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New York cake

New York Cake

I’ve showed this finished cake before but never actually posted detail shots.  Let’s remedy that.

A few years ago a co-worker of my brother’s asked if I could make a cake matching an image she’d found online.

nycakeAt the time it didn’t occur to me to check online to see whose design it was.  I just looked now and can’t find an exact source.  I can see it listed on Cake Picture Gallery without a source, and a very similar design here on cakesdecor.com credited to Berliosca Cake Boutique in BC.  I don’t know whose came first.  In any case, I was asked to make just one tier, no water/bridge/statue, and told she’d provide the apple herself.

I decided to build it up with a checkerboard cake, partly because I needed the height from the three layers to fit the skyline, and partly because I loved the idea of a New York-themed cake having a taxi cab-esque checkerboard on the inside.  (It’s deliciouser on the inside.  Heh.)


I leveled the cakes and filled them with homemade buttercream, then did a crumb coat around the entire cake.  I let that set up in the fridge while tinting some store-bought white fondant into the pale gray-ish blue color.  Rolled it out and covered the cake.


I bought pre-tinted black fondant and rolled out a thick disc to set the cake on, then rolled out some strips the height of my tallest building.  I eyeballed the building placement, going off the sample pic and just tried to make sure I had some variation in heights for interest.  You can see in the pic below that I used a toothpick to support the tallest building.  I cut out the buildings in groupings of 2-3 and ‘glued’ them around the cake with a bit of water.  I stuck them on after setting the cake in place, so I could make sure to butt them down as low as possible to the ‘road’.

IMG_0228  I thinned some black food gel and dotted the ‘stars’ around the sky, and used Wilton whitener for the road markings and the ‘windows’.  Sadly I didn’t think to thicken the whitener with a bit of icing sugar, so it paled considerably once dried, and I had to do a second coat on most of them.  To make the adorable taxis I tinted some white fondant yellow and shaped it into a rectangular brick.  I cut off the outside corners with a sharp knife then sliced the resulting “T” shape into car-appropriate widths.  The wheels are tiny flattened disks of black fondant, everything ‘glued’ together with a bit of water.IMG_0233


The last thing to do was the grass for the top.  I knew they’d be adding the apple on-site, but making a green fondant disk felt too easy.  I had leftover buttercream so I tinted it green and hand-piped the blades of grass with a piping bag and multi-holed icing tip. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI later received this pic from the woman who’d bought the cake.  I love seeing the inside, seeing that the checkerboard lined up properly!  :D

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Remember me?  That whole blog redesign thing I said was coming?  Well guess what….?

(It’s coming).


Ok it’s in progress, better?  I was going to wait until everything was up and running but something tells me that means I will never started so… as a friend said, and I’m paraphrasing, go with 85%.  I don’t know if I’m quite at 85% but I’m gonna go with it anyways.

To anyone who still had me gathering dust in their blog reader, welcome back!  To anyone who finds me now, thanks to Facebook/etc*, welcome.  If you like crafty, nerdy stuff, you’re my peeps.

Mmmmm…. peeps….

*Oh yeah.  I’m not anonymous any more.  The blog is now (soon to be) linked to my real Facebook account, and cross posted there, along with my real Twitter and real Instagram (once I get the widget working).  For reals.

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Stay tuned!

Major blog redesign coming!

Knitting, crochet, cakes, crafts, stitching, the kids, even me… soon we’ll all have our own place and everything will be organized properly.  I’m going to go through the older posts and repost anything of note, and share all the cool new things that I’ve worked on in the last year or so.  Hope it’s worth the wait!


happy new year!

It’s 2013!  If I go back through my archives I’ve been blogging since September 2004.  In September 2014 I’ll have been blogging for 10 years.  Whoa.

It’s a new year, and instead of making resolutions to DO, I’m making resolutions to TRY.

I’m going to TRY to blog more.  I’m going to TRY to knit for ME.  I’m going to TRY to publish more patterns, or at least let you know about ones that have been published.  (Did any of you know I’ve got a pattern in the Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts Issue?  Didn’t think so).

We started the new year off right by doing something different.  We took a family vacation!  Plattsburgh, NY is under 2 hours away, and there’s a hotel there with lots of activities for the kids.


(ps that tarp isn’t because of any leak- they were getting ready to fill it with balloons to drop at midnight on NYE)

There are good restaurants in the area and right near a 24 hour Walmart, a Sally’s Beauty Supply, a Michael’s… :D


We drove down with 5 other families that have kids about the same ages, and in the hotel were other groups of 2-5 families that we all knew, so we were always around friends.  We did a lot of shopping, a lot of socializing and I even managed to squeeze in a bit of knitting while the boys watched TV as we changed for dinner.


I worked on my fun fur vest…no pics yet ‘cus I keep forgetting to take one.

Speaking of shopping in the States…the shopping carts for when out with kids are awesome!  If the store doesn’t have a double-seater cart, my boys have to take turns walking, or scrounge around for one of the few carts with a car attached to the front.  But checkit the carts at Price Chopper:


Awesome no?


timing is everything

I started a vest for myself.  I shouldn’t have, but I did.

At guild on Tuesday I won a mini raffle we did, and got a 2012/2013 Bergere de France magazine.  There are some GORGEOUS patterns in there, but I was taken by 2 in particular.  One of them I’m not sure what yarn to use, but the other…well…it’s a fun fur vest.  I know.

I know.


But it’s really cute, and worse comes to worst I’m always cold at home so….  Yeah.  Moving on…

The body is worked on 8mm needles so it’s a fast knit.  It’s kinda a shrug/vest hybrid, and on Wednesday night I cast on.  I finished the back ribbing and the first few rows of the body.  And then I brought it to work with me on Thursday so I could photocopy the pattern out of the magazine to make it easier to work on.

Now, I shouldn’t have started this project on Wed.  I had realized just that morning that Christmas might be in 2 weeks, but the last day of daycare/kindergarten is next week, which means I’m running out of time to do the holiday teachers’ gifts which I haven’t started yet.  I *should* have started those.  But I didn’t.

Which makes it only fitting that I forgot the project at work last night, and then today both boys woke up with fevers, meaning I had to keep them home, and be home all day, and NOT be able to work on the vest.

Which means that in about 5 minutes I’ll be starting the holiday teachers’ gifts, all due next week.  :)


i’m a proud crafty mama!

I’m so proud of Jakob!

For a while now he’s had “His Knitting” on the living room side table. It’s worsted weight, garter stitch and it’s red of course, and every few weeks he asks if he could knit and I remind him how and he does a stitch or two before getting distracted and then I finish the row so we can put it aside again.


Last night after I picked him up from school we detoured at my LYS before going to get his brother. I had Spidey with me to find yarn to BO and work the spines. At the door I happened to notice a knitting nancy…a modern plastic version of the old spool knitters used for “French knitting”. Jakob saw it too, didn’t know what it was, but wanted it. When I explained it could help him knit but faster than the two needles for while he was learning, he really wanted it.

I think I have an old spool knitter somewhere but have no idea where to look, and this version, while modern and plastic, also has a nice hook, and 3 interchangeable heads with different post numbers, and is designed for working with beads so the central opening is quite large. It’s by Clover, and is quite easy to work with because they designed a really smart groove down the side if each post, making it super easy to get the hook down into the stitch to pull up/over.

Today is a ped day for the elementary schools so I sent Henri off to daycare for a rare one-on-one day with Jakob.

After lunch we’re going to the library to get him some audiobooks for bedtime, and then to Tim’s for hot chocolate. But first this morning I taught him to spool knit. And he rocks.



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