Monday, September 30, 2013

[Ornaments] Christmas in September: Premo Sculpey

Hello friends!
It's the last day of September and Polyform Products presents "September Make It Your Own Christmas Ornaments."

These ornaments were inspired by Ms. Barb Fajardo's Buttons that I learned during the recent Lone Star Retreat.  I used Premo Sculpey as the base and added texture and color to it.
I placed a round bail, added wire in the shape of a 1/2 Christmas tree and if you put them side by side, it forms the shape of a tree... cool?

It is Christmas in our home this early as my loved ones are visiting us for a few weeks.  

As of this writing, we are waiting whether there will be a government shutdown.  I hope it gets postponed even just for a few weeks to allow my folks to visit the museums and NASA.  It would be best if they keep them open for everyone to enjoy the past and the future.  I'm just saying....

Have a wonderful week ya'll!
♥  michelle  

Friday, September 27, 2013

[Challenge] I'm a Winner! Polymer clay faux stone

Do you remember the "Serenity Necklace" that I shared HERE?  Well, it won 3rd place among 16 entries during our guilds' recently concluded retreat challenge "Friends and Faux."  Wooohoo!  I have been doing the happy dance since the weekend.

Premo Sculpey Polymer Clay Faux Larsonite Stone Embroidered Necklace

The left photo is the original piece but I decided to add picot edging which turned out pretty nice.  The cabochons were made using Premo Sculpey polymer clay and alcohol inks.
Someone told me that it looked like Larsonite or Gary Green Jasper.  According to Hetties' website: 

"Larsonite is also known as Gary Green Jasper, or McDermitt Green Jasper. "Wood, algae, other swamp vegetation and mud were covered by volcanic ash between and 11 and 14 million years ago. Water carrying minerals seeped in creating the green colour while it petrified. The colours are from a combination of iron (44,600 PPM), Alluminum (11,000 PPM), Potassium (5,030PPM), Sodium (1,550 PPM), and Calcium (1,020 PPM)."

I was humbled by the recognition that I received from my peers.  This inspired me to practice and be more creative.  It takes a lot of patience and love for the craft or whatever it is that we are doing to come up with something wonderful.

Have a wonderful day!
♥  michelle  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

[Tea Party] Polymer Clay Floral Heart Pendant and Caramel Cupcakes

One Sunday, one of my little friends invited me to her 
Afternoon Tea Party to celebrate her birthday.  
She said "I'm gonna have a tea party and I'm inviting 8 of my friends.. and I'm gonna invite you!"  Awwww... I was happy that she did and I went all out in preparing for it.  LOL. 

Oh, it was fun to be around little friends who have very high-energy.  It was fun hearing their giggles and see their wacky ways. 

She has a beautiful and unique name so I made her a personalized floral heart pendant inspired by RockyBeads.  She is into the color "pink" these days so I made a pink ombre pendant that had her name on the back.
Polymer Clay Floral heart necklace and Caramel Cupcakes
♥  Doesn't the butler on the background look so handsome?  ♥

A "modern" tea party is not complete without cake so I made these caramel cupcakes with pink (naturally) flowers.  The cupcakes were soft and light with the right amount of sweetness.

Happy birthday, my dear little friend!  
I pray that you would grow to be a woman that is 
loved and blessed by God.

Have a wonderful day!
♥  michelle  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

[Challenge with Cabochon] Serenity Statement Necklace: Faux Stone Polymer Clay Pendant

The Studio Sublime

Hello friends and welcome to the reveal date of The Studio Sublime's 
hosted by Ms. Sally Russick.

"Serenity Statement Necklace"
by Michelle EscaƱo-Caballero

"the state of being calm, peaceful, untroubled"
"an oasis of serenity amidst the bustling city"

Serenity Statement Necklace
Faux Stone Polymer Clay
      There is a feeling of peace and calm whenever I do something that is far beyond what my day at the office is.  I like spending time at home and being creative.  This challenge was a long process that took about 3 weeks of my free time to finish.  
I love making cabochons from polymer clay so I made 3 teardrops using the Rocky Path technique that I have shared in this blog a couple of times.  Doesn't it look like stones?

