Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pig Cake Fondant Tutorial

I was asked for tips on making a pig cake--so since I thought more could benefit, I thought I'd give the information I used to create Lydia's cake with fondant.  Lydia's birthday cake was my first attempt, and although I thought it was rather easy, there are a few things I wish someone would have told me :)

The picture I found online as inspiration.
Since Lydia was in love with Charlotte's Web--I decided to make her a pig cake.  I searched for "pig cakes" and ideas and found this pictures online.  I actually pinned it to my board on Pinterest when searching for the "perfect" pig cake.  Since I thought this one was the cutest (and easiest looking), I began to research fondant.

Now--I've always thought that fondant tasted.....well....pretty nasty.  I've always disliked it on cakes, so after doing a search for "fondant that tastes good" I found recommendations for marshmallow fondant and a pre-made product called Satin Ice (That's the stuff the Cake Boss uses!).

After pricing the Satin Ice at the party store, I decided to call my friend Tonya who had worked with fondant.  "Use marshmallow fondant" was her reply--"You can do it."  So I took her advice :)  Thanks Tonya!

FIRST-- The recipe
I found this Fondant Recipe  online and followed it, almost.  I used the marshmallows and used 1 tblsp water and one tablespoon caro syrup (I probably read that as an alternative somewhere--but 2 tblsp water would be fine too, I'm sure).  I would not use more than 2 tablespoons liquid though!

After mixing in 3/4 of the bag of powdered sugar--it is STICKY! and gooey, and almost crumbly.  Keep mixing!  Keep greasing your hands with crisco and pouring in the extra 1/4 of the bag of sugar.  It will get to the right consistency.  **It was around this point that I had the thought..."I guess I will be going to the party store in the morning to buy the expensive Satin Ice!...I'm glad I didn't!  I'm too stubborn to not complete my task!

When it appeared to not be sticky anymore, I began to roll it out.  It quickly became sticky again ARGH!!  Just keep adding more and more powdered sugar and kneading it.  I also poured the sugar out on the surface (which happened to be my kitchen table--because our counters are tile and not smooth).  After continually stretching, adding more sugar, and stretching, etc.  I rolled it out without it sticking.

APPLYING the fondant to the cake:
Definitely watch this video:  You Tube Video--Fondant application
You can see we are no professionals here! I used regular rolling  pin (not special fondant one) and used a measuring tape to size out the fondant :)
No need to re-invent the wheel :)   Make sure you have the right size diameter of rolled fondant and follow her instructions on the video.  It worked like a charm!  (Of course, the video advertises the "mat" which I obviously didn't use, nor need for my little experiment--but her tips on putting the fondant on the cake are awesome!)  *The fondant will stretch out when applying.  You can see in the above picture I had a lot of excess, but my rolled out fondant was only 2" greater than my diameter, originally.

DETAILS of the pig cake:
1.  I used 2 9 inch pans and 1 5 inch pan.  I used a 10" round cardboard bottom.  I wished the store had 11" but the 10 worked.
2.  I used this recipe using a cake mix which was perfect for all 3 pans.  The bottom was 2 layers (hence the 2 pans) and the top 5 inch was one big layer.
3.  Make sure you leave out a little fondant for the white eyes and the black pupils.  Best way to make eyes is to roll fondant into an egg shaped "ball" and then flatten it out.  I tried to cut out the circles at first, and they were imperfect, but later did the ball "smashing" and it was better.
4.  The nose is 2 rice crispy treats mushed and molded into the right size, covered in frosting and then covered in fondant.  The nostrils are made using the tip at end of a wooden spoon.  **DON'T do like I did and punched the nostrils before cleaning the end.  I really don't use wooden spoons (but we all have them) and it had dust on the end.  I actually had to redo the nose because he was dirty.  I didn't want our pig to be dirty ;)
My kitchen table mess.  Of course, this cake was just for my family--so it was acceptable ;)
5.  The tail was just rolled up fondant and the ears were rolled out and cut into a triangular shape.  You can add a tad bit of water to get them to stick in the right place. And mouth was rolled black fondant.
6.  For the cheek color I just took a little bit of the coloring on my finger and rubbed into cheeks mixed with a little water.
7.  I just used random cheesecake buttercream icing recipe to cover cake and to fill 2 layers at bottom. Of course chocolate or any other icing could be used.  I would use a decorators recipe though, because it firms up nicely.  Do not use store bought icing.
8.  Apply fondant to each layer separately.  Use icing as "glue" to hold layers together and to hold nose on top.
9.  I may have had too much icing on the cake because my pig got "pudgy" the next day when the icing began to come out between the layers.

Overall, it was really easy and so much fun!  And I think Lydia liked it!  Would I do it again....hmmm....probably :)

My finished cake.  I used red ribbon to go with the farm scene.  Soo cute!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Welcome Spring!!

