Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Cake Post, AKA Misadventures in Fondant and Frosting

Last week I blogged about making cakes for my husband's grandmother's birthday party. That was quite the adventure and let's just say Antoinette will NOT be going into the cake business any time soon!! At first I said I wouldn't make any more cakes for the next YEAR but then realized Dominic will be 1 in July so it won't be fair to him if I don't make his cake. I began on Wednesday by making the cake layers. Thursday I made the mocha buttercream, using a recipe from The Joy of Cooking. I also made the marshmallow fondant. The mocha buttercream was easy to make. The fondant is something I haven't worked with before, and it was quite easy. So, I frosted the big cake with the buttercream, which was huge by the way, enough for 108 people (!!!!!) and assembled both cakes. (Did I mention I made two cakes? One was a regular 2 layer round cake, that is the one that had the mocha buttercream but no fondant. The big one had coffee buttercream with an apricot filling.)
Moving on the Friday...I realized I wasn't going to have enough fondant, so I made more, made it just the right shade of the palest pink. I rolled everything out, and put the fondant on the cake. I realized TOO LATE that I had rolled it out too thin AND too short on the ends. That was the first time I wanted to cry. I knew I couldn't take it off and roll it out again so I took some of the leftover fondant and cut it to fit on the ends. I then piped icing on the borders and corners. I wanted it to look classy, almost like a gift box. I put a really pretty ribbon around the bottom (it was chocolate brown with a cream damask pattern). I put it in the cake box to protect it, because I needed to do something else.
Later that afternoon I got it out of the box to finish the decorations and saw that the fondant was settling into every crack and crevice and whatever other flaw there was. I seriously wanted to cry for the second time.) My husband was on his way home from work so I asked him to get a container of cream cheese frosting. What else was I going to do at the last minute? I pulled of the fondant carefully and then added some food coloring to the cream cheese frosting to make it pink and put it on the cake. It was just barely enough, but it worked. I decided to add the decorations on Saturday morning, after we arrived at the place where the party was going to be held. I didn't want to take any chances of the decorations getting messed up!! Well, sometime Saturday morning my husband realized that the box top had indeed gotten stuck on the frosting!!! Again, I wanted to cry. So, I did the only thing I could do. No, I didn't throw it in the trash and run to Wal-Mart and buy another cake. I got myself and the boys ready for the party and we stopped at the local grocery store and I bought more cream cheese frosting. When we arrived, I handed the baby over and got to work. Dyed the frosting pink (thank goodness it matched), frosted the cake and wrote Happy Birthday with chocolate piping gel. I added more of the pretty brown ribbon and got my mother-in -law to help me figure out where to put the edible roses and the little chocolate cameos I had made.
In the end, it reminded me of something Italian, with a stucco design or something. I kind of liked it to be honest. It wasn't the prettiest cake ever, or even how I envisioned it at all, but it turned out ok. The best part, few slices of cake were left, but everyone took them home. We didn't have a single piece left over!!! Of either cake!! I was so worried about how it looked but felt better after I received so many compliments on them. After about 12 cups (maybe 9, don't remember now) of powdered sugar, more sticks of butter than I care to say, 24 eggs (yes, TWENTY FOUR) and 8 boxes of cake mix (because I wasn't going to make that much cake from scratch like I usually do) and standing for so long my legs were swollen for 2 days...
Still not making anymore cakes anytime soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Heritage Collection Men's Card Set



Hi! I hope you are having a great day so far! I want to share the latest addition to my Etsy shop. (Click on the pictures to see them better.)
Looking for a special card to give your father, husband, son, grandfather, uncle or friend? This trio of cards was made with a special man in mind.
The first one is reminiscent of the old scrapbook albums. Remember the ones maybe your grandparents had, wtih photo corners on each corner of the picture? It was always great to look back through those albums, with someone's handwriting, and well worn photos. That is what I tried to recreate here. I aged the card panel with different techniques and inks, even added water stains.
The second card is made with a travel theme and decorative edges.This card is slightly thinner than the other two cards, but just as charming. I used distress ink for the travel icons and lightly sponged the edges with a rusty red color to help everything stand out.
The last card is a clean and simple design, made to look elegant for the recipient. The top layer has rounded corners on top and a decorative edge on the bottom and a slight texture on it. The main card panel has a ribbon stamped on it- giving the card a ribbon without actually using one and all four corners have been rounded.
All cards are standard A2 size- 4 1/4 x 5 1/2, with the exception of the travel theme card, with is slightly thinner, and come with envelopes for each of the three cards. This lovely set is ready to ship will arrive in a padded envelope to prevent damage. 

