Thursday, June 10, 2010

Butterfly Forrest
That's what it finally became know as. Silly name possibly. And maybe not your traditional style wedding cake. That's why it did so abysmally at the cake show. But I loved it. For me it was a painting. A 3D representation of a work of art. I made an art piece...not a cake.

Critics chewed it to bits. And they were right...mostly. It could have been better. My butterflies were too fat, they said. Well, truth is they were. I had never made them before. Decided to try something new. Cake is too busy...too many dots. Yes this is true too...for a wedding cake. For an art piece, however...I absolutely adore the dots.

I was embarrassed to share this cake for awhile because I have always taken criticism of my art hard. I spent the night crying after I read my review. But for someone with only a few months under my belt I've decided I'm proud of the chances I took. This cake stood more than a meter high. Largest cake I've ever done. I made things that I had never made before. I took chances with the rolled fondant creating patterns in it I had never tried before. It was exhilarating at the time.

My inspiration for the cake came from a friend of mine. She's an artist. She paints. And sometimes she paints these wonderful dot trees. I don't know why they excite me so much, but they do. I love circles. Always have. Circles and egg shapes used to appear in my artwork as a kid. Funny thing is they used to appear in my mother's art work as well. A love for circles runs in my blood, I guess. Anyhow, my friend, Abbey, paints wonderful trees.

Here is a picture of one that inspired me. Pictures really do no justice to the piece. It's like a Jackson Pollock painting. In a small photograph you miss all the action, movement; you miss the true colors, energy, and overlap. A picture just can not show you all that the painting has to offer. But as that is my only means to share this with it is:

Entitled: Austin Summer

To get an idea of what is really going on in that crazy colorful foliage, here is a close up of Abbey's tree. See the patterns? See the clock and the text and the bird?

Here is also a close up from my cake. Every dot on my cake was different. Different colors, different patterns. Different shapes within the circles.

The top of my cake was topped with a crown of butterflies. Even if the cake critics didn't like it, I heard more than one person exclaim while walking through the cakes, "Oh Butterflies! I love butterflies! I must have a picture of this cake." I also won a couple "This is my favorite cake" stickers. I don't know who left them but it made me feel wonderful to receive them.
Here is close up of the top two layers of my 5 layer cake.
And here is a shot of the bottom two layers. The one compliment the cake critics did give me is that they enjoyed the dots rolled into my fondant on the bottom layer pictured here.
The idea for the bottom of this cake also was inspired by a painting by Abbey. Another of her tree paintings, possibly my favorite one,
entitled: Soco Pod Tree
See how the dots of paint on the bottom fade as they rise. I wish I had a close up for you. It's my absolute favorite part of the painting. I could not create such a fade in my cake, but I wanted dots to create the transition from soil to tree which I think I manage to create in some approximation.

Overall it was an experiment, but one that took me back to my days in my art studio. I was not making a cake for someone else. I was creating what I felt inside.
It may not have wowed the critics but it was an expression of my thoughts and self and so therefore will always hold a spot in my heart...even if my fat butterflies needed to go on diets.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I've decided to enter the competition and to make at least 3 different cakes. I've sketched out some cake ideas from the themes that you left me as well as a bunch of others. There are so many to pick from. Basically, I need to come up with a single tier special occasions cake, a multi-tier novelty cake, and I'm going to do a 3-tier wedding cake. That's the plan at the moment. If you have anymore sugestions I would love to hear them. The contest is not till the end of February so I still have time to come up with more thoughts and you all have been so helpful so far. So keep 'em coming!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Need Your Ideas!!!

If you could pick any theme for your birthday, anniversary, or a holiday cake...what would it be?

I'm contemplating entering the annual That Takes the Cake extravaganza here in Austin this year. It's a nation-wide competition so my chances of placing are slim, but I think it would be fun. It's sort of like those food network cake challenges. The theme this year is "2010 Cake Odyssey" including anything in the science-fiction or fantasy genre. For 25 dollars I can enter a "2010 Cake Odyssey" themed cake, unfortunately, this is open to everyone so there will be lots of professionals entering.

However, this year I still qualify to enter in the Adult Beginners category (though I've seen pictures from last year and the competition is stiff). For 20 dollars I can enter any themed cake I want in the adult beginners category. But I need ideas! I thought I would elicit your help. Please list any ideas in the comments section. Your wildest thoughts or even a simpler design. Any idea. Just think what you'd like to have at your celebration. You may also suggest a science fiction theme for the Cake Odyssey though I think I should probably stick with the beginners. :)

Thank you for your help!

p.s. On a cake related note. Here is a picture of a dinosaur cake I did for a birthday party. It look's like a cross between a gecko and a dragon with alligator legs. Oh well. First shaped cake I've ever done. Plus it was for a 5 year old.

Additional pictures available for your viewing pleasure at

or on the original cake website

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

More Cakes

Baby Showers
Birthday Parties
and Christmasmore cakes pictures on my cake website:

(Dino cake coming soon!)