Sunday, November 9, 2014

October Recap

Man, October was BUSY. That's why it took me so long to post about September!

Ethan and I went to the Stuttgart Oktoberfest, which is actually called Volksfest here in Stuttgart. 

 Ethan is on that swing!
 Then Ethan and I took a weekend trip to Belgium to see a friend of mine.
We didn't do much sight-seeing because we were only there for the weekend. Ethan said when people ask him what he did in Belgium he will say "went to the grocery store. and then went to the grocery store again. and then went to another grocery store."
 The city of Mons has this little monkey statue on the city hall building. No one really knows why it's there, but they say if you rub its head with your left hand and make a wish it will come true.
 The NATO base is located there in Belgium, and this is me in front of all the flags of the NATO countries. They rotate them so that one country is never always in the center.
 And this really cool quilt was inside the building and has a quilt block for each country in NATO.
 At worked I taught another bag class. Not everyone finished in class, but Pam brought hers back in to show off!
I taught the Kaleidoscope quilt block, which makes a very pretty quilt. See mine here
I taught the Wilton level 3 course, fondant. Here's the girls with their graduation cakes.
 Felicia made a peacock out of her fondant flowers!
 I baked and decorated a whole bunch of cakes for a quinceanera. Read about it here.

 Our Canvas and Corkscrews instructor is moving. *sad face* This sugar skull was the last one I got to paint with Marta. We're looking for a new instructor, but it will take a little while before we can continue the program.
 Here's my painting! So bright and fun!
 And lastly we had a lot of fun on Halloween! Read all about the costumes here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

September Recap

I didn't get as many pictures in September as I should have, so this one will not be as thorough as other months.

I taught a sewing class to a group of fun ladies. The class lasted about 10 hours, but everyone finished their bags!
 I taught Wilton level 1 again, and this time I had an assistant!
 Felicia was in my first two classes, and she joined me for four weeks as my assistant. It was great having the help!

Haven turned 17!! It's hard to believe my little girl is so grown up. She still likes jellyfish, so I made her a jellyfish cake. It's all buttercream because I made it on the last day of the buttercream class. 
No pictures of Haven's birthday because she went down to Oktoberfest with some friends. My baby is grown up and goes to fests for her birthday. Sigh.

And here's Rob at the piano, because he's awesome.

Monday, November 3, 2014


The week before Halloween I took a break from working on costumes to bake and decorate cakes for a Quinceanera. Since we're over here in Germany it was hard for the family to throw a traditional party, but they wanted to have as many of the elements as they could.
These are big parties. Like weddings, but without getting hitched. Apparently one of the traditions is to have 15 dolls dressed in fancy dresses to give to the 15 girls who "stand up" with the birthday girl. We brainstormed options for these dolls and decided rather than talking one of our family members into going to Mexico to buy these dolls we would make doll CAKES instead.
It took a cake decorating army to get this done. Three of us baked the 15 cakes (plus extra layers for the main cake) and then there ended up being six of us who did the decorating. 
We got together at one of our MWR facilities that had a large kitchen and room to decorate. (For those of you who will know, it was the Warrior Zone, which used to be Le Rose's Pizza) 
We worked on decorating these for 12 hours the first day and another three the second day. And they were AWESOME.

These first four are the ones I did. 

 I showed Selena (the birthday girl) what to do on the next one and she decorated the whole thing herself!
 The next 10 were completed by the rest of the cake team. Most of the girls had ZERO cake decorating experience, so before they started each cake I would teach them a technique.
 They NAILED IT!! These cakes were so cool!! I was really proud of them!
 Even though there were 15 doll cakes we still needed the traditional birthday cake. The stipulation was just that it should be white. After looking at a lot of inspiration cakes, many of which you can see pinned on my cake decorating board, this is the cake we ended up with.

So preeeeeetty!! The cake topper was a gift from one of Selena's relatives. An aunt I believe. There are several different flavors inside this cake including lemon, strawberry (with real strawberries), chocolate, butter, and almond. I got the fondant on and then the flowers were put on by one of the members of our cake team, who also didn't have cake decorating experience! She did an amazing job!

