Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Babies Galore!

A lot of my friends & family have had babies in the past year and I've really enjoyed watching them grow up - even if it's only through reading their blogs! I decided to make 2 cakes in honor of 2 of the babies - Lorelei and Ian. I've finished Lorelei's:

It's a really girly cake with daisies, play make-up and a purse. I have all intentions of making Ian's still. This one will obviously be more boy-themed. I plan to make a little hard hat, some blueprints, and a bunch of play tools. All boys like to build things right??? However, Ian's is still on the drawing board because life has gotten so crazy lately!

I just finished 4 weeks of teaching cake decorating classes at Michael's. My very first Course 1 group of 11 students had a 100% retention rate, except for the woman who had lots of family emergencies come up so she's retaking it in October. I can't wait to see how many stick around for Course 2 next month! It's been a lot of fun teaching this month and I don't think anyone knows that I've only been decorating since April or that this is the first class I've taught! The last session of Course 4 is also tonight and I have 5 students (100% retention also) in it. Next month, I'll teach Courses 1 and 2. Fun!

I've also had 2 friends ask me to make cakes for various occasions. The first was the purse cake. Next weekend, my labmate wants a pool-themed cake for his sister's birthday. I'll post those pictures as soon as the cake is complete.

I'm going to Phoenix on Thursday for 5 days for an Obesity Society Annual Meeting. Ironic isn't it? My life revolves around cakes and obesity research!


If you look at the websites of some cake bakers, they often give names to their wedding cakes...like Melanie or Michael! Well, I like the idea so I've named mine so far! The first one I made was the one with the swans on top that I took to the convention - that's Abby. The second one is the one with blue roses - Betsy! And here is Camille. Don't ask me where I got that name, it just popped in my head one day. I like to name the cakes the first thing that comes to mind...like it's meant to be! So, meet Camille! She's kind of a summer-y cake and the blue circles remind me a bit of the tiles on the bottom of a pool.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Over the last few months, Nani has become increasingly messy when she eats her breakfast and dinner. She has formed the habit of carrying a huge mouthful of food to various spots in the house, dropping all the food, and then eating each piece separately. The bad part about this is that she's not careful to pick up all the pieces that she's dropped. So, by the end of the week, we're constantly stepping on little crumbs of dog food - even though I sweep the floors like twice a week! Well, we finally decided we'd had enough of that so we're teaching Nani that when we say "Scraps!" she is supposed to pick up her crumbs! She's a very stubborn dog so sometimes she looks at her scraps and looks back at us like "No way, crazy. I'm saving those for later!" We KNOW that she understands what she's supposed to do - after all, she knows all her toys by name (Squeaker, Ghost, Rope, Hippo, Piggie (RIP), Dot (RIP), Puppy, Bone, Roo (RIP), Ball)! Anyway, here's a picture I took of her last weekend on Adam's lap. As soon as anyone pulls out a camera, she stops what she's doing to pose. No kidding! In fact, I was taking pictures of Lorelei one afternoon and Nani started making all kinds of noises because she was jealous that she was not the camera star! Phew, how did we get such a crazy dog?!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Shelby and Nicole!

Shelby and Nicole wanted to celebrate their birthdays together and they requested that their significant others order a cake from me for the party. The guys decided to keep it a secret, and chose a cake in the shape of a purse! At first I was intimidated by the whole idea of a sculpted, 3-D cake, but once I started thinking about it, it didn't seem so bad! So, I found a picture of an Louis Vuitton purse online and decided to replicate it:

To make it a bit more interesting, I also made them cell phones (Nicole got a Chocolate and Shelby got an iphone) a set of keys (Nicole's went to a Bentley and her keychain was a Java City Espresso Shot cup because she loves coffee and her guinea pigs love to chew on those cups; Shelby "drives" a Ferrari and her keychain was a sushi replica because she's a foodie), and a credit card with their sig. other's name on it (as if they went shopping with their credit cards).

The cake was a yellow cake with raspberry cream filling and was covered in marshmallow fondant (more tasty than fondant you purchase already made). I also made each of the girls a sugar plaque with roses that was completely edible (although it probably wouldn't taste that great).

Here is Ben cutting the cake: He ripped off the handles and cut right down the zipper! The girls were hoping the purse was full of money....keep dreaming! haha!

