Archive | September, 2010

What’s My Taste?

29 Sep

Being the “cake lady”, I always make the cakes that others order for their particular celebration. I love weddings, and especially the wedding cakes. I love to see what others choose, and I love to see the excitement in their eyes when they see exactly what they would like! I, am going to show you some awesome wedding cakes that I either love, or find exciting from a cake decorating perspective! None of these cakes are mine, just some examples of cakes that I like! All wedding cakes!

 This 3 tiered, simple cake is awesome! If you notice, the top of the first 2 tiers are textured, which adds so much, without ruining the whole look of the cake! I just love the simplicity. The cake next to it, is a bit too much for my taste, but I love it for the decorators design elements and I appreciate all of the time it would have taken to complete this cake. Simple with a bit of  wow factor is great for me! I enjoy the little surprises!

   

 The pink/white/brown cakes are really in demand lately, and even though I wouldn’t order this cake for myself, the details are great and overall the cake is very clean looking! I love it!

 I would order this black and white cake, which is a great design, not too many elements to it, alot of design within the design! I LOVE this cake!  The cake beside this one, is just so simple and classic, that I don’t think that you could go wrong! Change the ribbon colours and the flowers, and it will fit into any wedding theme! And, it would be beautiful in a square tiered shape as well, which would make it more modern!

 

 This might not be a wedding cake, maybe a bridal shower cake, but I love the detail in this cake! It’s vintage looking with a modern cake design!  Beautiful piping work! The cake on the right looks like it is all covered in chocolate with the white leaves and black vining! It’s just so different from anything that I have seen out there that I had to share! 

 The fall leaves cake is pretty cool! Just another different cake that you don’t see everyday! The cake on the right reminds me of art deco, or the 30’s style of dress and design! I believe this whole cake is hand piped with buttercream icing and fondant or gumpaste circular button accessories. I love the look of this cake. I would go a little lighter with the feathers, but it is beautiful. It would be extremely hard to keep your hand steady and straight enough to pipe this entire cake!

 This cake is one of my favourites. Just look at it! It might not be everyone’s taste, I don’t even know if it really is mine, but the detailing and the shadowing done on this cake is absolutely amazing to me! I love looking at other artist’s work and just examining and wonder how it was done! I love it!

So, I guess in the end, I can’t really say that I have a specific taste in cake design, even if I don’t like a design, I always appreciate the art and the work that has gone into every one that I see! I hope you enjoyed looking at these cakes, just as much as I do!

A Little Bit of Whimsy!

27 Sep

In the cake world, there are all sorts of trends that come and go! Like wedding cakes, it used to be the tiered cakes with the fountains underneath and the cakes on the side, with the plastic stairs leading to each….then the tiered cakes with flowers and piping, then the fondant covered tiered cakes, and the latest has been cupcakes, and now cake truffles, individual cakes are on the rise for demand.

Traditional Fountain Wedding Cake (not mine)

Also, birthday cakes have changed within the years! No more standard character cakes, or the cakes with the weird looking buttercream clowns with plastic heads (just weird!) Now, the requests I am getting more and more of are for whimsical/topsy turvy/mad-hatter cakes. These cakes look pretty cool. They are a trick of the eye. Crooked cakes! It takes a while to get used to the tricks of pulling it off, but when I got it, I was pretty happy and more confident to do it! Believe it or not, my first request for one of these cakes was for a wedding! Talk about nervous! Whew! But, anything can be done, especially when you research and try it out!

Standard Character Cake (also not mine)

 

Whimsical cake, all buttercream with white chocolate monogram

Cake covered in fondant with fondant accents

Cake covered in buttercream icing with fondand figures and accents

 Here are some examples of  some whimsical cakes that I have done, and some pictures of some whimsical cakes that I really love (that I haven’t done myself).

Whimsical birthday, covered in buttercream with fondant accentsAll fondant with fondant accents

Not mine, but it is really pretty!

Cake covered in buttercream icing with fondant accents

Not mine. Its very girly, but look at the details, and the structure must be kick ass!

I really love doing every cake that I get to make, but some are just more rewarding! The last two cakes that you see are not mine, but they are very clean and just beautiful! I will get there some day! With more time, and more help, I will get there!  Just think the next time you are going to order a cake…..what makes it stand out from all other cakes? Make it personal, make it just the way you like it! The more information that you give your cake decorator, the more spectacular it should be! Just try not to confuse the decorator! ha! ha!  If it is me who has the pleasure of making your next cake, just remember, I have blonde hair! Boo!!!! That was cheap and I know it! ha! ha!

