Sunday, January 27, 2013

I do this for me...I think

This right here is why I started blogging :

Not this exact thing, but projects like it. This is pretty terrible. Granted, it's only one of the panels and you wouldn't pull it across the entire window like this, but still... After seeing this, I just couldn't finish the other one. What would be the point? This is the kind of thing I do all the time. Honestly, I spend more time with the seam ripper than I do sewing. The issue this time? Poor prep. I measured the window, cut out both panels, sewed one and took off to the grocery store, leaving my dear husband to put up the curtain rod. 

I should have done that last part first. As it turns out, you are supposed to put the rod a few inches above the actual window. You can see those missing inches there at the bottom of that curtain panel :)
This project was supposed to be me being productive. Me taking a break and finally attempting to finish this craft room. Productive isn't necessarily my thing. I just looked it up and I painted this craft room in February of last year. It really didn't feel that long, but the window has looked like this ever since:

I got a little off track as usual. The blog. There are so many awesome blogs out there and don't these women's lives seem SO perfect? Doesn't every baked good look amazingly delicious and every crafty project seem to be whipped up quickly with precision and ease despite the fact that there are children around? Who are these women? And why do I keep reading even though I end up feeling completely inadequate? 

So I decided to start this blog. It's not a place where perfection lives. This is where random lives. This is where just ok is sometimes as good as it gets. This is where I document my baking and sewing adventures. Adventure is kind of a nice word for me getting frustrated and crying or ripping out seams or throwing out a baking fail. But it's my adventure and I always end up learning something and this blog allows me to laugh at myself and hopefully you can too.

So there you have it. My craft room curtain fail. I hope you're feeling better about your sewing skills right about now :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bake me a Cake...

I don't know if you call it a rule or what, but one of my own baking/birthday rules - Never make your own birthday cake. My husband did offer to buy me one. Psh. I have a huge love of made from scratch cake and that just wouldn't do. I was secretly hoping he would make one for me. But the birthday came and went without cake. We did have dinner out, but I was still feeling the need for cake.
In all honesty, it really had little to do with me getting older. Sometimes, I just feel like having cake and since I don't want to seem like a fatty, I need a "reason" to make one. You think I make all those cakes for people at work because I'm nice? :)

I made a Chocolate Cream cake from this cookbook. A triple layer chocolate cake with a buttercream filling and chocolate cream cheese frosting. It was almost too much, even for me...Almost. 

I had to post the slice picture first because the chocolate frosting hides the yummy cream inside and that's such a shame. Want to know the best part of making your own cake? You don't have to frost it smoothly or evenly. Just slap that stuff on and go, it all tastes the same. When it's just for me, I don't do pretty :)

Even though it's not perfect, the boy appreciates it. He had the biggest smile when I told him there was cake. And it got bigger when I put it in front of him. That's my little guy!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Finally! Baking on this blog!

I'm so glad to finally get some cake on this blog! Baking was really my thing for a few years and in the last few months, I really lost motivation. I was training for a marathon over the summer (which is a huge time suck) so I was too busy. Then, in the middle of training, I found out I was pregnant (energy suck) so I've simply lacked the motivation. Marathon + Pregnancy = no cake. I ran the marathon in October and I'm in the second trimester and feeling slightly more energetic, so here goes.

I got a request from a co-worker and fellow blogger to make a cake for her son's first birthday. I was really nervous. I had never made a cake covered in fondant before, but I was definitely up for the challenge. I'm sort of cheating, I also posted about it here, but I won't be posting as many pictures and I'm not pulling the post word for word :) So here it is:

I'll be the first to admit it's not perfect (that's actually a bad habit of mine), but as far as a first time with fondant goes, I think it's a really solid effort and I'm very proud of myself. I was kind of fueled by the fact that I thought my husband doubted me. Even he knew this would be hard. He bet on how many times I would cry during the process. His guess was twice. He's seen this enough when I sew. In all honesty, if he had never said anything, I might have cried during the process once.

I decided then, to stretch out the process a bit. I have a habit of trying to cram everything into too short a time frame, then getting stressed and I thought giving myself a few days would help. It went a little something like this:

Day One
8:00pm Toddler goes to bed. Start making lemon cake
9:00pm Cooling cake
11:00pm Wrap cake and freeze. Easy night!

Day Two:
8:00pm Toddler goes to bed. Make lemon buttercream icing
9:00pm Finish up dirty icing the cake and chill
9:30pm Roll the fondant and place on top of the cake
10:00pm Spend the next 1.5 hours trying to smooth wrinkles out of the cake
11:30pm Wonder why I thought I could do this. Refuse to cry because the husband CANNOT be right.

Day Three:
8:00pm Toddler goes to bed (are you noticing I can't do anything until this happens? ;)) Start making my own fondant
9:00pm Realize that the fondant is a fail. Text Jessica (friend, fellow blogger at BabyGotCake, and cake expert) to ask her if she's ever made buttercream fondant. She's never heard of this.
9:15pm Talk the situation out with my husband. Still refusing to cry out of frustration. Do I risk the unknown and try making buttercream fondant instead or risk waking up the toddler by opening the garage to go make a run to Wal-Mart?
9:30pm Decide on going to Wal-Mart. Text Jess again to tell her that fondant sucks
10:00pm Dye and roll fondant, cut out pieces for 1.5 hours
11:45pm Polka dots are on the cake and actually sticking. Internal celebration because I did it. Without crying! Breathe a sigh of relief.

Day Four:
8:00am Check the cake. Polka dots are still in place. Breathe sigh of relief.
11:00am Drop off cake. Everything still in place. Phew!

Almost forgot to add that the cake is modeled after the topper on this party post. I will update again when the mama does her post. It was SUCH a cute set up!