Finn 1

“Stupid is as Stupid Does.” (And stupid doesn’t even COVER it.)

Dear Friend,

May I ask you a question?

Have you ever come up with a seemingly fabulous idea/design that you think will look awesome and won’t be that difficult, just to find, only a few minutes into working on said project, that you are the biggest dope in the history of the world to ever reside on planet Earth and this is the single most RIDICULOUSLY difficult project you’ve ever even attempted in your whole, entire, meager existence?

No? Well, you really should try it sometime, then.
IF, of course, you think you may like the feeling of complete and utter panic, mixed in with a high level concoction of stupidity, naivety, airheadedness and BAFFOONERY. (Yes, that is actually a word this time.)

Jonathan (my fabulous nephew, and *AHEM* my ONLY nephew) turned sixteen last week (and no, we will NOT discuss, at this time, just how ancient that really makes me feel). Jonathan is super into robotics. Shawna looked up “robotics” on Google and came across a very cool image of a relatively “SIMPLE” robot. Shawna thought to herself, “Hey, that’d be pretty cool… and it’s a pretty simple design so it can’t be THAT hard.”

SHAWNA is a complete idiot.

Because, you see, once Shawna’s super hot husband (sorry, I had to throw that in there) convinced her that the robot would have to be pretty darn big in order to feed all of the guests at the party, and built her the structure for a PRETTY DARN BIG robot, (but really because Shawna’s husband has the nearly debilitating, man-disease entitled, “ALWAYS go big, or ALWAYS go home”), and then Shawna actually STARTED building the cake, and then, in turn, ganaching the cake, Shawna realized what a complete and absolute MORON she was to think that this design couldn’t be THAT hard.

(I realize I have a myriad of run-on sentences here, but it simply can not be helped.)

Shawna soon realized that most of this design was comprised of SMOOTH, ROUND, DECORATION-LESS SURFACES!!!!
Now, maybe that seems harmless to a cake-eating-but-not-interested-in-making innocent bystander, but to those of us who have mangled enough minds to actually attempt a design with such nonsense, it it a COMPLETE NIGHTMARE!!!

I HATE bumpy surfaces on my cakes. I just can’t handle bumps. The very idea of them torments me. Hence, I often go to GREAT lengths to ensure there are none to be seen on the surfaces of my cakes.
And if there happen to be a couple in the end, most of the time decorations cover them up.

Take a look at this robot cake while thinking about that very concept.

Also, may I mention here how hard it is to get large chunks of modeling chocolate completely round, with no indentations and/or uneven surfaces.
There is no fondant on this cake. It is covered ENTIRELY in modeling chocolate, so as to better blend in the seams.
And all of the ROUNDED parts, comprising of the arms, shoulders, legs, hands…. they’re all modeling chocolate. They needed to be… to hold their shape and to stay where I put them.
A complete and utter NIGHTMARE.
Kindo’ like “Nightmare on Elm Street” only worse.

But really, all of what I’ve just said can be boiled down to five simple words…

THIS.CAKE.NEARLY.KILLED.ME.

It took me HOURS upon HOURS longer than I expected. I finished it just one hour before the party started. There was no time to put ANYTHING on the wooden board… and at that point, you may not have convinced me to decorate it even with a gun pointed at my brain, ANYWAY.

BUT… (though I nearly collapsed into a pile of useless flesh and bone once this deceptive robot was complete) I DID, in the bitter end, survive. And even mustered up enough energy to get myself showered and presentable (I think) for the party.

And then we had to TRANSPORT the thing.
Some stories, though, I simply do not have strength enough to recount. *shiver*

 

Yours Truly,

Biggest Idiot to EVER Walk the Face of the Earth

P.S.  After a project like this, slicing open your thumb with the brand new blade you just put onto your exacto knife while cleaning your color shapers, (not knowing your knife was in the bundle of shapers you were rubbing the tips of to clean, of course) is NOT helpful.   Just thought I should mention.

