Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lotsa Cake - Iggle Piggle & DottyWot

Birthday cakes have been an easy decision for the last 2 birthdays in our house. Little Sir had a birthday late last year and the clear winner was Iggle Piggle since he loves watching In The Night Garden and Iggle Piggle's head shape is actually quite easy to make. I used the same butter cake recipe from here and just doubled the ingredients to make a huge rectangle. I trimmed the sides and corners to create a bean shaped head and didn't fill it as it was too big to be able to slice in half and lift the top off without breaking it. I didn't want to do my usual filling of strawberry sauce and cream anyway as one little party guest was allergic to strawberries and I didn't want him to miss out. Instead I flavoured the butter cream icing with chocolate essence. The difficult part was trying to make blue butter cream icing as the only butter I could readily find is all coloured yellow. The blue wound up being kinda grey in colour and there are actually 2 shades of blue (grey) on Iggle Piggle's head but it's hard to see in the photo.

Chocolate sprinkles to colour the centre of his eyes and mouth again and some red coloured butter cream icing for his

Little Lady started putting in requests for her DottyWot birthday cake about 2 months ago when the run of family birthdays began. Again I made butter cake (I think I may have overcooked it slightly as it was drier than normal) in a loaf tin and trimmed the corners a little to shape the top of her head and jaw. I also cut a wedge out for her mouth and rather than cover her with butter cream icing and have the same problems trying to create blue, I bought some ready made white icing and rolled it out to cover the cake with.

Her eyes are balls of icing and her eyelids were made by thinly rolling a small ball of icing and wrapping it over the eyeball and trimming it to cover only half of the eyeball. Her tufty flufties (the tail-like things coming out of the sides of her head which I have just realised probably should have come out of the top of her head instead) were made by rolling a flat sheet of icing around a line of short fruit stick lollies - I wanted the whole cake to be edible but was fast running out of icing so had to improvise. They were finished off with a ball of icing pinched at one end to create a funny drop shape. Originally I had the idea to use blue fairy floss for the ends of the tufty flufties but couldn't find any at the time.

Both the eyeballs and tufty flufties were attached to the head, and where needed to each other, by scoring the icing on the bits that will touch with a knife (to rough it up and give the 'glue' something to bite onto) and then painting the area with a thick sugar syrup ie, sugar with only enough water in it to dissolve it, say 3 spoons of sugar and 2 or 3 spoons of water - the microwave made this really easy as it virtually liquified the sugar crystals. You need to paint it on while its still hot as when it cools (which was surprisingly quickly - only a few minutes) it sets like hard candy, gluing the bits together.

I painted her pink rather than try to colour the icing before rolling it all out so I could get the colour right though she does look a bit streaky because of it. I simply mixed pink food dye with water and enough icing sugar to thicken it a little until I got the right intensity then painted it on with an artists brush. I have Gorgeous Man to thank for my 'action shots' - he was actually the one who thought to take pics for the blog. Thanks baby!

Gorgeous Man helped finish painting her face, tongue and tufty's and coloured in her pupils with a Sharpie pen while I got ready for the party and then I stuck her tongue and eyelashes on and she was ready!

Little Lady loved her and I was supermum again!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Long overdue

My garage has been overrun with kids furniture for some time now. We bought a kids table and chairs set raw so that we could paint them in fun bright colours ourselves and were quite motivated to get the undercoat on....and then they sat there taking up prime realestate in our garage for, well for a very long time. But they're finally finished and in use!

I've also been knitting a cardigan for Little Lady from Patons "Sugar Fairies" (Book 1304).

I started knitting it on the drive to our family beachhouse back in January and only really get any done late at night when I'm too tired to sew or I want to watch TV. I'm supposed to use 4 ply baby wool but I picked up a whole bag of Moda Vera Noir (75% wool super wash, 25% polyamide) for 50c a ball so I hope it turns out OK. Google says (yep, I had to look it up) that polyamide is nylon. Of course I don't like to make things easy for myself and after starting the cardy I realised I really didn't like the purple colouring so I restarted it and looped out all the purple yarn.

I've finished knitting all the pieces and am now tying off all the ends where I joined the next stretch of pink yarn before I sew them together. Then onto crocheting the edge and adding the beads.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Charity Quilts

My first time at a keyhole patterned quilt. A mix of navy, yellow, pale blue and greys, I wanted a more subdued colour palette that might suit an older quilt recipient.

I also made 2 blocks (all I had time for in the end) and sent them all off to Corrie at Retro Mummy for her Quilts for Queensland effort.

While I was going for subdued I didn't realise how washed out an overcast day can make photos look.

I'm thinking about it. In fact I've been thinking about it for a few years now. Do I have the motivation to do it tho? Creative ideas are always there, stock is there, means are there too. It's just maybe because I don't NEED to I haven't found the drive to get it going yet. Well it's in writing now so maybe this will keep it churning in my mind and have me a step closer.
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