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UBP 2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hoo Are You

I have wanted to participate in Night Owl Crafting's Hoo Are You for some time now, but for one reason or another it just hasn't worked out....Until today!

Copied from Night Owl Crafting:

Here are the RULES!!!
I can't wait to get to know each other a little better and see what else we have in common besides our craftiness! Here's how it will work, each Tuesday I'll post a few questions. They can be anything from What's your favorite color to What's your favorite movie.

•You will then copy this week's questions and change the answers to your own.
•You will post them in a new post on your blog (you can back date this post so it doesn't show up as your newest post) and then come and link up that particular post (not the link to your main blog) here on our link party.
•Make sure to visit as many blogs as you can and comment! It will be a good way to get to know some fun and interesting things about your fellow crafters!
•Also add this cute little button to your post so that others can join in on the PARTY!!! (It is over on the left side bar).

NightOwlCrafting

Here are this weeks questions!

1. What is your favorite flavor?
2, What was or is your favorite subject in school?
3. What are some of your hobbies?
4. Do you prefer fruits or vegetables?
5. What color of eyes do you have?


Here are my answers!

1. My favorite flavor(s) would have to be Chocolate and then peanut butter and anything chocolate/peanut butter flavored - I'm a sucker for a peanut butter cup!

2. My favorite subject in school was anything Math related. Math makes sense to me! English Lit on the other hand...... HATED it!

3. Obviously I love to craft and cake. I also read a lot (funny given my above answer!). I feel like dieting should be listed as a hobby since it consumes so much of my time.

4. I guess I would prefer veggies. But, if I'm being honest here - I don't really like very many in either category! haha! Give me a starch any day... hmmm.. I think I just found the reason DIET is listed under hobby! haha!

5. I have blue eyes. Very very blue eyes. I constantly have people ask if I wear colored contacts. I had hoped that my daughter would inherit the blue eyes - alas, that did not happen, dirt brown hers are!

I can't wait to read everyone else's answers!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Randoms....

UPDATE:
its fixed!!! YEA!!!!!

A few random things on my mind....

1. What the HECK happened to my blog. My whole design is GONE and I have no idea how to fix it.....

2. I HIT A 100 FOLLOWERS!!! (101 to be exact!)

3. How do you check how many "subscribers" you have?? (can you tell I'm new to the blogger thing?)

4. I need to work on the tutorial to go with my AWESOME giveaway - I want to get it up by Wednesday. (make sure you check back because its going to be AWESOME!)

5. Why does my daughter have night terrors EVERY NIGHT - seriously, this one was bad and scared the crap outta me!)

6. What was Bendon thinking with those nominations?!?!

7. The comments from my penguin cake post were so so so sweet!!! Thank you all!!!

8. I gotta get some sleep.....

Goodnight my blog readers - sorry about the appearance of my blog - hang tight for that tutorial and giveaway!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Vacation officially OVER!

Sorry I have been a little MIA lately - summer just took over and I lost control! Even though MacKenzie hasn't started school yet I feel like summer is officially over. We have done all the back to school shopping and I have gone back to cake overload!



We took a vacation to Ohio to see my family and my grandmother (88 years old). While there my cousin Jen turned 21 and I made her a quick little cake:









This was a coconut cake with buttercream icing. I did the side design free hand and all piped. I just kinda winged it - I LOVE the way it turned out and Jen loved it as well.

As soon as I got back I had to get started on THE MOST adorable cake for a friends daughter -



I can't tell you how much I LOVE this cake - again its all edible.
I am working on an awesome (cake related) giveway for when I reach 100 followers...... just something for you to think about!!!
Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

SugarEd Productions

I'm pretty sure that I own every SugarEd DVD ever made. They are AMAZING! When I got "Perfecting the Art of Buttercream", my cakes took a turn for the GREAT! If you are new to cake decorating or want to learn to decorate - this is the place to start!

SugarEd Productions is owned by my cake hero Sharon Zambito. She is a rock star in the cake world and has competed on Ultimate Cake Off on TLC.

Sharon has a new DVD out called "Back to Basics, Baking for Cake Decorating". I am so excited about this DVD. You can't decorate a great cake unless you bake a great cake to start with. This DVD will teach you all the tricks to get your cakes perfect! It also includes recipes and a bonus section on how to make Cake Balls (or Cake Truffles). Check out the trailer that Sharon put together:

Isn't that awesome! Seriously - you have to run over to her website and ORDER this DVD - while you are there grab the Buttercream, Fondant, Stacking, Sheet Cake and Topsy Turvy DVDs!!!

