May would be the end of me


I've mentioned it here before, but May is a rough month for us. Birthdays, anniversaries, mothers, toss in a race or two, and you've got a great month to break any good habits you may have built up over the course of the rest of the year. Like that whole photo project that had begun its decline into mediocre Instagram slideshow. So that's done, now. And maybe the things I do manage to post will have a little more substance than the shoes I happen to be wearing at the time I manage to whip out my phone to take a hurried shot before my self-imposed midnight deadline.

All the event-ness of May does offer opportunity for making, though. And when we were through with nearly everything on our calendars, and there was just the matter of The Boy's very first birthday party to resolve, I finally pressed all my tools — sewing machine, Gocco, designy computer apps, piping bags and every single measuring utensil — into service.

Really, it was just a goodie bag, some cupcakes and a little paper soccer game I devised, but cram it all into a week that also shares calendar space with work and volunteer and racing commitments, and every clockable moment turns into crunch time.

The goodie bag was a simple, exposed seam design. Gocco-printed muslin on the outside and a laminated cotton lining, with a handle snipped and reinforced into the design. I figured once the bags made it home and were no longer official party accoutrement, they could be turned inside out for a generically owl-decked carrier of small items that six-year-olds are wont to tote around.

I didn't go crazy making the fillers this year, and, at any rate, I suspect that the pre-tween crowd collectively scoffs at the idea of fiddling with something so baby-ish as play dough. So I made it easy on myself and rolled the cart into the dollar aisle at Target and stocked up on shwaggy amounts of kazoos and novelty pencils. 


But, mostly to justify the purchase of a perforating tool, I went ahead and drafted up a card-stock soccer board (PDF here, on the off chance you want to give it a whirl) to fold and bend and cajole into GOOOOOOOOOOL-worthy play. You know that thing where you fold up a scrap of paper into a wedge that in no way resembles a football, and then fling that at a friend idiotically holding his fingers in a field goal formation in front of his face? It's exactly that, but without the inherent facial trauma. 

Anyway, I haven't heard back from anyone who tried to play with it, though The Boy was plenty keen on starting up a pick-up game. And it was a nice tie-in to the party venue, which was our neighborhood indoor soccer joint. So it had to be done. And now May is done, so a round of relaxation is in order.

Goodie-bag #6

The Boy refused to comprehend the concept of "theme" so we just went with a generic party motif of balloons and garish colors. The bags are simple exposed seam jobs, Gocco'd muslin with a laminated linen lining, for turning inside out once partying's done.


It is my birthday. But with the kids' day-long anticipation for this cake, a cake commisioned from the vegan bakery to accomodate a certain Boy's allergies, it's difficult to think of this as mine. Bear's "Happy Day, Momma!" mantra, on the other hand... that's all mine.


Our reward for a couple weeks hard at work on various goodies for Boy and school chums was an afternoon spent partaking in a sweet birthday rite done in understated Montessori form. Something about circling a calendar while carrying a globe and there being 52 weeks in a year. It's sweet, trust me. And then there was the solid 40 minutes of little kids enthusiastically sniffing, rolling out, shape-pressing wads of goodie bag play dough, the littlest children eager to show off to any available adult the latest animal-shaped cut. The camera, of course, was safe at home while all this was happening, and wasn't brought until the end of the night, as we were cleaning up from our own private blowing out of the candles at the dining table.

A little celebration


Today is Mr. New Media's birthday. But May is a big month at the Lovelihood home. Two birthdays, an anniversary, Mother's Day, some celebratory travel, and toss in some big plans for some big changes. It's a big month. On the midst of all this celebration and movement, you'd think I'd be a crafty little bee buzzing from one project to the next to mark these felicitous times. But it seems that under all this anticipation, I've just been sitting around, twiddling my thumbs, antsy and unwilling to commit to anything that might eat into time spent stressing over these events. 

Angst city.

So I haven't been up to my usual festive craftiness. No pillows in progress. Sewing machine hibernating under its cozy. Gifts, ordered online instead of whipped up, and pretty mediocre at that. All this idleness got me feeling a tad guilty, so last minute plans got under way to bake a cake. A carrot cake, Mr. New Media's preference. Teeny tiny carrot cakes, adult cupcakes baked into the little canning jars (I've been hooked on these since making those sweetbreads at Christmas) we'd been storing The Girlie's homemade baby food in. Is there anything that miniaturization doesn't make better? It's as close to foolproof as any cake baking method can be. I've yet to misfire a batch of jar cakes. Perfect.


You know what else is perfect? Having a couple dozen perfectly portioned cakes, shelf stable up to a year, lunch-packable and utterly palatable. Either these babies will satisfy a couple weeks' worth of sweet-cravings. Or we'll polish them off by week's end and feel pretty bad about ourselves. We won't let ourselves think about that.


Teeny tiny carrot cakes, of course, deserve a teeny bit of cream cheese frosting. In our house, that means soy cream cheese frosting. And I've got to say, it turned out rather well. Double perfect. Little cake frosting is a job for little boys, even if they don't quite get the logistics of piping from a pastry bag. And there was, perhaps, a game of tic tac toe played in icing. Whatever.

Tags: birthday, cake, jar

Frosting in the bag

That's a soy cream cheese frosting for the cakelets. You'd never guess that there was no dairy or eggs in these things. Read more at


Little cakes deserve a little icing from a little man. Read more at