Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rocket cake!

I think my sister likes to challenge me. When I asked her what kind of cake she wanted for my nephew's birthday, she said, "Oh, he loves Little Einsteins. A rocket cake would be cute." Oh, sure, NO problem! Let me add that she would have been fine with anything, but I really wanted to make a rocket cake. And I love a challenge.

Up until the day I started the cake, I really thought it would be a total bomb. No way can I do Rocket! I thought for sure my fondant would fall apart with so much red coloring (I make my fondant from scratch - I don't like store-bought), I had no idea how I was going to pull off the shape, and the people! Too much detail. My head was spinning.

Well, in the end it turned out to be so cute. I used my regular almond cake for the rocket body, and two Twinkies for each engine (the kids keep asking when I will be buying more Twinkies - they had never had them). The top dingly thing (it's a technical term, you know) is made from fondant with a dowel inside to keep the shape. The fondant held up just fine with the color. And because I didn't want to make four people, not to mention 9 fondant colors, I decided to put my nephew in the rocket instead. I think that was cuter anyway; he sure liked it! I piped a bunch of buttercream on the plate for clouds and sky - they aren't really successful, but I think it was OK. I would have done that differently if I had a second chance.

It was a fun centerpiece for the party - the kids loved eating "Rocket."

Christmas ornament "tree" centerpiece

Here's my version of an ornament tree in my dining room. A really cute idea! It could be much better if I had a better chandelier in my dining room ;)

The idea is simple - fishing wire and ornaments of different sizes. I have a candle in the center as the "trunk" of my tree. Time-consuming, but really easy to do, and something different than the norm.

My version of the melted crayon painting

I'm sure many of you have seen several versions of the melted crayon picture on Pinterest or other web sites. I thought it was a cute idea and needed a piece for the kids' bathroom. Usually the drips are flower stems, which is what I thought I would do. However, I had this large canvas but didn't want to buy 12 packs of crayons just for 4 colors, so I bought a few and then raided our crayon stash for the rest. I used reds, browns, yellows, greens and blues instead of just greens.

Well, when I started melting them, the colors blended together, which I did not plan for. Plus, the large size of the canvas meant that the drips didn't stay straight and were really wide at the bottom. When I was finished the kids said it didn't look like flower stems. My son said it looked like seaweed. Yeah. They did. Not what I planned.

After I let it sit for a couple weeks, I thought the seaweed idea wasn't so bad, so I added a few fish (one for each child). It turned out pretty cute, and the kids love it. The only drawback that people don't mention with the project is that the crayon cracks easily (duh), so you have to treat it gently. Otherwise, a fun project!