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Category Archives: Giving

Passions of my cake “profession”…

Passions of my cake “profession”…

Well, thanks for coming back or joining me for the first time.

Last installment had me turning another year older… no big… I survived. ‘Twas a piece of cake! I also had the pleasure of making the cake for my son’s 2nd birthday. He’s a little character my little Logan. He, much like other kids his age, and older, loves dinosaurs. More importantly he LOVES Dinosaur vs. books by Bob Shea. I’d say without fail, just about every night since we’ve had the dinosaur books, he’s had at least one of them read to him. And after story time is over, the book is wedged, by request, between the side of the bed and his mattress.

So without further adieu I give you “DINOSAUR VS. BIRTHDAY”

Some of you reading may know how to execute a sculpted cake and some of you watch all the cake challenge and reality shows. I’ve never been on one of those shows (this is good and I’m greatful to enjoy my love of cake decorating in private… for now) but I imagine how incredibly challenging it might be to complete a creation in a set amount of time. Being a mom who also works full time, my cake decorating extravaganzas happen once the kids are in bed and I’m left to my own little world of sugar, spatulas and the occasional cup of regular coffee to keep me going into the wee hours of the night… morning… you get the picture.

Since this cake wasn’t going to serve a lot of people, I made a smaller cake and had a base (the dinosaurs tushy) carved out of floral foam. Very easy to cut and shave to get a nice and reasonably smooth surface.

I used half inch thick floral foam and hot glued all the layers together. Then I cut away at the foam to get this rounded shape. Topped it off with a half inch thick piece of foam core and voila, dinosaur butt ready to receive legs.

The base of the entire cake is two pieces of half inch thick foam core with two holes cut out for the legs to slide in to. There’s also a cake board on the bottom of those boards with no holes to keep the legs from falling through. Used the same thought on the foam parts. Holes cut all the way through the foam core that end with the piece of cake board on top. This gave the legs enough stability to minimize wobbling.

Here’s a rough “cut” of the actual dinosaur cake body. I actually carved the cake before splitting it to make sure that I wouldn’t cut too far in to the dam of the cake and allow the filling to ooze out. Damming is where you put a bead of buttercream or icing between the layers where the fillings are placed.

Here’s the body with a crumbcoat of buttercream. Some smoothing was done and the cake is ready for more work.

Here is the cake on top of the foam bottom. I used royal icing to help keep the styrofoam from coming in contact with the actual cake, should a spatula slip and ding the foam. I used a separate bowl of royal icing when doing this. As much as the floral foam looks like rice cakes, I doubt seriously they taste like them… well… that’s definitely debatable… I wouldn’t want to eat it either way.

The cake is smoothed. The head and tail are both made of rice krispy treats. I used another board cut into almost an egg shape to support the weight of the head. There are also dowels running in the cake to keep him from collapsing. To ensure the head didn’t tilt forward I used a bamboo skewer and ran it from almost the back of the head toward just right of center of the cake and into the boards of the bottom.

Here is the finished cake. The arms were also made from rice krispy treats. Needless to say, Logan loved his cake and the best compliment was him saying it was a “cute dinosaur”. What other reason than to make someone small could there be? This is my passion, next to my family of course. They come #1 always.

Which brings me to my second project within a week of the dinosaur cake.

I had the great pleasure of also making a cake for my future sister in law’s bridal shower this past weekend. I made a lot of gumpaste flowers. Roses, tulips, hydrangeas, stephanotis and gerber daisies. It’s definitely a nice and welcome change from the somewhat weird off the beaten path cakes I’ve made in the past. I love flowers. I love making them and putting them all together. It’s like making a mini garden.

I often get asked if I ever feel sad once the time comes to cut in to a cake I’ve made. Thankfully, I think most of them have had to be sliced in to by others, but after my first few I kind of got over it. You can’t and really shouldn’t save a cake forever. It gets funky. I take lots of pictures and when I happen to be cutting in to a cake I’m surrounded by support from family and friends.

Hope you’ve all enjoyed this installment of my recent cake adventures. Thank you for reading, share some love and have a delicious day!

On a very side note: Some readers may have been following me in my weightloss journey. I’m happy to share I’ve lost about 17 pounds and am gradually saying adios to the pounds. They didn’t all arrive at once and they’re certainly not going to leave all at once… although it’d be nice. =D I have also signed up to participate in this year’s 2 day 35 mile walk to fight breast cancer and will begin training in a week or two. Usually try to walk about 6 miles a day by the last month before the walk at least 3-4 times a week. If anyone is interested in donating please visit www.li2day.org my walker ID number is 10898. Thank you.

Season of Giving

Welcome to my blog. I hope upon reading you are all in good health. What better way to launch a blog than a blog about the holidays. So sit back and enjoy my ramblings. I plan to share with you various aspects of my life. I consider myself to be a dabbler in crafty things. The most enjoyable things for me are things I can do with my hands. A few things I enjoy doing with my hands are baking, cake decorating, crocheting, sewing, drawing and photography. So here goes, hope you enjoy. =D

I can remember being probably 8 or 9 years old when that huge Toys “R” Us catalog would arrive. I remember flipping through the colorful pages upon pages of wishes, wants, desires. From My Little Pony playsets to 100+ count crayon sets, to a real pony (what little girl hasn’t wanted one of those?).

Looking back on that memory, I realize how petty all the “stuff” really was, I didn’t know it back then, what kid does? The importance of things has greatly shifted over the years. As an adult, sure, I’d love ot have the latest gadget, gizmo, or even retail bakery space complete with the most shiny, glistening stainless steel appliances and countertops… drool… ahem, where was I? Right… it’s all stuff. I still have wishes, wants, desires… they’re evolving. I want my kids to have a good life, be healthy and happy as much as possible and more importantly for them to know they are loved.

I try hard, with many bumps along the way, who doesn’t have those? I try to be a better person for them in the hopes I’m not a parent who has to say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” I want to be a role model for them and love them with all my heart and soul. So far, my heart and soul is theirs.

On to why I’ve started this particular post… I have never in my life imagined how good it would feel to give until I participated in a 35 mile/2 day walk to fight breast cancer. My grandmother lost her battle with breast cancer when I was 3, my mother-in-law has won her battle. I walked the furthest I’ve ever walked in my life in the shortest amount of time. A small “price to pay” considering the battles that have been fought and won or lost. The money raised when to research in finding a cure, to the people going through treatments, to childcare while a parent might be in treatments, wigs, prosthetics, lots of really really good things. It felt great, no matter the throbbing feet and sweaty brow experienced but the large swarm of people participating.

That, for those of you who have gotten this far, and I thank you if you’re still reading, is what is gradually propelling me to give. Give more. It feels good to help. This time of year shouldn’t be the only time to give. Most recently I made a choice to donate my hair to Locks of Love. My hair was admittedly out of control. It was too long and I needed a change. I had 11″ of hair bundled up and sent off. I hope they get as much use out of my hair as they can. I took my 4 year old daughter with me the day I got my hair cut. She asked me if it hurt to get my hair cut… I told her, “Sweety, quite the opposite.”

Before

After

So, with that I say, think about others this holiday season, and really, think about others all year. Sometimes all anyone really needs is an ear to talk to or arms for a hug. It doesn’t have to cost money or be a grand gesture, a simple thing like a smile could be all it takes to turn a life around. Not to get all preachy, but love each other more. It’s so much easier to love.

P.S.-Please bear with me as I explore blogging. It’ll be rough around the edges at first, but I’ll get there and am certain you’ll all enjoy it.