Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Cupcakes and Grout

Hi Knitters,
Last night's birthday party was a success. Another one down and my other daughter's birthday is on Thursday and more parties will ensue. This party was held at our neighborhood pool. I made these cupcakes yesterday using a fancy white cake mix and vanilla frosting in a can. A couple of weeks ago we were at a sweet little candy shop on State Street called Twee and Luliloo's and I picked up the ever popular fruit slices.
Next we sliced them in half and popped them on top. The kids loved them, they are summery cupcakes for sure. The trays the cupcakes are on is a great little invention. It is a double stacker bottom that has a lid that covers both layers. It is perfect for sending cupcakes or muffins to school or for a party like this. I bought at the grocery store.

Aren't they cute? As the mom, aren't your arms and hands always in the birthday pictures? It's that candle lighting duty, I need to pass that job on.
On to finishing that fruit. The glue is dry and I am ready to roll. I poured some grout in a disposable bowl. I'd say it is about 3/4 cup but I am not exactly sure.
I prefer the sanded grout and I buy a bag of white grout at Home Depot just to keep on hand.
With the white grout you can add acrylic paint to color it any shade you'd like. I have lots of acrylic paint around and I just add a glob while I am stirring up the grout with water.
Add water slowly like when you are adding liquid to powdered sugar for frosting. It is weird because it soaks it up so quickly and then suddenly you reach a point where you've added too much. Be cautious and add the water little by little. I like a dry grout, I don't want it to be too runny. It is easier to work with this way. This is a preference thing I am sure. You kind of want it just blended.
See this even got a little too runny for me but it doesn't matter because it will just take a little longer to dry. Now I've added a glob of the red paint to the mixed grout.
Stir, stir, stir until all blended. You can use a spatula like this which is intended for mosaic work or you can use a plastic spoon. I have a regular rubber cooking spatula designated for mosaic work that I like to use too.
Let that grout sit for 10-15 minutes before you start grouting. This lets it set up a bit. Now some people like to wipe down the surface with a damp sponge before they grout. I always forget to do this and it doesn't make any difference so why bother?
Next I start smearing the grout all over the piece. This picture is slightly deceiving because I really use my hands and fingers a lot to smush the grout into all of the nooks and crannies. Make sure ever space is filled.
Be generous now, no holding back.
When every crack is filled wipe all of the excess grout off.
Now let the apple sit for another 15-20 minutes. Sometimes I think you are supposed to wipe down the piece with a damp sponge again maybe after 10 minutes. Once again, I never remember to do this and it doesn't matter. So you choose!
While the apple is setting I am starting my pear. I added yellow acrylic paint for this one. Off I go exactly the same way. This grout turned out a little drier so I was happier with it.
Here it is sitting out for 20 minutes. While the pear rests I am back out on my front stoop to scrub and polish the apple. This part can get a little messy. In the winter I do it inside but outside makes for easier clean up.
Grab an old terry cloth towel or designate a towel to use for cleaning grout. I have an abundance of these old towels around and I always want to throw them out but then I remember the grouting. Now I just turn the apple around in my hand while gently buffing out the tiles. Make sure you expose the tiles and the edges of the tiles with the buffing.
Now you can see all of the tiles and it is starting to shine a bit.
I just love this project. It is a wonderful gift for a teacher, I have given many. It is sweet and simple and really pretty.
Same goes for the pear. Rub, rub, rub until you see a shine and all of the tiles are exposed.
Pure sweetness in my palm. You should really give this a go if you are at all interested. What a great little project.
What is it about pears? I love them more than apples and I hate to say it but I might just have a small-ish pear collection going on. I have lots of them around my house and my kitchen wall is painted a color called Summer Pear. That is my first admission of my pear love. It is getting stranger all of the time.
Okay, how cute are they? You gotta try it!
If you give a whirl let me know how it goes or send a picture on over. I'd love to see it. I know a couple of people are making some little pots inspired by mine and I'd love to see those too.
This is another project I started. If you are wondering this is an under-layer of wall paper that I am removing from my dining room. The original wall paper looked, well, sort of like a funeral parlor. I have been looking at it for almost ten years and it is over. I can't take it any longer. Unfortunately, every inch needs to be scraped, scored and steamed for removal. It is the pits. I can't wait to paint a fresh, breezy color on those dreary walls. I'll keep you updated.
I had a picture of my bobble bag uploaded and I must have deleted it somehow. I don't feel right not having any knitting in this post. All of the pieces of the bag are finished and blocked. I'll be hunting for fabric and the other materials this afternoon hopefully.
Take care, knitters.
best, susie


Knitterella said...

oooo, I love that gummy fruit slice candy! Brings back memories :)

The mosaic fruit are cool!

Anonymous said...

Cute fruit. I think I'm going to try it out. :) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Cute fruit. I think I'm going to try it out. :) Thanks!

peaknits said...

Love the cupcakes and the reminder to go to Twee and Luliloo!:) And the tiled fruit really came out cool, love the "teacher gift" idea. I really dig pears too - I might even have a tiny collection forming too. I saw a great pear pincushion over here: http://heatherbailey.typepad.com/heather_bailey/2006/07/all_the_pinning.html

There has to be a pattern somewhere for this cutie!