Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

May each of you enjoy every blessing God showers on you this Christmas season! 

Our tree surrounded by the Lego train

Our new homemade tree topper

Close-up of our Lego decorations. Check out the fireman rescuing the Grandma from the tree.

The foil nativity which will hang no more, no matter how much masking tape is added

Special ornaments plus one fine-looking man (in his youth)

A long-time favorite from Oma

I finally felt comfortable putting a glass ornament on the tree (the bird).

The children were ready with blankies yesterday to open presents.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2018

So Many Birthdays, So Many Cakes

I love posting pictures of the birthday cakes I make for my children, but not because I think they are amazing. I don't post to brag (and you can see from the pictures they are NOT professional). I post the cakes because I think it's important that we don't all try to feel we have to live up to Pinterest-worthy cakes (or crafts or home or anything else). 

Also, sometimes my efforts are worthy of a hearty laugh. I don't mind if you laugh at me; I laugh at myself, too.

So, in chronological order, let the birthday cake parade begin!

First in the lineup is a volcano cake for the boy who wanted a volcano cake last year, too. 

Front view
That number 11 is make with store-bought chocolate rocks. The trees are pretzel sticks, and they turned out much better than expected; my expectations for being able to make anything resembling a tree were quite low. 

Back view

Next in line is the easiest cake of the bunch. Cake + whipped cream + sprinkles + plus Peppa Pig toy= one happy birthday girl.

Yay for birthday gifts that double as cake toppers!

The third cake I made in September was a book. That was the request. I decided I wanted to try out spray paint made for cakes. It was easy to use, but I'm not sure it did anything so special. I was going for the gilded pages look, and I'm not sure I achieved that effect. But the cake was loved, so I was happy. 

The budding author's birthday cake

The next cake was another repeat of sorts. The five-year-old boy wanted another cake that used construction toys to mutilate excavate the cake. Another super-simple cake. Notice the extra green frosting from the book cake and the chocolate rocks from the volcano cake?

Rubble in action

The last cake was by far the most difficult, and it wasn't even really a cake. I was so tired of cake that I dropped suggestions for the birthday girl who thought the suggestions were a great idea. So after two evenings of work (not kidding at all here), the sweets were ready.

My washer is the perfect place to store the birthday cakes out of the way and behind locked doors.

The birthday treat ensemble included not one but two cookie trees. This was not in the original plan. Originally I thought I'd make one cookie tree, but I didn't really know what I was doing. I made three cookies of each size, but the tree I made with all of them too much resembled the leaning tower of Pisa. The whole thing was disassembled, and I made the tree with only two cookies of each size. Then we made a second (rather squat) tree with the extras.

The trees were decorated with frosting and pastel candies.

Then the petits fours. I wanted to try my hand at petit fours. Let's just say my hand has been tried. It was a job and a half. I did enjoy the process, but I'm not sure I'd do it again. Maybe with a different recipe for the coating? It was too sweet for me. Maybe if I made them again they wouldn't turn out so gloppy looking? Oh, well. The birthday girl liked them.

The chocolate ones are just brownies cut up small with a chocolate glaze. The ones with green dots on top are simply the extra of what's under the pink stuff.

Up close and personal

I had to wedge the candle in between the petits fours presents because the tops of everything were too hard to shove candles into. 

And that is the end of our birthday "cake" parade. I hope you enjoyed. I know I will enjoy the break until the spring birthdays.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Very Vintage Christmas Sale

I decided in the wee hours of the morning today (back when the hunters got up), to run a sale on vintage items in my Etsy shop. If you know somebody who likes vintage, I have a 20% off sale from now until December 19th on all vintage items.

Vintage puzzle recently listed

What do I have that's vintage? Mostly puzzles ranging from the 1940s all the way up to the 1980s. But I also have some vintage children's books, Roy Rogers sheet music, postcard, ands a few other items.

If you know somebody who loves these types of items, feel free to give them a heads up about the big sale that lasts from now until December 19th. I hope to be adding new vintage items frequently, but, while my intentions are good, I do have a few lovely distractions.