A cake, a quilt and a yearning for yarn

Back in April, I made my nephew a memory bear and a car-themed birthday cake for his second birthday. Last week, my son turned two; with him also being car-mad, I felt obliged to recreate the car cake for his birthday party at the weekend.

I baked the two sponge cakes to make up the cake on Friday afternoon. However, when I cut into the first one, it was still raw inside. So, at 9pm the night before the party I had to start again, sending my husband out into the dark and cold for more butter. (A week of baking disasters, if you saw my last blog post.) This also left me in the slight predicament on Saturday morning of having a cake to ice whilst looking after a two-year old (my husband had to work). Fortunately, my Mum came to the rescue and took over childcare, leaving me free to ice the cake. Two hours later, it was done. It tasted pretty good, if I do say so myself.  

Now that I’ve finished the baby cardigan I spent aaaaaaaaages knitting, I needed to think about what’s next. My ‘to do’ list is as follows:

  • Knit a second baby cardigan, for a friend who is due next month. Despite having a whole hamper full of wool, I might just pay the haberdashery at John Lewis a visit tomorrow …  
  • Two memory cushions, to accompany the memory quilts I made last year.
  • A quilt from the hay bale covers I made for my friend’s wedding. (I’ve warned her she’s unlikely to see this before her first wedding anniversary!)
  • My hairdresser has commissioned a memory lion made from her baby’s clothes. 

Plenty to be getting on with then 😬

I’ve often wondered what had become of the giraffe quilt I made for my niece. Tonight, I was delighted to receive a photo of my niece with said quilt. It’s helping her keep warm at night. That’s made my day, if not my week! 

  

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Aunty Kate’s Big Bake

As I think I mentioned in my last post about making a memory bear for my nephew, his birthday was to be celebrated a week early due to his parents getting married next weekend. His party was today. The invitation contained a plea for ‘star bakers’ to get baking. Not that I consider myself a star baker (remember my recent Donnie Darko scones?), however, I do like to bake, with mixed results. So, naturally, as I like to put myself under extreme pressure, I offered to make the birthday boy’s cake 😁

He’s car mad, so it had to be car-themed. I found this photo on Pinterest which I thought I stood a chance of replicating.

 

I baked the two sponges Friday night. I only have one 8″ cake tin, so I had to bake them one at a time. At 1hr 15 mins baking time, it was a late night. On the plus side, I discovered a new attachment for my Magimix, a dough blade and the sponges rose better than when I’d made them previously. 

Saturday night was decorating night. I trimmed and halved each sponge, then sandwiched with buttercream and jam before coating in apricot jam to help the icing stick.

 

Nice buns?!

Then, the scary bit. Four packs of black ready-to-roll icing later …

 

Dead on my feet, I couldn’t decide whether to plough on with the decorating, or go to bed. I ploughed on until I ran out of icing sugar.

 

Once my little man had gone for his nap today, I was back to it. I couldn’t get the consistency of the icing right and so had to abandon the star shapes for the grass, in favour of just bunging the green icing on.

 

Not a patch on the Pinterest version, but not a failure like my scones! 

Lacking a big enough cake box or cover, I came up with the perfect solution – which fitted the theme perfectly. 

 

(My son’s car storage box.)

The birthday boy seemed happy enough, which makes it all worthwhile.

   

  

All this baking has taken me away from the memory bear. I’ve also had a rethink on the colours and the new colour scheme works much better I think. No teasers, you’ll have to wait to see the finished bear.

(The birthday boy actually turns two on Friday, so I could have a busy few evenings ahead trying to finish the bear.)

First birthday makes

The memory quilt took a backseat last week while I was busy preparing for my little man’s 1st birthday bash which took place on Saturday.

The first thing I made was a timeline of his first 12 (well, 11, actually) months.

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Despite trying to be as organised as I could, and baking the birthday cake on the Thursday night, Friday night still passed in a blur of baking and decorating cakes. I’d bought some rice paper cake toppers with jungle animals on. We had a jungle theme as that’s the theme in his nursery. I’d thought it’d be really quick to whip up and ice 24 fairy cakes. Which it would’ve been, if I hadn’t had to cook dinner (courgette lasagne), turn my sponge from Thursday into two sponges sandwiched with jam and buttercream, ice and decorate it.

Anyway, at 10:30pm, with lots of help from my husband, we’d managed to get the royal icing on the cake, add the (pre-bought) decorations and write the little man’s name on it. I had been hoping to make my own fondant icing and cut it into letters, but had to abandon that due to lack of time. Bit rough and ready, here it is.

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It tasted quite nice and didn’t cost anything as I had all the ingredients already.

I put up the bunting I made for his christening out of an old duvet cover.

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And today, his actual birthday, he received a lovely handmade gift from my friend, Emily who has just started blogging here. It’s a crocheted blanket. Which he took an instant shine to, and so the best photo I got was this.

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Very disappointingly, the Waybuloo card I made in the hope of it being read on CBeebies, did not appear on the TV. Must up my game next year, or at least send it in within the timeframe next time.

Anyway, despite the card putting a slight dampner on things for me, the little man himself has enjoyed a lovely few days of festivities. And that’s what matters.

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