Monday, January 28, 2013

How about another move?

Sometimes it takes me a bit to figure out which path works for me. I started Under the Pine Tree as a way of making time for my creative side while chasing adorable munchkins around. This led to a wonderful blog collaboration with a friend at Mudpies and Melodies. After a few months, I decided for a few reasons it wasn't for me at this point. So, here I am again, back to my sort-of old blog. But, I do have a new blog address, and would love for you to check me out there. I am blogging at the pace of someone with a baby that isn't crazy about sleep, so posts are a bit scattered at the moment, but I hope to be back to my own crafty self soon.

Looking forward to seeing you over at the new Under the Pine Tree.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

And we're moving already!

I have not disappeared, just moved! When my friend Shaunna saw my blog, she thought it looked like fun and started her own. Then we chatted a bit and thought that we would join forces and blog together! Realistically it will be much easier than on our own while we both have babies and preschoolers underfoot! It is also a great way for us to hang out, even though we are 2000 km apart.

Please check us out at Mudpies & Melodies and link up to us on facebook & pinterest as well. Shaunna is keen, she has us well connected! Shaunna will be blogging a bit more about kid things and baby things and I will keep posting some DIY, decor and crafty goodness.

Hope to see you there,


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's a Rainbow Cake!

Lady V turned 4 last week. I can hardly believe she is 4. Of course when we have a 30 minute debate over what to wear to preschool or she informs me she used to eat vegetables when she was little but not anymore, I am sure she is 4. I had a few cake ideas floating around but since Lady V draws rainbows constantly and has recently taken to using her fairy wand to create rainbows floating through our house, I knew this would be the cake for her!

This is not my idea but one I have seen floating around Pinterest and a few blogs. I checked out the original blog post about it at Whisk Kid and Whisk Kid blogger Kaitlin was even featured on Martha, yup The Martha. How on earth do you end up on Martha? I cannot imagine. Very fun.

Here is my Rainbow Cake. Check out the time on the oven clock. Yes, that would be am. Not pm.

I chose to use a cake mix, at 10 pm I was borrowing ingredients from the neighbour across the street, so I figure I was doing well to have any cake in the mixer bowl! I divided the mix into 6 smaller bowls. It was a bit less than 2 cups per bowl. I then started the fun part. I used Wilton gels to colour each bowl of cake mix.

The first two cakes ready for the oven in 8" spring form pans that have been buttered & floured. The cake mix just covers the bottom. I baked at 325 for about 15 minutes, I think, I wasn't really watching the time! It does not take long as the cakes are so thin.

More beautiful colours ready for the oven.

The finished cakes cooling on the stove. I have a smooth top, so I am always worried my cooling racks will scratch it, thus the non-matchy tea towels. 

Mmmmm buttercream. I carefully sliced the top of each cake so it would be more even. I didn't need to cut much off the cakes as they were fairly level anyway. I made two batches of American Buttercream. The recipe is from Glorious Treats, a blog filled with yummy goodness! I used a thin layer of buttercream to stack the cakes, added a this crumb coat and put it in the fridge to chill. 

I ended up making another batch of buttercream to ice the cake, oh so much sugar. I added pink to the icing, as Lady V adores all things pink. The husband added skittles to the top in a lovely rainbow swirl.

Thrilled with her cake that was almost as big as she is!

Waiting with great anticipation for a peek at the inside....

I was so excited when it actually worked! I think I may have been as giddy as the 4 year old.
Definitely a make-again. It really wasn't difficult at all, however I do recommend starting before 10pm. Have a baby that sleeps helps a bit with that!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Sweet Little Wedding Gift

A dear friend was married last August and I wanted to make her something special. She had a beautiful vintage wedding filled with adorable details and thoughtful words and music. Miss V was thrilled to bits to go to her first wedding, and at 3 and a half was convinced the bride was a fairy princess. She could hardly breathe when the bride knelt down to speak with her.

