Monday, March 2, 2009

Of Trolls and Tank Engines

Here's a story about a pudgy looking fairy mistaken as a troll and Thomas the tank engine and his friends.

It all started about 3 weeks back, when I got a message on Facebook from a lady by the name of Wan, who got my contact from Sling, who was one of the recipients of the Valentine cuppies ordered by Jasmine, an ex-schoolmate of mine. Still with me? Lol...anyways....she asked if I could bake some cuppies for her kids' birthday. I was excited! This order was solely based on word of mouth. This nice & trusting lady hasn't even tasted my cuppies, yet she is putting her faith in me. Oh did my skirt fly or what. And then came the biggest challenge of all; her initial idea was a princess theme for her daughter and Thomas the tank engine for her son. And the wind that blew my skirt ever so fiercely died abruptly. Whoa! But I was determined to take up the challenge and I agreed almost instantly.

And so the exhange of ideas began. At first, I suggested a knight/prince theme for the birthday boy, so that it would compliment the princess theme for the birthday girl. But Wan mentioned that her little boy absolutely adores Thomas; something that I truly understand because my toddler niece loves, loves, LOVES Mickey and Dibo the Gift Dragon. So Thomas it is and that's that.

So now for the birthday girl, (who's a preteen) Wan suggested Hannah Montana, Winx or Totally Spies. All I could think of was edible images of Miley Cyrus. Hmm, that's kinda ok. Then I explored the next theme; Winx, which are fairies. Now this I can work with. I mean I couldn't really construct the characters exactly but I can make some cutesy looking fairies in a garden; a fairy garden theme! I pitched the idea to Wan and she agreed. Now all there's to do is to get my hands dirty :)

I started with the fairies first. Thanks to wonderful people who shared their ideas on Flickr, I had a rough idea how I wanted my fairy to look like. Nothing incredible, but something that's still recognisable and adorably cute. So ladies and gentleman, this is my 1st born :)  

Yea, she's.....pudgy (i know Nick....) Hence, the troll....

 with wings! I still think she's cute.

And this is troll/fairy version 1.1. Much leaner, but still rather 'meaty'.

check out that cute dimple :)

I was quite happy with my fairy, she has wings & a flower like dress. Yeah....she fits the bill. I made another 3 before realising that they were actually melting! The weather was very very humid and my poor fairies didn't stand a chance. I left them to dry on a tray lined wth parchment paper and their bum got stuck, I couldn't remove them without leaving my finger prints behind (ack!) or risking tearing the skirt. There was no way I could have saved them. I had to admit defeat. What a nightmare! Not only that, the toadstools that I made earlier were also unusable, there were about 20 of them. I felt like cr*p. Things were not going my way; I decided to call it a night and start afresh the next day.

Thankfully the next day was a whole lot better. I was on a toadstool marathon followed by fairies. The weather was still pretty humid, so I had to confine the figurines in my bedroom, with windows and door closed and left the fan running the whole time. Such was my predicament....Luckily I managed to finish the fairy garden figurines without too much drama after that. 

But that didn't mean I could breathe easier. Dear Thomas was up next and at that point I started to second guess myself. What on earth did I get myself into? But this was of course, panic talking; given that I only had a couple of days left before the party. My idea was to make a few miniature trains and the rest are just 2D toppers with different facial expressions of the characters. And again, thanks to the world wide web, my task was made easier. The next hurdle was of course, to draw the faces onto the sugar paste. I had a few options; edible marker pen, paint brush or Wilton's ready to use icing tube. Either ways, they're not easy. I tried using the marker pen 1st but it was not practical as the pen tend to sink into the sugar paste, leaving behind unsightly dents. Maybe I applied too much pressure while drawing. So method one was out the door. I hesitated with the 2nd method but I had to try anyway. I was pleasantly surprised when it worked! Of course the first few lines were visibly crooked and they got thicker as I tried to cover the imperfections but I got the hang of it after a while. Method 3 was left unexplored, thank goodness!

Thomas and his expressive friends...I dunno their

and here's Thomas, the simplified version

I felt such a huge relief when figurines for both themes were completed. I was constantly checking if they dried properly and thank goodness they did. I shudder at the thought of the stress I'd have to go through should things go awry.

Everything went well on baking day, or so I thought. There I was getting all my tools ready for decorating when I realised that I didn't have the tip (Wilton's no. 233) for piping grass! Fortunately Ryan (my then colleague and now colleague cum housemate) was out and he was able to get it for me. Phew.....I am happy to report that everything was smooth sailing after that.

I think this post is getting longer and So here are some pics to wrap it up :)

Oh hai!

Wan commented that her little boy loves these Thomas cuppies so much that he kept asking them back from the!

my little fairies

in a fairy garden

I am happy to report that Wan was very happy with the cuppies, 
and that the birthday party was a blast. 
Mission accomplished!

1 comment:

lilian said...

back at u.. "RESPECT" to the highest level.. look at the detail dolls on the cuppies... so patient la...