Monday, April 26, 2010

VAA 25th Anniversary

My mom asked that I make a cake for the VAA's AGM that was this past weekend. I felt quite excited to do this and a little apprehensive, didn't want to mess it up either :oP She presented me with the crest that she helped to design and I took it and blew it up to an 11x17 to fit on my 12x18 sheet pan. I love buttercream transfers, if you can colour and trace, you are pretty much unlimited to what you can draw with icing. Here is a shot of the logo being piped:

Here was the finished cake:

My yellow cake(vanilla/lemon flavoured)with homemade lemon filling and buttercream icing. I try to go thinner on the icing so the extra layer of the transfer isn't too much for the palette. I talked to my mom today and it sounds like everyone enjoyed the cake, and other orders may follow from other VAA locations. Could be great! I'm still concerned about my price point, as other local cake decorators are charging $120+ per layer/tier of cake. $65+ for customized cakes. Hmmm maybe I need to revamp my pricing more; I still want to stay competitive with SOF, Sobey's and Safeway, at the same time their idea of the logo and mine are on two totally different wave lengths. Most likely they would use the edible paper and scan the image, where as I hand piped the image that took me a better part of the afternoon and into early evening to achieve.
I also got a call from my Baking Bingo winner and will be working on a cake for her for this Saturday, I'm so excited. Not to give you any hints, but I feel honoured to bake a 'Welcome Home' cake for one of our troops. That is so touching. :o) Thanks so much for considering my talent for your reunion cake :o))

Thursday, April 22, 2010

River City Treats Goes Beyond Family & Friends

Who knew that this Baking Bingo donation would pay off, but it did. tee hee hee
On the weekend I got a call from my babysitter's mom, whom also attended the Bingo and saw my portfolio, to ask if I could make her younger daughter's cake for her 13th birthday. Green w. blue polka dots, I can certainly handle.
Since then I have been devising a way to price out these cakes without pulling a number out of the sky, like I did with the hippo, and was grossly under cost. I figure if I don't, the chances of making money at this are pretty slim. I'm excited, as I already have a sketch, but am meeting with the daughter next week to confirm that my direction is what she wants. This 10" round isn't needed until the beginning of May so I've got plenty of altering time.
The next cake project I got was from my mom for the VAA 25th Anniversary party this weekend. Simple 12x18 sheet cake w. a buttercream transfer, similar to ones I've done in the past (Elmo, Scooby Doo for my kids)This one just on a much larger scale. Tuesday I tried drawing the VAA logo out on paper, but I was concerned with my proportions on the wild rose, so I opted yesterday to get the image blown up to an 11x17, which is about as big as you get on a regular photocopier, without going over board on buying poster size. I traced it onto wax paper last night and plan to ice it and freeze it for decorating tomorrow afternoon's pickup. I plan to pretty much have everything done today and put it together tomorrow.
So with all of this professional cake project booking, I thought it was high time to get business cards made up as well as actual invoices. I just back dated the last eight projects that I have done and have the two new for a "Current" file :oP Why do I suddenly feel like I am playing office :oP
My pricing is finalized for cakes, as well as cookies and cupcakes. I actually have a four sheet XL document that I punched out over the last four days, that also includes flavours and fillings charts. I think I've remembered everything. I even got business cards made up, I love modern technology - 250 business cards for $13.99, whoot, and I made them all by myself on my printer:o) I had to make up it's own template in the label wizard but I think they turned out well, and it keeps with the theme of the voucher I sent to the Bingo.

