Monday, November 14, 2011

Anniversary Cake for Eugene's Parents

Here were are standing in front of "The Podium"
I recently had the opportunity to create a cake for my professor and advisor, Eugene Matusov. Well, actually for his parents. They were celebrating their 60th anniversary. I was very, very excited when his Wife, Alla, emailed me to order.

I met Eugene in the summer of 1999, when I began the Ph.D. program at University of Delaware. His "job" was to help me navigate through the program, however, he began to help me in so many other ways. When I didn't believe in myself or my abilities, he always, always had a word of encouragement to help me work through my own doubt.

When I was carrying my son, Jimmy, we learned of his heart defect. Eugene made sure came visit me at the hospital to make sure everything was OK. They wouldn't allow anyone but family see me because of the severity of the situation. That didn't stop Eugene. He told them he was my Uncle. Another time, he was my cousin. I now affectionately call him my Cousin Uncle Bubba. :)

For many years, I would run to his office or email him when I was proud of something I had written or any other academic triumph I had accomplished. And boy, did he love to brag on his graduate students. When I took a leave of absence from school, I found that I missed that. It reminded me of old times when I presented him the cake the other day that I finished for his parents. And of course, his reaction was the same as always. 

Hand painted with food coloring gels
The cake flavor was chocolate with walnuts and raisins. I made sure not to use a lot of sugar as I remembered that Eugene and his family find American cakes a bit too sweet. I changed the recipe a bit and wow, it really allowed for the chocolate taste to show through. I could get used to that.

I look forward to baking many more treats for my friends family at the University of Delaware!

Here we are at one of our favorite restaurants on campus after Tony Anderson's doctoral defense.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy 40th Birthday to Tonya!

Stephanie and Tonya in 1988
One of my best friends from high school recently contacted me to make her cake for her 40th birthday. We had reconnected through Facebook after being out of contact for many (too many) years. At one point of our lives, we were inseparable. We studied for the SAT test to take together at the same time...practiced HOURS upon HOURS for a talent contest at Evelyn Graves Christian Academy, which was our high school. The dance we created was to Take 6's song entitled, "Gold Mine"...I'm aching just thinking about some of those moves.

Tonya requested a blue shoe cake similar to what I had done
before with a few changes

 I can't believe how much time has gone by and that she was about to celebrate her 40th birthday (I will be celebrating mine next year!). Every year, no matter what, I always remembered her on her birthday and wondered how she was. I must say that it was a pleasure to create the cake for her event! I was a bit bummed that I couldn't stay for the celebration, because I had other cakes in the works. I have been told, however, that she had an awesome time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

For Tequoia

Top tier is yellow cake with vanilla butter cream
 bottom tier is chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling

These cakes were created for one of my best friend, Phyrn's niece, Tequoia. Tequoia is any cake arstist's dream client. She is incredibly sweet and no fuss. I was allowed to come up with the design for her bridal shower cake and her wedding cake. I coordinated with her godmother, Tracey to find out the theme for the bridal shower.

Yellow cake with Amaretto filling

The only thing Tequoia requested was the I use shades of blue and Amaretto filling for her wedding cakes. The shower was 5-14 and the wedding 5-21. Everything is edible on both cakes. I hand painted the accents on the bridal shower cake with food coloring gels. The gold accents on the wedding cake were hand painted as well with gold luster dust.

Hollywood Baby Shower Cake

One of my favoritest people in the world requested this cake for one of her sorors (DST). I met Alexiss through Evelyn Graves Ministries many, many moons ago. We both graduated from the school founded by Evelyn Graves and also were involved in the drama ministry as well. She is one of 3 beautiful sisters. I went from seeing them every day to not seeing them at all when I went off to school (Shhhh... I'm a bit older than they are). We reconnected through Facebook and Alexiss has become one of my biggest fans!

The theme for the baby shower was Hollywood. She and the baby shower shower committee trusted me to make this cake to reflect their vision. They were very open to the slight changes to their original cake desing I suggested. I love it when there is some flexibility! The cake is a yellow cake with fresh strawberry filling and chocolate cake with oreo cream filling. From what I was told there wasn't any left! Everything on the cake is edible except for the wire holding the stars.

It is always an absolute pleasure working with her. If I ever needed a boost of self confidence...all I'd ever have to do is think about all of her kind words. Love ya Lexi!

Jaiden's Cake

I made this cake...or should I say we (my l'il cousin Janet and I), made this cake for her daughter Jaiden. Janet is the artsy fartsy type. She also very intelligent! After graduating from Cheyney University, she began looking for employment. In this economy, it's was difficult so she began helping me with cakes and my hand painted nursery decor business. 

She is one of the fastest learners I know! One day we spent the day caking and made almost 200 cupcakes and this Barney cake for her daughter. Janet has since found a great job. Though I miss her a lot...I wish her all the best and hope to create with her again someday soon!

