How To Make: Fondant Ranunculus

fondant ranunculusThese fondant ranunculus were the show stopper on the Burlap and Lace Wedding cake that I made. It was that pop of colour and those large blossom that gave that punch of life to the cake. When I make flowers for cakes, I usually make more flowers than necessary for the cake so that I can choose the best looking ones to use. So although that cake only had 3 full ranunculus on them I actually made 6 of them. {That’s a lot of petals} I quickly figured out a good system for making these flowers and they started to come together quickly once I got going.

Fondant ranunculus could be lovely on a cake for any age. Or, instead of putting them on a cake, how cute would they look on cupcakes? You could could colour the fondant all different colours and have a perpetual garden of sugar! Once you know how to make one of the petals, you can make a whole bunch in varying sizes very quickly. what you will need

Materials needed for fondant ranunculus:

  • coloured fondant {I use a half fondant/half gum paste mix}
  • small round cutters of varying sizes {the tops and bottoms of round piping tips work great}
  • rolling-pin
  • spoon
  • wire
  • pliers
  • cupcake tins
  • mini cupcake tins
  • styrofoam balls on skewers in styrofoam

flower stepsHow to Make a Petal

1. First, roll out your fondant and then cut out 3 circles. Overlap the circles to form a triangle.

2. Next, flatten out the triangle a little more using your rolling-pin.

3. Then, to make the flowers a little more real, use the back of a small spoon or ball tool to fan out the edges of the leaf and make them thinner. {See picture below} Use gentle down and out strokes. I discovered the power of the back of a spoon about a year ago. It makes thinning out the edges of flower petals so fast and easy. If your spoon is tearing your fondant or sticking to it, just put a little shortening on the back of it to help it glide easier.

fan with spoon

Lay the larger petals over normal cupcake tins, mini cupcake tins and medium and small styrofoam balls on skewers for stability.

Allow them to dry for about a half an hour to an hour or until the outside of them are a little dry to the touch and holding their shape fairly well. Once the outside is dry, flip them over on a paper towel or the inside of the tins so that petals can dry completely. If you don’t flip them over at this point, you run the risk of having them dry the tins and balls and then all your hard work will be for naught.

Allow these to dry for a few hours or overnight. drying petalsTo make the center piece that will hold the whole flower together, take a piece of floral wire and, using your pliers, crimp a little hook on one end of the wire. Form a large pea-sized ball of fondant and attach it to the hooked end of the wire. making stem

Roll out your fondant very thin. Then, using the small end of round 1A piping tip, cut out three petals. Attach the petals, overlapping, around the ball.  You can add a second layer of petals if you want as well.

Allow this to dry overnight as well. petal togetherOnce everything is dry, you can either place each dried petal on one at a time going from smallest to largest. {like the above picture} or you can arrange the petals in a stack and then jab through the whole stack at one time. {Below} I did the stacking method.
stacking the petalsflower finishedUsing your pliers again, push the flower into your cake or, if you don’t need it right away, into a piece of styrofoam. finished flowerIf you aren’t putting them into the side of a cake, you can probably skip the wire. These flowers would be adorable on cupcakes in all different colours. You can also make them smaller or bigger depending on the amount and size of your layers. On the burlap and lace cake, I used just the center buds to add a more pops of colour in flower clusters.

If you make these yourselves I would love to see your work. Put your pictures of your flowers on Instagram and tag me in them @minicakelove. Happy Flowering!

Love,

Kat

 

 

This entry was posted in cakes.

Burlap and Lace Wedding Cake

Western Naked wedding cakeHow about this burlap and lace wedding cake? Seriously, I think I’m in love with it. I’m not normally a burlap person, but this just, well, took the cake for me!

About a month ago, I met with a bride who was unfortunate enough to have the person who was going to make her wedding cake cancel on her. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make her cake since I was already to scheduled to make another wedding cake for that same weekend.  But when she told me that she wanted a naked wedding cake, I just had to say yes!  In case your wondering, a naked wedding cake isn’t as raunchy as you may be thingking. It’s just a cake that isn’t covered with fondant or icing before being decorated. Cake can be so beautiful in its natural state.

