Kaylee’s 10th Birthday Cake

Kaylee turned 10 and she’s been showing pigs in the farm shows the past couple years.  Her theme was pigs in shades, she wanted a pig cake, so she got show pigs with style. A delightful pageant of glorious fatty pigginess, with only one winner.

 

IMAG0945Using the sports ball cake mold, I baked up 3 flavors. 1 cake mix per mold(both halves). These needed to bake for 40 minutes because they are so thick.

IMAG0934 IMAG0935 IMAG0936         I attached 3/4 inch dowel rods to a wooden board. Then, placed the bottom half of ice cream cones with My Cake Frosting, around the bottom of the dowel for the legs. Cutting a hole in the center of each half, slid the cake onto the dowels, placing frosting between the layers and filled in the hole top.

I then, frosted the bodies with cake frosting and smoothed it out as best I could.

 

 

 

I gave each body some spots, used party favor kazoo lips for theirs.

 

 

 

 

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I cut some ears and eyes out of craft foam pieces. Snouts were strawberry marshmallows, and eye lashes and accents out of black frosting.

I found some party favor accessories: rings, ear rings, sun glasses, necklace and crown for the winner.

 

 

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Created prize ribbons out of craft foam as well.

Topping it off with marshmallow lights around the runway stage.

 

For the Finishing touch, a pig is not a pig if they don’t have that curly tail. These were created with fun curly birthday candles.

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Moron Mountain 2.0 For The Unpodcast

old Alpine hiker
Alpine Climber

A new challenge for Just Keeping Busy.  I enlisted myself to create a mountain, but not just any mountain. This is a special mountain for some special people who are trying to educate people and businesses on the right and wrong things to do while serving the general public with online services.

Scott Stratten the creator of the Un-Podcast series, on his Un-Marketing web site, co-hosted and written with Alison Kramer, direct their topics in addressing things that happen in business that should not happen and offer recommendations on how other businesses can avoid the same mistakes.

These two have a mountain, that they call “Moron Mountain” (no relation to the mountain by the same name in “Space Jam“). This mountain contains the names of people and business who have not been too smart about choices that they have made in business and customer service.  The severity of the incident determines where these names end up on the mountain. The more offensive the incident, the higher the name ends up. The idea is based on the game show The Price is Right’s Cliffhanger Game. In this TV game, there is a mountain climber that is moved up the hill and stops when it reaches it’s price goal. On the Un-Postcast, the climber moves up the hill to the level of offence by the company in question.

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Up to this point they have had a wonderfully made mountain, assembled by Alison’s kids. While it served it’s purpose, it was made out of foam board and paper and it had put in it’s time. They needed one that would be more durable to handle the travel back and forth to and from the studios they use for the videos. In their Un-Podcast episode #25 they made a challenge to anyone who could make them a new mountain. The task was asked and the task was accepted.

Mountains can be moved, mine are moved and made one piece at a time:

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Paint, rocks, 2’x3′ pieces of plywood, 2x2x8 piece of wood, and yes a toilet paper roll holder

The first part was cutting the wood to the appropriate sizes:

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A slot was cut in the back board. For what you say? For the climber of course:

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The Back

Some legs were created and all the pieces were screwed together:

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The Front

The climber is going to be able to be moved up and down the mountain, and stay where they place him till moved again. My own invention will make this possible:

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My invention, Don’t touch!

It’s paint time, I took some green spray paint to apply for my base color.

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Paint time

I then, using white and different shades of blue created a sky.

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Can’t have mountains without a sky

Using shades of brown and grey, created the mountains and white for snow caps.  a couple streams will create a nice up stream without a paddle feel.

Mountains and maybe a stream will do
Mountains and maybe a stream will do, there’s no paddles in this river. Hope the recipients of this award can swim

Added a few niceties, trees and grass, boulders. Look out for those rapids, they’re white capping big time.

