Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Diamonds, Dots, and Daisies {Topsy Turvy Cake}

This was a cake of firsts for me -- first topsy turvy, first time using "floating" decorations, first time using two cake flavors (chocolate and vanilla) -- so I guess it's appropriate that it's for Taylor's FIRST birthday! Her party theme was Dr. Seuss, but a little more girlie... I'm just glad that the request wasn't green eggs and ham!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Upsie Daisy {Multicolored Daisy Cake}

This cute daisy cake was for a first birthday. Mulitcolored daisies all out of gumpaste decorate this 4 layer buttercream filled layer cake. And of course, a first birthday isn't complete without a mini version of the cake just for the birthday girl! Happy Birthday, McKenzie!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Hero... {Guitar Hero Cake}

In the age of TiVo and DVRs, the Harris house rarely sits through commercials these days... however, some of my current favs are the Guitar Hero ads where celebs re-inact the famous Tom Cruise guitar scene from the Risky Business. I think the reason I find them so funny is that my hubbie and his pals (although not celebrities) also LOVE to play this new trendy game and look just about the same rocking out in the family room. So, when the Riches asked me to make a guitar hero cake for Ryan's 29th birthday, how could I refuse! Ryan wanted the Beatles Gretsch guitar version -- so here it is -- this is not only the longest cake I've made but definitely one of my new favs (the pic hardly does it justice, it was just too long to capture all the detail well)! ALMOST realistic enough to pick up and play -- although you'd be a little sticky by the end of the first set - haha.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I've heard of tennis elbow, but COME ON!!!

So, yes, I've been making a good number of cakes lately... but surely not enough for this!!

Apparently my newfound passion does not align well with my ever aging body. For the past few months, I've had this nagging pain in my elbow. I thought nothing of it at first, assuming I just bruised myself trying to get an overfull laundry basket through a doorway or something... but then I started to notice it getting worse. A few weeks passed with no relief so I started paying more attention and headed to my doc. With no other medical explanations, she said my elbow must be inflamed, gave me a steroid Rx and a thumbs up.

Fast forward another month, and as the pain doesn't go away (even with the thumbs up and nice Rx) I chat to a friend in sports medicine (I love having friends "in the know") who talks me through the symptoms of tennis elbow. With his insights in mind, every Monday now, I take an inventory of elbow pain. Low and behold, it seems directly proportional to the amount of time I've spent decorating the weekend before!! So, the only logical conclusion is that I have a VERY rare, but thankfully not deadly case of "cake elbow."

Now, you may be asking, how does one treat the rare "cake elbow" -- and no, rubbing it with buttercream does not help (nor does eating way too many cake leftovers)!! Sadly, apparently the age old advice of resting seems to be the answer. So, my blog might gather a little dust while I recoup... but if you see me walking around town (for those of you in Charlotte) with an elbow brace on, at least you can tell your friends it was for a good cause (while you laugh at me)!! Rest assured, I'll be back at it as soon as I can hold a piping bag!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A rock to celebrate a rock... {Rock Climbing Cake}

So, Wendy's brother just got engaged... and since Wendy is turning into one of my most faithful cake clients, what does she do? Order the cutest cake ever to help them celebrate! Both Frank and Karoline are into rock climbing, so I did my best to recreate one of their fun outings. I have to say my most FAVORITE part of this cake is the super cute little blue bird and nest perched above the pair, just taking it all in. (This was Chris' idea -- which officially moves him to the top of the list for cake designers when I start hiring -- haha. Actually he and the girls even made the twig, eggs, and bird. Here's a close up of the cuteness...)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

You're Never to Young... {Spa Party Makeup Bag Cake}

... to learn that spa parties are a GOOD thing!! So, one of our BEST friends turns 6 this week, and is leaving the land of little girls to have an oh so fun big girl spa party! I mean, makeup is fun whatever your age... but this stuff is even better since it's edible!! (I'll have to ask my 3 yr old, Hannah, if this lipstick tastes as good as Mommie's... we haven't had an "eat the whole tube" episode... but I have noticed my prettier shades wearing down a little faster, and messier, than in years past!)

Happy Birthday, Ava!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cupcakes {Autumn Theme Cupcakes}

I'm headed to the mountains tomorrow for a church retreat this weekend, and was asked to help with the goodie bags that will be waiting in the rooms... I mean, what better way to cap off a roadtrip than with a little sweet surprise upon arrival!! If only I could figure out how to transport little glasses of milk :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh so girlie! {Pink Polka Dot and Orange Flower Cake}

Little Lucy is turning one this week. Her mommie Eugenia said "I don't know, I just want it to be really girlie... maybe oranges and pinks, dots and flowers?" When I finished this cake tonight, Leah (my 4 year old) said, "oh mommie, it is just DARLING and sooooo cute." Since Leah is about as girlie as you can get, I'll consider this one a success!! Happy Birthday, Lucy!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Autumn Stripes {Modern Roman Stripe Cake}

Even though it was 87 degrees today, they say it's officially "fall." Maybe a few cakes with autumn colors will help speed the cooler weather our way, I'm ready for it!!

