I was in college, still living at home with my parents when my brother moved back into town with my new baby niece.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
They moved in with us for a few months ’till they could get themselves settled.
And that’s when I fell into deep, auntie love with that little peanut.
GOSH she was so dang cute. And a good girl… the sweetest little thing around.
As she grew up, she was so tolerant of my sister, my mom and I. We used to love to go on little shopping sprees to buy her new clothes, and she’d indulge us for waaay longer than she should have at the squirmy age of three, so that we could play dress up and squeal at how cute everything looked on her.
That was a long time ago.
Our sweet KK (short for Keturah) just turned sixteen.
And I think I’m gonna be sick.
Don’t get me wrong… KK is still just as sweet, she’s prettier than ALL get out, and so much fun it’s almost ridiculous. We all love her even more than we did the day my big bro first proudly showed her off.
But… she’s SIXTEEN.
And I can’t find where the time went.
I can’t find it… and I can’t stop it. I can’t even slow it down… and it’s breaking my heart.
I mean I KNOW that’s the way of it. I know that we’re only given a short amount of time down here… to laugh.. to cry… to dance and sing out loud with these babies God’s placed in our hands.
To watch them learn, to feel them cling to us when they’re afraid, and run away laughing when they’re suddenly brave.
I know we only get just the smallest bit of time to watch them smile with pride when they finally get those bows knotted on their shoes that first time… squeal when they catch their first frog and then lose it a second later and proceed to chase it all around the yard… roll their eyes when you snap the five billionth picture of them looking so gorgeous and nervous on prom night…
and quietly grin while WE quietly sob as they stand in the front of the church, across from the person who’s stolen their heart away… the same heart you’ve so desperately tried to protect all of their lives.
After all that time.
While you watch them walk away.
I’m not there yet, I know. My niece is only sixteen, and the oldest of my own babies hasn’t reached thirteen yet.
But I can feel it coming.
And while I wouldn’t keep one of those happy milestones from being reached, I can already feel my heart bursting… and then breaking into a thousand tiny, little pieces.
All ’cause our little KK has turned sixteen.
(Thanks a lot, K. You’re killin’ me here, kiddo.)
Happy Sweet Sixteen, to our happy, witty, gorgeous K!! Who loves kitties, her family… and her phone. (Sixteen. Remember?)
Love you forever, Sweets. Xx
(And slow it all down jus’ a little for us please, baby girl. Slow it on DOWN.)
How I made the cable knit sweater look and other details…
To start, I covered the tiers in fondant. You can just ice them in a smooth buttercream finish if you’d rather… that would work fine as well.
Then, using my quilting ruler (’cause it’s huge and ridiculously helpful for uses like this) I measured and cut out a large, rectangular modeling chocolate panel, the exact height of the tier (I did this for both tiers) and as wide as I wanted it to wrap around the cake.
You can wrap the whole cake, or just the front to save materials.
I used my Makin’s sweater texture sheet (which comes with three other sheets, as well!) to emboss it with a knitted-like detail.
Then, I rolled out more modelling chocolate and used my knitted mold (which happens to be two-sided with a crochet pattern on the reverse side!) from SillisShop on Etsy to create the raised knitted pattern.
I attached the pattern to the panels with water before I attached the panels to the cake.
Because I just cut the large piece of mod choc wide enough to cover the front of the cake (and not wrap all the way around) it was pretty easy to just pick up and attach to the cake (having rubbed the fondant on the tiers with water first).
If you want to use a large enough piece to wrap it all the way around the tier, it will probably be better to emboss the wrap first like I mentioned above, but then attach the wrap to the cake first before you add the extra sweater strips.
Also, if your climate is cool and dry, you may want to add mix in a bit of fondant to the modeling chocolate before you roll it out and cut the large piece to wrap around the tier.
If not, it may crack or rip as you’re trying to wrap it, though I didn’t have a problem with mine and I did make it in a cool, dry climate.
I rolled a ball of pink modeling chocolate onto this fake fur/pluche mold also from SillisShop (but which seems to no longer be available, poop! ) as a quick way to get a fuzzy look on the ball.
I gave my best shot at sculpting little kitties (not nearly as easy I thought they would be!) using modeling chocolate and my FABULOUS Sugar Shapers (of which you can get a 10% discount on, here!)
I painted them with petal dusts mixed with Everclear (SUPAH high proof alcohol),
added some little modeling chocolate bows,
and painted little matching dots onto the “sweater” finish of the cake.
Then we went to the party, kissed my not-so-baby niece,
and silently prayed that time would slow down.
Just a little.
So I that I can buy up some stock in Kleenex.
(Big money, right there. BIG money.) Xx