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1  COOKING / Dessert / First Attempt at Baking and Decorating on: June 21, 2008 08:07:17 PM
I got it into my head that I needed to bake my boyfriend a cake for his birthday (July 6. See post in gift ideas to help me decide what to get him!), but I got demoted to cupcakes, SO I baked a cake for myself. It's a three layer "Funfetti" cake separated by layers of orange flavored icing and covered in ginger flavored icing. I used a butter-based buttercream for the frosting and a shortening-based buttercream icing for the decorations.

http://www.craftster.org/pictures/showphoto.php?photo=145539&ppuser=126817
Here was my first attempt at stacking the cakes. Just a second after I took the picture, the top cake slid off in a terrible icing-y mess. But I soon stuck in four plastic drinking straws and solved the problem. Don't worry, I shaved down the cake to be uniform and wiped off all the excess icing. (And then ate it. Cheesy )

http://www.craftster.org/pictures/showphoto.php?photo=145537&ppuser=126817
The finished product! You can't see the lopsided carving from this side luckily.

http://www.craftster.org/pictures/showphoto.php?photo=145540&ppuser=126817
Close up of the sunflower decoration. I don't know what is going on with the icing separation. I know it's gross looking, but it tasted about as good as buttercream can (I'm not really that into the sugar overload...).

http://www.craftster.org/pictures/showphoto.php?photo=145538&ppuser=126817
The beau and I with our happy cake!

Hope the links worked for pictures. I'd love to hear your questions and comments. Go easy on me, though. It was my very first try at everything. Smiley

2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Another Boyfriend Birthday Gift Brain Block on: June 05, 2008 12:36:52 PM
As my first post, I thought I'd ask you all for some advice. Boyfriend's birthday is coming up on July 6th and I'm completely blanking on what to get him. I'm not sure where we're going to be that weekend or anything, so I need a tangible present will the potential for transportation (i.e. not just a bed full of rose petals and naked me. Tongue )

He'll be turning 23. He's into gaming, guitar, and the other usual guy stuff, but I'm running out of things I can craft. Right now he's on a pretty big Flysis/Air Rivals tear. He's also into the Something Awful forums, computers in general, cooking, Dungeons and Dragons, French, and linguistics. I was hoping I could fashion some sort of International Phonetic Alphabet knitting chart, but it's just too damn complex.

The biggest problem is that I've already bought/made so much for him: memory book, t-shirts, dice bag, magnets, more than enough plushies/knit stuffies, love coupons, Rubik's companion cube from Portal, embroidered boxers, dinners/desserts, etc. He likes cutesy things, but I figure I should get him something useful, not just sentimental. It is -his- day after all. Maybe some sort of elaborate birthday cake? Also, I'm trying to tone down the dork wow factor. This last Valentine's Day was specifically nerd themed.

I'm up for any sort of craft except like major woodworking, soldering, and crocheting. I just don't have the time or patience to teach myself passable crocheting in a month.

Any ideas? 
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