Thank you so much to Matt, Ben, Shelby, and Nicole for challenging me with this request! This cake will definitely go down in the books! Thanks, guys!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday everyone! We're only 5 days away from the weekend - the countdown begins (again)! To cheer you up on such a depressing day, here's a very cheery cake. Let's just pretend it says "Happy Monday!"
People have asked about the Halloween Cookie Bouquet class. It will be on October 18th 1-3:30. The class registration fee (which must be paid at the time you sign up) is $20. Then, since the instructors will be making your cookies, you'll pay $10 to the instructors the day of the class. You'll also have a small supply list to pick up when you sign up for the class, but these supplies won't be exhausted when you take the class so you can always make more bouquets at home. So, basically you can take the class for about $30 plus supplies and take home this terrific bouquet! :) I'm really excited about the class so I hope some of you take it with me!

Class Plug: If anyone needs a stress-reliever or a new hobby or whatever, consider taking the Wilton classes at Michaels! Of course, please try to take it when I'm teaching course 1 (we rotate). I'll be teaching Course 1 in October and then not again until after the new year. The classes are a lot of fun and way worth it! You'll be impressed with what you can do with a cake/cupcakes/cookies after you take the classes! :) Each course is 4 weeks long and meets for 2 hours/week - Course 1 meets 6:30-8:30 Mondays.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Halloween Cookie Bouquet

We're going to offer a Halloween Cookie Bouquet class at Michaels on October 18th. Here's a picture of a bouquet I made to go on display at Michaels. It's going to be a super fun 2-hour class so if you're local, sign up! Cyndi and I will be teaching it (I think).

Saturday, September 13, 2008


So a lot of my friends/family have had babies in the past year...I thought I'd share a couple of pictures with you guys!

My best friend, Amy, had a cutie patootie in March 2008 - Ian! We rarely get to see Ian because he lives in south Florida so I keep up with him by reading his blog very regularly!

Then, Elise had Lorelei the weekend before Mother's day! This picture was actually taken right before her first tailgate. A baby Gator for sure!

And, here's a great picture of my cousin April's baby, Mitchell. We call this the "5 Generations" picture. From left to right: my Grandma Mitchell, April, Mitchell, Grannie, and Aunt Shirley.

And last, but certainly not least is OUR baby!! Here's one of my favorite pictures of her and Adam. This was the day we got her. We'd gone to get her at the pound, then went to PetSmart to get all her goodies, then to Nature Pets to get some special treats, and finally home. She was absolutely pooped after so many activities! This was her very first time in the yard. For those who knew her back then, you know she was so timid and scared of everything. But look at this picture! She looks so happy and at home! She must have known she could trust us. :) Our little cutie...

Bachelorette Party!

One of my labmates got married this summer so a few of her girlfriends threw her a Bachelorette/Engagement Party! Here's the cake I made for the party. The Chinese symbols you see on the heel of the shoe mean "marriage." It's a Chinese custom to hang these all over the houses of the relatives of the bride and groom. Congratulations Jack and JJ!

Wilton Course 4

Finally, the last Wilton course! Keep in mind that by the end of this class, I've been taking Wilton courses for 16 weeks total (each course is 4 weeks long)! Just imagine how much money I've spent on cake supplies! Geesh! Anyway, in this course you learn to work with gum paste and do a little more with fondant. Gum paste is basically the same thing as fondant, but it's stronger and dries more quickly. A lot of edible flowers and figurines are made of gum paste. The swans on the cake I brought to the convention were made of gum paste, actually!

The only cake we made in this class was a "wedding cake." For this cake, we had to pre-make a bunch of fondant roses and then decorate the cake in the last class. This cake was huge - the bottom tier is 12 inches wide and the top is 6 inches wide! It was so heavy! The cake was supposed to be Red Velvet but I ran out of red food coloring so it came out more like a reddish-brown velvet! haha! Oh well!

Wilton Course 3

In the 3rd Wilton course, they introduce you to working with fondant! Fondant is the stuff that you typically see on wedding cakes to give it such a perfectly smooth finish. Most people don't like the taste of Fondant, but it looks so elegant that most brides want it anyway. Now, there are actually 2 companies that have really good-tasting fondant. The first is Satin Ice and the other one is Fondariffic. Fondariffic has incredibly tasting fondant! They have melon, lemon, buttercream, etc flavors and they are amazing!!! Of course, all that "incredibleness" comes with a price tag! Haha!
Anyway, in the 3rd course, you make one cake called the "Package Cake." And here it is!

Wilton Course 2

In the second Wilton course, you make flowers out of Royal Icing, which are completely edible but will harden to the point that you can just pick them up and place them on a cake. We learned various flowers like the apple blossom, daffodil, daisy, chrysanthemum, rose, and pansy. On the last night of the class, we make one cake and add all of our flowers to it. This cake was actually made in honor of my Dad's birthday. I texted a picture of it to him. I'm sure he enjoyed getting a flower-covered cake, right?!