Cake to match prom gown

This cake was created to match Sean's niece's prom gown. It is a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream. I also made matching cupcakes.

Two Tone Pink and Green Floral Swirl cake

It is amazing how Facebook has connected so many people together. It is even more amazing to me that cakes can do the same thing too. :)  A dear friend of mine from my youth found me on Facebook last year. I posted pictures of some of the cakes I had done and she requested one for her birthday. All she said she wanted was a red velvet cake and the colors pink and green and the rest was up to me! So, the day before her birthday, she came to pick up her cake. I hadn't seen her in over 20 years! It was great seeing her and her handsome sons. I hope to see April again soon.

Dora Cake

I created this cake for my little cousin's Aisha's daughter, Brianna. I can't believe how fast time has flown. I was about 14 when I found out that Aisha was going to be born and was so excited to hear the news. Now she has a family of her own. A beautiful one at that!

Brianna is crazy about Dora, so this is the cake I came up with.

Isn't she adorable?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Asian Inspired Cake

This cake was made for two special young ladies. They and their family were such a source of support for me while I was in graduate school. My son was a baby and it was really hard for me to focus on studies at times. They opened up their hearts and their home and took very good care of Jimmy. They became a second family to me and I am forever grateful.

Leah went to school for graphic arts and is very creative. She designed their birthday cake. She sent her vision and I used that as my guide. The "wooden board" is actually fondant made to look like wood. I also made the fortune cookies, sushi and chopsticks out of fondant mixed with tylose powder. The cake is red velvet with vanilla frosting. I hand hand painted it using vodka mixed with food coloring gel.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Welcome Baby Tyleah

These cupcakes were made by me for a welcome baby party. The 3 flavors included were red velvet, chocolate and yellow cake. All were topped with vanilla buttercream. The cake toppers were made by Lacona Matthews-Smith of Signature Occasions.

LaCona is a very talented party planner as well and serves the Baltimore area. I personally love her sweet tables. I've included more pictures of her work below. I highly recommend Signature Occasions for your next event.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Birthday cake I made for me!

A friend of mine suggested a while back that I try to make a shoe cake. I used the occasion of my birthday to try it. I'm pretty satisfied with the way it came out. The purple and black is a nod to the Ravens, since this was eaten at a Super Bowl party in Baltimore.  The base is covered with fondant and hand painted. The shoe is all gumpaste. Everything is edible except for the rhinestones. The shoe also has hand painting on it as well as the box. It's chocolate with chocolate buttercream.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cake completed 1-15-2011

Here are 3 cakes that I completed over the weekend. I am so very happy with the results!

The first cake I completed was for Sean's little cousin's birthday. It is a cake based on the Disney movie Cars. I had a really fun time making this. It is my first full scale car cake. This is a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream. This cake took me a few days to complete from start to finish. I will post more pictures of the process in my next blog.

This second cake was made for Sean's grandmother's 88th birthday. The top tier is WASC cake with vanilla buttercream. The bottom tier is chocolate cake with milk chocolate buttercream. both tiers are covered with pink fondant. I used food coloring gels to hand paint the flowers and then added satin ribbon to the base of the cakes.

The last cake of the weekend was made for a little boy's first birthday. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Winnie the Pooh, so I was happy to have the opportunity to create this cake. The cake is vanilla cake with vanilla  buttercream with Baravian cream filling. I cut out the fondant bees, Pooh and honey pots with an X-acto knife and hand painted the details with gel food coloring. The cake toppers (Pooh standing and number 1) I used fondant with tylose powder.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Iron Man Cake

Vanilla cake with buttercream frosting.
Covered in fondant. Top part is hand painted
It is still very hard for me to believe that my little cousin, Leah, has a son. It is even harder for me to believe that her son is now six. I remember when I first laid eyes on Leah. My Aunt Denna was holding her. She immediatly became  my little baby doll. Couldn't get enough of her. I loved to do her hair, dress her up and hold her.

When she had her son, I felt the same way about him. Love at first sight.  They stayed with me for several weeks during one summer and I was so very sad to see them go. This is the middle of my Christmas rush and preparing to travel 8 hours to NC for a funeral  at 4 am, I stayed up all night making this cake for "D-Man".

Little purse cake

I made this cake for one of my little neighbor Alexis. She was very happy to receive her surprise birthday cake!


Retro Black, White and Red Cake

I created this cake on July 4 of this year. I unfortunately missed most of the activities for the day, but had a great time making this cake. I don't have the printer yet to print logos, etc., so I thought I would try to hand painting on a cake. I've been hooked on painting cakes ever since.

Sex in the City themed birthday cake

I created this cake for Celia, a very dear friend of mine from high school. It was such an honor to make her cake for her birthday!

Sweet little cake

This cake was created for a woman whose mother was turning 86. Her mother had recently lost her husband, so she wanted to do something to cheer her up.