I had the best of intentions to have the gift ready for the wedding, or later that fall, or perhaps even Christmas. Alas my pregnant-self fell asleep while making it repeatedly, and once the baby arrived I was often too sleepy to do much of anything once he was settled and snoozing. Isn't there a tradition that wedding gifts can be given up until the first anniversary? That works for me.

Since the wedding was all vintage charm, I decided to embroidery a set of napkins for the bride and groom. It began as a set of 8, but eventually settled in as 4 napkins (see previous paragraph!) and a lovely gift certificate to a yummy restaurant. 

I used a simple transfer I bought at the fabric store, but I was a bit afraid it wouldn't quite wash out, so I ended up using the transfer under the napkin, and taking a fabric pen and just making a few dots to guide myself. I used simple embroidery stitches, just a running stitch, french knots and some lazy daisy's. Nothing too complicated. I think they turned out quite nicely and the bride loved them which is all that matters.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pink Swirl Cake.

I love decorating cakes, I really don't have any idea what I am doing, but I love it! My daughter has a peanut allergy so we do not purchase cakes in my family, ever. This means we have become a bit creative when it comes to birthdays. I also love homemade cake, so yummy and fresh and mmm mmm delicious.

My Mama's 60th birthday was yesterday, wahoo! I had great intentions to start the cakes late last week, have my house cleaned and tidy, leaving Saturday morning and early afternoon for making buttercream frosting and icing the cake. Enter the almost 6 month old.
New plan.

After many sleepless nights last week due to a really nasty cold bothering the little man, Saturday was a bit of a crazy day. I actually didn't start making the cakes until 10am Saturday morning, the frosting until way after was one of those days!

This is the look I was going for: a beautiful pink ombre swirl cake from Glorious Treats .

I did not have time to make more than 2 cakes, or be terribly exact with my icing application. It was more of a race than anything else. My husband managed to disappear with the busy almost-4 year old, leaving me with the baby who thankfully napped. So, here is my first attempt at this beautiful cake design. I can't wait to try it again when I have a few more hours to perfect it!

A quick photo before the party started. I would have liked the top layer of icing to be a bit more pink, but I knew in my rush I would add too much, so I went with the lighter pink.

The birthday girl. 
The birthday candles are beeswax from The Garden Bee . I love them.


Happy Spring!

Apparently life with an almost 6 month old, and an almost 4 year old is busy. So, not so many posts! I finally had a moment to take down most of the winter decor and replace it with a few punches of spring. Still not quite there, but at least things are starting to look a little bit brighter. Here is a glimpse at a few things I added to the living/dining room.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kit Kat Cake

A friend asked me to make a birthday cake for her daughter on the weekend. She was turing 4 and is such a cutie! I have seen this idea floating around on Pinterest and another friend is actually making it for her daughter in March, so I thought I would try it out. It is super simple and quick to make. The perfect cake to squeeze in on a busy weekend.

I used cake mixes, much faster and realistically the kids were only going to care about the candy on top, I knew that. I made one chocolate and one white cake mix.

I trimmed the top of the chocolate cake, just with a big 'ol bread knife to make it level, added a layer of chocolate frosting and put the white cake on top. I used pre-made frosting....I have an almost 4 year old and a 5 month old....I had to be realistic with my time!

Once the cake was completely iced I added the Kit Kat bars. I used regular size bars, breaking them in half so they were in pairs. They just press into the icing on the side, and because of their shape they easily stay put. I used 8 packages of Kit Kat bars, I think, I forgot to count!

The cakes I have seen online used M&Ms, but we are a peanut-free house, so I used smarties instead. It took 2 bags of smarties, the ones you buy in the big candy aisle.

Finally I added a cutesy pink bow and tied it in a knot. I attempted a bow, but it didn't go so well, I think I like the knot better anyway.

The kids loved it and couldn't wait to have a piece. It actually cut quite well using the pairs of Kit Kats as a guide. Definitely a candy-lovers cake!