I'm probably going to revamp this site a bit to, to reflect this connection between my so-called business and this blog. Now to finish up as I have a busy day ahead of me and two boys coming to play with Stirling this afternoon from 2:20-4:30, fun fun. I just hope the weather stays nice so they can play outside:o)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

No Baking to Share - but the Cookie Jar is Full

It feels strange not really having any real baking feats to share so far this week. Don't get me wrong I have been baking and puttering around my Kitchen-aid as usual , but no noteworthy items. Finally our cookie jar is full again, my usual chocolate chip cookies, so full we all had to eat a few so I could close it . Last night I used some more of the leftover cake pieces from the hippo cake and made strawberry shortcakes for desert. I almost took a picture, but I ate it instead tee hee hee. D saw its size and thought I was crazy - surprisingly he managed to eat it all too, and loved it. I took the cake and cut it in half horizontally and filled it with the strawberries and whipped cream that was leftover (I had to chop and whip of course)- still fresh as the day I bought them :o) Very delicious.
My baking bingo contribution, to our community league, for the grand prize, was a success and I look forward to making the winner the cake of her dreams when she calls! I just hope I'm given enough notice.
I'm itching to bake as there isn't really any cake in the house at the moment, other than a small piece or two of hippo - why is that making me nuts? It's almost an obsession, all in a good way. As Janel said - I'm starting to dream in cake :o)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party 2010
I got involved with this party idea through another blog I read - thank you Jay! I thought it was a good way to expose my baking projects. I wanted to share them and my experiences with others and possibly learn some new tricks or pass on some of my own.
I wish everyone could dig into my last entry to start our party with UBP.
I started blogging this particular page when I decided I needed an outlet outside of my kids. I have a personal blog that I share with close friends and family(none of which are google members)via auto emails when I write a new entry. It encaptures my life with my wonderful husband and children and is almost like the letter home to let everyone know how things are going in our lives.
This blog all began last spring when I began taking cake decorating classes through Wilton at Michael's. I really wanted to showcase my achievements with my family and friends that weren't able to share this with me personally.
I'm a stay at home with a five year old son in kindergarten and two year old daughter. I am very crafty and love to do anything having to do with all art mediums but lately I have really been taken by this cake decorating bug.
I don't want to tell you newcomers to look at my old entries, but that I guess would be the idea if you wanted to get a sense of where I am in my decorating journey.
When I wasn't a stay at home mom I was an interior designer and have done a lot of work in the city I live and some smaller rural towns as well. In retrospect that seems so long ago to me, and almost another life, which I know seems pathetic, but its the truth.
I hope to return to that life when both of my children are attending school full time, which isn't really all that far away when I consider the road that has already been travelled.
Sometime ago I made this blog public, but have yet to find any fellow bloggers that knowingly follow my baking ups and downs, other than the ones I have chosen to be emailed my posts.
In the meantime, while I enjoy the life of in-depth motherhood I find the time to share this.
I hope you enjoy these posts and my future posts to come.
Have a Happy Ultimate Blog Party 2010!

Hippo Cake

....and the fanfare plays....nah just kidding!

For those of you my few loyal readers who have waiting ever so patiently. I have finished making my niece's Hippo cake last night at 8PM to be delivered downtown for 9PM, whoot!! I can't say how amazed at how it turned out and everyone loved it! I have an order for a Giraffe :oP Quit a few other people asked me to do one for their party too :oP I wished I had business cards, but that would have required a running car, which I didn't have this week :o( My niece knows them all too well and she will pass on info when needed :o)
Here is the gal you've been waiting for:

My first experience at going all "Ace of Cakes" on a baking project. I loved it! Wasn't nearly as difficult as I had anticipated. Mental notes from watching said show and Cake Boss came in handy :o)
I am on my way to take my portfolio shortly for our community league's baking bingo they are hosting tomorrow. I've promised to provide a voucher towards a tasty creation of mine, I just hope the person who wins is easy on the cake designing :oP

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Easter Cake

In amongst my 'Hippo' creating, I planned a cake for Easter supper Sunday night. I did up a few fondant daisies (as my gum paste was very frozen and the other dried out beyond saving) used the 9x12 (approx.) piece of chocolate cake I froze earlier in the week from our 12x18 "test" cake as Dave called it. Trimmed it up as two layers, used buttercream icing and coconut; colouring the coconut on the outside and colouring the buttercream similar on the inside. It was delicious, the family came for ham and all raved about it. Still raved on Monday during a playdate too :o) Which reminds me I need to email someone some recipes :oP