Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Amazing Mold Putty

My MIL called to ask if I could make a baby in a shell for SIL's upcoming birthday. I said yes, without hesitation, then realized I didn't exactly know how I would make a shell. So, I looked online and came across the idea of a mold. I didn't have time to order one, so I turned to my trusty Michael's store! I had heard of Amazing Mold Putty, seen it demonstrated, and actually got to use a mold made from it...but I was a little nervous to try it out on my own. But it couldn't have been simpler!

I found the mold putty and a real shell and went to work. First, I mixed equal parts from both tubes, blended them together, wrapped it around my shell, and VOILA! I let it dry longer than the specified time because I was making such a big mold.

After the outside of the shell was dry, I made a mold of the inside as well, following the same steps.

Then I got to make my shell! I poured white candy melts into the outside shell mold, then laid the inside shell mold on top of that, squished it a little, scraped away any excess candy and popped it in the freezer.

It came out awesome! I had to repeat the process to get two shells, for the baby to lay in. Using some candy/chocolate gloves, I held my shell and painted away. My MIL wanted pink, so that's what I used. Then I added some super pearl dust for that beautiful shimmer! I made a little platform for the baby in the bottom half of the shell. I "glued" the two shells together with more melted candy and propped it up in the freezer. Then, I finally added the little baby inside.

So cute! I love the little baby mold, which can be found here. I made some additional little shells for the cake with a candy mold I already had on hand. I painted them as well to match the bigger shell. My MIL made the cake and icing, which tasted fantastic!

This stuff is so much fun! I can't wait to use it again!
Hope you had a great birthday, Cristina!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Leaves Are Changing

Well, not so much here in Florida. But with fall in full swing, it always make me think of leaves. I used to live in Pennsylvania, you know, where they have all four seasons. Fall was always my favorite, the cool air blowing the multi-colored leaves on the ground, so later my siblings and I could make them into a big pile to jump in, then watch as they would fly all around, floating back down on you. They're kind of like the "snowflakes" of Autumn. Not to mention the sound, the crunching as you stroll down the sidewalk. Some kids loved puddles, for me it was leaves. It makes me a little sad that my girls don't really get the same privilege, but they do still like to collect leaves.

When I made a cake for the hub's work last year, I was definitely keeping leaves in mind! I made some out of marble-colored gumpaste. Then I used petal and luster dust to liven them up even more. At the time I didn't own a veiner, so I made my own by using a dresden tool.

I loved how they came out! So colorful! I accompanied them with some caramel and fondant acorns. I iced my cake with a (very stubborn) cream cheese frosting, then added a ribbon. Not too bad, right?

Hope you all are enjoying this season as much as I am!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spanish Tiles

A friend of a friend was getting married soon! The bride-to-be's shower was to be held at an elegant Spanish restaurant, Mi Tomatina. Looking online, I found very little inspiration or help for the perfect cake. In the end I went with the Spanish theme and planned to match the invitation's design, but with brighter colors.

I decided on a square cake with handpainted tiles and gumpaste flowers. I started by picking carnations, as they are one of Spain's most famous flowers. I made red, orange and yellow carnations, following this video from Elaine MacGregor. I didn't, however, have the carnation cutter, so I just used a plain round one and cut little slits around the whole circle, just like Elaine did in the video. I was much happier with how these came out, compared to the only other ones I've made (for a Wilton class almost 2 years ago).

I then made the tiles out of a fondant and gumpaste mixture. I ended up with 23 of the larger tiles and 46 of the smaller tiles. After letting them dry for a couple days, it was time to "paint"! I handpainted each one, the tiles on the front matching the invitation. After working for about 2 hours on those five tiles, I decided to make the rest of the tiles using a less intricate design. After my flowers dried, the color faded quite a bit, so I painted them as well, which turned out much more vibrant. I liked the finished look, especially since the tiles and flowers matched better this way. What do you think?

I was just finishing up as my friend came over to pick up the cake, and the bride-to-be, Emily, was with her. She was so appreciative and loved the cake! Mission accomplished! This was probably the most time consuming cake I've done so far, and even though every detail didn't come out exactly as planned (which never happens anyway!), the result was worth it!

Congratulations Emily and Jeffrey!

Can't wait to see the wedding pictures!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Cherpumple

I just saw this and had to share. For anyone that has not seen this yet, be prepared to be amused! If you can't view the video or it has problems, you can check out the video here.

