Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mickey Adrian

For Alane's early twentyfourth birthday celebration, I decided to make a cake that combined her two loves: Mickey and Nathan Adrian.

The idea of combining Mickey and Nathan didn't occur to me until I was already working on the cake the day of her dinner (super last minute). As the cake was baking, I whipped up a quick sketch using a few online images.

I thought I took more pictures, but I guess I was too pressed for time to remember. I split the funfetti cake mix into an 8in round cake pan and 8 cupcakes. Here's how I decorated the cupcakes:

Mickey Olympics rings.

I trimmed the 8in cake down to about 6.25in before frosting it. Why? Because the tupperware I used for the ice cream layer was about that size. Oh, yeah. Did I mention this was an ice cream cake? The mint chip ice cream (from Trader Joes) layer was a little complicated and messy, so I have no pictures.


I was about to use all the ice cream for the layer, but it was so good, I had to save a bit for myself.

There was a lot of running back and forth from the freezer to the table during this process. I first rushed the icing of Mickey Adrian and birthday message, and then swapped that layer with the ice cream layer in the freezer. I forced the ice cream layer out of the tupperware, and threw it back into the freezer to reharden for a few moments. Finally, while still in my pjs and Cat already over to pick me up and trying to talk to me about China, I place the cake layer on top of the ice cream layer and do a final frosting.

I didn't have time to give him a gold medal :(

With the exception of a cupcake casualty, the Olympic themed birthday goodies made it to Alane's house perfectly


We always have an unprepared picture.

At Mallard.

Girl, you're twentyfour!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Legend of Korra Shirt

Kevin sacrificed going to the Community panel to get me a Korra shirt and poster at Comic Con last summer. The shirt was HUGE. It's a large, but looked more like extra, extra large on me. Because it was so big, I knew I wasn't ever going to wear it. Well, now that The Legend of Korra was finally premiering, I decided it was time to reduce my shirt to a wearable size.

I don't have pictures of all my steps, because I didn't have any methodical way of doing this.

I chose a woot shirt to use as a template.

Here I'm resizing the sleeve. Afterwards, I realized I should have cut the sleeve from the side that already had a seam instead of the opposite end which created two seams... dumb.

I hand-stitched everything but the neckline using a backstitch. It would have been more efficient if I had a sewing machine.

My favorite part was sewing the neckline. I kept the neckline from the original shirt which made things a lot easier.

I used a slipstitch to sew the hem of the neckline. I was so happy with how clean it looked, but later when I tried it on I realized there wasn't much give. As a result, the seam ripped a bit when I pulled it over my head. Sigh.

Finished sewing the front part of the neckline and the sides of the shirt. 

Next I finished the rest of the neckline, sewed the shoulders together, and attached the sleeves which were the most difficult pieces to sew.

A bunch of hours and one battle wound later.

My smaller, not perfect, but better fitting shirt. It ended up a bit crooked and smaller than I had wanted it. But it was still a pretty good effort considering I was guessing most of the time and my work area was the edge of my bed.

Luckily the crookedness wasn't noticeable when I was wearing it.

We watched the premiere of The Legend of Korra at Ray's apartment's private theater. Yes, we are that fancy. Afterwards, we went to the Cherry Blossom Festival. My first time! I didn't take many pictures, because I forgot to charge my camera beforehand, but here are a few. No cherry blossoms though. Whoopsies.

Washi-Ningyo: Japanese Paper Dolls
I would enjoy taking this workshop.

Origami Exhibit and Demonstration
Wall - E!

Ikebana Exhibit
Art of flower arrangement. I would enjoy this class too.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cakes for Well Dressed Royalty

Cat and Perry had a joint birthday celebration this year. This never happens. Their birthdays are a day apart from each other, February 18 & 19, and they always celebrate separately (because who wants to share their special day?). This year, they brought all their mutual friends together for a royal afternoon brunch at Hs Lordship in Berkeley. It was a lot of fun, and they should do it more often!

The dress code was blazers or suspenders with a touch of gold. So I set out to design cakes around that dress code.

[I didn't take very many pictures, because most of what I was working on was time sensitive and hands on. I didn't have time to stop to take pictures or want to risk getting my hands dirty.]

My original plan was to make a ganache with candy melts.  I didn't have much of a color selection when it came to them. I should stop thinking things will work when I haven't actually tested it first myself. To make ganache, all you do is add heated heavy cream to chocolate. Regular milk chocolate works the best when making ganache, everything else does not. I got some goopy mess when I tried making it with these candy melts. My guess is: too much butter fat mixed with more butter fat equals goopy mess. I really wanted the ganache idea to work, because it has the cleanest look. Fondant could have also been used, but, in my opinion, it doesn't taste very good and no one really eats it.

I ended up having to just melt and pour the candy melts over the cakes.

My newest tool: Duff Goldman (from Charm City Cakes) approved gum paste/pastillage.  If you've ever seen flowers or other cool decorations on cakes, this is the stuff the decorators use to make them. Gum paste is completely edible, and is used and sets like clay. What makes gum paste harden is the egg whites or meringue powder used to make it. I didn't want to risk making my own, so I picked up this ready made gum paste to make the details of the cakes.

I quickly molded my pieces, and painted them with gold luster dust when they dried a few hours later.

Perry's was a brownie and Cat's was a vanilla cake. Both were made from mixes. I was so hyper afterwards. Frosting, candy melts, sugar... kept getting everywhere and I kept tasting it and it was nearly 2am and everyone was sleeping.. I ran around dancing downstairs for awhile to expend the energy.

At Hs Lordship the next morning (February 25th).

So this is what it feels like to be in the presence of royalty ;)

Photos from Nikki's

and Tracy's iPhones.

Happy birthday, Cat and Perry!

More pictures from my camera.

Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.

T3! Minus Nancy & Zoe.

Tracy had an injured arm that Alane kept unintentionally hitting.


lol, Lan.

"Donald Trump wants his blue blazer black."

"Why would he want his blue blazer black?"

Perry would be the only one to fully follow his own dress code.