Browsing Finished Projects

DIY Garden Fairy House With Lights

July31

IMG_20150908_163046284

Over the summer, E. and I decided to make a fairy garden.  Our grocery store was selling some really cute fairy garden ornaments (bridges, table and chairs, gates, benches, gazing globes and a lot more), and we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. So, we bought some plants, found some nice smooth pebbles during an outing to the river, and bought two tiny fairy cottages (okay, so they’re really just bird houses) that we painted.  I started searching for pictures of other fairy gardens online, looking for ways we could arrange all the little accessories we bought.  I did find some, but I became totally smitten by images of solar-powered fairy houses that would light up at night.  Smitten may not be the right word. Obsessed is probably more like it. I knew I had to at least try to make one

The next day, I went out to the local garden center and bought a larger, octagonal wooden birdhouse and one mini solar garden light. I made the door, window frames and awnings out of green Fimo, and the flowers are made from magenta Fimo. After the clay pieces were baked, I brushed them with artists inks to bring out the details before using a clear gloss sealer on top.  I drilled three more holes in the birdhouse, a small one in the roof for the little awning, a larger one (35mm) in the back that is just big enough for the stake light to fit through, and one in the side for the window at the top of the door.

Before adding any of the details, I painted the birdhouse with the color that E. chose. After a few coats of paint, I sealed the entire birdhouse with about four coats of sealer because the fairy garden will live outside, and I wanted it to be able to withstand the rain. Next, I took a semi-translucent milk jug and cut out “windows” for the fairy house. These should be a bit bigger than the holes, but smaller than the window frames so they don’t stick out around the edges. I used a yellow permanent marker to tint the plastic, and then used E-600 to attach them over the holes. Make sure you glue all the way around the windows to prevent water from getting in!

I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for the roof, and after looking at many, many pictures of fairy houses, I chose to cover the roof with pine cone scales. This was a process that was really just trial and error (as it turns out, a LOT of errors, actually), but by the time I started working with the second batch of pine cones, I had worked out a pretty solid method for removing the scales. First, a note about the kind of pine cone you should use unless you’re a masochist or something. In my (albeit limited) experience, the long pine cones with the smooth scales are much easier to work with than the pine cones that are round, because each scale on the round ones has a sort of “thorn” on the bottom, just where you have to grab with your thumb to pull it.  They are stabby, and thus they hurt. Don’t use them.

On that note, break each of the pine cones in half to expose at the center of the pine cone. This is the super-tedious part: pull each scale off of the pine cone individually.  Yes, you have to. Unless you have teeny, tiny scissors that never go dull. It helps to have a container nearby to place them in. You need to de-scale about 4-5 pine cones to make sure you have enough to cover the whole fairy house roof.  This is repetitive, but it goes surprisingly fast.  Once you have enough scales, use scissors to clip the top part off of each one (the part that was attached to the center of the pine cone).

Next, preheat your oven to 200 degrees and cover a cookie sheet with tin foil. Spread the scales in a fairly even layer on the cookie sheet, and then pop them into the oven for about an hour. If you are like me and at this point your hands are covered with sticky pine sap, this is a good time to wash them. I found that rubbing my hands with nail polish remover, followed by soap and hot water did the trick to clean the sap off of my skin. Once the scales have finished baking, let them cool to room temperature before attaching them to the roof. Once they have cooled, you will notice that the sap has dried, making the scales much easier to work with.

I used E-600 to attach the scales to the roof, just like you would attach a roofing tile. Starting at the bottom, attach the scale with glue so that they are next to each other, but not overlapping. the next row should overlap the seam between the two scales on the bottom row. Continue in this way, making sure to leave some space around your window for the frame and awning to fit, until you reach the very top of the roof.  Then arrange four smaller scales in such a way as to cover the remaining seams and prevent water from getting under them. Alternately, you can cover the very top with something like an acorn cap.  I wanted to do that for our fairy house, but I couldn’t find an acorn cap that wasn’t crushed or rotten.

Once all of the scales are glued in place and dried, you can put a few coats of paint and a clear sealer on them, or you can just use the sealer if you are going for a more natural look. We opted to use the paint and sealer method.  After the last coat of sealer has dried, use clear caulk to make a ring around the outside of the hole the solar garden light will go into.  Be sure that the caulk is in contact with the roof and has no holes or gaps. Allow to dry and fully cure (about 48 hours, roughly).

