Thursday, December 2, 2010

Month of Memories - December 2nd

 Today I am decorating a cake for a friend's daughter.  As I am doing so, it makes me remember when I first began decorating cakes...years and years ago.  Actually, I baked my first cake all by myself when I was 7.  I remember that my mom had left the mixer out for me the night before with a note on it that said, "Good luck, Amelia Bedelia!"  I must have baked first thing in the morning, before everyone else got up.  Isn't it amazing that I remember that....when you think of all the things I have forgotten?!  I can even remember which counter the mixer was on. :)  I was recently scanning hundreds and hundreds of photos for my parents' 40th anniversary slideshow and photo book and ran across a few of those early cakes that I made.

Here I am with my 7th birthday cake, which I can only assume I decorated:
And I know this one is my handiwork, as I distinctly remember doing many in with the half-color method:

When I was 11, a homeschool mom offered a cake decorating class and I thought "why not?"  So, I took it and began my "real" decorating career. :)  I decorated like crazy for about 7 years, before heading off to college.  It looks like I didn't scan (a few years ago), my really early work, but here's some of my favorites from when I was 14-16.

From 18-24, I didn't decorate a single cake.  Never really even thought about doing one.  I was little busy going off to college, traveling the world, getting married, having baby, but hey...I am busy now, too. :)  Anyway, out of the blue in 2004 I offered to make a friend's baby shower cake.  Looking back on it now, it was pretty sad, but it reignited the cake decorating fire.  I think this was partly because despite having not touched a cake in 6 years or more, I realized I did a nicer job than I had in the past.  I believe this was because my hands had "matured", as had my decorating eye, if that makes sense.  And so, it began again.  I actually took a couple of classes at Michaels because I was planning to become an instructor.  In fact, now that I think about it, I was actually offered a job by Wilton to teach at the AC Moore in Ashburn.  But, I turned it down for various reasons and have never seriously considered teaching in that format again.

Sometimes Philip asks me why I decorate cakes since they seem to often cause me a lot of stress.  It's true, it is a stressful hobby, but it's one of the few things (maybe the only) that I do that has within a relatively short period of time (a few days), I have created, in its entirety, something beautiful.  I love the sense of satisfaction that completing something brings.  And, I am (usually) very happy with the outcome.

Here are a few of my favorites from the past 6 years.  Oops.  It's kind of a lot...and I still left out some I really liked!  Oh well.  Enjoy!

This was the final cake for the first Wilton class I took at Michaels.  Look at all those flowers!

I have always loved this cake.  I think if I had to pick an absolute, very favorite ever, it would probably be this one.  

This is one of Philip's all time favorites.  It was a birthday cake for him back in 2005.
 I just loved these little penguins!

Yes, I made my own shower cake.  But anyway, this was a favorite, not because of the appearance so much as the taste.  Oh my was this cake good!  It was a chocolate mousse cake with rich chocolate icing.  :)

Joshua's 3rd birthday cake.  I have a feeling we'll be seeing a reprise for Andrew's 3rd birthday in May.

I have always thought this cake really needed a top tier (in denim blue!), but even so I really like it because it's so different from what I usually do.

Love these little booties.  I did another set around that same time for a little boy shower cake.
 Definitely my favorite wedding cake I've done, but since I didn't arrange the flowers, I don't know that I can really take credit for it!

This was my birthday cake last year.  I was very grouchy about having to do my own cake (long story), but I did like how it turned out.  My sister helped with the gumpaste flowers.
 These monkeys turned out sooo cute!

Pink & black....always a favorite combo.
 I've done several variations of this cake.  I am not sure which one is my favorite, but I did like this one a lot.

Black icing is a pain to make, but I really like using it as a backdrop.  I've done several black cakes and really like all of them.

What will 2011 bring in the cake world?  Who knows.  Stay tuned. :)

And look....I finished today's cake, despite all the procrastinating!


Matthew, Eve, Noah, and Noelle Middleton said...

I LOVE your cakes, Angela! God has truly gifted you. And I think it's so neat that it's been a passion of yours for so long!

Marcy said...

Thanks for sharing, Angela! Everyone loved the cake and several asked for your info... do you mind me passing your name along? Thanks, again!