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1  COOKING / Dessert / Planet cake with poured sugar ring. on: September 16, 2009 07:10:54 PM
I made this cake for my littlest boys fifth birthday.  The base is a 9x12 cake, with an 8" cake cut into a ring. For the 8' cake I used a German chocolate round that I had in the freezer.  I should have made it pound cake too.  It was way too soft. The planet is two cakes baked in the Wilton soccer ball and a 9" cake between them.  I used my favourite sour cream pound cake recipe and added some cake sprinkles to give it that funfetti look.  The frosting is sour cream and the fondant is homemade marshmallow fondant.  It tastes so much better than the cardboard stuff that Wilton sells.  And it is fairly easy to make.  I used it to make the lustre dust stars on the base too.

The sugar ring was fun, I broke it taking it off the mold but it still looked pretty impressive and it was great fun to crack before cutting the cake.  My dh and older boy made the astronaut using fondant and a glow in the dark Frankenstein figure.

There are more photos and party details on my blog. http://carmen-whome.blogspot.com/2009/09/5-trips-around-sun.html

 I loved making this, it was definitely the most challenging cake to date!  Only my second time with fondant.  Nest  time I will make sure that the frosting underneath is the same colour as the fondant.  The tears would have been much less noticeable.  But the birthday boy liked it, so I am happy with it too.

2  COOKING / Dessert / Yellow Submarine Birthday Cake on: September 09, 2008 03:20:10 PM
My youngest son requested a yellow submarine and octopus cake for his birthday last week.

It was my first time working with fondant and well....it could have been better.  Those sea stars covered up a multitude of sins!  I really had a good time with the fondant.  I'll have to get some more practice, I can see now why it is so popular.  I used Wilton ready made, but next time I might try making my own.  I had originally wanted to cover the cake in a white chocolate ganache but it just would not set up!  So on with the fondant. I had the cake assembled and poured the ganache, when it didn't set I took the cake apart, scrapped the ganache off and started rolling fondant.  The fondant was a better colour anyway!

The whole thing took about 24 hours.  It was totally worth it!  I used the Magnolia Bakery cake recipe so it was tasty too!

By the time the party started it was starting  to sink a bit in the back from the weight of the layers.  It would have been fine if I hadn't had to take it all apart to put the fondant on.  I knew there was no way I could roll a sheet big enough to cover the cake in one piece.

There are more photos and some other crafty party things on my blog.

thanks for looking!

3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Wool felt tree wall hanging with gnome. on: July 06, 2008 03:45:51 PM
How's that for a title! I wasn't sure where to put this ( housewares? sewing?) I think it fits best here since it is for a kids room.  I made this for my son when he was a baby and have just rehung it in his new room.  It's sewn entirely by hand from wool felt and done in my lap, mostly in the semi dark. It runs the length of his bedroom door.  There is a gnome, a possum, lots of ants and bees, an owl and a swallow. There are also two acorns, placed to represent the respective heights of my son and his brother on my sons first birthday. I really loved making it.

There are some more photos and more of the story on my blog.

Thanks for looking!
4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Felt Fish Pond on: June 10, 2008 08:13:25 PM
My youngest son and I made this little toy this week since everything else was rained out and we were stuck inside.

First we made a big sheet of felt and then I cut it into fish shapes and sewed magnets and backings on them.  He helped my cut out a circle for the bag/pond and helped tie the fishing rod too. It's a fairly simple project, felting within a frame (like a baking pan) is great for little kids, they love to bang away at the felt and the pan gives it a little bit of structure and allows them to see how the felt is coming together.  I let him use a dull darning needle to run the stitch along the edge of the bag, he loved it!

 It was fun and it kept us all entertained for most of last week.  And he gets a new toy to boot!

There are more photos and more detail on my blog.    Thanks for looking!http://carmen-whome.blogspot.com/2008/06/summer.html
5  COOKING / Dessert / Mexican Sugar Skull Birthday cake. on: April 14, 2008 12:46:12 PM
My oldest boy turned 10 the is weekend.  All he really wanted for his birthday was a mexican sugar skull cake.
He made me a drawing and I did my best to replicate it in cake.

