01 September 2008

It's a Piece of Cake

Many of you have commented favorably on the cake I did for the folks' anniversary. Thank You! I haven't been doing many cakes of late - but for many years I was "The Cake Lady".

Mulletman was in college, Funsocksgirl and Scout were wee little ones and money was scarce. We wanted to get through college debt free, but we also both wanted me to be home and available for the kiddos. Mulletman was carrying a full course load and working 20 hours a week (or more) at Pizza Hut. If I was going to contribute to the family budget, we'd have to be creative.

So creative we were!

I took in two children the same age as our two for fulltime day care. I also picked up some evening house cleaning jobs that I could work sans enfants. And I had a cleaning job or two during the day where I just hauled all the kids along. That made the job take twice as long, but it worked for us at the time.

One of my on-again-off-again jobs was for our church's music minister, Jeff. His wife, Louise, was semi-disabled and his father-in-law was bedridden in their home. I cleaned, I provided geriatric care and, when they went on vacation, our family house-sat and cared for Grandpa.

Louise was not high energy physically, but she was quite active mentally and had a forceful personality. Over time we formed a team where she was the brains and I, young, energetic and eager to please, was the brawn. She loved to cook and began to get requests for catering. So she planned and cooked and I hauled and served and cleaned. It sounds menial, but it gave me some great experience and some much needed income.

Then we got a call to "do" a wedding reception. Louise was thrilled because our plans/ideas were morphing. She really wanted to get into wedding planning as opposed to catering suppers. She had a wonderful eye for color and arrangement, so decorating was a better fit for her than planning portion sizes and menus.

So here we were preparing for our first wedding. Louise was making the cake and grumbling. She loved arranging flowers, but she hated making and decorating cakes. Suddenly she turned to me and said, "You know what you need to do? You need to take a cake decorating class. That way I can work with flowers and decorating and you can take over the cake portion of our weddings."

Now...all my cakes up 'til that point had been hideous looking disasters. Me? Make cakes? FOR WEDDINGS? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Don't believe me? Here's the lovely *snort* cake I made for Funsocksgirl's 1st birthday and the folks' 26th anniversary combined:

Oh well, at least the folks and Funsocksgirl looked good!

In spite of our tight budget and my inherit lack of talent, Mulletman agreed to shell out the money for an adult ed class and I spent 6 weeks ardently studying the art of cake decorating.

I. Was. Awful.

My frosting consistancy was never right. My cakes were all lopsided. My roses looked like train wrecks. My words were always off center and inconsistant in size. The poor teacher just shook her head and sighed...ALOT.

However, I was determined and I practiced and practiced and practiced and...a business was born. Welcome to Sweet Traditions: Wedding and Specialty Cakes. The following is a very small sample of the cakes I've done over the past 20+ years.

(Note, I am much better at cake decorating than I am at photography. Consequently, some of the detail work gets lost in the shuffle. You can double click on the images for a closer look, though.)

Here are some of my wedding cakes.

This one is my absolute favorite. I made it for Funsocksgirl and the J-Man. That whole cake top
cost us less than $10!!!!

Of course, I don't do just wedding cakes. I also make party cakes. In addition to "regular" cakes, I've made 3-Ds and even experimented with marzipan. It's like fun, edible art!

I hope you've enjoyed this little foray into my groovy world of frosting and paste colors. Next on the docket? Cake Catastrophes or How to Punt When Money is on The Line. :D


Not Hannah said...

Wow, Groovums. Those are AWESOME. I don't know what I'm most impressed with...the cheeseburger cake or the writing on all of them. When I write on cakes, it looks like I've been dipping too much into the vanilla extract.

~Molly~ said...

Oh my goodness!!! How awesomely talented you are!!! Now I have to pick my jaw up off the ground, those are just amazing! My very favorite is the one with the mice and daisies. Just precious!


Dawn said...

FAB-U-LOUS!! Unbelievable that you had such a slow start. Amazing!

And as for the last post - if you couldn't think of anything to write, you coulda fooled me!

As for the key holder to put under the car - Ace Hardware, or probably any other hardware store. I did it again this week!

Bear said...

CHEESEBURGER!!! That's what it is... I see it now.

I don't think it was the cake design that stumped me, it must have been the photograph.

Well done.

Tammy said...

Those cakes are just wonderful, Groovy!
And how great that when money was tight, you were so creative and industrious!

And now, I'm suddenly really craving a big piece of cake...

Marianne Arkins said...

Oh. Oh. Oh.

I want the hamburger one for my DH's next birthday!!!

So cool.

Sushiboy said...

cool cakes!

Damselfly said...

Just makes me want to move to Maine and get married!

Susan said...

I am impressed. I do not do frosted cakes.

Unknown said...

WOW! I'm impressed! Is there anything you can't do?