Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Bouquet of Flowers

Do you know my house would look like if I gave free rein to every creative impulse?  Have you seen the show "Hoarders"?

[ S'cuse me while I digress a moment.  I just have to share a funny story with you.  I was travelling for work, and I had the radio station on.  Now I have to tell you that this is not my story - it's something I heard on the radio and something I can't appropriately credit.  But it's too funny not to share.  If you know who I should credit, let me know, and I'll update my blog.  ANYHOO--- I was listening to the morning drive and a professional comedian had joined the two radio personalities, presumably to promote his upcoming show, and they were quizzing him to generate funny-ness.  They asked, "So, do you watch television?"  

He said, "Yeah, I watch TV.  I watch two shows.  The first one is called American Pickers, and it goes like this:  Two guys drive up to a house.  They meet the owner.  They say, 'Hey, you've got a lot of stuff.  That's some cool stuff.  We sure do like your stuff.  It's great stuff.  Can we buy some of your stuff?'  They give the guy money and drive away, saying, 'That was one cool guy and he had some cool stuff.'"

"The other show I watch is Hoarders, and it goes like this:  They drive up to a house.  They meet the owner.  They say, 'Hey, you've got a lot of stuff.  It's awful for you to have all this stuff.  You can't keep all this stuff.'  They take away all his stuff and put him in an insane asylum."


I laughed and laughed until tears were rolling down my face.  I had to fix my makeup before I could visit my next client.  OK, I'm done digressing.  Back to 'every creative impulse'.]

I want to try everything I see that I think I have a fair chance of accomplishing.  Generally, I don't do too badly.  In July, MMM and I went to the Montana Folk Festival in Butte, America.  (Yes, that's the way the folks from Butte, Montana like to say it.) We stopped for a cuppa tea at a little local bakery and they had the cutest little cake sitting on the display counter.  I eyeballed that for a while, and decided that I'd like to give it a try.  I'm going to show you my results first, and then more or less describe how I did it.

My apologies, first, to anyone who's a professional (or good enough to be a professional) cake decorator.  I'm sure I did a million things wrong, but it's OK.  It's OK.

The cake on that bakery counter was made with mini-cupcakes, and mine wasn't, so my result wasn't as realistic.  This cake was for MMM's mom, for her birthday.  She loves birds and flowers and nature, in general, so I thought she'd get a kick out of a bouquet cake.   We didn't eat it right away, since she just wanted to enjoy looking at it a while.

I used a rose tip, and just made roses on the top of unfrosted cupcakes I ordered from the WalMart bakery.  I was very patient and kept going.  Because they were full sized cupcakes, it took a while to get them all frosted.  I refrigerated them as I went along, to set up the frosting.  I had cut bamboo skewers down from about a foot in length to about half that.  Then, I wrapped a rubberband around and around and around each skewer, about an inch from the pointy end.  This served as a 'stop', to prevent the cupcake from sliding further down the skewer.   In the bottom of that very clean terracotta pot, there's a 5" styrofoam ball.  One at a time, I slid a cupcake onto the pointy, rubberbanded end of the skewer, then pushed the skewer down into the styrofoam ball.  I did the bottom row first, then filled in as I went.  I think I used ten or eleven cupcakes. 

When I had them all in place, I used a leaf tip and added leaves here and there until the 'bouquet' appearance was complete.  You can see that I even piped leaves down onto the pot itself.  There were some empty areas, but it was dark in those spots, and I thought it was fine.  (Again, it would have been more realistic and probably more filled out if I had used mini cupcakes.) Then I put the whole thing in the refrigerator overnight. 

I hadn't decorated a cake for years, but this was a lot of fun.

Have you revived an old hobby or craft lately?

Love ya,


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