donut pan idea no. 48: sombrero cakes!

SOMBRERO CAKES! Little cake sombreros with miniature ice cream cone (cup) tops. Stella and I are feeling pretty proud of these. We came up with this idea last June but it was too late for Cinco de Mayo, so we waited and waited, and now the time has come! 

These little hat-shaped cakes were so easy to make and REALLY fun to decorate. See how by clicking on "read more" below!


donut pan idea no. 47: terrines and mousses

How about a little retro action? TERRINES AND MOUSSES! These fifties party favorites are given a twist served in hors d'oeuvres-sized servings. They are so old-timey, but honestly they are delicious, and good conversation pieces. Both of these could be served over a nice salad as a starting course, or set out with crackers, crostini or cucumber slices. 

You could use any terrine or mousse recipe, of course. I adapted Martha Stewart's asparagus and shiitake terrine recipe from her Hors D'oeuvres Handbook and used the salmon mousse recipe from my copy of Joy of Cooking. 

This is the fun stuff! I should've told friends to bring over wine and bread and dig in, but instead I showed up at the playground after school and passed them around, and I think both the terrines and the mousses were a hit. Let's start with the terrines after the jump, just click "read more" below!


from the desk of tiffanie turner

Just kidding. I don't have a desk. 

It's starting to get to me, the no desk thing. I know David has been dying for a space to make music for years, but since I don't make lots of noise like he does, I have managed to skink along and make everything I make on the kitchen countertop where we all eat. So there's always a picking up, clearing away, de-greasing and setting back up process for everything I do. Like the idiom my friend Mike used the other day says, a poor workman blames his tools. I have always managed to be creative and prolific despite the situation. 

It's grating on me now, the same way it has grated on David the entire time we've lived here. I'm at a stopping point, having dropped most of my "extracurriculars" to take the stress off the family and take some time to focus on what is next. I'm also super burnt out and trying to be okay with not having anything big in the fire. Small architectural jobs are starting to pop up. I want to paint A LOT. I have things I want to do and really no where to do them. In one of my creative group get-togethers someone pointed out to me that not being able to leave work out where you can just pick it back up at any time is a big deal, and I believe her!

San Francisco is totally insane as far as the rental market for anything. I started a cursory look the other day for a little room somewhere (which, let's face it, I could only use one day a week for a little while while I have help with Oliver, until I can afford more). You would think there would be one little space somewhere within a mile of our place, but there is nothing. Hmmm, does that mean I should open one? Hmmm.

I'm just going to visualize this for a while until something works out. I'll keep on trucking the way I have been, but my eyes are open now. This is something that needs to give for both David and I. We've got to get some more space. It sounds like a luxury, but I think as we get older there is an urgency to find these things you've wanted for so long. David, I know I am preaching to your choir.

Have a great weekend, friends! I leave you with the typical scene from my "studio", especially on a donut day. xoxo


donut pan idea no. 46: strawberry shortcakes

It's April, the beginning of really sweet strawberry time in markets and CSA boxes around here. I've been waiting for the season to roll back around so we could make these. STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES! The donut pan is wonderful for strawberry shortcakes as it creates a perfect little cake-y bowl to hold the cream and strawberries. I adapted this recipe from the seriously gorgeous and delicious Smitten Kitchen, but I think you could use any biscuit-type shortcake recipe you'd like.

These are lovely to look at! They can be eaten with a fork, or lifted up and eaten from your hand if put together neatly, like a good donut should. Click on "read more" down below to get the whole scoop!


how to hack your toms

I've been called a lot of things in my life. I've been called a few choice things behind my back, and I've been called superficial one very special time by one very disgruntled person right to my face in front of a bunch of children. That was fun! This post makes me feel a little superficial, but I think some people might like to know that you can wear TOMS shoes without them screaming "TOMS SHOES!". Well, not really. A TOMS will always look like a TOMS, but maybe it doesn't need to SAY it.

Let's leave politics aside, like I always do here. TOMS has a nice policy where they donate a pair of shoes every time a pair is purchased. But of course, along with philanthropy come the folks who believe that if you give a man a pair of shoes, you'll shoe him for a day, but if you teach a man to make a pair of shoes, you will shoe him for a lifetime. Before you know it you're trying to skim through a whole report like this one from Tiny Spark, trying to figure out if TOMS is doing it all right. I'm going to have faith in TOMS and what they do, and stay out of it. This is a DIY post, for Christ's sake! 

I'm a first time TOMS wearer. At 5'-2" I don't often find myself in flats. TOMS were never on my radar until Stella and I were at the movies a few weeks ago and this pair of wedges caught my eye on another woman in the restroom. I thought, I really need something comfortable to wear this summer, I'll get those and rip the tags off. 

Ripping the tags off ain't so easy! There is an adhesive substance below the back tags that leaves a big mark when the tags are removed, and the side tags can't be fully cut away. So here's how I hacked my TOMS. Let's cobble! 

