Yesterday was definately a win in my books. It began as many days begin, woke up, made coffee, and then my sister and I took her girls for an adventure on the bus to the Michaels craft store! I needed to get some earing hooks and wanted to look at getting some natural stone beads. It was my 2 year old neices very first time taking the bus, and she had a blast. It was so much fun going to the stores with her, picking up everything and shouting "This guy, mummy!" to show us some pretty beads, or a bucket, or some foam letters. She loved the silk flowers, and the foam and feather birds. We thought we were making good time, but we wound up not getting back to my sisters place until 3:00, 2 hours past nap time, because even though we left the Wal-Mart complex at 1:30, it took that much longer between catching the bus down the hill and transferring to get to our side of town. Luckily the littler one got to nap on the bus, so it was just the older girl that was getting quite grumpy by the time we got her home.
I successfully bought things, including earing hooks, some head pins, garnet beads, coral beads, opal beads and amethyst beads. So I was able to finish up the awesome present for my friend's birthday! Unfortunately, I'm a complete dolt and forgot to take pictures of the finished project. I do however have a couple pics of the project before adding in the coral and the earing hooks.
Lacey Jellyfish! Seriously so ridiculously excited by this project. They turned out better than I could have hoped. They look even better with the coral shard beads.
I made a pair for myself too. They don't have any stone beads on them, but I was thinking about putting some amethyst on them if it wont make them too busy. These are a little bigger than the ones I made for Miss S. I used size 20 crochet yarn for hers, and size 10 for mine.
Lenore was convinced that I had made the second pair for her. She watched the entire process, didn't bug me or attack the thread as I was working on them. But as soon as I put them down she tried to steal them, but the camera caught her in the act.
This post is going to be long, because not only am I showing you the gorgeous lace jellyfish, I also made Miss S the bestest growed up birthday cake ever. EVER! Last year on her birthday, Miss S introduced me to Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half one of the funniest blogs I have ever read. The very first post I read that fateful night was about the Alot. Miss S and I had a grand time forcing nearly everyone to sit down at her laptop and read that post, which really is so funny it took little convincing. I laughed so hard I was crying, and I mean like the amount of tears usually reserved for a serious sadness kind of crying. I had never ever in my life cried so hard from laughter. It was amazing. Thus, it was resolved that Miss S would have Alot of cake for her next birthday, and I said "I can make that happen". So I did.
Now for the next year Miss S mentioned her Alot of cake at least once a month, and at every friends birthday that passed. So I knew it was a big deal. I have never really decorated a cake before, not without adult supervision, so I enlisted my sister for help. She's one of the best bakers I know, and loves cake decorating. For Christmas last year she got a very awesome very expensive decorating kit, that has everything you need for perfect cake and looks like a toolbox.
We started off by making 2 lemon cakes, boxed cake I'll admit it. But instead of milk I used water, and instead of oil unsweetened apple sauce. This is something my sister did for my neices birthday, and it gave the cake such a wonderful texture and makes it stay moist for so much longer, as well as helps cut the fat content. Also it makes the cake dairy free, and Miss S's boyfriend is lactose intollerant. Next I made the butter icing, using my sisters home-made butter. Yes, she's such an earth momma now I'm so proud of her! I wish I had gotten pictures of my icing making ability, I had to clean her entire kitchen of the icing sugar I managed to get everywhere. I am chaos on two legs, so when my sister said we could decorate at her place she knew what she was getting into. I cleaned up the mess before I left this time though!
As a filler in the lemon cake we used unsweetend raspberry preserves. Very tart, but with icing and the cake it was really light and refreshing instead of something like a pudding which would have defeated the purpose of it being dairy free. Then to decorate! This was the best part!
I drew on it, Alot! We didn't have enough icing to really colour him in with the brown of Allies original picture, so I decided we'd outline him then fill him with raspberry preserves for colour. Because Miss S told me once she likes raspberry Alot. Sadly, he looked like he'd been shot, and this breeded a very morbid conversation about what Alot of Mass Murder would look like. He also had a sad face, like he didn't want to be eaten. So we added in a speach bubble on the side saying "Don't eat Alot!"
Around the other side of the cake it says "Awesome Growed Up Birthday Cake!"
All in all, it turned out amazing and it was such a fun night. And so tasty too!!