Sunday, February 19, 2012

Grandma's Attic

If you've read any of my recent posts or if you're my friend on facebook, you know that yesterday was the cake competition. Oh man, I'm not sure where to start. First of all, this week was so busy! Valentine's day was Tuesday, my husband and I went to a Mardi Gras parade and ball on Thursday and I had to get this cake ready for Saturday. And the cake had to be ready by Friday night because the competition was an hour and a half away.

I've been thinking and planning this cake for weeks (Thanks to Jennifer and my mom for putting up with endless emails with questions and ideas!!). I managed to finally come up with an idea.
These are just a few of the sketches and notes I made about ideas and details.
As you can see on that top sheet, I finally decided on a trunk with 2 suitcases on top with a dress form standing beside it. I know that probably seems so simple, but it was a lot of work coming to that conclusion. How could I do a dress form?  What sizes should I make the suitcases/trunk to make it look proportionate to the dress form? All those type questions.
 I was determined to do the dress form. On the left is the structure my husband made for the dress form. Lots of figuring just to make sure that would work. On the right was a dress form I found at Hobby Lobby. I planned to make one the exact same size. That at least helped in the process of forming my own dress form.
 It is allowed to use cake dummies for the competition. The last two years, I used real cake. First year, I wasted so much cake. And there's always the issue of now what do I do with this cake?? So this year, I thought I'd use cake dummies to (1) save cake, (2) save time and energy (baking all the cakes etc), and (3) be able to make it in advance. Well all those worked except for the last (and most important) one. 

I ordered my cake dummies kinda late, but according to the website I'd still get them over a week before the competition. I was pumped! Until the day I expected them came and I got an email that they had shipped. They had just then shipped. Ugh. So I got them Valentine's Day. Seems early enough. Except we went out for V-day. I needed my husband to cut the dummies to the size I needed. I think he finally cut them Wednesday but I had no time to work on them with church and all. Then Thursday came along.... and we had the Mardi Gras activities. 

Yup, that leaves Friday night to work on it. I had at least covered the board and started forming the dress form, but that's about it. 
I would've used cake for this, but cake gets heavy. And I had to travel 60 or so miles with it so I settled on rice crispies treats. I like how it looks before I cover it with fondant. 

Around 2 am, I finish. Yay!!
 I had planned to do a tomato pin cushion on top of the suitcase, but I thought the red would clash with the colors I had. 

 A quilt sticking out of the trunk.
 Accents painted with luster dust.

 I hate that it's not very smooth. I put buttercream over the rice crispies to try to smooth it out, but apparently that's not good enough. I'll have to figure out something. 

 They have an area set up for pictures at the competition. How nice! 
Here are a few of the other competitors. There are other divisions. Proffessional, Advanced, Novice, etc. It did seem like there were less entries this year, unfortunately. 

These are some of the Professional. I'm pretty sure the first won.                                                                            

These are some of the Advanced division

So what was the outcome for me? Well...
 I got 2nd place. 

I believe this is the cake that won the Novice division. They announce winners by name and number while the cakes are in a separate room so it's hard to keep track of who won what.
I'm not going to lie, I was kinda bummed. It's not that I thought I should get first, I was just hoping I would. My first year I got 3rd and couldn't believe it. Last year, I got 2nd (although originally I thought first, but turned out it was a mistake - but 2nd was still good for me!). I really wanted to get gold this year! The last 2 years, although I worked hard on those cakes, I wasn't that happy with them. This year, I was. I was content with how it turned out. We do get our score cards back. Fortunately the judges didn't beat me up and I was happy with their comments. I think it looked too simple. It needed more details. I understand that. It's funny though. It looked simple, but it took me so long to plan it all out! As for details, I just ran out of time anyway. Unless I didn't want any sleep. Oh well. There's always next year! Curious about the last 2 years? 

2010 Theme: Fairytale. Umm, kinda embarrassing now and I was really not confident back then. That's why I was incredibly excited when I got 3rd.

 2011 Theme: The 70's

That's me receiving the gold medal that was not actually mine. The girl that one had also done a VW van. Not sure how it got mixed up, but I'm glad I figured it out. Otherwise I would've doubted the whole time. I'd rather have 2nd, knowing I earned it than have 1st, not knowing if I had actually placed at all.

Can you tell I'm completely burnt? The competition is in Gulf Breeze, FL, which is right next to Pensacola Beach. The first year I sat on the beach but it was a little chilly. Last year I sat out there all day! It felt amazing. And I was a lobster. This year... it rained. I was so bummed! I'd bought a book and everything. So instead of relaxing, reading, and napping on the beach, I took 2 miniature naps in my car, passed the time at the mall, and tried on clothes I shouldn't (and didn't but still thinking about) buy. And there was some serious rain and thunderstorms on my way home. I saw a car flipped on its side on the interstate!! Scary! Fortunately, I made it home safely. Even if I had to go 40 mph on the interstate :)

Oh yeah, and here's the theme for next year. Put your thinking-cap on! :) I'm 100% positive this will be easier (for ideas, at least) than this year's. (I hope I don't regret saying that)

Anyway, that was the excitement of the 2012 Cake Competition. If you made it through this whole post: Congrats! You want more??

I did have a cake for Sunday, which added more to the fun events of the week. But don't get me wrong, I always love to do a cake. 
 Here are some buttercream roses. Don't make these often. Obvious?
This was for a co-worker of mine from her boyfriend (who is also a co-worker). It's supposed to look similar to the cake from the movie P.S. I Love You. I haven't seen it, but I thought the "P.S. I love you" on the cake was cute! How sweet. Word is that she liked it. Therefore, success.


  1. I think your cake looked great! I like it better than the first place winner. For next year you could do the Travelocity gnome and/or a cruise ship.

  2. Thanks! That's a good idea!! That gnome would be a good one! I thought of a cruise ship too since we live cruises!