Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Easy decorated Hello Kitty cake tutorial

I'm NOT a sugar-art pro...not at all. I've made three decorated cakes in my life, but I am fascinated by the whole cake decoration story. I like when something is not only good inside, but also pretty outside.
So, for Little Miss' second birthday I thought I'd try something that she could recognise easily, little a cartoon character. But, as I said, I'm not a pro, so what could I do with a few sugar colours and white royal icing and not much skills? Hello Kitty!
Think about it: not a facial expression to reproduce (Hello Kitty doesn't have any), white background and only a few black, yellow and pink / red details, and the possibility to cut it off an ordinary round cake.
You'll need:
  • A round sponge cake (I've used a fruit cake the first time, and tried also a chocolate cake, both worked wonderfully);
  • Buttercream or any other filling;
  • Ready rolled white royal icing;
  • Food colouring decorating pens in red or pink, black and yellow.
  • A sharp knife and a cake tray.
So, I baked a fruit cake (you can find the recipe here), prepared a sort of buttercream filling made out of cream cheese and jam, which I also used for covering the cake to allow the white icing to stick to the cake, and started cutting the cake as illustrated.

Cut the cake in the middle and put the filling. Then cut the filled cake as illustrated and place the ears at the top of Kitty's head. Use the leftovers to make the body and glue them with the buttercream.

Cover the cake with the buttercream to allow the icing to stick to it and fill in all the gaps.

Lay the ready-rolled icing on the cake and smooth it all over with dry hands and some icing sugar. Cut the excess at the base of the cake with a sharp knife.

With some of the leftover royal icing, cut the details (eyes, nose, bow and hands) and apply them on the cake with some water as glue.

Finally, colour the details with cake decorating coloured pens.
Don't forget to show me your creations!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Summer Project #4: wild animal felt hand puppets

In the quest for ideas for Little Miss' little friends' birthday presents, I came across these sweet hand puppets by Larissa of Just Another Day in Paradise...she is so generous she provides a tutorial AND patterns to make all the Old McDonald animals and even the old man.
But because Alexander (my little one's virtual twin, since they were born on the same day) rather loves his wild animals, I adapted the hand puppet idea and style to suit.
I slightly increased the original dimensions, when printed out the puppets resulted quite small, even for a child's hand. I also added a hem at the bottom to make them more resistant.
So, let me introduce you to a scary lion, a mighty elephant and a terrible crocodile (well...almost):

 ...and these are their backs.

Mr Lion is my favourite, and the first one I made...

 Mr Elephant was the one that required a little more thought to make, since he doesn't have legs / paws but ears, which couldn't be made from the same piece of fabric the body was made of...
 So, the first step was to sew on the front and back all the details (hair, trunk, tummy, tail...).
I then sewed the front of the ears to the front piece as illustrated in the picture. I repeated the same at the back.

I then sewed front and back pieces, right sides facing, being careful not to close the hole created by the ears (see picture below), as these are the holes where the fingers go.

 I then turned the puppet inside out.
And finally, I sewed the ears all around. Done!
And last but not least, Mr Crocodile...quite cute, uh?!

I think Jonathan, Alexander's dad, loved them even more than his son...well, I made two boys happy, so mission more than accomplished!