Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Birthday Party – The Cake

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For my daughters Charlie and the Chocolate Factory birthday party I searched the internet for cake ideas. I found one that I really liked and wanted to make my own version of it.

The cake was chocolate, I used my go to chocolate cake recipe from the cookbook Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth. The cake is always moist and turns out perfectly.

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I iced the cake with a chocolate buttercream. To get the green icing to look like grass I used icing tip 233. I really liked the way it turned out.

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The decorations on the cake included multi coloured gum balls and lollipops. I made the chocolate pool at the bottom from a fudge coloured fondant. The toadstools, candy canes and her name were made from fondant as well. I had planned to use my Zing cutter to cut the fondant letters out, but I had a difficult time getting it to cut properly, (it was my first and probably only attempt to use it to cut fondant LOL). Instead I used the Zing to cut the letters out of box board and used the boxboard letters as a stencil and cut the fondant with a knife. It was very easy and not very time consuming to do, I would use this method again versus trying to use the Zing.

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Usually for Georgia’s birthday I make a cake for her party with her friends and a second smaller cake for her family birthday dinner with her grandparents.  I really enjoyed making this cake as well.

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Snug-A-Bug Blankets Becomes Raspberry Soufflé

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Over the past year or so I have been shifting my focus from baby blankets to pop culture items. The shop name Snug-a-Bug Blankets no longer fit, so I changed to Raspberry Soufflé. I hope to feature recipes, travel, and pop culture posts. I also hope to post more ;).

The change in items in the shop came about from  trip we had planned on a Disney Cruise. There are groups of people on the cruises that participate in a gift exchange, know as a Fish Extender group. The people in the group give little gifts to other members in the group, so you get surprises when you return to your cabin. It is lots of fun.

The gifts we made for our Fish Extender group led me to begin working with shrinky dink paper and bottle cap magnets. I enjoyed using the materials so much so I started selling them in my shop. I hope you enjoy the changes.

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Community 8 Bit Magnets


Upcycling: Make a Girl’s Dress from a Men’s Dress Shirt

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I have the Martha Stewart Sewing Crafts book and one of the first projects I wanted to try was making a dress for girls from a man’s dress shirt. You can also find the instructions for this project on the Martha Stewart website. That is one thing I like about Martha Stewart projects is that you can buy the book collection of crafts and recipes, but you can find the same projects on the site.

I used the Martha pattern on a first try at this dress.

I didn’t like the way the sleeves and body were all one piece. I also found that the pattern was sized small, the dress according to the description is for size 4-8. When you download the pattern it is a one size pattern. When I finished the dress it was more like a size 3 not great for my 5 nearly 6 year old. I finished the neck and collar with a contrasting bias tape and embroidered a G on the dress (a la Laverne and Shirley), to hide a small hole made when removing the pocket. I think it was cute, just to small.

So I decided to give the dress another try changing some of the problems from the first attempt. First I made the pattern larger. I had traced the pattern on to Swedish tracing paper and added an inch to the body. I also wanted to sew the sleeves on seperately so I marked a cutting line along the sleeves. I cut the shirt apart along the seams removing the arms and separating front from back.

I then made a a pattern for the sleeve and cut them out of the sleeves.

I began putting the dress together starting by placing right sides of the body together and stitching along the shoulders and sides. Don’t forget to iron the seams.

I wanted to gather the sleeves that I wanted to attach. So I adjusted the serger and did the gathering on the machine. I adjusted the tension on the needles and changed the settings on the differential feed. You can also do quick gathering on a regular sewing machine by increasing the thread tension to the highest number. It is so much easier than sewing to rows of stitches and pulling the threads to get the gather.

Match the seams on the side and the bottom of the sleeve and match the top of the sleeve with the seam at the shoulders with sleeve inside armhole, right sides together. I serged the raw edges of the sleeve and neck, and then I then folded, ironed and sewed the stitch under to finish the neck and sleeve.

To finish the hem I could have done the same as at the neck and sleeve, but I wanted to make the dress a little longer and add a little extra style. I thought about adding a piece of gathered white fabric a couple of inches long. I remembered I had some ribbon that went well with the pink of the dress so I added it. I gathered it in a tighter gather than the sleeves by increasing the tension the thread tension more than I had on the sleeve.

I attached the ribbon to the bottom of the dress with right sides together and then I turned it right side out and top stitched close to the ribbon to keep the hem in place.

Here is the finished dress.

The shirt cost $3.35 at the local second hand shop. I already had the ribbon and it took about 2 hours to make a new spring dress. My daughter was happy with the dress as you can tell from the modelling of the dress.



Meet My New Mac

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We have a new addition to the family his name is Mac.

He is a 15 week old Brussels Griffon Chihuahua cross, also known as a Brissel Chiffon.

Mac came to us from Griffon de la Griffonnerie in Quebec. They breed both Griffon’s and Chihauhau’s and Mac and his sister were a good oops. He is a sweetheart of a dog. Very small with a lot of moxie.

Oscar our 8 year old pug is not sure what to make of him, but Georgia adores him.


Photo Books at Chapters

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Good news! Chapters-Indigo is now offering photo books for sale on their online site. Prices range from $9.99 and up.

The quality looks good and they offer a range of sizes and covers. It might be a good spot for Canadians to pick up photo books with shipping at a low $4.95. They are also offering a $10 off of $25 coupon good until September 15, 2007, sent out in subscribers of their promo e-mails.

I think I am going to try it out.


An Easier Way to Brush Your Baby’s or Toddler’s Teeth

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Baby's First Toothbrush

If you are having a difficult time of brushing your baby’s teeth, I have found a great brush that makes them want to brush their teeth.

Baby’s First Toothbrushis a soft brush with mini bristles that brush the teeth whenever the baby bites down.

Georgia loves to brush her teeth with this brush. She asks to brush her teeth and I often have a difficult time getting her to stop. The brush was created by a dentist. I tried it out on my teeth and it felt like it would do a good job in a little mouth with little teeth. They come in clear, pink, and blue.


New Blankets Designs and Bibs are Coming

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Time flies by when you have a toddler in the house so it has been a while since I have had time to write a post.

There are 3 new styles of Snug-A-Bug Blankets available, “What a Hoot”, “Rave On” and “Colour Bars”. “What a Hoot” is available in both pink and yellow.

“Chocolate Bubbles” is back for a limited time. I have also resourced the fabric for this most popular Snug-A-Bug Blanket.

Coming soon to Snug-A-Bug Blankets are vinyl bibs to match some of the popular Snug-A-Bug Blankets, so please keep checking back.



Etsy is Down for the Weekend

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Etsy will be down from 12:01am November 11, 2006 until the morning of November 13, 2006. They are upgrading to V2 which should make the shopping experience easier for the buyer.

If you are wanting to purchase a blanket this weekend and know the one you want, please feel free to contact me either through the contact form or by commenting to this post.