Yesterday, we went to Mrs. Heather's strawberry patch in Albany (near Hammond).  We met a few other moms of toddlers.  I'm so glad Lydia is getting older and able to enjoy trips and activities like this.  She picked and ate and ate strawberries!!  Her little white shirt was covered in strawberry juice by the end of the day!
In addition to picking strawberries, there are all kinds of activities for children.  It's rather awesome if I say so myself!! There were 7 school buses there when we arrived, and they left shortly after, so the entire "farm" was ours :)  I even jumped on the big jumping blob thing with Lydia!

She loved the "slide" and all of the farm animals too!
They have chickens, a pony, baby cows, small pigs, rabbits, etc. etc.  She had a blast!!
She was so tired by the end of the day!  I love this little girl--and I love spring--and the newness it brings!
Happy Spring--I pray you find something NEW in this season of your life!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A legacy

Today we celebrated the long, well-lived life of Brett's father who passed away on March 1st at 88 years old.  He was definitely a devoted man! He served his country in WWII, Korea, and he lived to serve his wife and children.

Everyone will leave a legacy. . . but the question is--what kind of legacy will you leave?  That question definite poses a challenge for me--in all areas of my life!  I loved Mr. Bob.  He will always have a special place in my heart.  I am only sad that Lydia will not remember him :(

During the memorial service, we placed a slide show of pictures of him and his family throughout his life.  Here it is:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sew Happy!

Many people have asked me what I will do with my "free" time now that I'm not in school.  Well--I have found plenty of things to do!  I've been sewing, baking, making Valentine's, clearing off stacks of "stuff" etc. etc. And I'm still making jewelry/selling in my etsy shop.

One of the best things I did was clean out my sewing space! I went through all of my fabrics, folded neatly the ones I think could turn into creations for Lydia, and stuck all the winter corduroys in the attic (all the ones I brought down last fall--and never got around to sewing--boooo)

I have always loved the Mallory Pattern but for some reason was thinking it would be a time consuming pattern, and never bought it.  Of course--a 10 button placket on the back is time consuming.  Well.....I LOVE the pattern.  I've already made one (out of not so favorite fabric) to test the size, and have another cut out that I can't wait to make!!

Even better, now that my mother has retired, she is getting "bored" and is asking to help me sew!  Woo hoo! Can't wait to show you our finished products!!

Monday, February 27, 2012


How old are you, Lydia?  "Two!" stated boldly with confidence (never mind the full hand of fingers that are in the air!).

Yes, my little girl has turned 2!!  I can't believe how time has flown.
We are so happy to have you in our lives.  You are bold, confident, love laughter, and stuffed animals.  You sleep with many, many, many stuffed animals in your crib (even though I swore I wouldn't let them in my house due to dust, etc.)  You jump, "hop," and love love love to sing!  You  love being outside at any chance you can sneak out of the door or beg someone to take you :)  You eat and eat and eat--sometimes as much as I do. You are so friendly--waving to truck drivers and paramedics (who never see you) and strangers in stores. You enjoy baths, coloring, painting, and playing with my button stash.  I can hardly ever take videos of you--because you want to see yourself on the other side of the camera :)  We have started visiting the library because we needed more books.  You can sit and look through 5-6 books at a time, uninterrupted taking in everything on the pages.

The joy you find in the simple things of life--like airplanes, ants, bird chirps, and butterflies--has renewed my sense of wonder and appreciation for the world around me--and I thank you for that gift!
Happy Birthday my sweet girl!  I love you!

  Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hogs and Kisses!

I am so thankful for my family! We were all home today as a family and I thoroughly enjoyed it (even though my child is ill, cranky, needy, and took 2 loooong hours to fall asleep today for a nap).  Alas, it was still a wonderful day!
Last week I made the Valentine's cards for Lydia's class.  In keeping with our "pig" theme for her birthday--I saw this idea on Pinterest and made little cards.  I bought a big "bag of buttons" at Hancock's one day, and can you believe it had over 16 pink, two holed buttons.  I was sooo excited! (By the way--we just LOVE Broadmoor Methodist Learning Center.  Love it!  I would highly recommend anyone to go there.)
 I've always wanted to decorate cookies.  So I tried it.  Honestly, It wasn't too much fun! LOL  I'm too impatient to allow the colors to dry and layer them properly.  Although, I felt I was getting the hang of finding the right consistency, I'm not sure how often I want to do this.
I was inspired by this blog.  Oh my!!! Can you say cookie ART!  This gal is fantastic.  You must, must, look at her blog!  Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle
 We decided at the last minute to go out for a quick dinner tonight.  Brett's mother met us at the restaurant.  Lydia is holding my valentine monkey :)  I'm most certain that when Daddy bought it for me--he ultimately knew who would take over it :)  and I'm ok with that.
 She's getting so big.  Guess who is going to turn 2 tomorrow!
Our Sweet Valentine's!!  I actually made Brett's card (the one in the front).  I just couldn't bear spending $5 on a card.  I prefer to think I'm not cheap--but that I'm just thoughtful.

I want everyday to be like today--a celebration of the people in my life--the people who mean the most to me :) Every day really should be "Valentine's Day" where we honor those we love--by actually taking time and showing it!

