Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chunky Pineapple Business Cards Finished!

As I mentioned a while back, I asked Dingbat Press to design and print a small branding package for Chunky Pineapple a few months ago.  Aren't the business cards and gift tags beautiful?  Click on the caption to read the blogpost about the process from start to finish at The Dingbat's Agenda.
The Dingbat's Agenda

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Baking Inspiration

About five years ago, I was in Chelsea Market in NYC and came across Eleni's, a bakery that makes the most beautifully decorated sugar cookies. 
These cookies are no joke - the details are amazing. 

From then on, I became a little obsessed with baking and decorating sugar cookies.  The three recipes that I started were the sugar cookie, orange & cream cookie, and royal icing recipes from Creative Cookies by Toba Garrett.  The recipes were easy to follow and in my opinion, the slight tang of the orange & cream recipe tastes better with the sweet royal icing.
You also need to find the cookie cutter shapes that you want.  I found a good number of them at Cincinnati Cake and Candy SuppliesCrate and Barrel usually carries some decent holiday shapes and Fancy Flours also has a bunch and has inspiring photos and how-to tutorials.  I found that mini cookie cutters were great for practicing icing technique, because there is a smaller surface to decorate which makes it easier when it comes to working with the frosting and figuring out drying times.  Also, small cookies are also just really cute and you can just pop them in you mouth.
Spring cookie shapes

To add color to your royal icing, be sure to use gel food coloring rather than the watery kind that they sell at the supermarket.  The royal icing is very sensitive to water, so the gel adds intense color without watering down the icing too much.  A little gel color goes a long way.
Gel Food Color Kit

The results?
These were one of the first batches that I decorated.  The photos don't do them justice since my camera skills were not so hot 5 years ago.
More bad photos taken in a dark NYC apartment...I was going for girlie here.
 I liked how the herringbone design came out on these, but the colors were a little dull.
I've posted this photo before.  I baked this sparkly batch of mini scalloped edge cookies with royal icing and sugar sprinkles on top for my wedding favors two years ago.  I was really happy with how these turned out. 

I haven't decorated cookies in a long time.  I got a little burnt out after my sister, sister-in-law and I decorated about 300 mini cookies for my wedding.  Next time I bake a batch, I'll take photos as I go along so I can post a step-by-step.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Today, one of the Etsy treasuries featured a set of plans to build furniture.
PlanCanvas on Etsy
I'm not sure how comfortable that table and stools set would be, but apparently, apart from tools, all you need are 2 4'x8' pieces of plywood to make them. 

These side tables look very unique and modern.  According to the listing description, all you need to build them are one piece of 4' x 8' plywood, a few dowels, a jig saw, and drill. We have the tools, so all we'd need is some nice bamboo or veneer plywood.  Perhaps Mr. CP would like to make them over his Christmas break.  =)
Eames Style Side Tables by PlanCanvas

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Wishlist

I love baking, but making a decent looking pie is tricky for me.  I get so frustrated with the edges.  This Breville Pie Maker from Williams Sonoma looks like it makes perfectly pretty mini pies.  It definitely belongs on the holiday wishlist.  Mini apple pie a la mode anyone?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Etsy Front Page!

I woke up to some orders and a ton of visitors on Chunky Pineapple's Etsy shop today.  Nadene's SFEtsy Winter Wonderland treasury made it to the front page of etsy and we were lucky enough to be featured!
SF Winter Wonderland Treasury
I hope some of you come out to meet me and many of the other wonderful SFEtsy vendors at Urban Bazaar this Saturday!

1371 9th Ave
(between Irving St & Judah St)
San Francisco, CA 94122

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Gift Tags

For my second holiday greeting card design, I created a dark metallic blue and used a pretty cursive script to print Happy Holidays over a silver snowflake.  These festive gift tags are available on the Chunky Pineapple Etsy site in sets of five.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Winter Wonderland Greeting Cards

We have been busy at Chunky Pineapple and have completed printing our Winter Wonderland holiday greeting card. 
The cards have been printed on white matte cardstock and baby blue linen cardstock.  I used light blue ink, silver for the snow and mixed a custom shade for the cardinal red.  The insides of the cards are blank so you have plenty of space to customize your holiday greetings and yearly catchup.

