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1  COOKING / Dessert / Snake Birthday Cake (slightly img heavy) on: March 13, 2008 05:41:52 AM
I made this cake for my sons's first birthday...in December (I'm a little tardy on uploading the pics).  My mom always made super-awesome cakes for me and my siblings, and I wanted to continue the "tradition" for my little guy.  Here's my first shot at it.

I made two chocolate pound cakes in bundt pans, cut them in half, and arranged them to make a snake shape.  I then coated it with TONS of buttercream frosting (I made a double batch) to even out the parts that fell off and such.  Then I cut out circles from green and white fondants with a shot glass.  The green fondant took forever to get to the right colour, and about a quarter of a jar of paste food colouring...for the longest time it looked like a big wad of chewed gum.  ...Anyway, I painted the white circles with luster dust (mixed with strawberry vodka, which definitely gave them an interesting taste); same with the stripes on the tail.  The eyes and tongue are also fondant.

And that's pretty much it.  Pictures!!



Cross-section


Enjoyment



**Inspired by this cake here:  http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com/birthday-cake-decorating-idea.html#c11
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Snow Sculptures (image bulky) on: March 07, 2008 03:03:58 PM
Every year, the city where I live holds a Winter Festival.  These snow sculptures are created for the last weekend of the festival, right next to the King Trapper stage, where we go every year to watch my boyfriend's father compete. 

Anyhow, the sculptures this year were the best ones I've seen so far, so I had to share them.

I didn't make these, I don't know how they're made, and I don't know who made them (or even if it was more than one person).  All I know is that they're awesome.  And that I got frostbite on my hand while taking the pictures.

Teepee

The teepee is actually hollow, kids can walk right inside it.

Tortoise carrying Elder and Eagle


Front

Back

Detail of feathers


Nesting eagle

Back


Dolphins


Flying eagle


Brave on horse with buffalo


Linked hands


There was also a castle, but that one's pretty popular with the kids; they climb all over it, so it was pretty trashed by the time I got there.

Funny, I never realized until I posted these that there's a bear standing on the Elder's right shoulder.
3  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / 3 1/2 Months Later.... on: February 19, 2008 01:25:23 PM
...and I'm finally getting around to posting Halloween pictures. 

For my baby boy's first Halloween, I decided to dress us (me, BF, baby) as a witch, a wizard, and a post owl (a la Harry Potter). 

I found a 90s-ish bridesmaid dress at the Salvation Army and just took off the butt-bow.  I made capes for myself and BF from velveteen, and picked up a wig and a hat at Value Village.

For the baby's costume, I made a white bunnyhug, then covered it in feather boas.  I used the biggest googly eyes I could find with felt behind them to make them look more oval.  The beak and 'ears' are also made of felt.  I tied a little paper scroll to his pants to look like he was carrying mail for me, but it fell off before pictures and he was a little tired of being surrounded by feathers, so I didn't get a shot of it.


Me


BF (he doesn't usually look that scary, although that is his real hair)


Baby
4  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Homemade Pizza--Completely from Scratch on: February 19, 2008 01:15:06 PM
Reading the paper one day, I came across this recipe for pizza dough.  These pics are of pepperoni-salami-mushroom and pepperoni-salami-tomato.  I've also made one with alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, and spinach.  I'm really liking experimenting with different toppings, and it costs way less than ordering something fancy from Panago  Wink

Pre-oven


Post-oven


1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place the water, yeast, sugar, and olive oil in a medium bowl and stir to combine.  Place the flour and salt in a large bowl.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until the dough loosely clumps together.  Transfer the dough, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary, to a lightly floured surface and knead 6 to 8 minutes.

Place the dough in a deep, lightly oiled bowl, cover and place in a warm, draft-free place.  Let the dough rise and double in size, about 60 minutes.  Punch the dough down and cut into 2 pieces.  Place each piece of dough in a very lightly oiled 12-inch round pizza pan.  Press and carefully spread out the dough until it reaches the very outer edges of the pan.  Sauce and top as desired and bake at 450F for 12-15 minutes or until the pizza is puffed and the crust is golden on the bottom.
5  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Hand Towels on: February 19, 2008 05:23:55 AM
So, I recently moved and as I was putting away all my hand towels (first time they were all in one place) I realized that I have waaaaaay too many.  Way too many.  So I thought I'd come on here and ask all you crafty people what the heck to do with them.

They're approximately 18 x 15 inches.  They're all old 'hand-me-downs' from my mom that I got when I moved out.  None of them really match each other; they range in colour from black to red to white (quite a few white) to flowered, etc.  Also there are a few different textures--some are so old they're really nice and soft, while others are a little newer and nubbier (??).

If all else fails, I can always rip 'em up and use them as stuffing for dog beds, but I thought I'd see if more creative minds had better ideas...any thoughts would be appreciated.

TIA!
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Shoe Shelves on: October 19, 2007 06:00:17 PM
Hope this goes here...

I found this shoe shelf idea on Not Martha (http://www.notmartha.org/archives/2007/06/12/my-new-shoe-rack/) and knew it would be perfect for our cramped entrance.

Before:


During:  (My BF did most of the work)


After:
7  COOKING / Dessert / Yet another rainbow cheesecake on: October 19, 2007 05:53:21 PM
Well, it looks really cool, but I honestly wasn't too impressed with the taste of the cheesecake part.  Maybe all the food colouring I put in thinned it out too much?  I think if I do it again, I might try a different recipe and see if that helps.

Anyhoo, here's pics:



Oh, and there are no baked pictures b/c it was in for a bit too long and the entire top is brown...whoops.
8  COOKING / Dessert / Halloween Black Cat Cookies on: October 19, 2007 05:50:10 PM
I don't know where I found the recipe for these, but I make them every year for Halloween.  They're easy, fun, and delicious!

First, the pictures:




Then, the recipe:
1 c. crunchy peanut butter
2 eggs
1/3 c. water
1 package chocolate cake mix
M&Ms or Smarties
Red hots

Beat together p.b., eggs, & water.  Gradually add cake mix.  Mix well.  Form into 1-inch balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten with bottom of glass dipped in sugar. 

Pinch out 2 ears at top of cookies.  Add M&Ms/Smarties for eyes & redhots for nose.  [I cut the smarties in half and stuck the cut part into the cookie for the eyes; since redhots are hard to find when it isn't Valentine's Day, I used a quarter of a Smartie for each nose.]  Press fork into dough to form whiskers.  Use knife to carve out mouth.

Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes.
9  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Nature Pics on: September 24, 2007 02:27:11 PM
My fiance and I took about a billion pictures while on vacation.  These are some of my favourites.











10  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Shirt for a Summer Wedding on: September 11, 2007 07:55:41 PM
My fiance's cousin was married in the middle of July.  Try as we might, we couldn't find a short-sleeved, button-down, casual shirt for our (at the time) 7-month-old son.  No worries though, it was just the excuse I needed to sharpen my sewing skills & use my new machine.

I used Butterick pattern #6030 and some striped poplin.  People were pretty surprised I'd actually made something this good.  Not sure if I should take that as a compliment or not?   Wink

As modeled by the munchkin...


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