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21  Felt or Fabric? in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions by soakbonus on: September 30, 2008 12:45:44 PM
I want to make a soft ABC book for my son.  I have made him a felt name book that I posted, but I want to do something different for the ABC book.  He loves this Sesame Street book where the characters and other objects come out of pockets.  I want to do something similar with the ABC book.  My question is what material should I use, felt or fabric?  I want it to hold up well while my son takes the objects in and out of the pockets.  I know how to make a book with felt, but I'm not sure how to do it with fabric.  Please help!

Here are some pics of the SS book.

Objects in the pocket.

Objects out of the pocket.

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22  Fondant Daisy Cake (lots o' pics) in Dessert by soakbonus on: August 26, 2008 08:42:06 PM
This was my grand finale cake for my Wilton Fondant and Gumpaste class.  This was my first time putting fondant on a cake.  I included lots of pictures from different angles.

This is two 8 inch round cakes stacked on top of each other and covered with buttercream, then covered with fondant.  I used the Wilton fondant, which I've heard is not the best tasting.  I made the favor box out of a gumpaste/fondant mix.  The drape was not planned, but I had to hide an ugly area of the blue that would not cooperate when I covered it.  The drape and ball border are plain white fondant.  All the daisies are made out of gumpaste, using the tools from the class kit.  I dipped the centers in yellow sugar to look like pollen.

Top view.

Close-up of one of the large daisies and the ball border.

Close-up of favor box.

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23  Bluebonnet Cake in Dessert by soakbonus on: August 04, 2008 08:23:22 PM
I went to my grandparents' lake house this weekend and decided to bring a cake (of course).  I was thinking of trying to put the lake on the cake, but that seemed very complicated and I didn't know if it would survive the 4 hour drive in over 100 degree heat.  So, then I decided to decorate the cake with something that reminds me of the lake, bluebonnets!!  In the spring, they are all over the Texas hill country. 

I made the bluebonnet flowers with royal icing; all the other decoration is buttercream.  The cake was cinnamon.

Some of the bluebonnets.  They're not exactly how a real bluebonnet looks.  They should have a little bit of yellow on top, but my family knew what they were immediately.

Close-up of bluebonnet petals. 

Here's a picture of an actual bluebonnet for reference.  It's the Texas state flower, and it grows wild across a lot of the state.

I'm also including pictures of my grand finale cake for my Wilton Course II. 

These pictures were taken after I had to fix the rope border and basketweave when some of it fell off on the way home.

Top of the cake.  All of the flowers were made with royal icing.  The birds were made with color flow icing.

Close-up of the bird on the side of the cake.

Close-up of the bird on the top of the cake.

Close-up of some of the flowers.  I liked my roses and pansies the most.

Close-up of more flowers.
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24  Jiffy Pupcakes in Dessert by soakbonus on: July 23, 2008 08:18:41 PM
For my sister's birthday, I made her cupcakes that looked like her dog, Jiffy.  I got the idea from the book Hello, Cupcake.  I modified the Westies in the book a bit to look more like Jiffy.  Jiffy is a Jack Russell terrier mix.  The body is a regular sized cupcake and the head is a mini cupcake.  Her nose is made with 1 and 2/3 mini marshmallows.  I cut one to be a little smaller to narrow the nose.  Her ears are one marshmallow cut in half and dipped in pink sugar.  I used white buttercream frosting with a small star tip for the hair.  Then I piped on her nose and black spots with a small round tip and black frosting.  Unfortunately, my 14-month-old pulled down the cake carrier that the cupcakes were in, so some of them were a little rough looking, but the frosting hair they shed added to the authenticity.  Smiley

The best looking pupcake.

Another view. 

The 11 Jiffys I made.

I had extra cupcakes since I used two cake mixes. (I burned the first big cupcakes on the bottom rack.)  So, I wrote Happy Birthday on the extra big ones.

I wrote Melanie!! (my sister's name) on the extra little ones.  You can also see my first two practice Jiffy heads and two cupcakes I put some royal frosting flowers on that I made in my most recent Wilton class.

