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Welcome to Biddle Bits! My name is Sarah & I believe that *anyone* can create amazing things, if you just work on them one step at a time.
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Door silencer for baby's nursery

As we prepare for Lil' Biddle's arrival (his due date is in 1 week!), we're in the final steps of getting the nursery ready for our little bundle of joy! I've seen these "door silencers" on etsy and Pinterest, and figured I could easily make our own...it was a breeze and used scraps of fabric I already had on hand...so the project was FREE!

Here's how I made mine:

What you need:
  • 2 scraps of fabric (3" x 4" each)
  • scrap of light interfacing, 3" x 4" (optional)
  • 2 new hair rubberbands

Step #1: Cut 2 rectangles from your fabric: both should be 3" x 4"

Step #2: Cut a 3" x 4" rectangle of interfacing and iron it to the wrong side of one of the fabric rectangles. If you don't have interfacing, you could cut a 3rd rectangle of fabric to help increase the thickness of the door silencer.

Step #3: Pin your 2 rubberbands to the short sides of your interfaced rectangle, as shown in the picture below. Make sure you're pinning on the *right* (patterned) side of your rectangle. The larger loop of each rubberband should be on the interior of the rectangle. (only a small amount of the band should be hanging over the edges).

Step #4: Pin together your 2 rectangles, right sides together (patterns should be facing each other). The rubberbands will be covered up, but you'll be able to see the small loop of the bands sticking out of each short side.
Step #5: Using your sewing machine, sew with a 1/4" seam allowance along 3.5 sides of the rectangle, making sure to leave a gap large enough to turn the fabric right side out. Use a chopstick or capped pen to push your corners out.
Step #6: Now that the piece is right side out, iron it completely flat, making sure that the area where the open gap is, has edges that are turned under. Pin the gap closed and sew a 1/8" straight finishing edge around all 4 edges of the rectangle, sewing the gap closed and leaving a nice finished edge.
I made 2 of these in about 20 minutes...it would take even less time, now that I know what dimensions work well!!:

Step #7: Wrap each rubberband around each side of your doorknob, like so...

...and you've got yourself a door silencer! No waking the baby when you open and close the door :)
I've also read that these work well to prevent little toddler fingers from getting slammed in the door in later years...

Here's what it looks like with the door closed:

...and when the door is open:

Here's hoping our lil' Boy is a good sleeper...and this little door silencer will allow me to peek in on him, without waking him, during naptime!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How to make a golf ball cake

Mr. Biddle Bits and I are both early-July babies...so we just celebrated our birthdays! Unfortunately, about a week before our birthday celebrations, he came down with Shingles. YUCK! I tried everything to make him feel better and to boost his spirit, but there really wasn't much I could do but just be there for him.

Thankfully, he was feeling slightly better on his birthday - well enough to go out for lunch and for a quick run to Target ;)...AND for cake and ice cream! (which makes everything better, am I right?!)

He loves to golf, so I made him a cake in the shape of a golf ball. It was actually really easy, if you have the right materials.

What you need:
(forgive me...I didn't initially think to turn this into a blog post, so didn't take pictures of the first steps)

Step #1 - Preparation and baking:
  • preheat oven according to cake mix instructions.
  • Prepare your pans by spraying with non-stick cooking/baking spray.
  • Mix cake mix ingredients together, as directed.
  • Follow instructions in the pan set. They're *very* easy to follow!: Pour cake batter into ball pans and bake until a long toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. (I believe mine took about 45-50 minutes to fully bake) Let cool. Follow cake pan instructions to flatten the tops of each half-circle, by cutting off the excess cake (then eat it!!) 
  • Turn cake pans over to release 2 half-circle cakes.
  • I prefer to cover and refrigerate my cakes over night (or at least for a few hours) - it helps "firm up" the cake and reduce the amount of crumbs while I'm decorating it.
Step #2 - Decoration:
  • Using a long serrated knife, cut a small amount from the top of *one* of the circles - to create a flat base for the cake to sit on.
  • Smear a small amount of icing on your cake plate/platter and place the small, flat portion of that half-circle on the plate. That icing will ensure the cake won't slide around on your cake platter. Now you have created the bottom half of your golf ball cake.
  • Using a clean, smooth knife, spread a thin layer of icing on the large, flat cake surface in front of you, and place the other half of your golf ball on top of that.
  • You should now be looking at a 3-D, ball-shaped cake. 
Step #3 - Decoration, continued: (with pictures!)
  • Using a clean, smooth knife, carefully take icing and smooth it over the entire round cake. Stick it back in the fridge for 30 minutes or so, to help harden the icing.
  • Then, get a cup of cool water. Using a flat spreader/spatula (like this one), dip the spatula in the water and carefully smooth over your icing. This is a trick to help get as smooth an icing surface as possible. Continue to dip it in water and smooth the icing until you're happy. Here's my "happy":

  • Put back in fridge for 10-15 minutes to help harden the icing.
  • Remove cake from fridge. Dip the fat end of a plastic chopstick in your cup of water and make a shallow indentation in your icing. Continue the indentations in a straight line. You can probably make 4-6 indentations before you need to dip it in water again. (the water keeps the chopstick from sticking to the icing. You may need to clean off the chopstick every now and then with a paper towel - just to prevent icing from sticking. You can also put the cake back in the fridge every 10 minutes or so...the harder the icing, the easier this indentation process will be.
  • Continue to make indentations until the cake is covered in dimples! 

 The indentations are a little time consuming, but they're KEY in making this look like a golf ball!

Step #4 - Enjoy your masterpiece!!:

I'm sure you could create some sort of golf tee with a cake plate to more creatively present the cake...but again...at 9 months pregnant, I was feeling pretty good to have even MADE a cake for his birthday - the fact that it sat on a paper plate was ok by me (and the birthday boy) :)