Remove the stake from the bottom of the garden light and push the glass lamp cover through the hole so that the cap rests flush with your caulk seal. Now all that’s left to do is decorate your fairy garden and enjoy!

Here are some pictures of our finished fairy house!

IMG_20150908_163046284

IMG_20150908_163004223 Fairy-House-Lights-DayIMG_20150907_195910735IMG_20150907_195833348fairy-house-lights-1

Jack Sparrow Costume Part 2 – Adding the Dreadlocks to Your Swashbuckling Pirate Wig

August19

Now that the dreads have dried, we’re ready to add them to the wig!  When you’re all done, you should end up with something like this:

Jack vs. the Kraken

Jack vs. the Kraken…okay. Not really.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a list of the items you’ll need:

  • 1 dark brown wig, preferably medium length.  You will be cutting and altering this wig, so be sure to use one you don’t really care about. Ours came from a discount Halloween bin, we used this one, which had to be thinned a bit and trimmed to the proper length.
  • Kuchi pendant with beads. This was kind of hard to find, and although it’s not exactly the right one, it looks close enough.  I searched ebay until I found one similar to the one used for the films
  • 1 black or dark brown ponytail holder (for the mini-ponytail thing on the top of jack’s head)
  • Chinese coin pendants
  • Seagull Coin pendant (we found an arcade token that was about the right size, which I painted)
  • String of black and red beads with white dots
  • Reindeer shin bone (ours was just a wooden clay forming tool that was sanded down and then painted to resemble the one worn by Jack Sparrow)
  • Paint to customize beads if desired. If I couldn’t find a bead, I made it out of Fimo and painted it to look more like the original
  • Twine, leather strips, or other type of string for attaching elements to wig
  • Large red bandanna
  • Small strips of the red bandanna for tying to the ends of the dreads

Please note that you may add as many or as few of these accessories as you like.  As stated in my previous post, I did go a bit crazy with the details.

With the front of the wig facing you, make a small ponytail on the top left hand side about 2 1/2 to 3 inches from the front edge of the hair line. Once this is done, trim the ponytail so that it is only about 5 inches long and make it a bit layered.  There should also be a tuft that is much shorter than the rest of it.  Like this:

jack-sparrow-costume-wig-part-2-ponytail

This is the ponytail. Notice it is to the left of the center part of the wig.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your wig doesn’t have shorter layers in front, the front and top of the wig need to be chopped unevenly.  I can’t really describe this part, as each wig will be different, but I suggest looking at several pictures of Jack Sparrow’s hair for a reference.  Be sure to leave the back nice and long for the braid.

The dreads should be placed along the bottom edge of the wig, along the sides, and up to the side-burn area. In addition, you will need to attach 2-3 dreads near the top of the wig “scalp” so that they can be incorporated into large braid on the back of the wig. Here are some images of the underside of the wig:

jack-sparrow-costume-wig-part-2-underside-1

Notice the strings on the wig lacing. This is where the dreads and accessories are attached.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A closer look at the strings.

A closer look at the strings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To attach the dreads to the wig, place the ends of the string in the middle of the dread into two adjacent holes on the lace wig scalp. Tighten with a double square knot. Attach the accessories to the desired area of the wig in the same way.

Here are some close up photos of the decorative elements we chose to attach to the wig:

The faux "reindeer shin bone" with the black and red beads

The faux “reindeer shin bone”. I really just sanded down a clay shaping tool until it looked close enough to the original. I painted it white and then used a rag to rub off some of the paint. Then I added a patina using black and brown artists ink. I also coated the whole thing with a matte sealer to protect the finish. Also note the Chinese coin near the bottom of the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kuchi Pendant

This gets attached to one of the dreads on the right hand side of the wig. All of the beads (except the pendant and the top most bead) are made of fimo, which were then painted to look like the ones worn by Jack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack's iconic pieces of 8

The coin at the bottom is fimo…until I can find a better one, anyway. The red one was hard to find, so I painted a plain wooden bead to look like Jack’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand painted coin

I found a coin that was about the right size and color, drilled a hole at the top and then hand painted the waves and seagulls. Note the red piece of bandanna wrapped around the dread, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, you can use as many or as few of these as you like.

I couldn’t find an affordable bandanna that looked like Jack’s, so I bought an over-sized cotton kitchen towel and dyed it red. I drew on the scrolling vines and flowers with a fine tip fabric marker, and the flowers were painted with medium blue acrylic paint, trying to stay as true to the original pattern as I could.