Finally for comparative purposes, Jiffy the dog, my sister, and my son.
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25  Butterfly Baby Quilt (My First Quilt Ever) in Quilting: Completed Projects by soakbonus on: July 04, 2008 09:43:56 PM
I made this quilt for some friends who just had a baby.  Their nursery is decorated in pink and brown with a bug theme, so when I saw this free pattern at Joann's I knew it would be perfect.


It was a little difficult to blow up the pattern, but luckily my engineer husband could blow it up on their huge printer. 

Front of the quilt.  I decided not to put the spots that are included in the pattern because the other fabrics I had didn't look quite right.

Back of the quilt.  You can see where I machine quilted along the wing segments and body.

Close-up of the fabrics I used.

I had some problems with the corners bunching up.  I clipped the corners, but it didn't seem to help that much.  If anybody has any suggestions for keeping the bunching to a minimum, I would appreciate your help.

Bunching around the bottom of the butterfly.

Bunching around the head.

Overall, I am happy with how it came out.  I hope they like it!

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26  Ants at a Picnic Cake (Pic Heavy) in Dessert by soakbonus on: June 23, 2008 09:28:37 PM
My husband's boss, who previously had gotten me to make his wife's birthday cake, asked me if I would make a cake for their company picnic.  I immediately thought of ants at a picnic and wanted to do it.  I think it turned out pretty awesome.

This is the entire cake.  It was made using three 8"x13" cakes.  One was cinnamon, one was funfetti, and one was strawberry.  The strawberry one was cut in half, and then part of the leftover half was used for the picnic basket.  I covered the whole thing with a crumb coat of frosting and then added the colored frosting so the three cakes would look seamless.

Close-up of picnic basket from the side.  This was the first time I ever tried to do the basketweave technique.  It wasn't too bad once I got the hang of it.  The handle is a piece of black licorice.

Close-up of the first plate.  The plates were made using 5 orange Starbursts.  The corn on the cob is a yellow Starburst scored with lines and emphasized with some yellow food coloring.  The fried chicken (my favorite) was made using a white Airhead, covered with frosting, and then dipped in crushed cornflakes.  The grapes are six grape Skittles with a frosting stem.  The hamburger patty was made with chopped up Snickers pressed together and two Nilla wafers, with green frosting as lettuce and red frosting as ketchup.

Close-up of the second plate.  The hot dog was made using a red Starburst and a Nilla wafer cut in half, with yellow frosting mustard and green frosting relish.  Another hamburger.  The pickle was made using a watermelon Airhead, then poked with holes using a toothpick and covered in green food coloring to make it dark green.  The watermelon was made using a red Starburst and black frosting for seeds and green frosting for the rinds.

Close-up of ants carrying food away.  All of the ants were made using two brown M&Ms and black frosting.  The ant on the left is carrying a cupcake made using a marshmallow covered in cookie crumbs, and then topped with frosting and sprinkles.  The ant on the right is carrying a piece of a hamburger bun (Nilla wafer).

Close-up of caterpillar on tablecloth.  The caterpillar is three green M&Ms with black frosting.  The tablecloth was made using red licorice to form the grid and then alternating red and white buttercream frosting.

Close-up of ant hill.  The ant hill was made using scraps of cinnamon cake I had cut previously to level it with the other two cakes.  It was then covered in frosting and cookie crumbs from Oreos and chocolate graham crackers.

Close-up of flowers and other bugs.  These are flowers I have made several times before, made with mini Oreos and Nilla wafers.  The ladybug and bee are red and yellow M&Ms respectively.  The butterfly's wings were made using chocolate and orange melting wafers.  This technique is in the book Hello, Cupcake.  The face is an orange Skittle (we had eaten all the orange M&Ms).

A 3-D view from the side of the cake.

Another 3-D view because it's cool.

Finally, a picture of the cake at the picnic.  I provided a list of all the candy I used for the different things because my husband said otherwise people would be asking me all day.  If you look closely, you can tell that one of the ants has been smashed into the cake and his frosting legs flew off when a kid's ball came too close.  Smiley
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27  Flower Birthday Cakes in Dessert by soakbonus on: June 23, 2008 08:55:33 PM
I made two flower birthday cakes two weeks ago.  I had only planned to make one (my own), but my husband's boss asked me to make a cake for his wife's birthday.  So, I used mine as a trial run.  I used the same method as I did on my flower cupcakes.  The idea came from Hello, Cupcake.

