Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gifts and Giving

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is one week from today?  Already there are adds everywhere about Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.  I'll be honest, the last thing I want to do the day after Thanksgiving is battle the crowds to find a good deal.  I'm much more inclined to participate in Cyber Monday.  It's much more peaceful.  It's easy to locate everything from counter stools to the perfect toy without fighting traffic in the process.

To  kick start the gift giving spirit I decided to make a little gift bag set.  I also have a gift for a lucky winner to start their Christmas shopping with.  First, lets start with the cake!
 I baked the cake in a small loaf pan.  Then I cut two 2" slices for each bag and stacked them.
 Crumb coat these with frosting.  I wanted one bag to be standing and the other to be lying down.
 Knead some modeling chocolate until soft.  Roll it out into a thin sheet.  Measure and cut for the four sides of the bag.  My bags were approximately 3 1/2 inches tall, 3 inches wide, and 2 inches deep.  This photo shows the front of the bag and one side.
 I used a ball tool to mark the crease in the side of the bag and bent it slightly. (I know, this picture if fuzzy.  I'm so sorry.  I didn't know it was this bad until it was too late to take another.)
 This is the really fun part.  Mix up a small amount of silver luster dust and vodka.
 "Ink" a Christmas stamp with the vodka paint.
 Stamp the modeling chocolate with the desired pattern.
 Isn't that cool?
For the lines, I marked with a ruler and hand painted with the vodka paint.
 Attach the chocolate pieces to the cake.  The frosting should be sticky enough to hold it on.
 Gently squeeze the two sides of the bag together.  Continue until you have all four sides.
 Here is the back of the bag.
 For the handle, roll a long, skinny snake of modeling chocolate.  Fold it once and twist it into a rope.
 Gently smash the ends of the rope to the inside of the bag.
 For the white bag I used white modeling chocolate.  I was able to roll out three sides at once which allowed me to easily make a continuous pattern on the bag.  Since this bag was lying down, I only made the front, two sides, and the bottom of the bag.  The lettering on this bag was applied with a stamp and the ribbons were painted by hand.
Add a handle.  I made a single skinny snake for this bag.
At this point the bags look a little naked.  They need some tissue paper.
 Roll out some fondant very thin.  Cut it into a long strip.
 Arrange it in the bag to look full and fluffy.  It is difficult to tell in the picture but I tinted the tissue in the white bag with silver luster dust.
 Here is a close-up of those lovely, silver holly leaves and the "Season's Greetings".
These were so much fun to make.  I think I'm ready to tackle that shopping now.  How about you?  Here's something that may help to get you started.  I'm giving away a $35 dollar gift card* to CSN stores, just in time to take advantage of Cyber Monday sales.  Here are the details:
- To enter, leave a comment below telling me if you are a Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopper, or both, or neither. Make sure fill in the email field for winner notification.  Addresses will not be published.
- Entries will be accepted until Noon, November  22, EST.  Winner will be chosen at random and announced Tuesday, November 23.
-You must be 18 or older to participate and be a resident of the US or Canada.
Good luck everyone!
*The card does not cover shipping costs.
Entries are now closed.  Winner will be announced Tuesday, 23.