Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Caitlin's Tinkerbell Party

My oldest daughter turned four in March and she wanted her party to be a Tinkerbell theme! I made her invite using some free digital scrapbooking kits I found online! This was the final design:


I had a lot of fun searching Pinterest for party ideas! There were SO many elaborate parties, cakes, games, and more. I decided to keep her party simple because our family is huge and the weather was going to be rainy on the day of her party. In finding cakes, Caitlin told me she like this cake. I set out to make it on my own and came up with this:


It was really simple to make! I used my Wilton Dress Cake Mold for the cake, frosting to cover the cake, and marshmallow fondant for the leaves. The leaves were pressed into the Wilton Nature Fondant and Gum Paste Mold I bought from Walmart.

It got my frosting and fondant ready to go! I sprinkled the leaf mold with cornstarch

.
I frosted the cake with a thin layer of frosting.


Next, I wrapped Caitlin's Tinkerbell doll with plastic wrap and pushed her gently into the center of the cake. I had to dig out some of the cake as I went because it was putting a lot of pressure around the base of the cake. I just went by sight! You can see in the picture below that her feet started to pop out of the base of the cake! (With the Belle cake I made, I used the doll pick that came with my cake mold, but Tinkerbell's body is a lot smaller than the doll pick, so I had to use the Tinkerbell instead!) I didn't fix the cake at the base because it was about to be covered with leaves!


I got a small amount of fondant and pressed it into the largest leaf mold and made sure there wasn't any extra fondant around the edges. I gently pressed the leaf onto the base of the cake. I did the front of the cake first, so that if I had to squeeze some leaves in to complete the row, it wouldn't be noticeable in pictures! I continued this process until I had completed the entire bottom row.


As I started the second row, the thin layer of frosting started to dry, so I took a small amount of frosting and spread it where the next row of leaves would go. I staggered the leaves as I went so that the dress would look fuller! I worked my way up!


When I thought I had finished the cake, I took some fondant and pressed it into the mold with the consecutive leaves to make a small belt around her waist to cover the part of the cake where it met Tinkerbell's body. This is the photo I took:


After staring at it, I decided that I wanted to make the top part of her dress with fondant to make the color better! Having the cake with the two different green tones was not working for me! So I pressed more fondant into the continuous leaf mold and pressed them onto Tink's top. The outcome was MUCH better!


As soon as I knew it was finished, I called the birthday girl in to see her cake! She started jumping up and down with excitement! But when I asked her to sit down for a photo, she got mad at me and wouldn't smile!


Along with the cake, I made white cupcakes. I frosted them with what was left over from the cake (it turned out be not enough, but I made it work!) and put a purple fondant flower on top of each! I had colored a section of the marshmallow fondant purple for this reason! I pressed a small amount into the largest flower mold and placed one on top of each cupcake!

Wilton's 3-Tier Cupcake stand
For the party decorations, I kept them cheap and easy! I bought some plastic table covers, streamers, and balloons from Walmart and used them to make the decorations in the living room. I found an idea on Pinterest and made it work in my living room! Although I never used the streamers...




The last project I did was another idea I found on Pinterest! It has all of the Disney Fairies in Jars (idea here)! I looked online to find the small dolls, but they were CRAZY expensive! So I opted for a cheaper idea! I found some free Disney Fairy printable play-sets here and used them for the jars! I was going to do five jars, but when I showed them to Caitlin, she said that Periwinkle was missing! So I had to print out the Secret Wings play-set  too! I placed the fairy cut-outs in their own mason jar and forgot to put the lids on top! But no one cared! They thought they were all cute!


Iridessa, Fawn, and Silvermist
Rosetta, Periwinkle, and Tinkerbell

I set out the finger food (except the bananas for the fruit tray) and snapped some photos before I let people start eating!



Silvermist and Rosetta made the birthday girl a sign!
Caitlin had a wonderful party and just loved all of the little things I did for her! The dress cake was a big hit with the kids! They picked of each leaf one by one! I am so glad that I was able to make her day special!

