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Jenna and Laura's

June 2006

This was the project that proved that my granddaughters really had learned something from all those previous projects we had worked on together.

When Laura visited this summer, Jenna also spent most of that week with us. Unfortunately, I was practically immobilized with a painful back problem, but thank goodness, they are old enough now not to need that much attention from me, so the two girls entertained each other. Such giggling and whispering and shouting and laughing and watching cartoons and playing computer games and flitting from one thing to another - it was exhausting, but at the same time recuperative, for one in pain.

One day they spotted a little clay roller thingie that I had picked up on a recent trip to Dollar Tree. They came back to my bedroom where I was lying in a red haze of pain, waiting for the Ibuprofen to kick in. "Oh, Nana, can we play with it?" they asked.

"Sure; you know where the clay and stuff is. Just clean up your mess when you finish, okay? And be careful with the tools."

"Right!" they said, and scurried away, laughing happily, to roll out, cut out and play with Sculpey at our craft table in the workroom.

I was a bit unnerved when I ventured out there to see how they were doing one day and saw them using the single edge razor blade from the clay tools box. (That's a makeshift protective pocket I made for it.) They looked up, and noticing my expression, "We are VERY CAREFUL, Nana," Jenna said. "We do not want to LOSE OUR FINGERS!" Laura said. "Okay," I agreed, with a gulp. "Remember that your parents want girls with all their fingers."

They made many cookies, alternating with their other amusements, but it wasn't until the day before Laura had to go home that I felt decent enough to bake their creations for them. We had two large full-size cookie sheets full, eventually.

Now for the real fun part, the decorating.

Possibilities for frostings.

I THINK these may be puff paints. That's what happens when you don't label things; you forget what they are! (I notice a Car looking closely; maybe he knows.)

Sometimes eyeshadows are useful for making things look fresh-baked.

But my old dependable favorite is amber glass paint. Messy, but very satisfactory for that just-baked look if you wipe most of it away. It also can give meats a just roasted look if you DON'T wipe it all away.

Laura is experimenting here with the glass stain and the paints.

This decorative sand from my stash makes perfect cinnamon sugar for sprinkling.

She has decorated her first cookies and is very pleased with herself.

And Jenna decorates hers. I like that fish, but what about the rabbit's ear? "Someone has eaten half already!" she tells me.

The next question was, how to display their baked goods to take home?

I had just received Ann Vanture's latest newsletter and her free project for the month was a picnic box. Aha! I thought; why not do a little adapting and turn it into a bakery box?

Using PaintShopPro, I removed Ann's fruit decoration and typed in each girl's name. Because their cookies were not mini scale, I enlarged the box to an appropriate size to hold them.

Since time was short, I made Laura's box while she finished with her cookies. Here Jenna is working on her box. She is scoring the folding lines with a bone folder and a metal ruler. This tool (originally made from real bone; hence the name) gives a great crease.

Now she cuts out her box, sitting in my chair at my work desk. Notice the blue tray? I pull out the drawer and place a tray or cutting board atop it when I want an extra work space. I tend to need this since all my work spaces fill up far too easily. lol

Back at our craft table, Laura is so happy as she prepares her box. "I want all my cookies to show, Nana." So, we made a false bottom of crumpled paper. Now she is placing another piece of tissue on top and will glue her most special cookies artfully onto that so they will all show nicely. Then she will use the plain little cookies to fill in.

(Well, we had a Car watching the action before; now it looks like some little pink kitty is peeking in.)

I have learned that it is always best to have some kind of enclosed container on hand, both to protect their projects and keep the dust out. When I purchased these photo cubes at Dollar Tree, I figured they would be useful, and sure enough, they are just the right size to hold their baked goods boxes.

To cover the bottom and help add more color to their display, this scrapbook paper is perfect. It ties in nicely with the design of the boxes.

One side slides into the other.

And here are my two self-reliant crafters, just before Laura has to go home to Lubbock. Laura's is in its display cube; Jenna finished her display before she went home that afternoon.

My thanks to Ann Vanture for the perfect box for this project (I adapted it and am displaying it here with her permission). Check out Ann's site: http://www.paperminis.com

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NOTE: They made far more cookies that week than they wanted to use. Since they were varying shapes and sizes made from baked white Sculpey, I just threw them in a box to use in future projects as mini stepping stones and ... who knows?

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