McCoy’s Train Cake

Our grandson, Mac (McCoy), turned four this month. He requested a train cake—like the one on the cover of the NZ Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book.

Kids Train CakeWe arrived a few days earlier at our daughter’s house so that I could use her kitchen. Since moving into a fifth-wheeler back in June, my kitchen space has shrunk somewhat! I’ve stored all my cake-making bits and pieces at Tania’s, as this is where my cakes are generally required.

Kids Train CakeI baked two chocolate cakes (almost mud cakes really—they were quite dense) and used a purchased Swiss roll cake for the barrel of the engine. I “glued” cake shapes together with chocolate ganache (very yummy!) and then coloured buttercream icing over the outside. Lollies, licorice and popcorn were used for decoration and a red pipe cleaner held the popcorn smoke puffs coming out of the smoke stack. Oreo biscuits created the wheels. I used quite a lot of M&Ms (those are the little, round, coloured lollies).

Kids Train CakeMac’s father, Nathan, created the road theme on the table including the train track (large ice block sticks) and streets (black tape). Mac and Elliotte added the cars and signage.

Needless to say, Mac loved his train, and we enjoyed eating it!

Donut Cake for Elliotte

Doughnut Cake

Elliotte turned eight in July. (So these photos and this post is rather late!) Her mother, Tania, and I combined efforts to produce this cake. With recently transitioning to living on the road, I didn’t have the same kitchen facilities or time to do it all myself. So we went for a simple cake this year.

Doughnut CakeThe donuts (doughnuts) were purchased.  ?For the cake, Tania baked two round cakes and we sandwiched them on top of each other. The icing was intended to emulate the pink icing on the top of a donut.

Doughnut Cake PartyThe end result. Elliotte was thrilled with her cake and party. She had about fourteen children at her party and all enjoyed themselves immensely. There were high volumes of laughter and shouting . . . you can imagine the noise. And children never walk from one room to the next—they run! Fortunately, it’s a large house.



When Jesus called Peter to step out of the boat to walk on water, Peter did. As long as his eyes were on Jesus, he was fine. But as soon as Peter took his focus off Jesus, he began to sink (Matthew 14:29-31).


I’ve been driving intercity a bit over the past few weeks, and there are a number of road signs encouraging motorcycle riders to expect the unexpected, drive with their lights on, etc.  This morning I was reminded of the importance of keeping our focus on Jesus, and one of those road signs reminding riders to always look towards where they want to go came to mind.

Hebrews 12:1-3 encourages us to fix our eyes on Jesus.



New Fun: Bible Journaling

2 Corinthians 10:5 “… we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”


Proverbs 4:23 ” Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”


Psalm 146:7 “…the Lord sets prisoners free.”


Really enjoying exploring the world of Bible Journaling! Have been looking into this for some time, and now just loving this new way to create, express myself and meditate on God’s Word.

Love You Two

Nathan and Tania

Love You Two

With this page the background paper I used is by K & C Company “BG Jade Motif Corrugated Embossed Paper”.  It really does feel bumpy – very different, with a great design on it already so I didn’t feel it needed too much in the way of embellishments.

I’ve used strips of yellow and chocolate brown Bazzill cardstock  and Basic Grey Aged & Confused “Vagabond” to pull out some of the designs and colours in the photo. I inked around the individual strips of paper before laying them ‘randomly’ on the paper as a bed for the photo. (Not really ‘randomly’… haha! I spent ages fiddling with them, deciding how to lay them. I’m not sure that it made a lot of difference. Random is good!)


I punched a yellow heart out of cardstock and also one out of some mesh. Then I dipped the mesh into opals embossing enamels after moistening it with a clear embossing stamp pad. Heated the opals with a heat gun, then kept dipping it back into the opals and melting the powder until enough had stuck to create the honeycomb effect I was after. Yes, it was fiddly. And I used tweezers – way too hot for fingers! After it had cooled and I managed to get it off the tweezers, I ran it through the Xyron Create-a-Sticker machine, and this enabled it to be stuck to the heart. I glued all this onto some chocolate card (to make it stand out from the background) and cut around it.


The number 2 is from Thickers and the flowers are joined in the middle with a large eyelet and a brad. Again I was trying to pick up the colours from Tania’s hair and clothing.


A double spread of some great family photos we managed to get at Tania and Nathan’s wedding in 2008.


I’ve used a Fiskars punch to create the edging along the edge of the red Bazzill cardstock. Lettering is from Thickers and I’ve stitched over the Basic Grey paper with my sewing machine.


Memories are made from moments like these.

A special time with my granddaughter at the Hamilton Zoo. A ‘Face2Face‘ encounter with the lemurs. I recommend it!


moments b

Holes along the edge of the white cardstock were made with a Fiskars punch.

moments a

Thickers lettering again! To do the hand stitching, I first place a piece of graph paper over the cardstock and poke the holes through with an awl to get them as even as possible.



I wanted to remember the people at the firm where Dave worked for several years and this photo gave a great opportunity.


I used scrapbook papers cut into different shapes for the background. Ribbons and hand stitching help to frame the picture and I cut up one of Dave’s business cards to add further information. Lettering was created using my old Sizzix machine and Lollipop Upper Case Alphabet Set.