You can find this great little set here: .  
In other news, I have been preparing to make not one, but two cakes for my husband's grandmother's 80th surprise birthday party. (Not to worry, she doesn't read blogs on the internet, so she won't find out about it through me!!) One cake is going to be a 3 layer yellow cake with mocha buttercream. I took one of those cake decorating classes a few months ago with my 9 year old son (he wanted to go- and did a GREAT job!!) and as much fun as it was, that buttercream is G.R.O.S.S. Sorry, but I couldn't get the shortening taste out of my mouth. Blah!! Being someone who tries to eat healthy, and rarely eats fried or fast foods, having shortening in my house hasn't happened in YEARS. Anyway, I wanted something that tastes better, so I got out my handy dandy classic- The Joy of Cooking. Oh yeah, buttercream with a ton of real butter. Totally goes against my "non--diet" (because, really, I don't diet!!), but I made the Mocha Buttercream recipe for Alex's 9th birthday party and it was sooooooooo good. (I used decaffeinated btw- I don't think it would have been a good idea to use regular coffee for six 9 year olds!!) There are more steps, but it is well worth it. I don't have any fancy equipment, so really, anyone can do it if I can.
The second cake is a white cake, 2 layers with apricot preserve filling. This is the big one- 12x18 (they are expecting about 100 people for this shin-dig). This one I want to cover in pale pink fondant- which I have never worked with before. So, I am starting early in case it doesn't turn out the way I am picturing in my head. I will have time to fix it. Anyway, I will be writing Happy Birthday and a few little embellishments in white icing and if you happened to see the article in Country Living not too long ago, chocolate cameos made with white and regular brown chocolate. I will post pictures if it turns out the way I hope.
I am off to bake, right after I feed my littlest man. I can't believe he is already 8 1/2 months old- and yesterday found him trying to stand up in his crib. Makes me want to cry. Not ready for this!!
Don't forget to check out later today, Stephanie has fun posts on Thursdays!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"My Journal " Notebook- New Item In My Etsy Shop!

This lovely journal is sure to make a girl in your life very happy! The front and back covers are covered in paper from Cosmo Cricket. The inside covers are red cardstock with a name label on the inside front. There is a blue ballpoint pen that I attached with aqua ribbon loops. The inside of the pen has matching patterened paper as well. On the left side of the front cover the words "My Journal" have been die cut from a chocolate brown cardstock. It has a flourish, two different fonts, then adhered. The journal measures 9 3/4 inches x 7 1/2 inches. it is ready to ship and will arrive in a padded envelope to protect it from damage. You can find it in my Etsy shop, the link is in the top left of this blog page or you can find it here:

Have a great day!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

10 Things Thursday

So I am really enjoying the blog posts over at Parker's it's shows you love, so here goes:

1. General Hospital- You can thank Ricky Martin way back in the early 90's when he was on General Hospital. I began watching and never stopped. Even when the story lines aren't the greatest, can't help myself!! Little known fact...and since my own husband doesn't really read my blog, who knows when he will realize I got not one, but TWO of the names for our boys from that show. Not that they were named after any of the characters, but the spelling for one of them is from there and a name I simply loved is too.

2. Hot in Cleveland- Betty White- need I say more? I seem to fall asleep before it is on so I watch it online sometimes, but I love this show. As someone who has seen EVERY SINGLE episode of The Golden Girls- and still watch when it is on, I am needless to say, a huge, huge fan of Betty's.

3. Grey's Anatomy- I don't know what to say about this show, except that I still enjoy it as much now as I did when it first started. LOVE it.

4. Desperate Housewives- Love this show too. I wish I had neighbors like this that I could get together with the way they do. They stick together, and I really miss that I am so far away from my sisters, best friend, and a few others. Well, I wish I had all that, minus, the murder and mayhem.

5. Modern Family- Another one of those I love. I grew up watching Sofia Vergara, when she was blonde and on Univision's "Fuera de Serie". (Did you know she is naturally blonde? She began dying (sp?) it darker so she would get cast in roles as a Latina in the US market.) I remember the days when I had my accent too and love hearing her speak English. And the show is hilarious. There is only a little over a year age difference between my husband and me, but the difference in cultures so evident in Jay and Gloria's relationship is sometimes how it is between us. I wish ABC would hurry up and put new episodes on. I'd love to know what happened to Cougar Town too!! My kids and I throw that truth gun around quite a bit. I am surprised we don't have our own penny can yet too!!

