Sunday, January 29, 2012

40 & 65!! Shhh! It's a surprise!

Last summer, my mom, sister-in-law and I began discussing this wonderful event that was my brother and dad's surprise birthday party. My dad is turning 65 and my brother is turning the big 4-0 in February. What a great opportunity to throw a party to celebrate these wonderful milestones!

I was asked well in advance (thanks Mom) to make the cake for the event. And at the time, I thought it would be just one cake. Perhaps a 3-tiered cake with half of it decorated to suit my brother and the other half decorated to suit my dad. The more I thought about it, the more difficult that idea became. I wanted a cake that would reflect both, but bringing them together on one cake would just look a little too strange for my taste. Instead, I proposed two different cakes. One for my brother, one for my dad. I'd have the opportunity to personalize each one, but also design them so that they "went together" and coordinated nicely. Here's the result:

The baby photos of my dad and brother were actually scanned in at Piggly Wiggly onto edible paper and then cut to fit each cake. (I have to admit, once the cakes were done and in the 'fridge, I giggled every time I opened the door. Seeing their faces look back at me was just too funny...and a little strange!)

My brother's cake was personalized for him. He's a huge Star Wars fan, is a creative genius with graphic design, loves music and bike riding and kayaking, and enjoys books.

My dad has worked in IT for the majority of his life, is a VERY hand guy around the house, served in the Air Force, and enjoys birds, bike riding and books (and probably aliteration).

Neither cake even cake close to expressing who either of them really is (even in a nutshell), but space was limited. I tried to hit the "highlights".

Here's what the cakes looked like at their final destination:

The top tiers of both of the cakes was lemon with lemon buttercream. The bottom of "James'" cake was chocolate with vanilla buttercream. The bottom of "Jim's" cake was a yellow vertical cake with chocolate mousse filling.

After truly being surprised and welcoming their almost 50 guests, here's my dad and brother posing with their cakes. What good sports they were!

I wish you a very happy birthday Jimmy and Dad, and much love!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Life's a Jungle, Henry!

I feel like it's been FOREVER since my last cake. (Have you missed me?!) But just checking the blog, it looks like it's only been about 3 weeks. Regardless, making cakes for me is just like riding a bike; it's something I don't forget. :)

This particular cake has been on the schedule for quite some time (I thank you for that. Advanced planning is ALWAYS appreciated!). Henry's dad, Vinnie, a high school friend of mine, reserved this date for his son's very important 1st birthday. Vinnie and his wife, Allison, knew that they wanted a jungle themed birthday cake and they sent me a few pictures of what they had in mind. There are some VERY cute cakes out there! However, I requested a copy of their invite so that I could find some inspiration that would tie nicely into the birthday party they had planned.

Here's Henry's invitation:

And here's my translation:

The font for Henry's name is actually a new one I downloaded called, "Jungle Fever". I printed out Henry's name, cut out the letters and then traced them onto a gum paste/fondant mix.

I really like how the vines turned out. I liked the look of them on the invite and wanted to make sure that they were included in the cake. I think it adds a neat detail.

The cakes were both marble flavored cakes. The top tier was filled with a chocolate buttercream and the bottom tier was filled with vanilla buttercream.

I hope that Henry has a FANTASTIC 1st birthday!