Thursday, June 28, 2012

First Ever Threadcakes Entry: Star Wars Cake!

Some of you might be wondering what in the world Threadcakes is. Well there's this fun site where they sell shirts called Threadless and a couple of years ago Chris Cardinal started a cake contest based on shirts from Threadless. They've been doing Threadcakes for the past couple of years and this is the very first time Ai and I have decided to enter. You all should enter too! It's tons of fun and there are soooo many fun and cute designs to choose from! You can see our entry over here

Since it's an online cake contest we had to take a ton of pictures to document our whole process. Which is really great for all of you because we're finally doing a proper cake blog. We'll walk you through our process from start to finish! 

The cake was red velvet with cream cheese frosting. I know I've mentioned it a ton in past blogs but I really do love! My red velvet and cream cheese frosting recipe are from there.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 fluid ounce of red food coloring 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin pans with 20 cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter and frost with desired frosting.

*I modified this recipe by doubling it and baking it in a 9x13 glass pan and baking it for 40 minutes. 

Cake ingredients

I just love the color of red velvet! 

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.
* This cream cheese frosting might not be for some of you as it has a strong cream cheese flavor. It isn't overly sweet and tastes different from the stuff you buy from the grocery store. 

Frosting Ingredients

Yummy cream cheese frosting! 

The cake covered in a crumb coat or like Buddy from Cake Boss likes to say it's been "dirty iced". 

To make the characters and cover the cake we used our go to marshmallow fondant recipe

Marshmallow fondant ingredients and food markers and brushes

I like to start the marshmallow fondant out in my KitchenAid stand mixer and then finish it off by hand kneading it.

The fondant all ready to go! 

All the colors we needed for the cake.

The fondant that covered the entire cake.

The cake all covered with the excess coming off.

To make Han Solo (red solo cup) we cut the fondant free handed with an xacto blade. We probably should have printed out the design and traced over it to get cleaner lines, but it didn't come out too bad. 

The bulk of the cup. We had to redo his belt in the end because it ended up cracking when we moved it on to the cake.

Han Solo cup just hanging out! 

Close-up shot of Han Solo cup.

Gun and face details.

Clothing and shoes details.

The Chewbacca cookie was also free handed, but his body was sculpted to give him more of a cookie shape. His facial features and belt were also made from fondant. The shading done on him was painted on with brown gel food coloring and vodka. 

Chewbacca cookie's beginning.

He's got his face on. I actually had to carefully remove his face because I realized his belt wasn't at the proper angle.

Now he looks like a real chocolate chip cookie! Ai's painting skills are amazing! 

Close up of Chewbacca cookie! 

Face and belt details

As a blog exclusive we made and Millennium Falcon! It was actually part of plan B because we weren't sure how much negative space we were going to end up with. I ended up sculpting Chewbacca really big which ended up being a good thing since the Falcon isn't actually a part of the shirt design. But Ai worked so hard on it and it ended up being so cute I just have to share it with you guys! 

 Our secret Millennium Falcon! 

The start of our Millennium Falcon! We thought we were so clever for making an actual falcon! hahahaha

Some more detail added

The Millennium Falcon's final and wonderful look! 

Sometimes it hurts to destroy something you've worked so hard on, but that's what cake is for! 

We had so much fun with this contest and we're planning on entering again before it's over since Ai's birthday is next month! Hopefully we win our category or at least place! But no matter what we really enjoyed doing this contest!♥  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chalkboard Magnets

A while ago Ai and I thought it would be a good idea to make little chalkboard magnets. We thought they would make really great gifts. They ended up being really cute and easy to make! The only problem we had was trying to find the right sized chalkboards. We wanted these to just be decorative pieces so we needed them to be fairly small. The chalkboards we used were definitely a lucky find. We found them browsing through kitchen stuff at World Market. If any one knows a place  where we can find a greater variety of small chalkboards please let us know! 

We had a bit of trouble coming up with themes for these so they ended up being a little random. The little trinkets on the chalkboards were made out of polymer clay and then attached with epoxy. If you aren't familiar with polymer clay charms check out our tips here. We couldn't figure out a way to connect a piece of chalk to these magnets to make the chalkboards an actual functioning piece, so the words were painted on with white acrylic paint. After everything on the front had set we glued four round magnets on each corner of the back of the chalkboards. You could definitely do this project with a larger chalkboard or even a dry erase board, but I would suggest making sure you have enough magnets to bear the weight! 

Now on to the magnets! 

Ai went with a cute love theme here! I just love those adorable little love birds in the tree! 

Neither one of us is a teacher, but we have a deep appreciation for teachers. Also teacher themed things are always super cute and fun! 

That's all for this week! Hope you all go out and make your own inspired chalkboard magnets! Happy crafting! ♥  

P.S. If you haven't already, go like our facebook page here. It would really mean a lot to us! ^_^ 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Panda Pinatas!!

So we know that we haven't posted anything in months! We're so sorry and we've finally buckled down and will not go missing for that long again! Although we've been absent, we have been crafting! Our inaugural post for our re-launch is all about pinatas!

My sisters had their birthday a few months ago and they wanted pinatas. If you ever buy pinatas then you'll know that the variety and quality of pinatas isn't very good. These pinatas also tend to cost $20+. For less than that you can make a quality pinata, but you'll have to put in the work. It took me three days to make two medium sized pinatas, but in the end my sisters' joy was worth it. And I know some of you might think it's a little silly to put in so much work for something that's just going to be destroyed, but that's the point of pinatas so I didn't have any reservations about doing it. You'll have to decide for yourself if the work is worth it. 

Unfortunately I made the pinatas on my own and couldn't document the process. But Ai and I plan on doing another pinata sometime this year and we'll give an in depth tutorial! I haven't made a pinata since I was in elementary school and it was only one of those traditional pinatas, which really aren't too difficult to do. So I went searching on the internet and stumbled upon THE BEST pinata blog here! This guy's pinatas are so amazing and his tips and instructions are really helpful and easy to follow! If you've never made a pinata I suggest you read everything he has to say.

So on to the pinatas!

Panda pinata with a sweet mustache! 

The other panda pinata. They both have their party hats on! 

The pandas faces and hats were made out of card stock. All the fringe was made with strips of crepe paper that I fringed and then layered. I'll go into more details when I put up the tutorial. The structure of the panda is traditional papier mache. Again I suggest you check out Pinata Boy! 

That's all for this week folks! Hope you all like the new layout and have been happily crafting while we've been away! ♥