Sunday, July 31, 2011

Trying to catch up!

I think I let two weeks go by without posting.  One day, I just let the day sneak by and last week, well, I think I just didn't want to do anything...anyone ever have those days???  I have several in a row it seems, but this weekend I was back.  I got almost all my crafts I wanted done...the cleaning on the other hand...well, it's just not as much fun!  LOL I know, I know. I should clean first, play later, but I can't keep my mind on cleaning if I keep thinking about the projects I want to do.

There are still a few projects I haven't done.  Mainly because I have to order vinyl for them and don't have the extra cash on hand, LOL.  I'm already trying hard not to buy a couple of set of lettering delights files, before they aren't on sale anymore...I just may bite the bullet and buy them anyway...

Okay, so here we go with another set of "hodge-podge" crafts to feast your eyes upon.

First up, the paper origami flower balls that I have had completed since May, but just now put them up.  I found this project here on Michael's website.  I bought my paper and ribbon from Hobby Lobby, but I have no idea what the brand is.  I'm just happy to get them up in Belle's room.  I had plans to put lights inside, but I just couldn't figure out a good way to do it, so here they are...sans jewels in the centers...will add later.

Flower balls above Belle's bed.

View while laying on the bed.
Close up.

I wish I had moved them slightly to the left, but I did it by it can't be perfect.

Next project on the list this weekend was iron on transfers, but with plastic...I saw this idea mentioned on the MTC forum a few weeks ago, but finally got a chance to do it.  I love it and can't wait to do more shirts.

You can find the forum post with the link here.

The back of the orange shirt.
The front.
A close up.

This was my first attempt.  I use a left over Tangled party bag.
I have since washed these two shirts and the top right bubble on the orange shirt has come nearly half way off, but it's still there.  I am going to attempt to iron it back down.  the rest is mostly hanging on.  I figure after a few washes they will come off, but then I can make something else to go on the shirts.  It was very easy to do.  Please refer to the link above for the original posting, but I used LD and MTC for the orange shirt.

Another thing I accomplished this weekend was making my very first puzzle with MTC.  I used the puzzle generator and an image that Belle picked out online.  I still only have a Cricut, but my mom bought me the deep cut blade housing recently and I just had to try it out.  Oh, and yes, that is a DIY sticky-ed cricut cake mat.  Hobby Lobby had the 12x12 and 12x24 cake mats on clearance.  I got a couple sets of 12x12 for about $3 each and a set of12x24 for $5.  I just couldn't pass that up.  Gotta love it when stores clearance things!

I cut at depth 5 and cut the image 3 times.  I have absolutely no idea what my pressure setting is on...I would guess a 3.  I don't touch it anymore...

While cutting...I used duct tape for extra hold.
After cutting before peeling the outer edge off.
Yay, a clean cut!

Just after Belle put it together...I took one piece out for the picture.

I even made a box to go with it!
I thought it was a great fit!
I don't remember where I found a pizza box cut online, but it wasn't hard and I had this one laying around premade.

Whew!  I really hate putting pictures up!  They should make that easier. 

I guess that will be all for today. Maybe I will get another post up sometime this week.  I did a few cakes this month I would like to add.  I hope this crazy random project post was fun for you.  LOL  I really should get organized and do one project a post...I just get too excited and want to throw it all out on the table.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Today We Will Talk of Cakes!

I think this post may be short, but I'm trying to get through the list of things I've done in the past few months.  Today I am going to talk about a few cakes I've done.  I made my first 3 tier cake for a girls birthday.  The daughter said she wanted a 3 tier white cake with multicolored peace signs on it...and that's what she got, LOL A few weeks later the same girl's sister had a birthday.  Her sister wanted a Little Mermaid cake.  Of course, I have my problems with both, but I think I just want things to be perfect...a good and bad trait. :)  I also threw together some mini cupcakes for my daughter's preschool Easter party that I'd like to share...
I think we will start with the Easter cupcakes.