I Hate Laundry!

26 Sep

The kids are happy right now watching Toopy & Binoo, supper is cooking in the oven, and laundry is being done. Laundry! The daunting every day task that just has to be done! I am going to be bold and say I, Amy Bourgon, HATE doing laundry! I never used to. I never minded a stack of laundry to be done and put away, I prided myself on my folding and organizing skills of this task! But, that was before children! Now, there is always a tote in their bedrooms ready for me to throw stuff in that doesn’t fit anymore, so I can sort it and address it later, putting it in an appropriate bin to be labeled and stored in the basement for someone else who needs that particular size. This, is alot in itself, the way the kids are growing! And the labels on the clothes are not always correct. Adam is wearing some things that say 9-12 months, some that say 18-24 months, and he is 16 months. Morley is wearing some things that say 2, 3, & 4! and he is 3!

Every couple of months, I have to search the bins in the basement and drag them upstairs to go through, and wash. Even though they were washed and clean when they were stored, they don’t keep that fresh smell, however tight the bin is! I am going to try packing some dryer sheets in with the next bin that needs to be stored, to see if they keep the fresh and clean smell. So, now that I have ransacked the basement for another ten tons of clothes for the kids, I have to wash them all. My laundry room is piled high of clothes, and it seems like there is no end! I don’t mind putting it in the washer or even the dryer, or folding the rotten stuff! But I hate putting it all away! Putting clothes away may seem easy for the ordinary person, but, my oldest likes to play with his drawers and my husband likes to shuffle through all his t-shirts and leaves a pile of half folded, untidy, wrinkly shirts! UGH!!! I spend time folding and putting away! This irks me to no end! So, when putting away clothes, I have to re-fold everything that was folded and stacked neatly previously!  Another reason why I hate it, is my back! A nerve in back back has a tendency to pinch when I do too much bending and twisting, or even if I sleep wrong. Which intensifies my hatred! ha! ha!

I appreciate everything that I have in my life, and everyone in it. Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that I should just be happy that my kids are clothed and we have everything that we need. But, sometimes a person just has to bitch! ha! ha! My cakes are done for the weekend, my oldest is back from his grandparents, and all is good! Just getting over a really bad cold. Looking forward to a day with the family on Tuesday!  It’s house organizing time for me. Bins, and bins, totes and new shelving, organizing and probably some painting! I love that stuff! Just hate laundry! Can ya tell?

Another Busy Week!

22 Sep

Well, now that I have had my 2 days worth of down-time, it’s busy again! Only one wedding cake this week! But, there is also about 14 other cakes! What do I have? I have to do, 2 whimsical cakes, one christening cake which is going to be feminine and pretty, pink with white flowers and a white ribbon and bow, and a baby angel sleeping on the top! I have the sushi cake to do…..which makes me happy! I love to do things that I have never done before! I have a purse, and some celebration cakes to do as well. A couple of flat art cakes, and then the week will be over again for another couple of days!                                                       

My husband felt bad for me today because my back has been out and hurting for the last 3 days. So, he did some laundry! WOW!! This was his first attempt at laundry since I banished him from the laundry room 5 years ago for shrinking my favourite underwear! ha! ha! So, that made me pretty happy, and it kind of felt good that he saw me struggling to do everything here that I can, and being in pain made it so much harder to do! I love him! He is such a good man! Last week was INSANE for cakes! I was all week and it felt like it didn’t stop! But, it is so much fun too!

My mom is taking my oldest son for the weekend, which gives me some nice quality time with my youngest! He loves his older brother and follows him around the house! He laughs and laughs at him! It is so cute! But, being an only child for a couple of days will be good as well! It will give both of them some one on one time with other people! My parents just adore my children, and spoil them like crazy! Ah, don’t you just love parents! I never really appreciated my parents like I should have until I had children! For all of those that have children, I am sure you understand! Look what we put our parents through! I mean, look what you put your parents through! I, was a model child, perfect in every way! ha! ha!! Yeah, right! Well, we get what we give, and that is a tough lesson to learn! Especially when raising “mini me’s”!

My youngest is Adam, and he is quite the charmer! He is so adorable with his blue eyes and blonde curly hair! He has quite the opposite personality of my oldest! Adam is shy! He is quiet, and for now, he listens! He is not quite the cuddly one that Morley is though, which makes me a little sad, but he loves to be around his father and I! He just learned to go down the stairs! So, I guess it’s time for a big boy bed! A thought that makes me proud and hesitant at the same time! But, it’s got to be done! No soother, and soon, no crib!

