Friday, March 16, 2012

Swirly button tree

The best place to seek God is in a garden.  You can dig for him there.  ~George Bernard Shaw, The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, 1932

I've been thinking of an idea for a friends baby shower coming up and was so happy that I was able to get creative this week... for a girl!

Sketched out the idea and did a light pink wash to complement the swirly theme tree branches- so girly!

Added buttons to the final design and it looks ready for a nursery!


Can't wait to use the rest of my button stash in making some awesome teacher gifts over Spring Break!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jungle theme cake

If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom. ~Audra Foveo

In February it's supposed to be winter... tell that to the dandelions sprouting already!  Maryland weather never ceases to amaze me, I love experiencing each season to it's fullest so I feel kind of jipped with no real snow this winter!  But, if it's not going to snow, I'll take weather in the 60's any day!  It's lifting my spirits to see the Spring flowers ready for bloom already, and what better way celebrate then to make a 'dandy of lion'cake for Gavin's jungle theme birthday.
Glad we saved the Noah's Ark figurines, they came in handy so I didn't have to make anything out of fondant!

How fitting for a jungle theme party than a zebra slice of cake too! 
Make one batch each of chocolate and vanilla cake mix, box or scratch, and drop 1/4 cup vanilla batter in the middle of the pan, let it spread and repeate with dropping 1/4 cup chocolate batter ontop, and alternate until pan is 2/3's full.  

I did this using one large Wilton petal pan (that I also used for the Lion cake in prior post) plus two regular 8" round pans for the second layer.  If you're making a sheet cake or using just 2 round pans you can make a vanilla batch of batter, divide in half and add cocoa to the divided batter.  
And what a surprise to guests when there's zebra stripes inside!

I covered the bottom layer with dutch chocolate buttercream... Mmmm!

Then piped on thick swirls on the sides with tip 21, thinking of the chocoholic adults at the party like me who would appreciate the extra indulgence :)  Then a simple scroll for decoration with added candy leaf from Wilton that came in a jungle set.

Then the same swirls with the top layer of vanilla buttercream.  This was my first time trying something other than flat sides to a cake so if and when I try again it would work better if the buttercream was thicker.  I was worried about consistency and added a little too much milk so gravity took hold instead of it staying in place.

It ended up yielding about 50 slices.

There was so much fun at the party, from creating jungle sticker scenes to Pin the Nose on the Lion.  It also looked as though some other worldly orbs joined in on the fun too as I caught them on camera throughout the day :)

And I HAD to frame some artwork for display that Gavin created days before the party.  I sat with him and drew an animal on my piece of paper and he drew one on his paper...ALL BY HIMSELF!!!!  Which if you knew him is totally unheard of, the drawing part or actually sitting still long enough to make anything at all :)  I was super proud of him!

Happy 5th Birthday!