I don't really make plushie things, and this was my very first one. I was heavily inspired by this post because it seemed like a nice simple way to ease into things (especially for someone with a lack of artistic talent). I did it for round 2 of the pick and choose theme swap, and it went over ten times better than I had expected. One of my partner's themes was Deadliest Catch, and her favorite character was Edgar, so I decided to make here a little stuffed thing of him. Everyone I showed it to thought it was the best thing in the package. I have to admit, I love the little crab, and keep meaning to make myself one.
The best thing about it is the crab and Edgar's hand both have magnets in them, so the crab is removable!
Okay, not all in one post. But I made these for Halloween, and I thought, "You know, this is a simple and delicious way to make cupcakes for every holiday." For Valentine's, just make white cupcakes with red frosting, for Fourth of July make white cupcakes with red and blue, for Easter do pastels, for Christmas do red and green.. this is definitely my plan for simple holiday deliciousness.
Plus I love sharing this frosting recipe because ohmygod it's so frigging good. It's here, just scroll down to the bottom. Even the people I know that don't like frosting eat this stuff like there's no tomorrow.
Oh, and of course, here's the picture of the Halloween cupcakes:
First off: I did not do these! Well, not technically. My mother is a brilliant artist, but getting her to actually do something takes an incredible amount of poking and prodding and bothering, so these wouldn't have happened without me doing all that. The idea for the Rollerbeetle (the second one) was my boyfriend's, and the picture for the first one was mostly thought of by my mom and me, but pretty much all the carving/drawing was done by my mom.
The designs are from a game I play called Guild Wars. Anyway, without further ado, here are the pumpkins!
queenofthieves and I had a Heroes pre-party and decided to stencil some shirts (don't get your hopes up, they actually have nothing to do with heroes). We had never done anything like this before, but we went to Joann's, picked up some supplies, and hurried home to get everything done before Heroes started. Here's a picture of the two shirts on the table:
Yes, we only finished them a couple hours before, so they're not technically dry. That's okay, we put them on anyway! Here's queenofthieves wearing a pirate hat and holding knitting needles (Note the similarity to the shirt. We're very clever.)
And here's one of the two of us. My shirt has the symbol for a Guild Wars Elementalist on it, and I guess pirates hate those guys, so she decided to attack me.
Oh my goodness my partner (abachii) spoiled me rotten. We've been expecting a few packages, so when the usps guy showed up at my door with a box for me, I was super excited. Enough talking, on to the goods!
Here's a shot with everything together. Note the green tissue paper.
I should probably put it last, but this is the super most excitingly awesome thing, and I'm so happy about it that it goes first.
I put it on as soon as it came out of the box. Here is a poorly done action shot with me pulling the shirt out to show off the picture better.
I'm a Chemistry student, so this is pretty much awesome (and totally perfect for me!). I <3 Erlenmeyer flasks. Bonus: If you cover up the mouth of the flask and just look at the triangular bottom part, it looks like a mountain with a snow cap. (Was this intentional, abachii?)
The next thing I discovered was the super cute monster cushion, made with plenty of green fabric of course.
Then there was the silverware, which is decorated with my favoritest pattern of all time (yes, abachii, you got it right! You're the best.) Notice how in the shirt action shot I am wearing a bracelet with this pattern on it. :>
I think it was a brilliant idea, and I'm totally excited to use them. Constantly. Every day for every meal ever.
Finally, there were a few goodies she sent me from Hawaii at the bottom.
Nom nom nom. They will be delicious, and I am excited to try the tea (how did you know I like tea?!).
Thank you so so so so so so so so much abachii! You are a totally awesome swap partner and I love everything. I can only hope that you enjoy my package half as much as I enjoy yours.
Okay, I admit it--I'm having some problems. I'm sort of a novice to crocheting anyway, but this pattern didn't look so bad. I've had to pick the whole thing out twice already because it wasn't coming out right, and I foolishly waited until the last minute to start the project (the baby shower is in a few days). I'm hoping you'll log on and maybe clue me in to what I'm doing wrong. I'm sorry, I didn't mean for you to turn into my personal tutor or anything, I just don't know who to ask.
I'm pretty sure I'm doing the fpdc stitch correct, I think it has something to do with the increases. I can't tell if the instructions want me to fpdc, then do two (or three or four) dc at the very beginning of the round, or if I'm supposed to do it some other way. The hat (as you can see) is a very funny shape.
I'm trying to show the oddness of the seam and the increasing here. I'm not sure how well you can see it, but the edges don't really line up right.
