Tuesday, 20 November 2012

All about the dinosaurs


Its funny how things happen in clusters sometimes. Like last week, which was the week of dinosaurs. No dinosaur cakes for months, then 3 dinosaur cakes in 1 week. Funny. So, I have now had a lot of practice at making dinosaurs. And I have decided that I like them. They can be made with a certain degree of 'artistic license'. They do not need to be exact replicas of certain breeds or have specially distinguishing features to make them look like a family pet or a famous animal. When you do a dinosaur cake for a child, it just needs to look like a dinosaur. And thats a vague description with a wide spectrum of possibilities. Awesome. Children do not normally mind that there are over 700 different species of dinosaur that have been identified to date, and that the ones I make probably are not anatomically correct to any one of those species, but rather a melee of features of dinosaur generalisation. They look cool, and I like them.


While we are on the subject of children's cakes, I had to wonder last week, while making a cake which had 2 of the characters from 'In the Night Garden', who comes up with these characters. They are odd, and look rather senseless to me. But hey, who am I to judge. I remember one of my favourite childhood tv shows starring a talking donkey that lived in a giant apple. You surely have to be on some kind of hallucinogenic substance to come up with this stuff.


I made an unusual cupcake box last week. I always find it fascinating when asked to bring together in one box of cupcakes, a lot of seemingly unrelated subjects. I have to wonder about the connections and meaning behind each element, which must be relevant to the customer and the receiver of the gift. Relevant to them but seemingly nonsense and mixed up to me. How things can change depending on one's perspective, and the background information which we possess. True in many aspects of life I think.


It is autumn here in the UK. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with autumn. I love it for its beauty. its colours, which awe me every time I get out into the woods. The colours which nature produces just in death and sleep, the human imagination could barely fathom. Such beauty in creation and in its yearly destruction. So as I ran around last week I unusually burdened myself with my phone so that I could take some photos. And I'm glad I did. They turned out rather well and will serve to remind me of the beauty once we are in the full grip of winter and the colour had been stripped from the land. It is amazing how such beauty can be a by product of death and sleep. The winter brings the start of the end for much of nature but in its dying days it sends up a last hurrah in the form of a pallet of colours to numerous to be counted, and too vivid to be appreciated by any lens as much as it is appreciated by the human eye.







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Monday, 12 November 2012

Pretty Pastels, and Cake International, Wow


 Last week was a relatively quiet week for me. But still I managed to feel really busy. Go figure hey. I did a double height really pretty pastel birthday cake for the daughter of the owners of the coffee shop in Sale which I supply. I also did a boys birthday cake with a figure and a dog. Missing my favourite tools, it wasn't quite the face I normally try to go for, but it turned out cute overall.


 And then the highlight of the week. Cake International at the NEC in Birmingham. Wow. It was the first one I have ever been to, and boy was it an experience. A lot of ladies and a lot of cake stuff. A LOT. I have never seen so many cutters and moulds. Everywhere there were cutters and moulds. I had been warned of this but it was something to see. Don't get me wrong. I do love a good cutter and a good mould. But I was looking something new. Different. Unusual. Hmmmm. However, I did become smitten by the airbrush though. The airbrush is a very cool tool. I am sure that some artistic talent and a lot of practice is required, and I think that I could meet one of those criteria. The effects with an airbrush are super cool and something that could not be replicated by a paintbrush (at least in my ham hand) very easily. And I guess I have to confess, I do like a good gadget. However, I refrained. At shows like that, where so many things are on sale, and appeal to the excited imagination of the cake decorator, one can go overboard and end up buying loads of things that will never be used. So all I bought were a couple of small items that I know I will use regularly. Boring huh? hehe.  


The cakes on display in the competitions were unbelievable. I have never seen so many examples of real talent and skill. Honestly, I don't know how they do it. The details, like in Hagrid's house, the construction like in the teetering Irish cake, and the awesome wow factor in the huge under-the-sea themed cake, were just spectacular. Everywhere I looked there were amazing cakes. It made me feel rather inadequate and like an impostor who should not really be there. Wow.  

After many hours there my poor, patient husband was rather caked-out. As was I, I have to confess. Cake International comes to Manchester next March, and as I will be able to go without having to sit in traffic for 3 hours (for a usually 1 hour journey) to get home, I will certainly be there! 


Orignal From: Pretty Pastels, and Cake International, Wow

Monday, 5 November 2012

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Friday, 2 November 2012

Halloween Scaries and Daisies


It was Halloween this week. All it translates into for me is making some halloween themed cupcakes and cakes, and feeding mounds of candy to the neighbourhood children. I find the trick-or-treating thing interesting. I never did it as a child growing up in South Africa, as children walking about the streets of Johannesburg is not really recommended. And braving 6 foot high walls, fierce guard dogs, electric fencing and personal security is not something many adults will volunteer for, let alone with their little ones in tow. So I have never trick-or-treated. I find it amusing to see the varying degrees of effort that goes into the costumes, and the varying degrees of manners that the children have. Some politely taking one little sweet, before you offer them another. Some grabbing a fistful and running off without even a 'thanks'.


And you're not seeing double. It is another Jagermeister cake. This time i managed to get the neck of the bottle up off the board and suspended beautifully. Thank you nice, firm madeira cake. Excellent for carving, and when made with real butter, super tasty! :)



Orignal From: Halloween Scaries and Daisies