DP Challenge: Transition – From Paste to Model

In response to the DP Photo Challenge: Transition

Sugarpaste models, pocpocs, neep, bop, abney and teal

From Maxi Mister’s 4th Birthday cake – The Pocpocs, Neep and Bop from ‘Abney and Teal’

DP Challenge – Careful

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Careful.”

Jelly roll, rotary cutter, self-healing mat, quilting ruler

Using a rotary cutter and quilting ruler on a self-healing mat the trim a block for the quilt I am making. Ouch if you aren’t careful!

Oriental string work, royal icing, sugarcraft

Using sugar pearls as spacers in oriental string work on a cake. The royal icing is very delicate, so you have to be very careful not to knock everything off (as I did at least twice when doing this)

Pin cushion, thread catcher

Somewhere to carefully stow pins whilst sewing at the machine – my homemade thread catcher and pincushion.

Writing 101 – Day 13 and 14 – Vignettes/Recreate a Single Day AND Photo Challenge: Change

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Change.”

I have decided to complete 2 challenges in one, so this post meets the task for Writing 101 Day 14, to write through a series of vignettes about 1 day, and the Daily Post Photo Challenge: Change. In this case the photos are showing the development of 2 cakes I created for Mini Mister’s Christening and 1st Birthday Party. The day this covers is Saturday 26th September 2015.

12:40am

Thankfully the cake is finally out of the oven and detinned. 4 hours cooking for 1 cake! And the mix didn’t fit in my Kenwood Chef. I ended up going through a bowl, killing my hand mixer, overflowing my Chef, and dumping it all in hubby’s maslin pan to finish mixing it. So much mess! Anyway, it looks fine. The recipe (in its original 8in round form) came from the lovely Janet at Quaint Cakes. Now to get some sleep…

8am

101 questions from Maxi Mister. I can’t cope as I need all my limited (as not had enough sleep) brainpower to think through the plans for today. He is driving me crazy already! When does the cake shop open???? And why is it I have every lustre spray except gold?

10:10am

Successful visit to the cake shop. I now have gold spray, 2 mini cake cards, a brown decorating pen and a pot of ready-to-use royal icing (thank the Lord for that, since I am rubbish at making royal icing, it is impossible to only make a small amount, and I need only a tiny amount). Thank you also cake fairies who decided that royal icing is deserving of a place in the ready-made aisle. Final cake stages can now commence.

11:15am

Mmmmm! Dark chocolate ganache 😊

Ganache

11:40am

Blitzed up the rice pops to make smooth RKT.

birthday cake 1

Lots of butter on my gloves to stop it sticking. Squidge most of it into a hemisphere and plonk on smallest cake card. Hopefully it will set OK. The remainder tastes OK, but I think I am not a huge fan of RKT.

birthday cake 4

Now to get the rest of the Christening cake sorted – cover the cake, put cake on pre-covered board.

Make lots of 5g balls of sugarpaste for round the bottom.

Stick the balls on in a neat pattern (I have used 3 colours).

Make some a bit smaller so the pattern works properly.

Make a few more a bit smaller.

Oh for Pete’s sake, why won’t they fit? Squish a few up so they do.

Voilà!

christening cake 8

12:30pm

Hubby and Mini Mister are back from swimming, which is a good thing as Maxi is constantly asking for food, despite having had a big breakfast and a snack. And now the in-laws have arrived too.

Break out the royal icing to finish the cake. Will the letters stand up on their own? Add the train and its trucks to the cake. It is simple but I do like it. In fact, I nearly cried when I went to show it to Hubby. Not sure why. I am very tired though!

christening cake final

Lunch break! Yay!!

1:45pm

Well, I managed, with hubby’s help, to torte, fill and restack the cake. Into the fridge it goes to set. It is enormous! Now to work on the models. I sprayed the aerial gold (did it in the garden as that lustre stuff gets everywhere!) and am leaving it to dry stuck into the polystyrene dummy I am reusing. I got it originally for my Sugarcraft Diploma for my final presentation cake. This rather wonderful little company made it for me, to my specifications, and sent it out fast so I had it within a couple of days: Dummies Direct

Now I am going to use it for the back of the boat. Hopefully it won’t be too tall…

3:30pm

Quacky birds made, although they have no feet or wings or beaks (they are still drying). Twirlywoos now have appendages even though it is the only part I have made. Now back to the cake…

I have cut a template for the boat. I have a picture and I have Mini Mister’s little bath toy version as a guide. I am still terrified about cutting into this gargantuan cake. If it goes wrong, I can use ganache to stick some of it back together, but I don’t know if it will all work…

4pm

Done! I really didn’t need a cake that big (I turned an 8 inch recipe into a 10 in square one, so doubled the size of the mix). I have cut off a huge amount. I have built up the top using off-cuts and checked that the dummy fits. I am quite pleased with the shape, although it is difficult to see it with just a ganache covering. It is now back in the fridge chilling again. And breathe 😊

Offcuts

Offcuts

Tea break!