This is the cake I made for my husband's boss.

Close-up of butterfly.  I made the butterfly using red licorice and orange and pink sprinkles, with an orange M&M for his head and frosting for the body.

Close-up of flowers with ladybug and bee.  M&Ms on Oreos and Nilla Wafers.

Close-up of border, made using a star tip.

My cake, made before the other one, so the flowers aren't quite as good.

Close-up of caterpillar.  I didn't like it quite enough to put it on the other cake.
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28  Re: Felt Name Book for Ethan (pic overload) in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by soakbonus on: June 13, 2008 08:28:41 AM
I just blanket stitched each page together.  The elephant side of E was blanket stitched to the letter side of T, the turtle side of T was blanket stitched to the letter side of H and so on.  Then I made the cover out of a slightly larger piece of felt and blanket stitched the cover to the letter side of E and the narwhal side of N.  I blanket stitched just the cover on the binding so it would look nicer; it doesn't really hold anything together.

Here's another pic of it if that helps.

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29  Felt Name Book for Ethan (pic overload) in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by soakbonus on: June 09, 2008 09:14:02 PM
I just finished this felt name book that I started a few months ago.  I got the inspiration from the several beautiful ones that have been on Craftster.  I intended to be finished by my baby's first birthday, and it's about a month late.  It is made entirely out of felt and sewn together with embroidery thread.  I was just going to use an animal for each letter, but then I wanted to put a train and a turtle in it, so I came up with turtle traveling by train.  Then I had to make all the other animals do stuff using the same letter too.  On to the pics..

Front cover.  Most of the book is sewn together using the blanket stitch.  The letters on the cover are the same color as the letters in the book.


Side view.

E is for elephant eating eggs. 

Close-up of the eggs and fork and knife.

T is for turtle traveling by train.

Close-up of turtle.

H is for hippopotamus hanging in a hammock.

A is for ant acquiring an apple.

Close-up of ant.

N is for narwhal narrating the news.  This is my favorite page.


The inscription reads "For my mess mess" (what I call him).

Made by Mama with a heart.

Action pic from bedtime.

I got most of the images from coloring books and scanned them and adjusted the sizes so they would all be roughly the same size.  This project took a lot of time, but I found that hand sewing can be relaxing.  I can do it while watching TV and not think too much about it. 
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30  Flower Cupcakes for Memorial Day in Dessert by soakbonus on: May 27, 2008 09:14:58 PM
For Memorial Day, our neighborhood association had a picnic.  We were supposed to bring a side dish.  I decided that this would be a perfect reason to make more cake.  Smiley  I took the Wilton course 1 class to learn some things and wanted to take the next course, but there weren't enough people.  The people at my husband's office were enjoying my cake class since I sent the cake I made every week with him to work.  As long as I was going to make cake for Memorial Day, my husband said I should make some for his office too. 

This is how I ended up making 24 cupcakes and 50 mini cupcakes this weekend.

I saw some other people make these on craftster, so I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try it.

Here's all the cupcakes.

Putting petals on sunflowers.

Close-up of the petally goodness.

Making bumblebees.

Close-up of the mini cupcakes.

Close-up of a big sunflower.

Close-up of purple flower.

The big cupcakes were made from a vanilla cake mix made into a cinnamon swirl cake with a 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and a tablespoon of cinnamon.  The mini cupcakes were rainbow chip.  The frosting was buttercream (1 stick of margarine, 2 tablespoons of milk, 4 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of Wilton meringue powder, and Wilton food coloring).  The flower centers were made with Oreos, mini Oreos, Nilla wafers, and mini Nillas.  I made all the flower petals with a Wilton leaf tip.  The bees and ladybugs were made with red and yellow M&Ms and some leftover chocolate frosting in a tub made a little darker with food coloring.  These cupcakes are from a book called Hello, Cupcake.  I think I might need that book.  Smiley
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