Pretty neat concept, huh?! Not sure if I would ever really try this one...I am not a fan of pie. But many of my family members are, so maybe this would be a hit. Still, I love when someone creates something new. If I did this, I might only start with one cake to begin with and see how that goes.

Now, if this video has inspired you and you make a cherpumple, please send me a pic and a review...after you send it to Charles, of course!
Happy Baking!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wrapped In Chocolate

I knew I wanted the cake to be special, since this was the first birthday cake I would make for my mom since I've been decorating cakes. But I really had no idea where to start. When I am in this dilemma, I usually begin by looking at all the favorite cake pictures I have saved. A short time ago, I had seen an amazing cake on Cake Central (suprising, right?) made by member misterc for Cake Central Magazine, of which, I currently don't subscribe (insert sad face here). But lucky for me, he had posted it on cakecentral.com for my viewing pleasure! When I saw this cake, I just thought it'd be perfect, with my own twist, of course!

I started out making a devil's food cake with a chocolate mousse filling, icing it with a sage buttercream (mom's fave color is green), then wrapping that in chocolate, topped off with a chocolate "S" (for Shirley)and a rose (for her middle name, Rose).

What do you think? I really liked how it came out, minus a few broken pieces. I was pretty happy with my rose too, which was the first one I've made since taking Nic Lodge's class earlier this year (yes, I am a slacker)!

I had made chocolate tiles/shards before, but never a chocolate wrap, especially one like this. But I had fun making it and it looked okay, even with some missing/cracked pieces. Plus it still tastes delicious! If you want to try your own chocolate wrap, here's some instructions! You're welcome. Now, for this kind of wrap, you don't have to spread the chocolate, just drizzle it over the paper. Very simple techniques, but people will be impressed!

Glad we could make it down, Mom. Hope you had a great birthday!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Busy as a Bee!

I have been busy lately...and loving it! I have recently made 2 cakes, but I'll post those later. This post is about an adorable little baby, a baby bee to "bee" exact!

I was lucky enough to have Jane, the president of my cake club, ask me to join her in viewing and then judging a cake challenge at our local JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store! She had asked me to bring my Nic Lodge flowers, along with anything else I may have, to display for our Sugar Arts Guild. Well, to tell the truth, I didn't really have much else than the flowers and some left over leaves from last year. Since the competition was Halloween themed, I thought I would make some Halloween-ish things to bring. I dusted my leaves, cut out some orange fondant/tylose pieces to make pumpkins, and then I made a baby and "dressed" it in a cute bee costume, which the hubs recommended (thanks honey)!

It really did come out cute, wish I could say the same for my pumpkins that broke. So I brought my baby and the leaves. I got a couple admirers, and one lady that kept coming over to the table, accompanied with a different person each time, that just "had to see this"! I was thrilled. Then I added my little bee to Cake Central and so far have 50 people that saved it as a favorite! Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

As for the rest of the display table, Jane had brought in a gorgeous cake with masks and roses and her own ring box cake, both of which I have seen, but am still amazed by!

The Cake Challenge was so fun to see and judge! I was a little nervous to begin with, seeing as how this was my first attempt at judging, but I ended up having a great time! All the contestants were Wilton students and they did an outstanding job on their cakes. The winners are below.

Rod, who flew in from New York to compete, won "Spookiest Cake" with his toxic graveyard.

And Marissa was the big winner of the event, taking home awards for "Best Halloween Cake", "Customer's Choice", and "Judge's Choice" with her topsy-turvy cake!

Congrats to all the contestants. Hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did! If you want to see the rest of the pictures, you can find them all here! Enjoy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fit for a Princess!

I have seen so many castle cakes done that it kind of blows my mind! I have wanted to try one for a while, but was a little hesitant since it seemed like so much work. Well, my one and only niece (until next year, that is...Congrats Cristina!) was about to turn one and my sister wanted to throw a princess party. At first I had my mind on a couple other princess style cakes, but forced myself to try the castle cake instead. I absolutely loved making it; the towers, the brick impression, the flowers, and everything else for that matter! I still wanted to do more to it and next time I think I will try for more towers, I just took it easy this time. Here is the final cake...

I followed some instructions that I found on CakeBoss for how to make the towers. The rest of it is helpful also, I just did it a little differently. The cake was strawberry, filled with a Twinkie filling recipe I found on CakeCentral.

Then I also made a little smash cake for her to dig into. I think she liked it!

