Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day Cards

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day! I was invited to a beautiful Mother's day brunch with in-laws and it was fun. It was some Mother's day that we, two generations of moms and all their sons, could all get together to celebrate.

For MIL, I made this card. Mother's day does not seem to complete without flowers, so I wanted to make a card with lots of flowers and cheerful spring-like tones.

For my mother, though, I ditched the flowers and went for the route 66 theme. Until about a year ago we were living in an area that was related to route 66. My mother, who is a fan of route 66, was so excited to visit us there. During her visit, she helped me get through the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy and the first couple of weeks with the new baby, and held her new grandson for the first time. Lots of precious memories. It was indeed a "sentimental journey".

I love that when you make your own card you can really personalize it. Sometimes words fail to express what I want to say but I can still use other medium to convey my messages.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Koi Fish Cookies for Children's Day

Many of you may be celebrating Cinco de Mayo today, but here at Crafty Mochi's house we're celebrating Children's Day that's held also on May 5th in Japan! As the name suggests, Children's day celebrates children's healthy growth and happiness. Typically koi fish streamers are displayed to celebrate this day, like the ones shown in the wall hanging below. And I made some koi fish cookies too!
I've made these koi fish cookies last year too with only chocolate icing, but this year I decided to make them more colorful. The green icing on the top koi fish uses matcha green tea. Isn't that a beautiful color? 

Little guy can't get enough of these cookies. Last year he was still too small to actually eat cookies (although his eyes were telling me he wanted to eat them. hehe.). What a difference one year can make!

Here's how I made the koi-shaped cookies. It's fairly simple.

Step 1: Make cookie dough following your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Roll out the dough. Cut the excess around the edges and make a rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise and cut also crosswise to make small rectangles. I just eyeballed the size of each rectangle but you can of course measure to make them precise. (I hear bakers tend to be precise. not me lol)
Step 2: Cut off a small triangle from one side of the rectangle piece to make a fish tail. I used my star-shaped cookie cutter to trim off the tail side but you can use a knife too. Don't put away these small triangles just yet (see step 3).
Step 3: Using the triangles cut off from the tail side of the rectangle piece, make a small ball and attach it to the head side of the fish. This will become the fish's eye. I made 2-3 eyes from one triangle piece.
Step 4: Bake according to your recipe's direction. Cool the baked cookies before starting to decorate.

Step 5: Now the decoration time!
Place a drop of your icing onto the center of the eye and write a "W" on the body. Pretty easy!
You can also spread clear or white icing over the fish and decorate with sprinkles too, like the third koi fish on the first photo. I used coloring pens for the second fish. I love the convenience of these pens!