Sunday, February 26, 2012

Crocheted Flower Hat

Right up there with broccoli and Kleenex, aversion to cold weather gear seems to be an inherent and deeply rooted trait of all kids. For a time, we could trick Anna into bundling up ("Would you like to wear the hat and gloves, or just the hat?") but she was extremely picky about her attire.  No tight or bunchy sleeves, no constraining collars, and definitely no rain boots. This season, when the chilly winter days arrived, I purchased a cute pink fleece hat for Anna.  It was just like the one she wore last winter and the winter before, only in a larger size, so I assumed she would love it like she did its predecessors.  Seems logical, right?  Silly me.

After the rejection of pink hat #2, I didn't want to spend more money on another hat that might suffer the same fate, so I set out to make my own.  For a few dollars of yarn and a couple hours of crocheting by the fire, it was a low risk proposal.  I used this pattern for the hat and this for the flower, producing the hat seen above.

I had envisioned the flower worn off to the side like a normal person would, but Anna usually insists on wearing it front and center.   My sister suggested crocheting a unicorn horn next time instead of a flower, which is really not a bad idea.   But we wouldn't do that to our daughter, would we?  (insert evil laughter here)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Half-Naked Man Cake

The birthday party was over, the bear cake devoured, and yet the saga of the half-naked man cake continued.  Anna was thoroughly unimpressed by her bear cake, and she didn't forget her original request for a cake of "a guy wearing no shirt, only pants and undies."  I felt a little guilty for denying my eldest daughter her birthday wish (thanks a lot for pointing that out, Brenda!).   I also didn't want to hear requests for a guy-with-no-shirt cake for a whole year until her next birthday.  Jeff's birthday provided a cake do-over of sorts.  Yet as I pondered how to make it work, my brain kept coming up against certain obstacles:

1) I just couldn't figure out how to make a cake of a shirtless man.  A Google image search of "naked man cake" was NOT helpful.  Just take my word for it, people, no need to try it at home.

2) Since we're not having a bunch of friends and relatives over to celebrate Jeff's birthday, any sugar-laden monstrosity would have to be devoured by the three of us alone (baby Tess excluded, unless the grandparents were to be over, in which case our 7-month-old would undoubtably be fed cake).

3) I didn't have the energy to bake and frost another cake.

4) In the grand scheme of desserts, we don't even like cake.  Ice cream or pie any day, please.  Or better yet, a donut.  A Top Pot donut.  A Top Pot apple fritter donut with big apple chunks and sweet crusty glaze.

As I paused from my donut (or should I say doughnut?) reverie to wipe drool off my face, inspiration struck.  How about, not a half-naked man cake, but a half-naked man donut sculpture?

A quick trip to Top Pot yielded the following supplies:

All I really needed was a round donut and two maple bars, but somehow an extra couple cake donuts and an apple fritter made it in the box.  As you can see, only half the apple fritter made it home for the photo.
The end result:  An totally ridiculous, utterly delicious, guy-with-no-shirt-only-pants-and-undies donut cake.  And one very very happy toddler.

P.S. Happy birthday, Jeff!