Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ellie's 6th birthday party

For Ellie's 6th birthday, we had a small Sofia the First-themed tea party. Initially, we were going to have a picnic in our backyard, but the weather was a little questionable, so we moved it inside.
The table

The place setting, with tiaras and fans

Decorations were simple, but nice. I made a doily garland and we had fresh flowers and a few banners and tissue paper flowers. I even kept the food simple... most of it was store-bought, like mini quiches and sandwich rolls. I did make edible teacups filled with fruit, and my homemade cheese crackers that I make for almost every party.

The adults ate more than the kids
The guests arrived and went out to the porch for our first activity, a craft. We started with the painting so that the paint would dry by the time the girls went home.
The girls painted tea cups and saucers
When they were done painting, I sent them on a scavenger hunt around the backyard for Sofia's amulets, one for each. They had fun running around, helping each other find their necklaces.

Posing with their amulets.
 Then they moved inside to dance to music from the Sofia soundtrack.
They danced... a lot
As with little girls, there is always a little bit of drama, so after the dancing got a little crazy, I pulled out my "maybe" activity to settle them down before cake time. They built sugar cube towers, and it turned out to be their favorite activity in the party! I really was surprised, because it was a "just in case" game. I was very thankful that I had it up my sleeve!
Building sugar cube towers

Katie was thrilled to be included in her big sister's party
 After the sugar cube game, we cut the cake, and then Ellie opened her gifts.

We sent her friends home with their painted tea cups and saucers, their tiaras, teacup drinks, and fans. And the birthday girl had a great time! The party was small, simple, and just right.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ellie's 6th Birthday Cake

I like making fondant figurines, and some people think I have a knack for it. To me, it's like playing with edible (but not very yummy) Play-doh, which is good because I can give some to the kids to play with while I work on my pieces, and we all have fun together.

Ellie's princess
This cake has some fun figurines, plus a few new-to-me techniques. It took me a little while to decide how to make the cake, but once I felt inspired, the design just came, and it turned out exactly the way I wanted. I found a great tutorial for the Sofia figurine at MG Sugarcake's Facebook page, and by the way... wowie! Her work is incredible! My Sofia doesn't come close to hers, but maybe with enough practice...

I used the tutorial's techniques for my face sculpting, which I have never attempted before, but now I want to practice making faces all the time to get better and figure out where I need to push and pull to make different features!
Sofia, minus her tiara
I had no tutorial for Amber, so I just figured her out on my own. The arms gave me a lot of trouble because they kept falling off! 

Amber, minus her tiara

The teapot was Rice Krispy treat (with a big dowel all the way through the cake for stability) covered in fondant. I was so worried it would topple, but the dowel did its job!
Close-up of Sofia on the cake... note that her dress turned blue. Apparently pink/red Wilton coloring fades, especially under fluorescent lights (which describes ALL the lights in our house now, since everything has to be "green"). Thankfully, the blue is still pretty because NO WAY was I going to make her again!

Close-up of Amber and the tea cup, which I made with gumpaste... my first attempt at using it. It's a little harder to use than fondant, but it definitely has its place, and I hope to get more practice with it and see what I can do.

Clover and Mia.

The whole cake

View from above
And then... as if I wasn't busy enough making a cake and planning a 6-year-old's tea party, we decided to celebrate the April cousin birthdays right after Ellie's tea party. We figured we'd save Sofia and Amber for the girls to eat with family, so cousin David needed his own fondant figurine too. Thus, Batman:

I had always wanted to make ice cream cone cupcakes. They were fun.

And of course we also had to celebrate Ellie's birthday at school on the actual day, so I just whipped up these cookies. I will say, I MUCH prefer playing with fondant. Sugar cookies with royal icing just aren't my thing. Too time-consuming and repetitive. I made 16 of these castles. I much prefer making just ONE Sofia.

I was pretty happy with the results of my labors. My next post will be about her party, which was a lot of fun. The cake got its share of compliments, and of course, it got eaten up too.
People ask me if it hurts a little to see my creations destroyed, but actually, I get a great deal of satisfaction from it.