Happy Digital Scrapbooking/Baking/Frosting/Molding/Creating,

Thursday, January 31, 2013

14 Days of Valentines for Kids


I did 14 Days of Valentines last year for my husband. I told him earlier this month that I was excited to do it again for him. He didn't seem as excited. I was confused... but we talked about it and we realized that we wanted to do something special for our daughters instead! We knew that they would love getting something each day for the first 14 days of February! We sat down and brainstormed some cute ideas that we knew our girls would enjoy.

We have made huge strides in eating healthier lately! I have lost 53 pounds by being active and eating healthier. (Hence my huge absence from my craft blog. But I'm crafting again!) It is SO easy to buy candy and attach cute sayings along with them. I did this last year for my husband! So I wanted to make these 14 days packed with healthy, yummy foods that my kiddos have come to love in the past 8 months! I honestly thought it was going to be a challenge, but it wasn't! Coming up with the cute phrases for each snack was the challenge! Here's what we came up with!

Day 1 - Bananas "We're bananas for you!"
Our girls are obsessed with bananas! Every time we buy bananas, they are literally gone within a day! 

Day 2 - Pretzel sticks "Let's stick together!"
Pretzel sticks are so good! Our girls dip them in peanut butter or Nutella!

Day 3 - Apples "You are the apple of my eye!"
Apples are a new favorite for our girls! They've had them a lot, but recently they have been asking for them constantly! I am so glad that we have an apple tree in our backyard! We can get free apples for a few weeks in the fall!

Day 4 - Goldfish "You are o-fish-ally our favorites!"
Our girls go through Goldfish so fast! I usually buy the huge econo-sized box, but my girls love the space goldfish! I got this especially for Valentine's Day!

Day 5 - Wheat Thins "We love our wheat-hearts!"
I've been addicted to Wheat Thins since I was introduced to them in High School. I take them almost everywhere I go when I travel. The girls were out of snacks one day so I shared my Wheat Thins with them. They were instantly in love!

Day 6 - Granola Bars "You are the best, bar none!"
My girls have loved granola since they could start chewing! I usually get the Quaker Chewy brand, but the Sunbelt brand was on sale this week!

Day 7 -  Strawberry Fruit Bars "To our berry sweet Valentines!"
My husband bought Edy's Fruit Bars like crazy during the summer! My personal favorite is the peach, but my girls LOVE the strawberry ones!

Day 8 - Oranges "Orange you glad you're our Valentine?"
I have never been big on oranges, personally. But I LOVE orange juice. We were at a WIC appointment a few months ago and one of the ladies gave our girls an orange. They devoured them within minutes of me peeling them! Except for my baby. She is sensitive to fruits that have a ton of citric acid them.

Day 9 - String Cheese "You've got our hearts on a string!"
My girls are obsessed with cheese! They want cheese with every single meal! Even along side their cereal in the morning! I don't give it to them all the time! But string cheese is always a sure choice for my girls!

Day 10 - Popcorn "Our hearts POP for you!"
I buy Orville Redenbacher's Natural Simply Salted Popcorn. It's a little more expensive, but it is seriously good! I can never pop my own popcorn without sharing with them! They could easily eat their own bag if I let them!

Day 11 - Carrot Sticks "We car-rots about you!" 
I started munching on baby carrots one afternoon and by the time supper rolled around, my girls and I finished off an entire bag of baby carrots! I call my girls "my bunnies".
What's up doc?

Day 12 - Grapes "We love you bunches!"
I serve grapes for every gathering I host at my house. When I take the child gate down, my girls always run to the fruit bowl and pick out as many grapes as they can fit in their tiny hands!

Day 13 - Strawberry Yogurt "You're berry fantastic!"
Yogurt is a staple in our home. I love it. My husband loves it. Our girls love it. They are constantly asking for it for breakfast! I always put a little granola on top!

Day 14 - M&M's "Happy Valentine's Day to our magnificent and miraculous daughters!"
Okay, so Day 14 will be a treat for my girls! M&M's are their absolute favorite sweet snack! Aside from ice cream! I think it's good to throw a treat into the mix every now and then!

