May 2, 2011

Frosting, flowers, and felicity

You know how you have this great idea and you get all excited and think how fun it is going to be? And you really and truly think it isn't really going to be that big a deal? I mean, I am fairly intelligent...I have been around the block a few times...but I thought I would host, along with some girlfriends, a little surprise birthday party for a set of twins and my bright idea was that I will make the birthday cake! 

I have been wanting to decorate a cake for a while now since I used to decorate a long time ago...like about 20 years ago. Never mind that I didn't have one cake pan, and only one frosting tip. And it wasn't until I actually baked the damn layers did I realized I didn't have even have a cooling rack. So luckily my vintage stove had a storage space on the side, that I quickly removed all the pans and removed the shelving and stuck bowls underneath it and made a makeshift rack.

But the dumbest thing of all? Is when making and carefully decorating a three-layer "creation" and stepping back, sore hands from piping, cleaning your mess up, and only then thinking..."How in the hell am I going to get this thing over to the house?" Brilliant.

Well, in my last posting I showed you a lot of buttons and crafts. That is part of this story. That is how nuts I can get. I will show you my attempt at the cake and the little party (which was a lot of fun, by the way) and then next posting I will show you the little craft project I did. For my cake, which in honor of the Royal Wedding this past weekend, I am calling my cake: Royal Pain in the Arse. That is about as royal as it gets. I came up with this idea of covering it with paper flowers. Well, I am sure I didn't come up with the idea, I am sure it has been done before somewhere, and if I was smart, I would have researched it and would have most likely found a much easier, faster, prettier way to do this. I never really think to look things up - which is really stupid now that I think about it.

Okay, on with the flower show that I loaded up in my bowl. I thought it would be "fun" to sit and watch TV and make lots flowers during "a" movie one night. However, after TWO Lifetime movies, three  episodes of Deadliest Catch, lots of paper cuts, and many ugly flowers, I ended up with only one measly bowl of several squished flowers tucked under the pretty good flowers, that I found uses for somehow during the party...
















So the next day, I am feeling pretty good in spite of being up all night with my TV marathon, flower-making, paper-cutting extravaganza, party-for-one. So THAT is when I got the bright idea...hey! Maybe I will also make some handmade French collar corsages for the girls....not that I ever made any, nor seen or heard of them before...and I want to make them on the same day that I am making this cake.  And no, I don't do drugs or even drink soda with caffeine. Just a wild hair now and again.

So below, I will recap where that wild hair can take you if you don't tame it:



Now, you didn't think I wouldn't show you my wild hair, (the other "wild hair" is located somewhere else) did you? Yup, unwashed, in my headband, wearing an over shirt over my pj's.  SO while I have this going on, I have the kitchen behind me...

















My makeshift "cooling rack" which is just a shelf out of my stove balancing on small bowls. Forgot to buy cooling racks....and I forgot...









...and I forgot to buy those cake cardboard thingys...so I had to cut out some cardboard and cover it with foil, which will come back to haunt me when I got and cut the cake later, but I don't know this yet...



Now, I am starting to layer and add frosting in the middle...



...but if you look closely, you will see that I wasn't thinking and I covered the entire bottom lower with frosting. Then when I went to add the second layer...well...then I realized that I didn't need frosting on the ENTIRE bottom level, so I had to scrape it off - hence the shiny top of the bottom layer...the beginning of the cake earning it name...












I am however, proud that I did remember the step to add a very thin layer of frosting (one is under the chocolate one too) over the cake to keep the crumbs under control. Well, at least I think that is what I was taught 20 years ago in class :-)




Now this gets interesting. Since my flower-making was really make-believe since I had no clue as to what I was doing...I made them too fat to stick  into the cake. Tooth picks didn't work, but I discovered that corsage pins did! Just gotta be careful not to let the sharp part poke through to the other side of the flower as you stick it into the cake.



But, I had to be careful as I poked them in the cake not to let the pin slide up out of the flower....the cake is truly earning its name by now...royally earning its name.



