showtime: holiday burlesque benefit show, elbo room, december 10, 2013

Super talented performer Red Velvet and me right before my act.

It's Monday and I usually bring you donuts on Mondays, but I thought I'd give you some cheesecake today. I hope you had a wonderful holiday with lots of fun and good cheer! We had a great time, despite passing a killer cold from person to person for the last week. 

These photos are from my performance in early December with Bombshell Betty at Elbo Room here in San Francisco. It's the same act to Vince Guaraldi's Linus and Lucy that I have done in the holiday shows the last two years (here's 2011 and 2012), replete with a sad sparkly Charlie Brown tree and me dressed up as Snoopy at the end. I performed with gusto this night. I was DYING to perform, it had been several months, and I really, really needed a change from my work routine. I have never looked forward to a show as much as this one, just as a way to let it all out and blow off some steam, so it was just wonderful. 

Photo credit: Jeff Lapierre

Out of necessity I made a very skimpy little bottom for my costume (I've outgrown last year's granny panties!) and I let it all hang out. Stretch mark after stretch mark, my belly hanging down over my waistband. I just didn't care. It was awesome. I was the second act in the show and I'm sure there were some surprised people in the audience, but it's SUCH a supportive crowd at Betty's shows, with so much body positivity, that I had nothing to be afraid of. Still so thankful for discovering Betty and her burlesque, three years later!

I have one of these from every single Elbo Room show.

I'm excited to be performing again on January 14th. The theme of that show is "Childhood Memories", and I'll be doing my paper pompom act and a chair dance with two other lovely ladies. If you are interested in tickets, they just went on sale yesterday, and you can find them here. It's going to be so fun.

Have a great Monday!


giveaway winner!

We have a winner! SARAH LINK! YAY! 

There were 19 entrants (15 on the blog and 4 on the corner blog Facebook page) and the random number generator drew number 4, and that was you, Sarah! :)

Sarah, email me your address at sfcornerblog at hotmail dot com and I'll get the pans sent to you. I'll be whipping up an acorn ornament and some fruitcakes and other items for you after Christmas to get in the mail before the end of the year, I promise! I've been so sick this past weekend that everything has ground to a halt for now.

Thank you to everyone who entered! Every bit of support you give me on the 101 Donut Pan Ideas project will help when I start to look for a publisher. I really appreciate your comments and interest!

Have a wonderful holiday! xoxoxo


sixty donuts + a giveaway! CLOSED


I am beyond proud to say I have completed the 60th of my 101 DONUT PAN IDEAS! I was just looking back at all of the donuts and I have to say, I'm so happy with all of them. They were all delicious, inventive and gorgeous. I managed to make two separate donuts inspired by foods made famous on Seinfeld, and I made spot-on donut-shaped Twinkies for goodness sake. Super proud!

It took me a long time to get to this point. I finished the fourth dozen at the end of April! I will be picking up the pace in the new year as I start looking for a publisher in earnest. Who knows if a book will come to fruition, but I have to try, right?

Here are the links to the twelve most recent donut pan ideas:

piñata cakes (boy, those were popular!)

To celebrate making it to sixty, I'm doing another giveaway! Wilton, the company that makes the pans I use, is sending the winner a brand new set of donut pans, and I am going to be sending the winner a little surprise package of handmade items that you may or may not have seen here over the last few months as well.

If you'd like to enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below. I'd love to hear which donut was your favorite out of this last dozen (for the first time, I honestly can't choose a favorite), but that is not required to be entered in the contest. I will randomly select and announce the winner next week, but please leave your comment by 5:00 p.m. Sunday, December 22nd. If for some reason you have trouble commenting here (I hope not, but some people tell me they do), you could try leaving a comment on the corner blog Facebook page instead and you will be entered.

Here's the fine print from Wilton:

Contest is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States of America, Washington, D.C.(excluding US territories and possessions) or Canada (excluding Quebec), who are eighteen (18) years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law.

