Monday, May 25, 2015

Pink Ombre Baby Shower Cake

 A friend asked me to make a cake for her daughter's baby shower. I made sure she knew she was dealing with a novice before I agreed. I hate to disappoint someone.
They wanted a pink ombre cake. I decided to do a Strawberry cake with strawberry filling, to make the whole thing pink. Besides it sounded pretty tasty.
The recipe starts with pureed strawberries.

I made two deeper 8" layers and then split them in half so it would be 4 layers. I put strawberry filling in between the layers.

Here is what it looked like before it got it's crumb coat.

My friend, Juanita, helped me make the little banner. She always has a lot of good ideas about how to do things. And I got the little baby figure at ABC Cake decorating. I thought she was pretty cute. This is only the second time, I have done this all over rose technique. I think it turned out really well.

I need to do some practice cakes with some other techniques so I can learn some new stuff. I just don't want to spoil somebody's special cake while I practice. I gave some cake trimmings to my niece and her husband. They said it tasted good. I couldn't taste because I was on my diet.

They also wanted 24 cupcakes. Iwanted them all to  look like flowers. I had some pretty little pink nonparel's I used as decoration. It was two day's work total, but I like the finished product!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Behind the scenes at the Arizona Republic

The local newspaper, The Arizona Republic, is celebrating it's 125th anniversary. Last week, I saw in the paper that they would take a few lucky people on a free behind the scenes tours at their printing plant as part of the celebration. I sent in an email, and was one of those chosen to go! I brought my friend, Penny, along.
The plant is at Deer Valley Road and 19th Avenue. It was state of the art when it was built in the mid 90's and is still pretty close to that. A lot of the printing plants around the country have been modeled on this one.

In the lobby, there is a glass wall and you can see into the main floor. It's pretty cool. Each roll of newsprint weighs a ton. They are moved around by these robot carts. They are pretty cool to watch. When an operating needs some newsprint they signal the robot and it goes and gets a new roll.

The Newsprint is not recycled. They said they found that they had more trouble with the recycled paper.

One of the Robots at work. They all have names on the front.

This is a model of the printing plant. It goes up three stories.

 Newsprint is pulled through at a high rate of speed. They print in color and so the paper goes through each section of color to get it laid down properly.
 There are some people working there. They employ a total of 300 at this plant.
This robot is named Paper Waiter.

When they robots need to be recharged, ,they put themselves into this recharger lane and charge themselves from the power source above.

 In this room, they print the New York Times, Deseret News and other papers that they are contracted to print ant distribute locally. They use different newsprint than the Arizona Republic. That is their stack of newsprint there.
Some of the inserts for the New York Times, printed and ready to be inserted.

This is where they keep their supply of newsprint. They keep 30 to 45 days of newsprint in house and then warehouse another month or so in town. The paper comes from British Columbia by ship and then by rail from LA.

This guy pulls this ton rolls of newsprint down from those tall stacks two at a time. That's two tons. And then loads them into this door to be unwrapped and rolled to where the robots can get them. They try to stay 150 rolls ahead of the robots.

It's hard to see through the reflection in the glass, but this is the tank filled with black ink. It comes in a tanker trunk about once a week.

Papers that have been printed and folded rushing by. There are a couple of guys that look through them to make sure the color is tinted correctly and they are printing squarely on the page.

 This was our tour guide. He has worked for the paper since he was a little boy as a paper boy. He is showing us the proofs. There is one for each color of each page. So if a page is in color, there will be four proofs for that one page.

Our group.

This machine collates all the advertisement inserts and then stuffs them into the folded papers.

 Then they get bundled and banded. The papers that go to the most outlying locations, like Northern Arizona, go out first. Then the ones for single copy sales, and finally the home delivery copies.
 Folded papers whizzing by to be collated with the ads.

Can you see the collated adds going up a conveyer belt right in front of where the man is standing?

Papers on a conveyer belt.

This was what they used to print their proofs on back in the 1920's to 40's. They would lay out the type for a page, run the treadle to print one and then take it to the editor for him to approve. Back before they had computers to look at how it would look.
It was a cool thing to do and I am honored to have been able to go! I love factory tours.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Arizona Museum of Natural History

I had heard of this museum, but had never been before. My friend Joyce wanted to go for her birthday. It was a lot of fun!
Dinosaurs, Minerals, Az history, Mesoamerian history. A little bit of a lot of things.

This used to live where I live

Who knew there where mammoth remains in Chandler!

The actual old mesa jail is there, not a model

Fun outing

Grand Canyon with Friends Spring 2015

I love the Grand Canyon. I love to go anytime. This week I was able to take 2 friends who hadn't been in a long time. It was really fun to be able to share it with them again.
Above are Jane and Aimee, from work, and me. Penny was also on the trip.
We started from the west entrance. Before we made it to the park, we did some shopping on Navajo reservation in Cameron.

We stopped at the gorge of the Little Colorado river. It was amazing in it's own right.

The weather was beautiful and so were the views, for miles and miles.

This sign caused some consternation.

Jewelry for sale

First stop from the western entrance, Desert View and the watch tower.

 It's so beautiful! And fun to watch how the light, shadows and colors change.

Jane and Aimee

Aimee and I.

 Jane and I

 Lunch at the Arizona room
We saw more than a dozen elk!

 Jane wanted to make the acquaintance of the mules. She fed him a cheeto. He did not like it a bit!

Jane and Penny

Jane enjoying a treat