Can you spot it?


Now, as you can imagine, or probably guessed, I had to make a few more flowers and ran out of time. So, what you just saw, took two days and the cake was dry as hell. So note to self: Bring back up cheese cake to really eat. The girls were really sweet, and ate it, but it tasted awful. So now that I spent about $120 on pans, tips, frosting, mixes, food coloring, cake cutter, and whatever else I got...I am determined to make a really tasty cake now that I learned the hard way. But, it did get some creative juices going. One big thing I noticed that was very different for me from 20 years ago when I did it quite well: I didn't eat as much cake batter and my cake really rose to the right levels. I do remember back then having to make extra batter :-)





Poking flowers in here and there, wrapped ribbon and cut out some vintage sheet music and glued to the ribbon. I learned the next day that ribbon doesn't keep the cake moister from seeping through the paper...so I decide it was just "sappy music for the soul" hahaa!




So on with the party - by the time I got there, I was pooped and not tons of photos...AND...the cake made it! A big tall box, lots and lots of towels and driving really, really slow and making people behind you really mad...just wear really dark sunglasses and look straight ahead.

This is Debbie, one of the birthday girls, her twin, Maureen will come later. She is arriving at her daughter, Caitlin's house, thinking she is going out to lunch to meet Maureen later. And me, Gretchen, Renee, and Carol with Caitlin are waiting for her as Debbie enters wondering why Caitlin is just standing there and not helping her in!


Debbie is Miss Hostess....it was nice to do something for her. And this was Caitlin's first party.  So it was extra nice that she got to have her first party for her mother.

Renee made these and hung them up. We all laughed because we all arrived pretty late and we said, "We sure can throw a party together in only 15 minutes!" Then Debbie showed up about 30 minutes later than planned.










I folded my French napkins and added little paper corsages for the girls and inside was a little chocolate bunny since it was only a day before Easter.







Potent punch! I drank a few cups and loved it! Champaign, wine, lime juice, lemonade,  and I think ginger ale.





Here is the other birthday girl...Maureen who just got off work.

Both Maureen and Debbie are wearing my craft projects but you really can't see them and will see them next post!

Holly - our other girlfriend. She is always with our parties.

And the Royal Cake in the Arse.
Warning: Made by Professional Wild Hair. Do Not Attempt this Crazy Stunt Unsupervised.


Well, I hope you enjoyed the little flower and cake show. The best part of course is spending times with girlfriends and making them feel special. You know, the nice thing about creating isn't the craft, or the cake, but creating memories. I know we always say that: Creating memories...but it really is true. The laughter, the mess, the craziness. 

But sometimes...creating memories all on your own is good too. Being alone and creating private memories is very therapeutic as well. It isn't "making a mess," but "creating a mess." And it isn't "being alone," but rather "being with myself." And maybe it is just about sitting cross-legged on the sofa, licking the frosting bowl, and not having to share it with anyone, while you watch a rerun of Bewitch. I watch the show and realize they didn't really have teeth whitening strips back then and how weird it seems to see for real, natural teeth on TV. Maybe it's those watching old sit-coms and eating-frosting-moments that keeps life simple. 

As I sit on the sofa, sucking on my spoon full of frosting, I study Samantha's teeth and realize how dark they look compared to anything you would see nowadays on TV. But then I remember how pretty I thought she was when I was a little girl watching that show when it premiered. I take one more lick off my spoon and decide she is still very pretty. Her smile is natural, her laugh is real and not harsh. And I bet she is the type that would be happy to sit next to me and share my frosting with me. I would share my frosting with her any ole day.

Plus, she could twitch that pretty nose and clean up that damn mess of mine in the kitchen for me too.

From my house to your house,

20 comments:

Cathy Louise said...

WOW!!! honey what a gorgeous post as always... The cake did look amazing and so did the whole table your photographs well!!! oh so lovely!!!

www.MaisonStGermain.com said...