And here are links to the previous four dozen donuts:

Thanks so much for playing along with me on this! Anytime I hear from someone about these it feels really good. It's a super-silly pursuit, I realize this, but I take it pretty seriously. I'm obsessed! So, thanks again! xoxoxo


donut pan idea no. 60: boozy fruitcake donuts

I know the word fruitcake turns a lot of people off. It used to turn me off! That's why doling it out in smaller donut-shaped cakes as opposed to a big brick is a kind gesture. But it just so happens that these super-boozy fruitcakes are delicious. I found just the right recipe, messed with it just a little bit, and now these things are headed in some Christmas packages to the East Coast, and to all of our holiday parties, and right into my own mouth. AND, this is donut pan idea no. 60! Five dozen donut pan ideas in the can! So that means another giveaway. That's coming up this week, but for now, boozy fruitcake donuts!

These fruitcakes are moist and flavorful, and perfectly portioned. Click on "read more" below to read more!


round up: before winter

Clockwise from top left:
My mock-vintage bulb reflectors look great on a burlesque costume, too;
ready for the show to start;
the mess that is our kitchen/my workspace.

Teaching in reindeer antlers;
a new take on the acorn cap;
some wonderful students at Handcraft Studio School;
final products.

Napping with Oliver;
Oliver has really dug into drawing;
a wonderful hike along the ridge of Tiburon;
Oliver helping me deliver more acorns to the shop.

 Street mirror;
two peonies ready to be shipped and me utterly demolished;
sangria and popcorn;
the antlers again.

Bare cupboards save for Ricola and astronaut ice cream;
morning walk shadows in the Panhandle (I miss this so much).

Oliver eating a gingerbread house;
his favorite friend;
Stella finishes a 5K, with much walking, but she was very happy.

Coffees from Sunday night all-nighters, which I have just given up.

The kids had a big meltdown one night when we were away for Thanksgiving. Stella said she was so happy I had this new work, but she wanted things to be the way they used to be. Then Oliver got going, really sad and crying, asking for me to play with him more again. Then he started taking advantage of the situation while we were all huddled in a pool of tears, asking for me to never get mad at him for having a tantrum again. Nice try.

It was a touching scene and a major reality check for me. I had been staying up all night two nights a week for a couple of months. I was already wondering if I needed to go to some kind of rehab or something, because when we left for our trip I was so tired I slept ten hours in the car, then all night, then the next day I couldn't get un-groggy. Then the kids told me how they really felt and I realized that all-nighters are not the answer anymore to a big work load. That was fun for a while. But now I'm on a different schedule that has me getting work done and in bed by midnight most nights and that's working for all of us. I was a mess, though. Wow.

We have such a full weekend this weekend. Stella's winter concert tonight, a major all-night crab-fest party tomorrow night and then birthday parties and Oliver's preschool party fit in somewhere, too. I think next year we might do something crazy for Christmastime, like a "no-commitment" Christmas, where we don't go to any dinners, performances or parties. Probably not, but it sounds good right now!

Next week I'll be back with another donut pan project and a giveaway with it. Have a great weekend! 



six christmas donuts

I've been preparing for our show tonight at Elbo Room in San Francisco, making some new costume elements because I might've outgrown my old ones. SO, I am behind on my donuts. I thought I would share these six donut pan ideas from last year that are perfect for Christmastime. I have the ingredients for two more holiday donut projects sitting on the counter right now that I am dying to get to. HOPEFULLY I will get around to them. I wait all year to do the Christmas themed ones!

Some of these happen to be my favorite donuts to make. I made so many batches of donut marshmallows and peppermint bark rings last December that by the end I didn't need to look at my recipe anymore! People really enjoy donut-shaped treats, believe me! Speaking of the peppermint bark rings, I noticed they turned up recently on BARK YEAH!, a crazy long archiving of all things peppermint bark, brought to you by William Sonoma. So, yay!

Here are the six ideas. Merry donut-ing!

