Friday, February 27, 2009

That Takes The Cake! Sugar Art Show

This weekend I ventured down to Austin, and all my cakes miraculously made it in one piece.  It was hot hot hot when we got there, even though it was near freezing when we left DFW earlier that morning.  This made me nervous, because I was afraid that the cakes might melt or fade in the sun.  But much to my relief, all was well when I repeatedly checked on them during the five hour journey.  :)  
I am so proud of these cakes that I can hardly stand it!  
The wedding cake was technically challenging for me, but it is stunning and by far one of the best cakes I have made so far.  
I wanted a design that was lovely and sweet, but wanted unfurled, unruly flowers for the topper.  I looked through lots of photos and decided that I wanted to make pink and white peonies.  The gumpaste peonies took several days.  For anyone interested in learning how to make them, a wonderful place to start is with Nicholas Lodge's Gumpaste Gardenia and Peony DVD.  Also, I used my pasta machine at a level 8 to roll out the gumpaste, and then dusted some of the petals with Pink Petal Dust.   
The cakes were covered in fondant as usual.  Next, I bought a lace silicone mold to make the lace embroidery.  These molds are pretty cool-you get two pieces that fit together kind of like a puzzle would.  There is the part that you press the fondant in to, and then the part you place on top of that.  You press the top piece in firmly, and then pull the fondant out.  For me, the pieces did not come out clean and needed to be trimmed with a knife.  I applied all the lace pieces to the sides of my cakes with some water, and then did some over piping with thick royal icing.  
Next, I rolled out pink gumpaste very thin for the ribbons and bows.  I used my pasta machine for this at a level 4.  After it was rolled out, I cut it with my ribbon cutter and dusted with White Sparkle Dust.  The ribbons and bows were applied to the cake as normal.
Wow.  After describing it, it sounds pretty simple!  I wonder it took me so long....
The next cake was inspired by my daughter's bedding, which she got from Santa.  The bedding is from the Pottery Barn Kids.  I just love all the patterns and colors on her bed, and thought it could make an adorable cake!
The top tier is a replica of a pillow-robin's egg blue with white Swiss dots, and an embroidered owl.  I used a stitching tool around the edges of the owl, to make it look like fabric.
The green tier I placed on stripes of fondant that I stitched with my stitching tool.  I also added the bows.  Next, I cut out the partridges freehand, using lots of different colors, and then added on the flowers that were cut from a daisy cutter.
The 3rd tier is a replica of a patch of fabric on her bed that has whimsical trees on a background with chocolate Swiss dots.  The dots are chocolate.  The trees were cut free hand, and the flowers were added using a daisy and violet cutter.
The fourth tier is the bed skirt, which has pretty, colorful leaves on it.  With this, I just tried to mix and match the colors to make it as bright, fun and gorgeous as possible.  And then the cake board is the pattern of her sheets.
My favorite part of the cake is the owl toppers, which are exact replicas of the stuffed animals that came with this set.  I just love it.  I think I love it mostly because it is so original and not something I have seen on a cake before.
Unfortunately, I did not place in the competition, but am still happy with the experience and how my cakes turned out.  
First place went to this cute cake that had tons of hand sculpted mice sitting on top of drums.  How great is that?
Second place was this argyle-type of cake done by Natalee Klotz.  I have been a fan of her cakes for a couple of years, ever since we competed
 together at a competition in McKinney.  I still haven't met her in person, but really admire how perfect her cakes always are.  
Last year she won best of the Intermediate Division, and this year came back to the Intermediate Division to win 2nd on this perfectly adorable cake.
I didn't get a photograph of the 3rd place cake, but wanted to share a photo of this AMAZING cake.  I cannot believe it did not place in the competition, because it was simply wonderful.  Can you believe that the coral on top is white chocolate?  And then the gumpaste orchids?  Holy cow, it's just stunning.   :D  (By the way, my son the aspiring photographer took these pics.  He's 5!)
Congratulations to all the winners of the show, and to everyone who made such gorgeous cakes!  I can't wait till next year! 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Monkeys and Zebras

Purple is my absolute favorite color, but unfortunately, I don't seem to get to decorate with it much.  Luckily this week, I got to make a cake for a little girl who loves purple, too.  
The mom wanted monkeys on the cake, because that was the theme of the party.  Since she is one of four girls, she wanted 4 monkeys total on there.  I wanted the cake to be cute and girly, and ended up deciding on doing them like on my Luau Cake I made a few months ago.  I added the purple flowers to their heads to help with the girlishness.
After I put on the monkeys and the bow, I took a step back to look it over.  The cake still seemed empty, so I piped on some sherbet-green vines, and added more flowers.  Then I piped the 6 as well.  It is a really sweet cake.
The next cake I made was a little bit of a repeat.  They wanted the bottom tier with zebra stripes, but wider than the ones I have made before.  They also wanted them horizontal.  At first they wanted the top tier to be giraffe print (ack!), and I am grateful they changed their mind about that, because it would have been a tad too much.  They ended up deciding on the top tier being polka dotted.  I think it is perfect.  
Happy Birthday to Hailey and Ciann!  

Friday, February 13, 2009

Abigail Bo Peep

I love this little sheep!  She is so cute, I think I will sneak her off the cake to keep her, and see if Shelley (Abigail's mommy) will notice.  ;)
Shelley requested that the cake be pastel colors-pinks, purples, yellows.  She also adores sheep, and wanted an adorable one for the top.
The sheep is larger than most of my fondant animals, so that it would be the same size on the 1 on the top.  I molded the body, arms and legs like normal, then made the head.  I added some eyelashes to be extra feminine, and then being inspired by her sweetness, added some pink petal dust onto her cheeks to give her a girly blush.  The wool is made with royal icing and a small star tip.  She is the cutest little thing ever, and I hope that Abigail has a fabulous first birthday!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nathaniel's Valentine

I love Valentine's Day!  
When I went to drop off my son at preschool this week, I was too late to pounce on bringing cupcakes or cookies for the Valentine's party.  I was the third parent to drop off their kid, but, the other two moms seized the opportunity before I could.  So, trying to avert "Punch" or "Snack Mix", I scribbled my name under "Other".
Tuesday after dropping him off I went to the cake store, and they had the most beautiful display of chocolates at their entrance.  Lovely things that I have never seen before, like jewelry made of chocolate.  And jewelry boxes.  Gorgeous!  But what caught my eye was the most adorable little chocolate lollipops.  It didn't take me long to decide that's what I would make for the party.
Nate got to help me, and we melted the wafer chocolates, then poured it into piping bags, which was the piped into heart shaped molds.  The next day we bought ribbons and bags, then assembled them together.
It's funny because my kids are so used to cakes and cookies that they don't even bat an eyelash at them.  But chocolates on a stick, well, that was a novelty.  Nate was super excited to take them to school on Thursday.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Takin It Easy

This week I took it easy, and just did one fun cake.  I love making my zoo animals, and this client wanted them ontop of my 1-tiered zebra cake.  She absolutely loved it!
Next week is also an easy one for me.  However, I am getting ready for a cake competition in a couple of weeks, so the two cakes I will be taking with me will be taking up quite a bit of my time.  Last year I didn't get to go to this competition because my fondant wouldn't cooperate.  So I am hoping this year will go off without a hitch.

© Butterfly Sweets. Powered by