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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cake Design Inspiration: Maggie Austin

I have decided to write a weekly blog post on Thursdays that will feature a cake of the week, which inspires me. I decided to name the posts Cake Design Inspiration. These cakes come come from a variety of cake artists.


My first cake design inspiration features a cake by Maggie Austin, which I found on her facebook page. I have featured her sugar flowers in a previous post, here. This cake was inspired by a dress in the Carolina Herrera 2011 Spring Collection, which is pictured above. It's amazing how fashion cake be translated into cake. It looks like Maggie hand painted the fondant and added the sugar flowers at the bottom. I love the colors and the dainty purple bow. I also love how the cake is square and how one tier is taller than the other. I believes that adds dimension in the cake design.


Maggie Austin has a cake studio in the Alexandria, Virginia where she creates her cake designs and offers small classes that are tailored for individual learning. Her website, Maggie Austin Cake features many of her other cake designs.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February 2013 Favorites



Hi Everyone. February has come and gone and I used a lot of new products this month that I really love and will continue to use for many years. These products are on my favorites list for February 2013. I hope that you enjoy.





iPad Keyboard

The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover is my first favorite and this is something that I have used everyday this month. It has made blogging a lot easier for me. My iPad clips into the magnet strip of the keyboard and through bluetooth they are connected. When you are finished with the keyboard there is another magnetic clip in the back of it that the iPad can clip to and fold down over the keyboard. It looks like a mini MacBook Air this way. The keyboard is also light and slim so it doesn't add any extra bulk.





Nicholas Lodge Size Guide

Whether it be the ruler or the different size guides I have been using the Sugar Facts Size Guide in all of my cake decorating projects. This comes in handy for a variety of things such as figure modeling, sugar flowers, and cake decorating. I also like how it has the holes on the side so that you can stick it in a cake decorating binder. This product is also inexpensive.





Cosmetic Sponges

You would never guess to use cosmetic sponges for cake decorating, but they do come in handy and I use them quite a bit when making sugar flowers or cake toppers. They can be place in between petals for sugar flowers and can even be used for color dusting whole flowers. When making cake toppers if I want something to dry at a certain angle or to sit a certain way I will prop a few of these cosmetic sponges underneath until it is fully dry. One pack will last you a long time since these cosmetic sponges are reusable when it comes to cake decorating purposes.





Vanilla Cupcake Body Cream

I purchased this vanilla cupcake Body Cream at Ulta and I love it. Everytime that I apply it I go around smelling like a little cupcake and it brings a smile to my face. It is also very moisturizing to my skin and has Vitamin E in it. I carry this in my purse and reapply a small amount throughout the day.





Martha Stewart Living - Cakes and Cupcakes

I saw this special edition of Martha Stewart Living when I was walking around Target and I had to have it. This magazine has a lot of great tips that should be reinforced in cake decorating, Whether you are a beginning cake decorator or advanced this magazine has something for everybody. There are also some really great recipes in this magazine.



I hope that you all have enjoyed my February 2013 favorites. What were some of your favorites for this month? Comment below. I hope that everyone is having a great week so far and know that it is almost the weekend.



Savor The Baking,



Monday, February 25, 2013

2013 Panhandle Cake Show



Over the weekend I went to the Panhandle Cake show which was hosted by the cake decorating club Panhandle Cake Crumbs. This years theme was travel and I love how it was interpreted in different ways in cake. I am going to show you some of my favorite cakes from the cake show. If you want to see all of the cakes that were in the cake show go here.





My favorite cake out of the entire cake show was this car cake. It might have something to do with my fascination for classic cars and the fact that I am always watching the Barrett Jackson auctions, but the cake designer, Shannon Motley, did a fabulous job. From carving the cake to the littlest details on the surf board she got my vote for viewers choice. Even the sign was detailed to look like wood. I kept coming back to this cake to admire it.




This Itailian themed cake was also one of my favorites. I absolutely loved the gumpaste pizza and the cannoli looked so real. I am not sure who the cake designer is of this cake so if anyone knows leave a comment below and I will give them credit. They put a lot of detail into this cake and it showed. I've always wanted to go to Italy and this cake made me feel like I was already there.





