Friday, April 30, 2010

The whole shebang

I showed you the major cake decor Wednesday. I went to make the rest of the cake last night, as I was worried about drying time (the puppy: not drying out the way I thought she would). Then found out I didn't purchase enough frosting.

Yeah, frosting. You have to layer fondant over frosting to give it a nice base to smooth over. So I ran out of frosting, and did not have the supplies to make more. I decided to go out first thing this morning. I frosted the cake, rolled out the rest of the fondant, cut out my shapes and finished up with this...

All before noon. I feel like a huge success, even though there is definite room for improvement. It would be much more obvious if not for some strategically placed stars. Next time, I'm buying the plastic rolling pin. If I wished I had it making the puppy, I really, really wished I had it when it came time to cover the whole cake today.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I spent my day trying my hand at the marshmallow fondant I have heard is really easy, even for beginners. I have to agree so far, even though I haven't tried to cover the cake with it yet.

My first time ever I made a batch, and colored it something like seven different colors and sculpted that decent looking Littlest Pet Shop dachshund.

I can definitely see room for improvement. I need one of those shiny plastic rolling pins. I really thought my wood one was smooth, but it's pretty obvious that it isn't with all of the little pits on the surface of my fondant. Oh and this thing looks like an alien from the side because I had some issues layering it and rolling it thin enough.

Still though, I'm definitely not disappointed in it as a first try. I think I'll be working with it again.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Current & upcoming freebies

Mother's Day is just around the corner (May 9). Do you know what your mother is getting? I am making something extra awesome for mine and writing a tutorial for it as I go, so stay tuned, I may have the holiday covered for you.

And if you haven't heard already, Shutterfly is offering three free cards in honor of the holiday. Just enter the code CARDS4MOM at checkout and all you pay is tax and shipping. I ordered my three custom photo cards (a different one for each mom/grandma in my life) and spent just over a dollar for something far nicer than you can get in a store.

Friday, April 23, 2010

More party prep

This, along with the pinata is going to be one of the main activities of the still upcoming birthday party. But what is it? It's a Littlest Pet Shop penguin made almost entirely out of adhesive felt (I had to paint the blue parts of the eyes, adhesive felt doesn't come in a huge array of colors). We're going to use it to play a "pin the tail on the donkey" sort of game. Except we're going to try "feeding" it foam cupcakes that the girls decorate themselves and see who can get closest to the mouth.

It should be a bunch of fun. And it should be salvageable as wall art for Victoria's bedroom when the party is over and done with. I increased the size of a penguin from a dollar store Littlest Pet Shop coloring book by 250% and it ended up almost two feet tall. I think that could easily be done at a copy shop, but I went the old fashioned way and drew it out on a grid. I apparently think my money is way more valuable than my time.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Moments: Retro Edition

This is my son exactly one year ago today, covered in stickers from his big sister's birthday card. He nabbed them the second she put them down. Seems he was a stinker even then, but I don't really remember it.

There is another photo from that day with him covered nearly head to toe in homemade macaroni and cheese. I made some for him last week and he cried until I gave up and threw it in the garbage. Three months ago, he would do a little dance and sing, "yummy, yummy stuffing" every time I made it. Last night, he took one look at the stuffing on his plate and declared it, "Too bad," without even taking a bite.

This morning, he was looking at my tiny bag of miniature pom-poms (that I used to make the party hats for the Littlest Pet Shop birthday invitations) and asked if he could have one. I gave him a yellow one and he went over and asked me if he could haul it in his toy semi. "Sure," I said. Just a few seconds later he came up to me and told me, "Yellow one, nose!" I grabbed a Q-tip from the medicine cabinet and fished around up there, while holding his arms down and trying to hold his head at an angle I could see. Eventually it came out.

I knew it would happen some day, but I thought it would happen in kindergarten in the lunch room when some other little boy dared him, "Hey, put this pea up your nose!" I didn't think I needed to be prepared for it now.

Part of the reason I went retro today was to look for some real evidence of what a terror he was a year ago, to get a concrete feeling of "this too shall pass". It all seems so easy now though. I got bedtime kisses, I put him in a crib that he couldn't climb out of versus a toddler bed, he was strapped into a chair at dinner and would put his little hand into anything you sat in front of him. I'm sure at the time he was annoying, but I just don't remember. Which I guess is the point. Will I remember fishing craft supplies out of his nose in a year? Will I remember panicking in the Tractor Supply store as he knocked over a $600 dirt bike trying to climb on it? Will I remember him biting my rear end?

Or will I remember that time in the middle of the night he climbed up into my bed and whispered, "Beep boop, robot love you,"?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

You wouldn't know it, but...

This is so, so messed up. Very different from how it was actually supposed to look. My directional prints are all in the wrong directions, and I accidentally cut the strips to the same size as the sashing, meaning I had to re-size all of my blocks a full half inch smaller than the pattern called for.

For those not in the know, sashing is like a little fabric frame around each block. The blocks in my picture will end up being the red and brown pinwheel shapes.

I actually sewed these triangles together shortly after I took this photo and I am liking the look of it overall. I am not sure how I am going to add the sashing strips I cut though. I think, because my strips are in the wrong direction, it might look pretty stupid to have the sashing run parallel to that. So now I am contemplating a pieced sashing of squares the same width as my strips. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday Moments: Tuesday Edition

Isn't he sweet? Sleeping on his floor just because he wanted to and because I was so desperate to get him down for a nap that I didn't really care at that moment.