Head, chest and butt… all cake.

Boots… styro blocks covered in modeling chocolate.

Everything you see… modeling chocolate.

Check out the AMAZING Mike McCarey’s Bobble Head cake class, HERE, in order to learn how the build a proper structure for a cake like this!

It is an absolute FABULOUS class, and I HIGHLY recommend it.

Check out my free YouTube video on how to make modeling chocolate, HERE.

And check out my “tools/products” page, HERE, to find all the tools you’ll need for a project like this, including the candy melts needed to make the modeling chocolate.

bottom tier 1

An Edible Crocheted Hat With Matching Boots? Sign.Me.Up.

You may have noticed that I made a horse’s head for my daughter’s birthday a few weeks ago. (Yes, I know… very Godfather like, but never-the-less, it had to be done.)

So, how funny is it that the VERY next week’s brief was for a cowgirl themed cake? This, though, for a sweet little one year old’s big birthday bash.

It was time to get creative.

Sometimes, the problem with seeing so many different cakes, so much of the time, is that with certain themes, you can feel like you’ve seen it all.
And you need to start thinking OUTSIDE of the box if you want to do something a little different.

Now, granted, this cake is not exactly THE most creative cowgirl cake known to man. In fact, as far things go, it’s actually quite standard, I realize. But sometimes, just giving a slight twist to a popular idea is enough to get me all kinds of excited about a design.

So when I saw a picture, online, of actual crocheted cowgirl booties and a cowgirl hat just like the ones you see here, ALL kinds of excited is EXACTLY what I got.
(Ummm… the fact that I now had a solid, unshakable reason to go ahead and splurge on that ridiculously cool crochet mold I’ve been eyeing up for forEVERRRRR, really had nothing to do with it.
Kinda.
Sorta.
But I digress…)

My fabulous customer loved the idea, and was hoping for some paisleys (as the birthday girl’s name is, in fact, Paizley), and maybe a belt buckle to be incorporated as well. So with that, I quickly went ahead and “invested in my business” (*ahem* I may overuse that phrase, evvvvvvver so slightly… but that is of no consequence, really) and bought myself (UH, I mean, my COMPANY) an AWESOME crochet mold… and went to work!

 

The end result… my-slightly-standard-but-with-a-li’l-twist cowgirl themed first birthday design.

And, of course, a new beloved addition to my fancy collection of molds.

That I’ve invested in.
For my BUSINESS.
Personal enjoyment *cough* really has nothing to do with it. *cough*

 

 

Top tier cowgirl hat… made of cake, covered in ganache and then covered in fondant (using a crochet mold like the one that you can find by clicking HERE.)

Middle tier… cake covered in only ganache. No fondant.

Bottom tier… cake covered in ganache and then covered in fondant.

Booties made of solid modeling chocolate and covered in fondant using said crochet mold.

 

 

 

 

IMG_6248

Always Horsin’ Around

My firstborn.

My responsible yet fun, careful yet free, patient (with everyone other than her siblings) and sweet (um… with everyone other than her siblings) firstborn baby girl has just turned ELEVEN years old.

If I’m only 20, how is that possible? (Ok, QUIET.  A girl’s gotta be allowed to pretend, now and then.  Even if the crow’s feet around her eyes INSISTS upon reminding her.      Phooey.)

My Lily LOOOVES horses.  She loves riding them, grooming them, watching them… they are her THING.  So, no surprise when she requested a horse themed cake for her bday, this year.

When we were ready to talk design, she started listing off the usuals associated with horses… cowgirl hat, horse silhouette, maybe some rope… but that just felt too BLAH to me.

I wanted to do something a little more special for her, this time.

Hence, my Google images search began… and I eventually came across this gorgeous art by Kerri Herer, combining sketches with floral photography… and we both instantly fell in love!

So we decided we should try to bring it to life. (Well, in cake form, anyway.  In case you were confused.)