This tiki themed cake was really impressive. All of the gumpaste flowers were handmade by the cake designer, Belinda Motley, and they were so beautiful. They looked so real and I could tell that she put a lot of attention to detail in every flower. I also liked the color of the foil on her cake board and thought it was a nice touch to her overall cake design. This cake made me want to be on the beach in Hawaii.





This overall cake by cake designer Sharon Posey was amazing, but I was really impressed with the flower pot and her cake board. She designed a tile like pattern onto the cake board and then flooded it with royal icing. I know that it took a lot of patence to do that and not get any air bubbles in the royal icing. The gumpaste rose was the perfect touch to the cake design.



The 2014 theme for the Panhandle Cake Show is Fabric/Textile. This cake was the first thing that you saw when you walked into the cake display room and it was a show stopper. If I didn't know it was cake I would have thought that it was a real sewing machine. Everything down to the tape measurer and thread looked so real.


I hope that you all have enjoyed this blog post. Look through the other cakes in the link that I have provided above and let me know which cake was your favorite. Have a great week.


Savor The Baking,



Friday, February 22, 2013

Feature Fridays: Ocean Themed Cake


Hi everyone. I haven't posted much this week due to working on this ocean themed cake. A lot of planning and hours of hand sculpting went into making this cake. I challenged myself by hand drawing my own template for the beach chairs. I also hand painted fondant for the first time and am satisfied with how mixing two tones turned out.





Here are the majority of the decorations that I made for the cake. The clown fish were fun to make, but I decided not to include them in the final cake design since I wanted the beach chairs to be the main star of the cake. I used non toxic chalk pastels to color the coral reef and rocks. I love all of the bright colors of coral reef.





Once the cake was nice and chilled I applied the fondant and started to hand paint it. I had the most fun with this step in the cake decorating process. Once I got the hang of the brush strokes it felt like I was painting on canvas versus fondant. I used a dark blue and a teal color to create the colors in the ocean.





Here are a few close ups of some of the decorations that I hand sculpted for the cake. The sting ray was probably my favorite sea animal to sculpt. The seaweed was easily spiraled by using a drinking straw as the core.





The beach chairs took a while to figure out as far as how I was going to construct the individual pieces. I eventually used royal icing since it acts as a glue that sets up fast. I like the way that the beach chair turned out and I added the hearts for an extra special touch. The palm tree was also hand sculpted and I hand cut each leaf.


I hope that you all have enjoyed this blog post and that you have a great weekend. I am going to a big cake decorating competition tomorrow to observe so I will post pictures of some of the cakes that I saw next week.


Savor The Baking,



Friday, February 15, 2013

Feature Fridays: Cake Decorating Tools Organization


I wanted to do a blog post on how I organize my most used cake decorating tools. It's simple and easy because they all go in one container. I like that I can move them around all at the same time and that it's portable.



The container that I use is a clear plastic container that I found in the bathroom organization section of Target. It even has handles on the side for easy moving. The bottom is skid proof on most surfaces. Now that I went over the container I am going to go over the supplies that I keep in it.



These are the brushes and the double sided ball tool in varying sizes that I use. I like to use soft bristle brushes by Princeton and Cotman. These brushes last a long time and are best to use in cake decorating. They can be expensive, but with a coupon from your local craft store they are affordable.



Next I have the tools that use for sugar flowers and armatures when needed. The pliers and cutting shears are used the most. The reversible tweezers come in handy for when my fingers can't get into little spots.



I use the sewing measuring tape for a lot of things such as on sculpted cakes and as a ruler. The spray bottle is mostly used to put moisture back into gumpaste by spraying it with a little bit of water. This will keep gumpaste from cracking when it dries out. The Tylose Powder that I use to make my gumpaste is by Confectionery Art International.



Last but not least I use this silicone rolling pin in all of my decorating projects no matter how big or small. I also have some pens and sharpies so that I can draw cake sketches.


I hope that you all have enjoyed this blog post and that you got a new idea on how to organize your cake decorating tools. Have a great weekend.


Savor The Baking,


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lady Cake Topper and Current Project


I recently just worked on this lady cake topper, which was 100 percent hand sculpted by me. She sits at 3 inches tall and she is outfitted in a feminine outfit. Her pink skirt has frills and a black tank top. Her purse is quilted with a gold clasp. This cake topper can be found in my Etsy shop.