I have a lot of those days lately. Two year olds are insane little bi-polar creatures. One minute they're playing by themselves quietly, or sitting nicely in your lap and the next it's an all out battle for your life over the strangest, stupidest things.

This morning, for example, I was making myself some eggs and he asked for a pink one (I guess he now thinks all eggs are Easter eggs). So I cooked an egg for him, and as my back was at the stove he pulled my rolling pin out of some yet unpacked box. I knew it would end badly, but at that moment, I stupidly thought burning the eggs was the worst possible outcome. Sure enough, a minute or so later he came up to me with the rolling pin and hit me on the back with it. I grabbed for it, and once I had it, he flew off of the handle (oh, did you think smacking me with the rolling pin was flying off the handle? Psh...not for my kid). I turned around to put it on a shelf he can't reach and as I was doing so, he grabbed the part of me nearest him and started biting.

Yes, today my two year old hit me with a rolling pin and then bit my ass. With the rolling pin still in my hand I couldn't do anything without risking smacking him upside the head with a heavy wooden object. So I yelled very, very loud.

He was so frightened by my yelling that he curled into a little ball and cried for about five minutes until his breakfast was done. I stood there just marveling at the logic of it all. Mommy yells and she's the most horrible scary person on the planet worth crying in a ball over? From the person who attacked me with a heavy kitchen tool, then sank his teeth into my backside for daring to take it away?

Is he three yet?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Before & After

More party preparations are in the works. For today I bring you the pinata part of the celebration. It was another thing that my step-daughter insisted on for the party. Not just any pinata either, it had to be a parrot or a toucan.

I know there have got to be quite a few of you out there going, "Why in the world are you putting up with these crazy demands?" I don't really have a good answer except to say that in all of the years since the divorce my step-daughter has never let our family throw her party. The chance at finally being able to take a roll in her birthday celebration is a pretty big deal, and we want to treat it like one.

Back to the pinata...only one store in our area even carried a bird, so it was either buy it, or make my own. Obviously, I put that sucker right in my cart!

I decided that it wasn't too bad of a bird. It's head didn't take up half of its body and the eyes didn't take up half of the head, so it was distinctly not a Littlest Pet Shop bird, but I figured with a tiny alteration I could make it look a lot more like one.

I can think of quite a few more alterations that could make this into an even better approximation of a Littlest Pet Shop bird. It really helps quell the crafty tendencies though, when I know it is going to be smashed to bits.

Monday, April 5, 2010

10 cent party invitations

Isn't it always the truth, that even if you can make damn near anything, what your child wants is the licensed character stuff you have to buy? This year it's Littlest Pet Shop toys, and they aren't only on the birthday list, they are to be the theme for the party.

Wouldn't you know that in my fairly large city, the largest party store carried absolutely NONE of the Littlest Pet Shop party supplies? I hate buying party supplies online because once shipping is added it's pretty atrocious, so after I searched a few of the smaller stores for good measure, I sat down to figure out a new way to get this done.

I bring you part one: the invitation.

I turned this...

Into this...

With some scrapbook paper bits and the help of Picnik, I was able to take and edit a photo that can be printed at any drug store for $0.10! Completely within my budget while also completely complying with the insisted on theme!

First I cut scrapbook paper circles, then I glued them to a sturdier card stock circle and cut them in a Pacman shape. I folded the ends together (cutting more off if necessary to get the right size) and glued along the edge to make the cone shape. Then I glued on a miniature pom-pom (a bag with way more than I needed was $0.99 at Hobby Lobby). The cake was a lot more complex, and I'm glad it's blurry in all of the photos because it looks way better that way. HA!

My initial idea was to create a whole little diorama of a Littlest Pet Shop party, but I quickly realized, after one photo, that if I wanted room for text I had to really, really scale back on my plans. So I limited the photos to two characters or one character and the cake. I am very pleased with how they turned out.

I'm offering you the idea for your own cheap party invitations by slapping a little hat on any old toy out of your kid's stash. Or, if you're like me with a Pet Shop obsessed little girl, you can doctor one of mine to fit your situation. Accounts at Picnik are free and the tools to do all of the edits you see here are free too, save the jpeg file to your computer and print them off anywhere, cheap!

Monday Moments

Happy belated Easter to everyone! We mixed the traditional with the completely nontraditional and had a wonderful day. We started the morning out at church, like most people do, we came home and hid eggs for our son, then we went off the rails, packed a picnic lunch of egg salad sandwiches and headed out for a drive through the middle of the woods.

We came across this creek that snaked perfectly around everything. It looked like a whole bunch of S's strung together.

Of course we had to cross this creek sometime. This was the first bridge, the one in the best condition. Yikes! I almost had a heart attack when my husband wanted to stop in the middle of it with our almost 6,000 lb truck and take this photo.

At the end of our trip we came across this old stone foundation. As I climbed down an incredibly steep hill to get this photo, I had the sudden realization that I was probably standing in what used to be someone's basement 100 plus years ago. Maybe not traditional, but I bet we have way more memories of this Easter than we would of a ham dinner.