LEGO Movie : Princess Unikitty Cake

For those of you that took  your kids (or yourself) to the LEGO Movie, BEHOLD, the “Everything is Awesome” Princess Unikitty Birthday cake.

Unikitty Cake

Uni-Kitty

So here’s the story, my girls have played with LEGOs on and off over the years, but once the “LEGO Movie” came out, it has ramped our LEGO-shipping up a notch. Especially for my youngest daughter who will NOT STOP talking about Unikitty and Cloud Cuckoo Land. That part of the movie really stuck with her as well as the “Everything is Awesome” song… Well it stuck with me too.

So over the course of the last month or so, I’ve been adding to our collection of LEGO merchandise. We have the playsets, we have the video game, we have the pajamas, we’ve seen the movie, 3 times, and now (…because of the constant begging and since I love a challenge) we now have a Unikitty Birthday cake.

(Haven’t seen the LEGO Movie yet? It’s fantastic. Stop reading this and watch the trailer!)

Let it be known, I’m NOT a professional cake decorator. I actually don’t remember the last cake I tried to decorate. In fact, I’m not even a huge fan of cake. BUT I AM a champion Playdoh sculptor, so if I just tell my brain that fondant is Playdoh, it all works out.

Clara with her Unikitty Cake. Happy Birthday my sweet little girl!

Clara with her Unikitty Cake. Happy 4th Birthday my sweet little girl!

I did alot of searching online for Unikitty cakes to get some ideas and was highly disappointed. There really isn’t very many out there, maybe Unikitty isn’t as popular as Emmet or Wildstyle, but WE think so. Do not fear Unikitty worshipers, I have posted the “progress shots” to my blog so you can see me struggle, rejoice and beat my head trying to figure out how to make this thing.  Enjoy!

10_Final

Yes, she is AWESOME!

First things first, I've never made fondant, so I found a recipe online and got to work.

First things first, I’ve never made fondant, so I found a recipe online and got to work. I used a dough hook and my Kitchenaid Mixer. I LOVE MY KITCHENAID MIXER.

2_FigureOutSize

Then I scaled up a photo of Unikitty and did a quick outline of how much cake I would need and what I would cut apart. We went to the store… uh two times since estimating isn’t my forte.

3_CakeBody

We used the Funfetti cake, BECAUSE IT’S A BIRTHDAY DUH. I started with the legs and tail. At this point I’m already getting a little nervous.

4_Fondant

Here I am struggling with the fondant. It’s breaking, it’s pinching, it’s not even whatsoever. And look in the back how much cake I’m wasting! Honestly at this point I wasn’t sure if it was going to turn out.

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BUT I WILL NOT GIVE UP! Now I’m using food coloring and dying the fondant the different colors to get the LEGO legs, neck and outline of the tail. Yes, I’m messy, I’m just a mom. THERE ARE NO INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS! THIS IS WHAT YOU DO FOR YOUR FOUR YEAR OLD!

6_Head

Now I had to bake two more cakes to start the head. I’m all about proportion. I’ve seen enough cake shows that it’s much easier to cut if the cake is cold/frozen. Worked out perfect.

7_Covered

Covered the head in fondant, now I know I have seams everywhere, but honestly, nobody really cares!  Unless of course you are a professional cake decorator.

8_Details

Now onto the details, some ears and face. At this point I’m actually having fun, it’s more like molding and rolling and using cookie cutters to get shapes.

9_Face

More fondant fun, I have permanently dyed my hands black by using black food coloring on the eyes. Made the horn and some stars to cover up flaws.

10_Final

Then I piped white icing around some of the seams just to smooth everything out and cover up the major flaws.  All in all I’m super happy with it. And my daughter thinks I’m “Totally Awesome.” Can’t get much better than that! We love you Clara! Happy Birthday!

The only downside to this is that my OTHER daughter wants a WildStyle cake for her birthday. I have until July to try to figure that one out!

Thanks for reading! ~April

Researching Rosemaling

The last time I was home, my grandmother had set aside some artwork, fabric and other random things that she thought I might enjoy. One of these things was Rosemåling artwork that she had learned to do back in the 70’s.  Now I didn’t know alot about rosemåling other than I know it when I see it!

Rosemåling is a very distinct Norwegian style of decorative painting that originated in the 1700s with florals and flourishes usually painted on plates or other wooden objects. It consists of C and S curves and many of the brush strokes remind me of calligraphy. It is quite folksy and beautiful.  Some modern day rosemåling is produced with stencils and double loaded brushes while others still do freehand designs with layers of paint creating depth and outline.

My grandmother's Rosemaling artwork.

My grandmother’s Rosemaling artwork.

So this morning I did some research on rosemåling. There is a very talented lady by the name of Jean Honl from Roseau, Minnesota that creates some BEAUTIFUL rosemåling pieces. Plates, clocks, even a full hutch; it’s wonderful to see how much beauty and detail she has in her designs. She has a video below that shows how she creates these highly detailed pieces. You can learn more about her on her website.

Then I found a video of Sigmund Aarseth that freehands rosemåling on a huge canvas. It is worth it to watch the full 9 minutes! Amazing strokes.

