Tag Archives: Nutcracker

Farewell to the Nutcracker

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2013 has just minutes left.  I decided to take the countdown as a challenge to get one more post in this year!
What a year it was for me and our family!  While I’ve shared a lot on instagram and Facebook I havent have a moment to post more than once about what Im spending the majority of my life doing   in December: the nutcracker and cookies.
Id like to wish a farewell to my daughters first year in the New York City Ballet Nutcracker!  She has had a blast and although it was a lot for our family to juggle, as a mother I can sort of compare it to childbirth and say (now that it’s over) it wasnt so bad to go through.
Im glad that Macy had the extra time to develop some great friendships with some really nice girls  and I’m glad that I had the extra time to chat with some really nice parents.
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Of course there were lots of cookie involved.
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I was thrilled to make Nutcracker cookies for so many people and organizations this year.  My original little guy made his way to events at the Ohio Dance Theatre and the San Francisco Ballet, as well as several other of my etsy clients.
I also made a new Nutcracker design for Joffrey Ballet School NYC for the dancers recital gifts.
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But what was most enjoyable was sharing cookies with the children’s cast at NYCB’s Nutcracker.  Macy was super proud to pass them out and when they announced that I had made one for each of the 65 kids the parents applauded me…..I covered my face in astonishment.  The children were so sweet, many of them came up to thank me, its like they really understood how much time each little cookie took me and they appreciated it.  I made a solider, angel and sugarplum fairy with the costumes as close as possible as I could get to the real deal.
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I loved taking snapshots of the life going on under the stage each night (incase you aren’t familiar the children perform about every other day for 6 weeks)  Since there is not wifi or cell service on the Lower Concourse of the David Koch theatre the children entertain themselves in traditional ways, like card games and Jacks.  Yes kids still know how to play Jacks!  They celebrate birthdays, give secret santa gifts and squeeze in homework.  Parents read the newspaper, address their christmas cards and occasionally share a bottle of wine.
I thought a collage was best way to share all of those backstage shots, for my readers and for Macy its sort of a keepsake.  One of the snapshots of Macy made it as our Christmas card, sometimes those are the best!
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I hope all of my other ballet moms had unforgettable holiday performances and I look forward to continuing to share and chat with you all next year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
XOXO, NIKKI
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Filed under Celebrations, Cookies

Nutcracker Gifts for a Ballerina

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Well, it must be a tradition for me to become so busy in October that I can’t post regularly.  It happened last year and again this year.  Its nothing new for me to become entirely occupied with my projects daily, but this year I can’t place the blame on just a Halloween party and our fabulous costumes.   We have been consumed with my my 11-year-old daughter Macy’s ballet life.  Our chic tween, will be a solider in The Nutcracker with New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center this year.  We are so proud and excited for her!   She is a student at School of American Ballet and throughout the year she has amazing opportunities to be invited to perform with NYCB, last May she also performed in Firebird.  Since the last week of September she has attended 2 days of rehearsals a week on top of her 4 days of regular class.  Starting the day after Thanksgiving she will be in performances every other day…24 performances in 6 weeks to be exact!

While my cookie, cake, Halloween and craft to-do posts have piled up,  I really just want to fast forward to current events because the Christmas season happens in a blink and I want to enjoy it and share it!  So lets just talk Nutcracker gifts, shall we?  Since I proudly made Macy’s announcements on social media Ive gotten a few requests for gift ideas to commemorate her experience, as well as other ballet moms asking for ideas for their own ballerinas.  I already had a pinterest board and desktop file full of gift ideas so why not make a post for it?

I looked for gifts that were not only a symbol of the nutcracker suite, but also sings to a ballerina’s heart:  hello gorgeous pointe shoes!  What really fueled the idea for this post was my excitement for a tastemakers tag sale at One Kings Lane featuring vintage and bespoke NYCB items.  Signed point shoes, vintage costumes & play books and beautiful canvas prints.  I hopped on One Kings Lane 5 minutes before the sale started yesterday, I banged on the door at “0 minutes” and I went straight for a colorful tutu print by Wendy Whelan, NYCB principal dancer and photographer.  After I bought it within in 2 minutes of opening, I watched all the signed toe shoes be scooped up with in 5 min and half the entire sale sold in 10 minutes.  My print was limited to a dozen and sold out in 30 minutes.  Im so glad I was on top of that one!! I intended to make a post with one of a kind items from that sale, but there isn’t anything left!  I sill included 2 items for inspiration in your search for a special gift.  See item info and links below.

nutcracker gift guide21. Nutcracker Sugarplum Fairy fine art print 8×10, $35 – Clementseye.etsy.com

2. Marizpan and Candy Cane NYCB Tonner Dolls – collectors items that can be found on ebay

3. Signed Pointe shoes from Tiler Peck, NYCB principal dancer, $150- One Kings Lane, sold out :(  Signed pointe shoes pop up in different places like eBay too, so be on the look out, having a pair that once belong to well known ballerina is a dream for aspiring young dancers.  If you can’t find a signed pair, a custom made embellished pair of pointe shoes are the next best thing – Pointe Creations, (prepare for beauty overload when you click on this link)

4. Nutcracker set of 8 note cards, $19 – Clafoutis For her thank you notes to friends coming to see her perform!

5. This SWEET Clara doll has a disclaimer: you have to make it yourself!  Wee Wonderfuls sells rag doll patterns…but maybe you could request a custom doll, its worth a shot!