Here are more pictures of the finished wig:

 

Jack caught "borrowing" Vader's Light Saber

Jack caught “borrowing” Vader’s Light Saber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack meets Jango Fett

Jack meets Jango Fett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I can find the images without the hat, I’ll be sure to post them, but these will do for now.

Let me know if you decide to make a wig like this one!  I’d love to see it!

A Guitar Hero Theme Birthday Cake

August17

I made this birthday cake for a friend’s son.  This two tier chocolate cake was covered in American buttercream, then Satin Ice black fondant (Vanilla flavored).  The decorations were hand painted gumpaste (also Satin Ice brand) and the “notes” were made of fondant.  I really can’t say enough good things about Satin Ice.  It is great to work with, has a pleasant flavor, and held up to a 45 minute car ride beautifully.  I’m done using Wilton products, which are so far below the quality of Satin Ice.  Never again!

The "Rock Meter"

The "Rock Meter" in progress.

Guitar Hero "notes"

Guitar Hero "notes" waiting to be added to the cake.

 

"Rock Meter" and "star power" decorations

"Rock Meter" and "Star Power" cake decorations

Painting a tattoo-inspired gumpaste decoration.

Painting a tattoo-inspired gumpaste decoration.

Finished "rock and roll tattoo" decoration...

Finished "rock and roll tattoo" decoration...

After setup and delivery...my phone took horrible, blurry pictures.

After setup and delivery...my phone took horrible, blurry pictures.

Another blurry decoration.  Meh.

Another blurry decoration. Meh.

 

There should have been a gumpaste ribbon around the bottom tier painted to look like the frets in the game, but it fell and broke thanks to a surprise gust of wind as I was loading the cake in the car for  transport to the party.  I was just so  happy the cake was only dented and not completely ruined, I hardly noticed it was missing.  Live and learn, I suppose!

E.’s Castle Loft Bed

August17


The Land of Nod

E.’s room is small…about 7′ by 7.5′, to be exact. In fact, the person we bought our house from used E.’s room as a walk-in closet.  I don’t have any “before” pictures of her room, but suffice it to say that her space was cramped.  Her bed was against one wall and took up about half of the room.  The rest of the space was dominated by toy storage bins and a Tinker Bell play kitchen.  That left very little room for anything else.  After awhile, it became clear that this system (to be honest, it was really more of a complete lack of system) really wasn’t working.

Some serious brainstorming sessions later, I decided that a loft bed would let us create more usable space because E.’s play space could be underneath the bed.  I looked at lots and lots of different kinds of loft beds.  E. wanted a castle loft bed, but the price tag on it was in the $2,000 dollar range, and would take up more than half of her room.  Needless to say, that was way outside of the range of possibility.

I went to look at a loft bed that was for sale locally, but it seemed to be very flimsy and the sides were way too low.  Also, it was pretty much just a frame, and wouldn’t hide the toys (translation: mess) underneath it.  I began thinking that maybe I could build something that was between the ultra fancy castle and the plain loft bed…and most importantly would fit our small budget of $275.00.

After some planning, I came up with a design that had a castle facade, complete with a working door.  I bought four 4’x8′ sheets of  1/4″ plywood for a cost of about $40, two 8′ long untreated 4×4 posts, which cost $18 for both.  The mattress frame is made of about 6 2×4’s, for a total of $12.  The 2×4’s are not seen from the outside, so I opted to go for a lower grade lumber that was about half the price of the high quality stuff.    I cut the 8′ 4×4 posts in half, so that each one was about 4′ tall.  Using 3 1/2″ lag screws, I attached my 2×4 mattress frame to the wall,  then I used 4″ screws ($16.00) to attach the frame to the 4×4 posts.  A sheet of 3/4″ mdf plywood (about $20.00) was then laid on top of the mattress frame.  I attached the plywood to the mattress frame with 2″ wood screws for increased stability.

The two pieces of plywood that made up the front of the castle facade were cut down to 6′ and then trimmed the sides to fit the length of the mattress frame.  Since I wanted the castle to have a working door, I drew an arched door shape onto the two facade pieces that would make up the front of the castle.  I carefully cut these out with a scroll saw, because I intended use them to create the door. I also cut out a gothic window on either side of the door.

