Cake is happiness

A few years ago, I decided I wanted to make a huge cake for my sister’s birthday. I had been experimenting with fondant, but only to decorate cookies. I could have started with a small cake, but instead went for a two-tired cake with zebra print and red icing. I do like a challenge! I lost track of how many hours I put into that cake, but it turned out great!

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After that, I was hooked and started making all kinds of cake!

This one was for a friend’s daughter’s birthday.

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For a collegue’s birthday. I used ganache and it made the cake all slidey and crooked, but it tasted blissful.

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I made this one for my cousins birthday.

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This one was a special order from a friend for her boyfriend’s birthday. I complied, but this is not my team!

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And then there was the castle cake for another little cousin.

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My little sister saw all the cakes I was making and asked for something special for her fifteenth birthday.

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This one was for a circus themed baby shower. The tent is leaning a little and the elephant looks like he’s wearing sunglasses, but this is still one of my favourites!

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When my cousin got married, she asked me to make her cake. I had never made a cake this big before, but it came out looking pretty great, if I do say so myself!

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My friend Caroline’s daughter wanted a princess cake for her third birthday.

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When my friend Julie got married, I offered to make her cake. It was not perfectly level, but in no way did it look as crooked as it does in this picture!

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When my friend Dominique got married, she planned a small wine and cheese, but her daughter really wanted her to have a ckae, so we devised a secret plan to surprise her with one!

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And, most recently, I made a baby shower cake for my friend Suzanne. Baby Stella was supposed to arrive eight weeks after the shower, but instead, she showed up a few days later! She’s small, but healthy and happy.

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Making a cake takes a while, but it’s worth it to see the looks on people’s faces when they see their cake! However, I think I’m going on a little cake hiatus. I’m still going to eat cake, just maybe not decorate any for a while!

Knit one, drop two

My sister is a terrific knitter. She can knit practically anything. She’s really fast too. She’s made me lovely gifts. I think she has a small obsession with buying yarn, but I love her anyways.

I am not a knitter. I’ve knit a few blankets, but they’ve been few and far between. Actually, I’ve knit two. In about five years.

When my friend Caroline was pregnant, I knit her a baby blanket. It all went relatively smoothly, even if I had to call my sister pretty often to figure out how to pick up a dropped stitch. Here’s a tip: don’t drop your stitches. And if you do, don’t try to fix it over the phone.

About four years ago, I found out my friend Sandra was pregnant, so I thought “Hey, I can knit her a blanket too!” Yeah. Not so much. I started it. It was lovely. All pink and white and soft. And so loooong to make. Her daughter will be four in June. She never saw the blanket.

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When my friend Suzanne told me she was pregnant, I asked her if she would be ok with a previously-started-for-another-baby blanket. She said yes. Perfect. Now, all I had to do was dust if off and remember how to knit.

Fortunately, my sister came over and figured it out for me. Then my sister left and I finished the blanket! Woohoo! Just in time for the baby shower. Small problem. How, exactly, does one cast off? How am I supposed to remember how to do this when I only did it once, over four years ago?

It was the morning of the baby shower and I really wanted to give Suzanne that blanket. So I had only once option. I wrapped it up, knitting needles and all.

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Then I had a brilliant idea. I stopped in to see my grandmother before the baby shower and she finished it for me. She even re-wrapped it.

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Suzanne loved the blanket. So did Stella. Well, she hasn’t seen it yet, but she only just arrived to the world yesterday.

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It’s got a few (ok quite a bit) dropped stiches and mistakes, but I’m really proud of it! It will keep baby Stella warm!

Ooh la la!

My best friend Suzanne is going to have a baby. We’ve been friends since the first grade, and now she’s going to be someone’s mom. It’s strange, wonderful and perfect, all at the same time. She’ll be an awesome mom. I can already picture her with her daughter. Of course, in my mind it’s all Hallmark moments, but I’m sure real life will be different! Either way, I hope the next two months go by really fast, because I can’t wait to meet baby Stella.

Suzanne’s mom and sisters hosted a Paris themed baby shower yesterday. I don’t know where they came up with that idea, but it was perfect! They really went all out with the decorations too, with paintbrushes hanging from the ceiling and impressionist-ish paintings done by Suzanne’s two year old nephew. It all felt very artistic and Parisian.

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We all had to wear hats, which was fabulous, because how often do I get to wear a hat that’s not a woolly toque these days? I wore my fascinator and it made me quite happy. I didn’t think I would get the chance to wear it again! Especially not in the winter. I didn’t get a picture though, as I was busy being the photographer with my awesome new camera. I did get Suzanne’s sister to take a picture of the two of us, but I had removed my feathers by then!

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I was asked to make the cake. I wanted to stay with the Paris theme, but not be too tacky. I decided “chic” would be my theme. I bought some edible paper, which I had never worked with before. I liked the design, but I couldn’t cut out shapes like I wanted, it kept cracking. I decided to go with strips instead and this is what I came up with.

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I wanted to take step-by-step photos as I was decorating the cake, but I am way too messy for that to be possible. Making fondant is not difficult, but it requires a very hight tolerance for extreme messiness. Powdered sugar everywhere. And I’m not exaggerating!

I hope baby Stella liked it!