These are a simple design. Grass tip (233) icing and Robin's Egg Whoppers and some Reese's Eggs for the eggs on top.  Very quick but still cute...I wish I would have had time to do something a little more original, but I made these the day after the Tangled party...on very little sleep...

Next is my first 3 tier cake.  I think it turned out really well.  I used a Cricut Cake with MTC to cut the peace signs, attached the two layers together and adhered them to the cake.  I also used some piping gel to pipe clear peace signs all over the cake for a little more detail.  I really like how it turned out!


I would also like to remind everyone that MTC is no longer compatible with Provocraft products.  If you were lucky enough to purchase MTC before the lawsuit settled, you are still able to use MTC with your machine.  I wish I could afford to replace my paper Cricut and my Cricut Cake, but that requires money...that which I don't have much of... :P  For those who have the compatible program, I would like to remind you to back it up.  It is very sad to see people coming to the MTC forum asking if they can still get the working version because their computer crashed.  They advise you to back up, back up, back up.  LOL It seems crazy, but if you use the program as much as I do and only have Cricuts, you will probably be lost without MTC...I know I would be.  From what I've seen Andy, the creator of MTC, does an awesome job and I highly recommend his product!

Okay, off my soap box and on to my last cake.  The Little Mermaid cake.  I thought it would be fun to replicate the scene where Ariel sings the reprise of Part of your World, I think, where she is sitting on the rock watching Prince Eric being rescued---for a lack of a better explanation...if you know the movie, I think you know where I'm talking about.  And I think you will get it when you scroll down and see pictures.  The only thing I used MTC and Cricut Cake with were the letters. (I think MTC is worth it just for the ability to cut any free font with fondant...everything else it can do with fondant/gumpaste is a fantastic bonus for me.)

Ariel is a doll, but her shells and tail are fondant.  I hand sculpted Sebastian and Flounder.  I personally think Sebastian is a little off but Flounder is right on.

 Tah-Dah!  LOL Okay, I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my work.  As always, if you want to see more of my cake work you can find it on my Facebook Page, Any Way Cakes.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I'm So Excited!!!

Okay, to some of you, this may not be a big thing, but I haven't been really into blogging until this year, so it was to me.  I posted a picture of something I worked on yesterday to Penny Duncan's blog, Penny Duncan Creations, as well as a comment on how much I liked her work. 

Well, she hopped over here to thank me for my comment on her page, and ended up seeing my previous post, and commented with the words "WOW, Amazing, and Beautiful." I got chills.  I am so thrilled that someone with such an awesome blog enjoyed my work!  I think you made my day, Mrs. Penny!

And for that, my 6 followers get another blog this week!  One about the Gumpaste Hydrangea Baby I made with Penny's Hydrangea file (This can be found on her website...hope this is okay to post...)

I basically pushed tinted gumpaste into the baby mold, froze it so it would be hard enough to unmold, let it dry, and dusted the baby with petal dust for a more realistic look.  For the Hydrangea, I used Penny's file, and cut it the size it loaded, about .25" for each flower.  I have no idea how many flowers I ended up using (I cut 49 flowers and 2 broke...), but I'm sure I used at least 20 flowers.  I used a ball of gumpaste to "glue" the flowers to, using a gumpaste/water mixture.  After putting the leaves and flower ball on the baby's back, I let it dry.  Once dry, I used some luster dust to give the flowers a little shine, and mixed the luster dust with a little water to dot the centers with.  I think the shimmer adds a little wimzy to the piece...kinda like fairy dust.

I hope you enjoy!

Woo Week 2!

Okay, I guess today I will review my daughter's 4th birthday party.  Belle turned 4 on April 25th and decided she wanted to have a Tangled party.  With that I went out to research the net and found a variety of sites, including the Disney Family site, to pull ideas from.