I took the time to make the notes by hand! I know that some people are awesome on making free printables so everyone can gift without the extra work, but I'm all about handmade goodies! Take the time to show your kids how much you love them by making handmade cards and signs! They will notice!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Gifting!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Simple America Wreath

I've been a huge slacker lately when it comes to crafting! I've been busy on my weight loss journey and it's about a full-time job next to parenting! But in the spirit of Independence Day coming up, I knew I needed to get on the ball and get some stuff done for my home!

I saw a simple Valentine's Wreath back in February and I fell in love with it! So when I was thinking about what I wanted to make for my home, I had an instant idea! If you're strapped for time and want to create something quick, you can make one of these:


You will need:
  • Scissors
  • A sharpie
  • 2 Large cereal boxes
  • Cardboard
  • Red, White, and Blue paint
  • Hot glue gun with glue
  • Twine
First, I started by drawing stars on the printed side of one cereal box. I drew 3 extra large, 6 large, and 15 medium to small stars. I cut them all out and divided them into three separate piles. One extra large star in each, 2 larges, and divide out the rest accordingly. Cut a large circle out of regular cardboard for the wreath. I used a chip bowl to draw around for my circle. Cut out the inside part to make a wreath.


Paint each stack of stars a different color. One stack red, another white, and the last one blue! Let them dry completely. While they are drying, using one of the sides of a cereal box, cut out a banner. You can paint on anything you'd like, but I wanted mine to say, "AMERICA". Let it dry completely.


I arranged the stars on the cardboard wreath the way I wanted them, and plugged my glue gun in. I hot glued the stars in place with the banner.


Once it was cool, I hot glued one end of my twine onto the cardboard back. I used quite a bit like this:


I glued the other side of the twine down the same way to allow it to hang. With the leftover twine, I wrapped it around and through the stars to give the wreath a fun, country look! I think it turned out great!





I loved how simple and quick it was to make this wreath! It is not water-proof, so I will bring it in when (and if) it ever rains. I thought about going over everything with mod podge, but I probably won't! This will only be up for a few weeks anyway!

I hope you all have a fun and safe Independence Day! Drink lots of water and wear sunscreen!

Happy Creating/Painting/Gluing/Hanging/Crafting!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Curious George Cake Pop Tutorial

A friend that I went to high school with asked me if I would make her daughter some Curious George cake pops for her third birthday party. I was a little intimidated by the offer, but I am always up for a challenge! I accepted and did some research on George and the Man in the Yellow Hat.

I decided to make the Man's face and hat as well as George's head. I had a trial run that had me test out 8 different ways to mold, shape, coat, and decorate before I found a method that was easy! I want to share how to make these guys so that you can create some of your own if your child has a Curious George Party!


You will need:

  • Cake Mix prepared and baked, then cooled
  • 1 can of frosting
  • Light Brown Candy Melts
  • Yellow Candy Melts
  • Pink Candy Melts
  • White Candy Melts
  • Vegetable Shortening (I use Crisco)
  • Cake Pop Sticks
  • Styrofoam Board
  • 1 Tube of black frosting (you can make your own)
  • Small Sandwich Bag

Bake your cake according to package directions. Cool completely. Crumble into a large bowl by cutting the cake into four pieces and rubbing two together at once.


This doesn't always ensure that all the pieces are broken apart. I use a pie dough cutter to find and break apart any large pieces. You can also use a fork or any other utensil to break up the cake.


When the cake is completely crumbled, add half a can of frosting and mix with a large spoon. You will want the cake to be the consistency of meatloaf. If it is too dry, add a large spoonful of frosting until you reach the desired consistency.

You are now ready to start shaping George and the Man.

I made a ball of cake that was about 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons of cake. I didn't measure, I just eyed the cake ball. Shape it into a ball.


Flatten the front a little where George's face will be. Pinch a little bit of cake on the sides of the cake ball to make George's ears, add one small ball on the top to make his hair. Smooth the cake so that it looks as if it was all one piece.It should look like this:


Place on a cookie sheet. Next, grab another amount of cake and roll it into an oval shape. Smooth it so that it looks like this:


Next, roll out a small ball of cake into a snake shape to fit around the middle of the cake ball. Shape it into a triangle shape by pinching the sides of the rolled cake. Break it into three pieces, like this:


Grab the large ball and one of the three pieces. Smooth each side into the cake ball, keeping the shape of the hat rim.



