Saturday, December 10, 2011

My son's Angry Birds 7th birthday party - The movie story

One of the surprises I planned to give to my son on this party was a movie about him, about his journey since he was born, until now. This is my favorite present to give to someone special on his/her special day. I have been making many short movies/slideshow since 2003. Usually I used Windows Movie Maker together with any photo editing software. But this time, I use my new Macbook... :) 

I started to make the movie about my son in early October this year. I collected all his home-videos and photos. I also searched for the right soundtracks for the movie. I gave the title "The Kiwi Journey", as my son is a New Zealander. But since I'm quite new to Mac OS, I had to learn about it first. I used iMovie together with iPhoto and iTunes. It was a very tiring project to do as I could only do it once my kids were asleep. But I enjoyed it. I get more and more familiar with the Macbook, the iMovie, and the iPhoto.

So, after staying awake long hours every night, I finally completed the movie just 3 days before the D-day. 

I brought my laptop to the place where the party would be held to try the projector. I wanted to see how the movie would show up in the projector screen. Everything was good and the movie was ready for screening on the birthday party. Again, just like the cake, I was very pleased with the result. The movie brought tears to my eyes every time I watched it. I can't believe how fast time flies! My little baby boy who was born 7 years ago, has grown up so fast to be a fine young boy ready for more adventure in his own way. Oh my...I can't believe I have become a mother for 7 years! I hope I have been a good mother for all these years.

I prefer not to show it here because the movie contains many private home videos and photos. But I can tell you one thing, this movie has blown away my audience they asked for an encore!...:)

My son's Angry Bird 7th birthday party - The fondant decorated birthday cake story

To continue the story from the birthday party preparation, I will start from the birthday cake making.
Since I was the one responsible for the birthday cake, I learned everyday about cake decorating using fondant. I have never tried this before. It would not be so easy to decorate with fondant here as the weather in South East Asia is forever hot and humid! But I would not be deterred by the weather. I have 2 airconditioned rooms in my house. The AC will be my best friend to control the heat and the humidity...:)
Internet was the best source and best learning media. I learned to make my own fondant using marshmallow as I love the taste better than just pure sugar. My 3 years old daughter is always happy to help me as fondant is like a clay, she had so much fun playing with it. She cut the shape, pasted it everywhere on her toys, and got her fingers all sticky...:O

I made many colors of marshmallow fondant. I also bought a set of Wilton rolled fondant primary colors (which has red, green, blue, and yellow). I didn't remember that 1 of the Angry Birds is black! I completely forgotten to buy Wilton rolled fondant black/grey set or at least a fondant black coloring. I was so sad that I was not able to create my own black fondant. So, I can't make the black Angry Bird.

I also bought more kitchen utensils in nearby supermarket to help me later in decorating the cake. I took out all my cookie shape cutters. I designed the cake decorations on a piece of paper complete with color descriptions and shapes that I already have and I am able to make.

A week before the party, one of my good friends baked a cake for me to try to decorate it using fondant. I am a complete beginner here in terms of decorating cake, especially with fondant. I made the Angry Bird cake decorations for that trial cake. It was for my 12th wedding anniversary. It turned out great! I was able to shape 3 cute Angry Birds and 2 green pigs and put them on top of the cake. So, I had more confidence to decorate the cake. I abandoned my 1st plan to have a giant jelly cake as jelly will not go along with fondant. Besides, the birthday boy requested a giant rectangle cake. He didn't want to have a round cake like the trial cake.

To make things easier, I ordered the giant 12"x16" rectangle triple layer cake from a cake shop without any decorations. I have made all fondant decorations 2 days before I collected the cake. I made the mini TNT boxes from mashed sweet potato fried cake with cheese inside. Then I used chocolate fondant to make the sweet potato cakes more like the Angry Birds TNT boxes. I even got an incident where the chocolate fondant I used to decorate the mini TNT boxes has melted because the weather was too hot. 

When I collected the cake, I was so surprised by the size of the cake! It's very big! It was half of my dining table...:) 
I needed a large area to decorate and I only had a day left before the D-day. Oh my God! I was a bit frustrated because the fondant I have prepared was not enough to cover the whole area of the cake and it was torn because I rolled it too thin! So I had to make an extra dough using a different color :(
I kneaded and rolled the fondant again and again. Until finally I was able to cover the whole cake but using 2 different colors. It was not too bad! Thank God! But my arms and hands were extremely sore.

After I rested my hand for a while, I started to put all other decorations on top of the cake, starting with the green pig family on one side complete with the bunker. The pig bunker was made of Pandan cake I glued with raspberry jam and covered with chocolate icing, then I decorated using many kinds of chocolate   I bought from supermarket nearby. I put the stolen bird eggs cooked inside the pot on top of the bunker surrounded by the pig family. The Angry Birds family was on the other side complete with the slingshot and the empty bird nest...:) I really had so much fun decorating the cake. I started to decorate at 4pm and finished everything by 8pm. Not bad!..:D

Since the cake was giant, I couldn't fit it into my fridge. So I had to keep it inside my air-conditioned bedroom that had temperature of 16 degrees Celsius.
My hands were so sore from kneading and rolling the fondant but I was very pleased with the result. The birthday boy was extremely happy and amazed with his giant Angry Birds birthday cake. He hugged me tightly, kissed me, and said, "Thank you, mommy! The cake is so beautiful just like what I want". My husband gave his compliment to me, "Damn! That's really good!" when he saw the finish result. Many of my friends in Facebook said that the decoration was amazing for a complete beginner like me. 

On the D-day, I didn't display the cake at the start of the party at 3pm cause I was afraid the fondant would melt again. So, the cake was only brought out of the air-conditioned room at 5pm when the cake ceremony started. My guests were all amazed with the cake. The children in the party couldn't wait to take the Angry Birds and the pig family figurines. So, the moment my son blow the candles, the children 'attacked' the cake! They stripped down the cake decorations completely...:D 

I made the slideshow for you to see things I have written about. 

Don't forget to continue reading my other stories about this birthday party! It was absolutely a very tiring event but it was a great party! Thank you Rovio for creating the Angry Birds games