Serenity Statement Necklace
Polymer clay cabochon:   Rocky Path Technique
Faux Stone
The embroidery took about 4 nights to finish and that includes sewing and unsewing the beads. LOL.  I am happy with how it turned out but I think I will add a picot beads on the border... perhaps I will write a post blog article on that.

In the meantime, let's head over to The Studio Sublime and see more beautiful pieces.  

Our Host:  Sally Russick
Alicia Marinache           
Lynn  Jobber           
Jenny Davies-Reazor           
Jen  Judd           
Jo-Ann  Woolverton           
Marde Lowe           
Dawn Doucette           
Mary K McGraw           
Gloria Allen           

Cheri  Reed           
Sonye Stille           
Elizabeth Owens Dwy           
Veralynne   Malone           
Tania Hagen           
Lynsey  Brooks           
Christina Miles           
Holly  Westfall           
Kathy  Lindemer           
Patti Vanderbloemen           

Therese Frank           
Adrienne Berry           
Tanty  Sri Hartanti           
Renetha Stanziano           
Marlene  Cupo           
Sandi Volpe           
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson           

Mischelle Fanucchi           
Tracy  Stillman           
Skylar Bre'z           
Ann Schroeder           
Jess Green           
Susan Kennedy           
Stacie  Florer           
Cathie  Carroll           
Susan F.   
Michelle Caballero  -  You are Here  ☺     
Sabine Dittrich           
Kristina Johansson           
Kimberly Sturrup-Roberts           
Melissa  Meman           
Cheryl McCloud         
Michelle  Timms           
Cindy  Pack           
Ailsa  Cordner           
Cynthia  Machata           
Julia  Harris           
Ingrid  Anderson           

Have a wonderful day!  
♥  michelle  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

[Food] Jollibee has landed in Houston, Texas

Jollibee has landed in Houston, Texas!
Jollibee Houston, Texas
If you were in Houston, Tx today and you passed along Main and Kirby Sts, you must have noticed a new store with a long queue of people and a parking lot full of cars.  Let me introduce you to the latest fastfood chain in Houston: JOLLIBEE.

Photo from Jollibee's Facebook

Here's a brief history of the company as seen in their website

"Jollibee is the largest fast food chain in the Philippines, operating a nationwide network of over 750 stores. A dominant market leader in the Philippines, Jollibee enjoys the lion's share of the local market that is more than all the other multinational brands combined. The company has also embarked on an aggressive international expansion plan in the USA, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei, firmly establishing itself as a growing international QSR player."

"Jollibee was founded by Tony Tan and his family with its humble beginnings as an Ice Cream Parlor which later grew into an emerging global brand. At the heart of its success is a family-oriented approach to personnel management, making Jollibee one of the most admired employers in the region with an Employer of the Year Award from the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines, Best Employer in the Philippines Award from Hewitt Associated and a Top 20 Employer in Asia citation from the Asian Wall Street Journal."
As an immigrant to the USA, it brings me joy to have a place such as Jollibee that reminds me of home.  They serve a variety of juicy burgers - my favorite is the Amazing Aloha, fried chicken - Chickenjoy, Spaghetti, Fiesta noodles (or Palabok) and delicious desserts such as Halo-halo which was featured by Anthony Bourdain in his show, "No Reservations" and Peach Mango Pie.  Yum!

 After much anticipation, they opened their doors today, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at 7am.  We were so excited to be one of the first to be there so we woke up early, arrived at 630AM and waited along with fellow Filipinos and others for the store to open at 7AM.  Oh, it was fun!  It was a thrill to see such an outpouring of support from fellow Filipinos.
Call it crazy but seeing the iconic Jollibee in person made me so happy.  I remember my days as a Pediatrician when my patients would request their parents to go to Jollibee or to bring them Chickenjoy when they were sick.  LOL.  Forget about diet and calories on this very special day!  
If you get the chance to visit their stores in California, NY, Virginia and more, you got to try what they have to offer.  
If you do, please tell me about it.

