Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Lalaloopsy Dance Party!

For Miss 9's birthday I knew straight away that I wanted to do a Lalaloopsy Doll theme.

Now just to fill in a gap; my mother has been making my childrens birthday cakes since about 2002. Because I know how wonderful it feels to prepare for a party without the added task of making the cake, I in turn have been making birthday cakes for other children on their birthdays. So I know how to make a decorated cake, but my mother is more experienced.  Well after Miss 5's birthday she hung up her apron.

It was probably biting off too much at once, taking into account the new task of cake making, but I didnt just have an idea for what cake I wanted to make. I had a THEME!  Lalaloopsy Dance Party!  Miss 9 had previously held a dance party at night. This one was going to be during the day so that we could all appreciate the costumes, and save myself a laser light hire... Not satisfied with the work load already I decided I should make my 3 little girls costumes myself so that they would be unique.  Hubby couldn't stop shaking his head at me....anyway....

First step; create Pinterest board! Easy! My Pinterest page for this party can be found here.

Miss Almost 21 & I spent a stressful hour at Spotlight trying to choose suitable patterns that were marked 'easy' (I haven't sewn in a while but Im sure its like riding a bike yeah?) while Miss 2 lay on the floor on her back, wailing & pushing herself across the floor with her feet.  So once we got home the thought of going back for material was like 'I don't wanna' so I raided the vastly reduced selection in my sewing cupboard. (I gave a whole tub of material away in the last 12 months...stupid, stupid...)

I found everything I needed for Miss 9 & Miss 5's outfit and the only material shopping I had to do was for Miss 2.  The pattern suggested bandana material and quite randomly, I had some! Yay! One less thing to find.

With school holidays approaching it was my best chance to knock out the costumes. Not everything went according to plan but I got them all finished at the end of the first week school returned. That worked out to about 3 weeks of sewing every other day.

The cake I had chosen seemed relatively easy except for the fact that I didn't want to use premade fondant. I wanted to make my own, but had never done it before. I used a very easy recipe from online. It can be found here.

Firstly I made a double batch to practice & used the practice fondant to make a stack of coloured fondant buttons, of which I needed 2 for the eyes but I made as many as I could because they were the backup plan for my cake if anything went wrong. I would just cover a round cake in buttercream icing & coloured buttons if all else failed. The recipe said the icing could last several weeks if stored correctly. I kept the buttons in Tupperware containers divided by layers of baking paper.

I baked the cake the day before. To mix things up a little bit I used a red velvet cake recipe and the layer of icing under the fondant was cream cheese icing. I was hoping it wouldn't be too sweet. That was the main reason I chose cream cheese icing over buttercream.

When I was ready to decorate the cake I made a fresh double batch of fondant & separated it into 3 portions; a large portion for the face (thanks to being made of marshmallows the fondant was already a beautiful pale pastel pink!), a very small portion to dye a darker pink for the cheeks, and a final large portion to dye yellow for the hair. I considered dying the hair blue but I had already decided I wanted her to have blue eyes so I made the cake doll blonde like Miss 9 :-)

It worked out really really well. To make up for some of the extra tasks I'd given myself the party food itself was very simple. Hot dogs & potato chips. It was a dance party after all. Everyone danced. Everyone had a blast playing the games.

I was a really really great morning & the cake was delicious! It wasn't too sweet, which had been a worry point. The kids ate it all up no dramas :-)

It was a party filled with coloured curled hair, lots of frills & ruffles, polka dot balloons, dancing & even a mermaid!

Thank you to my MIL who helped keep me focused & stay on track. She played with the kids so I could sew, helped me with a difficult part of the dress my tired brain couldn't figure out, and put her hand on my shoulder & said "relax" when she could see I was struggling to hold it together. :-)

A Slightly Different Art Journal

I had really wanted to give my daughter something sentimental for her 21st. My own parents had given me earrings & a mizpah charm which was engraved on the back. I wanted to give her something like that. My husband wanted to give her a practical gift so we purchased her a brand new laptop. She had only ever received hand me down computers.

A friend of mine came up with a wonderful gift idea for her daughter who was turning 18 & she was kind enough to share the idea with me.

Remember UP! ? Ellie has an adventure book which later becomes Karl's. My friends idea was to give her daughter her own adventure book. 

I went in a slightly different direction with the adventure book. I wanted a scrapbook that would be my daughters, captured some of her past & present to take with her, with 'the future' being soley hers.

I found a suitable journal straight away from The Scrapbook House. It was a good quality art journal. Due to a few things going on at home though I packed it away for a bit...and promptly forgot about it!

With about 10 days to go until party time I suddenly remembered it again. Panic stations! I could only work on it while my daughter was away at her night job. So I sat up every night she worked, until midnight, in order to get it finished. 

And then like the complete dumbo I am, on the day of her party, I was so caught up in hosting the perfect party, I forgot to give it to her! :-/ 

Anyway I remembered at a time where some of her close friends were still hanging around watching her unwrap her gifts. So I gave it to her & she 'got it' straight away & was very happy with it. 

I am very proud of what I made. I still need to add some journaling but over all this was a win. The finished result matched my vision :-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Radio Silence...

I haven't been blogging much lately & the simple reason is, aside from being incredibly busy preparing for 2 birthday parties; I had 3 weeks of school holidays to amuse freaks through, my MIL staying with us for 6 weeks (which is awesome!!), wildflower spotting expeditions, swapping kids rooms around & my 10th wedding anniversary celebration (STAYcation) with my hubby. 

But throughout all this my beloved iPhone that I do EVERYTHING I can on, including write my blogs, has been playing up! So I am eagerly awaiting my replacement device, but until it arrives, on top of everything else, I have to get as much as I can off my old phone & have to weigh up the pros & cons of what can be done now in regards to blogs & what can be posted later, because this phone is getting harder & harder to work with :-(

So I am still out here. There will soon be posts about my daughters Lalaloopsy Party & Big Misses 21st party. 

Will be chatting with you again soon. :-)