These are my number one favorite donut pan idea I've ever come up with. Made from real cacao beans and just a few other ingredients, they are muy authentico, and the donut form is so practical. Set in the bottom of a pan with milk, the hole in the donut stabilizes the whisk so you can froth away.

Send any (short) message you'd like with pasta letters set in these salt dough donuts. Embellish with baker's twine or ribbon, or even cover in greens to make mini-wreaths. Lovely gifts or favors!

I mailed these babies all over the country last year. They are fabulous. I am sure there are not very many peppermint bark recipe variations out there, but feel free to use yours as I'm sure it would taste just as good in donut form!

On my quest to produce 101 donut pan ideas, I try to look at every aspect of the pan in a practical way. Here I used the backside of the pans to print large repetitious circle patterns, which I then turned into wreaths and snowflakes with a little extra potato printing.

These are awesome. You need to work fast while you're piping them into the pans because the marshmallow sets up quickly. But I will tell you, it's rewarding to make your own marshmallows. Truly!

I took my favorite ribbon cookie recipe and adapted it for these wreaths. You can leave them as whole wreaths, or slice them and arrange into pinwheels before baking. This recipe requires the dough to sit in the freezer first, so the pans work great for that. 

Hopefully I'll have a new donut post for you next week. Number 60! FIVE DOZEN! I mark each completed dozen with a donut pan (& goodies) giveaway, so stay tuned!


diy mock-vintage floral bulb reflectors

I am SO excited to share my third project as Carte Fini's featured artist. In October it was giant dahlia headpieces. November was the woodland egg ornaments that launched a thousand ships. And for December, I bring you mock-vintage floral bulb reflectors. They are perfect for your tree or mantle, or just up on a string of lights you might have hanging in your kitchen like I do. They were inspired by an article on vintage reflectors in the most recent issue of Martha Stewart Living. Carte Fini carries about a dozen jewel-toned metallic papers and I have always wanted to use them for something with a vintage feel, so there you go!

Click on the link below for the full DIY tutorial, which is overladen with shiny, colorful photos because I had such a hard time choosing between them all. This is a fairly simple project with great returns, so I hope you give it a try!


holiday class schedule

Hi there! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. We took a lovely little 1,300 mile road trip to see family, proving again that we have the most incredible children in the world when it comes to patience and bladder control. 

We returned home from our trip yesterday and I went right out and grabbed a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Home and Garden section this weekend was themed "Handmade for the Holidays", and I was included in a full-page spread inside entitled "Holiday Classes: 8 Ways to Explore Your Crafty Side". What a thrill to see my name (and papel SF) in the Home and Garden section, along with a photo I had provided of my acorns, and to be in such great company (both friends and women I hope to meet were featured along side of me). I'm sure my mother is wondering why she paid for five years of architecture school at this point. 

Here is the schedule for and links to my three December classes around the Bay Area, in case you didn't read the paper. I would love to have you join if you can. We will make some of my acorns and get started on some pine cones, have a beer or two, do some networking, and you'll walk away with a homemade holiday gift or two. This is a modern day stitch-and-bitch as far as I'm concerned, and you will definitely have some fun!

Makeshift Society (San Francisco)
Thursday, December 5, 2013
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Register here for this class

Handcraft Studio School (Emeryville)
Thursday, December 12, 2013
7:00-9:00 p.m.
Register here for this class

Workshop (San Francisco)
Monday, December 1, 2013
7:30-9:30 p.m.
Register here for this class

I am really excited about these classes, but I think this should be the last time I mention these freaking acorns here! Thank you for letting me be a broken record over the last few months with all of this jazz, it's been a fun little ride. I hope to see you in class! Happy Monday!


small business saturday

Get on out and support your local businesses and artisans tomorrow during Small Business Saturday! I am selling all sorts of my woodland egg ornaments at Rare Device in San Francisco, and I would be surprised if you couldn't get most of your holiday shopping done there in one visit. For all the crazy things happening to San Francisco with the economy and the wealth divide, one thing that is really blossoming is the small business/artisan scene. You can find many great small shops with the work of local artists and craftspeople all over this town now. There is a lot of momentum behind this movement, and so many beautiful things to see.