Happy Birthday Princess Abigail!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

P-P-P-Poker Cake

My brother and his friends are really into poker and they play a couple times a week. So, I know when any one of their birthdays rolls around, it's poker cake time! As I mentioned in my previous post, I didn't get a chance to make my brother's birthday cake this year (I know, I'm a bad sister), but I did get to make one for his friend recently. He told me he wanted a poker cake (obviously) and her favorite color was bright orange.

I had already been searching for poker cake inspiration, so luckily when my brother asked me for a cake with only 2 days notice, I already had an idea in mind! I found one I liked on Cake Central, from member tinabelle722.

I started by making poker chips and playing cards from a fondant/tylose mix to let harden and dry for a day. Here's where I incorporated her fave color!

After baking a chocolate cake, I frosted it with almond buttercream, then covered it with fondant. Next, I took edible markers and drew all the suits and letters on the cards and placed them on the cake. I put my borders on, using my clay extruder for the bottom one and hand rolling the top one. Then I stuck all my chips in stacks on toothpicks and pushed them into the cake. Here's how it all turned out...

I was pretty happy with this cake, and I heard Misty and her friends and family were going gaga over it! Hehehe!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sidney Galpern

I made a little mistake in my last post. After searching online for Sidney Malpern, I realized I was really looking for Sidney Galpern. A little mis-spelling on the ICES flier. It's okay now, I figured it out!

If you read my last post, you know that Sidney was a demonstrator at the FL ICES Day of Sharing in Daytona Beach. When we first saw Sidney up at the demonstrating table, we were a little confused, and thought she was there with her mom, who we thought would be demonstrating. We we W-R-O-N-G! Despite her age, she had the most professional demonstration of them all. She was very organised, focused, and had us mesmerized by her skills, her humor, and her easy going demeanor. To say the least, I was so very impressed!

After finding her website, I am now even more impressed by this 15 year old sugar artist!

Her cakes

Her chocolate sculptures

Her pulled sugar
*All photos courtesy of Simi Cakes

And here are some links if you want to check out her work, plus some of her adventures!

How amazing is that?! Sidney, keep up the great work! You have such a wonderful future ahead of you and I wish you all the best!

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's Over...

September, that is! It's October 1st and I officially felt the first cool Autumn breeze this morning. YAY! My favorite season is upon us. I can't believe how fast this year is going by. Like my daughter keeps saying, "Christmas will be here soon". Not that that's something I want to be thinking about yet!

September is over, meaning that a month full of birthdays, anniversaries (including mine!), and holidays is past, none of which I made a cake for. Shocking, I know. But I'm excited to have a couple cakes in the works for this month. So far I am planning a first birthday cake (for my one and only niece), a bridal shower cake, and a Halloween cake (or 2).

The only cake I was planning on making in last month was a birthday cake for my brother, whose party ended up being on the same day as the FL ICES Day of Sharing in Daytona Beach. Seeing as to how I've never attended a Day of Sharing, I had to forfeit my cake plans for my brother. And don't let him know, but I'm really glad I did! I had a great time.

Here are pictures of what 3 of the 4 ladies demonstrated...

Filomena Koolman-Vos - Tropical Flowers (Ixora flower)

Sidney Galpern - Pulled sugar (casting, spun, blown)

Lisa Menz from Photo Frost - Wallpapering a Cake (frosting sheets)

and unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the last demonsration by Ximena Sempertegui with her "Fall in Love Baby" (baby carriage) but it came out looking similar to this...

(Photo courtesy of Cakes by Ximena)

All of the demonstrations were amazing! Everyone was especially impressed with Sidney Galpern...who is only 15 years old and did an outstanding job and great sugar work!

For more info and pictures from this event, I'll be posting over at my cake club's (SAGNFL) new blog!

Monday, September 13, 2010

All Fun And Games

So I took a little break from my daughter's birthday posts to share my baby shower cake, not to mention spending a few days sick in bed. Who, I ask, gets strep throat in the summer?! It's just not right! Anyway, back to the regularly scheduled post!

For my daughter's 3rd birthday party I had a tough time coming up with new game ideas. I had used so many good ones over her last two parties, such as Pin-the-spot-on-the-ladybug, mouse-hole golfing, guess how many in the bottle, how many words can you make out of her name, 20 questions (Disney character version), bean bag toss, etc.

After much searching (and more nights than I want to admit, falling asleep at the computer), I ended up with a not-so-traditional, Ballerina BINGO and a word game, A to Z Birthday. I had also wanted to play "Grand Performance", which is when the birthday girl dances to some music and everyone else tries to copy her moves! Unfortunately we didn't make it to that game, but I'm not sure Lily would have danced for everyone anyway. LOL!

