Monday, December 3, 2012

Vintage Rose Garden

I was contacted by a potential customer that was looking for a vintage garden themed cake. She requested pink and mint green as the colors. She also was interested if I could incorporate ballet slippers into the cake as well. Over all, she wanted a clean look for the cake.

I set to work on a "naked cake" (one without blankets). I added lace detailing to a couple of the layers to bring in the "vintage" part of the theme. I added several washcloth roses as both decorations on the tiers and for the topper of the cake. I love incorporating washcloth flowers because I think they add an elegant look to very basic baby necessities. Best of all, they are completely usable once disassembled.

The ballet slippers were a bit more challenging. As far as I knew, baby ballet slippers did not exist. If they did, they eluded me. I looked for decorative ballet slippers that could be added to the cake that perhaps could function simply for aesthetic purposes, but I only found a few ballet slipper items (stickers and whatnot) and nothing that was impressive enough that could go with the cake. Since the alternate was baby booties if I couldn't do ballet slippers, I opted to seek out patterns for baby booties. I came across an adorable pattern for some booties. I decided that I could make them up and with some added ribbon that could be tightened to secure the booty on the baby's foot and double as a decorative bow, I could achieve the ballet slipper look. I made a sample pair and then two to go with the diaper cake.

 The final cake was an elegant clean cake. I love the look and how simple it is. Of course, as with all my cakes, an expectant mama could not only have a beautiful centerpiece at a shower, but all the baby items on the cake are completely usable, making it a fantastic gift for any new mama!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Crochet for the Holidays

One of my customers of my boob beanies showed me a picture of an adorable newborn pirate hat that she had seen and wondered if I could make something like it. She wanted it for Halloween for her 7 week old. I told her that I probably could if I had a pattern. I didn't concretely say that I would do it - I didn't want to make a promise I couldn't keep. I went in search of a pattern, because really, who can resist and adorable baby dressed up as a pirate?

I collected a couple patterns, including the one from the picture she showed me. I went to work using the pattern from the picture and decided I'd use the other one as a back-up depending on how the first turned out. Sadly, I didn't have the materials I needed. I didn't have the right yarn or the right crochet hook. Being me, I just made-do with what I had and decided I'd see how it came out and fix any problems I encountered as I encountered them. And I did encounter them. The first hat I made was adorable. And tiny. Really tiny. It figures considering my crochet hook was too small. And my yarn too narrow. Fair enough, I decided I'd adjust the pattern and make it larger - which came with it's own set of challenges. This worked well and the hat came out adorable, and after fiddling with and altering the pattern for the Jolly Roger logo, I had a super cute hat. For a tiny baby. Like, newborn tiny. Maybe preemie. Or a doll. I thought it might fit since my boys were able to wear some newborn items until they were about 8 weeks old. Not the case here. Once again, I adjusted the pattern and enlarged it (again, with more challenges) and completed a super cute pirate hat that was much more suited for a 0-3 mo baby. I pushed it a bit close to Halloween, but my customer had it in time and all worked out well.

Inspired by the pirate hat, I decided to create an adorable pumpkin hat too. I had saved the pattern quite some time ago, like over a year. I decided I couldn't keep staring at it hoping for a reason to make it, so I just made it. Fortunately, I didn't have to alter the pattern much for this one and managed to get it right the first time. So super cute! This particular pattern lends itself to extending quite well, so adjusting for larger sizes is much easier than with the pirate hat.

I'm so excited about these adorable additions to my repertoire. I'm looking forward to more for future holidays. Now to find some winter patterns!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Craft Fair 2012 Prep (Part 1)

October 2012 was a busy month for me with orders, personal gifts, and preparation for the upcoming craft fair that I do every year. Since most of my gifts are custom orders, I tend to not make a bunch ahead of time, so right before the craft fair, I'm typically rushing to get some cakes made up so I have something to offer at the sale.

The biggest project was replacing some inventory. I like to make sure to have a girl, boy, and gender neutral cake in 3-tier and 2-tier so that potential customers can see the variations and have options to choose from. I also like to have one each of baby buggies as well. In late September/early October, my main focus was on the diaper cakes. Since I had other cakes I was making at the time, I decided I'd also take advantage of photo opportunities before all the cakes were wrapped.

The updated duck cake
The original duck cake
My first project was to update a cake that I decided needed improvement. The cake was a gender neutral duck cake I had made for last year's show. I absolutely love the duck theme, but I felt that something was missing - namely a duck topper. At the time I made it, I didn't have an appropriate topper so I made-do with a hat that I had. I'd been toying with the idea of unwrapping the cake and adding a plush duck for a while and when I came across some super cute ducks at a store, I grabbed the opportunity. And the duck. I "fixed" the cake, adding the duck, moving around some of the baby items, and securing the ribbon that apparently had come loose.

Girl geometric cake
The second project was to create a 2-tier girl cake. For this cake, I chose some geometric blankets that I had and built the cake. For this cake, there wasn't an overall theme other than just being a girl cake which makes it extremely versatile. I added several baby items to decorate the tiers including a handmade pink bow hair clip. For this cake, I didn't add a topper, but decorated with paper shred. I don't necessarily think all cakes need a topper, but I think using a baby hat was a poor choice on my part for the previous cake. This one looked great "as is."

After working on those cakes, I placed them with some of the other cakes I had been working on recently that had not been wrapped. I don't often have multiple unwrapped cakes available, so this was a great opportunity for a photo session since cakes tend to photograph better without the wrapping. I took several shots and while I'm not sure where I'm going to use them (with the exception of here), but I have them for future purposes.