Sunday, February 26, 2012

Brooches & Baby Shower

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!! I wish it had been a little warmer, but it is still February so what can you do? I had to snuggle up on the couch instead of basking in the sun. Tough life. I'm sure spring will be here before we know it. 

I received some molds in the mail this week! Sooner than I expected them too! They're brooch molds. I love brooch molds but when I looked a few months back, found nothing that I liked. Then I happened across these a couple weeks ago and had to have them! I played with them a little this weekend.
Oh my goodness, I'm so excited to use these! Don't you think they're pretty?? Especially with the gold and silver shimmer. Maybe the picture isn't the best, but I really like them. I'm not sure what to do with these now, because I am not throwing them away! I'll figure out something.

And I thought of a great idea for using one on a cake!! I plan on doing it soon so we'll see how it turns out. If it's any good, you'll see pictures :)

I also made a baby shower cake this weekend for a young lady at church due in April with her first. It's a girl!! 
 It's vanilla cake (new recipe --- everyone seemed to like it. Hope they weren't just being nice!) with cream cheese filling and covered in buttercream. Fondant decorations.
 I think the pictures from my phone were actually better, but I can't get them to download so these will have to do. (ugh)

 I didn't realize it was blurry :(
This is a picture of the cake that the sister-in-law of the mom-to-be gave me to use as inspiration.
Hopefully you can see a resemblance! 
Night night!

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.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


This past weekend I had big plans to make some progress on my cake competition cake. Well, for reasons I'll explain post-competition, I was unable to do so. I hated that, but it also freed up some time for me to make a red velvet cake that I was wanting to make! You know, Valentine's Day was on its way and red velvet just seemed perfect. And I haven't made it in a looong time so it needed to happen.

 Look how nice and red.
Like I've mentioned in previous posts, I've had issues with cakes sticking to the pans. I've picked up a few different type of sprays and thought I'd try them out.
There's Crisco Canola, Market Pantry Canola, and Pam with Flour
Well check that out. They all came out beautifully. Which makes me think it depends on the cake. I think the more moist the cake, the more likely it is to stick to the pan. Now... how to solve that...
 The 2 cakes I made. The top one is 2-layers and the bottom one is 3-layers.

 My first attempt at the ombre style. Gotta keep working on it. But I love the pinks :)
Check out this one by Sweet and Saucy. So pretty.
 Awww... Cheesy! It's allowed in February. I leveled off the cakes as usual and made this from some of the scraps. I did serve this to my Valentine :)
 The second of the red velvet cakes. I've been wanting to this technique for a while. I used my pearl string molds.  Ended up taking longer than I realized.  I imagined it in white, but I had these colors and would have to throw them out soon so I used them!! Worked for Valentine's anyway. Got enough pink/red yet? But I would have loved to put a flower or two on top. Had no time for this one but next time....
 Love the cut look. I'm kinda obsessed with that pretty red velvet.
I like this one even better, if I say so myself.

Alright, I gotta get down to business. Lots to do to prepare for the cake competition. Hopefully I'll have time to share with you this weekend! Hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Kid's Cakes

This past weekend I had two cakes. One for a little boy turning 7. One for a little girl turning 8.

This was my first Barbie cake. Smoothing buttercream on a curve is fun... ha. I definitely don't do that often (as well as ruffles... I re-did these at least 3 times. I should work on those too). I finally got the icing how I liked it, then decided I needed to move the top peace sign up a little. You could tell where I tried to re-smooth the icing to move the peace sign. Oh well. The peace sign does look better where it is. By the way, the peace signs were Skylar's request. And the dress is light purple, even if you can't tell from the picture. 

 Hopefully you can tell this is supposed to be a Lego cake. I found one by the Hudson Cakery I really liked.  
I used this as inspiration for my cake. Not sure how well I did...
I saw a cake on Pinterest today that was a really cute Lego cake. Who knows what it would've looked like if I'd done it though : p
HowTo: LEGO Cake
Here are some cake bites I made for my brother's birthday. I was shipping them so I didn't mind how they looked (even though I always want my stuff to look nice), who knows what could happen en route. I don't do cake bites very often and I'm not that good. But they got to my brother and he liked them so that's all that matters. I really need to move back "home" (where my entire family is) so I can make them birthday cakes! And not resort to pitiful cake bites. That's a good enough reason to move, right??

No cakes planned for this weekend. Hopefully I'll get a jumpstart on my cake for the competition that is rapidly approaching! I'm excited! Cross your fingers that what I have planned works!