veto's birthday

Loopy worked so very hard on this gift... and it was all her idea, all her very own... she made this topiary of her Dad's favourite candy: salt water taffy, tootsie pops, strawberry marshmallows and dots. She painted the pot three times with orange paint and mod podged the cutout m&m's onto it - the bottom of the pot is filled with more taffy and dark chocolate m&m's.

She used two packages of toothpicks - almost 500 at my estimation. And here is the cake - SHE MADE ALL BY HERSELF! It's Duke, our new puppy! She did an amazing job... we'll serve it with grape ice cream (and lots of candy) for dessert.

Is the suspense killing you... do you want to see what I made Ben for his birthday this year?

It's a replica of Roy Hobb's "Wonderboy" baseball bat from the movie The Natural, starring Robert Redford... it's one of his favourite shows.

I started this process in June. I had a dickens of a time finding a blank bat, and my Dad's lathe is too small (he uses it for fine work, jewelry and such) so we couldn't make it ourselves, like we normally would. You can buy blank bat kits on eBay, but you need access to a pretty big lathe.

Finally, I called my old friend Darwin at Olympian Sports. I went to elementary school with him and over the years have bought all of Buddy's baseball equipment from him... never mind that I kicked his butt on the Morrison-McCall spelling test (oh, and MJ kicked his butt a few times too, and vice-versa, we were all quite the spelling geeks), I hardly never mention it to him anymore. Darwin told me where to go. For the blank bat, I mean.

It turns out, there is a gentleman right in our very own city that makes custom bats for some very famous major league ball players. He is retired and has quite the cottage industry going on. His son, who knows Ben through old baseball days, is now a MLB scout and he arranges tickets for us when we visit various ballparks... I don't know why I didn't think to call him in the first place...

Anyway, I had the most interesting visit with his father when I went to their workshop to pick up Ben's bat. He keeps track of all the players weight, height, how they like their bats shaped, how they hold them, and what kind of wood (mostly maple, with no cork inside, of course)! Now Ben has a record along with all of those ball players from the Yankees, the Orioles and the Royals... and he has a nice piece of movie memorabilia too!

I used a wood engraver to burn in the lightning bolt and the name of the bat. Then, Dad and I aged it around the handle using dry pigment. Before I spray sealed it, I took it out and banged it around (I am really, really sorry about the fence, Daddy) and dragged in in the driveway so it had a really weathered look.

I won a Roy Hobbs rookie card on eBay in June - but it hasn't arrived yet. I'm very disappointed. It was supposed to be the "icing on the cake". Hopefully it will come soon. I've never been burned on eBay before.

The table is set for lasagne, ceasar salad, garlic bread and Loopy's special treats...

Happy birthday to my dear husband, Ben aka "Veto"... I love you, I love you, I love you! These words are my own.


Lisa said...

How brilliant and so talented, that Loopy! The topiary is so scrumptious.. Looks like you guys are going to have a grand evening.

btw.. I like the crown molding :)

scrappaleica said...

I hope you guys have a fantastic evening Sasha, great gift too!

Mrs. Staggs said...

Happy Birthday to "Veto"!
What lovely personal gifts.
I love the bat, and that wonderful cake.
Hmmmm, about the baseball card. That will be a very cool gift if it comes. I sure hope it does.
We serve coffee, and Baileys any which way you like in Merryville, Sasha....anytime you want!
Thank you for the welcome back. I appreciate it.

Saucy said...

We had a lovely evening, and then we went to our friend Marc's house for a party as it is also Marc's birthday on the same day - he turned 40, so happy birthday Marc!

June said...

Loopy's birthday projects are so cute and clevere--what love and thought went into creating her gifts.

The bat is an awesome idea--I've got to remember this for my brother-in-law. Your little apology to your dad about the fence made me laugh--I can just see you whacking away at it as you "age" the bat. So funny.

The birthday dinner table looks lovely--I imagine this was a great birthday celebration with everything so well considered and lovingly crafted. Congratulations to you all and happy birthday to Ben!

MJ said...

What thoughtful gifts for Ben! It was fun to read the process you went through (starting at Darwin ~ wow, that took me back a bit!) to get the bat! Great idea!

I'm sure he'll cherish the gifts and the memories!