10 November 2010

A Royal Charity Event

  My cousin invited me to a very special event back in August - it was an 'eye tea' hosted by herself and her mother-in-law to help purchase medical equipment for children who are blind or severely vision impaired. It was to say the least - 'an eye opening experience' - no pun intended.
  Although there was a small fee to help raise money and raffles, the ladies put on such an amazing aray of goodies throughout their tea areas and served us professionally.
  With savoury and sweets, I wanted to contribute a little more to the event and made a cake to be raffled off.

The above cake was all completely edible - from the cup, saucer, spoon, fork and cake slice to the teapot.
  In the end, I recieved a note from the ladies holding the event and was haapily surprised to learn we had helped to raise almost $10,000 for Blind and Vision impaired children.
  If anyone else out there would like to sponsor an 'eye tea' in Brisbane, please call: Melissa Fanshawe 0439 820 495.

Of Ghosts & ghouls - things that go bump in the night!

Halloween is not necessarily as big here as it is in the States - but the phenomenon is growing! As much as consumerism and marketing can push it, I have loved dressing up since I was little and had always loved the scarier things in life.
 I wish I had the time during the season to put on a mega party for dress-up lovers' like myself. Unfortunately with the cakes taking up the time and loving the smiles on the clients faces when they pick up their cakes - it pretty much declares the time a non-event.


   However, I love it when the kids come trick or treating and I feel like the witch in the gingerbread house handing out bags of goodies...
  Coming from a family of four girls - me being the last try for the boy! - my father and I bonded over late night movies of Frankenstein, Dracula and the Mummy. Classics which I will always watch with fondness. Anything ghoulish or macabre has intrigued me and they don't scare me at all. The thrill of making a cake for others having a "scary" night is fantastic.

03 November 2010

Cake Trends

  You know - it's different for every person. Whether you like black in comparison to white, contemporary in relation to traditional, tall to short or elaborate versus simplicity. But when you take orders for cakes on a daily basis you start to notice small comparisons.
  A couple will all call for a super hero cake or a Batman cake...  

  Cars or vehicles for the fellas? Dad, son or best mate?


   More than once on a particular weekend will you recieve an order comparitive to another either in style, colour or filling. Maybe one weekend is full of pink flower orders, on another there will be an influx of difficult cakes with lots of filigree work or simple iced cakes with iced flowers. It's like all the brides for that weekend had a secret meeting and decided to choose cakes with similar designs. Why is it so?

Then again, there are times when I recieve an order which I have never made and probably will never again - they're the one-off's...originals...the strange requests for people who like the strange, macabre and just plain crazy.

 From the Eiffel Tower, to a 'Companion Cube' for a computer geek or as per below: the weekend bird watcher!
 Like I always say - it's the creativity of this job that makes it so interesting. It's never the same - constantly changing.
  Some of them require research - I jump on the 'net and find photos of related items. For the Eiffel tower, I printed photos of the front, side and top views.
  For the 'Companion Cube', I looked into the game. I wanted to write "the cake is fake" on the board because I thought the idea of placing a placebo cake with real recipe into a game was brilliant. The client didn't think so. When my partner brought it up with her son upon pick-up, the birthday boy exclaimed that it would have been 'the ultimate!'

Sometimes a little background makes the cake far more interesting!

 A Little Difference is A Good Thing...

  It's being allowed to give the cake an extra touch that really makes my day. Not necessarily from the clients who want you to do everything for free but from the ones who are happy to pay, give you inspiration and then let you play a little.
  The couple from the cake above sent me a copy of their wedding invitation rather than just an email. It was exquisite. They had thought of the presentation of the invitation down to the beautiful beading hanging from the centre of the embossed card.
  I couldn't help myself. When they told me what they wanted with the mad hatter design and the floral filigree, they told me I could have card'blanche to do what I wanted further that this.
  It was in the following weeks, I found myself down at my bead supplier sourcing the same coloured beads and crystals from their invitation. It was like I was possessed. I sat in the evening threading the beads as per their design and attaching them to the wires exploding from their cake. I was so happy with the final result.

Promises, Promises

Well - I did promise that I would be right back to continue and here I am!

 I remember when I was little girl that my eldest sister had a favourite toy - a pinocchio doll made of wood. A lovely piece of workmanship with a rubber nose. That nose had been eaten continously and used as a teething toy for years and I think she still has it!
  When the client came to me to make pinocchio for a Christening cake I thought it an awesome idea. I had heaps of fun and each moment made me feel like I had reverted to my childhood.

 Another thing I loved to do in my spare time as a kid was to draw. I would draw pretty ladies in large ball gown dresses - obviously created from watching Disney movies on Sunday afternoons. Daddy's little girl loved to think that when I grew up I would be rushed off my feet by my knight in shining armour... it's still like that for many little girls.
  The cake on the left is testimonial for another one in many.
  For one of my regular clients - her little girl was having a Minnie party.

  She gave me strict instructions that Minnie was to be dresses in her original red dress with polka dots and yellow heels.

Apart from the main cake she was also having a family party on a following day so the above cupcakes were made to match the theme.

    There was a lady who I used to deal with at a function centre which closed down. When it came to her wedding, she contacted me knowing that I could make her an egg free cake for her wedding.
  Having always organised other people's it was lovely to liase with her on her own. She's a wonderful, vibrant person and the wedding certainly reflected the same vitality.
  Upon delivering the cake, I quickly stopped in with the florist and wished her and her partner to be all the best. It didn't surprise me that the room she was staying in was a replica of a pyramid with all the accoutrements to match.  So with a modern take on a classic design, burnt orange bridesmaid dresses and flowers...the cake was the complete opposite!