6. Tutu Print by Wendy Whelan NYCB principal dancer and photographer, $55 – One Kings Lane, sold out :( again sorry to post an unavailable item, but its TUTU gorgeous to not include.  Use this image as a inspirational springboard for your search of a similar print.  UPDATE:  OKL has renewed quantities of this print, but sale ends 12/15

7. Official NYCB Headshot of Allegra Kent, $15 – eBay  So graceful, so ethereal! I’m thisclose to ordering this for Macy.  Allegra Kent was a NYCB principal dancer joining at age 15 in 1953, she danced for 28 years!

8. Sugarplum Fairy t-shirt, $24 – Covet Dance She’d wear it proudly all year!

9.  Nutcracker Illustration Art, $15 – TheArtfulBumblebee.etsy.com These colorful and playful illustrations come as cards or 8×10 prints

10. Nutcracker cookies, $54 per dozen – By yours truly!  Nikkiikkin.etsy  Im making these puppies like hotcakes this season, fresh, homemade, so delicious and an absolute knockout in detail.  This Romeo has special powers, watch as the little girls squeal with delight, I promise some nearly cried from joy when Macy passed them out to her dance class last year.

11. Jewelry is always a girls best friend.  Ive selected 3 necklaces that will be a special reminder of the hard work and beauty she displayed on stage.  Tutu Style, $38 – SharonTasker.etsy.com, Little Ballerina Ballet Shoes, $24 – SmallBlueThings.etsy.com, Personalized Nutcracker Necklace, $27.50 – BeautifulAsYou.etsy.com

12. It’s a trinket box, it’s a decoration, it’s just really dreamy.  Sugarplum fairy holiday box, $30 – SparkleLovesWhimsey.etsy.com

13. Sugarplum fairy ornament, $24.95 – PetalBelles.etsy.com Macy still loves the idea of fairies and their magical world, this is a nutcracker crossover, so its perfect and there is no reason that it has to be packed away with the Christmas tree.

I hope you enjoyed my list and found something that you think your ballerina would cherish.  I also have a pinterest board with many other ideas, check it out HERE.

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Filed under Celebrations

Nutcracker Cookies

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What happened to November!  Where have I been?  I can not believe that I haven’t made a post in a month, I was getting so good at being regular with my post too.  Well, the good news is I have a ton of material to write about because while my blog was static I was busy.  Mostly, what has been keeping me busy is cookies.  I  have made more cookies in the past 4 weeks than I have made in my whole life!

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Im going to start my cookie presentations off with my most accomplished cookie design and order to date.  200 Nutcracker cookies for Joffrey School of Ballet in NYC!

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Joffrey School of Ballet graciously contacted me for a second time to do cookies for their recital gifts, this time the order doubled and the complexity of the cookie quadrupled!  While there are many characters and designs that can represent ballet and the Nutcracker suite, the Nutcracker himself is the most beloved.  Even thought Joffrey asked for design examples, I knew that they would pick the Nutcracker and I knew that I could not scale back in his detail, every part of him is so important.

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I ordered my cookie cutter from Coppergifts.com, my first order from them and it wont be the last.  Their cutters are top of the line, thick copper hand formed with beautiful craftsmanship on the seam.  As soon as my soldier arrived I put him to work!

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I  broke the tasks up by days in order to cut down on the feeling of being overwhelmed my the large order.  Day one I mixed all the dough and set to chill, day two I baked and day 3, 4, 5 & 6 I decorated in batches of 50.  I guess that seems like a lot of days to work on an order but I can’t work 9-5 like a job, I usually work during nap time and at night so I can concentrate.  I put my husband and daughter (and MIL who was visiting during the tail end of my order) to work tagging and bagging the cookies.  So a big thank you! to them for pitching in.

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While each Nutcracker was the same design they all turned out with faces that my husband and I thought had different personalities and we had a good laugh many times about what type of “person” some of the cookies were.  My favorite was when the eyebrows turned out a bit furrowed and he looked menacing.

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Of course, in my eyes, each cookie had slight flaws.  It would be impossible to make 200 perfect cookies, but overall I was very pleased at my craftsmanship and really proud to have pushed myself and taken on such a detailed design.

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I love to photograph my work, this time I even got an over the phone crash course in how to use manual mode on my camera from my sister Jes at Captured By Jes.  I got some really great shots and didn’t have to take a million pics to end up with one non-blurry picture to post, Thanks Jes!

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Just after finishing my order we attended the Nutcracker at Lincoln center, while I have always liked the nostalgic Nutcracker story, this beloved character now has a special place in my heart.

So what else did I do in November?  Well, I am super excited to share the cookies I donated to a bake sale at Dwell Studio, which the founder Christiane Lemieux personally thanked me and showed them off on their blog.  I also did some cute ballet cookies for my niece’s birthday party.  I still have to show off my daughters Halloween costume, I know its Christmas season but its really good I don’t want to wait a whole year to share!  And I also have the full set of photos from my Halloween dinner party table that was featured on Amy Atlas.  Wow!  So stay tuned, I’ll try really hard to get those posts up soon :)

If you are interested in ordering these Nutcracker cookies, I have a listing up on my etsy shop HERE.  Until December 19th I am available to make and ship out each made to order batch within 3 days of placing your order.  There is still time to gift this wonderful cookie for a party or stocking!

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Filed under Cookies, Holiday, SugarCoated