Here are some more examples of rosemåling that I’ve found while researching the styles.

rosemaling hutch 3

This piece was restored and refinished by Honl.

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Turned wooden plate with Rosemaling

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Rosemaling 1974. The scroll work is beautiful.

rosemaling budstikke

A Rosemaling Budstikke. If you are not at least a 1/2 Norwegian you have no idea what I just wrote.

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There are many types of Rosemaling. Telemark, Hallingdal, Valdres, Rogaland, Os, Gudbrandsdal, Vest Agder.

Shabby Chic Medicine Cabinet

I tried my hand at hand painting a medicine cabinet for the girls bathroom and giving it some shabby chic character. I’m not a huge fan of “paint everything” but I do like a few pieces of furniture, shelving, etc that distinguish it from the rest. This is something I do in moderation. It can get too over the top when EVERYTHING looks old and distressed.

In this case I had an old oak medicine cabinet from our old house that needed some TLC. It’s not very high quality cabinetry, only the doors and frame are actual oak, the rest is mdf or particle board so it was the best jumping off point for me to take a crack at it. You can see the progress below. Enjoy!

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The original medicine cabinet.

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First step was sanding all the old varnish off and cleaning it up.

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I used a hand sanding block to get into the grooves.

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I used spray paint for this one because I was impatient. Next time I’ll probably use a brush.

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I used a combination of three different colors to get the graffiti look I wanted, plush I could show more highlights and depth.

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The doors I painted a solid green then let them dry. The I painted a two tone yellow and blue over the top and made “paint” layers.

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Added more blue highlights and dry brushed it.

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Here I added the blue and yellow to the doors an then dry brushed those colors to give more depth.

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Once all the paint was completely dry, I used a block sander and sanded all the raised edges, panels and door edges to get that worn look.

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I was going to paint the antiqued handles, but realized that I kind of liked the looks of the darker worn handles, so I kept them. Just sanded them up a touch.

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Put the hinges back on and hardware. When you paint the doors they may stick to the frame if you don’t have little stoppers. You can also use flat thumbtacks as stoppers as well.

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I also used a chestnut stain I had left over to darken the panel grooves. I also dry brushed on some white spray paint on the frame and raised panels. And here it is finished, only took a couple of hours!

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So I hung it above the girls toilet in their bathroom. My daughters decorated it with their toys.

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Overall I think it works really well with the colors we had going on.

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No medicine in these cabinets!

 

 

Storybook Gown of Golden Books

My daughter has a growing collection of Golden Books and I have read quite a few myself but this is jaw dropping on so many levels! I’ve seen recycled paper dresses, but this is ridiculously amazing!

From Ryan Novelline @rnovelline

“Storybook gown constructed entirely out of recycled and discarded children’s Golden Books. The skirt is comprised entirely of the illustrations from the books sewn together with metallic gold thread, and the bodice is made from the books’ foil spines.”

You must visit the site to see the full construction process. I’m floored!

Visit the Site: http://home.comcast.net/~ryannovelline/10.html

What I’m Loving on Etsy

Captain America, Thor and Batman Plushies!??! Can’t believe I’m saying this, but…. A-DOR-ABLE!

Go and buy this and then go see THOR!
http://www.etsy.com/listing/70683698/thor-plushie

Okay, I couldn’t stop there. There are so many cute Amigurumi dolls out there including Yoda here:

Little Yoda on Etsy!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/65518907/little-yoda-amigurumi

And of course LINK!

Check out Link Here on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/64861655/link-the-zelda-warrior-amigurumi

The Cellini Spiral

Cellini Spiral

Learning the Cellini Spiral

I’m in the process of learning how to bead the Cellini Spiral. It’s a woven bead stitch that makes wonderful gradations from large to small beads in a spiral. Starting it was the hardest part but once you get the pattern down it’s pretty simple. I’m stopping on this one since I’m going to change from bead wire to a more flexible fireline but it was a good sample run.

Check out more beautiful Cellini Spiral bracelets on Etsy to see the full effect:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/beadnurse?section_id=5970565

Twisted Bead Earrings

Twisted Bead Earrings

I have a ton of beads and usually I try to make bracelets or necklaces when I’m snowed in but this time I decided to play with earrings. Earrings are super easy and you can easily blow a half hour watching some of your favorite DVR’d shows. (which is exactly what I did!)

It’s pretty easy, you need some little beads (any colors your choose), two earring posts, beading wire (mine is a 26 gauge purple), some sewing thread (again mine is purple) and a scissor/wire cutters.

First double the length that you want your earrings, mine I wanted about two inches tall, so cut two wires about four inches each. Loop the one end and attach it to the earring post. Thread your small beads on the other end leaving a little space at the top to loop the other end onto the earring post. Basically make a circle.

Now you can leave your earrings just like this if you want, but I like the straight dangly ones.

Squeeze the sides together. Tie thread at the top of the first bead and start wrapping between the beads all the way down to the bottom. The bottom will have a little bulge because the beads will bunch together, but the thread will hold it all together. Once you get to the bottom, wrap back up a little bit and tie off.

Then take the top and bottom and twist about 5 or 6 times to tighten the beads together.  You may not want to do the thread trick but I think it reinforces it a little bit more and makes a cool spiderweb like pattern. Enjoy!

Steps