   For some couples when it comes to their wedding cake, a simple affair is often the best. The cake to the right reflects the colours and design of the wedding. A touch of black to make it contemporary but with the draping and flowers of the past.
  Upon cencelling their wedding date, a couple who had paid a large sum of their deposit requested the money be used for another occasion. Not a problem! I used the amount they had originally deposited to create this gorgeous cake to the left for a family memebers' 21st instead. It was much appreciated.

  Lord of the Rings fans will be happy to know that the Elvish writing on this cake reproduction is not as easy as it looks! My calligraphy work as a child certainly helped!

  Another wedding cake delivered to Manly in Brisbane was the photo taken to the left. A stately tall cake with topper provided by the client reproduced with a spray of iced hand-made flowers.
  It was originally meant to be wedgewood blue in colour, however the bride rang the week of the wedding to ask me to change it to chocolate brown as there had been issues with decorating the venue as originally planned.
  I think the cake still looked stunning in chocolate and more delicious as the colour blue is seen to be inedible by many people.

  From childrens' parties to adult birthdays' cakes can  be made to suit the individual.
  A child's favourite toy to the addictive cup of coffee for a cafe manager - you're only limited by your imagination!

I've been a Bad, Bad Girl

  You know what they say - good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere! So what's the deal because I've been nowhere but work and home. Oh - apart from family weddings'!
As per usual I apologise for not having a chance to get on. I'm sure the Tax Department will be happy to hear that I'm spending my time on this rather than at the accountants making sure my Bas is up to date. Oh well - them's the breaks!
  It's been a hectic couple of months with the wedding season now over with and the last stragglers coming through, I wonder what the silly season will bring?

  "Under the Cherry Blossoms" - The cake on the left was an interesting change to the usual wedding cake with both the bride and groom being avid badminton players. They wanted to incoprorate this onto their cake with the two hand-made figurines sporting sneakers, rackets and bag...pretty good promotion for the companies making the equipment!
Cherry blossoms accent the rest of the cake from front to back.

  Toy Story 3 has come out to raving reviews and the children have been wanting a theme cake. There's been toy boxes and beds, tiered stacks and exploding Dino's! I've had fun making the characters out of molding paste and watching the kids faces when they come to pick up their cakes is even better. Mind you - I think I would cry when I see them tear into it!
  "Sunday Roast" was a strange cake to make. I kept expecting the smell of fried chicken, potatoes and peas to issue forth and yet the sweetness of the icing and te chocolate cake beneath assaulted the senses instead.
  It was enough to do your head in.

  These small cakes were for a wedding where the groom had lent his artistic creativity to the event. His design of their initials withing a heart linked by a graphic element was a nice change to a traditional wedding cake.
  Each cake had a white fondant heart placed on top with the logo reproduced by hand-painting with edible food colours on top.
The couple had a variety of guests including family memebers from overseas so although they kept the wedding small, the flashiness was outdone with their inventiveness.
  Once stacked at the venue, I had created a larger cake topper in the same vein as the smaller cakes but with a little bling on the side.

  With hearts coming back into vogue, this twist on a classic cake looked absolutely fabulous. The edible silver cashous encrusted around the base of each tier added luster.
 When I dropped the cake off at the venue I was happy to see how well the cake fit in with all the decorations - it was pretty in pink!

  On a sad but happy note - it's nice to see that sometimes when weddings don't work out there can still be a funny side.
  I made my first 'divorce' cake ever. There have been many noted on the interent and emailed to me by friends who thought the idea a hilarious one.
   With large flowers being all the rage - the "Sexy Temptress" to the right was a beautiful, stunning cake to create.
  The cake was then transported to Stradbroke Island for the wedding and I think my grey hair grew by 90% that day. The weather did not bode well and with all the rain, the humidity was really putting a damper on things.
  Thank god it got there in one piece and the weather cleared for the wedding the following day. I breathed a sigh of relief when the Bride's mother contacted me thanking me for a job well done.

   A great order for a family just returned from an African safari were the two seperate cakes to the left and below.

  The rhino was recreated for the boy in the family and the giraffe for his sister. Apparently, they had enjoyed the safari so much that mum thought it was a great idea to have their favourit animals on the trip made from cake for their birthday party.
  I couldn't make the giraffe's neck as long as I wanted to but who know's? - maybe we'll be able to get our hands on 'rice-crispy rolls' like on 'Ace of Cakes' soon enough! Australia will catch up quicker that we think.


"Rabbitoh's" everywhere rejoice! A young fan who works down at my local fruit shop had this ordered for her birthday. She recalled it immediately whn I dropped in to buy some vegies the other day.
  I couldn't believe she was still eating it although the party had been more than a month prior!
 She said she had stored it in the fridge and the cake still tasted great. I must say I was skeptical. But she seemed happy and healthy so who am I to judge?

 Weddings are so diverse and each couple has a specific idea in mind when it comes to their special day.
 These cakes will give you an idea of the wide variety available and why when it comes to designing a cake for your day you can have something that has been made just for you.

 Some cake decorators like to work only with chocolate, others' only in traditional classic styles. I like to make something for everyone. It makes my job so much more creative when I can put together a cake which is as diverse as the client themselves.


I will add on further asap. Have a fantastic day!