There were a few things I knew I wanted to do.  Instantly, I decided the cake MUST be the tower.  I knew I wanted to incorporate the glowing flower and I knew I wanted a few games and activities for the kids to do.  Belle also insisted on a Pinata.

I found a wonderful website Super Mom Moments that was a great starting point.  I used their file for the pennant flag decor, the Flynn game (altered slightly), and used their recommendation for the floating lanterns.

I also found frying pans for favors.  Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the favor baskets...I got behind that morning and totally forgot to catch a shot of those...oops...I guess I can't remember everything sometimes!

I guess the best way to do this would be to take you through the day.  I'll start with the decorations.

Near the top you can see one of two strings of pennants I made for decor.  Also in the picture is a "boat" I made, because my daughter decided she needed a boat to sit in to "see the lanterns."

I also thought it would be a cute addition, and photo opportunity. I think it turned out well enough...for a last minute addition.
Close up of the Pennants.  The PDF from the Super Mom site converted and cut from MTC very well.  These pennants were modeled from the pennants seen in the village on Tangled.
This turned into decoration as well as our game.  Flynn's wanted poster.
 This next section is about the games and activities we did.  I have pictures of the kids participating in each game/activity, but thought it best to only show my daughter in pictures.  I decided on the following activities: Can you get Flynn's nose right?, decorating flower pots (which included planting seeds and then having a "magic flower" "grow" while cake and presents were done.), coloring 3D Pascals, and the Pinata.

Coloring the 3D Pascals didn't go as well as I had thought.  I only had a few kids color the two pieces and none of those got assembled before they left...these came from the Disney Family site.  I guess the best laid plans...I did make one with Belle prior to the party just to see how hard they were to do.  She loved it!

All the kids really seemed to love decorating the flower pots.  I bought some plastic pots from the Dollar Tree, 20 for $2 isn't half bad.  I cut some floral foam into small cubes and hot glued them to the bottom of the pot and spray painted all the pots white. 

Then I had to figure out the easiest way to decorate these pots with 4 year olds.  I was at a complete loss until I took Belle to a make and take thing at Michaels where they let her use the foam sticker things to decorate a easter egg hunt bucket. After seeing how easy this was for her to do, all the coloring/painting ideas went out the window and I bought 3 different shape styles of foam stickers.  I ended up with a letter set--so the kids could put their name on them (letter search and spelling practice!)--small shapes and larger shapes.

After the kids finished decorating the pots, I took them over to another area of my carport where we added dirt and they got to pick which type of flower to plant.  After topping the pot off with dirt, they took it to another parent that watered each pot and put them on a table for "safe" keeping.

The fun part, for me, came when I ran outside with a hand full of fake yellow flowers.  They were painted with gold glitter and glow in the dark spray paint.  While the kids were distracted with cake, I placed one flower in each pot--the Magic Flower grew!!!  I had one 5/6 year old kid fuss because the flower was fake.  LOL He thought the seed wasn't real!  After we explained it to him, he was skeptical, but believed that, if taken care of, the seed would grow.

I know the planting of flowers doesn't go with the theme too well, but I wanted to incorporate the glowing flower...the kids liked it, though. :)

Belle's completed pot with flower.
The next activity was "Can you get Flynn's Nose Right?"  This was, I think, clever and very entertaining to watch.  I do have to say, I wish I had put a solid piece of wood behind the Flynn poster.  Things would have worked better.  Anyway, I let each kid select their favorite color of play-doh, which they got to keep.  I then instructed them to mold a nose out of the play-doh, and when they were finished, they took turns seeing who could put their nose closest to where Flynn's nose should be.  They thought this was hilarious.  I think they could have played this for hours!  It was fun to see where each kid put the nose, and their interpretation of what a nose was.

Here is my daughter trying to "get the nose right."
The last activity we were able to do was the pinata.  How do you get a Mexican tradition to fit into a Tangled party??? You make a sun!  I originally wanted to make a Flynn head and have all the kids bang on it with the toy frying pans from their favor basked, but decided that would probably teach them it was okay to hit people on the heads with frying pans. Now maybe that's okay for a wife to do to her husband every now...I kid, I kid...but not for kids to do, for sure!  My next idea came from watching the movie for about the 20th time.  The sun  medallion that appears on the mobile and the military armor.