5pm

Checked that things are drying properly. Stuck the RKT dome to the top of the dummy. I really need to get on with these models. But first the children need tea and then me and hubby need to go to collect the food order and buy the rest.

7:30pm

Oh what a nightmare! The whole world and his wife were in Costco buying stuff. We queued for half an hour just to pay and then still had to go to Sainsbury’s to get mini sausage rolls and sausages as Costco was out of them. At least the sandwiches and wraps look good! The children are in bed, thanks to the in-laws, so I need to get on with covering the cake. I don’t have long as it has had to come out of the fridge so we can get all the perishable food for tomorrow in there. I wonder how long til the ganache gets too soft…

8:10pm

Break for dinner – Chinese take-away. Mmmmmm!

I got the board covered and then transferred the cake onto a fresh piece of baking parchment (ganache beginning to soften). Somehow the sugarpaste rolled out large enough to get it over the whole thing. A lot of smoothing and remoulding has taken place, as well as sticking the dummy on (had to chop a chunk off it as it was too tall). I have now marked the sides of the boat to make it look like planks, and added round blue patches for portholes. Using piping tubes, I have cut some rims for the portholes, added them and painted them gold using clear alcohol and edible dusting powder. It actually looks like the original boat, almost. Need to smooth the paste a bit more, so excuse the lumps and bumps.

birthday cake 4

9:30pm

Now I need to get the models finished. So much to do.

11:20pm

We can all go to bed. I have made 4 Twirlywoos, 1 Peekaboo, finished the Quackybirds and put the cake on the board. I wish I had the time to have made better models. I added some blue and white paste round the bottom to represent waves, as well as to hide the join. A bit of soft brown sugar looks sand-like enough, I think. A red ribbon will finish the board and I will just have the models to add when they are dry. Such a long day so far.

Not the best models I have ever made, and a lesson for me that I really need to begin things like this well in advance. Everyone else loves them. I just see the errors!

Not the best models I have ever made, and a lesson for me that I really need to begin things like this well in advance. Everyone else loves them. I just see the errors!

birthday cake 5

9am – Sunday 27th September 2015

And here they are. Mini Mister’s Christening and 1st Birthday cakes. What do you think?

Boys Christening Cake         Twirlywoo cake
 

Sort of Writing 101 Day 12 – What is this?

So, task-wise, I am a day behind. Busy with work, taking Maxi Mister to his first Beaver Scout meeting, and I’m very tired. Already!

What is this, in a snapshot of the work I have done this evening on Mini Mister’s Christening cake? It is all you are getting…

Sugar paste, flower paste, Christening cake, cake topper, train

(49 words – the task was ‘Have you tried experimenting with word count? Try restricting it to 50’)

Daily Post Photo Challenge – Grid

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Grid.”

Sewing grids: 2 quilting rulers, self-healing cutting mat

Sewing grids: 2 quilting rulers, self-healing cutting mat

IMG_20150920_105155

Baking grid: silicon mat, basket weave rolling pin, cooling rack

Writing 101 – Day 2: Write a list

I mentioned last week that I was going to do this assignment from last Tuesday in a different format. It is one I can add to over time, but it also fulfils my plans for pictures on most if not all posts. Here is my list. What do you think?

Things I like

Writing 101 – Inspiration from Social Media

Does it?

I practise the art of Procrastination. Always have and probably always will.

It possibly does mean I don’t get as much done, but I usually end up reflecting and replanning and refining and reorganising in my mind whilst I procrastinate, so arguably it produces a better outcome.

I read through the responses to the original tweet. I think I agree with the first. Surely it does both. That is what my response implies so far.

At the moment, my procrastination means that I keep going back again and again to the instructions and video for the quilt I am currently making. Maybe it will turn out better than it would have done as I have had more time to embed everything, and to plan the parts I have to create without help. I don’t know. It isn’t measurable is it?

On the other hand, my procrastination is going to mean I am more likely to get stressed out whilst trying to create Mini Mister’s birthday cake. I only have 2 weeks and really need to get going with the modelling now.

So, no more procrastinating by writing this post. Cake and quilt, here I come!