Monthly Archives: November 2013


How The Coen Brothers (think Fargo, Oh Brother Where Art Thou etc) describe their home state of Minnesota:

“It’s like Siberia with more family-style restaurants.”


No point in resisting…might as well just embrace the idea of a 5 month winter and learn to love the cold and snow.  At the very least, I’m sure it will afford me more time to bake.  Positivity, right?  Actually, after touring the Minneapolis metro area this past weekend in hopes of finding a house, I really kind of dig the place.  The downtown area reminded me a lot of Indianapolis and the hilly terrain of the suburb/rural areas reminded me of southern Indiana…with more lakes.  So in a strange way, even though I’ve never been further from where I grew up, it kind of felt a bit like coming home.  There was a comforting sense of familiarity that I never really experienced in Milwaukee.  No offense, Milwaukee is a great town, but it’s just…different.

We toured a few places and I made the fatal mistake of falling deeply, madly in love with one of the properties.  On the outside it’s an unassuming lakeside ‘rambler’ that barely hints at the hip, modern completely renovated interior that is not only polished and trendy but totally comfortable and livable.  It’s the perfect mixture of trend and traditional.  The kitchen is stunning and had me dreaming of posing for my own cookbook cover.  The breathtaking views of Lake Gotschel, the private wooded lot, the never been used high end appliances, the 5 minute proximity to Starbucks and Target…*sigh!  Seriously, this place looks like a magazine spread and in Minnesota, the land where floor to ceiling wood cabinetry, paneling and trim is the norm, this crisp, clean beauty really is the needle in the haystack.  Here are a few sneak peeks:



imageMost of the beautiful furniture in these pics stay with the home.  Oh and I didn’t take these beautiful shots, swiped them from the MLS posting! 


Anyway, it’s kind of a longshot with other offers on the table, but we’re supposed to hear back soon if this will be our new Minneapolis home.  Fingers crossed!!  If it doesn’t work out, that’s ok too.  It’s just a house and it wasn’t meant to be.  Positivity, right??

In other news, I will be back one of these days with a baking post…I swear.  


Mojo Jojo Pinata

Hello! So here is how I made the Mojo Pinata.  It took a while but it was pretty easy and fun and really the biggest expense was the candy. I had almost all of the materials on hand for it.  Yay for crafty stashes!

I started with a lawn waste bag from lowes and some dowel rods.  A few of the very smallest diameter and one that was sturdier.  These probably cost 5 bucks all together.


I measured the unfolded width of the bag at the bottom and cut two pieces of the thin dowel rod, used my trusty glue gun and glued em in the the creases at the bottom. Hold them in place while the glue dries or you will just have to do it again. Yes, I burned myself a lot at this point.  The craft gods demand their little sacrifices.

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I trimmed the bag to a good length and tore up the extra to use in mache’ing process. I also stapled this bit here but had to undo it later and change the angle the bag was at.  You can kind of see in this picture where we’re going with this.

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Next up is the head.  This was mildly tricky cause my balloons were old and kept popping on me.  After I finally had two that stayed inflated I taped them together like so.  The top balloon is bigger than the bottom one to give it more of the right head shape.  Take some butcher paper or equivalent and tape it around the balloons to give yourself a base to work with.

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So most people know the basics of mache, but I’ll go over it.  Flour, water, sweat, blood, tears…I mean…. Just flour and water in whatever portions look right for a nice smooth paste.  Too thick and it won’t spread well, too thin and you’ll be cleaning flour water off your cabinets for weeks (ask me how I know  -.- )  Dip your strips in your mix and smooth them onto the surface you’re working on.  Keep the strips just overlapping so no one area is too thick and stop when you have the surface covered.  That’s pretty much it.  I used the brown bag strips for the first layer of the head mache and it was not prime.  I used the white butcher paper after that and it was much smoother.  I’m lacking pics of some of the process, sorry.  All you need to do is keep the layers thin so they dry well and maker sure you tear the paper.  It really does make a difference.


Not a good mache choice

So once the head was dry I made a hole in it and popped the balloons and pulled them out.


Learning from last time I moved the rest of the mache’ing out of doors.  I played around with the bag and head and discovered that the angle of the staples was all wrong. So i picked them out and changed it to this.

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Much better.  I had been saving all of my empty toilet paper/paper towel/aluminum foil rolls for a while in preparation and they worked great for this project.  I used the aluminum foil tube for the neck support and it was perfect. Nice and sturdy.


Hole in the bottom of the head, hold it up to the bag to see where it looked best.  Make some marks on the bag and the support tube so you know  where they need to be.

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Tape on the inside to hold it in place.


Even more tape.


Mojo’s head was so odd shaped and heavy that he needed another support at the top so I used the sturdier dowel rod and placed it here.


Here it is put together.


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After I had the head to my liking I took it off so I could do the torso mache’ing without damaging it.  Before I started on that though, I stuffed his insides with butcher paper to keep his candy cavity from collapsing and I trimmed the edges and stapled them together to make it a bit more V shaped like the character is.

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I’m missing process pictures here but it’s more of the same. Mix the paste, dip the strips cover everything that you can, let dry and repeat as much as you want. I only did two layers because the kids doing the bashing were small and I didn’t want it to be too tough.  Also, I used a heat gun on the torso to dry it faster.  It seemed to work just fine, no cracking or fires or anything.

This is after the second layer on the torso and adding the arms.  Here is where the paper towel rolls came in handy.   I taped them to the “arm pit” area and bent them in what looked like the right spot and stapled them to keep the shape.


I added some length to the end by opening a toilet paper roll and sliding it over the other one. Tape it up with masking tape and carefully cover both parts in mache.

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Once it was all dry I put the head back on and glued and taped and did whatever I had to to keep it in place.  I pulled his stuffing out and put the candy/toys in and stapled the bottom thoroughly. I added some mache over the staples to make it as sturdy as possible.  After it dried  it was ready for painting and decoration.

I just used acrylic paints for the blue torso and green face.  The arms were wrapped in black tissue paper to give them some dimension and hot glued at the backs of the arms. The “beard” parts on the side of the face were done with tissue paper as well.  Markers took care of the small details on the head. Some cleaning gloves scotch taped to the arms for hands.

He looked a little unfinished after that was done so I dug through my fabric stash and found the perfect purple satin remnant and made him a cape.  Every super villain needs a cape!  Sewed the sides and left the bottom raw, hot glued it to his back and he was ready for some Power Puff Partying!


It was more fun making this than I thought it would be.  There was something oddly soothing about the feel of the wheat paste and molding it with my hands…hmmm…maybe pottery should be next on my Crafts to Conquer list…

Till next time!