Monthly Archives: March 2010

Of Cakes and Trains


The Boy asked for a Thomas the Tank Engine cake for his third birthday last year, and I came up with this:


Well, this year I decided I didn’t want to face all the greasy decorator bags and tips and bowls and spatulas and little boy and girl fingers…so I went the easy route.  The Boy again asked for a Thomas cake, but this year I asked if he wanted to help.  He enthusiastically agreed.  Actually, “enthusiastically” is an understatement.

I bought canned frosting (! Sacrilege !) and decorator icing in tubes.  I made a chocolate cake from a box (! Blasphemy !), in a 9×13 pan.  Nice big canvas for decorating, no stacking required.  We left the cake in the pan (no side to decorate).  He got the “baby” offset spatula (I got the “mommy” one) and we spread the canned frosting over the top. Then:

Cake Decorating 3-29-10

we tried using the tube icing.  It was a little tough for him to squeeze the tube and get the icing to stick to the white frosting just where he wanted it, so I gave him a toothpick to draw in the frosting with.  When he was done his drawing, he told me what colors to use and I went over his lines with icing.  A #4 candle, several star candles and sugar letters finished the job.  Ta Da:

Happy Engines 3-29-10

It may not look like any Percy, James and Thomas you’ve seen before, but my Boy could not have been happier or prouder.  (Or more wired)  And it didn’t take forever to clean up the kitchen!  I think I made a good decision.


Four Years Ago


This is what was happening in our family four years ago today:



FWB 3-39-06

FWB and Daddy 3-29-06

Big Sissy Practicing 4-1-06

My little man is already four years old!  He has learned so much and mastered so many skills in such a short time, it’s easy to that four is still pretty little.  Yesterday I was wearing an “I (Heart) NY” t-shirt that Wonderful Hubby got for me on a business trip.  After we talked about what the letters on the shirt meant, we joked about me going to New York “on the red-eye.”  The evening progressed as usual, and soon it was time for Daddy to put Boy to bed and Mommy to put Girl to bed, as always.  As soon as I was out of sight, Boy fell apart, crying for Mommy.  He often resists going to bed, so we let him cry for awhile, until Girl and I were finished with her bedtime stories.  When I went to him, he asked through his tears, “Are you going to New York tonight?”  After I reassured him that I was not going anywhere, he said, “Don’t go to New York tomorrow!  It was a bad joke! Don’t leave me!”  Poor little guy was so tired and so panicky that this went on for about an hour.  I finally had to sit with him on the rocking chair until he fell asleep.  That was lovely, but challenging, as he now weighs over 50 pounds and is so tall he sticks out over both arms of the chair by a good amount.  I’m sorry that I made such a bad joke, but it is nice to know that I’m so important.  🙂

Spring is … well … not here yet.


Here’s my Girl’s pretty new Easter dress, made by ME on my lovely NEW MACHINE.

Yes, it is displayed on snow.  Yes, I did take that picture March 24th.

The pattern is from the book Absolutely A-Line, by Wendi Gratz.  It’s great.  She gives a basic pattern in several sizes, then show how to modify it to make 28 variations.  Some of her variations are not my taste, though most are adorable.  The dress is simple, sweet, and a really fabulous canvas for all sorts of embellishment.

I found the main fabric for next to nothing at Value Village, one of the resale shops in town.  Then I went to Joann’s and bought the ruffle fabric and the ribbon trim at full price with no coupon.  So much for frugality.  Here’s a close up:

Pink with silver trim. My Pretty Princess will be pleased.

Here are a few other things I’ve been working on lately:

Baby Magnets (No not for attracting babies; for putting on your fridge!):

and a misplaced gecko on a mirror:

The babies and mirror are for sale in my Art Fire shop.  I’m trying to stock up my online and simultaneously get ready for this year’s Tanana Valley Farmers Market, which will be opening for the season on May 8th.  Drop by if you’re in town!