I hope your day was as great as ours!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pressing Memories

I love having free time!  During Christmas, I found a cookie press used to make "spritz" cookies (never knew they were called that) in the clearance aisle at Wal-Mart.  I've always wanted one--and at such a great price, I couldn't pass it up.

My remember my mother always making spritz cookies, especially at Christmas.  I "found" this picture of a vintage cookie press--and I believe that is the same one my mother had!  It's amazing how certain memories years and years later never leave your head.  There was always little green Christmas "tree" cookies.  I loved them. 

So tonight, with my little helper at my side, we made Valentine's cookies!

I used one of my favorite antique bowls from my grandmother.  It's perfect for baking.  We made several different styles, but my favorite were the pink heart cookies :)

Before baking . . .

And after. . .  Now, I will have to distribute them to several places, because I cannot keep 8 dozen cookies in my house :)

Now--go do something you enjoy :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Photo Update

Happy Thanksgiving
Merrryyyyy Christmas!
Happy New year!
Ok--now that all of that is covered, I am glad to give PHOTO UPDATE to recap a few highlights over the last few GRADUATION!! Woo hooo!

Lydia cheering on LSU! Although we don't really watch any football, Uncle Gee has taught Lydia to love "futball" For a while, she would wake up in the morning and request "futball" Thanks Uncle Gee! (I was actually suprised that on ESPN--you could find some type of football playing --reviews, etc. --almost any time of the day ;)

I ordered this adorable hat from an etsy seller  It is awesome, and Lydia loves her "hoo hoo" hat.  It matches everything from Carter's and Gymboree, so we have been wearing it a lot (except for those Louisiana January days where it's 75 degrees!)

GRADUATION!!  I graduated from the University of South Alabama with my MSN.  I also took and passed boards--so I am now officially a licensed nurse practitioner.  It's such a relief--and kind of scary ;)

My mother took the trip to Mobile with us to celebrate the end of a long 2 1/2 years!!  Thanks Brett--it was definitely a team effort!!!

To celebrate--we went to Mexico on a cruise--child free :) Lydia was with awesome friends!! I don't even think she missed us since she had so much attention!  It was a great getaway--although I'm not sure I want to "cruise" again!

Our attempt at a family Christmas photo!  I never sent out cards--hopefully next year!
So that's the recap of the last few months.  Lydia is turning 2 next month!!  I can't believe how fast she has grown!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Customer Appreciation

I recently had a special request for a wedding bouquet "charm."  After many "conversations" online through Etsy, this customer and I came up with an idea.  She kind of left the final decisions to me, and I decided to make a necklace instead of just a charm--so the recipient could wear it as well.
Comment from recipient: She absolutely LOVED her necklace. She said it was more precious to her than her diamond engagement ring!

The charm included the phrase "yours mine & ours" along with the names of "their" 6 children.  The necklace was placed in the bride's bouquet!  The customer sent this beautiful photograph. 

This is part of the reason I love doing what I do.  It is a creative way to create special memories for others.  I feel honored to have a part in this wedding.  That photo made my day :)

May the Lord bless this union, and this family!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Forest Park Summer FUN!

So we met friends at Forest Park today.  This is a great, new park in Baton Rouge with a playground and splash pad--all on turf!!  Yeah--no sand and no wood chips (although wood chips are good with me--but I avoid all parks with sand!).

 Lydia normally doesn't get into the water--but she did this time!!  I was so happy to catch some water pics!  How FUN!
 Sammy pushing Lydia!  Soo sweet.  Not sure how she feels about it though.  She was a little pooped out at this point.  I love taking Lydia in the morning time before her nap, then I give her to Brett in the afternoon while I go somewhere to study.  It's a great plan.  He did yard work this morning, and we played.  Not a bad exchange!
Mellowing out in dry clothes
 We attempted the pacifier removal in July.  It lasted 2 weeks--2 weeks of sleepless nights and miserable car rides!  Lydia only uses it in the bed, and in the car when she is tired.  She now calls it her "neenga, neenga, neenga" (repeat that fast over and over).  Not sure how it got this name, but hey, it works!  I never wanted to give the pacifier a name, I guess to avoid attention to it--so she named it that.

We are looking forward to temps in the upper 80s and low 90s at the end of the week!  That sounds crazy, but these 99 degree days keep us from enjoying the outdoors.  I can't wait to get the jogging stroller back out!

Love my blankee!

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Hey--It's me. I'm a simple, crafty, adventure loving wife and mom who loves to learn about almost anything. I enjoy the blogging community and love learning and growing from reading other's experiences. I became an RN (after being a teacher) and then realized I had lost the creative outlet of my classroom. I've always enjoyed arts and being creative, so I began sewing, smocking, soap making, and delving into other new hobbies! :) I live with my wonderful husband who is my best friend and our sweet little girl. Together we have entrusted our lives to Christ and His purposes. So through this blog, I invite you to walk along with me and my family through our daily adventures!