A Little Mermaid Princess


And now, for something completely different… πŸ™‚

It is birthday season here! Kind of fun, that following the holidays we have two in a row, then one in March, one in April.

I try to make cute cakes for our girls. It doesn’t happen every year…but I learned from my mother, who learned from her mother– hmm, that’s how I learned to crochet, too! I use a cake idea site especially for amateurs, since a professional cake artist, I am not!

Find it here: http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com/Β  Pinterest is just too unrealistic for me, most days. πŸ™‚

This year’s request from baby #4 was “the mermaid on a rock one, please, mommy?” I was happy to comply…though we hit a bit of a snag when she wanted to help…even if she was eight going on nine last week…and had some definite design ideas that may or may not have been practical…apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and all that… πŸ˜‰

But the end result was sweet, if not award-winning. I’ll include a bit of a how-to, and a few links, if you’d like to give it a go yourself!


First, a cake mix baked in a glass bowl. I use the Pampered Chef batter bowl; I like that one (pictured back left). Grease and flour it well! It takes a bit longer to bake in the bowl, usually about 45 minutes. I made a marshmallow fondant for the tail, so much cheaper than the regular stuff!

For the recipes– marshmallow fondant and cake decorator icing– see here: https://thesparklytoad.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/spring-longing/


Grey for the rock, blue for waves, pink for the tail. I had fun with my decorator tips, haven’t had those out in a while!


Added some fins…


Went a shade darker with the pink to add some trim.


Now the green for seaweed and leaves:


I’m not too particular as long as the kids like it. Frosting is too changeable for my taste…sweet and such a variety in consistency!


I do detest clean-up…the oil from the shortening never fully washes. In fact the tubes of frosting are still sitting in my fridge a week later. We will use them to decorate some cookies before I finally break down and scrub them out. At least the bags are disposable! Washing the tips out is bad enough. πŸ™‚


A view or two of her pretty flower in the hair:


A little sea weed, anyone? πŸ™‚


On another note, I finally replaced my favorite orange tennies. I’ve enjoyed featuring them in crochet shots from time to time, and now they are due to retire. I used a little Christmas money to buy a new pair, black this time. Not quite as much fun, but ah well, that’s what they had at the store.


May you have a marvelous evening! I am excited to pick up my hook for the first time in over a week. If I can stay awake…I hope to start a gorgeous cardigan.

Cake Style– Rocking the Eighties


It was a bittersweet week. The dark, long winter days are nearly over.  The clocks have sprung ahead. The first day of spring arrived– at least on the calendar, as we did have snow last night, hopefully for the last time this season. Soon the rush of summer will be upon us.

I can be a little thoughtless about birthdays. I didn’t used to be. It is one of several things I let go when I left my pursuit of perfectionism. Too much pressure to have fabulous, expensive parties. So now we just eat a little cake. And maybe give a gift.

But the Sweet Sixteen is special. It snuck up on me a bit, but still, we managed to pull it off. Two parties– a dinner and a dessert reception, diamond earrings, and a converse tennis shoe- themed decor. πŸ™‚

How to make cake look like a sneaker…

My attempt at pink camoflage cake batter in a 9×13 pan.

Cutting and stacking.

Carved and crumb-coated.

Marshmallow fondant.

Trimmed and water-spritzed.

Trim and frosting laces.

Voila. Sneaker cake! Pinterest was a great help, and fondant makes everything easier.

I couldn’t help adding cookies on a stick to make it just that much more festive.

It was a lovely party.

And so fitting that our vivacious eldest was born on the first day of spring. She is a constant delight, a breath of fresh air in our lives.

Happy spring!


Spring Longing


Happy Tuesday!

We are still in a deep freeze here in the part of the country. I am grateful for the beautiful sun, but the little ones and I are quite house-bound, as it is only 1ΒΊF. Brrrrr!

Still we are dreaming…longing…hoping for spring! It can’t be too far off…

So today we made…bunnies! And a few other spring creatures for our class treat later today.

I used two of my old standbys: the Wilton Buttercream Icing recipe

and MARSHMALLOW fondant.

I just love making fondant from an old half-bag of marshmallows with a couple tablespoons of water! Cheap, sweet, and it works up like play dough, perfect for little ones.

To cut the stickiness, we rub a little shortening on our hands, then dust with powdered sugar.

My sweet older girl wanted to make a bunny cake, so here he is:

And all his little friends! Enjoy!


Here’s hoping warmer

weather is right around the corner!

Tie Dye Birthday Extravaganza


Two January birthdays in the first two weeks of the new year! Yes, I almost miss it every time…and I’m the party planner! We had a bent-and-dent SCORE…a tie dye box mix cake for $.75…I’ve been saving it for my dolphin-loving, peace-making, big-hearted sweetie.

My little people helped with the mixing.

We could do it without the box mix, now that we’ve done it…just white cake batter with some vibrant coloring. Pour slowly into the pan, starting with red, and it does THIS:

After all the colors are added, tilt the pan gently to level the batter– not too much! πŸ™‚

Then frost, and eat! It was so much fun. β™‘