November 30, 2012

Catch up post:Sponge Bob and flowers

Let's cut to the chase: these cupcakes were made last week.

Sponge Bob's many faces

Floral/shabby chic cupcakes 

Floral/shabby chic cupcakes

Floral/shabby chic cupcakes

A lot of people like my floral/shabby chic cupcakes. I always strive to make something different for every order even if the main element/theme is the same.

I hope you liked my creations! Until next time!

November 24, 2012

A week late: last Saturday's other cakes

This is so overdue, but I've been so busy. I made these cake and cupcakes last Saturday (together with the candyland theme cake that I featured in an earlier post), but I only got the time to blog about them now.

Well, I've already taken a picture of the Pooh and friends cupcake toppers for last Saturday, but I didn't get a chance to show you my Barney, Baby Bop, and BJ toppers.



I can never understand why kids love Barney. I never liked him. I don't like purple things...and eggplants. His face is so simple that it's too difficult to make. But anyway, I think I did a pretty good job here with him, and with his friends Baby Bop and BJ. I managed to make them look cute!

My other project last Saturday was a small sports-themed christening cake for Izyl Alxndru. 


I just love this cake! I think the bear is so adorable, and the little balls are too cute!!!

Until my next post!



November 23, 2012

So this is Christmas...

Christmas is just around the corner! Weeeeee! And because of that, I started coming up with cookie designs for the season. I'll be making batches of these cookies to giveaway and to sell next month.











Merry Christmas! 

November 18, 2012

Candyland-themed party for Allyssa


It's been a very busy week for me. Yesterday, I made some goodies for my inaanak's seventh birthday, plus I had other orders. I'll talk about the other stuff I made later. For now, let me talk about Allyssa's seventh birthday party.

My friend Aurel (Allyssa's mom) and I have been toying with the idea of starting a small events business for children. She'd take care of the physical setup, and I would take care of all the sweets. We agreed to practice on her daughter's birthday. It was a total labor of love, especially for her. She made everything from the juice labels, invitations, cupcake toppers, cookiepop holders, and even the balloon centerpiece, which was placed beside the cake!

Here's how Allyssa's candyland-themed buffet table looked like:


Here are the stuff I made for the party:

Up close and personal: Allyssa's candyland-themed cake

Allyssa's cake on display during her birthday party


The three tiers of this cake are all chocolate layers with strawberry buttercream filling. The colorful strip at the edge of the bottom tier is made up of rainbow sour strips. I also used gumballs, candy-coated jellies, and sugar-coated jellies. I decided to use real candy so that kids would have fun picking the cake apart. Plus, there would be a myriad of flavors and textures incorporated in the cake. If I used candy-shaped fondant decors, there wouldn't be any variety. It would just be plain sweet.

Allyssa's birthday cupcakes
The cupcakes have a surprise inside: strawberry cream Oreos! I'm sure the kids weren't expecting the treat when they bit into the cupcake.

These are actually Oreo cookie pops

A little labeling error here. These are actually Oreo cookie pops, which I explained in an earlier blog post.

Sugar cookies on a popsicle stick

 
The birthday girl with her friends
I'm already looking forward to Allyssa's next birthday party. In the meantime, Aurel and I are getting ready for our barkada's Christmas party. She's decorating, and I'll take care of the goodies! Excited!


Photo op with friends (from L to R): Aurel, April, Crislei, and me
Photo credits: All photos (except that of the sugar cookies) courtesy of Aurel (grabbed from her FB account).










November 16, 2012

Cupcake nail art



I'm a girly girl who loves to go to salons, but I'm just not into nail art. I get manicures and pedicures but definitely no nail color. Not even colorless polish.

Well, my former officemate is really into this stuff. She's really creative with her designs. I think she doesn't use those things that come in a nail art kit. She just uses nail polish and a toothpick. I asked her to do a cupcake inspired design for me, and she did!

Check out her blog for more of her cupcake-inspired nail art and her other designs. I asked her to do a Winnie the Pooh and friends design next. I'm excited!

November 15, 2012

SUCCESS!

I've always struggled in making cake pops. I can no longer count how many attempts I've done. I have always failed. Sometimes, the cake would be too soft (too much buttercream, plus not chilled well); sometimes I overcook the chocolate. I've watched numerous tutorials and asked a lot of people countless advice on how to do at least one thing right.

Today I decided to try again. I focused on melting the chocolate right. I used Oreos instead of cake (to save time and effort since my goal is to get the chocolate to melt successfully). I used 200 grams of milk chocolate chips. I added about a tablespoon of shortening. I placed the chocolate inside a glass bowl placed over some water (water shouldn't touch the bottom of the bowl). The heat was on medium high, but I did not allow the water to boil. I consistently stirred the chocolate. As soon as it started melting (it was shiny and still had lumps), I took it off the fire. I stirred in more chocolate without reheating the water. Success! Chocolate was melted!

Here's how my Oreo cookie pop experiment looked like. These are to be used during the birthday party of my friend's daughter Allyssa.

Not bad...
Cheers to me for FINALLY melting the chocolate successfully!

***
I made another batch of Pooh and friends fondant toppers today. Here they are:

Isn't he adorable?

Eeyore is really shy
Friends reunited
I just love Pooh and his adorable friends! And so does a lot of my clients.

Until my next post!