This was my first almond cake, and it was a whopping 4 layers which made it almost as tall as it was wide! (Covered in a base coat of buttercream, the stripes are fondant and the monogram was handpainted.)

Princess Castle {Pink and Green Castle Cake}

Sweet Emma turned 4 this week... and to welcome her into the "big girl club" she gets a princess castle for her special day! Emma's mom, Heather picked out these CUTE invites for her party, and it was perfect inspiration for the cake... check it out.

Nana Nana Nana Nana.... BATMAN {Gotham City Batman Signal Cake}

Calling all caped crusaders... what's better for a 4 year old boy's birthday than a Gotham City cake! (Wade's fabulous mommie, Anne, will be adding a batman figuring to the top of the cake... to watch over Gotham.) When I finished this cake today, my hubbie said "oh, I was picturing The Dark Knight in my head when you said a Batman cake, I suppose this is better for a 4 year old..." I guess now I know what I can make for his next cake!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pinky Dots {Pink and White Dot Cake}

One of our good friends, Reese, turns 3 this weekend. Since I had a full cake schedule already her momma baked the cakes for me and I did some quick polka dot decorating. A little teamwork made for a great design :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

R.I.P. {Wooden Casket Cake}

So, I really wasn't trying to be rude when making this cake for my brother-in-law. He turned 30 this week, and although one might think a casket for a cake is a mean "over the hill" joke, it's actually not meant to be a joke at all, since Kristopher works for a funeral home. The mean joke version would have been a mini-Kris in an open casket! But, I would never -- happy 30th Kristopher!!!

(The wood grain on the casket is hand painted, as are the "silver" handles. I'm sure Kris will be able to tell me all the details I missed or messed up on, but considering it's made out of mainly sugar I think it looks pretty good!)

Cuddly Teddy {First Birthday Teddy Bear Cake}

I know I say it each time... but this cake is now my most favorite (I guess that's a good sign)! I love the pinky cheeks and paws, and his hat just makes me smile. I made this sweet teddy bear for a little boy turning one this weekend. Grayson's mommie ordered him his very own cake to enjoy... it seemed fitting for Grayson's cake to be a present just for him delivered by this sweet teddy bear. (I don't know if you can tell how tall it is from the pic, but I actually had to remove shelves in my fridge to fit it in! Totally worth it though!)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Surprise!!! {John Deere Tractor Cake}

Okay, I know I've made tractor cakes before, but let me tell you why this was sooo HARD!! This cake was for a joint 60th surprise party for my parents... how do you make a surprise cake for someone using their very own kitchen???? Well, fortunately, my nephew Jackson has the same affinity for John Deere tractors as my Dad, and he also has a birthday coming up this week. So under the guise of an early celebration for Jackson, I made a tractor cake which in this case would be equally as loved by both Jackson AND my Dad. So as not to give away the surprise, I made all the "mom & dad" specific details at home, and carried them with us on the plane. With a little bit of distraction, I was able to place the last few details (that would have been surprise spoilers) on at the very end without giving it away!!

And here's a pic of my parents, holding their "mini-me's" -- isn't the resemblance uncanny ;) haha

Friday, August 21, 2009

Baby Blues {Blue Dot Cake}

What's better at a birthday party than watching a sweet little baby dig into his or her very own cake!? Anderson's mom ordered a mini version of the big birthday cake just for him to enjoy. A sweet cake of blue polka dots for his first birthday this weekend! Both cakes were covered in vanilla buttercream with fondant accents.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hello Kitty! {3D Pink Hello Kitty Cake}

Okay, I know I've said this before... but this is BY FAR my favorite cake I've made. I was literally squealing in the kitchen while I was "accessorizing" our favorite kitty friend. My baby girl ADORES Hello Kitty, so thankfully I had lots of inspiration around the house... I hope she doesn't get too upset when we cut it up to eat on Saturday!!! Happy Birthday sweet Hannah!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The long awaited cake...