Any help is greatly appreciated, and I'm sorry for dragging you into this mess. I didn't want to plain crochet a hat because I thought it was boring, but I guess I got in over my head. Thank you so much.
Woohoo! I got so many compliments on my last batch of cupcakes that I worked up the courage to try my hand at fondant. I've been stockpiling cutters and glitter and color and all sorts of fun and exciting tools, but I was too afraid to actually make the fondant and use them. I used a box strawberry cake mix and these two frosting recipes: 1. This buttercream frosting with butter instead of shortening. It was the first time I had made buttercream and the first time I can remember eating it, and it was much better than I expected. 2. This marshmallow fondant tutorial. I found that I only needed to use about 3/4 of the two pound bag of confectioner's sugar, and the fondant was very workable.
Without further ado, here are the pictures!
It didn't turn out as smooth and nice as I would have hoped, but I think it's pretty okay for a first try. Here are some things that I want to remember for next time (and that might be helpful to others). If you have any input on the problems I encountered, please let me know!
1. On cake flattening: I flopped the cakes upside down onto a sheet of wax paper after they came out of the oven and put cookie sheets on top to help flatten their puffy tops. It worked pretty well, but there was a bit of puffiness left. The 1/4" thick coating of buttercream helped a little.
2. On frosting: As you can see from the last picture, the slices were not very picturesque when cut because there wasn't too much frosting in the middle. I was trying to cut down on frosting content (because a middle layer of frosting, a layer of buttercream and a layer of fondant seemed like a frosting overload), but I think I will put more frosting in the middle layer next time to make it prettier. To me, fondant is used for occasions where the cake has to be super pretty, and I don't think it wound up so sweet that a little extra frosting in the middle will hurt too much.
3. On glitter: You might not be able to see it in the pictures, but I tried to spread on some white frosting glitter. The marshmallow fondant was extremely easy to work with and I managed to get it on the cake with very few problems. I had one of those fondant smoothers that I used to smooth it out until it looked pretty nice. Then I tried to spread on some of the glitter, and boy did it not work. I used a soft artist's brush (like it recommends on the package), but it left all these streaks of sparkle on the cake. I spent a ridiculously long time trying to spread more and more sparkle on so that it would not be so streaky, but it still looked pretty bad, and the surface of the cake got more and more messed up. I spread it around a little with the fondant smoother and my hand, which helped a little, but by then the surface of the fondant was pretty messed up and the smoothing didn't really help. I figured it was already messed up enough that I would try the other method of glitter application--I poured out a little bit of lemon juice and sprinkled some glitter in. That brushed on pretty okay (though I'm not sure how it would look without the "base coat" of dry glitter I put on). I don't think I'm going to use glitter again, but if I need/really want to, I think I'll put it in a small amount of lemon juice first (about 1 tablespoon should be plenty).
4. On shapes: Toward the end of it I was getting tired of the whole ordeal, so I kind of rushed the stars/ribbon. I would like to figure out how to remove the seams from applying the ribbon (look at the last picture, to the left of where the slice was taken out). I tried rubbing it with a little water, but that didn't seem to do much, and I was too tired to try much else. The stars are slightly misshapen too, but I think that could easily be corrected by being more careful--I just wanted to be done. I think I'll roll the fondant out much thinner for the decorations, maybe 1/8".
5. On time: It took forever, definitely an all-day project. Maybe it gets quicker when you're more used to it, but it took me quite a while. I was getting careless at the end (with the decorations, which is arguably the most important part), and the green fondant shapes didn't come out as nice as I was hoping. I was bored and tired with the whole thing, so I think next time I'll just space it out more. Start the cakes in the morning, make the frosting, let it sit until I really feel like working on it. Maybe space it out over a second day. I definitely recommend cutting shapes and doing the actual decorated when you've taken a long enough break that you're excited about making it look nice.
Gah! I can't believe I typed all that. I need to go collapse somewhere.
So yesterday I was in Emeryville, CA. They have this super cute bakery there--it's called the teacake bakeshop. I was inspired by the super cuteness (but didn't want to spend $4 for a single cupcake), so I baked some cupcakes of my own!
Here are a few that managed to survive long enough to get pictures taken:
They are my second cupcake attempt with the new frosting tips I just got, and the second thing I've baked in my new oven (new to me, old in general: I just moved.) The recipe I found for the frosting is divine--I love cream cheese frosting and this stuff is so fluffy and good. The recipe makes enough to frost two dozen cupcakes and then feed a third world country for a few months. Next time I think I'll make half a batch. Here it is: It's near the bottom of the page.