You also need to check out her blog. She teaches you some really fantastic things!

Can you tell I LOVE HER!

(I was not in any way compensated for this - I just really really believe in her methods and am proof that she can teach anyone!)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Blast from the Past: Mario Kart Cake

This is my nephew's cake from last year:


He LOVES Mario Kart.  Everything on the cake is handmade and edible.  This cake is, to date, my most "over the top" creations.  Here are some other views (its a 360 degree cake)


And now for some close ups:

Donkey Kong


Banana Peel

Bullet, Mushrooms, Turtle Shell and Yoshi

Flowers

Yoshi and Mario

I think he likes it!  Makes all 2 weeks of work totally worth it!

This year he has already put in his request for a Sonic the Hedgehog Cake - I am at a total design loss!!















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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Birthdays....

Sorry its been so long since I've blogged.  I didn't realize almost 2 weeks has gone by!!  Can  you tell I was on a "cake break!".  We had a wonderful Memorial Day with friends and then the normal craziness of the week, followed by 3 days at Disney.  I'm still recovering!

Anyway...today is my birthday - wanna guess how old I am??  actually - don't! haha! I really wish that I had a bunch of giveaways lined up, but I guess you will just have to settle for the last cake that I made.

It was a 30th birthday suprise for one of my husband's best friends....he is a serious NY Yankees fan -

This is fast becoming one of my favorite cakes!  The jersey has his name and his age on the back.



The hat is rice crispy treats covered with icing and fondant.


I think he likes it!  Acutally he said it was "The best Birthday Cake I have ever had!".  YEA!!!! 

I am doing his and his fiancee's wedding cake in November - I LOVE the design they picked out!

Whenever my birthday rolls around everyone asks me who's making my birthday cake.  Here's the short answer - no one ever makes me a birthday cake.  My hubby and M usually go out to eat and I get something off the dessert menu.  This year we are going to Bone Fish for dinner and I will be skipping the dessert portion of dinner - see I am dieting - hard core dieting and I have lost 14lbs since May 1st.

So - who makes YOUR birthday cake?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quick and Easy Cake

I just made this cake for a guy my husband works with.  He takes care of my dogs when we go out of town, so even thought I feel terrible today (I feel like poo, which is kinda like having the flu - but different) I felt obligated to get it finished.  So, although this wasn't my original design, I really like the way it turned out.

I just wanted to show you a cake that was really quick and easy, that you can totally do on your own and get a lot of ohhhh's and ahhhh's!  I made this cake using the technique that I showed you yesterday in this post.

Sorry about the bad quality - too tired to take more pictures!

Hope you like it and I would LOVE to see any cakes that you make!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cake Tutorial #1

As promised - sorry it took so long.  Its been a really busy couple of weeks, but I did finally get around to putting together that tutorial I promised.

As I was making this cake I realized the one key thing that you can do to make your cakes look more professional.  Level your cakes before stacking them.  This is so easy to do with a large serrated knife.  A level cake makes all the difference in the world. 

Next, something easy that you can do to give you cakes so wow factor is adding fondant decorations.  I had a question on one of my other cakes "Do you use the cricut to cut out your fondant decorations" - the answer is no.  I usually use either cutter (gumpaste/fondant cutters or cookie cutters) or I use an exacto knife and a template of some sort.  So this is were we will start!

You will need:
Fondant
Tylose powder (optional)
Pasta roller (or rolling pin)
Template of something you want to cut out
A new exacto knife
A smooth cutting surface (like a cutting board)
Shortening
Powder Sugar
A cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper

FONDANT:  you can use store bought  or make your own fondant.  I have never really had much success with making my own fondant and frankly I'm usually running so far behind I don't have time to make it!  So I buy my fondant (order it online) - or you can buy it at Walmart/Michael's.  I have it on good authority that the Wilton Fondant has improved their taste considerably!  I prefer to use Satin Ice and I also buy precolored fondant - especially red and black!


TYLOSE POWDER:  Although I put this as optional it will really make this process much easier!  It will also be essential if you plan on using your cutout as a topper as I did in the Batman cake.  Its fairly cheap and lasts a long time, however, it is not easy to find and you will need to buy it at a cake decorating supply store or order it online.


