Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Sister's Wedding

Yet again I am a delinquent blogger. Facebook has consumed me so updated photos are found there. However, I promised myself to find time to blog about this one as this is particularly close to my heart. My baby sister's wedding cake.

I flew 16 hours to Asia, our hometown Manila, to make this one. Weddings in Asia are quite different from weddings here in the United States. To start, there were 800 guests. Yes, read that right...800. But don't worry, I did not have to feed all 800 guests cake. I needed to enjoy my vacation too, right? Given the number of guests, the wedding coordinator required me to create one that is at least 5 feet tall.   Basically one as tall as me! I've made cakes of such height before back in the early '90s when cake separators and stairs were a big thing but these days, it is rare to see one being used. Aside from the height, the biggest challenge for me was the covering huge cake. Biggest tier had a diameter of 24 inches.  I sure wished I had a sheeter then but it saved me the trouble from going to the gym!

Lace & monogram both hand cut

My sister could not decide on how she wanted her cake. She did like the ruffle and lace cake I've made last year so we did a combination of both, added their monogram and some bling. Each ruffle took me at least 30 minutes to make, and every piece of lace and monogram were hand cut. A lot of work and it was all labor of love.  Seeing my sister happy and loving her cake made it all worth while.

Here are some photos of the beautiful couple, their beautiful cake area (not just a table but an entire area dedicated just for cake) and their cake cutting.

Side view of the beautiful cake table

Cake Cutting. Always my favorite part of a wedding.

A dreamy shot of the cake by their photographer Pat Dy

Best wishes my dear sister Tara! To my now brother-in-law Dennis, welcome to the family and congratulations! Remember these words below from my speech :)

"A wise man, I think it was Confucious...
Awise man and husband once said...
The key to a long, prosperous marriage is repeating those three
special words... "Honey, you're right""

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Albert & Erica

Happy 2013 to all! Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. 

I am going to start this year's post with a wedding cake unlike any other I've done before. Most wedding cakes I've done is inspired by the bride's dress, the venue or the color theme. This wedding cake, on the other hand, is very personal to the couple as each tier tells something about the them.

Starting from the bottom: The bottom tier represents the bride's family, their dogs and their life in the Philippines represented by a horse drawn ride called the kalesa, which used to be the primary mode of transportation. The next tier up is the couple's tier which includes the groom's love for cars (and he was very specific about the shape too!), the proposal and more importantly, their new journey ahead with that aspect represented in red for emphasis. The third tier from the bottom shows the Golden Gate Bridge as the couple got married in the BayArea and starting a new life in San Francisco. The next tier up shows the family of the groom, his triplet nephews and  the family's 2 dogs. And lastly, the top tier is the initial of the couple: AE for Albert and Erica. 

Here are some day shots to show clear details.

One other thing that makes this cake different from any other I've made is that the idea came not from the bride, but from the groom. He was very specific of what he wants on the cake and we didn't mind as we loved the idea. I say "we" as this was a collaboration with my sister as well who is a graphic designer. She worked with the groom  to put his vision on print while I executed the design in cake.

Albert and Erica's ceremony and reception was at the penthouse of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. The balcony had a beautiful view of the city and a library which reminds me of a small version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast library. It even had a secret door which according to the hotel, was the escape door of Marilyn Monroe and Kennedy (who had an affair according to history) as Jackie was on her way up to the Penthouse. And guess what? The library was for the cake and the cake only for that night. So talk about pressure of making it really nice right?

Full view of the library. Well, almost. 

Believe it or not, I love cake cutting photos. 

Congratulations Albert and Best Wishes Erica! Wishing you both a life full of happiness and great adventures. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Daughter's Pre-K Graduation

There are events in life when we feel that time is flying by fast. Here is one event that made me feel that way. My daughter's Pre-K graduation. It seemed just like yesterday when I was buying her uniform for preschool and here we are now, at the end of that road and off to a new one. 

I only have one child and it is only once that she will graduate from preschool so I could not pass the opportunity to create a cake for her and her classmates. 

This cake was partly inspired by Amber McKenney of Sweet on Cake's stack of Dr. Seuss books.  She was kind enough to share tips on how she did her awesome book. Thank you Amber! Here is my take on the stack, having the top opened and surrounded by all the graduates.

 My Izzie looking like she is holding up the crayon with her friends.

Top of the book. I had my daughter color the page then scanned it. I thought it would be a good keepsake as well.

Spines of book. Wish I had longer edible sheets. 

Congratulations Izzie! Mommy & Daddy loves you! 

"I'm not a big fat panda. I'm THE big fat panda"

" I'm not a big fat panda. I'm THE big fat panda." - Po "Kung Fu Panda"

The man's got the skill and he continues to be amazing. I am referring to Mike of Mike's Amazing Cakes.

Last year I flew to Seattle to take Mike's Structure Class of which we created a 3 dimensional Big Bird cake. I truly enjoyed the class and much was gained from it that I just had to take another. This time I had choice of what project to do. I went through several options but landed on one that I've been wanting to do for awhile. 

I obtained this book called "Po and Ping's Recipe Storybook" awhile back while researching for a Kung Fu Panda cake last year. The gravity defying part of having one of Po's leg up with the stack of noodle bowls intrigued me. I never had a chance make it or even think of it. I am truly glad we decided to go with this one out of all the other options as it turned out truly awesome!

Here are some photos from the class. Mike actually tackled 4 different projects and patiently went through each one up to completion with the help of his wonderful assistants.

 Po's Head

Noodle Production. That's Kelsey helping me get all the bowls done. And may I just say, I found someone as anal with details as I am! Mike wanted to wring our necks for creating each bowl differently :) 

Here are the other projects in class.

Erin's Tangled Tower which she created for her daughter. Lucky girl!

Jamie's (of Wicked Little Cake Company) Circus Elephant. This was wicked as the 3 small balls rotated! 

Tammy's HUGE replica of her Ron Burgundy bobble head. 

And here is me with the awesome crew at Mike's Amazing Cakes! Theresa who is Mike's office manager was of great help as well (wish I could have and afford a Theresa one day!). 
As Po would say " There is no charge for awesomeness...." Though this class costed me some $, it was worth it!

I love the projects I do for my family and customers but it was great to do something for myself for fun. It's not everyday that you get to work with one of greatest cake artists out there, meet wonderful fellow cake artists and to do something you truly love. Thanks again Mike for a great experience!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Your Birthday Is, Young Obi Wong

I am girly girl and grew up with sisters. I know of Star Wars and may have watched it before but I can barely remember details. I do know the characters, well, some of them at least. So creating anything Star Wars goes beyond my comfort zone. 

When I got a request to make a Yoda cake, I initially held back thinking I will decline their request considering I had 3 days to make it. Just minutes before I made the phone call to Bauer Obi's mom, I somehow changed my mind. The crazy voice inside my head was telling me to take the challenge. The call happened. Done. I was going to do Yoda.

Here is how my Yoda looks. I was worried to get the reaction of Bauer's dad as he is a big Star Wars fan. Naming his child Obi says it all. But to my delight, I got an email with such great response. Likewise from friends and peers who are Star Wars fans. I do feel I could do better next time and I do know which areas to adjust. That is IF there will be a next time. Any other Star Wars fans out there? Honest opinions are welcome!

To Young Obi, Happy 1st Birthday! And to Simon and May, thank you for the opportunity to challenge myself and for having my Yoda be part of such a special occasion.

Annika & Her Elmo Sneakers

I've made my fair share of sugar sneakers. I believe I've done at least 4 since I started making cakes again. This one is particularly special as I knew I had to up it a notch. 

Annika turns 4 and loves Elmo. Last year I made her a Hello Kitty cake and her reaction to seeing it made  me smile all day. This year her mom's special request were these sneakers of which she has the exact pair. I tried to get as close to the real thing, adding the silver rings around the holes and added texture to the front  of the shoe. I was happy with the results and they were too! 

Here's a closer look of the shoe.

Creating this for Annika made me think...maybe I should make more of different designs and line them up. Well, lets see. I'll keep you guys posted.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

An Affair to Remember

We started 2012 with something new. On January 29, we joined our first ever bridal fair at the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo. Here are some photos we would like to share. We did not know what to expect but just hoped for the best. To our surprise, we got such great feedback and it was overwhelming!

A photo of me with my table.

Cupcake Flavors:
Chocolate + Strawberry Buttercream, Vanilla + Vanilla Buttercream & Red Velvet + Vanilla Buttercream

Silver & Petals

Close up shot of the ruffle cake-- our most popular cake at the show.

My great set up crew. For the record, that flower in front of the table was not my idea. It came with the table from the mall. Ha!

My wonderful assistants, my family. I could have not done it without them!

I hope 2012 will bring us (that includes you!) more great opportunities and wonderful firsts. A prosperous new year to everyone!