The A to Z game was very simple. I just made a Word document, added a couple pictures and the letters A to Z with fill-in-the-blank lines. And printed! Tada!

All the guests had to do was come up with a birthday party related word for each letter of the alphabet. The person with the most words wins!

For Ballerina BINGO, I took pictures of my daughter in her ballet outfit, tutu and all. I rearranged those photos, then printed out 15 different BINGO cards, using colors as a guide. I also printed out bigger versions of all the pictures, cut separately, to use for calling. After that, I got out my heavy duty "scissors" (as the hubs coworker calls it), my Silhouette machine and cut out 450 pink and white 1" circles to cover up the pictures when called. I decided the way to win was to get an "L" shape, the whole left column and the bottom row...the "L" standing for Liliana, of course. It was her birthday after all!

Here's how it all turned out...

The pictures were a little hard to see. If I did this again (which will probably never happen!) I would lighten all the pictures.

The baskets I made from doilies, using instructions found here. I also sprinkled glitter on them, but that didn't show up in the photo.

Everyone always has fun playing the games! And when the prizes are pictures of the birthday girl (which will be featured in my next post), it's easy to see the competitive sides come out of the family!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Baby!

SO, if you look at Cake Central RIGHT NOW, I am still in the Most Saved! See?! (Fourth from the left!)

Here's the details...I had bought my adorable baby mold back in January, when I attended the Florida ICES mini classes! So fun! Shortly after, I made my first baby. And it had been sitting in my cabinet since.

But I finally had an excuse to use it! So I sat down and in about 2 hours, made a little bow for her head and a frilly diaper cover up for her booty and then dusted her to give her a more life-like look! This is how she turned out...

So cute, right?! I know, now you want one, or want to make one. You can buy the mold here and start making your very own baby(ies)!

Well, my sister's friend from high school was having a baby shower (for her 3rd daughter!) and they needed a cake...Jessica to the rescue! LOL...You know I couldn't turn that down! I also now had an excuse to buy a lace mold which I've been wanting for way too long! YAY!

I looked online and found an adorable cake from CC member jardot22 that had a quilt-like pattern wrapped around the bottom of both tiers, so I figured I'd give it a whirl. I cut a bunch of squares the night before and drew/made different patterns on each piece. In the morning, I attached each one to the cake individually. I then added my lace and the quilt and baby on the top. I also wanted to put the baby's name on the top tier. I love how it turned out!

I do wish I could have gotten my buttercream smoother, but other than that I was pretty pleased with it! The top tier (6") was chocolate cake with raspberry jam filling and the bottom tier (8") was a vanilla cake filled with strawberry glaze and fresh strawberries. Delicious...the whole thing was devoured at the shower!

Congratulations Bessie and family!

Can't wait to meet your little one!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Most Saved!

Just had to make a quick post 'cause I came home and jumped on the computer for a minute to see this...

I know it's a little tough to see, but that adorable, pastel, baby cake on the right? That's mine! I made it to the front page of Cake Central! Woohoo!

I'll post details tomorrow!

Oh, and if you want, you can check it out here!

BTW, is there enough exclamation points in this post?! Can you tell I'm excited about this at all?! Heehee!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Label Love

If you've been reading my posts, you'll know I've been blogging about my daughter's birthday and all the fun that I got to have making stuff for it.

Next up.....labels!

I bought two vases and vase fillers (or rocks, in this occassion) at the dollar store and the silk flowers came from Hobby Lobby during their 50% off sale. So all in all, not too expensive. But I wanted to jazz them up a little...this is where my labels came in! I started with the same black sparkly paper that I had used for the invites. I cut out a pretty shaped label using my Silhouette. Then I printed out the words "Liliana's 3rd Birthday" on plain printer paper and cut it out using the same label shape, just a smaller version. I glued the white paper over the black, added pearl adhesives, and let dry. After they were dry, I glued them to a piece of ribbon long enough to go around my vase. Then I attached the whole thing to the vase.

I loved the outcome...

Too bad the camera didn't catch the black sparkles though. Maybe I'll try to get a better shot later!

Here's both of the vases, sitting on either side of my (Yummy!) punch bowl.

Next, I made labels for my favor bags, using the same shape as the labels for the vases. I just changed the words to say "Thank you for coming to my party!" And I used adhesive cardstock, so they just stuck right on the bag. Then I tied a purple ribbon through 2 holes punched at the top of the bag, after adding the goodies (a DVD of Lil's 3rd year, some professional pics, and some ballerina chocolates), of course!

