Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm An Official Cake Decorator!

I attended my fourth and final class of Wilton Course 1 Cake Decorating. There seemed to be a buzz of excitement among the students, including myself. It was our final class and we would test what we have learned. We ended up doing a rose cake which is a very good choice for a number of occasions, and I love it!

Cake Info:
    Duncan Hines Double Fudge Cake (would've done from scratch but this was so much easier)
    Chocolate Pudding for filling
    Duncan Hines Cream Cheese Frosting (again, time saver. would've loved homemade...yum)

The cake was sort of falling apart....whoops.

At first I wasn't quite sure what we were going to do, she just told us to start with making 7 roses. We did as we were told. Next, we had to draw two lines on each side of the cake in a certain way, with a few twigs coming off on either side. Then we learned how to make our roses 'pop' and then placed them on the cake. Then we added the extra leaves that were needed.

I couldn't figure out which picture looked you decide and let me know what you think.
Top picture or bottom?

Cake Detail:
     Close-up of what I thought was my best rose
     Side decorations with the rose buds in between

This has to be one of the coolest things I have ever done. I am so proud of what I have done and can't wait to see what I can accomplish. I would like to take the Wilton Fondant classes, that is what got me interested in cake decorating. Whenever I am at Michaels for class I always browse and there are so many cool things to use with fondant!!!

I know.....not this many people get that excited about decorating with fondant. I can't wait to try it out!

So, I took my cake to my moms house along with my fiancee and my sister. This was sort of a late birthday cake....I promised to make her a cake for her birthday on Friday and ran out of time, so I bought one. That definitely wasn't the same. I decided that this cake would be for her since it would be decorated by a true 'professional' and to make up for the lack of time-management on my part.

We were given official certificates at the end of the class proving that we are true Wilton cake decorators! It was so amazing, and I would HIGHLY recommend this program to anyone who has an interest in cake decorating. I will also let you know that if you are on a tight budget, it can be really costly. You have to buy the first Course Kit (not sure what it costs in stores but it ranges from $26 to $28 online. I was given a box set as a gift for Christmas if you were wondering....), all the ingredients for cake, icing (to actually cover the cake), and Wilton Icing (for decorating). Along with that, we had to buy a large coupler, a 6 inch spatula, an 8 inch tapered spatula, some decorators gel, and some extra tips. It was rather costly, but its an investment into something that could become a career for me so I feel it's worth it.

Anyway, I need to go to bed.....goodnight for now internetland.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The. Coolest. Music. Video. Ever.

Coldplay - Strawberry Swing - It's amazing.

It was all done by drawing with chalk and stop-motion filming. Awesome.

This song had been one of my favorites since the CD came out, but this song gives me that much more reason to love it! I know this video came out a while ago, but I really wanted to share! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 Class 3

I attended the third cake decorating class for course one on yesterday evening, and I was SO excited to learn how to transfer a picture onto a cake. I think it's something rather valuable. We transferred a picture of a Hot-Air Balloon onto our cakes with decorating gel and filled them in with different colors. It was really neat! I also seemed to coordinate the colors of the icing and the decorating gel without meaning to. I’m glad I had pink and yellow on my mind when dealing with my icing!! I loved the flowers that we learned to make last night; I used them as my border along the top, with stars along the bottom.

I’m including two pictures of the finished cake simply because I don’t think either of them capture the cake in its truest form. Again, I have never, or will ever, claim to be any kind of photographer other than amateur. Just my point-and-shoot Nikon and a girl with a little time on her hands.

This picture was taken at my house under my kitchen lights, 5 60W light bulbs. I thought it turned out alright….on my camera.

This picture was taken  at work, under fluorescent lights. I wasn’t going to take another picture but I thought I should just in case.

I think that the first picture is brighter but the clown looks too bright. The second one seems to have a more yellow tint to it but the clown looks better and the hot-air balloon looks like glass!
Maybe I need to shoot at another angle or maybe I need to use better lighting and background. Either way, I know that I will have to read up on improving  my camera skills. First off, I would like to get a Nikon or Canon Digital SLR. I know that they take good pictures on their own, however, the operator must understand the equipment and be able to use it properly. This is why I think that I need to look online for some quick tutorials on point-and-shoot photography….it may be a while until I get a good Digital SLR. :)
Well, I just thought that I would show these off! I was pretty proud of how my cake turned out! I tasted great too! I was just a box recipe, which I was not happy about, but I figured that since it saved me so much time it was worth it since it’s been a little hectic around here lately. I’m trying to get some crafting done, but something always seems to get in my way. I’ll hopefully get some time soon.

I forgot to mention that my fiancĂ©e and I will be moving out June 1st, so we are on a house hunt. We are actually going to be moving in with my cousin Matt who moved here in February and has since been living with my wonderful mother. We went to look at a house today and the manager said that she was going to leave the door unlocked for us but she must have forgotten. Oh well, I’ll call tomorrow and I’m sure they will open it for us. I’ll update!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Are Tulips Better Than Three? :)

"Never yet was a springtime, when the buds forgot to bloom." Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

I love seeing all the beautiful flowers and trees that are in bloom this time of year. The colors are so bright and beautiful that you can't help but be happy! Spring is here, it's finally warming up outside, everything is green and other beautiful colors, people are starting to barbeque, and it's garden growin' time! It will be nice when we finally settle into a place where I can grow a garden. For now, I'll just focus on plants I can keep inside (and keep alive!).

Not sure what this plant is called....I've heard spider plant a lot so I'll stick with that.

We have so many different kinds of colors springing up around the house and that's why I have been wanting to take these pictures. It's absolutely beautiful outside now that Spring has sprung. FYI: All the pictures that you will see below is the wonderful Spring planning of one of the previous renters. These were all a surprise to me. Whoever they had in this house before was great for planning with the seasons. In the Spring you can find everything you will see below around our house, and in the Summer you will find bushes with white flowers as well as orange and multi-colored lillies in the backyard.

Eastern Redbud
 Forsythia Bushes - I had to hurry before the yellow flowers were gone. They're one of my Spring favorites!

Hope you enjoy my little piece of home! I know I love them!

I know, the pictures may not be the best, but I'm shooting with a point-and-shoot with little to no experience......and I just had to show these off and practice taking more pictures!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Recycled Gift Bow

I was perusing through some of my friend Carols favorite blogs and found a link to a blog named How About Orange. I had to check it out simply because I've taken a liking to orange as of late. The blog is amazing, featuring all sorts of crafty things that all seem easy enough for me to do. I've gotten a lot of ideas that I would like to try out from there. Getting to the point...he he.

I saw this great tutorial on how to make gift bows from magazine paper, and I love recycled items. I thought it looked easy enough so I tried it at work today. It seriously took about 5 minutes.

I know, her bow is orange and so is mine (if you didn't check the link then just believe me), however, there is a story to this. A few days after seeing the tutorial I was cleaning up at work and found this orange ad for Uncle Bens torn out from a magazine. It happens all the time, but I thought that it was perfect! I used a razor to cut the strips, staples, and tape....voila!

Just wanted to show this off, but if you really want to try it (and it is SOOO easy) please visit How About Orange. Night!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 Class 2

Today's class was the second class in course one, and it was completely different than what I thought it would be. We were asked to bring in a cake that was already frosted, and I assumed that we were going to make our own design. When we got there we were told that it was going to be a 'practice cake', and that we would be making a cake with a hot-air balloon on it in the next class. They will show us how to transfer a picture onto a cake and then we are going to fill it, but I was hoping for the rainbow. I can do that on my own though once I learn how to do it!
Double Fudge Cake with Chocolate Pudding Filling and Cream Cheese Icing
Wilton Class Buttercream Icing, slightly tweaked. This is stiff stuff!
This is my practice cake, 3 roses, a heart made of stars, a large shell border, and on the side there are zig zags and ropes.
This shows the side detail a little better. First there is a zig zag pattern all the way up and down the sides and then the ropes are hung over them.

I'm rather proud of what I've done for my first cake decorating venture. Our teacher is terrific and I found out today that she helped write the class cake decorating books! I just thought that was awesome! She also told us that she used to make cakes for hire and had done it for 50 years and would be willing to tell us any tricks of the trade.....sounds like shortcuts and timesavers! Something that she told us that would save a huge mess was about the colors for our icing. She said rather than pull the entire protective aluminum top off, just poke a hole that you can put a toothpick through! Amazing!

I've learned so much in the past two weeks that I would like to continue going, however, money issues hold me back. I also learned today that they are going to be discontinuing the third cake decorating class after May's class because of lack of interest. Boooooo. That's the class where you learn the proper way to stack teired cakes, which would be handy to know if I were to become a decent enough cake decorator to make wedding cakes.

Anyway, thought I would share this with you! Haven't been on in a while because I've been busy with cakes since Sunday!! Still have some pictures to post from around the house.....need to do.....where are my post its?!?!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Made a Coffee Sleeve!

I really wanted to post this because I was SO excited that I could do this! I have been crocheting for years and the most I seem to  get accomplished is making scarves. I do love the scarves that I've made, but I wanted to do something else. I really couldn't think of anything simple that I could accomplish, until I read my friend Carols blog, That Is Charming. She had an etsy shop in which she sold a lot of her crocheting creations (which were amazing!) and while I was checking it out, I saw these awesome coffee sleeves! Hers were so colorful and were made of very thick yarn and I thought they were so neat (not to mention a little more environmentally friendly)! One day, I was making a scarf and just got tired of doing that same things over and over so I decided I would try my hand at it and this is what I got!

I haven't had a chance to try it on a coffee cup as of yet, but I will have to make it a point to do it soon since I worry that the yarn is too smooth for the cup......we will see!

I posted yesterday that I would try to get pictures of the flowers around our house on here, and I took the pictures but I haven't uploaded them to my computer yet. I can get it done tomorrow, I'm sure.

I have been slightly cake obsessed ever since my cake decorating class! It's just the strangest thing! On Friday, a customer took our courtesy van to the mall and when she came to pick up her vehicle she brought in all her bags from shopping. I was ringing her ticket through and I swore I kept smelling cake or frosting, but ever since I've stopped smoking it seems as though my nostrils have kicked in full gear! I just call it my super sniffer :) Anyway, before she left to get in her car I asked her if she was wearing perfume and she started telling me about this Shea Cahsmere body lotion she got from Bath and Body Works and it was on sale (This stuff seriously smelled like cake/icing). She even pulled it out and let me try some! I just loved the smell so much that after work I went there and got two for $20, but I also got a small $1 sampler of their new summer vanillas lotions that will be coming out this summer. There are three scents - Coconut, Berry, and Lemon - I, of course, got coconut. It smells pretty good, the coconut smell is somewhat strong, but I still use it. I love both of the products I got and I got such a great deal that I'm giving the extra one to my mom! She knows that she's getting something but I think I want to wrap it in something cute!

This cake obsession sure is strange, I was even looking up cake keychains (I saw this cute toast plushie keychain made of felt and it got my mind wandering..........) and found some really cute ones at elegant beauty's etsy shop. I've been seeing these cute Japanese neckelaces shaped and painted to look like real food! It's SO cute! I would like to buy or make either a slice of (preferrably) layered chocolate peanut butter cake with chocolate ganache on top. On all the sites I've looked on the keychains/charms were make from polymer clay, and I've worked with it before so I think I could figure something out.

These are two of the charms from Elegant Beauty's etsy shop. I provided the link above the pictures - click on elegant beauty - if you are looking to purchase any of her awesome handmade charms! They're absolutley adorable!

Anyway, just wanted to share all of that with you! I think I should have some more flower pictures to show tomorrow! I think I might play around with my photo editor that's installed on my computer and see what it will allow me to do.

Check out this etsy shop as well.....a talented crafter....Sinner's Sweets

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

This post is a little late as I have been a little busy lately. It seems as though Spring has sprung here in Missouri. There are still a few chilly days, but I haven't worn my winter coat in about a week!  :)

This picture is a daffodil that was blooming in our backyard! I had no clue that we had so many flowers around our house until now! But we did move in just last June so we kinda missed the Spring flowers. I haven't gotten many pictures of them yet, but I hope to possibly this weekend! It's almost dark when I finally get home from work so weekends are my best bet. (That way, I can do a little weeding while I'm out there too!)

By the way, this is what outside our house looked like on the first day of Spring.

My slightly younger cousin Matt recently moved to COMO because he got a job with me at Toyota, so I've been showing him around Columbia since it's quite a bit bigger than our hometown (by tens of thousands!). Anyway, since that intro is over, I took him to Shelter Gardens which is a huge rose garden right down the road from work. So, he got him some cigs (I'm a month without them as of yesterday!) and we went there for lunch. It's still fairly early, but I got one or two good pics.

Some of these pictures were snapped in a hurry because I thought my battery was dying. I swear I saw the battery light flash, but later on there was no sign of it.......weird. Maybe it's starting to get low.....I've never seen it do that in the year and a half that I've had it, but who knows.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 Class 1

First of all I want to show you this picture. It is of three roses, two of them the instructor made and the other one I made. Can you guess which one it is?????? (The answer is at the bottom of this post)

Also, if you searched for Wilton classes and have happened to stumble upon my blog, please read more of my April 2010 posts, as I did a post for every class that I attended! It truly is a wonderful class! (Class 4 is NOT listed as Class 4, the post is titled "I'm An Official Cake Decorator!" if you want to check it out)

When I signed up for the course the cashier told me that for the first class I didn't need to bring anything, so I assumed we were just going to make a list of what we needed to make and bring next time. I was SO an extent. One of the first things the instructor asked was "Did you bring your Course 1 set??" to which I, of course, replied "No, the cashier told me I wouldn't need it". She then told me that it was too bad because we were going to go through our kits and make sure we had all the right tips and if we were missing any she would give us what we were missing. But, I've taken the first two classes for this before, so I actually had triple the tips for the first course....quick explanation....

So, my sister and I both took Cake Decorating Course 1 in 4H while I was a Freshman and she was in seventh grade. We ended up taking only two classes and didn't go again, seems kinda silly now huh? There's two sets of tips there. This past Christmas, my Aunt Betty was so generous to buy me a 'tackle box' of cake decorating supplies from Wilton! That present was pretty sweet! That's the set of tips plus some extra, like the rose pin!!

This first class taught me a lot more than I thought it would in the first class! We automatically went through the kits - mine at home - and went through this booklet that she gave to us all, scribbling notes all the while. She showed us the proper way to fold and hold a bag, how to torte a cake using a leveler, showed us the proper way to fill a cake with things like pudding (yum!), and the finale was showing us how to make roses. That was so exciting for me because the icing rose has always mystified me and now I know its secret! He, really it was SO cool to learn that and it makes me super excited for next weeks I'm wondering what I should do with my cake I've got to take to class since I know people at work might try to eat it.....hmmm.......

Kayla ♥

So, the rose that I made is the one on the bottom! If you guessed correctly, then good for you! If not, better luck next time!

So I Start Class Tomorrow :)

I have officially signed up for Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1. I went tom Michaels on my lunch break and meandered around in the bakery and wedding aisle. I found a few things of interest. There was this wedding planner organizer - which is perfect for me since I love to organize - but the datebook in it was from 2009! The thing cost $40, but I think they could discount slightly for being outdated....he he. Just being a picky shopper which I know I shouldn't be. I also saw some really cute orange invitations but it was a set of 30 for $40. I'm not sure but I think I could probably get a computer program or find someone with one and make it for cheaper.

Anyway, to the point at hand. The first class is tomorrow night from 6:30 to 8:30 at Michaels. They told me that I do not have to bring my kit the first night just something to write on, which makes me believe we are making a list of what we need to make for the next class or three. I know that I have at least 2 good chocolate cake recipes but I haven't really done vanilla cake from scratch, I prefer chocolate. Cross your fingers we can choose so I can stick with what I know best!

So, pictures to follow when I have something to show off.

Kayla ♥

Saturday, April 3, 2010

To Be A Cake Decorator

I finally taken the first steps in baking and decorating my own cakes and have looked up prices and will be signing up for Wilton cake decorating classes for this month. There will be four classes, one each week. I believe that I will end up making four different cakes, at least that's the impression that I've gotten from all the reviews I've read.

My Aunt was generous enough this past Christmas to buy me a cake decorating set from Michaels. It's the Wilton cake decorating set that covers all the items you would need from courses 1-3, which is all the decorating courses. Which is pretty awesome. I'm getting this class for half-price from Michael's because they are running a special. Again......awesome.

So......once I start, which should be this Wednesday, I will start posting info on it.....kind of like a review. And, of course, to show off my work! Since this is something I could possibly end up doing to make money I would definitely like to show it off! :)

Wish me luck!

Kayla ♥