Saturday, 28 April 2012

More Cake

I made another cake last week, for a little girl's first birthday. I was asked to make a Dee Li cake and sent a picture from the program Wayballoo.

The cake was fairly easy to make. First I made a 7" round cake and then I used a 1lb loaf tin to make the second cake. This needed a bit of shaping so I'm thinking I may have been better off just making a square cake and cutting it out. I'll keep that in mind for next time.
I covered the cakes with white icing and cut out the figure from coloured icing. The pupils and eyelashes I painted with food colouring but they did bleed a little so in future I would make some thing icing to pipe, or buy some writing icing as I tend to get the consistency wrong when I make it myself. To finish off I piped shells around the edges, and wrote a little plaque. I also made a flower candle holder out of icing, it's good to do something like this a few days in advance and leave to harden a little, when the icing is too soft anything you push into it will move around.

Here is the photo;

I don't currently have any cakes ordered at the moment. The next cake I think will be for our Jubilee party/BBQ so probably a Union Flag cake unless I come up with something more original ???

Sunday, 22 April 2012

10 Things I learnt at Blog Camp!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend BlogcampUk arranged by Tots100 and the lovely Sally Whittle.
This is what I learnt;
Lesson 1: Four flights of stairs gives you a good cardio workout. Seriously I had to wait 5 minutes until I could breathe normally again when I finally arrived at Blogcamp on the second floor of The Studio in Birmingham. Now, I'm not an unfit person (really?) but I have been glued behind a pushchair for the last six years and therefore always use a lift, so stairs are a bit of a novelty for me.

Lesson 2: You should read your schedule as soon as it is given to you. If I had done this I'd have known that the first talk started at 10.30am not 10am and as I am quite obsessive about being on time I did spend 1/2 hour wondering when everyone else was going to come into the room and park their bums. I would also have realised that the talk I most wanted to go to had been cancelled :-(

Lesson 3: It's ok to change your blog if that's what it needs. I'm not good with changes and in the past I've been known to start a new blog rather than change the one I've got (probably why I have four blogs now). Change is ok, change is ok, change is ok.....I get it, one blog already revamped. Did you know you can even change your blog name and url on Blogger without losing your hard work? I also learned that it's ok to have more than one blog...phew! Thanks Bangs and a Bun!

Lesson 4: I don't drink as much coffee as I thought. There was plenty of coffee at Blogcamp and it was good. I always thought I spent most of my day sat on my bum gulping back coffee (ha, if only) but with a cup of coffee at every opportunity left me all coffee'd out and I actually reached my max!

Lesson 5: Don't be a Dick! This was the most talked about slide of the day, and in fact was so important it was shown twice. As a person who worries about what people say and think all the time I thought the talk on How to be a Snark would help. Stu Heritage, snark tiger, looked like a little pussycat in front of a room full of oestrogen (his term not mine) but he still gave us a very amusing and informative talk about how to get away with being a snark, and when to back out. Glad I didn't miss this one, and he was rather nice looking (or is that just the oestrogen talking?)

Lesson 6: Lunch was free! And it was rather nice too with plenty to choose from. In fact we were really looked after all day with coffee on tap, water (in bottles), pastries for breakfast, buffet lunch, biscuits and yummy cakes.....quick break time for a cake pic!

Lesson 7: I learnt what all those buttons mean on a camera and picked up some good tips on how to take a good photo. My daughter will be pleased, I only said the other day that I needed a new camera and she retorted 'no mum, you just need to learn how to take a photo!' Well daughter, lesson learnt. Thank you Daddy Pig, aka John Arnold from PhotoWalkthrough

Lesson 8: I discovered Pic Monkey an online photo editor and how easy it is to use. Yes, we do have photoshop, I bought it for my daughter (yes, I bought it!) but I can't use it. I have tried. PicMonkey is a great little tool and I think my boring bad photo's will be getting some tweaking done very soon.

Lesson 9: PRs are actually quite nice, when sat meekly in front of an audience of 100 bloggers with fire coming out of their ears! I've only just recently been getting approached by PRs so I was a little naive in this session but learnt lots and next time I get an e-mail from a PR I'm not going to delete thinking they've got the wrong person, I might just give them a chance.

Lesson 10: You can't fit in everything and are likely to miss the most buzzed about talk of the day. I did, I missed the Follow, No-Follow talk which really created a stir. However, from what I picked up from talking to others it was about this which I think explains it fairly well. And if you are on Blogger and want to no-follow a link there is a handy little box to tick, whoopee!

Finally, I learnt that Bloggers Rock! (when they are not being dicks!)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

I'm Going To Blog Camp

Only 100 tickets were available and I managed to get one, so on Saturday I'm off to the wonderful city of Birmingham to meet up with other Bloggers at Blog Camp Uk.
Ok, I live in Birmingham so it's only a short bus ride away, but I'm still excited. So This is me,
so if you are going too you will already know what I look like.

I have this blog which is for more personal stuff, sometimes I share too much but I find it easy to share on my blog. I also have a blog for my babies Baby No5 yes, I have five of them, but they are not all babies, but they are still all at home. Then there is my business blog Bump To Bundle which is linked to my baby shop which I started up while pregnant with baby no 5. Finally, well not really  but more about that in a mo, there is my reviews and competitions blog because I like to write reviews and enter competitions but didn't want to to clog up my other blogs. And Finally, finally, this blog is currently in hibernation but I wanted to mention it because it's a great hobby of mine. I've not been Geocaching for a while but I am hoping to get back into it very soon so Finding Boxes will be revived.

I told you I share too much ;-)

Just one more thing, I've hear there will be cake at Blog's one I made earlier

Yes, another hobby of mine is baking and decorating cakes......there may even be a new blog on the horizon. (First I need a few more hours in the day)

See you Saturday :-)

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Birthday Cake

As I've said before, I like making and decorating cakes so I was thrilled to be given free range on a cake for my niece's 20th birthday. I know she's a pink girl so the dominant colour just had to be pink, and I know she loved the feathers on her sister's cake that I made last year so I got some pink feathers for the topper. I decided that I'd have a go at making a two tier cake for the first time. The bottom half chocolate and the top vanilla. The chocolate cake stuck to the pan and I lost half of it (me and Graham had the pieces with custard later) so I had to make another half a cake. It turned out to be a pretty good size in the end. And I learnt a lesson, you still need lining with silicone cake pans. The top half came out well but after putting it all together I was thinking maybe I should have gone for a smaller but taller cake. Something to keep in mind for next time.
So I thought about the top cake sinking into the bottom one and I knew you could use dowels but I thought I'd give it a google to see if there were any alternatives. I discovered that for a two tiered cake you could use drinking straws so I gave them a go. I think they worked pretty well, there was no sinking anyway.
The bottom cake I covered with pink icing and decorated with lilac stripes. My eldest complained that I should have had them all symmetrical but I wanted slightly larger gaps between the lines at the front so I could fit on the greetings plaques. I'd been asked for a long greeting so decided to split it over two plaques. The top cake I covered with a darker pink and I wanted to put lilac hearts around the side but it turned out a little too short and they wouldn't fit, so I embossed a pattern and put the hearts on the top. (Hence my thinking a smaller and taller cake would have been better)
The topper I made with silver foil coated thin wire, diamante numbers and the pink feathers. It cost me about £12 to make and took me nearly 3 days.