Ok, so I AM half Italian you know.  A horse’s head is not SO surprising then, is it?  (hee hee… KIDDING!  Though most of the men in my family found it astonishingly fun to snicker about how there should’ve been sugar “blood” on the bottom of it and snuck into someone’s bed at night.  Boys think they’re SOOOO darn funny, and are so CLEARLY entertained by themselves.  Thank goodness someone is… but I digress… ;) )

My hubba hubba burnin’ love cut me some MDF board… I used some plumbing piping bought from the local hardware store to rig up a solid structure (having covered any piping that would be touching the cake with modeling chocolate first, of course) and went to town.

Had no idea how she was gonna turn out… but after figuring out what to do with that blob of modeling chocolate that was to be manipulated into her face, a little airbrush action, and my wafer paper flowers (VERY fun to make, click HERE to get yaself some wafer paper), it all seemed to come together in the end.

And when my Lily walked into the room once her white horse head cake (that she later, affectionately named “Summer”) was finished, held her hand to her mouth and gasped, “Momma!  It’s BEAUTIFUL!”,  I instantly deemed this project a success…

and was just so happy that “Summer” actually ended up looking like a horse.

‘Cause, well… you just never know  with these things.  And kids have that “naked truth” factor going on that can often leave you whimpering in the corner.  Knaw I mean?

Lily loved her horse.

And then we ate her. ;)

 

 

Solid modeling chocolate head, with the neck being the cake.  Click HERE to view my free video on how to make modeling chocolate!

You can blend in the seems of modeling chocolate so that they are invisible!

Petal dusts and airbrushed coloring.  (You NEED an airbrush in your life. SAVE YO’ PENNIES.  Click HERE to see mine.)

new dorothy

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain.

“We’re off to see the wizarrrrrrrrrrd, the wonderful wizard of Oz.  We hear he is a wizard of wiz, if ever a wiz there was.  If ever oh ever a wiz there was, the wizard of Oz is one because because, because because because because, beCAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSE... because of the wonderful things he does! (dant da na na na nont, DANT)…

We’re off to see the wiZARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRD, the wonderful wizard of Oz!”

(But quite frankly, I’m quite convinced that the Lolipop Guild munchkins are where the party is REALLY at.

Just sayin’.)

My “time” meter is running on empty, this week, (and I’ve a household of 7  children at the moment, with a patience level that’s skatin’ on dangerously thin ice) so I’ll make this description short ‘n sweet…

Wizard of Oz cake.

Airbrushed “corn field” bottom tier.

Airbrushed “scary woods” top tier.  (I know… I went for a very “Monet” version of both.  But please don’t say it out loud.  Not wanting him to roll around in his grave or anything.”)

Modeling chocolate brick road, leading to a green colored, isomalt Emerald City, crowning the top, surrounded by poisonous red poppies (but it’s OK!  They’re just made of sugar!!  hee hee *snort*)…

with a sassy lil’ Dorothy sittin’ her tush at the bottom, going somethin’ like, “Um, yeah.  Who’s got the ruby slippers NOW, y’all?  And, “I’ll GO to see your little man behind the curtain, but let’s not pretend I’m doin’ it ’cause I BELIEVE any of that rubbish.“ 

And Toto.

In his basket.

Wish I fit in a basket… and could be carried around all o’ the time, EVEN if I went and bit my neighbor every time she hit me on the back with a rake.

Geesh.  Dogs get to have ALL the fun. ;)

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Click HERE to view the airbrush package I own and highly recommend to anyone who likes to play…and play and PLAY!

Click HERE to check out the isomalt crystals that I use to make some fun “crystal/glass like” decorations… and play and play and PLAY. ;)

Click HERE to see a selection of GORGEOUS backdrops, several of which I own to enhance my photos.

And for the sake of all that is good in this world, PLEASE make yaself a batch of modeling chocolate, and therefore have a whole new WORLD open up before your very eyes!  Click HERE to see my free video that walks you through the simple process of making some.

You’ll thank me for badgering you about it.  I’m certain of it. ;)