Sunday, September 30, 2007
I love birthdays! Birthdays are my new motivation to practice cake decorating and make lots and lots of flowers. Flowers are nice. I've been wanting to make the violet cake in my Wilton book which uses cute little violets in two tones. This is my first detailed cake entry so I am going to share all the boring details: My two 9" round chocolate cake layers came out with enormous humps - if a cake is baked properly, it supposedly comes out nice and flat, no humps - so I sawed them flat with my fancy new cake leveler and filled the middle with pink buttercream frosting (I had to use pink because I had planned rather poorly and made too much pink frosting for another project, and not enough white frosting for the outside. oops).
Filling the cake was no big deal at all. I am getting pretty good at slathering a large mound of icing nice and flat. Applying the crumb coat however, proved to be much more of a challenge, which I attempted at midnight last night after Oktoberfest and football madness. I had a sudden burst of crafty energy and found myself whipping up a batch of frosting as D snoozed in the living room. So. Crumb coating is a clever technique where a thin layer of frosting is applied over the entire cake to cement those annoying little crumbs in, which creates a smooth base to apply the pretty layer of frosting that your guests will see. My crumb coat was pale green, also due to bad judgment in frosting quantity. Here's the crumb coat and pretty coat.
The violets are piped with a turn of the wrist using a deep-closed flower tip. The pale purple was done with stiff consistency icing, which made funny pokey bits. The darker violets are piped with thinned-down icing which turned out much better, with less pokiness (but took longer to dry). Gatsby participated in the cake festivities.
I think the birthday girl will like it, pink and green insides and all.
One more photo I had to share...D and I went out for brunch yesterday and I ordered a fancy Stuffed French Toast. It was delicious, but have you ever seen so much butter?! Good grief. There's even a third square of butter you can't see behind the front two pieces. Next time I'll have to ask them to put butter on the side.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Right now I'm working on this cute sweater jacket (or so I hope, once it's completed). I'm not a big fan of sweaters knit in pieces because of all the seaming required, but I've screwed up many projects trying to take shortcuts that this time I'm actually following the pattern to avoid later headache (adjusting the pattern to knit in the round or fewer pieces isn't that difficult, but given my impatience it's probably not a good idea).
The pattern is Drops Design No. 103-1 by Garnstudio and I'm knitting it with some Misti Pima Cotton & Silk in khaki-olive that I bought in Columbus when I visited last year. The yarn is super soft and feels great against the skin.
The back piece is done and I'm working on the left front panel. The pattern offered instructions in two gauges, and I'm doing the smaller gauge version. Hopefully it looks as good as the grey model version. More knitting updates to come!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
However, there has been plenty to see and do around here on weekends and the weather is still warm and sunny. I've been trying to remember to take pictures to post for family and friends, but have only managed to collect a few.
Last weekend we stopped by the Goodale Arts Festival in the park, and picked up a few things at the North Market farmer's market. It's hard to resist the goodies at Omega bakery (leek and cheddar buns!) and jeni's ice cream- I'd heard about this place from several people and it definitely lives up to its name. Yum.
D and I have been at this coffee shop a few times and I think it's starting to count as one of our regular spots now. It's half restaurant/lounge, half coffee house, with free wireless so you can sip your coffee and catch up on facebook gossip.
Today I ventured out to explore the downtown area south of our apartment. I walked by the Statehouse and Macy's at City Center Mall (sad and empty, closing in November) and then wandered over to the Columbus Metropolitan Library to sign up for my new library card. The library itself is a beautiful old building contructed in 1904. It was absolutely massive and filled with hours of entertainment - I was inside for about 3 hours and walked away with an huge armful of dvds, cds, sheet music*, cake and knit books and some fiction. Hoorah for free entertainment!*I bought a second hand keyboard last night, that's what the sheet music is for. The Columbus Library has supplied me with '20 Piano's Greatest Hits' for practice. Given that I haven't played in over 10 years, D will probably not be hearing beautiful music any time soon - for now it will be rusty practicing most likely accompanied by occasional tantrums about the loss of finger dexterity.