A few nice touches
A few nice touches

I sprayed on a clear acrylic paint for a clear coat to start. Complimented the decor with a little 3-d effect with some rocks, and yes they’re real.

Now to the artsy side of me.
Now to the artsy side of me

And of course it’s not complete without the Alpine Climber, ready for any adventure.

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The Top, NOT so much … Just ask Air Canada .. 🙁 sad for them.

Ok, now to let it set for a several days and then I will spray on a clear coat of paint to set and seal it well, so that all their stickies with the unfortunate souls names will stick well and be able to pull them off with ease if they redeem themselves.

The mountain was shipped carefully to Canada in 50 foot of bubble wrap and Kraft paper. Arrived there in one piece and found it’s place on the set of UnMarketing UnPodcast #34.

 

Check out the full picture gallery below…

Kaylee’s 9th Birthday Cake

 

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Kaylee’s 9th birthday request was a Despicable Me II Minion with the fruit hat. The one eyed minion wears a fruit hat in the jelly factory and at the end dancing, and this was what Kaylee wanted.

I layered 4 different flavors of cake, using my Cake Out of a Cookie Mix idea. I used Pillsbury’s blue raspberry, orangecicle, key lime and fun fetti mixes. I spread the corresponding flavors of frosting in between the layers. Mixed up yellow frosting from my Cake Frosting recipe and frosted the outside.

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Skewers or dowel sticks stuck down into all layers of the cake can help make secure.

I then mixed together blue frosting with the same recipe and added his pants using Twinkies for the legs and half ones for the feet.

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The minion also where’s a coconut bra in the end with his fruit hat, so I found some white Hostess Snowballs and tinted them brown.

The goggle was made from 2 canning jar lids glued together and a piece of white foam board painted with the eye lid and pupil popped into the back of the lid.

Black tube frosting was used for the hair and strap. More Twinkies were used for mini minions around the base.

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For the hat, I found a child size sombrero and glued fake fruit to it. I then lined the inside of the hat with some wax paper, waited till we got to our destination then applied the hat. Lining it with the wax paper allowed us to remove it and let Kaylee wear it.

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Kaylee’s 8th Birthday Cake

Better late than never… the theme this year was baseball and mustaches..

Her wish was my command..

You will need the Wilton soccer ball half pan and a round pan, i bolted a piece of PVC to the board and cut a hole in the center of the cake, the PVC helps the cake to hold up. I used a yellow cake mix for the two halves in the ball pan and a chocolate mix for the round cake pan.

The round cake went between the two halves to make the ball larger, make sure to cut the humps off the tops of the cakes so that they lay flat against each other. I put some frosting between as you would a layer cake.

I had to put some cake pieces at the base to raise slightly and stabilize. I mixed the left over icing with the cake humps that i cut off to make dirt for the pitchers mound.  I did it in stages, by putting it back in the fridge, so that it didn’t get hot and try to melt or get too soft. I let the cake settle over night after i dirty iced, before i put the fondant on, because the PVC in the middle was as tall as the cake when it first went on, then after settling it was then taller.  Had i put the fondant on first, it would have ripped through and no way to fix.  This way i was able to fill in with extra frosting and round it off better before placing fondant.

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Dirty iced the outside and covered in fondant.  I placed whole shell peanuts at base to cover the bottom of the fondant.

 

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The seams, i drew on with red gel icing. The mustache and eyes are cut out of foam poster board with bamboo skewers glued to the back to push into the cake.

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Supplemented with funfetti cupcakes with mustache and baseball decor for extra players.

 

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The scoreboard was cut out of foam board, printed the scores on the printer and the candles stuck into the top like the fireworks at the end of a real game.

Ear Muff Head Bands

I built these ear muffs on my round loom with every other tooth removed.  I start at the top and continue around the circle until the knitted material is 6-7 inches long (approximately the length of my hand, wrist to finger tip.)

Can be worn as a headband to cover the ears, it will spread out and make a poofy open topped hat or pull down around the neck for a nice warm collar to a collarless shirt.