I researched how to make a pinata on several sites, and pretty much came up with the same instructions.  This is what I did.

I used a mylar (spelling is evil) from the Dollar Tree and used a mixture of flour and water to adhere my strips of newspaper.
Once dry, I removed the balloon, and used newspaper shaped like cones to make the rays. I bent these slightly to get the shape I wanted and taped them to the circle.

Then came another coat or 3 of newspaper to cover the cones and give more shape to the sun.

Here it is dry, just before painting.
Ta-Dah! We now have a golden sun. Thank You Krylon Spray paint!
Of course, Belle got the first swing, but isn't it beautiful???
I hung it with fishing line...I should have thought that out a little more, but it made it 3 rounds before a boy swung downward and broke it off the string.  I was afraid it wouldn't make it 1 round of hits before breaking.  I think we had 8 to 10 kids at the party.

I hate that I didn't get a picture of the favor baskets, but I can at least tell you what was in them.  I bought  plastic baskets at the Dollar Tree (Can you tell I love that store?).  I would show you an image of those, but they no longer have them up online. Inside each basket I put an empty Tangled treat bag for their pinata candy, a small slinky, a bouncy ball, a glow braclet, an 8 1/2 X 11 inch laminated Flynn wanted poster and playdoh (so they can play the game at home), and two plastic frying pans, since that thing was all over that movie.

So Adorable!!! I painted these with some Krylon texture paint.  Krylon states that their paint is non-toxic once dry.

I went ahead and gave them both since I got the two piece set for $1 at Michaels.
After the party was over, and it got dark, we released floating lanterns. These were absolutely beautiful.  We tied them down with fishing line, but one got away.  It was okay though. When the string broke, it was out of any danger of hitting trees or power lines.  It was fun to watch it disappear, and fun to watch the others float and slowly fall to the ground.

I shopped Belle's granddad out of this picture, but I just had to!  Isn't it just wonderful to see her watching her lanterns?  I just wish I could have gotten all 4 we launched in the shot...since she turned for...I guess I could shop another lantern in...

Last but not least, is the cake.  I promise I saved the best for last!  I know this has been a heavy post, and I promise, if I am still doing this next year, Belle's next party will be spread out over several posts! 

I am still in love with this cake.  I knew I wanted to make a tower, a big tower!  So I decided on a 3 to 4 FOOT tall tower.  I made most of it ahead of time and with PVC pipe and Styrofoam because it was a lot of work and I knew I wouldn't need that much cake.  The only thing that was cake was the area that could be considered the living quarters.  The only thing I hate about this cake is the bottom.  I wish I had had the time to finished it off a little better, but I was literally piping leaves on the vines 2 hours before her party started!  I also would have wished to add some flowers to the vines, but I guess this is what happens when you let time get the best of you!  On to the pictures!!!

First, I glued the PVC pipe to the table and covered it with fondant...I bought lots of new toys for this one!

Here is the basic structure before fondant, and I have a dummy cake in place of a real cake for now.

Here is after I added the detail "wood work."  If you look real close, you can see a little Jasmine doll I was using for sizing things out...I ended up putting one of the little Rapunzel dolls in the final cake.

Initial covered roof.

After adding the "gables" (I think that's what they are called).  You can also see that I've added some dusting to the stones.

I just love this picture of the details.

Another detail shot.

The roof now has shingles and the bottom has RKT for the "ground."

I absolutely love the roof...yes, each shingle was placed on individually by hand!

It was a very long night...

Here is the completed cake.

The blue window is styrofoam covered in fondant.

"When will my life begin?"

I think it turned out great!

Thanks for bearing with me!  More to come later this week or next Sunday for sure!