Invited By Lama Works

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cake Decorating Course 1 ... the final!

The final class in course one was to take all of the work we've put into making roses and make a spray of roses on our cake! I had a slight coloring mishap with my frosting this time. I really wanted raspberry colored roses so I mixed together some red and pink and it just turned into a neon pink color. I tried to fix it by adding some purple to darken it a bit and came up with the color you see below.

Upon mixing up the color, my husband (whom assures me that he loves me unconditionally) said and I quote "Wow, that looks like dog poo after he ate a purple crayon"

What???? I have no idea, I think his dog when he was growing up ate a crayon so he has experience in this area .... I just gave him a very blank stare as we all should. I called it mauve. He insists that mauve isn't even a real color.

Either way, I think the roses turned out a very pretty shade of purple. I had a lot of issues this week with my frosting consistency. It's always either too think or too thin and I just can't seem to get the hang of when it is just right. Some day though right?

So here is the final cake:

We also learned how to add on a shell border and some sweet peas mixed in!

So it definitely gives me something to work with right? Many more cakes to come!

Until the next time ...
The girl behind the lama
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Customer Service?? Really??

I kid you not, I actually had the following conversation this morning. My husband and I accepted on offer on our house yesterday so pending a good inspection and anything else that might come up, we are all set to move down to Quincy September 1st! We are thinking of using U-Haul's U Boxes to move. They move a portable storage unit into your driveway, you load it up, the take it away and store it until you move into your new place, where they will deliver the boxes back for you to unload.

Sounds great! The problem is that Quincy is outside of their service area. So I thought I'd ask about it! I found a great online chat link on their website to talk with a service rep live - cool! No joke, here is the conversation we had:

You asked: We are moving from Evanston, IL to Quincy, IL (a few hours north of St. Louis). We will need to store most of our belongings for a month or two between the close date of one house and the next and would like to use your U Box system. can we do this?

[Katy - customer service rep]: Yes

[Laura]: that's great! How would that work exactly?

[Katy]: check

[Laura]: I guess my actual question is, Quincy is not within the service areas marked, would our belongings be stored in St. Louis and then delivered to us in Quincy when we need it?

[Katy]: Please check the website link for further assistance

[Laura]: that's why I came here to talk with someone for further assistance, the website link didn't help me

[Katy]: We do not handle this type of request

[Laura]: You're customer support, but you don't answer questions?

[Katy]: We provide information

[Laura]: you actually haven't provided me with any information I didn't already have

[Katy]: you need to go to the link provided

[Laura]: I did, it didn't help

[Katy]: go to

[Laura]: I had questions, so I contacted customer support, that's you. Worst customer support ever

And I got mad and left. How helpful was that??

Until the next time...
The girl behind the lama
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cake Decorating Course 1 ... Scary Clowns!

So my mom reminded me today that she still has hardly seen any of my cake decorating class pictures yet. I tried to remind her that I've had a million bud vase orders this month and we're selling the house and there's that bar exam looming over next week so I was a bit busy. She feigned agony over the fact that of course my own mother got pushed aside when I am busy, because all she really wants is to see pictures from class. So Mom ... this one is for you :) (I LOVE YOU!)

The third class in Course 1 was all about building things. We started off learning how to build faces and characters. Adding on eyes, a nose, hair, etc. I can't say that I really enjoyed this at all. I tend to get bored when I have to make frosting in 10 different colors in little bags just to make a little boy or girl on my cake. Way too much work for me.

We also practiced the roses again! I pretty much sucked the first week, but I think it was because my frosting was too thin. That's probably the biggest lesson I've learned in class, that consistency matters ... a lot ... and it's very hard to get it right, but if it isn't .... big problems.

We also had to buy these really scary clown heads for class, because we were going to decorate cupcakes with big clowns made of icing. We learned how to use two colors to get a striped look and how to build up the body, legs and arms. We also practiced the drop flower, which I think you can see in the back of the first picture.

Fun class? I guess. Clowns scare me and I hope I never have to make them again. Fun to learn new things though!

More to come soon to keep Mom happy :)

Until the next time ...
The girl behind the lama

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I did it!!

I would like to officially announce that I've made my goal of a $100 donation to the ACS through the Carry on Campaign! I am currently at $119 thanks to 7 orders this month alone! I also had one order that contributed an extra $25 donation for the cause so to all of you - THANK YOU!!!!!
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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cake Decorating Course 1 ... Flowers!

First things first ... yep ... changed my blog background yet again. There was just something I wasn't quite happy with on the last one, so I thought I'd try this new one out for size.

