Adventure Time and Olaf

Each cake is like a new adventure for me. I usually have weeks or even months advance warning about the cake and my subconscious is often thinking up ideas. Then when I have the picture in my head it is a big adventure getting that out in real life. The day or two before the cake is finished is the fight scene of the adventure, where I battle cake mixture, work, fondant, dermatitis, food colouring and tick tock…. time! I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! The climax is seeing the kids faces when they first see the cake.

A couple of months ago my niece Aimee rangMichelle's Labyrinth to tell me about some exciting news (she’ll hit me but I can’t remember exactly what the news was – she has done so much already this year!). Then Aimee began to tell me about her birthday cake and how it was going to be Olaf (from Frozen) and how he is going to be holding a microphone with 1D (One Direction) on it! And that the cake is going to be rainbow coloured. Then I ask her in a serious voice “So who is making this Olaf Cake?” and she says in an extremely loud excited voice “YOU ARE!”. I just laughed, how can you argue with that! The story doesn’t stop there, a month later she was over visiting and she tells me how she saw these snowflake cutters and that I need to buy them for her cake because they are awesome! I must admit that since last Christmas I really wanted some snowflake cutters… so I was secretly pleased to have an excuse to buy them! Oh, and I was also very happy to finally be able to watch Frozen! I just hadn’t had the chance yet, but I had to find out what Olaf was all about :)

My sister let me know that Aimee’s birthday party was going to be held on Friday night and that Sean’s birthday party was going to be on the Sunday (I was happy with some time in between so it was less stressful!). I asked my sister what cake Sean would like Michelle's Labyrinthand she said Adventure Time. I’m like what? So I Google Adventure Time and see this funny yellow dog and a boy/monster guy… My sister convinced me to watch a couple of episodes and said it was pretty good. So I taped (Do you still say taped! I guess the younger generations wouldn’t know what “taped” is! So I recorded…) some episodes on Foxtel in preparation.

The next time I saw Sean I asked him if there was any specific characters he wanted on his cake – especially after the specifics his sister gave me. He just shrugged and said “just Adventure Time“. However that day he was wearing a Jake beanie so that did give me some insight into who he liked! The last time I saw Sean before his birthday I asked him what flavour cake he wanted and he said fruit cake! I was so impressed! I know he has had my fruit cake when I have made my younger sister birthday cakes and also at Christmas last year, so he must have liked it! I also know that not too many people like fruit cake, so I was definitely not going to discourage him, but I suggested that I made a special layer just for him and a chocolate layer for his friends and he seemed happy with that!Michelle's Labyrinth

I had the picture of the cakes in my mind and I was ready to make them and it wasn’t until I had baked some of the cakes did I start questioning the challenge I had set myself for the Olaf cake! I had Googled as per usual and found this great video on how to make a standing Olaf cake by Ann Reardon. She made the Olaf cake look so easy and the two things I was going to change was: I was going to use fondant instead of meringue; and that he was going to hold a microphone! She’ll be right – right? So I was all prepared the Thursday night and just needed to put the cake together on Friday, but I decided to dream that the cake wasn’t ready by Aimee’s birthday party, how I had totally let her down and how I shouldn’t have thought I was capable of doing a standing Olaf cake!

During the day Olaf started takingMichelle's Labyrinth shape and I was happy with how he was looking. The 1D microphone looked great. The snowflakes (that were airbrushed with pearl and baby blue metallic paint) were looking good and I had even covered the cake board! But as I put on his head he looked a bit wonky and I just wasn’t convinced his head would stay on! I even had a massive blonde moment and had forgotten to put his mouth on! So I had to cut away at fondant and cake to make room for his mouth! I was happy with the way he was looking, but I was no way near confident that his head would stay on! So his head came off and that was the way I was going to transport him!