TEMPLATE:  Google Image is my friend.  I love Google Image.  Almost anything that you can think of can be found there.  Its my "go to" place to find pictures of anything!  For this cake we needed STAR WARS!  I went on Google Image and printed out the logo.  Next I wanted to add the birthday boy's name, so I searched for the Star Wars font to make it all go together - I found it for FREE at dafont.com - another site I LOVE!!  I printed out both the logo and the b-day boy's name. 


Now - grab your trusty scrapbooking scissors and cut that bad boy out!  I just wanted the letters, so I cut out each individual letter.

You will then want to knead some tylose powder into your fondant - you will only need about a 1/4 tsp of Tylose Powder.  Continue kneading until your fondant is pliable and easy to knead and stretch.

At this point you can either run your fondant through a pasta roller (easiest!) or you can use a rolling pin to roll it out.  I always start on the thickest setting of pasta roller.  I use it thick for a stand up topper and a little thinner to add accents to the side of cakes.  Make sure to dust your fondant with powder sugar before running it through the machine or rolling it out by hand.  Also dust your cutting surface or your fondant will stick.


Once you have your fondant rolled to the desired thickness - lay it on your cutting mat/board.  Grab your cut-outs, exacto knife and some shortening.


Rub a little shortening on your fondant and the stick your paper cut-outs on top.


Use your exacto to cut around the templates - the shortening helps to keep the cut-outs from moving while you are cutting. 


If you have jagged edges just use your finger to gently tap or rub them out - you can also purchase a steamer (like the ones used for clothes) to make your finished accents look smoother.

Place your cut pieces on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to dry, or to just move them so you don't accidentally mess them up (yep - done it!).

Its finally time to add them to your cake!  I use gum glue to stick my fondant pieces on the cake (1/4 cup warm water and 1 tsp. tylose powder - mixed and left in the fridge overnight).  If you don't have time or tylose you can simply use water.  Just use a small clean (never used for anything but food) paintbrush to add the water or gum glue to the back of the letter/accents and gently put them on the side of your cake. 



And the final cake looked like this:



Buttercream iced all accents are fondant and handmade.  you can see a little flaw in the buttercream on the right - poor Darth Vader took a tumble off the top of the cake :(  Oh well - I still like it!

Please feel free to let me know if you have ANY questions and if you have an idea for the next Cake Tutorial please let me know! 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Winner Winner..... AGAIN!

I never heard from our first winner of the CSN Stores Online $60 gift card - so.... here we go again...

And the winner is:  JOY at mommaskindacrafty.blogspot.com!  Joy is a follower.  Joy - please email me at mackenziescraftymom@gmail.com within the next 48 hours to claim your prize!

Congrats!!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Winner Winner!!!

Congratulations to:  ROCKIN DEALS who is a follower.

Please email me at mackenziescraftymom@gmail.com within 48 hours.  If I don't hear from you, I will be forced to pick a new winner.

Thank you all so much for making my first giveaway a huge success!! 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Only 3 days left! CSN Stores Giveaway

You only have 3 days left to enter the CSN Stores $60 Giveaway!!!

Your chance to enter will end at 11:59 on the 13th.  Hurry Hurry Hurry!!!!

Become a follower of my blog (click the little "follow" button) for one chance to win.  For another chance click the link above and leave a message telling me what you would use the $60 on!

Friday, May 7, 2010

All the Cool Kids are doing it!!! CSN Stores GIVEAWAY!

I was really suprised when I was approached by CSN Stores to do a giveaway on my blog. I'm also really excited for one of you who will win a $60 gift certificate to any one of CSN's 200 online stores! Oh yea - 200!

After I was contacted I noticed that a couple of the blogs that I follow are also doing a CSN giveaway - I've always wanted to sit at the cool kids table at lunch!!

One of you lucky readers is going to win - so you better get shopping, with over 200 stores it could take a while!

Some of my favorites? Oh, I'm so glad you asked! I make most of my cakes in my kitchen and if I had the gift certificate I would spend it on some new lighting! All I can say is Track Lighting has come A LONG WAY BABY!

I can totally see a row of 3 or 4 of these babies hanging over the bar in my kitchen!


