Thursday, June 30, 2011

Table Runner

This is a good (and easy) pattern. I made this for my brother and his wife for Christmas this past year.

Happy Birthday Scouterella!

It was my neice's 5th birthday, and she had asked me to please make her a chipmunk cake for her birthday. I have a very difficult time saying no to here it is.

I used the same lamb cake mold that I made the Easter cake out of, and shaved some cake off to make the face more accurate, and attached some for the tail. If I were to make a chipmunk cake again sometime, I would
definitely use fondant instead of doing this one in buttercream as the striping of the chipmunk fur was very difficult to create by piping the frosting.

Scouty loved the cake and it was delicious! Happy 5th birthday to my little Scouterella. :-)

If you can't go to the them!

A couple of weeks after I mad the lamb cake for Easter, there was a fundraiser for the boy scouts at work. They have an annual cake auction where people make and donate cakes they have made and decorated and everyone bids on the cakes and all proceeds go to the boy scouts at church. I told my family that I would make a cake to donate, and asked my niece and nephew what kind of cake I should make...thinking that maybe they'd say, "Chocolate with sprinkles!", but no....they said "Make a mountain...with a lake, like up at Lazy Afternoons!" (Lazy Afternoons is the name of our family cabin in the Adirondacks.) Boy do kids ever have amazing imaginations. Well, I somehow feel complelled to accept these challenges from 4 and 7 year-olds. Why? 'Cause I am an aunt who is a pushover!

I began by stacking the cake to create a mountain shape. After I had the basic shape created, I 'glued' everything together by piping buttercream between all "layers".

After things were secure, I dirty-
iced the entire cake after cutting
a lake-like portion out of the
lower portion of the cake. After
dirty-icing with the plain white
buttercream, I did a base coat of
green buttercream frosting over
the entire cake, except for the lake, which I put a layer of blue-tinted piping gel.

I used gum-paste to create the trees. I used gel food coloring to tint the buttercream as well as the gum paste. It was my first time working with gum paste, but it was quite easy to use. I used small lengths of kabob skewers  for the trunks of the trees (and the posts for the "to camp" sign) because I forgot to buy the small pretzel sticks. I colored them to look more like tree-trunks by wiping a bit of brown food color gel on them. The mountain is covered with rocks/boulders as well as trees. I made the kayak and
paddle out of gum-paste as well. I added a fallen over tree trunk and set that next to the lake. Gum-paste is edible and accepts the color well. Just be sure to coat your hands with shortning to keep it from sticking to your hands.
This was a very time consuming cake, but I ended up being very pleased with the outcome. So were Abe and Scout. It was the only cake at the auction they were even interested in bidding on. Luckily their bid won! Scout did tell me that the cake would be evern better if there had been a little chipmunk on the mountain, however.
After all the time and concentration that went into making this piece of cake-art, it took mere seconds for it to be demolished...and thoroughly enjoyed by all! Abe and Scout took the cake home and it lasted several days until they finished it...but they enjoyed every bite!

Ace of Cakes OR Cake Boss?

Neither... :-) but at least I've had fun and my niece and nephew have enjoyed eating them--and giving me new cake-making assignments.

For Easter I made this lamb cake for dessert for our family dinner. Abe and Scout just loved it. I have a cake form that bakes the 3-D lamb shape. I dirty iced the entire cake and then frosted the face and ears with a black buttercream. I piped the entire body with a star tip to create the wool-look out of natural white buttercrea, and piped the face with a pale pink buttercream. I put the Easter grass and some Robin Egg candies to make it look a bit more Easter-y. The cake was my family "Economy Chocolate Cake" recipe--a very dense and moist chocolate cake. It stands up to carving and 3-D cakes like this very well. ('s absolutely delicious!)

I've been busy lately...

This is my most recent quilt top that is finished. It was my first experience with a lot of applique. I am so pleased with the way it turned out! It is called "Watermelon Days". I used Moda's Lilac Hill line for the most part.

My first step was piecing the three patcwork/pieced
star blocks.  One has brown points, one purple,
and one green. The one pictured here is the brown.

The next step was to trace all of the applique pieces onto "heat and bond" and then cut all of those out. Then, I had to cut the centers out so things weren't too thick. Then I ironed the heat and bond pieces onto the fabrics and then had to cut eatch of those pieces out--very carefully! I completed this process for all of the applique pieces before attaching anything to the blocks. Once all of the pieces were cut, I peeled off the paper backing and started to assemble the blocks, by ironing them in place on the blocks.

This is the watermelon block. There are three of them that are  exactly the same. After I had the blocks ironed together, I began the machine appliqueing. I used different colored threads to coordinate with each of the different fabrics.
This is the flag block. The instructions for this were very I made a few little changes. I really like the way the block turned out. There are corner blocks and three additional blocks--two with three stars, and one that is 4 rows of patchwork squares--similar to the center of the star blocks.

This is my completed quilt top. I am excited to get it quilted. I am going to have it custom quilted on the long-arm maching over at the Ivy Thimble in Victor, NY. I saw this quilt made up on one of the shop hops that included a shop in Watkins Glen, NY called O'Susannah's. It is a cute little shop, and as soon as I saw it, I had to make it! I took the pattern with me to a trunk show at the shop in Victor, so I could buy a couple more fat quarters of fabric and the owner saw it and now they are doing a class in it!