Wait for more sweet treats to come!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Is there a party without one?

Nope! A party just isn't complete without a banner!

I already had my color scheme (pink, lilac, white), scrapbook paper, cardstock and my handy-dandy Silhouette! All I needed was some time. After looking at all the possibilities, I found a banner shape I liked best and went from there. I cut them out and moved on to letters. I found the font I liked and a good size for my banner pieces, then I cut them out and stuck them on. So easy since my cardstock had adhesive backing! I traced the letters with Glossy Accents to help make sure they stay on and to give them a nice shiny outline. And done!

Do you like?

Click picture for closer view!

I know my daughter liked it, especially with all these presents under it!

Look for more birthday party projects to come!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tutu Cute!

With the invitations for my daughter's party done and mailed out, I had some serious work to do! My next project was seriously made with lots of love, considering I had to do some hand sewing, which I am not fond of! I had seen some of the cutest bow holders online, mainly the ones from Bambina Ballerina! I didn't use any one in particular's instructions, I just kinda made it up as I went along. After searching more online, I found these instructions and might try them next time. Especially since it's a no-sew project! After a few days of work, this is how mine turned out!

I really like how it looks! I especially love the flowers on the top and lining the top of the skirt.

On the invitation I asked for everyone to bring a hair bow for the birthday girl, to add to her new bow holder. It just looked so darling with all the little bows. I'll have to get more pics of that later!

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Poof...It's Gone!

It has been too long since I posted, so I signed in today to update you all with some of my latest projects. After writing and adding pictures for the last 3 hours, I went to post it, and it all disappeared! So, now you get the short version.

I have been MIA lately because my youngest daughter had her birthday this past weekend! If you know me, you know that I like to DIY as much as I can! I love crafting and birthday parties give me so many ideas and such opportunities! And it also leaves me with no time for anything else, even blogging!

I had decided on a ballet theme party for my now-3-year-old(!) because of her love for all things ballerina. The first thing on my long list was the invites. I had planned the design 2 or 3 months ago, then I got me a little something called the Silhouette! (New obsession starts here.) Jealous, aren't you? I know I was envious after not winning any of the dozen giveaways I entered, at least until I read the winner's blog and realized how deserving they were. BUT I still wanted one and finally talked my hubby into buying it for me!!! Gotta love him! And yes, I started playing with the machine as soon as I got it out of the box!

I made some borders...

Then I cut out some circles, pictures, and the card itself with the words "You're Invited". I added a strip of black sparkly paper to the inside of the card, so that you could see it through the cut out words. Here's how the front of the card turned out...

For the inside, I wanted a simpler design, but still something that would match the theme. This is what I came up with...

I layered another piece of the sparkly paper over the back of the other strip. Then I glued down the beautifully cut pink ballet slippers. The rest of the invite was just the details for the party. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out and everyone else was impressed too. Of course, I love anything that has my daughter's pictures on! And the rest of the party was too cute...but more on that later!

Yes, seriously, that was the short version! LOL! So...what comes next for me? Thank you notes! I'll be back with more projects and pictures soon...I swear!

Monday, August 2, 2010

An Elmo Birthday

My nephew turned 2 a week ago! My sister, Jillian, had been planning on an Elmo birthday party, so of course I started looking for some cakes on my fave site, Cake Central. I found the perfect one (from CC member brea1026) and sent the pic to her. She was smitten too! Yay!

About a week before his party, I started by making some decorations for the cake. I mixed all my primary colored fondant with some tylose powder and got to work. I made an Elmo (of course!), some balloons, and lots of bow pieces to be put together later. After a couple days of drying and hardening, I went back to my pieces and painted details on Elmo and the balloons.

The day before the party, I baked a funfetti cake. And the next day I iced my cake, applied the fondant, and added all the decorations, including all the balls for the border (which my other sister, Jennifer, lovingly helped roll by hand!).

This is the final product!

And here are some pictures of the cake with the birthday boy! Love this first one, he just has the cutest smirk on his face, like, "Oh, yeah! That's MINE!"

If you hadn't noticed, the top tier has sharp corners but not so much on the bottom tier. No, I didn't perfect my skills after the first cake (I wish)! I just used a dummy cake for the top tier since there were less guests than my sister had first estimated, meaning we had to cut back on cake, but I didn't want to change the design. Plus, this way my sis got to keep the top!

Hope you enjoyed your cake, Jordan! Can't wait for #3!