Friday, September 12, 2008

How it all began...

Shortly after I started taking the Wilton courses at Michaels, I heard about a huge sugar art convention held annually by the International Cake Exploration Society (ICES). Luckily, the convention was being held in Orlando, FL this year so it was nearly perfect timing! I would be inundated with sugar art lessons, displays, and celebrities and only 2 hours away from home! I immediately began crunching numbers to see if I could afford to go...and, of course, it was a bit more than Adam and I could afford. My parents generously offered to pay for my trip as my early Christmas present! Can you Belize it!? (Sorry, inside joke...James will definitely get it. haha!) Anyway, I went to the convention and it was absolutely amazing!

Everyone who attends is encouraged to bring a "cake" (really, it's just made of Styrofoam and decorated with icing and fondant) to display. I brought 2 cakes. I went to the show proud of my work, but fully aware that I would probably be exposed as a true amateur when my work was compared with others with more experience.

This is one of the cakes I brought to the convention. It is covered in chocolate fondant (yummy!) and decorated with pink fondant accents and a little ivory and pink icing. I tried to do as many new techniques on this cake as possible. The little circles that go around the corners of the cake are called Lambeth overpiping - it's just one thin line of icing on top of another on top of another on top of another...you get the picture. The flowers and leaves are an example of brush embroidery where you pipe the icing on and then brush it towards the center of the petal or leaf with a paint brush. It's super easy but looks pretty elegant.

This is the second cake I brought. This one is actually the one that got me the job as a Wilton instructor! The 2 current Wilton instructors at our Michael's were at this convention and were very impressed with this cake. Keep in mind that it definitely looks amateur-ish but I guess it's pretty good for my first try... The thin lines you see coming off the cake are called "stringwork." It takes a LOT of patience to do a cake with stringwork because for every string you get connected and secured, 3 more will fall off! It took me a LONG time to complete this cake. Even after the strings are dry, they are very fragile because they are so thin. Luckily, none of them broke in the 2-hour trip to the convention!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wilton Course 1

I have recently been hired as a new Wilton Method Instructor at the Gainesville Michael's so I thought it'd be fun to post the pictures of my cakes from when I took these classes in April - August of this year.
It's pretty crazy that I've only been decorating for about 6 months now and I'm already teaching these courses. It actually makes me nervous because I don't know if I'm really qualified enough to teach already! There's just so much that experience can teach you and I'm definitely lacking that. In any case, I play with sugar and icing as much as possible so hopefully I won't run into any major problems.
I taught my first two classes on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Overall, they went really well and I think both groups seem very fun and receptive to new ideas. I had 11 people in Course 1 and 5 people in the Fondant & Gum Paste class. I'll keep you updated on how these classes progress!

I made this cake before I took the class. For those of you who don't know, my very first job was in the Publix bakery. I began as a bakery clerk, bagging bread and other goods, but I was promoted to Decorator's Apprentice before I had to quit to go to Tally for college (Go Noles!). Anyway, I was an apprentice long enough to learn some basics, including borders and the buttercream rose. I decided to see what I could still do on this cake that I made for the spring Orange and Blue Game. Yea, I definitely needed a brush-up!

Here is the first cake I made in the first Wilton course. Yea, I realize that the "somewhere" is really under the rainbow instead of over it...but you get the idea! Anyway, this cake was really basic. We had learned dots, writing, and the star at class that night. The whole rainbow as well as the bottom border around the cake is made up of small stars. It's a very easy technique but looks pretty nice when done correctly.

In the second session of the first Wilton class, we learned how to make these cute clowns and the border that you see on the bottom of the cake. I've always loved clowns so this was right up my alley! I made this cake in honor of Cody's birthday, even though he was in Tampa and we ate it without him!

And here is the last cake I made during the first Wilton course. We finally learned the buttercream rose so I put a ton on this cake! This cake was given to the Phillips Center Box Office employees, wishing them good luck on their exams.


Hello & welcome to my blog! Everyone has a blog these days...and I was feeling a bit left out since I don't have a new baby to blog about (haha) so...here's my version of a blog! The title of the blog is "Cake Walk" so I'll predominantly talk about my experiences with sugar artistry, but I'll probably also talk about everything else I love - family, Nani, soccer, etc. I hope you enjoy perusing the cake pictures as much as I have enjoyed creating them!