Now ... on to the main topic - Cake Decorating!

I fear I am horrible at keeping up with things, but I've been taking some Wilton cake decorating classes at my local Michael's Craft Store. It's been quite a bit of work, but a ton of fun! For the first course, you have to come to class every week with not only frosting in thin, medium and thick consistencies all colored and ready to go, but also a fresh cake to decorate.

We spend part of each class watching demonstrations on a technique and then we get to practice it on our practice boards. Then the second half of class we use those techniques to decorate our cake! The first day of class we just learned about how to make frosting and the things we would be learning. The second class is where the action started!

This class we learned a few different techniques. We learned how to do the star and how to pipe, which included outlining shapes and writing. We also started practicing the famous Wilton rose - which I was horrible at!

In the end I took a flower cookie cutter as my outlined shape, filled it in with stars, added some stems and made an attempt at a shell boarder. And yes, I ran out of time to make my stems green, so yellow it is - have a little imagination :)

Finished product!!
Until the next class ...
The girl behind the lama
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Where have you been??

OK, so I have fallen off the Earth a little bit this week, but it's been a busy one!

Monday I spent the evening finishing up an order of bridal shower invitations and making more frosting than one person needs because I had cake decorating class on both Tuesday and Wednesday. That brings us to Thursday already where I had a few more orders to work on!

Crazy that this week I have a double wedding ring quilt to finish (from an order last week), my good friend Melissa's bridal shower invitations, and I had 3 orders of bud vases come in! As it turns out, one decided to go another direction, so I only have 2 orders now, but it's still 150 more bud vases that need to be mailed out by the end of the month, can you believe it??? Oh, and a friend of mine wants me to design her wedding stationary which includes invitations, RSVP cards, reception cards, programs, name cards, thank yous ... the works!

Now on top of that, the bar exam is less than 2 weeks away, so my dear hubby is starting to freak out a little bit. But on the bright side, I feel far less guilty working on stuff for the store when he is studying all day and night.

What else??? Well on Monday we had two families very interested in our house. The first one was stopping by for their 2nd visit to our house. We later found out that they have also come on 2 other occasions just to check out the neighborhood. So we've been on eggshells all week wondering if they are going to make an offer .... today they are coming by for yes, a 3rd showing! I'm having a hard time sitting still because this is the most anyone has been to our house so we're hoping that this turns into an offer today. They have been talking to our neighbors and their daughter has been playing with some of the kids in the area. So cross your fingers!!

So a busy weekend ahead, but I have a bunch of blog posts that I promise to write up this weekend. Lots of cake decorating and new products to the store!

So stop by soon ... keep an eye out for new updates and hopefully good news!!

Until the next time ...
The girl behind the lama
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Monday, July 6, 2009

What gives?

This is a bit of a random post, but I came up with a random question today. Monday was a beautiful day out so I went to work in a pretty aqua skirt with flowers embroidered on it. I made the skirt in my first sewing class - which is not the point, but I'm proud that I produced something I can actually wear (see picture).

As I was walking around at some point I thought "What a pretty shade of blue! It's just great for a skirt.... but why wouldn't pants look right?" Why is it exactly that I can wear an aqua blue embroidered skirt and everyone thinks it's cute, but if I dared to wear the very same material as a pair of pants everyone would look at me like I needed an eye exam? What's the difference? Is it the amount of material?? Is it the shape? The fact that a skirt can flow when you walk?

My co-worker and I got to talking about this - she thought I was flat out bizarre for even wondering why, but got to thinking about it and thought I had a very valid question! We decided that there was an age cut off. A little girl would look adorable in aqua blue embroidered pants with a cute pair of sandals ... We figured that past the age of 6 or 7 it no longer is cute, just odd.

So my question to you is why? What social norms am I breaking if I wear a brightly patterned pair of pants that I'm not breaking if I use that same fabric for a skirt??

It gives you something to think about doesn't it?

Until the next time ...
The girl behind the lama

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A New Look!

So if you haven't already noticed this about me .... I have a really hard time keeping things the same. I like change. I need change. I grow my hair, I cut my hair, I dye it, I curl it ... every few months something new. I knit socks for a month ... I knit mittens for a month ... I make stationary. Something is always changing.

This weekend it was the look of my store! I was getting tired of seeing the same old logo everywhere and I wanted to try to come up with an image that is more of a "brand" than I had before. I spent some time playing around with some clip art in a card program I own and voila! The birth of a new banner! I'm hoping that the little flowers on the side can serve as my brand image on both my tags and my stamps.