I also have an alternative style of the same theme that I haven't taken photos of yet.  The other design involves a bleed so that the trees don't end on the front of the card and actually "grow" over onto the other side.  I'll have those with me at the SFEtsy Winter Wonderland Holiday Bazaar on December 4.  I hope to see some of you there!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

World Maps

To those who know me, it is no secret that I am geographically challenged.  It's not that I wasn't asked to memorize various maps in junior high, including maps of the U.S. and Europe, but for some reason nothing stuck.  The only reason I could navigate NYC relatively well was because most of Manhattan is on a numbered grid of streets.  Yes, I often get lost in San Francisco.  Mr. CP finds this shortcoming both amusing and frustrating.

I've been saying for years that when I have children...there will be one big world map in their room.  If they ever wonder where a particular country is, they can go look for it right away for reinforcement...and if all else fails, at least they can hopefully learn something through osmosis.  The trick of course will be to find a map that is both educational and attractive enough to keep on the wall for years to come.

This map from the Future Mapping Company features metallic silver seas and beautiful corals and greens...pretty.
These Are Things prints world maps in 4 colorways.  Rust (shown above) is my favorite.  This map has a less detail than the one above, but has a cleaner look.

Using large world maps is a great way to add something to your walls without committing to wallpaper.  Though for those of you who really love maps, the Future Mapping Company and some others can customize a world map into wallpaper for the size of your wall. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Manhattan Tape?

This is awesome!  I NEED it!
WonderlandRoom on Etsy
If you've never been to WonderlandRoom's shop on Etsy, I am going to have to warn you now...don't go right after you've gotten your last's dangerous!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rice to Riches

This past Saturday was my birthday.  To celebrate, my sister had Rice to Riches shipped to me all the way from NYC!
{Photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid}
Rice to Riches makes a variety of flavors of delicious rice pudding.  Their selection changes daily.  They have traditional rice pudding for purists, but they also have seasonal, chocolate and fruit flavors for the more adventurous.  My special delivery contained Gingerbread Joyride.  So good!
{Photo by Robyn Lee}
Rice to Riches is located at:
37 Spring Street
between Mott and Mulberry St in New York City

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Wishlist

These new party dresses are so sparkly and fun!  Perfect for the holidays.
Rebecca Taylor

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dynamo Donut

Mr. CP was craving a donut on Saturday morning, so we walked down the block to Dynamo Donut.
{Photo by Jill Matsuyama}
For those of you who have never been, the selection of donuts is very unique and changes daily.  While I am not a fan of the chocolate ones (Chocolate Spice and Rosemary Chocolate were too dry for me), I really liked the lemon ones that I have tried - Lemon Pistachio and Lemon Szechuan.  The Lemon Pistachio is soft and isn't too sweet or heavy.  The Lemon Szechuan isn't as spicy as the name makes it sound.  In fact it's more of a tart lemon filling donut. 
{Photo by Pemshree Pillai}

We also tried the Maple Glazed Bacon Donut.  It was tasty, but it was very heavy.  I don't think I could eat one on my own, but sharing a bite here and there works for me.  =)
{Photo by Carlos Almendarez}
For those who like coffee with their donut, Dynamo serves Four Barrel.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Wishlist

This week, I want these delicious looking pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  Those hat embellishments are just darling! 
{via WhiskKid}
The recipe and more photos are on WhiskKid.  The recipe uses canned pumpkin, so it's pretty simple.  Yummmm.

It's a Rainy Day

It's a rainy day here in San Francisco...

Felt cloud mobile by leptitpapillon.

Rainy day card by me.

Rain and boots flat note cards by me.
Umbrella by David David via Oh Joy!

