Monday, November 30, 2015

Baby shower

Yesterday was the Big Day! We had the baby shower for my niece. I was really glad I'd got that cake topper completed early, because a couple of weeks ago, I did a  whoopsy to my back and leg. Ouch! Fortunately, Mr Coco came to my rescue and helped with the cake baking, etc. Together, we produced this:

Not too shabby, eh? The cake itself is about 12 inches in diameter. Vanilla with a raspberry filling and real buttercream icing on top. There is a whole pound of butter in the icing, and I had very little left over in the end.

There was one surprise though. Remember the pink tiled 'floor' beneath the bunny's tub? It was a bright hot pink. I had it sitting on my dining room table which doesn't get direct sunlight. By the time I finished the cake, it had faded to a very pale (nearly white) pink. :( I used Wilton paste food colouring. Burgundy. If anyone knows what may have happened, please leave a comment.

And, of course, Grandma Coco, made the baby a little pink sweater and hat set. It's tiny and precious.....newborn-sized...... which will probably only fit her for a minute or 2.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pink tiles

I'm working away on the fondant cake topper for the baby shower cake. It's a little like those old paint-by-number paintings. I watch a bit of the instructional video (from Craftsy) and then I run to the kitchen to do 'what she did'. So far, so good.

I had to have 2 tries at the tiled floor. A pizza cutter is a fondant girl's best friend apparently.

And now I've got the bunny's tub in place. See the little puddle of bath water that's spilled over onto the floor? Adorable! Every time I finish a section, I have to have a little sit down to collect myself. It's not like the world will stop spinning if I mess up. It's just that I really want this cake to be nice for my niece's baby shower.

I still have 12 days until the shower. And counting.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Just another Sunday afternoon

Who knows what these are? Anyone? Anyone? (that's a little Ferris Bueller humour, for those of you old enough to remember).

(I was thinking of entitling this post, "Everything in duplication.") I'm making a baby shower cake. Not only have I promised this cake, but I am determined to make a really cute fondant cake topper to crown it with. No matter that I've really never done much with fondant before, except for the cats I modeled this past summer. I just want to. So, I did what I always do. I'm going back to school. I'm following along with a Craftsy course called Too Cute Cake Toppers. And they are. Too cute, that is.

The topper is built on a base. Usually, it's styrofoam, but I couldn't find a styrofoam base, nor could I find the styrofoam form for the bathtub that the bunny is supposed to be bathing in. No biggie. I made my own out of krispie treats. Now, here's a tip for anyone out there who might also be thinking of doing this......leave out the butter. The disk on the right has margerine. The one on the left has no margerine and no butter. The margerine one is flexible. The non-fat one is dense and hard. No human is going to eat this base, so dense and hard is much better than flexible but delicious. You can quote me on that. I'm hoping the toothpicks and skewers that hold things in place will pierce the krispie treat base in the same way as styrofoam.

The first order of business is to construct the shower head, because it needs to air dry at least for overnight. I read other people's experiences, and thought I might need a back-up just in case the first one breaks during assembly. They're both OK. For now.

I have 2 weeks to pull this off. I thought it might be good to start early.

When I'm not working on baby shower cake toppers, or consulting Pinterest, or other fondant/cake decorating sites on the internet, or making cookies, you all know I've been working on the Cowichan-style sweater. There's been a lot of internet research involved in that project, too. And some un-knitting and re-knitting.

Finally, today, I have both fronts completed. I pinned them out and gave them a little steam blocking, so I could measure for the zipper. It has to come all the way from Winnipeg. There are 2 choices of or cream. Since they are cheap, and I am confused about what 'cream' could mean, I ordered one of each, and I'll decide once they arrive. I have lots of time. I still have the sleeves to knit, as well as the back which I'm re-knitting for about the 3rd time. That will all be worth it though, I'm sure, because I'm lovin' those howling wolves under the starry sky.

Friday, November 13, 2015


What's with all the babies lately?? Suddenly, everyone's having a baby. Girl babies!! Here are a few cookies I've made for a shower later this month. They're simple and quiet and pink, pink, pink!

I don't know why I have to be reminded that simple is always best. I start out full of all kinds of ideas and details, and I end up remembering there's something sweet in minimalism.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Is it too early to start thinking about Christmas?

Cardinal Cookies
Amanda and I don't think so. We're already baking cookies. Did you know cookies that are well wrapped can be safely stored in the freezer for months?? We haven't had any hang around that long, but we can attest that a few weeks in the freezer doesn't seem to hurt them one bit. The secret? Wrap them really well in an air-tight wrap, and put them in a sealed container. That means, we can get the jump on all our holiday baking.

Cats in the Christmas Tree!

My co-cookier, Amanda, had the brilliant idea that we should make some gift boxes of assorted cookies. We'll have a limited number of these gift boxes that we're offering for sale with all proceeds.....100% of the selling price... going to the Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project. That's right, all the cookies and packaging are donated.

So, if you live nearby, and you'd like to support the Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project AND pick up a present for your child's teacher or a co-worker, at the same time, just let us know in the comments. And, if you especially like any of the boxes in the photo, just tell us which number you prefer, and we can make that happen. Or, pre-order an assortment, and we'll surprise you. You can stash it in your freezer until you need it. These would also make good 'just in case' gifts to have on hand for when someone surprises you with a present, and you need something to reciprocate.

The red assortment boxes measure 5 inches x 7 inches, and they're sealed in cellophane, with a festive ribbon and gift tag. $10. ea.

This black box with the greeting card cookie measures 5 inches x 5 inches. Also sealed in cellophane, with a ribbon and a gift tag.  $5.

The cookies are all made from my grandmother's shortbread recipe, and decorated with royal icing.... and they're made with love! Just like she did.

Meowie Christmas!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Full speed ahead

I got the green light on the Cowichan sweater. The wool was promptly ordered from Wool-tyme in Ottawa, and it arrived in record time. So, now, there's just the little matter of the knitting.

Working in such a chunky gauge is new to me, and requires some getting used to. Last night, I realized that I had started pulling the wool too tight when I switched into a new pattern. There was nothing for it but to un-do several rows and try again. I really want it to be right!

And, besides, I have a supervisor to please.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Uptown Cat flashback

Got a comment left on a very old post this morning. An inquiry about a micro macramé bracelet I was working on in April of 2012. I think it must have come from a Pinterest posting. Cottagemuse wants to know if I ever completed the bracelet. Well, Cottagemuse,  I did! And here it is, in all its glory.

Of course, I have been busy with other pursuits, and forgot how much I loved doing those bracelets. If I get a moment, it would be great fun to get back to them. Thanks for the excuse to go back in time, Cottagemuse!