Goals of 2018…12 months later

Lose Weight

Since my last goal update, I have maintained my weight. That means that this year, I have lost 26lbs. I definitely lost weight. I can’t wait to see what next year brings for my my health but this year was definitely a huge step in the right direction.

6 Books Read

I did not do this. I am reading about 5 or 6 books currently and am slowly making progress through all of them, they will probably be finished next year.

10 Projects Completed

Other than the 5 I already completed (blanket, mitten, pug, chibi drawings, unicorn earrings, clay cats), I can think of a few other things I completed since then: unicorn cake, portrait of Jeff Hardy, Bojack Horseman clay figure, scrapbook for clothing designs, and some digital outfits that I made on IMVU. There may be more but that’s 10. Really the point of the goal was to get me doing creative things again. All the things I listed are either on my instagram or will be posted eventually.

Make Progress On Story

I decided against this goal so I could put all my writing efforts into this blog. I haven’t given up on the idea of making a story but I want the story to be right for me and I want my writing to improve first. It will happen eventually but my focus is somewhere more important.

Start Selling on etsy

I was selling on etsy but lack of sales forced me to stop. For next year, I will be focusing more on improving the quality of my products and put more effort into advertising and sharing my shop.

100 Followers on this blog

I only got to 28 but that is pretty good considering how inconsistent I am on here. Next year, I will be posting more and my content quality will improve and become more consistent.

Start Education Blog

As I said in the last post: “I did it, then I decided that I really didn’t need two blogs. I merged them, now we are one. I like it better like this. It will be a good mix of personal things and the stuff I’m passionate about.”

In conclusion, this has been a struggly year. I can’t promise everything will be perfect next year but I can promise that I have learnt and I have improved. Things can only get better.

Farewell, until we meet again. Happy New Year!

Good things about this year.

I always see the negative in life. It is just the louder part. If 99 people hug you and one person punches you, you don’t remember the 99 positives, you always remember the 1 negative. So I wanted to make a list of things that happened this year that are positive. That way, I always have this post to look back on.

  • The Unicorn cake. It was one of the biggest, most exhausting projects I’ve ever done (especially at a time where my energy levels are crazy low) and it really paid off. Experiences like that is what makes everything worth it. It may not seem like a lot to some people but it was a lot for me. It was my passion for baking, art, and hard work all being used. Hopefully, I can do stuff like this again next year. Big projects with planning and work that pays off into this masterpiece (which I don’t think is too grandiose a term).
  • Lip piercing. Much like the tattoo I got last year, this piercing is something I have wanted for many years. Actually 7 years. Ever since I started watching WWE again after a 2 year break back in 2011. I turned on the screen and, immediately, CM Punk became my favourite ever. I agreed with everything he stood for in and out the ring and absolutely idolised him (a childish trait I later grew out of). Ever since then, I wanted a piercing in the same place as he has his. And even though I haven’t thought much about him in the last few years since I stopped watching WWE so much and he left, I still really wanted the piercing for more than just CM Punk. It just became part of who I want to be, it means a lot to me, and it looks really cool.
  • I kept this blog going. In regular me fashion, I would have already given up hope on this blog, tried out a new name for me to go by, gotten bored of my usernames, and deleted most of my social media. For some reason, I didn’t this year. Maybe because I feel settled and comfortable with Raven so everything with that name feels right and falls into place, maybe because this time this blog is actually talking about things that are really important to me, maybe because I am so fed up with not doing anything with my life that I am now determined to complete my goals. I’m not sure but what I can say is:
  • Who I am feels right. I have been confused and I have hated myself for most of my life but as I have been reading into things and learning, I have learned so much about myself and who I am. I finally understand what I am in terms of gender (or lack thereof) and I am okay with that. I understand my mental state and why I feel the way I feel, for the most part. It’s all okay. I am okay with who I am.
  • Languages! I resumed my learning of French and German, and decided to learn some other languages. Not necessarily to become fluent in but just to learn some conversational language. My list right now, in order of priority to me, goes: Japanese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Icelandic, Samoan. All very beautiful languages that are very fun to learn, but also very tricky.
  • I have learned so much. Sure there has been a lot of pain this year, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t learnt something every time. People come and go but I will always have myself. I can’t force myself to get better (be that physically, emotionally, or with the skills I’m learning). It takes time, patience, determination hard work, perseverance, and a lot of hope and optimism.

I hope that next year will bring much joy and lessons learned.

Farewell, until we meet again.

Unicorn cake

A more extensive look at the steps I took to make this cake. I completely made it up as I went along.

Check out the video I made of the process here!

To start, I drew out a quick sketch and added colour and annotations to say how I wanted it to look.

DSC00478

I wanted a rainbow for the layers and silver icing in the middle to be like unicorn blood from Harry Potter. It was a good in theory but did not turn out so well in practice. The icing just turned a pale grey.

After I figured out all the details, I had to find a good vanilla cake recipe because all the cake recipes I have used in the past have ended up being crumbly and dry. I needed one that would hold up 7 layers. I found one from Gretchen’s Vegan Bakery. This recipe is the best cake I have ever had! Highly recommended!

So I had the plan and the cake, all I needed was the right sized cake tins, colour for the layers and icing, and fondant icing for the ears. I used regular fondant icing from Tesco. I knew that the colour would have to be strong and not too thin a liquid otherwise it would mess up the mixture (been there before with a red velvet cake). I opted for some gel food colouring from amazon which judging by the pictures, was decent quality. I also ordered 8-inch sandwich tin, silver gel colouring, and gold powder colouring. By this point, I decided to do a chocolate-filled ice cream cone for the horn, instead of icing, as it was easier and had a really cool pattern on it.

I had everything prepared so I waited for my birthday to come.

dsc00479.jpg

I made the cake layers one mixture at a time so I wouldn’t have cake mixture sitting around with nowhere to put it. It worked out better that way because I had time to prepare the next thing and do some cleaning up.

As the cake layers were cooling, I made the “silver” icing (100g butter, 200g icing sugar, too much silver colouring which didn’t really make a difference) and melted a bit of jam. I put jam and icing on each layer, just enough to make it stick together, any more then the cake would have been unnecessarily sweet. I assembled the cake on a cake board on a Lazy Susan so it could spin while I was decorating it. Whatever icing didn’t go in the middle, I used to kind of cement any holes or breakage and left it overnight to set because decorating was another day of work.

To decorate, I started with a layer of white buttercream icing all around. To do that, I used about 100g TREX and 100g stork with 400g icing sugar (I may have put more, I didn’t really measure it), and a tiny bit of soya milk (possibly about a teaspoon). I used a palette knife to smooth it out, something I hadn’t done prior to this cake and it didn’t go spectacularly well.

Next, I melted some chocolate to fill up an ice cream cone, that I would use as the horn. I put a bamboo skewer through it and put it in the fridge. Once it was set, I covered the cone in some gold powder (which didn’t really come out very gold, unfortunately) and placed it in the middle of the top of the cake.

I then used royal icing to mould the ears and eyes. This was actually pretty fun because I like to sculpt. I broke off two bits of icing about the right size and cut off bits to make it into the right shape. Then, I smoothed out the surface and coloured the front bit with gold powder. I put a cocktail stick through them both and placed them next to the horn.

Finally, the hair. It was so hard and it didn’t come out the way I wanted it to, to be completely honest. But it still looked good so whatever. I made some buttercream icing (1 part margarine, 2 parts icing sugar) and mixed some colours in with it. I think I did 50g margarine to 100g icing sugar per colour. I put them into a piping syringe, like this one, and just piped some spirals all over the place. My hands were very tired by the end of it.

The final result:       20181030_214544.jpg20181030_214616.jpg20181030_214915

If you want me to keep making fun cake projects, be sure to like this post. If you have any ideas of what cake I could make next, or any other recipes you want me to try out, leave a comment below.

Farewell, until we meet again 😄