November 14, 2012

Sugar cookies and royal icing rosettes

The daughter of one of my best friends will be celebrating her seventh birthday this Saturday. I'm going to make her a bunch of goodies. I just started making sugar cookiepops for her. I prettified them with sprinkles. Here they are:


I usually use the Wilton Colorflow recipe to decorate the cookies, but today I decided to try out just how hard the royal icing recipe will dry out. It limited my creativity since royal icing is stiffer and dries out faster, and I had to use a spatula to spread it out. However, it was the perfect recipe to secure the popsicle sticks that I used.

Anyway, I had a lot of left over royal icing. It was the perfect time for me to practice piping ribbon rosettes. I learned it from reading SweetSugarBelle's tutorial. I took out my newly bought flower nail and started piping. Unfortunately, I really suck at it. But in my defense, it was my first time to try it. I believe practice makes perfect, so I should still be able to improve.


I'll keep you posted about my royal icing ribbon rosettes progress!


November 10, 2012

Spiderman and Avengers themed birthday cake and cupcakes



I do a lot of research online, and I see a lot of pictures of cakes that I would like to make someday. Just last month, I saw this cute Spiderman cake photo by The Cake Fairy, and I told myself that I would like to make this cake one day. I just had to wait for someone to ask me to do it.


My friend Karen was the one who asked me to do it for the 4th birthday of her son Dondee. She gave me another design, which used a round cake, but it was still a Spiderman cake, so I still got so excited. I really wanted to try making a Spiderman figure. 

It was quite challenging, but I found the perfect tutorial from one of my favorite websites, Lovely Tutorials. I immediately went to work to make my very own Spiderman figure. It was quite difficult, but I think I did a very good job at it.

Look who's got a tight ass!

I always put a twist on my cakes. I may have looked at another cake decorator's work for the design, but I change a few things and add a few details to make the cake uniquely mine.
This is the original design


Here's my version
As for the cupcakes, I made two sets: Spiderman-themed cupcakes and Avengers-themed cupcakes. (I didn't know that Spidey was a member of the Avengers! I found it on Wikipedia while doing research for this project.)

Spiderman and Avengers cupcakes

Hulk's green fist just went through the orange brick wall!

Spiderman toppers
A few problems I encountered: I had a hard time making Iron Man's face, and the Hulk's fist was challenging as well. But I guess I did well.

The cake was a red velvet cake with cream cheese filling and covered with chocolate buttercream before covering it with fondant. There were two types of cupcakes: Boston Creme and Vanilla cupcakes with blueberry and honey filling.

Until my next set of goodies!





Catch up post: bonsai cake

I like it when my clients ask me to do something I've never done before, like a bonsai cake for example.

Here's what my bonsai cake last November 3 looked like. The branches of the bonsai are gauge 22 floral wires.

My mom had a bonsai years ago that looked like this and it was the first thing that I remembered when I was asked to make this cake.

November 06, 2012

My firsts in baking

I am attention-hungry today. This is because I just launched the FB page for my blog. Yehey! I've been meaning to do it for a long time, but I've been very busy. 


I think this blog should be something more than just a photo album where I showcase my latest cake designs. I think this should tell the story of how I started to get into baking/cake decorating. It should chronicle my journey from being a complete kitchen idiot to a quite successful self-taught baker/cake decorator. I still can't cook a decent meal (I even have to rely on a rice cooker to cook rice just right), but I am proud to say that for someone who hated the kitchen, I can now do what I am doing. I didn't attend any baking classes (yes, because I am CHEAP, and I think it would do me more good if I directly used the money to pay for classes to buy ingredients and just learn from books and online blogs and tutorials), but I've learned quite a lot in over a year.

My friend Ristie was the first one who ever broached the idea of me getting into baking. As always, she got me to start doing things. She was the first one who gave me the idea to make my own beaded jewelry (I've been pretty successful in that too until I got too busy for it...besides there's more money in a food business than in an accessories business...HONESTLY), and more than a year ago, she showed me how to ice my first ever cupcakes.
Photo from my personal Facebook account; taken last June 11, 2011
Right after this, I bought my first ever cookbook, The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. I've been using the basic recipes from this book eversince (with minor tweaks according to my preferences along the way).

I know the red velvet (which I modified for plain chocolate cupcakes) and vanilla cupcake recipes by heart.
After that, I bought a whole bunch of magazines and secondhand baking books from Booksale to copy recipes from and to get basic cake decorating ideas. I also did a lot of research, especially on working with fondant. 

After the third try, I was finally able to bake something edible! Whew! But the buttercream here is still very unstable. (June 29 2011)
My first-ever cake: 5-inch round vanilla cake for my niece Julia, my first-ever fan
The first ever batch of orders I took (July 14 2011)
My first ever sugar cookies (July 20 2011)
My first ever fondant pieces were for my friend April's bridal shower (July 28 2011)
Looking back at my previous work, I could say that I've really made a lot of progress. There are still a lot of things that I need to learn and to master, but I take pride in the fact that I have elevated the level of my craftsmanship through my hard work, perseverance, and determination. I am very proud and happy of everything that I have achieved on my own. 











ArtsyCraftsyMe Twitter account

Does my blog actually have followers?

Please let me know. Please show me some love! I set up a Twitter account because I dream that one day I will have a strong following, and having a big social media presence is key. My Twitter handle is https://twitter.com/ArtsyCraftsyMe, and soon (that means about an hour from now I guess, when I'm done with my chores), I'll link this up with a new Instagram account. I am even thinking of creating a new Facebook page for this blog.

I am attention-hungry. Please follow me.

Kisses!

Shooter cake

My husband's ex-boss is an avid shooter. Hubby asked me to bake a cake for him. Here it is.

Top view

Front view

Close up view of the shooter
This is a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. The shooting figure was very challenging to make. Whew!