Saturday, March 5, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Themed Cake; "Rainbow" Cake!

Every once in a while I have a cake order that comes with a touching story.  All cakes carry their own story.  A special birthday, a beautiful love story, a missionary's long awaited return home, a new addition to the family.  But sometimes the story reaches a little further.  It fills my heart as I hear the story and I work to create something special to help the family celebrate THEIR story.  And I'm always so thankful that the family opens their tender emotions to me.  Because for me, cakes are more than 'just a cake.'  They carry a story.  A glimpse into a life.  An emotion.  A memory.

This cake carried two stories.  One is adorable and fun and exciting. The other is tender, fragile and close to my heart.

This particular cake was made to answer a boy to prom!  He asked the girl with a cute poem and shamrocks and a pot of gold.  They wanted to answer him with the same 'theme' in cake form with the answer 'yes' inside.  And they gave me total creative license with the cake!

What?!  Creative license?!  That's the best thing I can ever be told!  And putting yes in a cake?!  I have a confession, I asked a boy to a dance in high school with a cake!  This brought back fond memories, but I'm not saying how long ago that was!!

My instant thought was, "RAINBOW INSIDE the cake!"  With gold 'coins' to hold the answer.  Did I put a tiny piece of paper saying yes inside a random coin?  I might have.  Tehe!  But really, if a boy got this as his answer to prom, he already knows the answer is yes!  I wish I had a picture of the inside, but you'll have to trust me when I say the cake inside was just as vibrant as the outside!

That's story #1.  One boy, one girl, enjoying the high school experience!

Now, it could have stopped there.  But it didn't.  When I delivered the cake to the girl's family I had a nice visit with her mom; trying to figure out how we knew each other.  It started with a simple question.  "How do you know ....?" I live in a small area, and I'm constantly tying people together in all sorts of places. This beautiful, strong woman opened up to me about probably the hardest day in her life.  

Her 4 year old daughter had died several years ago, and in that moment of her life she found a true friend.  A friend who cried with her and bore her pain on her own shoulders.  A friend who, although she probably wanted to take away the pain, she sat beside a mourning mother and mourned with her.  And her story touched my heart.

I personally have never lost a child.  But I have several friends who have.  Either in child birth.  From tragic accidents.  Sickness.  Loss of faith.  It doesn't matter the cause, the pain is still real.  It's raw.  And it doesn't ever really go away, even when you think you've healed and found peace with it.  
The little triggers are there to bring the pain back again.  And you're grieving that loss all over again.
 No parent should ever have to go through that pain.  

I have been raised my whole life in the LDS church.  And I've always had a strong testimony of life after death.  Our loved ones are not really gone from us.  They've moved on to a spirit world where they wait patiently to be reunited with us.  That brings comfort.  It does.  But there is also still a hole that never really gets filled.  A life that should be moving right along beside you.  A pair of eyes that should be aging and growing and sharing moments and making memories.

So, as I sat thinking about this dear mother, and the other mothers in my life who've lost a child, my heart filled with love for them.  This cake was already made and decorated, but how appropriate is this?!  It's a rainbow!!!!  Have you heard the term, 'rainbow baby?'

I'd never heard the term 'rainbow baby' until a friend of mine had a baby after having a stillborn and multiple miscarriages.  Why rainbow baby?  Because although the pain of the lost baby is still very real, the new baby is the promise of a bright future.  The rainbow amid the storm clouds.

How beautiful is that?!  Who can deny the beauty of a rainbow in a stormy day?  And the joy in a mother's eyes as she sees her newborn baby?

So, how does this tie into this cake and this family's story?  This mother didn't lose her daughter in childbirth, but she lost her baby girl.  She had more children afterwards, and they were HER rainbow babies!  Every grieving mother deserves a rainbow amid her storm.

My multiple friends who had a stillborn had their rainbow babies.  My friend who lost her son when he was 9 months old had her rainbow babies.  It is my prayer that every mother who's lost a child can find her rainbow!  Because yes, as time goes on the pain lessons.  But the pain is never really gone.  The storm clouds loom, no matter how distant they may get on the horizon.

But the rainbow is real.  There is still beauty in our lives.  There is still joy that our Heavenly Father wants to give to us.  There are rainbows all around us!

