Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spreading the word....Please keep it moving.

While checking my face book page today I saw a post from Hayley over at the The Mouse House Blog. It is a heart breaking video from a father standing up for his son. This video is very eye opening and sad. The things that were said and done by the people in this classroom audio is so very upsetting and completely unacceptable! The fact that the school and officials allow them to still teach is horrifying! I really hope these words spread and there is action taken on behalf of these beautiful children whom have been subjected to this unbelievable classroom. So please pass this along....speak for the children.

Edited to add a link for his petition..... Here

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ultimate Blog Party by 5 Minutes for

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

 I have been super consumed with home improvements and almost missed this amazing opportunity to join the 2012 Ultimate Blog Party. I was catching up on my blog reading when I came to Fantastical Sharing of Recipes blog post from Sarah about an Ultimate blog party. This my first time hearing of it and of the Amazing site 5 Minutes for Mom . I will definitely be signing up as a reader.

So to reintroduce myself.....hmm lets see. Hi my name is Ashley! I am a 29 year old stay at home mom. I have two wonderful boys, K who is 3 and E who is 18 months old. I am married to Mr. Wonderful whom I met almost 10 years ago and later claimed 4 years ago. LOL My blog is a place for me to escape to every now and then....  Here is a little  Post  a behind the blogger so to speak about why and how I came about blogging. I happened upon blogging with a nice forceful push from my little sister who was exploring her computer class in high school. She had just learned a little about wed design and I was her guinea pig. LOL I am so happy she did!!!

When Mr. wonderful and I decided to have children we both knew that we would want them here at home so I quit my job and very quickly became bored. While wondering around walmart one night Mr. Wonderful pointed out a sewing machine to me and it was love at first sight. So I would sit in my living room at night with my tiny table and 8 stitch singer and make little odds and ends for the babies. Since then I have graduated to a sewing room, a much better sewing machine, and an arsenal of different crafting know-how. I love to sew, bake, crochet, sculpt, photograph, and just be crafty in general.

Other random facts about me....
 I love reading! There is something magical about leaping into the pages of a good book. English and Literature where my favorite subjects in high school...though i am sure you can't tell in my writing. My English teacher would be very ashamed. LOL So if you are looking for proper punctuation and grammar...I can't make any guarantees. I love sharing craft ideas and making new friends.  

R2D2 Cake!!!!

So my little K turned three! When asked what kind of party he wanted he replied Star wars. I couldn't have been happier!!! We love Star Wars! So he and I looked at a few cakes and such floating around blog land. I have to admit my heart may have skipped a beat when he picked this one from the Baked by Jen blog. She did an amazing job that totally trumps my cake! My first thought was...Oh No will I ever pull this off. I have never made a cake like this but I guess there is no time like the present. I put on my big girl panties and did what any Mom would ....Asked for a million opinions from the Moms on my crafting board! LOL I finally decided on a plan and found an awesome recipe from Bakerella  and started my cake. By the way that recipe is to DIE for!!! We just used the cake and filling recipe....the cake was super moist and the filling was Delish!

Below you will see the base of R2D2. I just baked 4 eight inch rounds, stacked, and iced them. I made sure all my layers were even and uniform...there is nothing like a lopsided cake. Then I added my filling, and did a rough coating with the butter cream. I also added 5 small dowels so my cake wouldn't droop or fall in any places. I put it in the freezer briefly to firm up while I made another batch of butter cream. The outside layer  just got a good coat of basic butter cream. I have the recipe Here at the bottom of my Monster Birthday bash cake. My guys aren't too fond of fondant so I only used it for the detailing and to cover my rice cereal treats for the head.

OK I have to apologize this point my hands were covered in coloring, rice cereal treats, and butter cream so the photos are few and far between. For the head I made a batch of your regular rice crispy treats. The only thing I did differently was used a little less butter so the treats would be a little stiffer. To get the shape of the head you simply fill your cake pan with the treats and shape into a dome. If you had a bowl the same diameter of your cake you could use that too. Just make sure to spray a little cooking spray on your bowl or pan so they won't stick. Once it was shaped and had stiffened up a bit I covered it with a nice layer of butter cream and put it in the freezer to chill.

Now since I have just told you about the head I should also tell you about the legs since they are also made of the rice cereal treats. For the legs I just measured the height of my cake and shaped the treats into 2 T shapes just a couple inches shorter than my cake. After all your treat pieces have been covered in butter cream, and set, cover them with fondant. The head is covered with black and then painted with luster dust. Did you know if you don't have Vodka on hand to paint the luster dust on you can use the same clear vanilla extract you used in your butter cream? Oh how I love google! As you can tell from my paint job this is my first time using luster dust. A little good to takes it a little while to dry. LOL My other fondant pieces kept sliding down.

I googled the heck out of R2D2 images and  drew out my detail pieces on paper. Then I simply traced it out in my fondant. Now he is not perfect and by no means an exact replica but I was happy with how he looked so I went with it. For the head a large glass gave me the perfect circle and I just cut it in quarters and cut a smaller circle out of the middle with a small round object I had in the kitchen. I forget now what it was but I also used an empty spice jar to cut out the large lens area on the front of his head. Take a look around your kitchen....I bet you will find a few things you can use.

For his little eye thingy I just used a piping coupling. Later I filled the spaces where there were lenses with black piping gel.  The head and body seam was a little sloppy so it was doctored up with a little blue fondant stripe right over the seam. For his legs, I just covered them in white fondant and attached them with dowels. I also colored just a small amount of fondant orange and made some little connector wires for his legs...just like the inspiration cake. I did, however, forget the little leg under him. I realized this as I was finishing him up ....Of course! I never see these things until I am almost done. Oh well my R2D2 in in rest mode! LOL

My little R2D2 was a hit!! K was over the moon for him! Nothing could have made me happier than seeing his little face light up at the sight of his cake. For the candles we used the sparkling candles. With R2D2 I always remember him shooting that little spark so what better than sparking candles. it was so much fun making him and to be honest no where near as scary as I thought it would be. I couldn't be happier with the outcome!!! So, what do you think? Would George Lucas be stoked or probably scoff at my attempts of his masterpiece? I would hope he would be stoked.;)

The next time you are faced with a crazy, scary task remember just have fun with it. If it is coming from love that is all that matters! The first step is to just start. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments or my email address.

Linking Up!!

Laugh, Love, & Craft

Skip To My Lou

I Heart Nap Time

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cute Giveaway Alert!!

 Who loves an awesome giveaway? Everyone , of course.  Sarah, the wonderfully crafty mom behind the Spicy Pinecone blog, just posted an Eric Carle Cloth giveaway set.

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Link for giveaway HERE .
This adorable set includes three cute burp cloths and a "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" board book.
I  love the look of the little burp cloths with the Eric Carle fabric! They are handmade by Sarah. Each cloth is 100% cotton and the cute fabric is attached to a Gerber pre-folded 3-ply Birdseye cloth diaper. Giving you great coverage for spit ups or spills.  So go over, check out her blog, and how to enter for a chance to win the beautiful goodies Sarah has up for grabs! Good luck!!

P.S. Soon I hope to get up more on the Star Wars Party including how I brought my R2D2 cake to life. The past 2 weeks we have all had a horrible cold, resurfaced our pool and replaced a window...needless to say there hasn't been much time for anything else. Oh and I made my first sale!!! Yay! Thank you dear know who you are!

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