As I was putting the finishing touches on the cake I was singing to myself Pretty, It’s so Pretty! 

The bride was going for a rustic, country western style wedding. Between the burlap and the lace and the flowers, I think we nailed it with this cake.

bottom boquet top bouquetNormally, I think that every wedding needs a touch of pink. But in this case? No way. How gorgeous is the burnt orange for this cake? It gives just enough pop and charm to make it fun and yet classy.

wedding cake
In my prior post, where I shared the gold wedding cake I decorated for the same weekend, I also explained how I’ve finally figured out some methods for making flowers that work best for me.  Over the next little bit, I hope to share with you how to make some of the flowers on the past two cakes I’ve shared. I’m so excited to break down how to make some of these flowers for you so that you can make them at home, using pretty common objects you may already have.

Love,

Kat

 

Delicate Flowers on Gold

gold and flowers cake
It’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to just be at home, alone, and just create.

On Saturday, my mom and dad graciously took my children all day. The kids got a day full of playing at the park with Grandpa, beating grandma at a game of basketball, playing with new friends and enjoying the spoils of their raspberry bush while I got a day to play with fondant, frosting and Netflix.

During that time I was able to put the finishing touches on this wedding cake that I had started the day before and then do another wedding cake {to be revealed soon}.

front viewI’ve finally figured out some methods for making flower petals that work for me. I’m a pretty analytical person. When I looked at something, I can almost instantly figure out a plan to make my vision come into reality. But for some reason flowers have taken me a bit longer to figure out. Small flowers have always been pretty straight forward to make, it’s the bigger flowers that can be tricky at times, especially if they involve wires and supports. So it was lovely to spend Saturday practicing these new flower making methods and getting really comfortable, and quick, with them.  gold cake side viewLater in the afternoon my mom brought my kids back home. Since Jason was done with work by that time, we left the kids with him and my mom helped me deliver the cake and mini cupcakes to the reception. I was able to put all my cake stands to use again in this charming display. We were also asked to incorporate some baklava that the bride and groom had order for the wedding into the wedding (I did not make it, although I think I need to try it sometime)

cake at lodge cake table full tableSorry that the pictures from the wedding reception aren’t very good. The lighting in this hall was pretty dark. I think I need to remember in the future to take a look at the cakes I make under some bad lighting at home. I’m always amazed at how different the cakes look under different lighting. Sometimes, depending on the lighting, flaws are less visible and sometimes the bad lighting enhances them, which is a niiiightmare!

Anyway, here’s one last look at the cake under beautiful natural sunlight! Mmm, I love me some sun!

front view

Putting the Collage Together

Yesterday we left off with eliminating the background of a photo using ipiccy.com.  Today we’re going to put it onto a background using tools that you already have.

You could do this all in ipiccy, but I wanted to use some clip art off of Word, so now we are going to start the next stage in Microsoft Word.

1. Begin by selecting a clip art background. I stumbled upon this one pretty quick and liked well enough.

word 12. It wasn’t the length I wanted so I duplicated the picture again and then flipped the images so that they started where they left off. Which left me with a longer background. word 23. Then just start inserting your pictures. Every time you insert a picture, go to Formatting and then under ‘Wrap Text” click on “infront of text”. This way you can move it around freely and resize it as you wish. word 34. I played around until I got it to this configuration that I liked.  Here’s a close up!Joyfully Homeword 45. In Word, you have the option of saving your picture as document. But that’s not going to work for us. This is super easy to get around. What you need to do is make a screen shot. There should be a button at the top of your keyboard that says ‘Prt Sc’. If you press this button it will take a screen shot and automatically send it to your keyboard.

6. All you need to do now is open up the Paint program on your computer. Then paste the picture in by simply clicking  ctrl+v. word 67. Since it’s a screen shot, you will have the whole screen showing. Now you will need to select the area of just the picture and click crop. Now you have just your picture.