Wow! What a week! My husband does laundry and my baby climbs down the stairs! Now, for me to lose the extra 50 pounds that has been just hanging around! HA!

Something New

21 Sep

I have been debating about opening a shop for the past 2 years now. I really want to have a place where I can have all of my cake supplies, where I can do my work and just come home. I also want the foot traffic…..I think it would be great! Now, I have heard from a little birdie that there will be a place opening up in the near future, right in the district that I have been yearning for! This makes me very excited! In the same breath, VERY scared as well!

There is alot to think about when opening up a business! I have to have all my cupcakes in a row! And I haven’t even baked them yet! ha! ha! I mean, I have tons of ideas, I know what I want the shop to look like, I know how I want to display things….I know all of the “pretty” things! But on the number end of it, I am a bit….off! Then, to think about the daycare that I will need and the cost of that! UGH! First, I don’t want just anyone taking care of my precious bundles, and then it’s going to break my heart to leave them 5 days a week! I have been with them both since the days they were born! Right now, I leave them 2 days a week to bake and decorate. I rent a local kitchen which used to be a restaurant, and my hubby watches the kids one day and my friend watches them the next day. Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to have a break from “momville” 2 days a week, but am I prepared to do it for 5 days? This is where it hurts my head! Pros, cons, what’s best for the kids, what’s best for the business, and I don’t even think about what is best for me! As long as my kids are happy and healthy, the rest doesn’t matter.

I have a problem also with being a “yes” girl. And I think that being in a shop and getting to have foot traffic come in would increase my sales ALOT! So, this is where I frighten myself with being too busy! Being busy is good, very good for business! But, I tend to put too much on my plate for fear of anyone being disappointed! I have only said “no” to two people in the 3 years that I have been doing this! In the end though, I really, really, really want this! I strive to be the best. With more space, more time and more opportunity, I think that I could get there!  Now, there is no horn tooting going on here, just hopes and dreams of a woman! That is all!

I constantly second guess myself, and “they” say that you should just listen to your heart, or make the the first decision that you thought of. But I think this is too big of a step to just listen to my heart! I have to look at the pocket book as well! And, listen to all who give me advice! I need to stew for a while about what action plan to take! I will do it. It’s just a matter of where and when!

I hope you all look forward to coming in to see me and eating a cupcake, or cake truffle! I will be there at some point! And when I am, I will have a big smile on my face!

A Great Night Out!

19 Sep

I have to tell you that it is very rare that my husband and I get to have a night out. With the cake business, his work hours and the kids, it’s almost impossible! Plus, he is a homebody and likes his time at home. I, on the otherhand, love to be out amongst people. Being a former bartendar/server, I love it! People watching is one of the most fun forms of entertainment, unless, of course, you have just experienced the best night that I have tonight!

It is 1:49am as I am typing this. Our night is over, but my head is still spinning from the greatest time! My husband, sister-in-law and brother-in-law just got back from Jazz & Blues In The Village. The band that we just saw was AMAZING!!! First of all, Jazz & Blues In The Village is a great time and the proceeds help the SODA foundation, which is The Sarnia Organ Donor’s Awareness Group. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness of the need for organ donation through education, awareness and exposure in the community as well as offering financial support & assistance for those going through a transplant.

Now, for the band! The band is called The David Rotundo Band. They blew my socks off!!!! You might think that jazz and blues is something that old people listen to, or something to listen to when you are down and out, out of luck, just bummed, but this is not the case. All of you who are under 35 should heed my words and just listen! There are good bands that are okay to listen to, and then there are great bands that have all the soul that you feel and just can’t say! These guys were sooooo cool! AND their manager is a woman! YAY!