I also changed my tag line to "A little something for everyone." My shop is evolving and so should my image along with it right? Over the past few weeks I have toyed with the idea of opening up a second shop so that I could separate my knitting from my stationary, but for the moment I've decided to keep it all together. This collection shows who I am, which I feel is an important part of the shop's image. I like to knit (sometimes), I like to make cards (other days), and I even like to quilt (coming soon!). It also keeps my friends and family from having to remember that there are different websites for different products.

Also new is my blog page! I stumbled across this great website called My One Cute Blog that has all of these great free templates! I may play around with those because they are so much fun, but I wanted something a little more fun, especially with the new banner.

So what do you think? New banner ... love it or hate it? Take the poll on the side bar!

Until the next time ...
The girl behind the lama
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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

To Be a Kid Again

This past weekend I went up to northern Wisconsin to visit my family and help my mom baby-sit my two nieces, ages 6 months and 3 years (see adorable pictures below). I absolutely love these visits! Maybe it's selfish, but there is just something about the pure and innocent love of a child. I love pulling up in the drive way and the 3 year old is playing on her swing set. She looks up, sees the car and her face just lights up like the best thing in the world has just happened to her. She jumps off the swing and runs at me with full force, slightly clumsy, but as hard as she can yelling "Auntie Laura" (or what comes out more as "Auntie Woda!!"). She throws her arms around me in a big hug, gives me kiss, looks at me and says "Where's Uncle Andoo??". She quickly forgets about her missing uncle who is yes, still studying for the Bar exam ... and moves quickly to "Luke??" our Puggle.

I want to know, why it's so hard for adults to be that genuinely excited about life. What happened to all of that excitement? I mean no offense to any of my aunts, but I definitely never have that reaction when I see any of them anymore, but maybe I should! Maybe we all need to be a little more exuberant, let our guard down and show some more emotion! Who cares if you look a little silly? Someone may think that you look like an idiot as a grown adult, exhibiting childlike behavior, but deep down I bet they are wondering what you see in life that is so great, and why they don't see it too.

I'm an odd duck sometimes, I like to march to the beat of my own drum. It's taken me awhile to get there, but I'm there. I remember high school and college and how mean people can be because you like things that are a little different, but I've learned over the years that what's "cool" isn't what you enjoy, but how you enjoy it. Yep, I like to knit ... all the time ..., and I play the flute and think it's cool that I play in the church choir. I don't like to go out and party. My idea of a fun Friday night is either curled up with a book or cuddled in with a movie and a pizza. I don't like to got to big concerts with loud music and people tightly crammed together, but I love a night out to the symphony or to see a musical. I spend my lazy summer Saturdays pulling weeds, and enjoy it. Every year I redesign my garden and flower beds to get them just right. I'm an engineer by design, so yes sketches on graph paper with dimensions are always included.

I get excited beyond belief when I have a new idea about a project. So excited that my husband just rolls his eyes ... he knows what's coming. I'll talk about all my ideas with rapid pace - which only emphasizes my already fast paced Wisconsin dialect - then I'll pull out all the supplies and work with furry until my project is complete. I ignore all outside distractions and conversation and making dinner are just out of the question completely, so fend for yourself. He knows that by now, and I think actually enjoys my zeal for a new project.

So here's what I've learned. Get excited about life! Yep, when I was performing in the Woman's Club benefit show a few months ago, I was relaxing between numbers knitting socks ... in my Cinderella costume. Did people find that odd?? Very odd. Was I a little self conscious about it? Sure. Did I look happy while doing it? Yep. Was I still able to be social and knit at the same time? Absolutely - and I think this took me from being odd to being super talented in their eyes. They actually looked at me and said, "Wow, I could never do that..."

Moral of my story is be who you are. Do what you like to do, be sure of who you are, and never be embarrassed to show some child like excitement for life - the rest of the world is secretly jealous.

Until the next time ...
The girl behind the Lama
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Carry On Campaign

We all have our own reasons for wanting to raise money in the fight against cancer. The Carry On Campaign gives you the opportunity to raise money in the name of someone that holds a special place in your heart. All of our volunteers are given the opportunity to submit a photo of that person (even if it's a photo of themselves!) and a short paragraph explaining why that person has inspired them to support the fight against cancer.
"It's a long way down and there is no way around the mountain before me, so I carry on" (Carry On)

For more information on the Carry On Campaign and to listen to Carry On, go to
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