LOL Your cake, no matter how it tasted, looked amazing! The decorations are gorgeous!!!And it looked like fun:) That's the whole point, right? So happy it turned out so well:)
~Debra xxx
Capers of the vintage vixens

Jennifer Rizzo said...

It looks like a fun time and the cake is adorable! I love and admire your flow of creativity. It's so inspiring!

Beth said...

The cake may have been dry, but it was beautiful. The whole spread was lovely and it looks as if you had a wonderful time!

Sweet Old Vintage said...

Elizabeth... a wonderful amount of talent and effort was placed in this celebration... You have over the top talent of which I have known for years and I love and appreciate the magic in your fingers... I always enjoy your writing and way with words... Thanks for sharing....

Rhonda said...

Creating something for the first time is always comical to me.
Lovely post and such a beautiful creation! Be proud - your next one will be that much better in your eyes.

terri smith said...

Every time I read your posts I think "OMG, we are twins separated at birth!" I too, take on these very "simple" projects that end up being marathon extravaganzas! I often wonder if I'm doing it for someone else, or if the craziness of the endeavor somehow feeds my soul-or maybe both! My mother often mentions that I create my own stress, but the thoughfulness, love and caring that you pour into a project is part of the gesture itself. So here's to movie marathons, midnight runs to Meier's for missing supplies, and sharing "the love" thru a SIMPLE "crafty" idea! I always enjoy what you have to say-THANK YOU for sharing! P.S. Are you a first born by any chance?? LOL

Glenda said...

Oh my goodness, this is the Elizabeth I fell for years ago. Your inspiring talent. I love when you have a wild hair project, because we get to see the results. I would love walking in on a surprise for me and someone would have spent the time making that cake. We would have never know it was dry, because we never would have tasted it. It was to lovely to cut. Show us more, I can't wait to see the french collars.
~G~hugs

JoAnn S. said...

omgosh the cake looks lovely even after all that trouble. maybe it was dry but i bet the party attendees didnt even realize it. trial and error takes us thru life, doesn't it lol come visit my site sometime i think you would like to look at all my pretties. hugs JoAnn

Maxine said...

I love the cake!! Wow, I am hoping to do something that that beautiful one day from my hands, not purchased!! Stunning!!!

Gretchen said...

ha ha A labor of love for sure. :) Glad the party was a success, even if the cake wasn't yummy, it surely was a beautiful creation. Lovely!
Gretchen
http://mimitoriasdesigns.blogspot.com

Kathy Kupferschmid said...

I love your blog posts because you are so real...the cake is beautiful and I love the paper flowers! I am inspired to try something new and to enjoy the process! Thanks for sharing!
kathy

Elizabeth Maxson - Creative Entrepreneur said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by! I loved reading your comments...they made me smile, laugh, and realize that there are a LOT of other gals with "wild hairs" out there besides me!

Like Glenda said, "Wild Hair Project!" That is what I am going to call future craziness for now on...Wild Hair Projects... haahaha.

thanks for sharing with me!

Elizabeth :-)

Miami cataract surgery said...

I have to admit that it never crossed my mind to make paper flowers and put them on the cake, it's for the first time I see that, very clever and ingenious, look so cool. You spend some time on making it, but it worth for your friends :d

Abbey said...

Wow. All I have to say is that the cake looked amazing!!!!!

Richard Cottrell said...

That was some cake, only you could figure that out. Have you seen the spread in Victorian Homes???Wondered what you thought?Richard

Anonymous said...

My first time to your blog - and what a beautiful feast! Simply lovely and incredibly inspiring. Thank you.
Cate M

rozetta said...

The cake is beautiful! My first thought was that it would have made a beautiful cake for your wedding.

~elaine~

Jacky said...

priceless Elizabeth,I love your blog you are so creative, but not afraid to show the behind the scene mess, makes those of us who also work in chaos feel normal.

Summerland Cottage Studio said...

Hello Elizabeth,

I just found your blog and have been perusing the beautiful inspiration and joy you share.
I will be back !
Just wanted to say thank you before I go back to work.
Blessings !

Paulette

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