Here is a closeup of her face. Her face was hand sculpted and she is wearing makeup. She has a winged eyeliner and is wearing red lipstick. Her hair has highlights and is layered. She has a sparkle in her eye and is ready to conquer the day.





Here is a closeup of the quilted handbag, which the cake topper has her hand resting on. I think that it adds a great touch to the cake topper.




Here is a sneak peak of the current project that I am working on. These are only half of the decorations. It will be an ocean themed cake. I put the elements of the cake in gumpaste on a cookie sheet that is lined with wax paper. I will be color dusting the rocks and coral reef. I hope to have this cake completed by Friday.



I hope that everyone is having a great week so far and I look forward to reading your comments.



Savor the Baking,





Friday, February 8, 2013

Feature Fridays: M & M Cake Topper and Etsy


I first must start off by saying that I had the most fun creating this cake topper, probably since she is my favorite M & M. To start off I looked on the internet for different pictures of the green M & M and found that I liked this pose the best. I then had to think about how I was going to construct her.




After sculpting her body and adding on her facial features I made her arms, legs, and the base that the cake topper was going to be standing on. I thought that it would be cute if the cake topper was on a wooden stage so I made the base look like a wooden floor with some age to it.




Here I am painting the base with some gel food coloring made into an edible paint. I love the look of this technique and use it often. The edge of the base also had a scalloped edge that I thought fit the girly vibe of the green M & M.





While letting the body of the M & M dry for a few days I put the legs on the base and let them dry. After the rest of the parts were dry I assembled them all together and my green M & M cake topper was born. I think that she looks so cute.




This cake topper and some of my others are available in my Etsy store. You can also access my Etsy store by clicking on it at the right top of this blog. I hope that you all have enjoyed this blog post and enjoy my green M & M cake topper. Have a great weekend.



Savor the Baking,



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

International Sugar Art Collection and School of Sugar Art Part 3: Buys

This is the last part of my International Sugar Arts Collection by Nicholas Lodge series. Part 1 can be found here and Part 2 can be found here. In this blog post I will talk about the items that I bought in the supply store. I bought cake decorating items that I didn't already have and that I needed in some way. Many of these products can be ordered online at the Shop - The International Sugar Arts Collection by Nicholas Lodge. I will also provide other links for products.



I love Americolor gel and airbrush colors. The colors are so vibrant and are faid proof. I bought kit 1 in the gel food colors, which comes with a variety of colors included in the kit such as peach, forest green, and fuschia. I also bought a cute pin that says sugar with cupcakes hanging off of it. I will be wearing this pin whenever I go to cake decorating events or deliver a cake to a client. This pin will bring a sweet touch to a simple black t-shirt. I have been wanting the FMM tappits for a while. This makes my cake decorating life a lot easier when it comes to hand cutting letters all of the time. I chose to get the funky numbers and alphabet set in upper letters. These FMM tappits can be found on Amazon here.





Most of these items that I bought have to do with sugar flowers. I bought some confectioner glaze, which make sugar flowers shiny and some leaf glaze, exclusive to the International Sugar Art Collection. Only a little bit is needed for sugar flowers and the amount in these bottles go a long way. I also bought some gold and silver highlighter dust. These mixed with vanilla extract or vodka will make whatever you glaze it on look like real gold or silver. The petal veiner friller tool is used in sugar work to create frills and to create a veining effect in some petals. The Sugar Facts Size Guide is mostly used in making sugar flowers to know what size of gumpaste you need to use. I have also been using it lot in my figure work to make sure that things are proportionate. The ruler on the side also comes in handy for a lot of things.



These impression mats will come in handy when I need to texture fondant to look like fabric or other things. The lines made me think of courdoroy and they would make for some cool looking stripes. The fabric texture sheet set will come in handy for my figures.


I hope that you have enjoyed this blog post series and that you learned something that you didn't know about The International Sugar Arts Collection and Nicholas Lodge. I hope that you all have a great rest of the week.


