Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I gave working a good run since coming back from leave, but it looks like I'm not gonna make the schedule demands for wedding season so I'm moving to 'on call' status for cakes and pastries for the summer. It sounds like there may be more opportunities to do pastries than cakes this summer, though, so I don't know how many more cakes I'll actually get to do. In many ways I'm disappointed, but then I get thinking about gardening and spending outdoor summertime with my family, and I get pretty excited. We just got approval from our hoa to install three more garden beds, and I've got four trays of seeds already started so I think I'll be plenty busy. Besides, I've missed baking at home and doing different kinds of desserts (or cakes) and this'll provide plenty of opportunity to do more exploration. After all, that's how I got started in this business in the first place.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Time to Start the Garden!

I planted the first seeds last week (I think? I'm losing track of time...it could've been the week before) and they're growing, which is the first hint that maybe, just maybe, spring is around the corner. Though, you'd never guess it with all the snow we've had in the last couple of weeks. Judging by the garden boxes, there's probably a good 6 inches on the ground right now. Anyway, the first herbs and vegetables are started -- Brussels sprouts, red onions, tarragon, basil, miniature strawberries and snapdragons (I had the seeds from last year and figured I might as well) are all sprouting. I'm really hopeful for the brussels sprouts, since they haven't worked out the last two years. I've seen some local people growing them in the fall, but does anyone know if they'll grow in the spring here?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Time Warp: 3 Months Later....

My leave is almost over already! It's been great, but very very busy. I'm looking forward to getting back to cakes, even if it's only part time. And, it's the middle of winter (aka garden planning time). I started sifting through seed catalogs today and am so excited (especially about Renee's Garden, they always manage to find great varieties)! We're hoping to add at least one more raised bed this year to give us more soil to play with. I also had the notion to plant sunflowers along the south side of our house, which gets plenty of sun -- I love all the deep, vibrant colors that are available now. The deep reds are especially my favorites and would look beautiful with the colors of our house. I also came across seeds for tri-colored beans, and Alpine Strawberries (perennial strawberries! can you imagine?!) Last year I learned the harsh lesson of waiting until Mother Nature says it's ok to put seedlings outside, so hopefully by being just a little smarter this year we'll have a much bigger yield.... of everything.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another Wedding Season Under My Belt

As wedding season draws to a close I'm actually on leave now for 3 months, wondering what new cake designs will be hits next year, wondering if I have any chance of creating something truly new. I went back and found what I think is the rest of the pictures of cakes I decorated this season and I'm pretty happy with my progress. These aren't really in any order. The first one, turned out to be a real showstopper. I was looking forward to doing it all year and didn't know if I'd actually get to since it was booked the week before my leave started. But, I held out and it went really well.

We didn't use a shaped cake pan for this one -- I carved it out of a full sheet.

This one was still due to get flowers on top and around the sides to finish it off.

Cupcake trees were a big hit this year.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to the Garden

It feels like I've been neglecting the garden most of the summer since I've been pregnant and we've been so busy. Now my seasonal allergies are wreaking havoc, so it takes some nerve for me to go out and spend any amount of time in the backyard (we have a beautiful crop of ragweed between our garden and the cornfield, though). But lo and behold, we're actually getting a decent harvest of tomatoes and peppers. It's been a dry summer, so I've had to make a conscious effort to water them a couple times a week so they don't just wilt and die. It seems like they're turning red faster than last year and I have to wonder if less water is actually doing them good (or I'm just distracted with too many other things and not checking them every single day for what seems like an eternity).

Today I threw in some new seeds in hopes of potentially reaping a fall crop this year, but I'm not holding my breath since we got our first frost in only the 3rd week of September last year. I planted more carrots, beets, green onions and parsley. I'd love to plant some sweet potatoes, but know nothing about it and haven't really invested any time in finding out. Maybe someday. Now to deal with all the veggies sitting on my kitchen counter....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cake Season

I have lots of images to catch up on, as soon as I can find them on the server at work. Here's a few cakes I did recently and caught on my own camera. Some just birthday cakes, and a couple wedding cakes later.

Who would've guessed my music background would come in handy with cakes??

I had a blast with this cake. They asked for produce and cheese. I got going on fondant decorations and realized I get rather excited about vegetables. =)

This cake looks a little plain, but it actually went through a few processes. After it was covered in fondant, the middle tier was covered in coarse sugar. Then the tiers were stacked and airbrushed for the gradual color effect. Then, they were shimmered with luster dust all over. It takes a while, since you have to wait in between each step for things to dry before applying the next "effect".

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's Busy Time

The garden's thriving, and cakes are getting made like they're going out of style, so it's a busy time. I know it's not officially summer, but all the natural signs say it is: peaches, plums and cherries are at the store, cilantro is blooming and tomatoes are flowering, and the baby swallows in the back yard are poking their heads out of the birdhouse as if they're thinking about trying to fly. And, we haven't had any frost since the week before Memorial Day -- yay!

Here's some cake pictures from the last couple weeks. I need to retrieve some pictures from the computer at work of cakes that I didn't get to see completely assembled. I'll try to update the garden pictures soon, too. It's looking very lush today, though I'm about to go harvest a bunch of cilantro and freeze it before it goes to seed.

The cartoons on this cake were orignally drawn by the couple themselves, and I transferred them onto the cake by freehand piping. It was definitely a challenge, but turned out really cute. This was set up and their reception was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art -- how appropriate!

I made this for my husband's Civil Air Patrol unit because they were celebrating their cadets who are graduating from high school this month. The decoration in the middle is their squadron logo, which I piped out over fondant.