8. Now go ahead and save it as a .jpeg or .png
word 59. My background elimination wasn’t the greatest the first time around. So I had to put it back into ipiccy, go back to paint but this time instead of erasing the background, I selected the paint brush, chose a small brush size, used the colour picker to choose the right colour and then got in even closer. word 710. Then you can use ipiccy to add in some fun text. Joyfully Home Logo

I know those were a lot of steps. But really, it’s all quite easy and doesn’t take much time once you get going. Is anyone else thinking Christmas card?

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be my blog heading forever. I just needed something fun for a little bit. It was feeling too pretty and I was needing to crazy it up a little. Jason just walks by and shakes his head when he sees it. I think it’s pretty fun, so who knows how long it will stay. I’m thinking ‘us in a pile of leaves’ for the fall. Thoughts?

Love,

Kat

This entry was posted in cakes.

Using ipiccy to Make a Photo Collage

for free

I love mash-up photo collages. Remember back in school when you used to cut pictures up and mash them with phrases and other magazine pictures to make a kick ass collage to give to a friend? Or when you would cut up a picture of you and place yourself in the middle of the Backstreet Boys?

As much fun as cutting and glueing is, I’m going to show you how you can get that same kind of mash-up collage look but completely digital (So you’re not wrecking photos anymore).

I’ve been wanting to make a quirky family collage for a bit. The only problem was that up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t have a picture of Jason and me that would work in the way I wanted. The only good pictures I had were of us sitting down or in some awkward position. So when we had anniversary pictures taken, I finally found one picture that would work.

Normally you could do this in Photoshop, but I don’t have Photoshop. I’ve been using a website called ipiccy.com to do most of my editing. The best thing about ipiccy.com is that it’s free and super easy to use.

The first thing you need to do is go to www.ipiccy.com.  On the main page will be a yellow button that says “Get Started”. Click on that. Then upload the picture you would like to use. Once it’s uploaded then double-click it to open it in the editor.

How to use ipiccy to Make a Photo Collage

Now that you have it open, here’s how to get rid of the background of the picture. {Each step is numbered in the pictures below}

1. Click on the Paint Icon of the tool bar. It will now open in a different option area.

2. To make being exact easier, zoom into your photo using the slider on the far right side.

3. Click on the eraser in the tools box.

4. Adjust the size of the brush to whatever is comfortable for you to use. (I like using the 45 for most but then switch to a smaller one to get into the tight places.

ipiccy 1

5. Just start erasing the background. If you make a mistake you can click on the undo arrow or just click ctrl+z to undo your action. It will undo everything that you clicked until the moment you unclick. So I like to click and unclick a lot so that not as much is undone when I click the undo arrow.

ipiccy 2 erasing 6. I like to work in a section at a time. When I’m, say, done with our heads I would move on down the body. You can keep zoomed in and move down the characters by dragging that red box in the Navigator around. ipiccy 3

 

7. When the erasing is done as close as you would like, then use a larger brush to clear away a larger chunk of the background. You don’t have to do the whole thing.

8. Then click on the camera icon so that you can crop the rest of it out.

ipiccy 4

9, Then click on the crop option on the left hand tool bar. Box out the area you would like to crop and then click apply. ipiccy 5

10. To save it, just click on the floppy disk icon.

11. IMPORTANT! It saves as a .jpeg by default but you NEED to save it as a .png for the background to remain transparent. Make sure you do this! You don’t want to go to put your collage together and then realize that you have a big white background behind your images.

ipiccy 6

 

Then there you have it! Your image sans the background! us standing photoshopFor the kids pictures, since they were in full colour still, I first put them in black and white (found in the magic wand toolbar) and then faded the black and white out a bit so some colour would still show through. Then I went ahead and followed the same instructions as up above. benji photoshop Brooke2 CalebHere’s part 2, showing how it is all put together. Enjoy creating!

Love,

Kat

This entry was posted in cakes.

Happy Anniversary: Nine Years

IMG_17649 years ago, I married the love of my life but it feels like yesterday.

IMG_1602 IMG_1605 IMG_1610 IMG_1652

How It Began:

Jason and I met 12 years ago at a youth conference we both attended in Colorado Springs. I was a mere 17 and he was 18. We didn’t know each other until the middle of week when we went on a day trip to go white water rafting. As we were all standing in line to board the buses, a group of girls in front of us were talking about how they wanted to go with some of the boys who were standing behind us. My mom, who was chaperoning our group, spoke up and asked if any guys would like to switch positions with some of the girls. Jason nicely volunteered to join our group. I thought he was super cute! So I was alright with that. It took until the end of the trip to final strike up a conversation with him on the bus back to the college. While on the bus, we figured out that we were all in the same meal setting. Once we figured that out, he joined us for all our meals, sat with us during the main sessions and came exploring the rock formations with us. What made me crush on him hard was when I saw him play 3-on-3 basketball. Basketball is big to me and my family and the fact that he could play, and play well, was a major bonus.

But if you know Jason, then you know that he is not the type to wear his heart on his sleeve. I knew I liked him right away, but I was convinced that he liked one of the other girls we were hanging around with because he was keeping his feelings close to heart. At the end of the week we all exchanged email addresses. As we were leaving, I finally got up the nerve to give him a hug goodbye and then moped during the entire 2 day van ride home to Alberta while he headed home to South Dakota.

One week later, my heart soared when I got an e-mail from him.

IMG_1720 IMG_1724 IMG_1726That following year, we emailed, msn’d each other, he told me that he didn’t want a relationship at that point, so I dated someone else for a bit although my heart was still attached him.

Later that spring, my heart was broken when my brother passed away. Knowing that Chris was sick and in the hospital, Jason called me for the first time not knowing that he had passed. With that phone call he had unknowingly changed my emotions surrounding that day from a hurting heart to a heart full of hope and warmth.

A few months later he came for a quick visit. We spent the next year flying back and forth to visit each other (thanks to lots of Airmiles!) I was okay with this arrangement because it allowed me to focus on college and playing basketball there, but after a year, the distance was getting old. That’s when I decided that I would transfer to a college I had been wanting to go to for a while and that just happened to be only an hour away from his hometown.

Needless to say, that November that I transferred down there, we realized that what we had, was a good thing and Jason proposed during a trip back to Alberta for a cousin’s wedding. There wasn’t much fanfare with the engagement. We had a private moment in my parent’s basement where he said a few nice things to me and then asked me to marry him. It was just as I had wanted. Simple and sweet.

That summer we got married as started this forever life with each other. He is my joy, my friend, my love.  IMG_1609

Jason’s family was down this weekend. We stole the opportunity to get his sister Jenna, who is starting to get into the photography business, to take some couple photos of us. We are super awkward when it comes to taking pictures but she managed to get a lot of really good ones! She captured the depth of our love and the awesomeness of my husband!

Warning: You are about to see some pictures of a serious hottie. But ladies, he’s mine. But you may look…for now 😉

IMG_1744 IMG_1738 IMG_1742And then there were a few of me! 

IMG_1751 IMG_1749 But I love us together to most. {Just lke in real life}IMG_1764 IMG_1766Thank you Jenna for taking such wonderful pictures of us! If you are in the Sioux Falls area and want to get some pictures done by her, then I can pass on her information. Since she’s still building her portfolio you can get a session in a for a great price!

Love,

Kat

 

 

This entry was posted in cakes.

Easy Dinner: Quiche

Ham and Onion QuicheI don’t know about you, but when it comes to summer I have little desire to cook. We are way too busy splashing in the kiddie pool in the backyard, biking, going to the big pool and just doing a lot of nothing, which shoud leave time for making dinner but….it doesn’t. Often times, I head to the fridge around 5:00 and see what’s in there that could be made into a meal.

If I want a thoughtless, easy to prepare, get-rid-of-stuff-in-my-fridge type meals, I usually go for a quiche. It’s really not rocket science for making a good quiche and you probably have most of the things you need on hand most of the time. The beauty about a quiche is that it’s so versatile. The only consistent ingredient in a quiche is the egg/milk/cream mixture and a pie shell. Beyond that, the kitchen is your playground! I usually have a frozen pie shell in the freezer but if I don’t a shell is fairly quick to whip up (even thought I still don’t have the art of it mastered)

ham and green onion quicheThe main reason why I decided to make this quiche was because I had an overabundance of deli ham. Jason had run to the store and bought some meat for his lunch and then that evening I went to the store myself and thought I’d be a nice wife and buy him some meat for his lunch. Needless to say, we don’t need 300 gm of sandwich meat sitting in the fridge. I also bought some green onions that I needed to use. So, voila! A quiche was born!

top view

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 pie crust (I just use a store-bought Tenderflake crust)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of milk, cream or half/half
  • salt/pepper to taste (I like to use Epicure’s garlic and herb sea salt)
  • grated cheese
  • diced ham
  • diced green onions

Assembly

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F
  2. Toss your cheese, green onions and ham in the pie crust. Give them a little toss to mix them up a bit.
  3. Beat your eggs and milk and seasoning in a different bowl.
  4. Pour the egg mixture over top of your fixin’s in the pie crust.
  5. Place the pie dish on a cookie sheet (I always spill it putting it in the oven, so this step saves a lot of clean up for me).
  6. Bake at 375°F for about 35-40 minutes or until the egg is cooked right through to the center. If your crust is getting too browned then you can wrap some foil over it during the last bit of baking.
  7. Allow the quiche to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving to help solidify the quiche.
  8. Enjoy!

ham and green onion quiche 2profile quicheWhat is your favorite thing to put in a quiche? I enjoy ham and broccoli or italian sausage, green onion and peppers. Most of all I like whatever is easy.

Love,

Kat

This entry was posted in cakes.

Bangs

2You remember that one time that I went to the mall with my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law and said, “I want bangs!” and then went to a salon in the mall and got them cut?

No?

Well that’s what happened on Friday.
me bangsbangs 3

When she was close to being done cutting my bangs, I sort of wanted to cry. In all honesty, I thought I looked like a boy. For some reason, the natural colour of my hair (which I haven’t seen unblemished in a few years) was really throwing me off. It was dark. Since when did I turn into a natural brunette?

I asked the hairdresser if she thought I should colour it or something. She said that she was liking the ombre look I had going on.

Yes!

My laziness has finally paid off! My 6 months of not highlighting my hair has made me trendy! Ohhhh-yeah!

IMG_1609

I also have to apologize to everyone who saw this photo on Facebook and thought that Jason was kissing a random stranger. But no, this is just me with bangs. Now that I’m used to them, I’m totally loving them. I even washed and styled them by myself and they looked good too. Just dry and go! That’s how I like it!

Love,

Kat

 

This entry was posted in cakes.

This Life

Brooke 3 silly Brooke pretty brookeThe many faces of Brooke.

Benji hockey dinoPlaying hockey with a dinosaur tail, of course.

swimming with kids Benji and MommyFinally hot enough for the pool!

sock monkey smash cakeSock Monkey smash cake

Ah..summer. How I have waited for you!

Last week was our first week home altogether this summer. It was everything it was cracked up to be. We (well, I) slept in a little, ate breakfast at a leisurely pace, biked to the park, checked out the local pool, biked for groceries, tidied the house every (okay, most) mornings. finally got the mountain of laundry tackled and just spent a lot of time with the kids and swatting mosquitos.

A few years ago when I had a 3 1/2 year old, a 20 month old temper tantrum waiting to happen and a new little baby, summers were a juggling match. Going places took a bit of planning, naps still ruled the day, life was busy and we just went with it. There was one time in a grocery store, while I was trying to keep a handle on a quickly escalating moment at the check out, when the teller passed my children some stickers, looked in my eyes with sympathy and said, “It only gets easier honey.” At the time, I didn’t find life that hard. I’m the type of person who just takes what I’m dealt and make do. But goodness, was she ever right. This kid thing does get easier. I finally feel like I’m at a point with my kids where we can do almost whatever we want, whenever we want. Benji being over two can have his nap pushed back or canceled easily. I’m not fearing public meltdowns nearly as much. Restaurants aren’t nearly as daunting. Benji, who I had to shadow at the park last year, now points to the bench at the park, tells me to sit down as he runs off. My kids get along. They play (rough house) together without any me initiating activities.

It’s just easier. Summer is finally awesome again!

The summer awesome factor is stepping it up a notch. Jason’s parents and sisters are coming today. Have I ever told you how much I love his family? They are here for only a week, but I wish it were a month. I’ve cleared my cake calendar. There is so much I want to do with them! We plan to head up to Calgary and Banff while they’re here, hit up the pool and splash pad a few times, check out some local shops and just spend a lot of evenings chatting while the sun goes down. I know the time is going to fly by and I hope we can grasp every opportunity!

Life is sweet!

This entry was posted in cakes.

Rainbow Cookie Fries & Dip

rainbow cookie friesThese little rainbow cookie fries were a total happy, yummy accident! On Caleb’s birthday I asked him what he would like to do. The first thing that popped out of his mouth was “Make Cookies!”. I asked him what kind he would like to make and he said rainbow cookies. The kid has a little thing for rainbows and birds as you can see here with his birthday party.

I thought I would make him some rainbow cookies using the same general steps as I did here. Except…I was being a little lazy, we were starting to run a little late for dinner, I didn’t feel like doing any exact rolling and I missed the last painting with milk step. They were supposed to be a double layer of red, orange and blue. But when I went to cut them they snapped in half so that it was just one layer of red, orange and blue. I thought, Let’s Just Go With It! And I’m glad I did.

top shot icing dip

This wasn’t going to be something I was going to write about but when they turned out just so darn cute, I couldn’t help myself. You can find the recipe for these little guys at the bottom of this post, but first you must scroll through adorable pictures of me and my children having a picnic with our rainbow cookie fries.

cookie fries picnic Caleb friesBenji dippingsilly Benjiall threeME and BenjiMe and Brookekissing BrookeswingBenji fries in mouth

I love my kids! But enough of them. Here’s the recipe to make these little morsels of yumminess!

Rainbow Cookie Fries

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • food colouring
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • splash vanilla
  • 1-2 teaspoon water/milk

Directions

Cookie Fries
1. Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. (About 5 minutes)
2. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Then add it to the other ingredients. Mix until the dough forms into a ball.
4. You may want to chill the dough for about 15 minutes until it's more manageable. Then take the dough and split it into three or four equal sections. Knead your desired colours of food colouring into each portion of the dough. Wrap, cover and chill the dough for 15 minutes.
5. Print out a 5x11 inch rectangle and place a piece of wax or parchment paper ontop of the rectangle.
6. Roll out each section of dough on separate pieces of parchment/wax paper to fit the rectangle.
7. Brush a bit of milk on the top of one of the layers. Place another portion ontop and remove the wax paper. Then brush milk on that layer and add another layer ontop of that. Do the same thing until you have all of your layers stacked.
8. Trim the edges of the dough to make sure it's all even. Then cut the dough in half lengthwise (so you have two 2.5x11 inch sections) If you want to make big rainbow cookies then brush milk on the top of one section and layer it on top. If you want fries, either don't brush milk on the layer before you stack them or don't stack them at all.
9. Wrap the strips in wax paper and place in a bag. Chill for about an hour. (Mine chilled for 2 days because I forgot about them. oops!)
10. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
11. Take your strips out of the fridge and start slicing the the dough into 1/4 inch slices. If you stacked the dough without brushing the milk with dough, the dough should just separate as you cut it into strips. If you didn't stack it then you just have more cuts to make (or you could just stack them now and they'd do the same thing)
12. Spread out the 'fries' onto a parchment lined or ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned.
Vanilla Dip
13. To create the icing dip. Whip 1/4 cup of butter with 1 cup of icing sugar. Once the volume has doubled, add a light splash of vanilla and 1-2 teaspoons of milk or water to get the icing to a dipping consistency.
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