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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / The Pinata Project (photo heavy) on: April 06, 2010 09:19:48 AM

Last summer our neighborhood held a block party and I wanted to make something a little different than, say, a potato salad.

I came to the conclusion that nothing says 'party' like a pinata, right?! And what's better than a pinata? MULTIPLE pinatas, of course! It seemed like such a good idea at the time ... The fact of the matter was, I hadn't made a pinata since, oh, third grade. In the Seventies. Fortunately, pinata making is like riding a bike, and by god, it was time to hop back on.

I decided I'd make a pinata for little kids, teens and 'tweens and then one for adults - because why should kids get to have all the fun?!

My elementary aged kids are heavily into Kirby, so I decided to make him/her/it. It was a good call. Making a Kirby pinata is E-Z! I used one of those inflatable round punching balls as Kirby's body, taped on cardboard arms, fashioned a hammer (Kirby had to have a way to fight back, right?), and taped on tiny, barely inflated water balloons for the feet.

Kirby got the mummy treatment - multiple layers of drippy hand-torn newspaper strips dipped in a mixture of flour, water and Elmer's glue. Once two layers were complete and dry, I cut a hole in Kirby and stuffed it with dollar store treasures (bouncy balls, puzzles, art supplies, little pretties and candy, of course. Then I patched Kirby up, base coated and painted him (that's the fun part!) .
Next up, the teens and 'tweens model. Knowing the neighborhood is boy heavy, I suspected they'd get kind of a kick out of bashing Hello Kitty's head in. Turns out I was right. ... The HK pinata was not so EZ. That big head makes her super top heavy, and the bow kinda gave me fits. ...

I stuffed her with things I figured teens would dig on - Pop Rocks, energy shots and small explosives (don't worry, just party poppers and such)
Last but not least, for the adults I settled on the Heat Miser (oh how I heart those Rankin-Bass classics). At the time, we were in the middle of a heatwave and I literally wanted to beat the heat. Mr. Heat Miser was a challenge. Building the body wasn't so bad, but painting him off and settling on how to do his hair was a bear.

I filled him with adult stuff, like airline sized bottles of alcohol, herbal tea and sample packs of pain killers. Smiley
I was sooooo glad when I finished the trio - and they were a hit with the neighbors. (Get it? A HIT!!)
One neighbor liked the pinatas so much, he asked me to make one for him. With a "Boogie Nights" theme. That was interesting ...
2  COOKING / Dessert / Fun with Fondant: Super Mario Galaxy cake (foto fat) on: April 22, 2009 04:31:06 PM
I asked my soon-to-be 6-yr-old what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday. Without hesitation he replied, "Bowser versus Mario in the Melty Molten Galaxy," one of his favorite challenges in Super Mario Galaxy on Wii.

Hmm. Pretty sure I wasn't going to find that in the bakery department at the local grocery store. Undecided



So, armed with a couple of screen shots from the game, I made a mountain of marshmallow fondant, a few cake layers and three batches of Rice Krispies treats. First, I assembled the platforms from the cake rounds and Krispies and then covered them in a checkerboard fondant pattern.



Next, I constructed the 'castles' (from ice cream cones, natch),covered 'em in gray fondant and used black icing gel to paint some detail. The last-and-hardest step was molding the characters: Bowser, Mario, Princess Peach, Bowser Jr., - all fondant over RKTreat bodies. Plus, I formed a few fondant mushrooms.



I worked into the wee hours of his birthday morning, forming, cutting and occasionally cursing.  Shocked I was feeling OK enough with it - until my birthday boy got up, inspected it and rattled off a list of change orders, including a request for lots of lava (which I made by marbling red and orange fondant). 

It certainly wasn't a 100-percent authentic repro of the game - I had to take a fair bit of artistic license to make it doable for me. However, the kids in my son's kindergarten class gave the cake thumbs up - they were tripping out that it was entirely edible, Bowser and all.



I sure am glad birthdays are only once a year!  Smiley



BTW: I've been luring 'round the Craftser Galaxy for awhile; this is my first project post.
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