A clear benefit of working in an international team is getting introduced to delicious food and interesting cultural traditions. One of these traditions I was recently introduced to is a Catalonian Christmas tradition that involves a decorated Christmas log. A Tió de Nadal, Christmas Log, or as it is also commonly referred to: Caga tió, Shitting Log, arrives at the doorstep of Catalonian families during the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th every year. The families welcome the log into their home and feed him a bit every night and cover him with a blanket so he is not cold at night:On Christmas day, the Tió is placed near the fireplace and children order it to start pooping. The children inspire it to start pooping by singing traditional Tió de Nadal songs, such as this:
“Caga tió, caga torró, avellanes i mató, si no cagues bé et daré un cop de bastó. caga tió!” which can be translated as “shit, log, shit nougats, hazelnuts and mató cheese, if you don’t shit well, I’ll hit you with a stick, shit, log!”
After every song, the children reach under the blanket to retrieve the gifts the log has produced for them.
This amazing tradition inspired me to create my first original amigurumi crochet pattern. Up until now, I was always crocheting patterns by others. I started out following patterns blindly and with experience came the ability to adjust patterns. Now though, for the first time I felt comfortable making my own pattern. It’s a simple one, but I had a lot of fun making this nonetheless. I started out by making the Tió:
While it already looked quite cute as is, it looked a little naked without it’s traditional accessories, so I followed up with making him a stick, a red blanket, a poop and a traditional Catalonian barretina (red sock) hat:
The pattern for the Tió de Nadal that I made can be downloaded here in printable format.
Bet you didn’t see this one coming right, a GameCakes update! I know it’s been roughly two years since I last baked something video-game related, but I can assure you I am still very much alive. I’ve been a much better and more frequent blogger over at my personal blog, but I’ll not bore you with such details when there are gamecakes to be shared :)
Last week, a dear co-worker unfortunately left our group and I could only think of one appropriate parting gift, as he is a big Day of the Tentacle fan. You guessed it, Day of the Tentacle cupcakes! Again! This time around, I only had about 30 mins to sculpt them though. I decided to make three purple tentacles in various sizes and poses. I didn’t have any black marzipan, so also no evil unibrow this time ;). They are conquering the world while comfortably resting on Tiramisu-flavoured iced cupcakes. Enough talk, pics or it didn’t happen! Pictures are this time courtesy of the receiver of the cupcakes and Raynor with his superfancy phone camera:
Excuse the frosting stains on the paper, but these cupcakes had to travel by public transport to reach their final destination. That’s all for now, I’ll post again in two years or so ;)
Even though I don’t always feel like or have time for baking for this site often, I do typically find the time to crochet a couple of rounds on some small amigurumi projects. Remember the Google Android I made out of marzipan? While I had to eat that little guy at some point, I now crocheted a Google Android Robot (AmigurAndroid) in his likeness that can stay with me forever ^^.
After finishing the droid, I wanted to work on something a little more colorful (I had seen enough of that green color after two Cthulhus and the little android) so I worked on a little dragon. I really like the effect of the color-changing yarn, it makes for interesting patterns without even trying. He kind of reminds me of the Bubble Bobble characters, so maybe later I’ll try and make one in those colors later.
That’s it for now, I hope you don’t mind seeing these crafts of lesser tastiness pop up here every now and then. If you want to try your hand at making them, I used the following patterns (both are free!):
Last post of the year! I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIII-2 (wouldn’t that be XIV? -> don’t be ridiculous, a sequel to XIII is obviously called XIII-2!) a lot lately. And by a lot I mean I’ve put at least 40 hours in a short amount of time. So, in the Final Fantasy-themed cupcakes that start with a C department: a Chocobo Cupcake! Since I’ve been taming, riding and racing these majestic beasts for the better part of the game, I thought a Chocobo-themed treat would be appropriate. I will say this though, Cactuar was way easier to make than this little fellow. I tried to go with the look they have in FFVII, but even then there’s a surprising amount of detail in the cute creatures. For your viewing pleasure, a yellow Chocobo on the grassy plains of a chocolate cupcake covered in marzipan:
And as an added bonus, did you know you can also ride a wild Chocobo in FFXIII-2? It’s brightly colored and while you ride it, you get to listen to this metal-style Chocobo song (I think it even has double bass at some point!): OK, I’ll post the lyrics as well… IN CAPS: GAS ‘EM UP WITH THE GREENS AND LET ‘EM GO STAND BACK, STAND CLEAR AS HE PUTS ON THE SHOW SO CUTE YET FIERCE IS HE FROM HELL? I CANNOT TELL YET I DON’T EVEN WANNA KNOW SO YOU WANNA BE A TRAILBLAZER KICK UP DIRT LIKE A HELLRAISER TAKE THE REINS BUT DON’T REACT SLOW IT’S TIME TO FEEL THE FORCE – OF THE CHOCOBO! SO YOU THINK YOU CAN RIDE THIS CHOCOBO? GOT CHOCOBUCKS? YOU BETTER PUT ‘EM ON THE CHOCOBO SADDLE UP IF YOU THINK YOU CAN RIDE IN THIS RODEO ARE WE IN HELL? I DUNNO! KICK THE DIRT LET’S ROLL COME IF YOU THINK YOU GONNA HIDE THIS CHOCOBO EVERYBODY’S GONNA WANT TO RIDE YOUR CHOCOBO IT’S CHOCO-LOCO STYLE IN THE CHOCORODEO GONNA RIIIDE’M STRAIGHT THROUGH HELL IN THE CHOCOBO RODEO!!
On a side-note, hottest character in the game award goes to Chocabocalina!
Obsidian Entertainment has started a kickstarter last month to crowdfund Project Eternity: an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world. I immediately backed them as soon as I found out about this. Why am I so excited about all this? Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment and basically all Infinity Engine games are my all-time favorites and this game looks like it will be a worthy spiritual successor, unlike some other games that said they would be (I’m looking at you, Dragon Age!). They have some serious gamedev starpower in the development team, former Black Isle rockstars and people that worked on Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment.
Now, with only two days left to fund this gem, it’s time to pay an edible tribute to this game before it’s even released! From the information released so far, it definitely looks like exactly the type of game that gamers like me have been waiting for for so long. I’ve baked a Project Eternity chocolate mud cake, frosted with chocolate glaze and decorated with the Ouroboros dragon/snake that they’ve been using in the Project Eternity logo in marzipan, dusted in cocoa powder. It was very hard to photograph this in the evening and looks much better in person, but what are you going to do ;)
There’s still some stretch goals I’d love to see them reach. So please, if you’re at all excited about this game, back the Kickstarter here while you still can: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/obsidian/project-eternity. They also have a very likeable facebook page ^^
In my previous post, I mentioned I was trying my hand at some Amigurumi. Today I realized, why not post the results here as well? There are a couple of good reasons not to:
- It’s not edible
- It’s not (directly) game-related
But then I realized, it’s my blog and I can post whatever I want. If nothing else, it can help me practice with the new camera. Soon I’ll start working on some more Final Fantasy-related cupcakes (like the Cactuar-one, but not Cactuar!). But for now, my amigurmi projects so far, beware the pictorial overload!
Always wanted to try something like this? I used the following amazing free patterns:
- Cupcake – Yummy Haken (a dutch book, this was not free unfortunately)
- Cherries – This YouTube video
- Strawberry – Nerdigurumi’s basic pattern
- Cthulhu – Tiny Cthulhu pattern over at Cthulhu Crochet
I’d really like to thank the extremely creative people who make these patterns and put them online for beginners like me to enjoy!
I feel horrible about neglecting the gamecakes website for so long. I don’t even have Diablo 3 to blame this time, I am so over that game! To keep myself from buying Guild Wars 2 (I just don’t want to spend another 2 years of my life on a MMO, thank you very much!), I’ve been keeping myself busy with Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale, Arcania: Gothic 4 + expansion (which only lasted me 20 hours…) and amigurumi (the noble art of crocheting tiny cute things).
I’ll get back to baking soon, I promise. Until then, I’d like to share a nice collection of some of the best gamer wedding cakes, I’ve found online.
- Gamedaily contributor Carol Orsini tied the knot with this cute console cake:
- A lovely Legend of Zelda cake topper:
- This couple not only loves Katamari, but also loves each other enough to get married:
- And to conclude this feature, a stunningly gorgeous Mario Kart-themed wedding cake:
Prinnies are cute little peg-legged penguins with tiny demon wings that first appeared in the game ‘Disgaea: Hour of Darkness’. After that they returned for ‘Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories’ and ‘Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice’. Due to their popularity they eventually got to star in their own game: ‘Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?’ for the PSP.
Their other skills besides looking incredibly cute include saying ‘dood!’ a lot and exploding on impact when thrown. They always carry a brown pouch with a skull on it to store bombs, knives and other weapons. These poor creatures actually have the souls of sinners sewn into their bellies and serve all their lives as soldiers, slaves or servants.
I modeled a 3D Prinny out of marzipan using a knife, two toothpicks and my bare hands. I really didn’t expect it to be so difficult, as they look simple enough. It turned out to be very hard for me to get the proportions exactly right and the details everywhere make it hard to find a place to hold it safely. But my Prinny is now finally standing on his two little peg-legs on a double chocolate cupcake frosted with chocolate buttercream:
Hello gamecake-lovers! I have some great news, my aunt gave me a pretty new camera (a shiny Nikon D40) ^^ So from now on, my gamecakes pictures will hopefully look a whole lot better!
As a first test, I took some new pictures of the Day of the Tentacle marzipan Purple Tentacle. Go see for yourself!
I’ll start baking again soon as well. A certain cute little penguin has inspired me :)
I just realized I haven’t baked a good gamecake in ages. Further contemplation revealed that there are two reasons for this:
- I was working on a conference deadline
- Diablo 3
I wasn’t too excited about it before it came out, but after playing the beta… Wow! So my next thought was: perhaps there should be a Diablo 3 cake! And guess what, there already is! Several of them actually. So my conclusion for now is that thanks to the wonderful people that baked these, I won’t bake today, but get to play more Diablo 3 instead!
Here’s a brief overview of some of the Diablo 3 delights that have been baked so far:
First up, this cute little Diablo 3 number by Viki from Sweden:
Next we have this red velvet tastiness by snoozypanda. Check out the horns on that one:
And a traditional hungarian dobosh cake by seven (there’s a recipe as well!):
Last but certainly not least, this tasty looking cake by Alisa:
Hope you enjoyed looking at these as much as I did and please let me know if you find more in the comments!