Monday, October 25, 2010

Birthday party...for four!

October is great month around here...the weather is starting to cool off from the 100+ degree days, and the overall feeling of fall creeps in. The only problem is that the weather can still be unpredictable. A few days before this birthday party it was warm and sunny; perfect weather for an outdoor celebration at a park under nice big oak trees offering shade. Not so much when it's windy with grey clouds scattered around the sky above. Not so much when that wind is provoking the oak tree's branches, swaying above the celebration, hurling leaves, grit, and the occasional small branch at the unsuspecting party goers below.

Now, whenever I have an event to bake/decorate for I have this vision in my head what the end product will look like, setup and all. I think all bakers do actually. Especially for a first-timer, I want to take extra care in making things perfect...because, you know, there's that first impression thing and all.

A client of mine was having his 4th birthday party...along with his brother and two sisters. Yep, a set of quads. It was a fire truck theme, and while mom had a more extravagant idea in her head, I already had obligations to bake for my preschooler's fall festival at school. We settled on cupcakes, instead of a 2-tier party cake, with custom fire trucks on top of each for the birthday kids and chocolate flames for the rest of the guests.

When I got to the park, there was sprinkle of rain here and there, but the wind was sure swirling around. I asked the mom where she wanted me to set up....looking around she pointed to the end of a picnic table.


I had made a cupcake tower for all the treats to sit upon...and if it had been a flat tabletop...with no would have worked well and looked great! I knew right away it wasn't gonna happen. So, the tower was sectioned off into 3 bases...and carefully arranged on the picnic table area that had the least amount of board-tilt. Still, once I got everything arranged and in it's place, tree-droppings would come not-so-wafting-like-a-feather downward...and take an unwelcome place on top of some frosting. The crowd of onlookers smiled and and gave me a non-verbal "oh well, what're you gonna do?".

So I finished up, as best as I could, thought "oh well" and scurried away...hoping that things would stay put until it was time to eat them. Also hoping that people would search their cupcakes for fallen debris before taking a bite.

The Display:

Not at all what I envisioned...but better than a tower of cupcakes crashing down!

Gumpaste Fire Trucks. Birthday kid's cupcakes are sitting on fire truck favor boxes I found at a party store.

I heard afterward that everything turned out great and everyone enjoyed the cupcakes very much...whew!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lil Buckaroo

Sorry for the lack in posting...projects have gotten the better of me, as well as playing with my new Silhouette!

Here's a "Lil Buckaroo" cake I did for a baby shower, to go along with the invitation. It was the first cake I did using my Silhouette cutter package from Linda McClure of Deseret Designs. Her instructional DVD is fabulous and it helped out so much in the process.

The cake is a 10" bottom and 8" top. Iced with buttercream and covered in homemade white chocolate fondant. One is filled with a cheesecake mousse and the other is a raspberry mousse. The paisley-bandana print is royal icing. The rope is gumpaste/fondant, as are the cow-prints. I made the rope tassels using this clay gun. Don't bother with a plastic-push extruder...they are a piece of you-know-what.

The cowboy is cut out using my Silhouette, with details added in with my edible ink pens. The writing is iced in royal.

The top cake, well, it almost didn't make the event. The cakes were loaded separately in the car, and when I got there the top had slid about halfway off of it's base...

Thankfully, it moved as one and I carefully just pushed it back into place. Sometimes buttercream "glue" just can't be trusted.

 ::making mental note to always use melted chocolate::

::and also to not forget my camera::

Also requested for the baby shower were bandana-print cookies: