Friday, March 30, 2012

Featured at Everyday Mom Cakes

I was just featured over at Everyday Mom Cakes for the Fancy Nancy cake I made!

Photo challenge - Spring

This is my submission to the photo challenge.  I'm hoping this will help me start taking better photos.  Taken on a whim with my Samsung Galaxy phone.  The only editing I did was adding my blog stamp.

You can read about this bird and follow it's story Part 1Part 2 and Part 3.

Our Reflection Photo Challenge

Crazy bird part 2

Last week I told you about the crazy birds that moved onto our front lawn.  After last weeks bad weather (a tornado actually touched down just a couple of miles away) I was happy to find they were still there.

It has been foggy here in the mornings and bad weather is supposed to roll in again this weekend.

I decided to check on the birds before they roll in.  See the little flags we put out for them?  They have helped quite a few times in preventing them from being stepped on or driven over.

Here she is protecting her nest when I checked on her.  She is getting used to me now.  She as chirping at me to let me know not to step on the nest (I did some research on the birds and how they act).

Here is a shot of the eggs being safely guarded.  I think this has to be my favorite shot of her so far.  I took it with my phone.  Can you see she is still giving me warning.

Here you can see she is still being protective, but she was no longer scolding me for coming near.  In fact, the other bird came over and sat near without pretending to be hurt (their other distraction method to draw you away from the nest).

They are supposed to hatch around Easter.  My girls can't wait.

Part 3 is here.

Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Adventures in cake, Easter egg

Back when I first started doing cakes I thought I would practice on a cake for our church's Easter picnic.  Wilton has a 3D egg shaped pan so naturally I did an Easter Egg.

I started by icing in a pale yellow, then I just grabbed any tip handy and tried to make an interesting design going around the egg.  As you can see, my lines really needed some help.  It did give me a bit of practice in what the different tips could do.

I believe this is also the cake I learned that trying to do a cake when the kids were awake (the oldest was one and the youngest three months at the time) was impossible.  Most times, it still is even though they are five and six.

The other thing I learned from this cake was that I needed a little more planning than just grab-and-go style icing.

Back to birthday cakes next week.

This post was featured at the following:

A Crafty Soiree

the Grant Life

The Organised Housewife

Serenity you

I Heart Nap Time

DIY projects and crafts

Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Leapin' Lizards (and another Liebster)

First, let me say how honored I am to be nominated again as a Liebster blog (my second nomination).  This time I was nominated by Alicia at The Better Nester.  Thank you Alicia!  You can see the blogs I nominated for the Liebster blog here.

I've been n the middle of preparing items for a local consignment sale.  In the middle of the chaos I got a request to make some rainbow lizard barrettes for a friend's daughter.  Her fifth birthday is coming up and her theme is lizards and the party colors were bright green, blue, pink and orange.

I found the perfect yarn at Hobby Lobby and went to work.  I stayed up late every night for a few days making sure I would have the lizards ready.  Even though we haven't had any sun for a few days (meaning dark pictures) I snapped a few pictures.

She wanted four lizards total, two larger and two smaller.  A set for her daughter and a set for her daughter's doll.

I took the pictures before I sewed them to the barrettes.  When I went to sew the last small lizard on, I noticed something.  Do you see it?

Let me help.  See that arrow?

Somehow I managed to only give this poor lizard one little toe instead of three like the other feet.  Lets just say I had to make another small lizard.

This lizard is based on the Lion Brand bookmark, but I did them in one piece instead of each limb separately and a much shorter tail.

Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Crazy bird part 1

It all started one day when my mom pointed out to me that there was a bird hurt in my front yard.  I went out and found this little guy with what appeared to have a hurt wing.  Every time I got close it would skitter off, so I just let it be.

The next day I was a bit surprised to find it still there, still hurt.

It wobbled off into he road and that is when I noticed another one that had started chirping quite shrilly.

When I got closer, it flew off and we discovered this under it.  Two little eggs in a pebble nest.

I posted some pictures on my Facebook page asking what kind of crazy little bird it was that nested in my yard so close to the road and was told it is a Killdeer.  I was very disappointed to not find either bird on the nest all night.

The next morning there were still no birds to be found, but there was another addition to the nest.

Later in the day, I saw both of the birds by the road so of course I went to investigate.  I was able to get a couple of close up shots.  I actually got quite close.  After a few minutes she must have realized I wasn't a threat because she quit chirping as much and was no longer ruffled and acting hurt.

On day four I went to check on them and was greeted with a lot of chirping.

And, a fourth egg.

Where was the other bird in all of this?  Hanging out on the driveway.

Because the girls are so interested in the birds and the eggs, we are watching from a distance.  After some internet research I found out that the first eggs layed were in stasis until they felt the warmth of the birds sitting on them.  It is a mechanism that allows all of the eggs to develop at the same time.

Since the discovery of the fourth egg the birds have been taking turns sitting on them.  The eggs are supposed to hatch within three to four weeks after the birds start sitting on them so we are waiting patiently.  We have also put up a few flags in a circle around them to prevent walkers and ATV riders from disturbing them.

Oh, but did I mention the rain?  The second day the birds were sitting on the nest we had some really bad weather roll in.  I'm talking hide in the closet bad.  When I went to pick the Princess up at school it was really dark.  We ran to Walmart and then straight home, twenty minutes tops.  As soon as we arrived home the school was sending out an alert that we were under a tornado warning and the buses were recalled to the schools with the kids still on them for safety.  Shortly after a funnel cloud passed directly over one of the schools, but luckily did not touch down.  That storm was followed by more severe weather and flash flooding.  The little birds stayed on the nest the entire time.  Since my yard is mostly flooded I can't get close enough to take good pictures or see if all the eggs made it.