From another sheet of the 1/4″ plywood, I cut a 6’x2′ strip and another 6’x2′.3″ strip for a castellated parapet at the top of the facade.  I used  some of the leftover plywood from the front parapet to create frames for the two windows in the front, a partial castle wall and parapet at the foot of the bed where E. would climb up a ladder into the bed.

While I was planning this part of the project, I stumbled across an email I had largely ignored from Ikea.  They had the most perfect toy storage item that could also double as stairs!  I splurged and bought it as well as a pack of shelves, 6 coordinating toy storage bins, which you can see here and here.  For $89.00, I turned what would have been wasted space (just a plain ladder) into usable storage space.  It is a little bit wider than the bed, but it only stands out a few inches from the front of the castle, and it isn’t really noticeable.

E. wanted a gold castle, but I wasn’t sure about having so much metallic paint in such a small room.  As a compromise, I chose shades of yellow.  First, I painted all of the pieces except the mattress frame and a creamy yellow/white  base color.  Next, I used a dark golden yellow to paint the outlines of stones, giving the impression of mortar lines.  Using a sea sponge, I patted on some medium yellow to give some depth to the “stones”.  Then, I used a stiff bristle paint brush to dipped in a mixture of clear glaze, burnt sienna and burnt umber acrylic artists colours, and also used the glaze to define the left and bottom edge of each stone.  Lastly, I used the light base color to define the top and right edges of each stone.

After the pieces were thoroughly dried, I attached the two large facade pieces to the 4×4 posts and mattress frame with screws.  I added two 4′ long supports made from 2″x2″ lumber on either side of the doorway.

Once the facade was up, all that was left to do was make the door…which was probably the most time consuming part of the entire project.  I opted to use liquid nails instead of screws because the frame pieces were thin, made of 1″/2″ lumber.  I made a 1/2″ wide curve (drawn to match the curve at the top of the door) out of a piece of scrap lumber I had left over from an entertainment center I built.  I cut two vertical supports (one for each side of the door) and a horizontal support for the bottom of the door.  At the top of the vertical support, and at the two bottom ends of the curved one, I drilled a 1/4″ hole.  I filled the holes with liquid nails and inserted a small dowel in the vertical pieces, joining them with the curved piece (which had its ends coated with glue).  The bottom horizontal support was attached with glue only.  I clamped the pieces together and let them sit for about 24 hours to dry.  Next, I glued the two facade pieces I cut out to make the hole for the door to my now-dry and cured frame.  These were also clamped together and left to cure for another 24 hours.  After all of the glue was dry, I sanded the door to remove any rough edges (there were a lot, because I bought a lower grade of lumber).

E. wanted her castle to have a red door, so I painted it with a coat of red enamel.  The enamel was very thin, and some of the wood grain was visible underneath. It was quite nice looking, so rather than give it a second coat, I chose to paint faux boards in line with the wood grain.  I wanted big, intricate iron hinges on the door, so I went online and looked for pictures of  antique hinges.  When I found a unique looking pair of hinges for sale on Ebay, I copied the picture, enlarged it, cut it out and used it as a template.  I taped it to the front of the door and traced around it, making three faux hinges on the door.  I painted them black, using gray and white as accent colors to make them stand out.  I also painted a large iron ring “handle” on the opposite side of the door.  After all of the painting was done, I painted the entire door with about three coats of clear gloss enamel.  When at last the clear coat was dry, I attached the door to the castle facade with three black cabinet hinges.

E. also wants roses painted on the castle, but so far, I have only had time to paint on the leaves and vines.  Here are some pictures of her new room (sadly, there are only two of the room as a work in progress)!

Work in Progress

E.'s bed in progress!

 

Front of the castle

Painted front of the castle, waiting for the door to dry.

castle loft bed stairs

The loft bed stairs...still waiting for the door to dry.

Someday, I’ll get around to painting the stairs to match the rest of the bed.

Stairs to the loft bed

Stairs to the loft bed

Red Castle Door

Finally the castle door is in place! I also seem to have been holding the camera at a weird angle...

castle door

The door! Again!

The foot of the loft bed

The foot of the bed.

Bedding

I had to show her bedding, it's so cute!

there is a pea!

The details in it are fabulous. There is a pea!

...and a frog prince!

...and a frog prince!

the lamp in E's room

Which matches the lamp in E's room!

More storage

The storage bins under the stairs. It's so nice to finally have a place for everything!