I'm pretty sure that these are the lights that are hanging in my Dr.'s reception area.  I usually just sit there are stare at the lights - they are SO PRETTY!


All of those lights can be found at CSN's online Lighting Store.  Other places to shop with your gift certificate include:  Cookware.com - SERIOUSLY!  I couldn't be more excited about this site!!

Check out this cake plate - they have TONS!  And frankly I think I'm in love with all of them!



Or, you could shop at the main CSN Store - where they have more stuff than the mall!  Their kids and baby section is TO DIE for!  I mean SERIOUSLY!  This baby bedding set makes me want to have another baby and pray for a BOY!  (if you know me, that's huge!)


Ok - now that you are going to spend the day shopping at CSN Stores - here's how you enter to win the $60 Gift Certificate.

1.  If you are a follower you are automatically entered (so if you are not a follower - click that little button over there and Follow Me!)  There is no need to leave me a comment about being a follower.
2.  Leave me a comment telling me what you would buy if you win the certificate - be specific - go shop and then let me know. 

Its that easy!   MacKenzie will draw a winner on May 14th!  So make sure to check back!!!!

Disclaimers:  Open only to US and Canadian residents.  May be responsible shipping charges and shipping charges may be more for canadian residents.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Teacher Appreciation/Mother's Day Gifts!

In true slacker fashion I waited until the LAST minute to make something for M's 5 teachers!  Its ok though - Its crazy cute and super easy!!!  Wanna see?!?!?!  Ok....  I'll share - AND, I tell you how to do it!


Aren't they CUTE!!!  And really these are so easy to do!  I did take some time and paint the pots with Chalkboard Paint - made them all the cuter!!!

Are you ready to get started?  Ok - here we go. 
Step 1.  Bake your favorite Cupcakes, try to keep the top fairly level, it will make piping the flowers a little easier.


Step 2.  Grab some yellow buttercream, a piping bag, and a tip 352 (leaf tip).  Put the tip in the piping bag and fill with your yellow buttercream.  This leaf tip looks like it has a V in it.  You will want to hold the tip so that the V is facing the side, not the top.  Holding the bag at a 45 degee angle and with steady pressure squeeze and then start to pull out, stop squeezing and continue to pull - you just made your first petal!  Do 2 rows of petals on the outside of your cupcake: 



Step 3.  Grab some chocolate fudge icing - its ok if you cheat on the chocolate (I do!):
(just don't use the sprinkles.)


Again you will want another piping bag and a tip 16 or 18 (star tip).  Put the tip in the bag and fill the bag with chocolate icing.  Make sure that you do not leave the icing in a hot environment or in the fridge before you use it.  To pipe the middle, just fill it with stars.  Hold the piping bag at a 90 degree angle with the tip almost touching the cupcake.  Squeeze, stop, lift, repeat until the whole center is completely full.  (if you use chocolate cuppies and you miss a spot, no one will know!  shhhhh!)


BEAUTIFUL!!

YUMMY!

Now, if you have had enough and you want to quit - grab a cute box (michael's) and give 'em to the teachers or your mom.  BUT!  If you want the real WOW factor - Keep reading!

Grab a couple things:

Flower Pot; Foil, Styrofoam to fit the pot, Small wooden skewers and your FABULOUS sunflower cuppies!
(the picture shows sucker sticks also, but I did not use these. So... ignore those.)

Wrap your styro ball in foil - don't want all that messy foam getting on your cupcakes!


Next, use the tip of your skewers to poke holes in the bottoms of your cupcakes (not just through the paper but actually into the cupcake) - this makes it easier to put them on later.

You will then want to start by pushing one of the skewers into the styrofoam ball - the angle depends on how many you want to fit into the pot.  I do them one at a time.  Then when I get to last one I place the middle one as well.  Make sure that you push the skewers in far enough into the foam that they will not poke through the top of the cupcake. 


Once you get all the cuppies on - YOU ARE DONE!  Wasn't that EASY!


After I made this one, I decided that, for teachers it would be so much cuter with chalkboard paint!  So, I made THESE:


At the last minute I also decided that it would be best to cover the edges and the styrofoam ball with crushed up oreos - like potting soil.  I love the look!!!

I got SO MANY compliments on them just carrying them from the parking lot to the classroom.

Feel free to jazz up your pots however you like - the sky's the limit - HAVE FUN!!

Really - what could be better than flowers you can EAT!



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