If you can't get there and you still would like some pretty little egg acorns and such for your tree or home, don't forget I sell them through my papel SF Etsy shop. I consider papel SF a small business, don't you? I'll be shipping again starting Monday, December 2nd, so grab them while they're still in stock!



six donuts for thanksgiving or chanukah (but maybe not thanksgivukah)

I have a basic understanding of what kosher dietary laws are, but with the confluence of Chanukah and Thanksgiving this year I imagine it might be confusing for many to plan a Thanksgiving meal for a Jewish and non-Jewish guest list.

That said, I've picked out six of the most holiday and seasonally appropriate donut recipes I've made so far. I will leave it up to you to decide which can be served where, but they are all fantastic! Happy cooking!

With a little time and very few ingredients, each guest can have their own cranberry jelly ring with their Thanksgiving meal. Garnish with dried or fresh cranberries, a sprig of rosemary or some pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top.

This recipe makes enough challah rings for all eight days of Chanukah. A perfect breakfast for Thanksgiving guest as well. So good with jelly!

These are adorable. Make them with plain or composite butter. Curry and anchovy are my favorites, but maybe a salty sage butter for your Thanksgiving table?

These are so good, and so fun. You can prepare them way ahead of time and throw them in the oven right before serving. A great finger food before your meal.

Did you know you can save 2-4 hours on your matzoh ball soup time by coddling the dough in the donut pans for a few minutes instead of having to wait for them to set up in the refrigerator before cooking in the soup? Brilliant. I've heard talk of replacing the chicken stock for turkey in this recipe for a more Thanksgivukah-tasting soup. Sounds good to me.

We are smack dab in the middle of persimmon season in northern California. This recipe uses the ripest, most jelly-like Hachiya persimmons you can find. These pudding donuts are so delicious. They would be a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving, a total contender against pumpkin pie. I really mean it.

Happy Chanukah or Thanksgiving and/or Thanksgivukah to all of you! 



grocery bag gift tags

While I am not necessarily a thrifty lady, every year I search out the best holiday grocery bag designs to cut up and make gift tags from. Last year's tags were snowy and bright, printed with white and blue ink on kraft paper. This year I happened upon these great holiday bag designs from a little store you might've heard of with the initials "T" and "J.", drawn in their signature 19th century style. Very sweet.

Obviously you can dress the drawings up with glitter or a white paint marker, and use them one sided or fold into little cards. Any way you do it, they are awesome little tags and toppers.  Also obviously, this year is all about "woodland" and acorns for me, so I am extra enthused about these bags. I am never one to rush into the holidays, but I grabbed these now, lest they run out.

I am at the tail end of finishing two big pieces ordered from my first One Kings Lane sale in October and feeling really relieved, and ready for Thanksgiving so I can relax with all eight of Oliver and Stella's cousins from David's side, and all of his brothers and sisters, too. It's going to be crazy, but everyone knows I've been working too hard lately and I don't think I'm going to have to cook a thing!

See you next week, have a great weekend!



what i: my new blue bib

Recently I discovered the work of Cathy Callahan (a.k.a. Cathy of California). Her macraméd and tasseled and hand-dyed jewelry pieces are amazing, so I sought her out this past weekend at the West Coast Craft show here in San Francisco. It was so nice to meet her, she's a doll, and such a supportive person. I came home with this totally gorgeous macramé bib necklace and designs to own one of her awesome tassel bracelets in the very near future. I am no trendsetter, but I am so, SO attracted to anything gray, navy or denim in color right now, and the dye colors Cathy uses makes my brain light up!

Photo by me. I'm starting to wonder if amateur product photography could be in my future.

You can find a list of stockists of her work here, as well as get information on where to find her showing her wares this winter. I'll take one of everything!

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