Friday, June 3, 2011

21st Birthday Cake... Barbie Style.

It's been over 2 weeks since my last post...  I have doubled my hours at work, and I've been working on a project that is taking foreverr. (don't worry! you'll get to see it later!). Anyway, yesterday was my sister's 21st birthday, so I took a break from that other project to make her a cake.

No, the "1" in "21" was not a typo! Kristin really did turn 21. We had seen pictures of other people's Barbie cakes and wished we had an occasion to make one for. Also, when she lived in Mexico last year, she saw a dress in Chiapas that she loved, and the idea for her birthday cake was born. (Yes, I am horribly aware of that massive, empty spot in the front of the cake.)

I know it doesn't look exactly the same. I explained to her how terrible the black icing would taste, and she gave me a new color scheme to work with. Kristin also decided to have less leaves and no vines or random orange dots between the flowers. It would have been more icing than cake if we had kept them in there.

Anyway, I'm going to break it down to show you how I formed the cake. I'm thinking I'll do a separate post on the flowers, since I came up with them on my own and rather like how they turned out. Just so you know, this cake is deceptively small. It took 3 cake boxes, and there were only 9 mini cupcakes left over.

First off, I poured the batter into 2 different sized glass bowls and one round cake pan. For the cake pan, I baked it according to directions. For the bowls, however, I lowered the temperature by 25ºF and baked until it was all the way done. While that was baking, I searched for my Barbie with red hair and covered her with plastic wrap from her shoulders down. You don't really have to wrap her torso, but I was worried about icing either getting in the cracks or staining the plastic. Once the cakes were done, I cut a hole in the middle, stacked, them, and stuck Barbie in her new dress.

I used this buttercream icing recipe. It tasted really yummy, but the heat and humidity made the flowers sweat, as you'll see later. In an effort to give the dress ripples and waves Because I knew I would be covering up the base with flowers and vines, I didn't smooth out the first layer of icing. Here's a close-up picture of the flowers:

They're really shiny from the all-butter icing. But other than that, they tasted delicious and hardened wonderfully!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

upcycled. crochet sandals.

Last week, I was cleaning out my closet and ran across these little guys.

They're not exactly ugly, but they've definitely seen better days. And it had been so long since I'd worn them, I didn't even remember breaking the left flip flop. Well a few days prior, I got a catalog from Alloy (really random, since I've never bought anything from them) and saw [these] sandals. cutee!! However, I have a strict don't-pay-over-$25-unless-they're-winter-boots policy.

The solution? upcycle!

I used materials that I already had, so the color of yarn (yes. yarn. when they wear out, maybe I'll get hemp.) was between a brown that absolutely did not match and white. Both fabrics used for the back were left over from previous projects. I also did not have any zippers, so I just went for the button-up look.

I kind of rushed through these, so I didn't do a lot of planning. In hindsight, I would have bought something a little sturdier to crochet with, and I would have put interfacing in the back (yes. I know. I can't believe I missed it.).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

a whale of a cake.

Making this cake was a blast! It took a really long time, but it wasn't really difficult. To be honest, the hardest part was making the shape and putting the first layer of icing on him.

To start, I needed to make the shape. For the base, I used a plain circular cake pan. For his head/body, I used a glass bowl that was safe for the oven (that's super important!). For the tail, I didn't have anything shaped like that already, so I just put batter in a glass bread pan and cut it to the right shape after it was baked. It was actually fun carving out the shape, but it was really difficult, since cake is crumbly.

As you can see, if you plan on covering a cake with decorations, the base layer of icing doesn't need to be perfectly smooth.

For the decorating part, I covered the little guy with stars (which took forever), put a face on him. I had extra light blue icing, so I randomly decided to go back over the top part and make some waves crashing up alongside him. Then I added seashells and seaweed to the base.

Here's a close-up of his face: