Friday, February 29, 2008

No more Luke Duke

I am taking the time to post this before I settle in for a good cry.

My baby is gone.

In his place, is a mini-Marine, thanks to his father.

I will be the first to admit he needed a haircut. I will also say he's never going back to that chop-shop again.

All his little baby hair is gone. And I do mean ALL of it. The lady asked if I wanted a little-boy haircut, and of course I said yes. I meant for her to just TRIM the back, sides, and bangs, leaving some soft, fine baby hair. Cullen, as you can tell, did not want his hair cut. His intuition probably told him he'd hate it after he saw it.

My poor little baby.

His father is idly standing by... no, not idly. He is aiding in the traumatization by forcing this tiny baby to sit through the entire thing.

This was before she started, hence the dry face, unfisted hands, and closed mouth.

Cullen, on the ride home, contemplating what he ever did to deserve this.

Looking wistfully out the window, and longing for the days when he had hair for the wind to ruffle.

And at home, too embarrassed to even lift his head.

Now that I've posted this for posterity, I'm going to indulge in a good weeping. I will weep for the trauma my baby endured at the hands of his father and "barber" today. I will weep in solidarity with him. I will weep for the little baby hair I will no longer be able to run my fingers through. But mostly I will weep while I think about his little bald head.

On a side note, the barber shop gave us a certificate to put in his baby book to commemorate this day. It said that Cullen "has bravely met all the requirements of receiving his first haircut and has graduated from babyhood on the 29th day of February in the year of 2008."

HA!!! Not one person in that place would agree he bravely met anything!!!

To type those words, I had to actually go get the certificate. I had stopped reading at bravely, because it was too comical, but the "graduating from babyhood" has begun the tears anew.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WOO HOO!!! It's Christmas in February!

I got it! I got it! I finally, finally got it!!! (In an annoying sing-song voice)

It's the grand-daddy of them all...

or as Roy calls it, the Holy Grail of kitchen appliances...

and we drove to Sugarland Monday afternoon, to the, ahem, Williams Sonoma to get it.


Here it is...

The Kitchen Aid Professional 600 Stand Mixer. Does anyone else hear orchestral music swelling in the background?

And my little friend, who has faithfully mixed mashed potatoes, cake batter, and brownies for me for the last eight years...

Don't worry, I plan to treat them both the same.


Hopefully he'll dig the camera out of the boat so I can show you pics of them side-by-side... Wow, what a difference! I'm not one to act like size matters, but in this case... it definitely does! I can make quadruple batches of cake batter, or double batches of fondant! It mocked me all day yesterday. I had owned it for more than fifteen hours without actually mixing anything. But I rectified that last night... with a (from scratch) chocolate cake, and caramel creme frosting (also from scratch). The leftovers are even now calling out to me. I had a moment of insanity, and cut the cake in half as soon as it was finished, and had Roy take it to one of the guys he fishes/works with. WHAT WAS I THINKING??? That cake rocked!

He did get the camera, and here they are together:

Chocolate cake for dinner tonight?

Nah, that would set a precedent for Christian. At least now when she asks for dessert for dinner I can respond, "Have I ever given you that for dinner before??? And I'm not going to start tonight!"

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Capital Confectioners 2008 Cake & Sugar Art Show & Competition

It was in Austin yesterday. I found out about it Tuesday, and by Tuesday evening, my mom had convinced me to enter. I decided to re-create my diaper bag... and Caylee's birthday cake... and Hannah's sleepover cake... in three days.

I know it's a lot, but each one of those cakes turned out so cute, I couldn't decide on just one. I sculpted the characters Tuesday night, and did the diaper bag Wednesday. Thursday morning I awoke to a caketastrophe... the handles had fallen off, and pulled the fondant away from the sides of the cake. So Thursday was spent re-doing the diaper bag, and finishing the little accessories. I think the finished product was pretty cute, although I still like the first one I did the best.

When we took the cake to the display room, we heard many "Oh, that's so cute!"s and "Oh, how precious."s.
They finally opened the room to viewing, and Roy and I got in line to walk around and admire all the unbelievable cakes. We heard many people admiring my diaper bag, and saw them stopping to take pictures of it... it was a very uplifting experience! The other cakes were absolutely amazing. A few minutes would go by, and Roy would whisper, "The judges are at yours now." Then he'd disappear. After we headed for home, I found out what he was doing... eavesdropping on the judges!!! Or trying to. He said he saw one of them write "good ..." on my sheet, but then they huddled closer together. He said, "I just couldn't see what they were writing!" I told him that was the point! He also said that two ladies and a gentleman were judging the diaper bag, and they kept asking each other what diaper bags looked like! One of them said she hadn't seen one in over 20 years, and the other two said they'd never seen one, because they don't have kids!

I didn't place, but these were the cakes my bag was up against...

And here are some that were in the adult beginner classs, but were sculpted cakes... pretty amazing! The dragon actually won first place, and best of show... for the entire competition! Roy is adamant that the person that created it is not a beginner, but you never know. She may just be exceptionally talented. She actually won over the professionals and the masters.
That's a fondant-covered board, too. Hand-painted to look like stones. It was amazingly detailed.

I had a blast, and am definitely going to start early next year! I bought a bunch of new "toys," and can't wait to use them! They had demonstrations all day, and even live challenges, like on the Food Network. People actually sculpted, iced and decorated cakes in one hour! There was a tugboat, a train, a racecar, a toybox full of toys, and a jack-in-the box. Bronwen Weber (a Food Network cake challenge winner) emceed that challenge. Four people even created complete wedding cakes in an hour and a half!
Here are a few more that were absolutely incredible. They're from all classes of decorators, from beginners to masters.
This was one of our favorites. It was adorably detailed! It was the "Red Woof Inn," and "Puppies Stay Free," they offer "Free Bones from 5-7 Daily," and "No Cats Allowed."
Here's a close-up of the bottom row... so cute!
Each doghouse had a private bathroom, the hydrant, and a bowl with a snack in it. The top level was the office, and there's a cat hiding around the corner, and a dog taking a swim in the pool. Here it is from the back:
Here is a Titanic-themed wedding cake. Nicholas Lodge, a master decorator and Food Network Challenge judge, is in the background. He was one of the judges yesterday.
I'm sure that's more cake than anyone ever wanted to see... so even though I have many more amazing pictures, I'm not going to post any more. I'm sure they took forever to load... sorry about that!

Hope you enjoyed it! I sure did!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Diaper Bag Cake

Yea! My first cake (and only cake!) with no problems!!! NO PROBLEMS!!!

Forgive the pun, but it was a piece of cake... besides the fact that it took about 20 hours to do!
A teacher at the school that I taught at for the last five years (and graduated from) is having a baby, and they asked me to make her shower cake.
I was kind of depressed last week, because I hadn't come up with what I thought was a good idea. I didn't want to do another "Baby Cake." That's old news! :) I was putting Christian's shoes on her one morning, and the idea hit me like a bolt of lightning: a diaper bag cake!
I Googled "diaper bag cake," to see if anyone had attempted one before, and found Melody's.
So I started working on the accessories: a binky, two bottles, diapers, etc... Yesterday I finished, and I have to say it surpassed my imagination. I am really proud of this one. So without further adieu,

I know it's a lot of pictures, but it's so cute!

And now, for the not-so-cute rattle, that I ended up leaving off!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine Tea Party

My daughter's kindergarten class has an annual tea party, instead of exchanging valentines. There are two teachers, 40 kids, and waaaaaaaay too many valentines for the teachers to distribute. The kids get all dressed up in their best clothes, and "bring their best manners to school," and have a really fancy tea party. I think it's a great idea, and volunteered to make a teapot cake.

Here it is:

These are my first roses. I made them out of four colors of fondant, and then painted some of them with four colors of edible glitter. I think they turned out rather well. It's a pretty girly cake... and Christian just loves it.

Hopefully she'll come home as beautiful as she leaves the house... but I'm not holding my breath!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Cinderella Cake

My neighbor's son's teacher's daughter (wow!) is turning four. My neighbor recommended me when the teacher asked if she knew somebody who does nice cakes.

She's having a Cinderella party. I thought maybe a pillow with a glass slipper would be cute. I actually finished before midnight!!! I shocked myself. I could have spent lots more hours on it. I called it quits around 7 pm.

It's entirely edible! Thanks to Wendy at CakeSpace, I finally figured out silver paint! I was sooooo excited! I'd been trying to do it for quite some time. The glass slipper is cake, also, and was not easy to cover in fondant.

It's my sixth "commissioned" cake! It's not exactly what I wanted it to be, but it's okay. It sure was a lot of carving. I had to carve the slipper last night, then carve the pillow and decorate both today.

There's something not quite right about this one, but I really can't put my finger on it. I say that with each cake, though. The finished product never quite looks the way it did in my head!

I liked the pillow before I put the slipper on it, and I liked the slipper before I put it on the pillow, but something about the two coming together wasn't great. You can't see it in the pictures, but there's a big silver "button" under the instep of the slipper. It was so cute, but the slipper hides pretty much the whole thing. Live and learn!

I just found a picture of the slipper from the other side...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Football Cake

It's been a busy week for me... I made a football cake for a bake sale benefitting a high school drill team member who needs heart surgery, and a Cinderella-themed cake for a little girl turning four. I'll post about that later.

My brother's mother-in-law asked me to make the football cake. Here it is:

She e-mailed me today:

Your cake went for $100.00. That’s great for a little cake sale. The person who bought the cake donated it to the girl that the benefit was for and she took it to school to share with the other Sandettes. I think you were quite popular this morning. Many people wanted your phone #. I did not give it to them, but I told them to come see me and I could share your email address. Thanks again. Oh! We raised $1,026.00.

Her e-mail made me so happy, I actually cried!

I added melted chocolate and cocoa powder to this fondant, instead of brown icing color. It smelled/tasted delicious! Definitely for the chocolate lover!