Monday, November 28, 2011

Soft Block

I have been wanting to make a little fabric toy (mainly because they are quiet) for my daughter for a long time now. My husband and I were watching a football game on ESPN when Della got hold of a business envelope and because of these fancy little plastic "windows" was making enough noise that we couldn't hardly hear the game! So I cut them out and crumpled them up and used them as part of my creation.

I used this little toy for the center of the block, if you don't have a nifty little bell-ball like this though (thanks mom!) you can just put a bell in an Easter egg and tape it shut.

Then of course you have to pick the fabric and find chew-toys your kids like to put on the extremities. For the spring-like arms I used half as much elastic as I did fabric and just connected the ends of the fabric and elastic together with a few stitches.

 Then Della turned into a robot.

And I added the last square, leaving one side open for the stuffing and bell and then hand-stitched it up. The End! Della loves it. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cake Matters

Raspberry cake with lemon cream cheese frosting and marshmallow fondant, garnished with decadent edible sheets. LOVE.

First of all, I have to apologize for the pictures, I didn't have time to edit them, so they all look... fabulous. Second of all, I have to apologize because, once again, this was a Ginny-pig project and I don't have measurements for you. 
I am used to working with Buttercream frosting, which (because of the shortening) hardens nicely and is easy to smooth. But I took a slightly different route and used cream cheese. The ingredients:
Cream cheese
1 whole lemon
Powdered sugar and
1-2 TBS lemon pudding in powder form. I just gauged the consistency till it was thick and smooth. It tasted REMARKABLE. Two layers of this, always. The first seals the crumbs, the second hides them.

Now, for my favorite part! I tried marshmallow fondant for the first time. The site I found didn't have measurements either, so I just put a bowl full of white mini marshmallows in the microwave with about 2 TBS of water and microwaved them for about 1:30 in 30-second intervals, stirring every time. Just mix the marshmallows till smooth. Then you add vanilla and powdered sugar. Just add the sugar to the point that the fondant doesn't stick to your hands, like so:

It should not stick at all, should still be malleable, but firm and flexible. When rolling it out, use powdered sugar to coat your surface, and flip it from one side to the other several times while rolling it out, to prevent it from sticking.

Then, cover the cake with the sheet of fondant. You will have to cut off the excess and there will be a seam in the back. Use a bit of water to help it seal.

I always use a blush brush to wipe away dust and imperfections.

Then I used edible sugar sheets to cut out little peanut-shaped petals, and melted marshmallow with a bit of powdered sugar (as a glue) to make these little flowers. And used the leftover lemon frosting to decorate the centers.

The first time around it had a ribbon, but I wanted to see what it looked like without it, and with more flowers. So it ended up like this:

Oh yes! And if you are wondering why it's pink... I added a TON of raspberry jello to the cake batter. I added a smidgen more milk to compensate for the extra dry ingredient, but the cake turned out delish. And pretty. Enjoy :)