It is no secret that the last few months have not been easy to live through for my family – or that it is very hard to get the creative spirit flowing again. But other people still have celebrations to enjoy and they still want cakes to grace their table so I must try to oblige.
Normally, at this time of year, my grandson would have been enjoying his birthday cake – created to match his desire as far as theme goes…but since his tragic and untimely death last year I will never again have the pleasure of seeing his face beam at my confectionary creation for him. His 10th birthday this year was celebrated in a rather different way – which I will write about next week.
So, the cake I have made this month is for Lisa, who is 21! I have never met her but was asked by her aunt if I could make a cake with a theme suitable for a Hair and Beauty Student.
I had just 14 days notice so had to come up with a design and work out the logistics for making it fairly swiftly…which I have to say was quite a challenge under the circumstances. However, I am pleased with the way it has turned out.
The whole of this decoration is edible – with the exception of the stick part of the mascara wand and the stick part of the nail varnish brush which are sugarpaste wrapped around a cocktail stick. I was going to use more items of make up but it just looked far too fussy so I have stuck with a select few! I am particularly pleased with the mascara wand and was sorely tempted to try to shove it into the tube to see if it really worked!! I also like my hairgrip (kirby grip) decorations which are royal icing piped to form the ‘grip’ bit with a sugarpaste flower and a sugarpaste pearl for decoration
So, all that remains now is to deliver it and hope that today goes well for Lisa!
Today I have iced and decorated the cake that Mr Tumble will be sitting on. It is a madeira sponge cake with raspberry jam and buttercream filling. I have made the decoration quite simple scattering brightly coloured stars over the plain white sugarpaste icing.
The three columns are also made of madeira cake, raspberry jam and buttercream with a sugarpaste coating and, in effect, they are individual servings of cake….for someone with a hearty appetite and a sweet tooth! They represent the columns that Mr Tumble interacts with on his television show.
Tomorrow I will finish off the star of the show himself…Mr Tumble! …and he will be seated in the centre of the cake.
Check back tomorrow if you want to see the finished cake!
I have had my grandson’s smiling face beaming at me from my home page for a little over 3 weeks now which has been bitter sweet. Some days I have cried and others I have smiled back into his eyes, remembering him as the lively, happy and cheeky little boy he was.
Moving on is really hard. Nothing is ever going to be the same. Nothing will remove the pain of our loss but we have to keep moving towards ‘normality’ again.
I have found it particularly hard to start doing anything creative again…it is very hard to concentrate, but I have had to knuckle down and get to work this week as I have had a long standing commission to make a 30th birthday cake for an Everton football team fan.
Having seen the cake I made in 2009 (see Just a bit of showing off..Cakes archive) I was commissioned to make another large cake with the Everton players Heitinga, Rodwell, Arteta, Beckford & Howard represented as sugarpaste models.
As with everything, the more you do something the more refined your technique becomes and so there is quite a difference between the style of the characters on the two cakes, made nearly 2 years apart.
The cake was very well received, which is always a relief, but particularly so this time as I had found it so hard to concentrate on the task in hand but I am one that believes that everything that is done should be done to the best of my abilities and so was determined to give it 100% despite everything.
Hopefully, making a success of this cake will give me a bit of a shove in the right direction towards the goal of picking up the threads of my life again.
I had a request – at fairly short notice – to make a cake for a set of twins who had chalked up 40 years of age. I had never met either of them, so when I was asked to put figures on the cake to represent them I thought it would be a bit of a challenge! Fortunately, I was also told that they both dabbled in sports with Sue being part of a Morris Dancing Troupe and Tony being an avid (Liverpool) football fan so this gave me something to include to suggest who the two characters might be. I was given access to a photograph of the uniform for the Morris Dancing Troupe and, of course, the Liverpool strip was easily found for reference! The colours of these ‘kits’ rather dictated the colour theme for the cake so it was then just a case of creating the characters.
Over the years I have done a lot of life drawing and sculpting so am fairly familiar with representing the human form in 2 and 3 dimensions – but using sugarpaste reinforced with CMC as a medium has its own challenges! I wanted to try to make the two figures’ positions reflect their different sexes and so tried to do a fairly demure pose for the ‘girl’ and a rather more blasé pose for the ‘boy’.
I am really quite pleased with how it turned out and the lovely lady who ordered it said it brought a little lump to her throat when she first saw it so I think she was fairly pleased! I hope Tony and Sue liked the little pair of characters too!
Well – here he is…my Mario, feeling on top of his own little world and in full control of the situation!
It has provided me with hours of entertainment and I hope everyone enjoys having a good look at all the little bits and pieces that I have put on there.
The whole of the big green pipe, complete with Mario, lifts off and can be kept as a memento and since it is made of really strong, reinforced sugarpaste it has set like concrete anyway and so would be a tough piece to eat! All the rest of the decoration is made from standard sugarpaste and so will be eaten as part of the cake. I hope it all goes down well!
Since I have made the cake with a running frieze of Mario’s world around the edge I thought it would be a good idea to try to video it so I could have a permanent reminder of what it was like…and since we have all this technology at our fingertips it seemed silly not to have a go – so , hopefully, I have a video of the cake doing a little pirouette at the end of this post.
I hope it makes you smile!!
I think perhaps I am the only person in the world who has not played any Mario game…in any format…ever! So this cake has been something of a voyage of discovery in a land of the weird and the wonderful for me! I have done hours of research and sketching and just hope that I have not included any massive faux pas in the frieze that I now have running around the bottom level of my grandson’s birthday cake. It has taken me hours and hours of patient application of tiny little shapes of every colour and hue and I have even developed a way of creating spotted and striped sheets of rolled out sugarpaste which is something I have every intention of developing for use in other more exotic cakes. All in all, I am really happy with my day’s work.
As for the great man himself…he is currently sitting in his pipe and is spending the night and possibly much of tomorrow on the boiler, firming up his joints and getting really strong and tough! It’s not easy being the star of the show you know!
I hope to be able to film him in situ, on top of the cake tomorrow but until then you will just have to make do with repeating this level….
Can you guess what it is yet??
I have just made a start on the next cake that I have to make this week. This one is due for delivery on the 12th and it is for my grandson’s birthday…. and it is being made to reflect one of his passions!!
I have started with this sugarpaste piece as it needs to be given a chance to dry into a good firm base for the main part of the decoration. It will go on top of the cake that I am making and there will be a lot of decoration going on around the edge of the cake as well. Or, at least, that is the plan! As I start I wonder if the vision I have in my mind for the final look of the cake is just a ‘pipe dream’.
Still..I must have faith in myself! I will start in earnest bright and early tomorrow….and hopefully I will have a bit more to show you later on tomorrow.
Until then…have a guess… What do you think the theme of this cake is going to be???