Sunday, January 24, 2010

Alice In Wonderland Part I

Alice is back in Wonderland--and so is Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, too. March 5th.

And to celebrate, Coisas da Doris (one of the most charming boutiques in São Paulo) will be turning the shop inside out to set up the tea party and all things Alice. It's going to be like falling down the hole and entering wonderland. Several artists (of every medium imaginable) have been invited to re-create Alice's fantasy and I'll be responsible for the sugar at tea-time.

It has been a week of brainstorming, re-reading the Lewis Carroll classic, and sourcing materials. And since I couldn't find Alice cookie cutters (and saw another blogger mastering metal), I decided to create my own set. This was not an easy task. The challenge started off with a visit to every hardware store in town looking for pre-cut ribbons of pliable sheet metal and attempting to explain in my best construction worker Portuguese (in a country that doesn't have a culture of cut-out cookies nor women in hardware stores) that I (115lbs.) was planning on bending the metal to make cookies.

Naturally I couldn't find anything adequate. So I scratched hardware stores off the list and walked to a very industrial part of town, where they make aluminum tubing and exhausts for above the stove. I got lucky. I think the shop owner/welder felt sorry for me and gave me (for free) a hunk of somewhat pliable metal. And minutes later, he chased me down the street with a 20 liter container of olive oil (from his trash). We both agreed that the giant can seemed more malleable than the scrap piece he had just donated. And so I headed home with both--enough metal for a mega refrigerator magnet collection. Jackpot! I was smiling like Alice's Cheshire cat-- dragging my bounty home (and trailing a path of olive oil behind me).

After prying open and flattening out the oil container, I realized that the greasiness would never go away and I was potentially sliding my fingers into an emergency room visit. So I returned to the sheet metal piece. Although it was somewhat thicker, I was able to score it and cut it (somewhat safely) into strips for bending into the likeness of Alice's crew.

The bending part deserves a whole other post (and a big thank you). Lets just say that my mother-in-law (an artist) is just as crazy for her craft as I am. She also works a mean set of pliers.

So here you have it--my Alice cookie collection--ready for baking and decorating. I'm also pretty excited to return to the metal shop to deliver the owner some cookies and get some more scraps. I had a piece leftover (for a Barney cutter, naturally). But I am dreaming up images by the hour. I am just going to have to continue to be a good daughter-in-law. Because I don't know if I have the strength to touch those pliers again.


  1. Oh happy day Tammy Ann, You never cease to amaze me! Vera and you have truly out done your selves this time. The cut out forms look terrific! I want to come and play too. I can not wait to see the cookies all decorated ready to show case with all your creative touches. and now you've also got me excited for the movie..
    Anything with Johnny Depp in it has my attention, another perfect part for him.
    I'll be watching for the sweets. Love you A. Cindy XOXOXO

  2. My goodness Tammy, your creative talent is never ending. I'm with Aunt Cindy on this one...cannot wait to see the finished, sugary product, and I swear I'm not referring to
    Johnny Depp.
    Love to all & I miss your mom already.

  3. Girls, Johnny is sweeter than any cookie!
    stay tuned for part 2--decorations.
    and thanks to everyone for the kind feedback! i cannot tell you how it keeps me going long after g has FINALLY shut her little eyes.
    big kisses!

  4. Wow, Oh Boy!!!!!!! What beautiful creations you have mastered with Vera.
    I cannot wait to see the goodies!!!!!!!!
    I miss you all!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

  5. Hi Tammy, I did not read this post!!!! great, and thanks for the elogios!!!!