mmm…cake!

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emily’s cake 1Alright,I have had a few people ask for pictures from my latest cake ventures. ;-P The first one (as you can read on the cake,) is Emily’s birthday cake. I wanted to try out my new pans (to be used for Shelly’s wedding cake, which is below.) emily’s cake 2 It went well, I made the grass but using a round tip like you would a star tip on the top, then just piping up the sides (from the bottom.) Nothing too fancy.

As for Shelly and Bandon’s wedding cake. It too is pretty straight forward. This was the first time I did a large tier cake. (serving approx. 300) There were a few tense moments. Surprisingly, there was no stress during the time making it. We transported it in the three tiers. (Which were on wrapped cardboard) The wedding was held in a backyard just one street south of us. When Michael went around the first corner, 2 of the cakes slid (I caught the middle tier.) and had a little damage. However, I was able to cover it decently there. Though I did say sh*t! in the presence of my two young and innocent daughters. floral wedding cake(So far Megan hasn’t repeated, thank heavens!) The real stress came when I assembled the cake and the support dowels were too long. Yea, not so good. We ended up taking out the middle layer dowels and hoping the bottom wasn’t too wobbly; as I wasn’t sure the bottom layer could support the other two without. It seemed to be okay in the end. As far as I know, nothing toppled after we left. ;-P

Happy Birthday Emily!

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Emily turned one last Thursday. I can’t believe she is a year. Honestly, with Megan we barreled through the first year, just dying to see what the next development would be. This time around I have felt more like I am holding on for dear life as the ride speeds by. All day I just kept looking at her and thinking back a year. How excited I was to finally be done with pregnancy (which I am horrible at-months of bedrest, etc.) and to be in the hospital again with the thrill of anticipation. How great her delivery was and how cute and sweet she looked, all new and cuddly. (I know only the newborn’s actual parents think they are that cute.) Then the crazy NICU stay while Emily worked on developing those little lungs. (She was 3 weeks early and had a surfactant deficiency.) It was crazy, but when she got home is when things really get blurry. ;-D This year has been a humbling learning experience for me for sure. brad and em

Besides an amazing little girl, what have I gotten? I have learned to be a little more flexible, a little more patient, and a little less self-centered. Also, just how much you can do without sleep (and how much you miss said sleep when it is gone.)

This week has certainly been nuts, with lots of projects due and activities to enjoy, but the best thing by far has been just looking at Emily, as she wobbles towards taking her first independent steps and beams that huge,emily last year nose-crinkling, eye-squinching smile. I know I have said it before, but she shines! I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that she is a part of my life!

Happy Birthday M.C. Escher!

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fishBorn on June 17, 1898, this Dutch artist is one that both mathematicians and artist love. Escher was a graphic artist (art including printmaking, web design and advertising.) He was know for his woodcuts and lithographs; which are two ways of making prints. In a woodcut, the artist carves the design he wants from a block of wood, the applies ink to it and stamps the design onto paper. To make a lithograph, the artist uses chemicals and water toHands create an image on a metal plate which is used to stamp the design onto a piece of paper. The final product for both methods is called a print.

Escher created prints of “impossible reality.” Which are pictures that look very realistic, but could not actually happen in the real world. They are visual tricks that make a picture appear to be and endless loop or Moonsto both be coming and going. Many of these use mathematical principles. Escher was also a master at creating tessellations; which are tiled pictures of objects that fit perfectly together (without any spaces or overlaps.) Try one of these projects to celebrate M.C Eschers work:

Create a Crayon Etching

Try out Tessellations

Tessellations

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Tessellations are pretty difficult to do and can get complicated quickly. I recommend keeping it simple and don’t worry too much about it fitting together perfectly. This is a great project for preschoolers up. (This will mostly be about cutting and pasting for the preschoolers…but that is just as valuable.)

Materials:

Colored construction paper

Scissors

Glue

Directions:

1. Fold your paper in half and half again to make a small square.

2. Sketch out a simple design (shapes or animals work well.)

3. Cut the shapes out carefully.

4. Unfold the paper and trim up any uneven edges. Glue the paper to another (different color) paper.

5. Glue the cut-outs onto the page to complete the design. Embellish with a pen if you desire.

Crayon Etching

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crayon etching 1This can be a little time intensive and will most likely be best for artists over 7. Remember to keep you design fairly simple and uncluttered.

Materials: final product

Paper

Crayons

Something to etch with (I used a paper clip, the end of a paintbrush and the edge of a ruler.)

Directions:

1. Color a section (the size you want your picture to be) with one color or a pattern of several colors. Do not worry about getting too detailed, as only a bit of this will show through.

2. Color over the top (darkly) with a black (or other dark color).

3. Using the paper clip or end of paint brush, scrape away the black crayon to “draw” the picture.

Time to get to work!

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chubby meThis weekend I weaned Emily. She’ll be a year next week and it seemed like time. She is doing really well with her new friend, the bottle. And my biggest excuse to not stress about the baby weight has dried up. So lookout lipids, I am on the weightloss bandwagon. After a little research, I am going with Tim Ferriss’ plan of “slow-carbs” and high protein diet (with a free day each week and a high intensity weightlifting program with cardio 3-4 times a week (and yoga twice if I can get my act together.) I am pretty excited and will update on my progress. I hope to loose 35-40lbs. so it is a pretty major undertaking. But I think I am little healthier mentally, so I am not supper obsessed with the numbers this time. Woohoo for healthy goals! (and let’s all just hope I feel the same in three weeks. ;-P)