Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Icing Smiles Inc.

I am so excited to be a part of Icing Smiles, a volunteer cake designing group whose goal is to brighten children's days. Who knew there was such a thing! I thoroughly enjoy it. I have been asked to share my experience and encourage others to become involved.

Here is an excerpt from the Icing Smiles site,

"Icing Smiles is a non profit organization that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by critical illness of a child.  We understand that the simple things, like a birthday cake, are luxuries to a family battling illness.  Our goal is to create a custom cake for the ill child or their sibling that will provide a temporary escape from worry and create a positive memory during a difficult time."

Last week a little boy, Brody, was having a double party with his older brother, Gavin. All Brody wanted was a Rex-from-Toy-Story cake. And Gavin wanted Brody to be happy, and maybe something with Corvettes.

I found out about this cake on Tuesday. It needed to be finished by Saturday morning so we could deliver it the a small town several hours from here. From conceptualization to delivery, that is very fast work for just one person. Especially me, when I usually draw things out several weeks in advance to get organized and mentally prepared. There were lots of late nights, well just two to be exact, and very long days. My sweet husband was my right hand man. He kept me going when I thought I wasn't going to meet the deadline. Needless to say house was not as clean as it could have been...

Here is what we ended up with...a Toy Story themed gift bag with a sheriff badge tag. Rex coming out of the top surrounded by tissue paper. A "toy-story-ish" sign on the wood floor base with Brody and Gavin's names. Two sugar Corvettes, just for fun!

My whole family packed up on Saturday morning. (We needed both my husband and myself to carry the cake and we couldn't really leave the kids at home.) What a trip! I was in the back with the cake. Kids and Scott were in the middle and front, all a bit on edge about getting this cake through construction and over potholes. But we all made it is one piece. And so did the cake!

But the time and effort payed off when I see Brody driving the edible Corvettes around the base of the cake. He smashed them into each other creating a sweet accident site just before he crammed them into his mouth...Typical boy! The Corvettes were made by Scott. He is a master silicone mold maker and whipped up a Corvette mold for me at the last minute. He formed these cars just in time for me to detail them and get them on the cake!

Rex was a hit, hopefully he will be remembered for a while. Most of all I hope that we were able to let God's love pour out of us to encourage those that we met. What an awesome way for our family to spend a Saturday!

Gavin and Brody with Caleb and me (and a party guest!)
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Monday, June 20, 2011

We Love Change

We love change. Only when the change is good, and it is good!

1. You can now view to latest four blog posts straight from my website, Viewable from every page, the blog posts are listed in the upper right hand corner.
2. My blog has a new address:!
3. My website has gone Mobile...easy viewing and navigating all from your phone!

Check out the recent changes and give your feedback. Pin It

Nerds Candy on a Cake!

Nerds...haven't had those in years! But, last week a girl turning 12 asked for a cake replicating her favorite candy, Strawberry-Grape Nerds. The inside is white cake with corresponding purple and pink vanilla filling.

I put Ashley's name in the Nerds' logo and painted little "nerds" on the sides.

I made some nerds for the top and put an "Ashely Facts" (resembling a Nutrition Facts Label) on the back. Pretty cute, I think. I guess you never know what people will come up with for their custom cake. That's what makes this all so fun!
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Henna Inspiration

This past week I was taking a class on gumpaste flowers and various techniques for working with fondant. It was a fairly good class but sometimes I find it claustrophobic to have to be creative in such a structured and prescribed way. So when it was time to work on our final project my creativity burst forth!

Inspired by Indian henna patterns and my love for peonies I new that I had to incorporate both elements into my final design. I decided to concentrate the little blossoms at the top and phase them out near the bottom and do the opposite with the henna patterns. I wanted it to be heavily patterned on the bottom tier and getting lighter going up the tiers.

This technique is called brush embroidery. Basically I took royal icing and pipe heavy outlines on the fondant. You could draw a design on the fondant first or just wing it like I did. Then I use a wet, soft-bristle brush and drag the edges of the design in toward the center. This creates the effect or being embroidered with thread. After that I embellished the design with dots and more piping. To top it off I painted the whole embroidered area with a gold and copper luster mixture. Talk about time consuming...but I thrive on details like this!

Then the peony...fifty hand-shaped petals in all! I love the radiating color and the sheer size of this flower. I added gold/copper luster to a handful of leaves the sit behind the peony, just to incorporate the gold on the top tier.
I hope to have the opportunity to reproduce this style and design again. I think it has a unique and elegant effect. I absolutely loved working on this cake!

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Firebird Race Car

When I was contacted to make a birthday cake for a drag racer named Jon, the men in my family were eager to contribute their expertise. Scott purchased the scale model replica of Jon's car, then Ethan diligently painted and assembled the vehicle. The replica, along with the schematics that were included with the kit, were the perfect source for  modeling the '98 Firebird out of cake.
On the left is Ethan's model and on the right is my version of the car, 100% edible and made out of cake.

The finished cake for the Carmean Family...Happy Birthday, Jon!
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