Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Birthdays and Building... of a Sort

Hey y'all! First week trying out this new no-rush-to-postness and... I was so un-occupied about updating that I got all kinds of creative. So much so that I forgot to take pictures of a few things. Are you surprised? You shouldn't be. Me and this brain of mine... we forget so much. Dang nabbit.

Memory issues aside, I've a BUTTLOAD of pictures for you nonetheless. A step-by-step process of tearing my kids' chairs apart and fixing them up to be (mostly) better. AND I have pictures of most of the things created for my sister's boyfriend's birthday. (Happy Birthday again, Jimmy!)

First, I forgot to take pictures of the white chocolate macadamia nut cookies I made. Sorry, cookies. BUT they were good. They smelled terrific and I have plans to re-make them soon for at-home consumption. Next time I'll give them their own photo shoot.

Second came the giant cookie cake. Seriously, this thing was like sixteen inches big. It was the first cookie cake I ever made and the edges were a bit rough... please ignore the writing. I CAN do better than that, but I was hurried and I was laughing a lot while writing it... the expression will be explained momentarily.

Lastly... Jimmy likes the show Swamp People. I had the, erm, pleasurable experience of watching the show with him and my sister one night and nearly died of the combination of hilarity and horror the show inspired. It is... consuming. You start to watch and it's like a car wreck - you can't look away. Your eyes become beacons of all encompassing pools, glued to the screen as people and gators tangle and twist and... watch it once. That's all you need.

Anyway, to get back on topic, I had made the cookies, made the cookie cake, and then I had this brilliant thought. "SWAMP PEOPLE!!!!" In fact, I yelled the idea out loud and thus created a commotion elsewhere in the house that was the cause of much cursing and the need for an armful of towels. Oops.

I wanted a gator cake. A gator lying in wait... about to get taken in by the swamp people. "Choot 'em, Liz! Choot 'em!"

Yeah, that's right. Another reason to watch the show. Find out exactly what "choot 'em" means... in case it's not obvious enough. ;)

So, gator cake::

I was proud of the idea to give him scales. *beams a winning smile* It made me very excited. I was glad that everyone immediately got the concept of what I was going for. I'm yet to be an artist with a tube of icing, but as ideas slowly swirl and form within my mind, I continue to work towards professionalism. Or something close to imitating it.

Till then I have fun!

Once I made my way out of the kitchen, I got down to business reupholstering the Disney tinker bell chairs that my girls got from Santa for Christmas. Poor chairs didn't survive the terror of my children. So I gave them a band aid. :)

Step One: Look at the chairs. Feel bad for them. Make a plan to fix them and go collect all the stuff you need.

Step Two: Collect your collected things. Take a picture of them... or just have them collected. That's cool, too.

Materials Needed::

* Broken Chairs/Chairs you want to update
* Material - enough to cover your seat with an additional inch per side
*cushions/solid foam
*staple gun
*sharpie or good marker
*small trash can or trash bag

Step Three: Take the seat off of the rest of the chair. Unscrew the screws. Remember, lefty loosey, righty tighty. :)

Step Four: Demo. Tear that seat apart. *rawr*


Step Five: Lay your foam out and place the base of your seat on top of it. Trace around the edges and prepare yourself for kindergarten flash backs.


Step Six: Get your scissors and cut along the line. Told you to be ready for the flashback! Follow the line carefully, cutting away the excess foam if it gets in your way. I tried to keep mine whole because I sat around pretending my square foam piece was a giant apple I was peeling all in one go.

Hey, I warned you my head was a funny place. That hasn't changed. ;)


Step Seven: Lay your material out flat. Mine was a bit of scrap I got from the Wal Mart junk pile for 75 cents a decade ago. No joke. I bought it when I was still in high school and had dreams of learning to sew. I still have the dream and the material, as well as the price tag. The price tag is gone now, but it turns out that my almost-dollar didn't go to waste.

Line your material, foam, and your chair's base up so they're all facing the same way and the edges are even.


Step Eight: Press your chair's base down before pulling the fabric material up and over its side. Pull it tight but don't dislodge it from where you've lined it all up. Take care of where your fingers are and staple that baby into place. I love the power of such a simple tool, but every time I shot a staple out I grinned. Being easily amused has its benefits.


Do this, pulling the fabric tight each time, all the way around the base. Be careful of the corners, I should have been more careful. Next time I will be. Tuck the fabric in and fold it over so you have pretty edges. I hurried and didn't tuck as well as I could have. It's not huge in the grand scheme of things, but knowing that I could have done better and didn't irks me.




Step Nine: Screw the seat back into place. Righty tighty!


Step Ten: Admire your work. Smile a bit. You deserve it.


Steps Eleven and Twelve: Do it all again (and again) until all your chairs are complete.

Grin like an idiot.


In other news, I've started on the cake pops I'm making. White vanilla cake with confetti frosting for the first batch, destined to become bride and groom pops and lady bugs. (The wedding shower is garden themed and the pictures of the ladybugs were too cute to not try!)

Sometime later this week or early next I'll be making a second batch, Cheerwine cake (crazy, right?!) with a simple vanilla buttercream icing. My fingers are crossed that the cakes come out cheer-worthy!

Oh, my jokes just don't even get better with time!!! Aw, well. Cheers, y'all! :)


  1. That gator cake looks AWESOME and yummy. You did a great job.
    The chairs look good.