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My best side, ;-D

 

My Orchid is Blooming

I as many of you probably have found out, that Orchids are quite cantankerous and can be very hard to keep alive much less get to bloom again.  Well let me tell you that it is possible.  I purchased a purple orchid in the spring, it was so pretty and even though they are not very cheap I purchased it and took it home with the expectation that it wouldn’t be around long and I would enjoy it while I could.  7 months later I can proudly say that I did something right this time, not sure what; a lot of worrying, keeping a keen eye on it at all times, don’t know.  I read a little about them and what I should do, but it only scared me more and made me just know I was going to kill it.  I placed it in my south western facing kitchen window that was shaded in the evenings, watched it, watered it, enjoyed it while it was in bloom.  Then we moved.  Oh where was I going to keep my orchid, It had lost its blooms and had just started to(with my excitement) sprout out more leaves. WOW, it was growing and not dying.  Oh man, this new place has a south western facing window in the living room, but way more sun comes in that window, “It’s going to die now, It’s got too much sun!”.  Evidently not, now 5 months into our new place and a risky re-potting, “IT’S BLOOMING!!!”  Wooo Hooo, it likes it here.

Well I’m very excited with this achievement, not sure anyone else will be.  So excited I want to tell someone but not sure anyone close to me would have the same excitement.  So, I wrote this post to someone out there  in the world who likes orchids or just likes flowers so they can be excited with me.  When I saw the flowering shoot start to pop out I started photo documenting it’s progress for fun or if nothing else to prove that it bloomed again in my custody if for some reason I killed it.  Enjoy it’s progress with me:

A Sweater for Suki

Dog sweater knitted and crocheted with two strands of yarn, blue and red.

My first dog sweater modeled by the wonder dog Suki, done with two strands of yarn at a time, red and blue.  Back is knitted in both knit and purl stitches.  The straps are double crochet to make adjustable with the barrel buttons.  Crocheting creates natural holes in the pattern so to make random button holes.

Kaylee’s 7th Birthday Cake

The smurfy-ness of this cake surprises everyone with a smile.

  Start with a skeleton, pvc mounted to a piece of plywood.

Form leg, arms and head out of rice treats.  Tip: use a ganache or icing on the pvc so the treats have something to adhere to.  Icing is used to “dirty ice” the treats and cake so that the fondant will adhere to surfaces.

Use white fondant to make it any color you need.  Add frosting tint to your fondant then knead till well blended into even color.  Roll to desired thickness and apply to a dirty iced sculpture.

Frequent refrigeration may be required if kitchen is not cold enough, plus it will help in hardening icings to prevent melting and fondant from sliding off.

Be aware that fondant will dry out and needs to be shaped in the exact form required, because it will become brittle and break apart.  Frustrating lessons learned from this fondant adventure.

Also, non-toxic glue should be used on the pvc joints to prevent movement.  The weight of the cake/treats and fondants will cause the joints to move.  As seen above, I learned this lesson too late, the joints stayed still till I applied the fondant, then a creative cover of a garden hoe was required to hold her arm up.

The rice treats created a new and unique challenge, the original plan for her hands became rounded nubs that then had to be creatively disguised by a large flower and a big butterfly.

Fingerless Mits

An exciting idea that I put to knitting.

An exciting idea that I put to knitting.  I found a pattern for fingerless mittens and made a sleeve twist from and idea given to me from a wonderful young lady standing out in the crowd.  She was wearing sleeves one day, for those unfashioned, sleeves are usually sheer and have a design printed on them.  Some sleeves are designed to make you look like you have tattoo sleeves when you don’t.  However, some people are cold natured and wooly ones might be quite nice, and to be different and I never follow the crowd so I encourage difference and weirdness.  I just added some rows to make them longer up the arm than the original pattern required,  I could have made them longer which may come later for another pair.

With the spare yarn I made a skinny scarf to match for when winter comes.