Paws up for birthday cake!

January 29, 2012

What is it with Margaret Sherry and cute cat designs?  While flipping through a back issue of Cross Stitcher magazine on New Year’s Eve (is that a debaucherous evening or what?), I found the perfect design to turn into a card for my mom’s birthday.  While the red velvet pancakes were charring cooking, she opened a rather unassuming white envelope to find this staring back at her:

I used 18-count fabric instead of 14 as called for by the magazine to get it to fit in the card, and used random colours that looked close enough to those on the model – perfect way to use what I had laying around.  I love the concerned look on his face, and promised to use fewer candles on her birthday cake – if only by one.

(Please excuse the “arty” shot.)

I don’t think the cake could have been any simpler to make: a double batch of the basic chocolate cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, divided between two round layer pans, topped with a coffee-and-Kahlua’ed version of the chocolate buttercream frosting from the same.  Because I had serious doubts about my ability to wield a tube of decorating gel, I had the foresight to trace the words onto the top using a toothpick, and then follow the lines.  Hey, it may not be terribly skillful, but it worked.

And now that it’s all over, I get to breathe easy again, at least until Mother’s Day.

My dad likes trains.  (Remember the ornament I made him last Christmas?)  He doesn’t try to fit them in his mouth like Sheldon Cooper, true, but then, he tends to display more common sense.  Anyway, I had it in my head that he needed a new shirt with some nifty railway logo stitched on the pocket, and I eventually decided on a little red caboose designed by Jan Altizer – though apparently this design is only available on the CD, and not individually.  Bummer.

I was originally looking for a denim shirt to deface….uh, I mean, enhance…but when I saw this one, vaguely reminiscent of an engineer’s hat, I knew I had found my blank canvas.

I swear it’s not that psychedelic in real life.  Methinks that fine striping, drapey fabric, and camera flashes don’t mix as nicely as I’d like them to.

That’s a little more true-to-life (look at the shirt, not the pocket).

I took the pocket off the shirt to stitch, then, using waste canvas and a sharp embroidery needle, I managed to get my design on almost straight and centered, before reattaching the pocket.

Thank heavens it fits.  There’s no way I could return it to the store now.