A piece a Week – Birthday Sprinkles Cake for birthday number 8

A week of birthdays ending with my birthday today – whew! I cannot believe it is April already and that my birthday is nearly over. It was a relaxing day catching up on what I have to do at the library next Tuesday – we are making a double drawstring bag which is a fun and easy project!

Last week was a week of making cakes, dresses, kids projects and preparation for a birthday party – Whew! We had seen these cakes on Pinterest and wanted to make one for the party, it is made with India Tree Nature’s Colors Carnival Mix Sprinkles. Placing the sprinkles on the top with the stencil was the easy part – see the pic with a parchment stencil of an 8 cut out. Though I realised when you want to take the stencil off place the cake in the fridge for the icing to set a little bit before the stencil is removed otherwise you will see some rough areas of the icing, which is what happened to this 8!

Fun Sprinkles all over the stencil number 8
Big number 8 stencil

The next step was putting the sprinkles on a vertical surface up the side of the cake evenly. This worked out to be quite tricky so we found a couple of YouTube videos that helped us out with the process of placing the sprinkles by hand around the side of the cake.

Adding the sprinkles one by one… our initial plan?!?

My baking assistant

Saturday we organised a small party for some friends at the local paint your own pottery studio downtown called Fireworks Ceramics we had enough kiddos to have the party room which was a lot of fun for everyone. There was a place for snacks and the kids each received a piece of pottery to paint as their project. Here we are trying to look our best for the party!

A very happy 8th to Missy

Each child chose what they liked and put their name on the bottom and painted them with a glaze so when the piece is fired it looks nice, bright and shiny.

The painted pieces by the party guests

The cake was a big hit with everyone wanting to come back for seconds. I made my favorite whole wheat vanilla pound cake recipe from the King Arthur Baking book. It is a perfect cake for icing and decorating as it stays together very well with not a lot of crumbs.

The 8 cake in action
Do I have to blow out the candles??

We tried to marble the inside of the cake with natural food coloring – it was an experiment that works better with not so natural food colors that I had used in the past when making cakes. This time the marble effect is very subtle and fades when the cake is baked. Still I think it was worth seeing what would happen.

The first piece of cake – with a little bit of marbling

On the actual birthday which was Wednesday we went out to dinner to Sushi Tomi downtown Mountain View. That is one fine sushi joint! I had not been there since I was pregnant with Holly as it can always be way too busy with a line out the front – which is a good thing for a sushi restaurant. We had a delicious spread of hand rolls and some incredibly fresh seafood, the standout being the soft shell crab. As I had not bought a new dress for a birthday dinner I ended up making one that day using a pattern from a Japanese Pattern book a friend gave me. Everything is written in Japanese and trying to work out which pattern is which can make you cross eyed. I just needed the dress and the sleeve and found them eventually ready to trace. I really like the look of the dress and I have used a fabric a friend gave me from a dress she did not complete. I like how it had the pleats that she already made for her dress included in this dress. The sleeves are a standout for me with the gold glitter fabric Missy chose out of my stash of costume fabrics.

Wearing the dress I made from a Japanese sewing book

Friday I had to come up with an Australian theme craft for the class. We had decided to make peg dolls at the beginning of the week. But in between chatting to the teacher he wanted it to be an Australian focus so we made Pegapus (Platypus) book marks for the kids. They enjoyed them and it was not very messy and a cinch to clean up – we could have taken it a step further and added a tail and feet though the time ran out. Any crafts you like to do with the kids in your class? Feel free to share…

Platypus peg craft for the classroom

A piece a week – a wrap skirt for Urban Bike Riding

I found this very cool wrap skirt pattern from a vintage pattern scored at FabMo (you know that they have many treasures to find!). As I have a skort I found at REI that was good to ride in, I thought that a wrap skirt would do the biz. This skirt I embellished with some scraps I had for a bit of experimentation to mix up the dark grey corduroy. It is fully lined in gingham and since the first prototype I have added buttons and it sits more on the waistline which with an A line looks super cute! 
Fancy going for a ride!

As it turned out I took this skirt for a ride this week and it was a winner with having the wrap cover the front and not being too flappy in the winds due to the heavier fabric. I am planning to make more the FabMo show in October. I think with an element of sewing on your own buttons to custom fit the waistband.

The skirt with vintage buttons from my stash

I made this butterfly skirt ages ago from a dress I found at a thrift shop on the way to Mt Shasta. It was a vintage Hawaiian dress with a built in bra & halter neck- so not to my style at all. In the end I cut the skirt off as I love the print and made it into an elastic waist skirt. I took this skirt riding the other day in heels and it sat really well on the bike without any blown away skirt issue (I did not have any tights on underneath!) – so this is another winner I will implement in my range for the Fall!

Riding in a skirt and wedges – what fun! 

And to make the week extra special – being the first week with the kids back at school and my other half on a conference trip in Seattle I treated myself to this Thai Herbal massage – I remember these fondly when I spent time in Thailand. Sawadee is just down the road from our house and so convenient! It made me feel more grounded and after 10 weeks of looking after the kids it was time to look after Mama! After the massage I had sushi next door at Joy Sushi where I sat at the bar and had a very tasty well made vegetarian roll with brown rice with a fresh salmon sake nigiri and to top it off – the service was very fast for lunch, I think I will have to go again. As I don’t wander my local strip mall too often I discovered a hair & nail salon run by some very friendly Vietnamese women – I treated myself to a manicure and a pedicure and an eyebrow wax. There is no feeling like treating yourself to something good, it makes you appreciate these times and that they should be repeated often! So I was quite amazed at what I found in my local neighborhood strip mall!

I feel just like this Lucky cat!