The Cobbler's kids...

So have you ever heard the phrase, "The cobbler's children have no shoes." or "The shoemakers son always goes barefoot."?

In my case, my kids get elaborate cakes that take a few weeks of planning and design, but my own cake?
Well, this is my birthday cake this year...

Yeah. My kids at least get cool cakes, but me, not so much. Except one year when Michael's paid me to decorate a cake right before my birthday. Each year I dream about doing a cake design that is really cool. It is my birthday, so that means I can do ANYTHING I want, right? There are all kinds of ideas and things I want to try, but it seems that I just can't take the time to execute any of them for myself. Maybe I should fool myself into thinking it is for someone else?

At least it has chocolate!

Mess with the Dress

A couple of weeks ago I was asked if I would be interested in making a cake for the First Friday Art event in Woodland, specifically for the Woodland Camera Forum's exhibit at Gallery 625.  I have made a cake for them before, but to me this is different, my first art exhibit!  The theme of this exhibit is "Mess with the Dress" where photographers "mess with," alter, or destroy wedding dresses and photograph them in unusual locations. For more on this event, check out this article in Woodland's Daily Democrat.

I have to admit, as excited as I was about making a cake for the exhibit, I almost did  not do it. On the Thursday before the opening of the exhibit, I still was not feeling inspired and my original idea just was not coming together. I needed something wedding dress inspired, but that went with the theme. Then, while doing something totally unrelated, inspiration struck! I had my design!

I am really pleased with how this cake came out.  I especially love the red veil, which was my inspiration.  Sadly, I will not be attending the event, since I have classes to teach, but I hope they appreciated the cake art I created for their event!

Pink Guitars!

A friend of mine was going to make some cupcakes to take to school for her daughter's birthday (yes, they still allow that at her school!), and she asked me if it would be too much trouble to make some guitar toppers to go on the cupcakes. She sent me a super simple example from Etsy, and I though, no problem, piece of cake!  I poked around for a guitar cookie cutter to use, and found a totally rocking guitar mold on Amazon. I asked if it would be okay to do them as chocolates instead of fondant.... then I actually got the mold and it was HUGE!  The mold itself was very inexpensive, and usually that is an indication of size (which was not included in the description), but instead of being the 2-4 inches I was expecting, they were actually closer to 8! Well that was not going to fit on a cupcake.  Time for plan B, or is it back to plan A? Anyway, with only a couple of days left i needed a different solution.

I know that many cookie artists will print out an image on heavy paper and hand cut each cookie with a knife. I could do that, but really I do not like to to that, I am too lazy, um easily distracted, to sit and hand cut 20 little guitars. However, I remembered reading that you can make your own cookie cutters using aluminum flashing. I had a brand new roll of flashing in my garage (which is not chemically treated, so okay for food), and I love trying new things!

So I cut off a piece with some tin snips (I keep a pair in my cake supplies for cutting dowels):

Be really careful because the edges are super sharp! Using gloves would be an excellent idea.

After I cut off a piece the size I needed (or thought I needed), I bent over the edge that I just cut using a pair of pliers (so there would not be any sharp edges other than the cutting edge): 

Then, using a piece of clip art as a guide, I used the needle nose pliers to bend the piece into the shape I wanted:

Unfortunately I did not cut my piece long enough, so be sure you give yourself lots of extra, you can always cut the extra off at the end, but I was able to get the body and the neck of the guitar formed, which is the hardest part.

I decided that I would just try using it as is and cutting out the rest by hand. That went really fast and I was able to finish cutting out all the guitars in just a few minutes while I was on the phone with my mom (Hi Mom!). 

After cutting them all out, I used some royal icing to pipe all the details with a tip #1. In the end, my guitars looked nothing like the ones on Etsy, but I have a hard time copying what someone else has done and I like to put my own spin on it. But, in my opinion, the came out super cute.

If you would like more information on how to make your own cookie cutters, check out this tutorial on Cake Central.

Happy Birthday Felicity!!

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