The bottom layer is two tiers of Pumpkin Chocolate Thunder Cake ( I started with the recipe from southern living and made a few changes) with cream cheese frosting and chocolate ganache.  The top tier is rice crispie treats covered to look like cake.  The pillars ( bones) are coloured gum paste and white chocolate.  I made the sugar skull with a mold from www.mexicansugarskull.com We have had the molds for years but I have never used it as a cake topper.
 I also used some white chocolate and candy molds to make skull shaped lollipops that I decorated to look like mexican sugar skulls. There are lots more photos of the party and the cake on my blog.


 My version of the southern living cake recipe can be found here.

It sounds complicated but is really pretty fool proof!  That chocolate ganache cover a multitude of frosting errors!  This was one of the most fun cakes I have ever done and it was a huge hit with the birthday boy.  We have a serious peanut allergy so we make nearly everything from scratch.  I'd love to hear your comments.

Thanks for looking,

6  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Skully-on-a-stick. on: March 17, 2008 03:57:07 PM
He's knit in the round and then fulled  and mounted on a dowel painted black. He is decorated with fabric ribblons made from some totally cool Alexander Henry fabric. It looks like regular old bandana print untill you get up close. Look! skulls! Tied onto the ribbons is a collection of random buttons, belle, beads and other fabric trims. He makes a very satisfying sound as he's carried around. He is stuffed with plastic grocery bags.  My favourite thing about him is that he is made from things I already had in the house!

He a Spring gift for my oldest boy who has loved all things skull and ancient since birth!

Thanks for looking!


7  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Which came first? on: March 16, 2008 01:50:08 PM
The chicken or the egg?

This is from a Craftzine pattern in cotton instead of the recommeded wool.  Left me with bloody fingers!  It's worth it though, I just think it is too cute.  He's an egg on oneside and turned inside out it's a chick!  Also makes a great hand puppet in chick form.  My boys have been having a grand time turning it inside out.  There is a little more info on my blog ( link in signature) He was a quick knit and mostly fun, except for the raw spot on my fingers.  In wool it would have been much easier!  I am trying to use what I have on hand so he is knit with  yarn from an old cone of Elmore-Pisgah cotton, and stuffed with shredded plastic grocery bags.

Thanks for looking!

ETA:  for direct blog link...duh.  http://carmen-whome.blogspot.com/2008/03/which-came-first.html
8  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Frog Prince on: March 05, 2008 03:55:24 PM
I knit this little guy for my youngest son.  His knit in noro, pattern from Crafty Hedgehog on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5197504&section_id=5127709   His eyes are from Suncatcher Eyes, also on Etsy.  I think he turned out pretty well, despite my many, many mistakes! 

There is a little bit more detail on my blog.

Thanks for looking!
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Golden Compass Hat. on: January 21, 2008 04:18:03 PM
Dead easy and way off gauge, but it fits, stays on, looks nice and keeps his little ( big) head warm.  I used the free pattern from Froggie Meanie http://froggiemeanie.blogspot.com/2007/12/golden-compass-hat-happy-holidays.html  in the adult size.  All from my growing stash.  This is my first wearable, non scarf knitting project.  I would love your feedback!

There are a few more photos on my blog,( http://carmen-whome.blogspot.com/2008/01/winter-walk-lyras-hat-and-armour.html ) I did Froggie's three needle bind off to get the ridge in the back and made the ties a bit longer. 

10  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / felted and needle felted unicorn soap on: January 14, 2008 05:29:31 PM
ok,  the unicorn image is not the best in the world, but for my first felted soap attempt it came out pretty well.  It was part of a birthday present for a six year old who loves unicorns, thus the Unicorn Music CD.  I tried to get some angelina fibre to imbed but it didn't really work.  I think I need to use more and integrate it into the roving much better.

At last a way to use up the tonnes of soap bars around here!

***modified to correct my terrible typing.
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