Plenty of room

The Tinker Bell kitchen in its new home under the bed. E. has enough room to play with it now.

Toy bins

And her old toy storage bins fit. It's a miracle!

There is plenty of space to play under the bed, and the rest of the room (usually) stays clean:

Tidy, tidy!

Tidy, tidy!

looking down

A view from the top, looking down.

 The best part of all is that E. loves it!

The best part of all is that E. loves it!

For the final cost, we came in just slightly under budget at $231.00…and that includes the $89.00 storage system from Ikea.  Awesome!   Of course, the fact that E. enjoys it makes it absolutely priceless!

 

Home Made Mario and Luigi Costumes

August4

These costumes were made very inexpensively. I purchased the hats on Ebay for about $5.00 each. I used some white felt that I had in my craft bin to cut out a white circle, and cut out an “M” on one, and an “L” on the other. The letters were then attached to the hats with fabric glue.

I also purchased two pairs of plain denim overalls from Ebay, for a cost of about $20.00.

For the large buttons on the overalls, I rolled out some yellow Fimo ($4.00) to a thickness of about 1/4″. Using a 1 1/2″ diameter cookie cutter, I cut out four circles. In order to get the buttons to have a dome shape, I used a paper egg crate (styrofoam egg crates will not work). Lay each circle inside an egg “cup”. Press each circle lightly around the edges and the center with fingertips until they take on a slight cup shape. Leave circles in egg crate and bake according to the directions on the back of the Fimo package. Allow the buttons to cool completely before removing them from the egg crate.

To attach the buttons to the overalls, you must first make sure that the overall straps are hooked in front. Next, fill the “cup” of each button with hot glue. Allow to sit for about 20 seconds, so glue isn’t too runny. Press Fimo button onto the overall button.

I already had a long sleeve red shirt for Mario, but was unable to find a green shirt for Luigi. I purchased a white long sleeve shirt from the thrift store ($2.00) and two boxes of Rit Fabric dye (golden yellow and kelly green) for another $6.00. Using half the packet of yellow and the entire packet of green, I followed the instructions for bucket dyeing method listed on the back of the package.  I was able to achieve a color that was similar to the color of the hat.

J. thought he wanted to use a stick-on mustache ($3.00 for two), which ended up being way too big for him. We opted to draw on his mustache with face paint instead, and he was much happier with it than the adhesive one.

Mario and Luigi’s white gloves were $2.50 per pair at a local costume shop.  For a total of about $45.00, I created both the Mario and Luigi costumes.

Here are some photos of the whole Super Mario crew!

Princess Peach, Mario and Luigi

Princess Peach, Mario and Luigi Halloween Costumes

Mario, Luigi and Peach

Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach Costumes

See our Princess Peach costume tutorial here!


Mario Costumes

Princess Peach Costume

November9

My daughter wanted to be Princess Peach for Halloween this year. If you’re not familiar with the Super Mario Brothers franchise, this is Princess Peach:

This is Peach...in a train wreck of a dress.

Originally, I thought I would purchase a horrible 80’s puff sleeve prom dress from the thrift store and make a few alterations. Despite the fact that they were a dime a dozen back in July, this month there were no ugly pepto bismol pink 1980’s prom dresses to be found.

I searched for patterns at the fabric store, but quickly realized that I would need to buy two patterns and alter them. Instead, I opted to draft my own pattern and use some fabric I had on hand – a light pink taffeta for the body of the dress, and some hot pink fabric for the peplum that I picked up from a remnant bin at the fabric store.

I was lucky enough to have been given the pink taffeta by my Mother in Law when she was weeding out her sewing cabinet a few years ago. I really didn’t know what to use it for, and I almost gave it away a couple of times. Who knew it would eventually come in handy?

I didn’t take pictures of all of the components of the dress, but here it is in progress:

Bodice.

The bodice.

Neck trim.

Bodice with neck trim in place and brooch placement test.

Pinning the pieces together.

Pinning the pieces together to make sure they fit properly.

Peplum pinned in place.

Skirt with peplum pinned in place.

bodice pinned to skirt

Finished bodice attached to skirt.

finished!

The finished dress!

The complete Princess Peach Costume.

The finished Princess Peach Costume.

 

See our Mario and Luigi Costumes here!


Sale at The Land of Nod

Cakes of Birthdays Past I

April19

I had so much fun writing about E.’s birthday cake, that I wanted to share some pictures from previous birthdays.  While browsing on my computer for pictures to add, I have decided that since there are so many, I should just make another post next week with more.