My husband was so excited to see these guys, I had to surprise him and get a sitter for the night! The experience was awesome! My brother-in-law listens to AC/DC and some other older rock stuff and he LOVED this band! David Rotundo is the lead singer and plays the harmonica, which is just unreal! Going into the crowd and getting them all riled up, just working it! I have never seen another lead like it! He also worked his band like a well oiled machine! The hand gestures and forms of direction he gave his band with a shake of the hand was awesome to watch, like I was the only one that noticed! He lead the crowd! The lead guitar was astoundingly talented, and I must say, quite handsome! He ruled the strings, and he is playing with them for 6 months. He is from Italy, on loan! Ha ha!!! The Rythm guitar was Des Brown, this is one cool cat! I wanted to watch him all night, but the pull of the other band members kept drawing my attention just as much! The bass player was James Rasmussen, just hangin’ out and keeping everything together! Another cool cat! But, I have to say, besides the lead singer/harp, the drummer Drew Austin had it! This guy beat his drums to a pulp! The dedication to the rythm, the sheer power in his arms and legs, had our whole group in awe! The guy couldn’t keep his drums on the stage, he was into it that much! My husband is a drummer, and has seen many bands live, he said that this guy is his favourite he has ever seen! So, Drew, cheers!

All the boys in the David Rotundo Band…..good on ya! You made one cake baker/mom happy! And now, I am telling everyone!

We topped the night off with a round at Ups ‘n’ Downs where Rick Steeves was playing….which isn’t too shabby in itself! Then homeward bound! All in all, it was a great night had with great people and some kick ass entertainment! Thanks all for making a little baker/mom happy! Until my next night out, in another 4 months anyway!

Cheers!

Cakes with a Difference

18 Sep

I love creating cakes that are not your usual cake, in design and flavour! I find that the more personal the cake is to the customer, the more they love it! Every person is different, which means that every cake should be different as well! I just want to share some of the “different” cakes that I have done and have had tremendous fun creating!

Like the classic cheeseburger and fries! It may look or sound odd to eat a cake that looks like it might taste like what it looks like. But food cakes are pretty popular. One of my favourites is the stack of pancakes that I made for a friend’s child! It was very time consuming, but so rewarding when I got to the finished product!

The stack of pancakes took me about 6 hours to complete, and I think I was up until about 2 am finishing it! Sooooo worth it!
I think I like the reaction that I get from people when
 they see their cakes! I just like to make people happy,

Stack of pancakes

and if I can do that with something that I have created
…its so rewarding!

Massey Ferguson Tractor

The tractor was one of the most intricute cakes that I have done, with all the little details into it. I love what I do! It really is alot of fun, which really fulfills my need to be creative! My husband is happy about this because I no longer have the need to rearrange furniture and repaint every room in the house every 6 months! It was really comical before cakes! I would decide to paint a room in the morning and by the time he got home from work in the afternoon, the living room would be completely different from the way he left it! He really didn’t mind…..at least that is what he told me!

Pug

Wine barrel & Accessories

The dog cake was pretty intimidating to do because the customer gave me a picture of the actual dog that had died the year before! Ummmm…..yeah! I was pretty critical of my own work and I just couldn’t leave it alone, for fear of hurting some feelings or letting down the customer! But I did get a friendly email later saying that the customer’s parents (who the cake was for) loved it and the mother either cried or almost cried when she saw it. That was a big Whew!! 

Hogwart's Castle

There are some cakes that you kind of ask, ?huh?, but that is half the fun! And, I don’t ask questions! If someone says that they want a toilet cake, I make a toilet cake and that is the end of it, except for the details I will need to fulfill the order of course. There are alot of cakes out there that could really peak your interest! But I find it safe, warm and cozy in my ignorance! Ha ha!

Now, to make my kids birthday cakes that is different, that nobody else has had, is a difficult task! My son’s 3rd birthday cake is like one that I have never seen! And everyone loved it, including the birthday boy! To out-do the cakes that I have done for them the previous year is going to be a difficult task! But that is the fun part as well! It seems like there are alot of perks to my job! Well, there is!

Morley's 3rd Birthday cake

This is Morley’s 3rd birthday cake. I have called him “monkey” since he was a baby and we had a Sponge Bob themed birthday party for him this year. The top was chocolate chocolate chip cake and the bottom was coconut. It could have fed about 50-60 people.

Adam's 1st birthday cake

My son Adam’s first birthday cake just had a simple teddy bear, blue, brown and white theme. I didn’t want to make it too babyish, and not to grown and themey(is that a word?) so I went simple. He had his own smash cake, which he tore apart! He loves cake! Which is a good thing!

Adam eating his cake!

Just tearing into the cake! Cherry chocolate chip! My advice for first birthdays, when getting a smash cake, don’t be afraid of chocolate or something other than white, the flavoured cakes make for much better pictures! The white cakes seem to end up looking like hunks of slime on their faces! Let ’em get good and messy! 15 years later, you will thank me when you look at the photos!