I was recently asked to provide a cake for a photo shoot, the brief was soft pastels and ‘dreamy’. My absolute dream plant is cascading lilac wisteria, so to match it with lace and peach coloured piping was to me, perfect. The black velvet ribbon also really adds some drama to the softness of the painting behind… in my opinion anyway! I would have loved this cake at my wedding, I think it’s a very ‘Me’ cake. I hope you like x
Today I delivered this cake. It was chocolate fudge with chocolate buttercream, the Cakery’s best seller.
The brief was: a gentleman’s 60th Birthday, who likes all things older guys love (?!) for instance, fishing, gardening and golf. However, I was also told that he has a certain love for the ‘Wind in the Willows’ – so this has inspired the design quite a lot.
If you have seen any of my cakes you will know that I don’t do novelty designs and my work is more illustrational and heavily set in patterns and graphical drawing. So to ensure the inspiration from the ‘Wind in the Willows’ didnt look like the cake was for a child, I went for the riverbank setting rather than looking at the characters (which I love by the way). So we have Ratty’s rowing boat amongst the reeds and a fancy looking heron (just because I thought he would look cool) and two playing dragonflies.
I used an edible black pen to get the finer lines and it gave me a lot more freedom and allowed for the over look to be more like it’s taken from a story book; which I am very happy with,as I don’t consider storybooks childish at all, they often contain my most favourite of pictures.
The overall style is teetering on the Art Nouveau, I think it’s because of the finer lines of the pen and also, of course, because I added the swirly sea, like in a few of my other cakes. I love the feel this brings and I will keep playing around with this element of my work in my future cakes.
Oh and look! Check out my stickers for my cake boxes, posh eh!
I was commissioned for this cake by the Keegan’s (check out my post on Keegan cookies for a great recipe they gave me) It was for Pete’s parents, who both turned 50 this year, so it was sort-of a 100th birthday cake.
They are a family of cat lovers and they live in Wales – so daffodils (the national flower) had to be represented strongly. Kim and Pete are fellow artists and we studied at university together a few years ago, I can’t believe how much has changed since then, we are both married now and they have a wonderful little girl Pippa. I digress…
I wanted to use a few different techniques on this cake, to create a varied surface of interest and detail. I started when I covered the cake in icing, by pressing a flower cutter into the surface. This added initial, subtle textures to play against the painted design. This was great, as I later decided to add icing ‘tubes’ to create a few protruding daffodils. I was surprised at how well this worked and would like to design cupcakes completely covered in them or maybe the top-tier of a larger cake… a little rainy day project me thinks!
The cats were a difficult one to include, so I opted for less of a narrative scene and more of an abstract, ‘design-y’ approach. what do you think?
I am really happy with my new camera, it’s so pretty and I feel like I need to give it a ‘shout out’ because compared to my previous images that I took on my phone, they are so much more appealing to look at. Saying that, I apologise if from now on my posts are more photo heavy because it’s harder to choose which ones to put up!
This cake was a Victoria sponge with chocolate buttercream filling – a cake for sweet teeth, yum!
When I met the Keegan family to give them this cake, Pippa met her first horse, below are a few pictures of our afternoon in the August sunshine…
(above) The Keegan’s! (below) me and Pippa
We later retreated to The Blackwood Arms for refreshments and I would definitely recommend it there, it’s beautiful!
Yesterday was my first hand-painted cupcake class, held a Norden Farm Arts Centre in Maidenhead. It was such a nice class, there was 11 ladies who each brought a dozen cupcakes with them and lots of enthusiasm for cake.
(This picture above is my favourite cupcake from the class, it’s so happy! Also, you can’t see it on here, but it has a glittery sky, I squealed a little with joy when I saw it!)
The class lasted 2 hours, a good amount of time to explain the areas of possibilities with edible paint, as well as enough time for the students to try out their own ideas.
You will see from my pictures that lots of the cakes are experimental with ideas and this is exactly what I wanted. I tried to convey to the class that there really isn’t a possibility for mistakes in this – no one knows what you wanted to achieve in the design so you can change it as you go along, just relax and have fun.
We also played around with some cutters to bring another dynamic to the cupcakes – this class did not need me to hold their hand in this at all, before I could tell them to use the cutters to just make an impression in the top of a cupcake – they had already done it without me looking! I was proud!
It was really exciting to hold this class and I am definitely going to be doing this again soon, I found myself giving ideas and tips that I didn’t even realise I knew. I think it was the life long obsession of cooking and art coming out and I just wanted to share it with this lovely group – so they could go home and try these things for their friends and families.
I ended up giving out lots of my cards and asking them to keep in touch and let me know how they get on and show me cakes they do in the future, I really hope they do!
I have been going through some of my sketchbooks in preparation for my new website. (My mate Louise is designing this for me and I am eternally grateful!)
Anyway, I thought I would post some of my favourite drawings on my blog to give a further insight into my weird view of the world and how my cake designs come to be.
Some of the sketches are new and some are old, there seems to be an obvious animal theme that I have weirdly just noticed?!
After looking at these as a collective, for the first time I can see ‘my style’, which as you can imagine is very difficult thing to do when it’s your own work. I guess analysing old sketches helps to do this as I have had the time to disconnect from them as see them in a new light – so juxtaposing them to new work is highlighting the style I seem to be doing/using (does that make any sense to anyone other than me?)
I’m not sure how we will decide to use them in the website template, but for now, it has been a fun afternoon collating everything!
When travelling, it’s a great opportunity to jot down some ideas for future cakes. With spring nearly here I have been unable to get a few themes out of my head; light green tones, wildflowers, wildlife, buds, sunlight & wind, woodlands and vegetables. Below are a few drawings I have been working on, the last two took a while longer and are still unfinshed.
Weirdly when I was out on my run I had a idea for a cake, so had to scribble it down as soon as I got home! Also had brain waves about the drawing series I am working on (based on a woodland scene). I’ll post it on here when it’s done, pen and ink wolves, hares and a soon to be hedgehog. Feeling uber creative in 2012! Lx