Transporting Olaf in two parts wasMichelle's Labyrinth the best decision I have made! He still looked good when I arrived and everyone oooh and ahhhed over him. Plus his head does come off in the movie, so it wasn’t the worst way he could look. I decided to leave his head off and maybe this was the best decision I have made, because I didn’t factor in the surroundings – the party was held at an indoor pool and it was extremely humid inside! When fondant is cold it tends to stiffen. When it’s warm it gets soft and droopy. When it’s humid, sticky. So guess what warm and humid means – soft, droopy and sticky! When it came to put Olaf’s head on for singing Happy Birthday and cutting the cake, his head almost started sagging straight away. I also got black all over my hands from touching his mouth – that should not happen! But I got his head on and the candles lit!

We sang Happy Birthday and thenMichelle's Labyrinth around twenty 11 year olds started to scream “Don’t kill Olaf!” (I left their screams in the photo for you!). But my niece has an evil streak (must be from my sister!! LOL!) and cut him… or should I say butchered! Poor Olaf now looked like a “cake wreck”… but amidst the shrieks about poor Olaf came squeals of “he’s rainbow inside!”… The cake was a success! I could breathe! But I was still shocked to see Aimee eat the 1D microphone and then the nose! That girl loves fondant! And she then told me he was the “bestest cake ever!” and one of the other girls pointed to the ribbon around the cake board and said “I really like that ribbon” – how sweet!Michelle's Labyrinth - Frozen Olaf  Cake 2

My other sister had mentioned she had watched some Adventure Time too and that there was a rainbow unicorn in it. Knowing that I love unicorns and rainbows she thought that would be cool for me to make – or maybe she wanted it on the cake! hehe The characters I had chosen to make were Finn (the only confirmed human in the Land of Ooo), Jake (the dog) and the Ice King. My cake is loosely based on a cake I found on Pinterest (I’m on Pinterest now if you would like to follow me! Click here!), so the mountains were based on the other cake, but when I was watching Adventure Time I saw purple trees with blue trunks and just knew I had to have them on the cake too!

Michelle's Labyrinth

The Adventure Time cake was going very well and then I saw this episode about Lady Rainicorn and found out that she is actually Jake’s girlfriend and not only that, but she speaks Korean! The episode was so cute, Jake has lots of fun spending time with Lady Rainicorn and separately has lots of adventures with Finn, but he really wants to have fun with both of them. So he triesMichelle's Labyrinth to spend time with both of them but Finn doesn’t understand Korean so they set out to find a translator that Jake threw into a deep lake (he forgot why he threw it in!). So they have an adventure together and Lady Rainicorn was pretty cool for a girl according to Finn and they find the translator. They fit the translator to her – but there were only 3 options on the translator – Nerdy Alien, Nightmare and Old Man. “Old Man” is the only option that actually sounds like English, but it sounds very odd having this beautiful rainicorn (Rainicorns are a species of rainbow/unicorn creatures that live in peace in the Land of Ooo!) sounding like an “Old Man”, and Finn insists on calling her “Old Man” and then Jake remembers why he threw the translator away! After seeing this cool episode I had to make Lady Rainicorn!

Michelle's Labyrinth

I was pretty happy with the way theJake Butt cake turned out – all the colours look great (I’m a bright coloured girl, not a pastel girl!)! My sister had done an amazing job decorating their house and the cake looked awesome amongst all the bright colours! The cake was a huge hit and Sean kept his Finn, Ice King and Lady Rainicorn (I do wonder if they have been nibbled on by now though!). I also took a photo of a classic game of pin the tail on the donkey altered for the Adventure Time theme for you! hehe

Not only did Sean say “awesome” when he saw the cake and when I left he thanked me again for the cake (without any prompting! Even hubbie was impressed!), but my sister told me that one of Sean’s friends came up to her saying “that is the best Jake cake ever!” – that just makes it all so worth while! Yeah the cakes aren’t perfect and I know where all the imperfections are, but I enjoy the adventure of making the cakes and then the climax is all the kids wanting this or that piece of the cake! And yes I saw Aimee eat half a purple tree – where does that fondant go! Michelle's Labyrinth

I am a very lucky sister to be able to make my niece and nephew’s cakes each year. Not only do I like the new adventure each time and the kids seem to love them, but I always get a special “lolly bag” after the parties! Its fun having naughty lollies every now and then (I do love bananas!) and this year I got a special wristband from the Love Your Sister (breast cancer organisation) – So sweet! I love my sisters!!