I will post more on our little bird family as it progresses.

Part 2 is here and Part 3 is here.

Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just a little more Fancy Nancy

Did you read yesterday's Fancy Nancy post?  Here are some bonus Fancy Nancy things.

My daughter loves Fancy Nancy so much she did her first two reading fair projects on Fancy Nancy books.

In kindergarten she chose to do Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy, which was also part of the theme for her fifth birthday.  

Here she is holding the book next to her board.  She wanted the board to look like the cover of the book.  She typed all of her information into the computer and printed it on pink card stock.  She outlined it all with pink glitter.

I started by letting her trace a picture of Nancy I projected using my Tracer Jr.  Since it was on foam board, I helped her cut it out.  She colored Nancy to look like the book.  She made Nancy's hair out of a bunch of scrap yarn I had laying around.  She found a broken tiara and glued it on to her head.

Here is a close up of the outfit she made.  She was so excited because I let her use by big fabric scissors to cut.  She cut the shirt out of some cow print fabric I had.  She made a big rectangle out of some scrap purple satin and glued the lace to the bottom.  I ironed the poodle on it for her and she gathered and glued the whole thing around Nancy.  There is even a bit of tulle she tucked under the skirt to make it poofy. Those beads were left over from the dress up chest.

She glittered Nancy's shoes but thought they needed more.  I gave her one of my pom-pom makers and let her make a couple for the shoes.

Frenchy's tail was a bit of fun fur glued on to the board.  The leash and the tail go off the board just like the side of the book.

I did help her with the hot glue to make sure everything stayed on the board.  She ended up getting third place in the kindergarten class for this one.

I was not surprised when she decided to do Fancy Nancy again in first grade.  This time she chose Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes.  I let her do everything except hot gluing the spoons down.

She wanted to hand write her descriptors this time.  Since the book was about food, I let her use some recipe cards I had, which was perfect since they were lined.  She put little cupcake stickers in the corner of each card.  We found those wooden spoons at Dollar Tree in packs 3/$1.  The cupcake "wrapper" is a piece of purple poster board she cut into that shape and drew lines on.  The icing is wadded pieces of tissue paper she held on with Aileen's Tacky Glue.  The "sprinkles" are small metallic pom-poms.  She cut a circle out of white cardstock and covered it in pink glitter (the same glitter used on the other board) for a cherry.

I volunteer in her class one day a week and the teacher suggested I go look at all the boards on display.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a second place ribbon hanging on her board (out of all first grade).  I know it is blurry, but I snapped it quickly with my phone before a group of students passed by.

I'm sure she would love to do another Fancy Nancy board for second grade, but she will have to pick a story more on her level.

Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Adventures in cake, Fancy Nancy

Cake originally made for the Princess in May 2010.

Please forgive me for, once again, having pictures mostly taken at night.  I have to do the cakes after work and after the girls go to bed.

Have you heard of Fancy Nancy?  If you have a young daughter, chances are you have.  If you haven't Fancy Nancy is a precocious little girl who likes everything fancy.  Very fancy.  She comes from a series of books by Jane O'Connor and illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser.  Really, just do a Google search and you will find tons of stuff.

By the time my oldest was turning five, she wanted nothing more than to have a Fancy Nancy birthday party.    Online searches for Fancy Nancy parties bring you all kinds of fancy dress and tea parties aimed mainly at little girls, along with an over the top decorated cake complete with colored ostrich feathers and jewels.  My daughter didn't want a party quite that over the top because she wanted boys to come to the party, too.  I didn't want to make a cake completely covered in non edible items.  Don't get me wrong, I don't mind putting toys and other things on a cake, just not completely covering it.

We had just read Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly and Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy so she decided those two books would be the basis of the party.


For Christmas she had gotten a Fancy Nancy doll from her grandmother.

This is Nancy in the outfit she wears in Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy.  Since I had made the Snow White cake to look like a dress, she asked me if I could make her Fancy Nancy cake look like the dress on her doll.  That I thought I could do.

I made two six inch cakes and two eight inch cakes and stacked each set together.  The six inch rounds were iced in white and the eight inch rounds were iced in a light purple and then stacked.  I piped a shell order at the bottom in the light purple and around the middle in a bright pink to match the ribbon on her dress.  Using my trusty tube of Wilton black icing I piped the black cow spots with a Wilton #6 tip.

Did you see how well I replicated the poodle?  Just kidding, I bought the smallest poodle iron-on Hobby Lobby had.  I completely covered the back of the poodle with plastic wrap and tape so the glue would not seep in to the icing.  The leash is from a tube of Wilton sparkle gel that I had left over from Easter earlier that year.

Did you notice the edge of the cake plate?  I bought a package of stick on feather trim and ran it around the edge.  It lacked one inch completely going around so I deftly hid that space in the back.

I topped it off with a fancy tiara that matched the pink feathers on the cake plate.

Since the cake was mainly from the puppy book, I worked some butterflies onto the cake plate the next morning to tie both books to the cake.

Here is the cake at the final set up.  On the left you can see Nancy's dog, Frenchy.

When it was time to blow out the candles, the tiara was placed on the birthday girl's head.  I used pastel swirly candles.

Please do not pin this picture.

If you look on the right of the cake stand, just above the word spot in the stamp, you will see where the feather trim left that gap I was telling you about.

If you have any questions about something I did please ask!

Come back tomorrow for a Fancy Nancy encore.

This cake was featured at Everyday Mom Cakes.

Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties. 

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