Add the other piece and smooth it into the next one. Add the last piece. If you are short cake for the hat rim, simply shape some more cake and fill in the hat until it goes the entire way around the center section. It should look like this:


To make the Man's nose, grab a small piece of cake and shape it into a long triangle. Press the top point of the triangle into the front of the face and smooth it. It should look like this:


Place the Man on your cookie sheet. Make another George head, then another Man head. Go back and fourth between the two until  you are out of cake.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 4 hours. I do not recommend putting these in the freezer to speed things up. Set aside enough time to make these.

When you are ready to dip your cake pops, melt a bag of light brown chocolate candy melts to cover George's head. I always add a teaspoon of shortening to the candy melts to allow the chocolate to coat the cake ball easily and to allow the excess candy melts to tap off. I add enough to the candy melt so that when I pick up the spoon from the chocolate, there is a steady flow of chocolate. But be careful, if you add too much shortening, the candy melt won't harden.

Take a few George heads out of the fridge at a time. I usually take out 3 to 4. Dip a cake pop stick into the chocolate, then insert it into the bottom of George's head. Dip the cake pop into the chocolate to cover the entire cake pop. Tap off the excess chocolate, but not too hard. You don't want the cake pop to fall off the stick. Stick the cake pop into your Styrofoam block and let dry completely. They should look like this:


With the leftover chocolate in my chocolate melter, I added the same amount of yellow, pink, and white candy melts. I didn't have much chocolate left, so I added 6 pieces of each into the melter with my chocolate. I did not need to add any extra shortening, but if your candy melts are too thick, add a little bit of shortening until you reach the desired flow. You want a color that is tan, not too dark, not too light.

I used a regular spoon to make George's face. I dipped the back side of my spoon into the chocolate and gently made George's face. I say gently because the hot chocolate will melt the chocolate that's hardened on your cake pop. You can always go back and redo this step if you pull too much of the dark color up. I also made two dabs on each ear. This is what they looked like:


When you have made each face, empty out your chocolate melter. Fill it back up with yellow candy melts.

When they are melted completely, add shortening like you did in the above steps. Pull out a two Man's at a time from the fridge. Dip a cake pop stick into the candy and stick it into the bottom of the Man's head. You will want the stick to go about 2/3 the way through the head, but not the entire way. When head is secure, dip the top half of the head, the Hat part, into the yellow. I put one side in and rolled it around the rim to cover the entire hat. Tap off any excess candy melts CAREFULLY. If you tap too hard, the stick may come through the head or fall off completely. Stick the cake pop into the Styrofoam board. It should look like this:



*EXTRA STEP IF YOU USED CHOCOLATE CAKE* Re-dip the hat portion so that the strong brown color doesn't come through the yellow. If you used white cake, don't worry about re-dipping the hat.

After each hat has been dipped, clean out your chocolate warmer again. Put in equal amounts of white, yellow, and pink candy melts to make a flesh color.

 

Add shortening like you have to the other colors. When ready, use a spoon to pour the color onto the Man's face. Be careful to not get any on the hat. Tap the cake pop to allow the candy melt to cover the face. Quickly turn over the cake pop and spoon more candy melt on to the back of the head, then turn over again and tap off the excess candy melt. Place in Styrofoam block to dry completely. It should look like this:


For the last part of candy melting, clean out your chocolate melter. Place 5 to 6 white candy melts into the warmer. When they are melted, there is no need to add any shortening. Use one end of a chopstick or clean paint brush. Dip into the white candy melt and place onto each cake pop to make eyes. Let dry completely. They should look like this:


Now you are ready to decorate! Fill a corner of a small sandwich baggie with black frosting. You won't need very much. Cut a very tiny hole in the corner. Pipe black frosting to make George and the Man look like this:



Let the cake pops dry completely. The frosting takes a little bit to dry, but once it does, you will be able to handle them.


Happy Baking/Molding/Decorating!