Polka dot cake: the reveal

I showed the preparation for Scarlett’s birthday cake in yesterday’s post.  A week later, I defrosted the cake and the decorations were dry; a few broken, mostly because I’m clumsy.

Lenka suggested that I watch YouTube videos on icing a cake with ready rolled icing before I started it – this is what I really should have done before icing the Spiderman cake.  That’s what I spent my lunch hour doing the day before I put it all together.

No idea what year this video was filmed, but this one with Pat Lock was the most useful one by far.  I wrote myself a checklist of everything I had to do based mostly on this video!

I’ve put together a little gallery of the various stages – the photos explain better than I can!  If you click on the first one, you can go through them in order (and captioned!).

What a lovely day, and the cake was enjoyed by all of us at the tea party, we took some to nursery and I took some to work.  Now to buy a cake smoother…

Nursery wall

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I’ve finally got rid of my heinous work of art, and I’ve put up a photo frame that my lovely brother- and sister-in-law got Scarlett when she was born. It’s got 12 photos of her, so I’ll replace them when she’s a year old so that there’s one from each month.  It’s a lovely idea!

It’s a bit smaller than the car crash “artwork”, so we’re going to put some little hooks around or under it and hang some hearts on them to use the space a little better.

I found these polka dot bird hooks on eBay and fell in love with them (I’m finding I have more success buying than selling on eBay at the minute), I thought they look very sweet!

I’ve had this hand and footprint done since Scarlett was five weeks old, and it’s just been sat on her windowsill since then – I can’t wait to put it up on the wall!

Decking day deux

Decking 6We’re pretty much done with the decking already!  The men started early, about 7.30, and started putting the decking boards onto the frame they’d built the day before.  They also built the path back up so we didn’t fall into a deep, dark hole taking the bin out.  That would have been inconvenient.

The skip that was supposed to arrive between 10am and 12pm came at around 5pm after the gents had already gone home, so they’re coming back on Saturday morning to get rid of the mound of dirt in the back garden.  I did try to shame the man delivering the skip but he just asked us for money.  We didn’t give him it.

Decking 7The landscape guys also built a raised flowerbed at the bottom of the garden, as per Barry’s masterplan, which looks great; we just need to decide what to put in it.

After the mud has been cleared away, we need to get some grass seed stat and dig up those nasty weeds that blight our grass.

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We’re also planning on getting a new shed, putting a step in between the two levels for Scarlett’s tiny legs and covering the manhole cover in some way.  Then we would like to put up higher fence panels next to the decking, as we can currently see right over into next door’s garden now, and that’s just not polite.  Then we’re going to stain the decking and fence so everything matches.  I quite like the idea of it being a dark stain, but we’ll have to go shopping and see.

Then we need some nice garden furniture and Barry’s loving the idea of a fire pit.

After that (but way in the future), I’d like to change the paving slabs we have for nice ones instead of the utilitarian grey concrete ones that the house builders put in.  We’ll need almost 40, so it won’t be cheap!

I’ll put up some more photos once the mud mound has disappeared, but I’m really happy with this result!  Just hope we get a summer to go with it…

So, what do you think?  Quick poll: have you ever painted one side of your fence (and not the neighbour’s side)?

A deck above

Decking 1Day one of the decking – the frame is in, hurray!  I wasn’t sure the poor men would come this morning because it was raining so hard, but turn up they did, and worked through until the sun shone later this afternoon.

I took a couple of surreptitious photos when they nipped back to the van (I thought they might feel judged if I did it while they were working!), hence the photos through the door.

They dug out a lot of mud and rubble, much more than they’d thought initially (a skip is winging its way to us tomorrow).

Decking 2Then they started on the two-level frame.  Because it was raining so hard, the grass section of our garden is now a muddy mess, but never mind!  It wasn’t exactly manicured beforehand, but hopefully we can sort it out for summer.  If it ever comes.

One of the paving slabs next to the decking is now about to collapse, so it needs building back up underneath, which apparently they’ll do tomorrow, along with putting the boards on presumably, but don’t know how long that takes.

 

Decking 3Decking 4

Decking 5

 

 

Deck ahoy!

I’m a terrible blogger at the moment, my little baby is taking all my time, but I don’t mind!  We’ve added a couple of bits to the nursery which I need to photograph, and in the meantime, Barry’s organised someone to do the decking!  Finally!

I mentioned the decking plans back in June, and the same plans apply, only instead of Barry doing it, we have a man who can.  It turns out that he was £100 more than if we just bought the bits ourselves, and that is £100 well spent.  The gentleman is coming for two days this week, and then we can laze in the summer mizzle.

photo(1)This is the view from our back door at the moment, kind of uninspiring.  The dandelions are the only flash of colour.  Barry tore the shed down this weekend – the bits are being collected for firewood and the paving slabs keeping it straight have gone on (what else?) eBay!

We’re having decking down the right hand side, extending the patio to the left, and keeping some grass.  I want to change the drab paving slabs for something nicer, but that may have to wait.  The fence also needs to be a bit higher on the right hand side, otherwise we’d be sunbathing looking over at our neighbours below us, a little intrusive!  We’re also going to stain everything dark.

I think – I hope – everything is going to look fabulous!