Monthly Archives: March 2012

My First Geocaching Adventure

Today, I went geocaching for the first time.

I biked to Edgerton Park because it’s pretty close to home and rated it as a good beginner geocache. Plus, today is apparently “Take a Walk in a Park Day” so hey, why not kill two birds with one stone?

I found the cache without too much trouble. I won’t normally post pictures of the inside of the caches I find, but this one was so cool…

This particular cache has a theme. It’s a coin exchange, and you can take a coin if you want, but you must leave one if you do. I chose a coin to take (it’s from Bermuda!), but then I realized that I didn’t have a coin to leave. In my excitement to get out of the house and go treasure hunting, I completely forgot the two coins I planned to bring along with me (one from China and the other from Turkey). So I signed the log and had to walk away coinless. Bummer! I think I’m going to go back sometime soon to trade the coin from China.

I wandered around for a bit because I love Edgerton Park, even when it’s all ugly and brown from winter. On the way home, I fell off my bike, which is okay because really, it wouldn’t be bike-riding season unless I fell at least once. So it’s good to have that out of the way.

Today’s adventure was a great first experience. Even though I didn’t get to take a coin, just finding the cache was really exciting and I’m really looking forward to a spring and summer full of geocaching.

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Goodbye Flowers and Cake Design

Tonight was my final class in the second Wilton course, Flowers and Cake Design. I had a really great time in this course… it was definitely more fun than the first. I signed up for the third course (Gum Paste and Fondant) right after class tonight and if it’s as least as fun as this course, it’ll be totally worth the money.

I’m super tired so this will just be a quick post with a couple pictures since I already wrote about the class in my super-post last week.

This is a basketweave, made with buttercream icing. It can be used to make a cake look like... you guessed it... a basket.

I didn't have enough time to smooth out the frosting, but I'm otherwise very happy with this cake! It's two layers, strawberry cake with lemon filling and vanilla buttercream icing. There are Wilton roses on top, a violet garland around the side, and a reverse shell border (which we learned today). The roses and violets are a deeper purple than they look in the photos.

My course 2 completion certificate!

And that’s it for now. I’m soooo going to bed! Can’t wait to eat cake tomorrow :D

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RIP Yarn Bomb, January 1, 2012 – March 2012

My yarn bomb has been removed from its post. I’m not sure when it happened. Probably sometime in the last week. I’ll just make another, but it was my first one and I loved it.

I caught someone taking several pictures of it earlier this month! It made me really happy.

Farewell, Yarn Bomb. You’ll always be in my heart!

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Cake Decorating: Flowers and Cake Design Super Post

Wow. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last blogged (there’s that awful “b word”)! I had this crazy idea that I’d be writing about my crafty stuff at least once a week, but look how that’s turned out. I guess I took a little break! I have a rule that I must be cheerful here, so I’m not going to talk about my break very much. I’ll only say that March hasn’t been the best of months. I really want to try to be better about posting from now on though.

I’m going to start my return to blogging with a cake decorating super post! Woooo! In this post: pictures of all the flowers I’ve made in Wilton’s second cake decorating course, Flowers and Cake Design, as well as some information about and my opinion of the course. Here we go!

I started the second course on Monday, March 5. I’ve been to three classes so far and my final class is on the 26th. I thought the first course was fun, but this one is incredible. I’ll be honest… I wasn’t completely excited about learning how to make flowers. I don’t really like flowers, I’ve never cared about them, and I was more interested about making fun cakes than anything elegant and pretty. But I’ve truly had a blast learning how to make all sorts of flowers. I definitely don’t regret taking the course and I feel differently about flowery cakes now that I have. I’ve learned so much, I’m not sure I’ll be able to talk about all of it in just one post!

During the first class, I learned how to use colored fondant to color gum paste (for example: I used a bit of yellow fondant to turn white gum paste into yellow gum paste), and how to make gum glue, which is used like glue to hold separate gum paste pieces together. We talked about color schemes and how to be sure to choose colors that compliment each other. I also learned how to make two different flowers with gum paste: a pansy (which I have a picture of but can’t find right now), and another flower they call a “button flower”. These flowers hardened quickly because gum paste dries out very fast. It lasts a long time, too. The instructor said she still has gum paste flowers she made several years ago!

This is the button flower. It’s made with gum paste and a press, which is used not only to cut the shape of the flower, but to imprint it with a design as well. It’s three pieces: a big flower with stripes, a smaller flower with polka dots, and a center that looks like a button. These flowers look best (in my opinion) with two colors. If the polka-dotted flower had been a different color, it’d have been perfect!

Usually, they do teach you to make the flower with two colors, but we were running short on time so I could only press one color. I used the gum glue to stick the pieces together.

For the second class, I had to bring some icing, but not buttercream like in the first course. This time, it was royal icing, which hardens ridiculously fast. It has to be mixed with a mixer for 7-10 minutes, and because I really didn’t feel like using my hand mixer for 10 minutes straight, I went to Nate’s mom’s house and used her stand mixer. I seriously need one of those! Anyway, I used the royal icing to learn how to make three different flowers, one of which was a rosebud (and unfortunately, I was unable to take a picture of it).

The flower on the left is a primrose. On the right is an apple blossom. These flowers are simple but very pretty.

I needed more royal icing for the third class, and luckily, I still had some leftover from the week before. This class was my favorite so far. We discussed proper flower placement, design, and learned how to use piping gel mixed with icing to “draw” stems and other greenery to accent flowers on a cake. I didn’t have any difficulty with this week’s flowers. Of course I could use some practice, but I understood what to do and got the hang of the techniques very quickly.

I had to use my phone to take this picture and it’s kind of crappy, but it’s all I’ve got. The big yellow one is a daffodil and the little purple one is a violet. I like them both but I really like the violet.

This is a lily. We were supposed to use white icing but I forgot mine at home so I used yellow. I really like the way these look, even in yellow.

This rose is so fun to make. I thought it’d be really hard, but it was super easy. I could spend all day making these. The lesson book refers to it as “The Famous Wilton Rose,” so I guess it’s their special rose or something. Whatever, it’s awesome and I love it.

Next week, I’ll actually decorate a cake with these flowers. Well, not all of them. I have to make the flowers I want ahead of time and place them on the cake in the classroom. I’m really excited. I think I’m going to use the violets and the Wilton rose. The violets will be purple, of course, but the roses… I’m not sure. I borrowed a stand mixer so I can get started ASAP, so I guess I should figure out my colors.

So, there you have it. A cake super post! Yay :]

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