Tag Archives: painting

Fabric wall mural

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So being renters I’ve never set up a nursery per se for my kids. They end up in our room until 2ish anyhow, and it would be for me not for them. I still kind of wanted to, but wasn’t really in a place where we could. I always felt like I’d do it when they were old enough to know what they liked and help me pick it out. That day came for kid 1 while I was pregnant with kid 3. We made an effort to buy a house, but our local property market is unfortunately too insane. So after being disappointed that we couldn’t paint the kids room or paint a mural like I had always intended I had an idea. I saw the tutorial from Spoonflower to make your own shower curtain and I thought….’hey I could make a wall mural out of fabric’.

So I did.

What you will need:

Paint.net or some other paint/photo manipulation software. I like paint.net, but there’s also GIMP and others that are free. Bully to you if you have Photoshop.

A Spoonflower account.

As recommended in the shower curtain tutorial  I used the fabric ‘Silky Faille’ for my mural. It has a 52 inch width, so I made a canvas in Paint.net that was about 52 inches wide by 36 inches high. Mine ended up being 50 by 33 or something.

Put your image in there. I put something together out of some other images and image filters and basic digital painting. I also found that big images like desktop wall papers work well to being scaled up that large. Once it was kid approved I uploaded it to Spoonflower (make sure it’s at least 150DPI) and chose the center orientation. (see screenshot)

Screenshot (4) crop

Here is the finished product out of the wash (because it was all creasy from being shipped to me). Still a bit creasy

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For best result I would recommend hemming the edges, and making a large hem on the top that you can thread a dowel through. Then you can attach a string to the dowel and hang the whole thing from that (only one hole in the wall, again, renting, yay).

Here is the finished product.

20150125_123156

 

Also it was pretty cheap. The fabric, printed, alone was less than $25.

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Birthday cake

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My boss said that home made and decorated birthday cakes are an intergenerational tradition. If your parent did it, you are more likely to do it, and if you do it your children will come to expect it.

I did it because I’m on the crafty side. I guess I’m making a rod for my back, but I don’t think I could stand to go with supermarket or bakery cakes.

After much waffling from Thing 1 about what type of cake she wanted for her 3rd birthday (Fish! Butterfly! Dragon! Chocolate! Vanilla!) I decided to just make adorable little bug cupcakes.

But how to decorate them? I toyed with the idea of fondant and painting (though I only had water based colour and no vodka), but decided to go with painting with royal icing.

Here they are!

The cakelet moulds

cakeletmolds

The cakes- undecorated. They are all bagged up to go off to the freezer for a few days before decoration.

bugcakes1

These were the rejects. Too big (for a toddler to eat alone)or didn’t work out well, those ladybugs…

bugcakes2

The offcuts- lots of leftover cake.

cakeoffcuts

My decorating process

I made Royal Icing with food colouring and painted it on.

They looked really awful at first. Drippy and stuff.

cakeswet

After they dried they looked a bit better.

smcakes done

I have discovered why painting with Royal Icing is not a thing. It’s hard to work with and even if you have some skill it does not look polished. It’s like painting with paste, that then drips.  I do not recommend it.

I also covered some of the larger cakes with fondant and then painted those with royal icing. I do not recommend that either. A bit garish.

cakecandles cakesdone

Finished!

Next time I will do something easier like cutting out a complicated shape and covering the lot in buttercream. Or fondant (though I think Fondant is gross and apparently so does Thing 1). These took 90 minutes at least just to paint. Do they look like they took 90 minutes? Not so much.

Conclusion: Difficult, with unpolished looking results.

I used a recipe from my Mennonite Cookbook called Lady Baltimore Cake.

cakerecipe

I’m not exactly happy with the consistency of the cake. It’s very cookie like. There was a lot of butter in the cake. A lot. And probably more flour than necessary. I wanted something that would cook in 20-30 minutes because I had to do multiple batches and many of the other recipes I was eyeing had 50-60 minute cook times. I can content myself with knowing that toddlers don’t care.  Sugary? Check. I was rewarded at the birthday-cake-eating-party with the silence of small children munching cake. That’s the best validation there is.