Savor the Baking,



Monday, February 4, 2013

International Sugar Art Collection and School of Sugar Art Part 2: Cake and Sugar Art Displays

The International Sugar Arts Collection by Nicholas Lodge has tons of cake and sugar art displays. I took a lot of pictures and even got to take pictures of cakes that Nicholas Lodge decorated in his classroom the day before I visited. The many display cases and individual displays made it feel like you were in a sugar art museum. It's amazing what you can great with a little gumpaste and imagination. The possibilities are endless and Nicholas Lodge has a lot of creativity. Part 1 of this blog post series can be found here.



In the studio where Nicholas Lodge teaches his classes the cakes that he demonstrated from the royal icing class where still on his work table. The two cakes above show how versatile royal icing can be as a medium in cake decorating. The piping is so smooth and the string work is flawless.



This is a replica of the cake that Nicholas Lodge created for Keegan Stewarts wedding along with the photo of Nicholas Lodge, Keegan Stewart, and his wife. I love how the barrel looks so authentic and I love how the royal icing embroidery on the side adds an extra special touch.




These were two of the gumpaste creations that were in the display cases that I was most impressed with. The bacon, eggs, and toast look so real and they were made out of gumpaste. Even the stripes and curl of the bacon make it seem like it was fresh out of a skilltet. The two shoes looked great and they looked great in the display case. The leopard print was spot on.



These were two of the main display cases. The sugar flowers display case represented all of the different sugar flower classes that Nicholas Lodge offers. All types of sugar flowers were in this display case. They were really nice to see.

The cakes display case were cakes done by Nicholas Lodge. I liked seeing the different styles of cake and how polka dots and stripes can make a difference on a cake.


I hope that you all have a blessed week and that you enjoyed this blog post. There are many more displays to see at the International Sugar Art Collection, but I just showed a variety of them for you to see.


Savor the Baking,






Friday, February 1, 2013

Feature Fridays: International Sugar Art Collection and School of Sugar Art Part 1: Supplies and etc.


Hi everyone. I am back from vacation and while visiting my Aunt and Uncle I got to go to The International Sugar Arts Collection by Nicholas Lodge, which is right outside of Atlanta in Norcross, Georgia. A picture of me in front of the school is above. I was really excited to have the opportunity to be that close to the school and I had to stop by. Unfortunately I missed getting to meet Chef Nicholas Lodge by one day, but the good news is that I did take a lot of pictures for you all to see. I took so many pictures that I am doing a three part blog post. Part 2 will be pictures of many of the displays that are in the school and Part 3 will be a post on the items that I bought from the school. I also must say that the staff is very friendly and enthusiastic.



The supply store is a cake decorators dream. Anything that you would ever need to cake decorate are all here. I took a few pictures of the supplies, but I focused mostly on the display cases, which will be in part 2.

When you first walk into the supply store there is this big statue. The statue is holding the flyer for the Sring Open house, where various cake decorating artists will be doing demonstrations. To the left of the statue is a television playing Chef Nicholas Lodges DVD. His DVD's and sugar flower books are for sale in the supply store.



I was amazed at all of the color, luster, and shimmer dusts that were in the supply store. This whole side was filled with them, as well as special color dusts specific to the International Sugar Art Collection. The supply store also sells airbrush colors, which are on the bottom shelf, as well as a Pegasus Professional Airbrush System which is portable. That is also on the bottom shelf.




These are a fraction of all of the cookie cutters that are in the supply store. I though that the ice cream cone cookie cutters where really cute as well as the cupcake ones.


All of the bathrooms have themes and are uniquely decorated. I wanted to share with you my favorite two, the gingerbread theme and the cupcake theme.



The cupcake themed bathroom holds a special place in my heart. This would be my dream bathroom if I has a house. The pink compliments the brown nicely. From the mini cupcake pans to the mini turntable with cupcakes on it this bathroom is too sweet. The artwork is also nice.



I loved all of the cute and antique details in the gingerbread bathroom. If you look closely you will see that the mirror is actually inside a baking sheet. Us bakers out there can definitely appreciate that. There is also an antique hand mixer on the wall along with all things gingerbread. I also though the red fit in nicely with the theme.


I hope that you all have enjoyed this blog post and that you have a blessed weekend. Stay tuned for part 2 next week.


Savor the Baking,