Archive for September, 2012

September 20, 2012

Graduation Party!

My cousin Ana just graduated from NIE recently and to celebrate ending her many years of education (and her new journey into teaching) she threw a graduation party and I got to make the cake! πŸ™‚


She requested for a minion-themed cake (I did my research by watching Despicable Me!) Β and I badly wanted to do the cupcakes!

Cousin-in-law (Marilyn) + Cousins (Ana, Amelia +Me!)

Mom’s side of the family – Congrats Ana! πŸ™‚

Down to just three of us. :’)

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September 1, 2012

Catching Up On Saturdays (PME Sugarflowers)

Here’s to the end of a very long journey — 75 hours in-class time, countless hours at home covering cake dummies, making royal icing, figurines and flowers. And well, though this might sound like a lot, the time did fly by pretty quickly! πŸ™‚

Of the three (Sugarpaste, Royal Icing, Sugarflowers), I found this module the most frustrating. I mean, sure — Royal Icing could be a Royal Pain at times but still there is a strange sense of tranquility while piping . And of course, there’s only that much you need to pipe!

As for Sugarflowers.. Each flower is different. Different wire gauge, different way of hooking your wire, different stamens.. and oh don’t get me started on the number of flower cutters we had to buy. So in short, many things to remember and many flowers to learn. Β I did though, have a wonderful time learning with four other ladies Β — sharing ideas, blood, sweat and tears πŸ˜‰

Just a little heads-up, this is going to be a very picture-heavy post so the page might take a while to load!

Unwired flower (Gerbera), Pulled flower, Filler flowers (blossoms)Β 

First lesson’s basics. The pulled flower is a lifesaver. The blossoms were a pain to attach.

Thats all you need to know πŸ™‚

Freesia

Lasting Friendship

These were one of the prettiest flowers we were taught to make in class. Β I loved these though just to make a single bud took me from 45 to 60 mins!!

Stamens (we made these and bound them together with white floral tape)

Freesia flower with calyx (paste was getting dry, I was getting frustrated, very annoyed.. and it was a very caffeine deprived morning.)

Blackberry

Envy

This was probably the easiest yet at the same time, the most frustrating to make. You see, the little tiny, purple balls kept slipping off the body of blackberry and the only thing we could do was to stick them back on and cross our fingers that they wouldn’t slide down again!

Wired GerberaΒ 

Pink; Gift of Cheerfulness

I LOVED THESE. These were relatively easy to make though my gumpaste started to dry out towards the end of the course and it got really hard to roll out my petals thinly. The sandy stuff in the center of the gerbera’s semolina flour, coloured with Wilton’s moss green Β πŸ™‚

Roses

Pink; Grace , Yellow;Β Friendship, jealousy, infidelity, apology, a broken heart, intense emotion, dying love, extreme betrayal

Rose on the left’s mine, Rose on the right’s my instructor’s (Allyson!). Yes i know — I have a long way and a lot of practice to go! 😦

All my classmate’s cakes had roses while I decided not to do them because I’m firstly not the biggest fan of roses and well, I think they’re a little overrated. πŸ™‚

Orchids

Refined Beauty, Mature CharmΒ 

Cymbidium Orchid

These were reaaaaallly tiny and truth-be-told, I really don’t think they looked like orchids.

Cattleya Orchid

These went on my final cake because I unexpectedly fell in love with them. Β There is something about the orchid I can’t place — a very subtle beauty I think, that kinda grows on you as you make it πŸ™‚

Two nights before the last lesson. See the gerbera centers behind the orchids? I meant to do gerberas too but I was too tired. 😦 I had two cakes and a set of cupcakes due around the same time 😦 Lesson learnt – do not overstretch oneself! I probably had like 12 hours of sleep over 3 days.

Amazing what a little dust can do huh! (Orchid on the left’s dusted with Buttercup/Carnation/Poppy Red, Orchid on the left not dusted)

We also learnt a couple of other flowers — the arum lily and stargazer lily (also known as the oriental lily) Β as well asΒ foliageΒ — holly Β berries and leaves which are not shown here either because I didn’t make them or I felt that whatever I made looked really awful :/

Final Cakes

Honestly, I’m not very happy with how my cake looked. I wish I had known how pretty orchids were and had shipped giant orchid cutters over. I like minimalist cakes where the focus of the cake is the sole, extremely huge flower sitting on the cake Β and this cake looked too crowded 😦 I’m also not the biggest fan ofΒ foliage partially because I really don’t like leaves and also because I find that they’re really seasonal and the foliage we learnt in this course wasn’t applicable to all the flowers. (Thus my cake doesn’t have foliage!)

Angelina’s purple themed cake — practice for her twin sister’s wedding cake! She actually took a whole day’s leave and stayed home to make all the flowers. Respect!!!!

Fee Leng’s very cheerful cake — she makes the prettiest gerberas! πŸ™‚

Celline’s pretty cake — she enlisted her “production line” (children) to help with making the roses and she was the only one who bothered to make a real cake!

The very tired and happy people from class! πŸ™‚

My wonderful instructor Allyson & my nothing-short-of-awesome-very-much-cake-obsessed-friend, Angelina!

So yes, I’m finally where I want to be though the process of learning never really stops. The next big (and expensive) step would be to go to culinary school. Β Having said this, Β I’m very thankful to have two parents who tolerate (haha!) my sweet obsession, untidy ways (I’m trying, I’m trying!), try their very best to be supportive and never fail to remind me that my Uni studies come first. Β :’) And although they probably will never read this, just thought I’d say that although you’re incessantly kiasu/paranoid/always hovering/complaining that I’m making you fat with my cakes (Mother), I really do appreciate you + Love you with a capital L πŸ™‚ Β Thankful for you too (Dad), for being my personalΒ chauffeur whenever I have class/ have to teach/ go to school πŸ™‚

Additional Note – You may or may not have noticed that I’ve added the meanings of the flowers below their pictures. These meanings have come from various sources – wikipedia, some online sites as well as the novel The Language Of Flowers. Β I’ve always found that flowers are far more profound then their surface beauty and messages can be conveyed through them. So pick your flowers wisely! πŸ˜‰