For the backs, find two appliqués that are fairly thin and can cover the area of the tag (about 1 1/8" wide x 3/4" high). I found these chicken appliqués at a local art supply store. I can't find the exact specification for them, but I'm sure you'll find something you might like more than chickens!

Get in there with tiny scissors or a seam ripper and carefully remove the stitches around the perimeter of the TOMS tags. Peel the tags off, and use a long push pin or needle to pull out remaining thread loops embedded in the shoe. I used the pin to push some thread ends back into the shoe if I couldn't pull them out.

My glue gun is hideous! If you are pretty good with a glue gun and know how to use it without it squirting out everywhere and ruining the shoe fabric, go ahead and use that. I suggest glueing the appliqué in sections so the glue doesn't cool down too much while you're working. If you are less handy with a glue gun, I think fabric glue would be a good way to go.

Press the pre-glued appliqué firmly onto the rear of the shoe, positioned to cover all of the unsightly adhesive and stitching from the original tag. 

Repeat with the other shoe, and that part is done!

To cover the smaller front side tags, there are two approaches. You can cover it with a slightly wider piece of ribbon, like this:

I didn't love this idea. It drew too much attention to the shoe, and the ribbon I used didn't work well with the chickens. So I grabbed me some of these:

These bow appliqués you really might want to find, especially if you're hacking a red pair of TOMS, because the color is almost identical. The best resource I could find for these was a wholesaler called Products From Beyond. Here is the link, and the model number for these I believe is M15652 in color 05. The brand name is La Stephanoise. I picked mine up from a pretty random display at the same place I bought the chickens.

Snip off the side tag as close to the edge as you can. You can unravel a little more of the tag with your fingers, but it won't come all the way out. Position the bow so that it overlaps and obscures the remaining white strip of the tag and affix with hot or fabric glue.

A perfect match! I tried SO hard to take a shot of my shoes from the side or front or back while they were on my feet. I took so many photos, but only came up with this. I need a remote for my camera!

By the way, this isn't the only pair of shoes I've taken a glue gun to. The seam on one of the shoes in the pair below came apart after about a year of wear, but I was able to seal the rip with hot glue and cover that with some cute pompoms I found. Don't be afraid to fix your own stuff! And, have a great weekend! xoxo


a garland of hot glue + old flowers

People have been making flower garlands a right long time, no big invention here. But the other day I saw this cute post by my friend Kelly at StudioDIY where she hot glued ranunculus heads to party hats and I thought that was a swell idea. In all the costuming I've done I've never ventured into fresh-flower-fabrication for my fascinators, but I will now. It's worth it to get just one performance out of the effort, as the hot glue makes quick work of everything! I'll let you know when I get that going, for sure.

In the meantime, I've been looking for things to liven up our bay window and mantle. I need a little break from bunting, tassels and pompoms, and I can't hang one more set of Christmas lights in this place, so how about a garland of old flowers? Heads from my week-old bunch of ranunculus on a cord hung on the wall. Nice. I want to collect bits of nature and other flowers and add more to this garland, and cluster with others, too. Let them dry out, fine with me.

So easy. Old flowers, elastic cord, hot glue.

Pop off the heads, leaving a bit of stem.

Tie flower heads with double knots spaced along the cord wherever they look good to you.

Give the knot and back of the flower a good dollop of hot glue.

I tied the ends of my cord together so it could double as a necklace.

Pretty. We'll see how it looks in a few days! 


donuts are awesome/thoughts on 'bots

These awesome donuts were made by my friend Sarah Link. They showed up in the mail this weekend. What an awesome surprise, a bag of my favorite shapes in a bunch of yummy colors!

Sarah and I were in architecture school together and reconnected a few years ago, which is also awesome. She is a designer, an artist, a bridge documenter, a rocker, and of all my friends and acquaintances the only person I know who owns a Makerbot. She made these donuts for me in the Makerbot, and she is currently fabricating a line of really wild figurines that will go up in her soon-to-be Etsy shop next week. Follow her on Twitter at @OslinkslinksO to keep in the loop on her work and for her shop opening announcement.

Aren't these total eye candy?

I hadn't heard of 3D printing and Makerbots until I heard Chris Anderson's keynote talk at ALT in January. The idea was controversial to me. Another way to bring plastic into our lives, another way to facilitate mass production. I couldn't even figure out how he was chosen to speak at ALT, a design summit rife with hand crafters and artisans, DIY-ers and artists. I've heard about people making their own guns with their Makerbots, followed by discussion of replicator regulation. There are concerns for the manufacturing industry and all sorts of copyright/patent violation ideas as people share their ideas online. These things are controversial, for sure.

As I've been watching my friend Sarah conquer the replicator program and bring her creations to life, I do see the value. She is making some incredible stuff with her Makerbot, and expressing herself therein. The idea of being able to make what you are thinking of in three dimensions is totally wild, a new frontier. I love seeing what she's doing with it. I've got mixed feelings about this technology, but watching people do their own manufacturing at home is pretty awesome.

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