6. All My Children- My mother in law got me into this one! I think I just enjoy seeing Hispanic actors on shows I like because it is a recurring theme. The actor playing the bad guy pretending to be a priest is Eddie Matos, from Puerto Rico. He was also on the short-lived Cane a few years ago. You may recognize him as the State Farm guy with the dark hair and cute dimples. Oh yeah, I enjoy the show too.

7. Hawaii Five-0- This show really is about me wanting to catch any glimpse of the ocean that I can. I am someone who was born and raised by the ocean (Lima, Peru, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl) and was in the Navy on a ship in the middle of the ocean- being landlocked in Kentucky is VERY DIFFICULT. I look forward to the day my family will be by the ocean once again. The show is actually pretty good too, Matt watches it with me sometimes. I am sure he appreciates that I watch the "guy shows" with him.

8. Castle- Matt and I watch this together, it is pretty entertaining. I like that it is funny, not always serious. You rarely hear good things on the news so I like the funny shows a lot.

9. Army Wives- Again, it must be the friendship of this group of women (and 1 man) that really attracts me to this.

I couldn't think of 10 shows, sorry!

You'd think I spend hours in front of the tv, in fact, I get tired of listening to the same songs over and over on the radio. Sooo...I have the tv on loud enough that I can hear it while I am doing things around the house or taking care of Dominic. His favorites are Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.;-)

So tell me- what are your favorite shows? It doesn't have to be 10, it can be any number you like! I'd love to know.
In other crafty news...tomorrow I am going to be interviewed by the local newspaper about my etsy shop/blog/cards, glasses, etc. I am so excited and I am trying to get a couple of things ready for when she comes over.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Old Cameo

I made this card for the Make It Monday challenge over at Papertrey Ink. This week's challenge was distressed edges. I was already working on this card when the challenge was posted, but it became one of those, "let me put this aside and come back to it later" type of cards. I just couldn't get the right look. I really wanted to create something reminiscent of an old, worn scrapbook. (Remember the ones where the pages were usually black, had photo corners and the owner's handwriting was somewhere on the page?) Well, today the PTI Design Team had their group post and Betsy Veldman had the best idea, so I went with it. I used the Background Basics: Text Style for the background on the smaller, panel. Then I used Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Old Paper, Tea Dye, Walnut Stain & Vintage Photo to create an aged look. (I couldn't make up my mind which inks  to use!!) I then adhered the cameo image to the center. To create the distressd edges I used Betsy's tutorial, found here:  I attached photo corners and adhered to the card itself. I lightly added Vintage Tea Dye Duo from PTI in Chamomile to the edges.

Cardstock: Papertrey Ink- Stamper's Select White, Black
Cameo- Cricut
Photo Corners- Fiskars

Friday, March 11, 2011

Heritage Collection Etched Mugs

I have another set of glassware, this time it is a set of mugs. It is going to be part of what I call the Heritage Collection.  There will be more designs, women's silhouettes/cameos as well- all with that antique feel that is popular.
These mugs are a nice weight without being too heavy, hold 15 oz and stand 5 inches tall. The set is available in my Etsy shop here: 
A little later today I will be posting some notecards made with the same design that I used on the mugs.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday and A Cute Blog

Recently I was browsing some blogs and through The Twinery: I found a blog with the cutest banners. They are great for baby showers and she's got tons of options. I for one, am trying to figure out what I want on a 1st birthday banner for Dominic (I have time, I am not quite ready for him to be 1 yet. I hope July takes its time getting here.) Her name is Stephanie and you can find her blog here:   on Facebook:!/parkersprints and on Etsy:

Because I like question and answer type of stuff, I thought I'd play along with Stephanie's post today.

What 3 places are you dying to visit?

Here are my 3:

1- New York City- in particular Rockefeller Center around Christmas time. Really, I think I'd need to go at different times of the year to fully appreciate it.

2- New England in general. I am OBSESSED with the ocean, seafood, the decor, the breezy days by the sea. (I was born in Peru, grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, joined the Navy and ended up in KY after meeting my husband. All roads lead back to Florida for me.) It just looks so beautiful and a little more carefree than most places. I haven't traveled very far North either.

3- Italy. Where my family is originally from, before moving to Peru (beginning with my great grandparents.). I have been watching "Who Do You Think You Are?" lately and it is really making me wish I knew where my ancestor are from. I have a good idea, but nothing for sure.

That being said, the list of places I'd like to visit is extensive. Anyone that knows me well can tell you if it is surrounded by ocean water, I am there, no questions asked. Preferably warm waters, thank you.

So, which 3 places would you want to visit? (Be sure to leave a comment here!)

Let's Celebrate

I've added this card to my Etsy shop which you can find here:  along with a description of the card.