Friday, May 13, 2011

Project bird

I had birds on my mind (does that make me a bird brain?) and a couple of projects I wanted to try out.

  My first endevour was repurposing a dead weeping pussy willow tree to hang bird cookies from.

Not only was this fun, but everything went according to plan.  Next project:  create bird baths out of cookies.  Sounds interesting, right? 

This is my cat Ya Ya sunning himself in the birdbath in the center of my herb garden.  He likes birds too...

Now, back to the cookie project.  The first step was to create a double layer base.  The bottom base was cut with a large scalloped circle that would eventually be iced green to represent grass.  A slightly smaller circle was then made which would sit on top of the grass layer.  In the center of this cookie I cut out a small circle in which I would insert the pedestal component.

After the cookies had baked but before they cooled, I inserted two Stella D'oro Margherite cookies as the pedestal.

It took me no less than six attempts to make the basin.  Clearly I am either persistent, or stupid, or both.  Instead of ditching the project (as was suggested by my children), I grouchily forged on until I had a semi-wonky cookie basin.  The best method I found was to bake a sugar cookie and while it is still warm, flip it onto an upside down tart mold that was well greased.

Much advil was consumed this week.  The next part of the ordeal project, was to cover all pieces (with the exception of the very bottom grass piece) with fondant.  I made my own fondant, and it is messy but very easy.

Melt 8 oz. of mini marshmallows with 2 tbsp. of water.  Add 1 lb. of powdered sugar, mixing as much in with a spoon as you can.  Grease your hands and knead until smooth.  I loved doing this, because it goes from horrific mess to beautiful smooth fondant very quickly.  De-stickify your hands and roll fondant out on a board well dusted with powdered sugar.  I simply cut out pieces to cover all of the cookie pieces, applied it, and used a wooden skewer to make details.  Remember the little tart molds I used earlier?  I pressed one into the basin to make an indentation for the blue water.

Now for putting it all together.  For this I made royal icing cement.  It doesn't taste the greatest, but for a project like this you need serious adhesive.  The recipe I used is from a very old Betty Crocker cookie book.

Beat 2 egg whites with 1/2 tsp. water till stiff.  I used the whisk attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer.  Gradually add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat for 10 minutes.  Gradually add another 1 cup of sugar and beat another 10 minutes.  This is serious cement.  Cover any unused portions with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface to protect it from hardening. 

"Glue" the pedestal to the base and the basin to the pedestal.

Outline and flood the grass cookie with green icing.

After the glueing was done, I made the water for the basin.  Using light blue lollypops from the Dollar Tree, I smashed the candy and melted it in a small saucepan.  I sprayed the inside of a tart mold with cooking spray and spooned the melted blue candy in.  When they harden it is easy to pop them out and it fits nicely into the basin.

Its time to decorate!  I made a green vine climbing up the base and pedestal.  I had some left over dried royal icing flowers from my edible topiaries that I also added.  Glue the whole enchilada onto the green grass cookies and you're done.  Easy right??? (insert nervous, semi-hysterical laugh).

And so after four days, countless trips to the grocery store, and a vow to stop swearing under my breath in the kitchen, it was time to take these babies outside and have some fun.

The gorgeous quilt was made by my great grandmother.

I rolled up vintage white napkins and tied them with yellow ribbon and scotch broom stems from my garden.

Birds and nests to eat - the nest was made of croissants and the bird was tarragon chicken salad with green apple.  Colorful peppers, spinach dip in phyllo shells, strawberries, and lemonade rounded out the menu.

Big hugs to my darling daughter Isabelle for helping with the setup - I couldn't have done it without her!  And now my bird week is over, and my cupcake project is about to begin.