I cannot believe another year of niece and nephew cakes is over… and what will the cakes be next year? Will Aimee’s first suggestion of Twilight stand (she mentioned it a month before this birthday!!) or will a new interest come up? Only time will tell! See you next time after my next adventure!! Michelle's Labyrinth

 

 

 

Oh Captain, My Captain

It’s 2:50am in the morning whereMork - Robin Williams I am and I am just laying in bed with my eyes wide open unable to sleep. Some things are going through my head, and although I do not feel completely stressed or upset I keep having a recurring thought – “Robin Williams is dead”. In less than 10 minutes, it would have been 24 hours since Robin Williams was pronounced dead.

People die. Famous people die. Some people just have this profound effect on you that is almost indescribable – they’re the musician that writes songs that just touch you – get you; the princess with the storybook wedding that turned into a modern day heroine; the animal adventurer with a huge heart and a massive love for life; the sports-star who is a Mrs Doubtfire - Robin Williamsgenuine role model and all round Australia larrikin that people look up to; or the comedian that you grew up with that always makes you laugh whether it’s a topic you should be laughing about or not! These people seem bullet-proof and you consider them part of you life – part of the furniture. The effect on you when they die is almost inconceivable.

The first thing I read yesterday morning was that Robin Williams had died. Throughout the day people paid tribute to Robin Williams on all sorts of media. We were shocked. Some of us shed a tear or two. We recounted our favourite Robin Williams moments. We thought about depression and suicide and how it can affect anyone – no matter what social status, how much money we have, whether we are a genius or not, or whether we are outwardly funny or not. It took me most of the day to process that Robin Williams had died by apparent suicide and that an hour before he was pronounced dead I had actually been thinking of hanging and that just creeped me out a little too much.

Now I am not suicidal. Although I have had suicidal thoughts before and I am currently tired beyond words all of the time and my body aches are killing me after a long weekend, I do not feel I am currently depressed. However I was reading the last quarter of Mockingjay (third book of The Hunger Games trilogy) and suicide is discussed and hanging is discussed – there is even a song called “The Hanging Tree”.

Are you, Are you
Coming to the tree
Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me.
Strange things did happen here,
No stranger would it be,
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

So I am sure it is a coincidence andDead Poets - Robin Williams bad timing on my behalf to be thinking of such a topic – but it took me a while to get my head around it.

To get my head around Robin Williams’ death I read a few newspaper articles and read up a bit of his history again. This was something I needed to do. I actually needed to do this for my sanity, to try to get into Robin Williams head and accept what he decided to do. I recounted some of his life events today to a few people and when they seemed impressed I knew so much I admitted I had read up on him a bit today. Now the response I got was “you must have had some free time today” to which I was a bit annoyed. No I didn’t have free time today. I have a million things to do. I do not have time to write this blog post (I should be sleeping!)… but sometimes things are important for you to do or work out, that you need to spend time doing it. I am a huge admirer of Robin Williams and I cannot believe he is dead and dead by apparent suicide so I needed to digest it.

So this year I have shed a tear for two comedians – Rik Mayall and now Robin Williams. I find it hard comprehend how much comedic genius the world has lost this year. And I have had some jealous thoughts too – I am not going to see any new shows/movies from these geniuses! And I was also sort of hoping that Robin Williams would have to do a “pension tour” and I would one day get to see him live on day!

Aladdin - Robin Williams

One of my friends said the perfect statusHook - Robin Williams today and I am going to quote it “With the effect on regular people, I can’t imagine how sad the people are that were close to Robin Williams. Give them strength.” This sums up how I feel and how what is really inconceivable is what Robin’s family and friends must be going through.

So now I would like to pay tribute to one of my most favourite actors and an actor I have totally adored from a young age when my favourite TV show was Mork & Mindy; to re-watching the childhood classic Mrs Doubtfire time and time again; to partaking in my favourite Disney cartoon Aladdin (and I still believe it is better than The Lion King!); to admiring the teacher in the teenageInsomnia - Robin Williams thought-provoker Dead Poets Society; to being the grumpy adult worker who forgot he was the child that never grew up in Hook; and then to some of this more sinister roles – for example One Hour Photo, Insomnia and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

 

My tribute (and I bet you start hearing his voice!):

Shazbot!Mork & Mindy

Goooooooood morning Vietnam! It’s 0600 hours. What does the “O” stand for? O my God, it’s early! Speaking of early… – Good Morning Vietman 1987

What is a demilitarized zone? Sounds like something out of The Wizard of Oz, Oh, no, don’t go in there. Oh-we-oh Ho Chi’Minh Oh, look, you’ve landed in Saigon. You’re among the little people now. We represent the ARVN Army The ARVN Army Oh, no! Follow the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Follow the Ho Chi Minh Trail. “Oh, I’ll get you, my pretty!” Oh, my God. It’s the wicked witch of the north. It’s Hanoi Hanna! “Now, little GI, you and your little ‘tune-ooh’ too!” “Oh, Adrian. Adrian. What are you doing, Adrian?”Good Morning Vietman 1987

I was the intellectual equivalent of a 98-pound weakling! I would go to the beach and people would kick copies of Byron in my face!  – Dead Poets Society 1989

But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.Dead Poets Society 1989

O Captain, my Captain. Who knows where that comes from? Anybody? Not a clue? It’s from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now in this class you can either call me Mr. Keating, or if you’re slightly more daring, O Captain my Captain. – Dead Poets Society 1989

I’m a knight on a special quest.The Fisher King 1991

Rufio, if I’m a maggot burger why don’t you eat me! You two-toned zebra-headed, slime-coated, pimple-farmin’ paramecium brain, munchin’ on your own mucus, suffering from Peter Pan envy!Hook 1991

But oh, to be free. Not to have to go “Poof! What do you need, “Poof! What do you need, Poof! What do you need?”. To be my own master. Such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world. But what am I talking about? Let’s get real here, that’s never gonna happen. Genie, wake up and smell the hummus.Aladdin 1992

Sink the sub. Hide the weasel. Park the porpoise. A bit of the old Humpty Dumpty, Little Jack Horny, the Horizontal Mambo, hmm? The Bone Dancer, Rumpleforeskin, Baloney Bop, a bit of the old Cunning Linguistics? Mrs Doubtfire 1993

You do an eclectic celebration of the dance! You do Fosse, Fosse, Fosse! You do Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham! Or Twyla, Twyla, Twyla! Or Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd! Or Madonna, Madonna, Madonna!… but you keep it all inside.Birdcage 1996

See you Monday. We’ll be talking about Freud and why he did enough cocaine to kill a small horse.Good Will Hunting 1997

I’m made of wax, Larry. What are you made of?Night at the Museum 2006

Then you, Elliot Stabler, are a human being. Congratulations. You are not a sheep like I was. You’re a man. Thank you.Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 9, Episode 17 Authority (29 Apr. 2008)

You have no idea what I’ve suffered!Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 9, Episode 17 Authority (29 Apr. 2008)

I hope these quotes brought back memories and made you giggle! And it is also a timely reminder that if you are depressed, anxious, upset, scared or need someone to talk to, I am always here for you. You are not alone, no matter how overshadowing that black dog is right at that moment.

Nanu-Nanu Robin Williams. Thank you for sharing your genius with the world and I hope you have found eternal peace.

Robin

All photos and quotes were sourced from http://www.imdb.com/

 

 

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