Disclaimer:  This is the writers' personal blog about Jollibee and is not endorsed or paid for by the company.

Have a wonderful day!

8001 S Main St Houston Texas 77025

Monday, September 9, 2013

[Cooking] Mung Beans Soup / Ginisang Monggo

Let me share with you one of my favorite dishes from the Philippines:  
Mung Beans Soup or "Ginisang Monggo."  

Mung beans or monggo beans
garlic, chopped
onions, chopped
chicken, shrimp or pork (i used chicken)
Moringa oleifera or Malunggay leaves
salt and pepper

Mung beans are a good source of protein.  It is cooked by boiling for several minutes until tender.  Rinse the beans, add water and bring to boil.  I used 1 of beans in 3 cups of water and it took about 15-20 minutes.  Set aside and do NOT drain liquid.
Mung Beans or Monggo Beans
1.  Saute the garlic, onions and tomatoes 
plus a thumb-sized ginger if you're using chicken).
2.  Add the chicken meat, shrimp or pork
3.  Add the mung beans and bring to a boil
4.  Add the moringa leaves

I was given fresh-from-the-garden Moringa Oleifera or Malunggay leaves and tomatoes... yum!  You must have heard of the benefits of Moringa:  rich in nutrients, vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants.  It can be eaten raw - in your salads or shakes.  My husband adds about 1 tablespoon to our morning vegetable shake.  The challenging part is taking the tiny leaves of the stem but it's worth it.  Do it while watching tv or a relaxing movie.
Moringa Oleifera or Malunggay leaves
 5.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Some use fish sauce to season.

Mung Bean Soup with Malunggay leaves
Serve with a cup of warm rice and enjoy!
I especially enjoy eating this when it's cold or raining outside.  It's a comfort food for most of us Filipinos.

♥  michelle   

Sunday, September 8, 2013

[Baking] Caramel Cake with Hydrangea Flower Icing for Grandparent's Sunday

We are celebrating Grandparent's Day today!
Here's a short summary on how it came to be.

As a tribute to them, I made this Caramel Cake decorated with hydrangea flowers.  
Caramel Cake with Hydrangea Icing
Oh, I had a lot of fun making this cake.  I love hydrangeas - they are colorful, delicate and so pretty to look at.  
It was my first time to make them and I think they turned out dainty and beautiful.  

I went to this site to learn how to make them.  Look at how pretty these cupcakes by Glory are.  
Hydrangea Cupcakes by Glory
I'm more into cakes than cupcakes but I would like to do this in my next cupcake project.  

May your week be filled with color and God's abundant blessings!
♥  michelle  

Monday, September 2, 2013

[Baking] Star Wars Cake and Polymer Clay Personalized Topper

We celebrated a dear friends 16th birthday and it was inspired by Star Wars.  I made the green cake which is "Pandan cake."  The cake is made using the extract of Pandan leaves.  It is very common in Asian cuisine, mostly used in desserts.  It is very aromatic and makes desserts tasty.  However, I think it is an acquired taste because I know some Asians are not too fond of it.  I called it "Yoda Pandan Cake."

"Youda Pandan Cake" and "Red Velvet Star Wars Cake"

The personalized cake topper is made from polymer clay.  It incorporates some of our birthday celebrants' things:  longboard, violin, red chucks and her red backpack.  It was my first time to make such and it was challenging.

The blue Star Wars cake was made by Jane&Jill cakes.  The cake was red velvet - delicious!  I added the topper which was pretty cool too because the light saber lit up!

I helped out with the table decorations as well.  I printed out the images from MeckMom and added them to chocolate and white chocolate peanut butter Reese's mini cups.

I love helping out in themed parties.  It's fun brainstorming and making the most of available resources.

♥  michelle  ♥