Painted Sugar Cookies

 I was in a creative mood today and we have a family Easter dinner at my Aunt and Uncle’s tomorrow so I thought it would be fun to try my hand at sugar cookies. Here is a sugar cookie and royal icing recipe that I love… the cookies are yummy and hold their shape while baking {not too hard & not too soft – just perfect with a sweet hint of almond and vanilla} + the royal icing recipe is easy and top-notch!
painted sugar cookies

Sugar Cookie Recipe:
Makes about 2 dozenIngredients:
1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 tsp. Almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt

-Preheat oven to 350F
-Cream butter and sugar together with an electric stand mixer until smooth. Mix for 1 minute.
-Add egg. Mix until combined.
-Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again. 1 min.
-Mix in vanilla bean paste and almond extract.
-Slowly add flour and salt. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to clump around the paddle.
-Roll dough in between two pieces of parchment paper and set on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
-Use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes.
-Bake in the oven on a silpat mat for 10 minutes or until the bottom edge of the cookies are light brown.
-Place cookies on a cooling rack.
-Decorate cookies with royal icing when they reach room temperature.


Believe it or not this was my first time working with royal icing. I was tad intimidated so I watched a few videos on youtube before attempting it. This video was my favorite {he made it so easy}. I used 1/2 tsp. almond extract and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract instead of the 1 tsp. vanilla as listed in his recipe. It turned out fabulous. Really easy. Just add water when you need a “shampoo” consistency for flooding your cookies.

Royal Icing Recipe:
3 cups powdered sugar
2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract

-In a stand mixer combine sifted powdered sugar, cream of tarter, egg whites and both extracts.
-Beat on low until the sugar has liquified and then beat on high for 1 minute. The icing will be thick like toothpaste.
-Add a tablespoon of water and beat for 3 more minutes.
-Mix in food coloring if desired {I just used the white icing}.
-Pour icing into a piping bag and decorate sugar cookies.
-Let icing dry and harden before painting {if you want to use my method}
For Painting
I used Betty Crocker Classic Gel Food Colors {I got mine at Ralph’s} and dabbed a few blobs of each color onto a ceramic plate. I used a watercolor paint brush to paint and mix the colors and a gourmet food writer for fine black details. Easy peasy. Be sure to have a small cup of water for washing your brush out in between colors and a paper towel for blotting the brush.Have Fun!

Springtime in Paris Bridal Shower Watercolor Invitations

 Springtime in Paris Bridal Shower Watercolor Invitations

My Mom and I are throwing my best friend Shannon a Bridal Shower in a few weeks. Shanny and her man Justin are planning on honeymooning in Paris so my Mom and I thought it would be cute to throw Shan a Springtime in Paris Bridal Shower Brunch. We thought it would be fun to paint the invitation with French-esque scenes to make things extra special. As I was searching for some Frenchy inspiration I stumbled upon the Michael’s Springtime in Paris Contest. What a coincidence! So I entered the paintings into the #Springtimeinparis #Contest. Cross your fingers! I hope it wins! 5 glorious days in Paris — cooking, sketching, florist lessons, and a private tour of the Louvre. Awwww swoooooon.  Oui se il vous plait.

Here is a fun little blurb that I sent to Michaels:
I’m in love with France and everything Parisian – the culture, food and art etc. It would be a dream of mine to take my Mother to Paris with me. She has always wanted to travel but has never had the opportunity to do so. I would love to be by her side as she experiences her first overseas adventure (and to Paris of all places); to one of the worlds most exciting and beautiful cities — the crème de la crème for 1st time travel. We are both very creative people and this trip would be absolutely dreamy. I could picture us having the best time exploring the Louvre, admiring art, cooking French cuisine and arraigning gorgeous bouquets. These artistic classes are right up our alley. I would love to take a stroll through Montmartre, buy some crusty bread and cheese from a local fromagerie and some bubbly champagne. We could sit in the park by the Eiffel tower, enjoy our goodies and watch its lights twinkle.  I know that Paris would bring out the best of our creativity and friendship and give us memories that could last a lifetime.

*Any visible addresses are fictitious.

Ok, so it’s a few weeks later and I didn’t win. Bummers…but congrats to all the winners. You guys did a fabulous job! Here is the link if you want to check out their amazing work. 

Diy: Votives

#1 Romantic Painted Votives
Use complimenting colors of a water based paint and muddle them around on the inside of a clear glass votive (be sure to water down the paint thin enough for the light to shine through). Let them dry and place a small candle inside.
These are so beautiful, but I would advise that you only use them outside…most paints are flammable once they’re dry, despite being water based. But they should be safe to put on an outside table for your backyard parties!
 #2 Lavender Love
 Find a narrow glass and cut your lavender stems just below the rim of the glass. Tie with twine. The heat from the candle will help carry the smell of the lavender.
#3 Simple Thyme in Baby Masons
Tie some thyme to a baby mason jar with twine. Simple and sweet

Incredible Pop-Out Painter

Alexa Meade is a 24-year-old artist whose work lies at the intersection of painting, photography, performance, and installation.
Here is a great clip on one of her pieces titled “BLUEPRINT”
Read on after watching the video to learn more about her amazing work!
Alexa uses live models and an assemblage of found objects in her work.  She paints the surface of everything (minus the eyeballs) and collapses the subject, foreground, and background into one continuous plane.
Bio (from alexameade)
Alexa Meade is represented by Irvine Contemporary in Washington, D.C. and her art has been exhibited at Postmasters Gallery in New York City, Pool Gallery in Berlin, and the Saatchi Gallery in London. Her work is in private collections in New York, LA, Berlin, London, Paris, Vienna, Rome, Sao Paolo, and Tokyo. Alexa Meade has been profiled in The Washington Post, The London Telegraph, The Guardian, La Repubblica, El Mundo, CNN, The Today Show, PBS, Al Jazeera English, Nippon Television, Globo TV, Art Daily, NY Arts Magazine, American Contemporary Arts Magazine, and Juxtapoz Magazine.
WAY TO GO ALEXA! You are a phenomenal artist!

All pictures from (Alexa Meade’s Portfolio)