And finally, the birthday girl!
I didn't get any photos of the whole family together, but here is mom, brother, and dad lighting the super cool blooming flower candle firecracker thingies.

 These were pretty cool candles! There was only one tiny scare with something catching on fire... I tried to darken this photo so you can see them better, but they were incredibly bright, even with all the lights off in the room.

 Selena blowing out the candles. 

First dance with Dad.

Dancing with her brother.

Selena is on the dance team at school and they did a little dance routine for the party.

I tried to get a good shot of the whole group, but I brought the wrong lens for that... So this is just the girls. Haven is on the back row, third from the right. Her hair is black again.

I really enjoyed participating in this party and supporting this family. They are really sweet and we had so much fun!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween! We only had one trick played on us this year. Someone put glue on the door handle at the house. Easily cleaned. Last year we got egged! And our jack-o-lantern is still on the front porch and not smashed in the street. So all in all, the shenanigans were kept to a minimum.

At work we only had a few people dress up, but we had fun!
Left to right: Jaki is Medusa, April is a Cereal (serial) Killer (It's a pun!), and Megan is Harley Quinn. 

Steve, our photographer, set up a spooky backdrop in the photo studio and had walk-ins all night for photos. It was really great! This photo is actually with my camera. His photos were way better!
Megan made her costume. I made mine too. I'm a dragon. We'll come back to that.

Have you seen How to Train Your Dragon 2? If not, the following photos might not mean as much to you. But here's Hiccup (the main character) for reference. 

In the new movie he wears this flight suit. He can base jump off his dragon now. His suit has hidden compartments with flaps that open out for gliding. The sword is made somehow with dragon spit, which can be ignited or something... Anyway, we loved the movie and decided to tackle this costume. 

Without further ado - Ethan as Hiccup. 
The suit is made out of various materials, including vinyl, suede, leather (just small pieces), quilted cotton, and lots of hardware.  I worked on it pretty much the entire month of October. I broke three leather needles.
Hiccup lost his left foot in the first movie, so figuring out how to make a prosthetic foot on a real one was the hardest part. We started out with what you see above, which is tin foil. But that didn't last through the photo session, so we ended up painting the boot. It was ok, but not great.
I decided to play around with photo shop and took out the boot. Now it looks more like Hiccup! 
These are the flaps that extend when he's gliding. In the movie he has a fin on his back too, but I ran out of time to get that part to work.  
 The sword has yellow cellophane around it and we dropped glow sticks down in the plastic so it would glow.  

I'm Toothless (his dragon)!
In the new movie Hiccup meets his mother. So I REALLY wanted to be that character, but Ethan's costume took too long. I threw together the dragon costume in two days. I have wings on my back, but you can't see them in this photo. I copied the hoodie and tail from something I saw online. People recognized me first, and then they figured out who Ethan was. Not enough people have seen the movie!!

 The candy bag was a scared sheep. In the movies and TV show they race the dragons, and one of the challenges is to catch the sheep as they are catapulted into the air. Here's a photo for reference.

Sheep is scared. He's next.
The whole time I was working on the sheep the cat kept attacking him! Oh man, I'm laughing just typing that! It was pretty funny! I HAD to get Sirius in on the action. He looks just like Toothless!! 
Sirius was not happy with his wings. But he obliged for a few minutes!

There was a costume contest at the food court and Ethan won first place for his age group!
I don't know how many more years Ethan will agree to dress up and go Trick or Treating. So every year I try to make the costumes more and more epic. I want to have the maximum amount of fun each year just in case it's the last. (And the fun part for me is making the costumes - and parading him around base to show them off.... Yes, I'm THAT mom. What.)

Oh, speaking of kids getting older - where's Haven? She did dress up, but only for like an hour and refused to take photos. Sad face. She was a Native American, complete with super long black braids.

Ok, I'll leave you with this clip from How to Train Your Dragon 2.