Sunday, September 28, 2008

Meet Gaspar, the Day of the Dead Glow-In-The-Dark Skull

In case you haven't noticed, we sunshine cupcakers love pretty much everything associated with Halloween including skulls. Initially, I made myself a cute little skull out of glow-in-the-dark sculpey but wanted to make something more colorful and "over the top." These days, you see skulls just about everywhere, even on your toast,
so, I did a little research about sugar skulls (calaveras de azĂșcar.) Sugar skulls are made in celebration of the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) which takes place the day after Halloween. Visually speaking, they're basically the drag queens or showgirls of the undead (in a word: gaudy or.. amazing).
Unfortunately, I lack both patience and supreme sculpey skills, so Nathan ended up doing most of the details (ok, all of them. I just made the skull itself.) The coolest part is the "bone" of the skull and the teeth glow in the dark! Grab Gaspar in our etsy store.

Sometimes, I'm not very smrt.

I needed a Sunshine Cupcake! text logo on one line for some packaging. So I spent a few hours yesterday writing the text and carving it out. Here is the lovely result:

Sometimes, I'm not very smart.

Then I tested it.

Sometimes, I'm not very smart.

I think I will start creating boxes out of mirrors. Then everything will be just fine.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Our first sale(s)!

This is a big day for us sunshine cupcakers! We made our first and second etsy sales, four items sold in all!

It's a little sad for us as our babies leave the nest, but we know they're going to good homes.

Final Packaging for hand-carved Cake stamps. Also: pie.


Had some fun in packaging land today, and now we've got Happy Cake Stamp, Sad Cake Stamp, Grumpy Cake Stamp and Owl Cake Stamp all packaged up, listed on etsy, and ready to go.

Owl Cake Rubber Stamp Packaging Front Grumpy Cake Rubber Stamp Packaging Front Sad Cake Stamp Packaging Front happy-cake-package_0925_0001sm

I've been playing with embossing powder for a lot of the printing on the header cards. I'm liking it lots. The stuff we originally got was kind of coarse, so today we went out and got some extra fine powder. More on how that turns out later.

Unfortunately, Owl Cake Stamp was too large for the regular poly bags, and so we had to use a larger one that doesn't quite fit into the header card's width, and I had to fold it a bit. I'm going to try to find some better-fitting bags for future stamps of that size (2.5" square). Anyone know where I can get some?

Also, last night I made pie.
Mmm. Pie.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rubber stamp packaging test

Last night I experimented with a possible packaging design for the rubber stamps.

First I needed some new stamp designs.
Sunshine cupcake header stamps Sunshine cupcake header card test
So I took the logo from the banner, printed it out, and transferred it to the stamp with a xylene blending pen. You're supposed to use toner-based printouts, but all we have in the house are inkjets, so I tried it anyway. It worked, but not well. Just enough to put in a faint image that I could carve around (I've also heard you can use a slightly-warm iron to transfer inkjet images, but I wasn't feeling adventurous enough).

Mona also made a SUNSHINE CUPCAKE text tag logo and I transferred and carved that as well. Mini letters are kind of completely evil, but I started using a harder pink rubber stamp material, so it was much easier to get the fine details. I still couldn't rely on the lino-cutters exclusively and had to bust out the xacto here and there.

Next I asked Mona to draw something "fallish" to add to the header, so she drew a happy acorn directly on the stamp rubber with a ballpoint pen and I carved that puppy out.
carving-acorn_080922_02 carving-acorn_080922_03

Then I used some Kiss-Off and a rubber stamp-cleaning pad and that got most of the ballpoint ink off. It also works well for pigment ink and dye ink, though it's not perfect if the ink's been on there too long. I found it to work best when it was applied directly to the cleaning pad without any water. Once water was introduced it got foamy, but didn't seem to clean as well. I tried using Master's Brush Cleaner as well, which works great for dried paint on brushes, but it didn't do much.

Next I tried using some inking markers we found at the craft store that are for coloring your stamps with multiple colors. I used yellow and orange for the cupcake sun logo. It was pretty much a disaster, as you can see. There was hardly any ink transfer to the paper, it dried too quickly. I'd read about people having good results with these so I was disappointed by the actual results. I'll stick with pigment pads.

Next I wanted to get our store website link on the package somehow. Eventually, I'll probably print out a text logo, transfer it to a stamp and carve it out, but for now I tried some alphabet stamps we had. I like the misregistration of it all (pay no mind to the smudge I made. There is no man behind the curtain).

And to top it all off, the finished mock-up, complete with Happy Cake stamp:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Previously on "Sunshine Cupcake!"

It seems like every day there's so much to do and not enough hours in the day. We just got back from a nice weekend at the cabin and now it's back to work.

We're playing a little catch-up here on the blog so I thought I'd give a little "Previously On Sunshine Cupcake!" nibblet.

So far, we've been in Atlanta about three weeks and set up shop in the basement. We're trying to organize storage and workspaces, and we've purchased tons of supplies for carving rubber stamps and lots of Sculpey fun. Mona still works from home for her NYC company, All In The Cards (she's got a bunch of stuff that was just put out in Target's One Spot, check it out).
Mona organizing her items at Target's One Spot Mona checking out her Christmas cards at Target

So until I transfer to school in January, I'm working days exclusively on Sunshine Cupcake. Evenings we sculpt little dudes out of clay, catch up on Heroes, or play some RockBand (our band name is Sunshine Deathcake and my Xbox Live tag is Aliennate).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jumpin' on the Etsy Bandwagon!

We just opened up our own Etsy shop and will soon be adding some cute items for purchasing by you and your friends and loved ones and co-workers.

Our first item is Kevin the polymer clay jack-o-lantern.

Sunshine Cupcake: The Store