Scottish Clan Crest Birthday Cake

My husband's birthday cake from last year.

Rose teapot and tea cups

Rose teapot and tea cups for E.'s 4th birthday!

A rose "tea cup" cupcake.

A closeup of one of the pixie tea cups.

Don’t forget to come back next week!


The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Birthday Cake Experience

April9

This week started out to be very promising.  Despite not having a car at the moment, I was able to get E. a Princess and the Frog doll to put in her birthday cake.  I made the cake earlier this week and found that it was too short – the top of the skirt was about mid-thigh on an average barbie doll.  I made more layers – chocolate ones this time.  It was the perfect height.

Everything else was going well, until Friday night – the night before the party.   I made the fondant pieces for the skirt portion of the cake and decorated it.  I opened the box with the doll inside and as I tried to remove the dress, I realized that it wouldn’t come off!  I had inadvertently bought the Tiana doll whose dress turns into a plush frog.   Then came the discovery that the doll had no legs…it is basically just a torso sewn onto a stuffed animal…yeah, I don’t really get it either.

I squeezed the frog/dress part of the doll and wrapped it tightly with saran wrap. No good, it still wouldn’t fit into the doll-sized hole I had made in the cake!  I considered wrecking the toy and just cutting off the plush part, but then I realized that E. would get a doll without legs and a ripped up, stuffing-less plush animal to play with…which wouldn’t be much fun for a 5 year old.

With all the hope I could muster, I tried to see if any 24 hour stores had the doll in stock – the nearest one was 80 miles away.   I thought about whipping up a plain old layer cake, but remembered that E. had specifically asked for a doll cake.  I decided that the only thing I could do was to use a different doll, but since E was asleep in her room, finding one was no easy task.  You see, when E. puts her dolls away, she just tosses them into her doll bin, one on top of another like so much cordwood.  If I were to move the wrong doll, the whole pile could potentially topple like massive, tangled Barbie Jenga tower.  I held my breath and plucked a slightly disheveled Barbie doll from the very top of the stack.

I was relieved that the doll I happened to pick up was newer, and NOT one of the old ones that look like Courtney Love after a three week bender.  I washed the doll and put some plastic wrap around her to keep her nice and clean and made a fondant bodice.  I put the doll into the cake and made a sash around her waist to cover the seam.  I also used a little bit of the white fondant to cover the tiara the doll was wearing and make it look a little bit more like the one Tiana wears.

I was very tired, so I decided to save the decorating of the cake board for the morning.  The cake was too tall (with the doll inserted) for both the refrigerator and the freezer…so I put the doll into the oven for safe keeping.  I was a little worried that the oven would get turned on with the doll inside, so I left the oven light on and went to bed.

E., being very excited about her birthday woke me up at 7:30 am.  I opened the oven to take the cake out and saw THIS:

Yes!  Fondant CAN melt!

Yes! Fondant CAN melt!

Slip sliding away.

Slip sliding away.

Melted.  Icing.  Bad!

Melted. Icing. Bad!

Yeeeeeah.  The icing was in puddles at the base of the cake, and it tore the fondant skirt pieces as it slid down.  Apparently, with the oven door shut, the light can generate heat up to 100 degrees!  (**head desk**)

Feeling only slightly less deflated than the cake, I briefly envisioned chucking the whole thing outside in the snow.  After I managed to calm down a bit, I decided that it was still early enough that I could make a new batch of frosting and redecorate the skirt.  I was out of the white fondant and thanks to a snowstorm couldn’t even leave to get the ready made variety.  I had barely enough of the green fondant left to make the outer skirt “leaves”, but I think over all it turned out ok.  I did happen to have a tiny bit of left over gumpaste, which I tinted purple and used to remake the sash and bow in the back.

I decorated the cake board and used the final bit of green fondant to shape a lily pad for my gumpaste Prince Naveen to sit on.  Despite my initial bout of hysteria, the cake turned out okay.  Remember all the fussing I had done over not having the right doll?  E. quickly decided that the doll was Charlotte (Tiana’s friend from the movie), trying on Tiana’s dress.  Now, why didn’t I think of that?!

Anyway, here is how it turned out:

Purple Bow

Purple Bow

Finished.

Finished.

She loves it!

Not too bad for a quick save...