Wednesday, April 18, 2012

LABORS OF LOVE

I love what I do.  But, I REALLY LOVE what I do when I do it for someone I love.  I have been on a crafting binge this spring..inspired by the rebirth of nature, the amazing ideas that I find online and some very special requests by several loved ones.  

First up, my beautiful, sassy girlfriend, Marcee is having a baby.  We were texting about cute things she saw in a store and she mentioned a fabric birdcage that she saw online.  Here it is:



Said birdcage cost a fortune ($240!!), however, so once I saw the pic of it on Pinterest, I couldn't wait to make it for her!  Now, Marcee is one of the most fashionable people I know and I have no doubt that her nursery will be oozing with panache.  She sent me a shot of her wallpaper sample and it is SO COOL!


I went to work planning the cage to complement the paper.  Once I had the fabric in hand, I started with the base, which was simply covering a pillow form.  Next, I used floral wire (18 gauge, I think?) to make the "cage" part.  I covered that with the fabric and tackled the tricky part of attaching to the base.  Then came the birdies and attaching those to the cage.  



Turns out these mobiles are quite the rage these days.  As soon as I finished Marcee's, I saw the original in a pic in Martha Stewart Living.  But Marcee got one custom made for her peanut!  I can't wait to meet the amazing little sprout that she is incubating - I'm sure that he or she will be just as magnificent as Marcee and Ed.

The same week that I was working on the birdcage, my boys came-a-knockin with a new request.  They are consumed as of late with all things Arctic and Antarctic.  Their Grandparents recently had the good fortune to go to Antarctica, so our family has been abuzz with the wonder of whales, penguins, icebergs, etc.  Frozen Planet on Discovery is definitely must see TV for us these days.  

Now, the boys have a rather robust collection of exotic stuffed animals, but they wanted whales to add to the household zoo.  As I have been in sewing mood, I decided to try my hand at creating them myself.  I didn't have a pattern, so I created one and had the boys pick out their favorite denims or corduroy.  Figuring out the construction logistics was a little tricky and time consuming, but I think they turned out pretty great.  The guy below is about 2 feet long, and has been a fixture in the bed every night.  I guess that counts as a win!


Confectionately yours!

Friday, April 13, 2012

BERRY GOOD!

Last week was all about the strawberry in my kitchen.  I had a request to do a 30th surprise birthday cake for the daughter of one of the staff at my kids' elementary school.  The guest of honor specifically loves strawberry cake, so I worked with her Mom to figure out the best option for her and the party guests.  We could have gone with a strawberry cake with vanilla buttercream icing, however we opted for a more crowd-friendly White Almond Sour Cream cake.  I then layered the 3 cake tiers with fresh strawberry filling and topped with sinfully good Strawberry Buttercream frosting, which I cut with some tangy cream cheese frosting (has lemon juice in it) to help cut the sweetness of the sugar and fruit.

I also wanted to decorate it to be elegant, but a little whimsical, so I created some adornments of white chocolate and a shiny "30" out of a mix of gumpaste and fondant.  After the party, the client emailed me that the cake was "Deeelicious and a big hit"!  Another happy customer...hooray!


As I was making this, I was so smitten with the flavor that I decided to make extra for my rock star mother in law, who is visiting this week.  Her birthday is in a few days, and we are having a special dinner tomorrow night.  I think this cake will do just the trick!  The complete menu will include homemade chicken pot pies, spinach salad with mandarin oranges, slivered almonds and poppy seed dressing...and strawberry cake!

I have been very intrigued as of late with origami designs that I have seen on Pinterest and various other places, so I decided to play around a little and create a cake topper for her using origami.  These flowers and butterfly are a cinch to make and I think they turned out really cute.  Happy Birthday, Mom!


Confectionately yours!