Thursday, January 31, 2013

For the Kids Friday #100

Welcome to the 100th For the Kids Friday Party!

I can't tell you how excited I am to be hosting this link party for the 100th consecutive week at Sun Scholars!  Thank you all who come and share your amazing ideas with us each week.  I love seeing what you are up to, and it has been a great resource for inspiration to so many over the last two years.  It wouldn't be a party without all of you!  I LOVE that you are here!  THANK YOU!!

Here are my favorites from last week's party!
These posts have been pinned to the SunScholars THE BEST OF... For the Kids Fridays on Pinterest!

If you've been featured below
grab my A++ and brag about it to your friends :)

Felt Finger Puppet Valentine
at Passengers on a Little Spaceship

Nutter Butter Polar Bear Cookie
at Hungry Happenings

DIY Zip Line Toy
at Love & Lollipops

Super Simple DIY Stamps
at Red Ted Art

Harry Potter Birthday Party
at Helping Little Hands

Flower Pot Fairies
at Juise

Science Experiment and Art Project Kit
at While He Was Napping

Now, on to this week's party!
For the Kids Friday

Grab my For the Kids Fridays Button and place it somewhere on your blog.  Be sure to link back to me!  Now go ahead and link up all of your kid-friendly fun!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lego Ninjago Birthday Cake

An EASY way to decorate an impressive birthday cake!

Lego Ninjago

My son's most FAVORITE toys are the Lego Ninjas.  As I was working on this post, he is looking over my shoulder and says, "Mom, it is a Lego NINJA cake not a Lego Ninjago cake!"  I honestly can't tell you what is right here... but I can tell you that for this little boy, there was no question about what kind of cake he would want to celebrate his 8th birthday.

This is the Ninja cake I made for him.  I have to say, I was very pleased with how it turned out (in spite of some hiccups along the way... I'll get into those in a bit).  Better yet, my son and his friends were quite impressed.  I took that as a nice 'pat on the back'.  So here is how I made it, with some tips so you don't make the same mistakes I did.

How to Make a Ninja Cake

Supplies Needed:
  • Cake
  • Chocolate Frosting (my favorite recipe HERE)
  • Buttercream Frosting (my favorite recipe HERE)
  • Food Coloring
  • Icing Bags
  • Wax Paper
  • Image to use on your cake

We decided to make two layers.  My little boy helped me with this part.  Nothing fancy... we just used box mixes.  Here he is mixing up the chocolate layer.
chocolate cake

While the chocolate cake was baking, we mixed up a vanilla cake mix.  We divided this batter up into 4 equal parts and added food coloring to each of them.  Our vanilla cake batter was now red, blue, green and yellow.
birthday cake

We added the colored batter to our prepared pan.  At first we were pretty careful about how we placed the colors, making sure to get a good amount in each spot, and not to mix them.
how to make a

... But in the end, we didn't care so much, and when all the batter had been added, our cake looked like this.  Ready for the oven!

I layered the two cakes with the chocolate on the bottom, and our ninja colored vanilla cake on top, with chocolate icing in between.  I then covered the cake with chocolate icing.  I love how the cake looked when it was cut!

Now for the FUN part!
Let me begin by saying, it is ALWAYS good to first read the directions before attempting something.  Remember your teachers telling you that in school?  Good advice!

This AWESOME idea was shared at Sun Scholars a while back by Michelle at Sunshine and a Summer Breeze

Awesome, right?  Well, Michelle shares a great tutorial on how to take a photo copy image, some wax paper, and icing, and transform that into an incredible frosted cake!  I figured I could do the same to create a Lego Ninja cake.

I found some Ninjago color pages HERE.
I chose one that would easy for me to recreate (not too detailed) and printed it out.

Instead of using a sheet of glass like suggested in the tutorial, I used a clip board.  It was large   enough to hold my paper and yet small enough to still fit into the freezer when I was finished.  I followed the instructions in Michelle's tutorial, using an icing bag with my dark icing to outline the image (tracing over the lines in my photo copied picture), then filling in with the colors.  Here is my ninja, complete.

Now, I'm sure you're asking yourself, "What did she do wrong?" It looks pretty darn good, right?  Well I made one, MAYBE two mistakes here.

The first mistake... I used shortening in my buttercream recipe in place of butter.  Meaning, I used NO butter in a BUTTERcream recipe.  I know, I know... Well, the problem there is that shortening does not harden when cooled like butter does.  So when I tossed my frosted ninja into the freezer, the icing did not harden the way I needed it to in order to peal it off of the paper!

Second problem... I used parchment paper instead of waxed paper.  If I had used butter, and my icing had hardened, this might not have been a problem.  However, my icing stuck to the parchment paper, making it difficult, if not impossible, to peel away.  ACK!!!

I would have taken a picture of my failure, but I must admit... at that moment, I was so upset, I was in damage control mode!  I transfered as much of my icing to the top of my cake as I could, and had to free-hand and fill in the rest.  In the end, it didn't turn out too bad.

However, I guarantee that I will be using this technique again!  I have learned from my mistakes, and the results, when done correctly, are amazing!  So easy, and so impressive!  The parts that did transfer nicely for me looked amazing.  I love this technique for cake decorating, and I can't wait to try it again!  Thank you Michelle for an awesome tutorial!!!

Lego Ninja
The cake was pretty tasty too, I might add.

Happy Lego Ninja Birthday, to my sweet boy!

and for more Lego Ninja fun...
Lego Ninjago Costume

Monday, January 28, 2013

Valentines Day Crafts -15 Must Makes

Welcome to this week's Must Make Monday!
Today I have a collection of Must Make Valentine's Day Crafts.  These fabulous ideas would make wonderful gifts or decorations for the holiday.  

Kiss Me Countdown
at Eighteen25

Valentine card
Valentine Paper Bag Album
at Or So She Says

at Deb Schwedhelm Photoblog

at Little Birdie Secrets

gifts for boyfriend
at Martha Stewart

at Lost Button Studio

valentine cards
at The Purl Bee

gifts for men
at The House that Lars Built

valentines day crafts
at Pitter & Glink

Valentine's Day Surprise Cracker
at Not Martha

valentines day mantle
at The Diary of Daves Wife

how to make a
DIY Envelope Liners
at The DIY Bride

Sequins Heart Accessories
at The Picket Fence

Cherry Bomb Favors
at Martha Stewart

Candle in a Bottle
at I Love This...

Wishing you a Valentine's Day full of LOVE!

More Valentine's Day fun at Sun Scholars...

homemade valentine cards

Valentine Day felt garland