For the love of silver…for the love of life!!

Posts tagged ‘sugarpaste’

You Couldn’t Make It Up…

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!


Just One Star Missing…

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!


Let Them Eat Cake!

I really feel that I have been on a cake making treadmill for the last few weeks!  I have not done a thing related to jewellery making for sooo long but when people ask me to do a cake for them – how can I say no???

My latest cake has been for the daughter of one of my oldest friends who has been my most helpful mentor and strongest critic in all things artistic for the last 15 years!!  No pressure there then!

His daughter wanted a two tier wedding cake for her big day on Saturday – the bottom tier a brandy laced rich fruit cake and the top tier a traditional madiera sponge cake with raspberry jam and buttercream.  And she wanted it decorated with red roses to complement her bouquet.

Since the sugarpaste flowers take so long to make and wire I started on them ages ago and have been slowly adding to the number until I could create 2 arrangements with a dozen roses in each along with white filler flowers, rose leaves and ivy.

As the flower arrangements were such a statement I decided to leave the rest of the cake simple and minimalist with just a sophisticated single string of edible pearls around the base of each one and the top arrangement was presented in a faux pearlised vase decorated with ivy leaves.

It was a lovely day for a wedding on Saturday but horribly hot and uncomfortable to transport a wedding cake in a roasting hot car!  – followed by the stress of trying to get it perfectly displayed at the venue so I was very happy to wave goodbye, turn my back on it … and let them eat cake!.  As I have not had any negative reports I assume all went well!

Generally my family has not had a good year…culminating with my little granddaughter having an operation in hospital this morning.  Although all went well it has still been stressful for everyone and after everything else that has gone on recently I really feel the need for a break!  Thankfully I have nothing on the immediate horizon and so hope to have a week away from home in a cottage just a stones throw from a beautiful sandy beach.  It has been 3 years since I last had a holiday so it is long overdue!  This  holiday has been a last minute booking and so I only have a few days to wait!  It is a glorious feeling!!!

Hopefully I will return refreshed and invigorated and ready to create all sorts of wonderful things!

A Real Pair of Characters!

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!!

Level 1 – Cleared!

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….

Pipe Dreams…

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???

Just For the Record…

..and what did you do for Mothers Day????

Some women get a lie in…some get treated like a queen…some get wined and dined…  I get to make a DJ Deck 21st birthday cake!

Thankfully I had planned it all out before hand and had made most of the bits and pieces to create the deck over the past week – so all I had to do was ice the cake itself and attach the finished deck ‘furniture’.  The cake is just white iced with sugarpaste…and I ‘cheated’ a bit by putting a wide black satin ribbon around the sides to make it look like it was a black unit with a white top.

Technically – the whole thing is edible, although some of the pieces are made using CMC (carboxymethyl cellulose) reinforced sugarpaste and so are fairly stiff to eat, and the record…which is removable from the turntable so that it can be kept as a momento if wanted…is made from black sugar flower paste which is as hard as eggshells, so you would have to be really hungry to want to eat it!

It has been a challenge … and fun to do because of that … but I am glad it is done.  And now I have photographed it from all angles – just for the record –  I shall be happy to pass it over to the ‘birthday boy’ tomorrow.

One Down – Two to Go!

Here’s the first cake of my marathon cake making weekend!

I am really pleased with the way it has turned out.  It looks lovely and bright and fresh and as requested, I have given it just the slightest dusting of edible ‘pearl dust’, just to give it a bit of a subtle sparkle.

I made a small bowl out of sugarpaste (with the addition of CMC to make it stronger) and decorated it with a band of sugarpaste pearl beads around the top.  I then arranged a small bouquet of my sugar flowers into it and then placed it into a ring of edible sugarpaste pearls that I had set into the icing on the cake.  This means that the little bowl along with its flowers can be removed from the cake, in tact, and kept as a little momento.  I have also surrounded the base of the cake with a band of edible sugarpaste pearl beads.

Now I just about have time to draw breath before settling down to  the next cake – which is about as far removed from the style of this one as is possible…the DJ deck.

Er…Something’s Missing…

The last few days have been very taxing on the old grey matter.  I have been trying to work out how to create the 21st birthday cake I have been asked to make.  I’ve done loads of research so that I know what it is I have to make and I have been making the bits and pieces to try and give it the ‘WOW!’ factor…

Can you guess what it is yet??!!!

I have been using sugar paste for most of this and have added CMC (a food additive that gives it greater strength) so that I can build structures with it.  The only problem with this sort of thing is that you have to wait for one part to dry and harden (usually overnight) before you can add other bits to it, so it takes ages to get the whole thing made.  I have used black sugar flower paste for the ‘head-shell’  (see, I’ve learnt all the techno jargon!!) to make it lighter and stronger and so that I could get more detail into it without it breaking.

I hope you can see now what it is I have been making!  I have arranged everything I have made onto the back of the cakeboard to see how it will fit.  I still have to make the pitch control for the slider knob to go on and put a label on the record but otherwise I think I have got it all done!

Oh!  ….er…yes! ….I nearly forgot!  I’ve still got the cake to do!!

This cake has to be delivered on Monday 15th – so I shall be getting the cake done over the week-end, by which time all this ‘furniture’ should have hardened enough to be put in place without fear of it collapsing!  I really am very pleased how it has turned out so far and as this is the hardest part of the decoration the rest of it should be fairly easy… (famous last words!!).

Check back next week if you want to see the finished item!!

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