... yes folks, the process has started for Hannah's birthday cake. Her choice - a 3 dimensional Hello Kitty! Not that big a deal one might think... however, ponder said kitty... her head is WAY bigger than her body! I feel like I need to consult a structural engineer on this one... how do you make a larger cake balance nicely on top of a smaller cake!?!? I have some ideas to make it work, but the good thing is I feel like my 3 year old audience will be thrilled with anything as long as it's covered in frosting. Picture to follow in a week or so!! Fingers crossed :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Nesting {Blue Bird Nest with Eggs Cake}

A good friend of mine has a photography business ( if you want to look at her awesome pics)... and her birthday just so happened to be this weekend. Now, Jen is one of those people that whenever she sees one of my cakes, she GUSHES about it and makes me feel like I'm Duff on "Ace of Cakes." So, how could I not make her one for her special day!! The graphics and themes on her blog are all bird related so this cake design was a no brainer for her. Happy Birthday, Jen!! (PS... this cake pic is from my camera, so when I get her MUCH more artistically composted shot I'll post it, as well!!)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dozens of Daisies {White and Yellow Daisy Cake}

This stacked daisy cake was for a wedding rehearsal dinner this weekend. The host asked for a BRIGHT yellow buttercream cake COVERED in daisies. This design fit the bill perfectly! The hardest part was keeping my girls from "picking" all the daisies :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fire Engine Red {Firetruck Cake with Hydrant}

This was definitely one of my favorite cakes so far - I could have spent hours working on little details. The biggest problem though was getting that dark fire engine red... I had a moment of panic when I couldn't seem to get anything deeper than a dark pink color... figuring that wouldn't fly with an observant 3 year old boy, I dumped what seemed like all the red food coloring in Charlotte into my buttercream, and voila... RED! The firehydrant was added specially for the birthday boy, who can't eat gluten. Jackson's mom baked a gluten-free cupcake just for him so I worked it into the design.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Buttons and Booties {Baby Shower Buttons and Booties Cake}

Another baby shower cake, for a friend who is expecting #2. This was my first attempt at gumpaste booties, the bowties on them were almost as tricky to tie as on real baby booties!

And a pic with Leah posing... she insists on being in the picture EVERY time I make a cake! I guess she has a future in cake modeling... haha.

Make a wish {Tall Candle Cake}

The bigger the candle the bigger the wish must be?! This was my first super tall cake -- over a foot high! This candle cake is covered in fondant, and the "flame" and "candle wax" are gumpaste.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dora, Dora, Dora The Explorer... {Dora Story Cake}

So, I got to make a cake this week for the daughter of some of my BIGGEST supporters (seriously, Eric Warren should quit his job in medicine and be my PR guy... he has my whole business figured out!). Cari & Eric's little girl Finley turns two this weekend, and she LOVES Dora. I love all the little details on this cake, lilly pads in the lake, white foamy water at the bottom of the rocky waterfall, crystals in the sand to make it look more "sandy..." I'm sure she'll have as much fun eating this cake as I had making it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A storybook ending... {Book Cake with Crayons}

Yet another cake for school... this one was for the end of year party for Hannah's class, and a thankyou to her great teachers. Since almost all 2 and 3 year olds LOVE story time, this was an easy choice!!

Poker, anyone?? {Poker Table Cake}

Believe it or not, the hardest thing about this cake was deciding what the winning hand should be... a royal flush just seemed too unrealistic!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Head of the class... {Classroom Teacher Thankyou Cake}

To thank Leah's teachers for a great year of playschool, I made this cake. I tried my best to make each child look semi-realistic (i.e. curly hair, pigtails, etc)... and I was just a little sad to see them eaten up, they were soooo cute!!!

And, my inspirations...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lots of dots {Modern Dot Cake with Initial}

This was my best attempt at a "modern looking" cake. I made it for a sip-n-see for my definitely non-traditional friend, Sarah, to celebrate the arrival of her third little boy, Dexter. It ended up better than I was hoping... with layers and layers of fondant (it's amazing there was actually cake underneath to be eaten)!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy "Beer" Day {Beer Bucket Cake with Sugar Bottles and Ice}

This cake is one of my favorites even though it was the most challenging so far. Our good friend Brett turned 40 in April, and since he also happens to be a home-brewer this cake was perfect for his beer themed celebration. Believe it or not, the entire cake is edible!! The bottles and ice are all made of sugar. Happy Birthday, Brett!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Castle for my Princess {Purple Castle Cake with Moat}

Of course my cute little princess wanted a castle for her 4th birthday! Leah picked all the colors for this cake, and even helped me with some of the flowers. (The final product also had the Disney princesses perched in various places... after all, what princess party is complete without them!!)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Under the Sea {Ocean Cake with Ariel Topper}

Addy Tuttle LOVES Ariel... so what do you do when your birthday party comes with a free ice cream cake, but no Ariel decorations?? Make an Ariel cake topper!! The best of both worlds in my opinion, who can resist an ice cream cake!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

That HAD to hurt... {Bike Crash Cake}

One of my husband's favorite people to spend time with (translation... also one of his favorites to tease), Joe, turned 30 this year. Of course the cake had to be a dig at their favorite hobby, mountain biking. Ironically, Chris probably gets hurt WAY more often than Joe. (Side note -- after making "joe" I realized he looks awfully similar to Mr. Bill... funny.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What a girl wants... {Diamond Engagement Ring Box Cake}

Diamonds, of course!! This was an engagement cake I made for a friend's sister. It's really true... the best things do come in the smallest packages!!