I am linking with
Brambleberry Cottage
Wow Us Wednesday
Show and Tell Wednesday
Outdoor Wednesdays
Get you craft on Tuesday
 A Stroll Through Life

 Embellishing Life Everyday
Me Making Do Skip To My Lou
:Sumo Sweetspot
                      The Girl Creative
                     Making the World Cuter
                      The Tablescaper
                      Sweet as Sugar
Somewhat Simple
I Love Pretty Little Things


  1. What a hugely ambitious project to make those cookies, but wow, what show stoppers! Great job.

  2. Hi Lisa! Wow! Your baked creations are amazing. I'm so glad they turned out so beautifully for you. This is my first visit to your blog, and I've enjoyed browsing and seeing your wonderful creativity. For this week's Pink Saturday, I'd like to introduce you on my blog. Have a great day! Terri

  3. Hi Lisa...

    Ohh my gosh...I am just blown away! Birdbath cookies...incredible and sooo creative! What a talented lady you are! I love how you repurposed your willow...hanging the pretty bird cookies from the branches! And...your table is sooo pretty! Everything sure looks yummy! Thank you for sharing your creative talents with us...this was such a treat!!!

    Warmest wishes,

  4. Lisa I just LOVE your blog. These are absolutely just the neatest thing ever and ever and ever!!! I can not wait to try these so I appreciate so much your tutorial. What a great idea for a tea party. I love being a follower and have added you to my blogroll.

  5. Wow~ What great cookies- how creative! Your table is beautiful~ thanks for sharing at FNF :)

  6. I was here yesterday to take all this in but my Wi-Fi connection kept failing. I came back today & am even MORE impressed with all the work that went into creating this tablescape. Amazing!
    You are tenacious & all your work was worth it. BRAVO!

  7. OMG, what a LOT of work and such an incredible presentation. I love that you didn't let a thing (or many things as the case may be) stand in your way. What an amazing outcome of all of your hard efforts. Just beautiful. I'm sooo happy that you shared your tireless efforts with us at Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  8. Visiting from the Tablescaper Seasonal Sundays. I personally didn't join this week. I need to be more organized. Lisa, this is a fabulous and birdylicious post! At first glance I thought to myself, what pretty candlesticks! Ingenious idea!! I am your newest follower, xo,

  9. that's the fanciest cookie i've ever seen! lol i love it! so creative :) found you over at making the world cuter, come by for a visit sometime :)


  10. Wickedly awesome cookies! Following you from Market Yourself Mondays. Can't wait to see more of your work. Pop on by Wiccan Make Some Too when you can & say "hi".

  11. Wow! You have talent and you are amazing! Your art-skills come out in your baking! Beautiful eatable creations!


  12. Wonderful unique creations! Jennifer

  13. Those cookies are just unreal, and your tablescape is gorgeous. Love the quilt and your treats are sooooooooo yummy looking. Fantastic. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  14. What a creative idea!! Love it.The food looks so yummy:D

  15. OH you are so creative, very nice things you came up with, I really like the cat in the birdbath.

  16. Hats off to you for such a lovely display. I remember when I used to be so gung-ho and do stuff like this-I am so over it now though!!!LOL!

  17. What a great idea...your table looks wonderful! Your cat in the bird bath made me smile :0)

  18. Yummy n Great Idea! Loved the cat @ Birdbath!

  19. How much work for this cookies!!! They looks very yummy. But best is Ya Ya waiting for birds. :) x

  20. What a cute cat in the bird bath waiting with that Cheshire I know what it is up too a snack no less. Awesome cookies! Quilt is loaded with family memories. It is sooooo lovely. See you next week.
    Joyce M

  21. I would not have the patience to do that . I think it is over the top cute and now I want to eat a cookie or cupcake

  22. Hi there, I am calling by today as I am busy catching up with all the blogs I missed reading while I was away, especially other Outdoor Wednesday participants. What an interesting project although I do not think I would have the patience!

  23. Lisa, this really is an adorable bird-themed garden party! And I love the birdbath cookies! Thanks for linking them up to my party. Be sure to stop by tonight to see them featured. ;)

    Have a terrific holiday weekend!

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage