Under the pretext of celebrating Brioni’s birthday, I gave Tuesday’s playgroup another shot with some elaborately decorated buttermilk cupcakes, hoping to seriously impress the other ladies.

So I’m officially kooky. I accept that. Here’s how much trouble I went to.

I browsed through our playdough shapes to find the right flower shape for cherry blossoms. (It appears we only have two flower shapes in an entire backpack of cutters.)

Making Brioni's birthday cupcakes
I coloured some marzipan pink, rolled it out, cut out little flowers and then got out yellow sprinkles and silver cachous.

Making Brioni's birthday cupcakes
Finished flowers.

It took me several hours to make about sixty flowers. (I had to use tweezers to place the sprinkles in the right places.)

On Monday evening, I went to a friend’s place and used their oven to bake the cupcakes (ours doesn’t work/hasn’t worked for years).

That took another two hours. Decorating the cupcakes took another couple of hours, so I didn’t get to bed until 11 pm and decorated some more in the morning.

Making Brioni's birthday cupcakes
These were the cupcakes that I took to playgroup for the kids. Instead of placing the cupcake mixture in paper cups, I scooped it into icecream cones and baked them on a tray in the oven.

Making Brioni's birthday cupcakes
Here are the cupcakes I decorated to impress the other mums. (It didn't work — the best comment I got was, "Those little shapes are great, aren't they?")

I offered the elaborately decorated ice cream cone cupcakes at playgroup as a “present” to Brioni, who passed them out to the other kids.

Aisha, 3yo, Brioni, 2yo, + Calista, 5 months old, August 2008
To celebrate Brioni's birthday at playgroup, I pulled out the candles again. This time she didn't have any trouble blowing them out.

And then I also had to organise the craft activity.

Aisha, 3yo + Brioni, 2yo, August 2008
Determined not to offer another Mummycraft, I remembered that children these ages love gluing things. We poured the glue into the little trays and offered cotton buds as glue applicators. The kids had heaps of fun sticking feathers onto party hats which they then wore with pride.

Upon some intensive soul-searching, I now realise that I was hoping (unrealistically) that one of the ladies would say, “Wow, what lovely cupcakes! Will you be my friend?”

(It didn’t work.)

I’ll take some left-over cupcakes tonight to my Bible study and see what kind of response I get.