plainly doesn’t want to be pierced becomes old after a while.  Still, I think the end justified the means.

For the next piece, you must understand that “Bork” is a verb in our household, and not just an interjection.  In the kitchen, dropping, spilling, or mixing vigorously and flinging, well, anything, will cause someone to yell, “You borked the ice cream/potatoes/toast!”  (Much as the Swedish Chef yells “Bork, bork, bork!” just before he sends his utensils flying.)  She “got it” as soon as she opened it, and I daresay as custom designs/projects go, this was one of the best.  Also simplest.

It’s on one of those awesome tea towels from Sublime Stitching which was an absolute dream to work on, and is currently brightening up the oven door.

As always, thanks for looking!