"You realize we now have two children, right?" While the last fondant exercise wasn't incredibly time consuming, we're now dealing with sibling and toddler chronologies. In our house it seems that the new timelines are something like this:
[normal task time requirement x children] + [3 hrs x toddlers] + [1.5 hrs x preschoolers] + [1 month x newborns] = time required for task (aka reason not to start in the first place)
Sensing my subtle skepticism, Jim downgraded his vision from a cartoon sugar biosphere to something he knew I couldn't resist. Paper. Actually few things appeal to a literature major like a pulp-dressed cake. We didn't want the paper to touch the cake, so Jim envisioned posting the flat laser-printer images on clear drinking straws where they could levitate above the surface. When none of our local groceries carried clear straws, we switched to bamboo skewers since we already had a giant package languishing in the cabinet (in case of future kebab crisis).
In printing Mario screenshots, Jim realized that the standard resolution required a lot of conversions to get a decent image. As we were working near a deadline, he started looking for screenshots taken from high resolution displays. We sat down the night before the party with a stack of cardstock images, scissors, skewers, and packaging tape to create the soon to be 3D scene.
|Pipes in front are attached to cakeboard.|
The next morning I picked up the giant cake. I must admit, there's a sick thrill to ordering a white cake with white frosting and white accents. People were quizzical at best. It was even better walking through the store having people come over to ogle the cake.
"Wow, what a lovel.... cake?" recuperative silence. "What's the occasion?"
I wanted to make up some answer involving minimalism, but I realize now that the funniest answer would have been the partial truth. In retrospect, "My son's fifth birthday!" is actually pretty hysterical. But I folded like a greeting card and explained that my husband had made cake toppers. Depending upon the age of the inquisitor, that response could also be met with looks of cold skepticism. Next year, I'm going for sheer enthusiasm "Isn't it marvelous?!"
|A peek behind the cake.|
|Skewers are arranged in layers from front to back to give a 3-dimensional effect.|
The cake was surprisingly easy to serve. While Jim pulled the skewers, I was able to start cutting. With no embellishments on the actual cake there were no request for specific pieces. The cake was served in record time, and Ranger got to bring Mario home (we're going to put some of the figures on magnet backing for him).
In Ranger's opinion (as well Jim's and mine), this is his best cake ever.
***Baby Toolkit is the confession of a couple of parent hackers who try to create magic with common household items. Our end results are bolstered by our children's imaginations (for which we are quite thankful). We're Amazon affiliates, so a portion of any purchases you make through our link (need skewers?) helps support our online endeavors (thank you!). Photos (c) babytoolkit.blogspot.com, 2010- all rights reserved.