Papier maché is... gooey. It also strips all the moisture from your skin, so my hands are really flaky now, ick... Anyway, here is Mosel and Samuel getting their masks. As you can see, I tried to layer the paper in different ways on these first two attempts, I think Samuel's was the better option.
Of course I left eye-holes and luckily the glue seems to dry pretty fast so the bears weren't trapped for too long (although I turned on an extra little heater and closed the door after finishing).
Once the glue dried, and because the bear's heads are soft and protected by Sarah Wrap, it was easy to remove the masks, which are surprisingly strong.
I then began to trim them with really sharp scissors, opening up the eye holes and shaping the edges. I'll need to do some more gooey maché before finishing the mask with tissue paper.
(Thank you, Tammi, for the expert advice! Much appreciated!)
I thought this would be a good Winter for the bears but they always seem to get bumped, it really makes me question my devotion to making critters... I started these three in December and they are still not finished, although they are finally ready to have their papier maché masks made!
Instead of attaching their heads to their bodies, I've decided to keep them separate (so they can't get damaged by dribbling glue), inserting their neck rods into boxes. This way I can work on the masks better and have them dry in a safe way. Mosel, the completed white bear, is also getting a mask. This way I can use the three best and experiment on one of them. No, they don't like being wrapped in Saran Wrap so maybe this will motivate me to hurry up!
It's so stupid cold that it's impossible to have the windows open for some fresh air and the furnace is running quite often, so baking has made our house smell lovely and the oven helps warm up the main living area.
This is the latest creation, an apple and almond cake, only we used hazelnuts:
And here is the recipe! We didn't peel the apples, there's no need, it all goes nice and soft, and we didn't use any special apples. Also, I layered the dough, ground almonds and apples instead of trying to lift the apples so the dough could run underneath. I was afraid the whole thing would be very loose and fall apart but surprisingly the entire cake is very firm and you can cut and serve cleanly. And it is delicious! Not too sweet, it's a lovely breakfast cake especially when you serve it warm and aromatic... yummmmm.
This recipe is from an October 2008 issue of "Homemakers". Thank you, Sally, for passing it along!
As far as Spring goes, all we can do is dream. Here, in SOUTHERN Ontario it's still so friggin cold and we're still buried in snow that Spring seems very, very far away. This is what it looks like when I walk with my Willow on the sidewalks:
Yes, folks, she had tunnel vision and is not impressed.
However, in our garage I discovered some forgotten bulbs that have decided it is Spring, darn it all... obviously they haven't looked out the window. So I have my first glimpse of Spring in a world of white... I'm going to put these mystery bulbs in some dirt tomorrow and bring them inside where they can tell me more about the season to come.