Delicate sterling silver studs by JoannaRutter.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

There's been a lot of hype about the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo now that it will be made into a Hollywood movie so when I was trapped at the airport with no reading materials, I did not hesitate to snap up my own copy.  I had no idea what the book was about apart from the fact that it's a thriller and a huge bestseller along with the other two books in Stieg Larsson's trilogy.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Without giving too much away, the book's main character is a disgraced journalist, Michael Blomkvist, who has been hired by a wealthy family to solve a murder/disappearance which occurred 40 years prior.  Somewhere along the way, Blomkvist enlists the help of a genius but troubled hacker investigator who can dig up dirt on just about anyone.  The opening was a bit slow, but the pace picks up after a few chapters.  I finished most of the book on my flights from San Francisco to Tampa, so it's a quick read, but it is graphic and sad.  The main theme of that permeates the book deals with sadism and violence against women.  It's not for everyone...and for that reason, I think I will have to skip the movie. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Custom Wedding Thank You Cards

A few months ago, T, a bride-to-be, approached me with a request to create custom Thank You cards for her wedding.  T had the paper, the font and the colors already chosen, since the thank you cards were meant to match her letterpress invitation and reply card.  The theme of her invitations involved two loving elephants - symbols of loyalty and patience.  We played around with different layouts involving T and E's initials and the elephants, and finally, this is what T choose.

The cards were printed on Crane's lettra paper in ecru with chocolate brown ink.  To get the greeting on the outside of the card and the initials on the inside, the cards required two passes through my gocco.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Off to Tampa

Our dear friends T and E are getting married this weekend in Florida.  I've been busy wrapping up things at work and packing and will have to leave you for a long weekend with this post. 

We'll be hanging out on the beach at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort.  Yay!
The cross country flight might be brutal, but it will be great to catch up with old friends and to see what T has planned for us.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ginger Carrot Cupcakes

I have long been a fan of Chockylit's delicious creations which are beautifully photographed and posted on Cupcake Bakeshop.  This past weekend, my sister-in-law asked if I had a good cupcake recipe, so we made my go-to recipe for Ginger Carrot Cupcake paired with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.  The recipe is pretty easy, especially if you have a food processor.  The recipe below is based on Chockylit's recipe but I use a little less sugar and a little extra vanilla.
Makes 30 cupcakes

1 cup pecans
1 pound carrots
3 large eggs
1/2 cup 1% fat buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup candied ginger (purchased at Trader Joe's)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. toast pecans in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes
2. remove from the oven, let them cool, then chop coursely
3. peel, rinse, then grate carrots coursely
4. in a large bowl, combine carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil,
fresh ginger, and candied ginger
5. in another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
6. fold flour mixture into the carrot mixture
7. fold in pecans
8. scoop out into cupcake pans
9. bake at 350 degree oven for ~20 minutes or unti cake tester comes out clean
10. cool in pan for 15 minutes, cool on wire rack completely

I made these for my wedding and on several other occasions.  They are soooo good!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The CP Business Card!

Earlier this year, I realized that in order to approach gift shops with my cards and to show at craft fairs, I'd need a business card.  Our original Chunky Pineapple logo although very cute, does not lend itself well to gocco printing or letterpress because it cannot easily be reduced to a black and white image.  In my blog travels, I came across a great letterpress company called Dingbat Press and they offer a great little branding package.

As part of the package, Adrienne created three original designs in different styles based on my answers to a series of questions.  I wanted something fun, feminine and modern.  We went through two rounds of proofing and my wonderful girlie girls voted on the designs and helped me come to a final decision.  The proofs are below.  They are not 100% final, but I thought I would give you all a sneak peak.
The package comes with 100 business cards and 50 tags.  I had originally wanted to print in yellow to continue the pineapple theme, but it was just too light for the small font.  I love orange though!
The package also includes a file for a blog banner so there might be some changes here on the blog soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mmmmm....delicious photos

I took a techniques class at Williams-Sonoma this weekend about using slow cookers and pressure cookers to cook tough meats until they are tender.  The class was ok, but I mainly just like perusing the store.  I saw a copy of this book on display and loved the photos. 
Baked Explorations
The book contains recipes for classics such as Banana Cream Pie, Black & White Cookies, Mississippi Mud Pie and pages of beautiful photos.  It will be on my Christmas list for sure.