So, whether it's a friend who cries beside you, a beautiful newborn baby's cry, a neighbor who sends you a letter or text when they know you're hurting, or just a simple smile from a stranger on an especially hard day, please know there is always beauty to be seen!  There is ALWAYS a rainbow to brighten a heavy heart.

Thank you, Amy, for opening your heart and sharing your story with me!  And to all my dear, dear friends who have grieved, and who are still grieving, this cake is for you!  This rainbow is my love for you!  May you find the beauty in this day, and every day!

Cedar High School Basketball Coach Birthday Cake

It took me a lot of time to think out what I wanted to do for this cake.  Then the sweet wife sent me a picture of the key chain her husband always gives his players, and I had my inspiration.  For a coach who's coached for years and years, I knew it had to be special.  So with the help of the wife and a couple other friends who work with the birthday boy, I had what I needed!
 The key chain and a solid white chocolate basketball covered in modeling chocolate.
 This was the really fun part for me!  Each word is a word from past players and students.  Every coach and teacher deserves to know how amazing they are in the lives of the students they teach.

 Gum paste feathers and arrows.  Based on the school's logo.
For some reason my computer isn't loading the picture, but the back of the 'key chain' says "Finish The Drill" just like the ones given to the players.  I'm personally very thankful for coaches and teachers who truly care about the kids they lead and teach.  They are a group of very under-appreciated people who deserve so much more than a thank you!
Happy birthday, Coach Cardon!

Glock Handgun Birthday Cake

This was kind of a rush cake, and at the very last moment I rushed to make the target as something that stood out instead of just on the top of the cake.  I have to say, it was fun making such a 'guy' cake!  One that I'm sure my dear husband would love!  Gun made of modeling chocolate; it smelled so fantastic!  Along with the lemon pound cake with lemon curd and lemon butter cream frosting.
 Bullets and target made of gum paste.

 Happy 22nd birthday to David in the middle of the target.  Complete with bullet holes.
Black stripes make with modeling chocolate as well.  It's fun doing the simple cakes sometimes!

Dora the Explorer Birthday Cake

I LOVED all the bright colors on this cake!  Bright colors always make the best pictures!  Dora the Explorer was the request and I had to take a sophisticated turn for this cake.  The stripes were probably my favorite, or the flowers, or the balloons.....

 Gum paste little characters that took a super long time, but turned out so adorable.  (That MONKEY!!!  I had to repair him 4 times!!!  The gum paste was too thin.)
 Small styrofoam balls attached to wires covered in gum paste.  I really wanted them too look like there were floating away, but I couldn't figure out how to do it without the strings breaking.  Oh well, the bow ties them together instead!

 Modeling chocolate stripes placed on a slab of modeling chocolate before placing on the cake.  It also took a good amount of time but it was extremely worth it.
Happy birthday, Emma!!  I hope your day was full of adventures!

Birthday Cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes to celebrate a special 18th birthday.  Not only her birthday, but the state championship competition for her high school drill team.  (I'm partial because it's my family's high school too!)

 Decorations done with gum paste.

Happy birthday, Kaitlin, and go CVHS!!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Simply Elegant Wedding Cake

Smooth frosting with a simple dot pattern and gum paste roses.  Dark Belgian chocolate cake under that bright white frosting!  I really loved the simplicity of this cake.  And yes, flowers are still my favorite thing ever to make!

Football/Baseball Birthday Cake

This cake ended up taking twists and turns throughout the whole process!  My mind is all over the place some times when I work on a cake, and this was one of those cases.  My original ideas was to have the football bursting out of the bottom tier and the baseball bursting out of the top tier.  With the letter 'P' on the top of the cake.  Well, as you can see things changed!
It all began when I made the football WAY too big for the cake base I had the cake on.  So, it ended up on the top.  But really, I like it where it ended up!  
 This baseball glove was a last second idea and I'm so glad I did it.  It's made of modeling chocolate.
 The 'P' from the letter-man jacket and the birthday boy's name 'stitched' across it.
 The baseball and football were rice krispie treats covered in modeling chocolate.  The whole cake is covered in modeling chocolate as well.  (I've decided I much prefer modeling chocolate to fondant!)
 Super fun texture for this football!
 The birthday boy's football jersey number and pattern of his jersey.

 Field goal post made of gum paste. 

I really loved making this cake and how clean and crisp it came out!  It's so fun to watch a cake evolve into something so bright and original.  Happy birthday, Jake!  Go Rams!