Friday, May 29, 2009

"Luke, I am your mis-shapen, slightly overweight father's torso..."

I want to begin the post with a quick shout-out to Erica and her awesome car, ELY, because if Erica didn't live in California and leave her car behind with me, this entire cake venture would not have been possible (or at least would be much more complicated). ELY is a 1998 Honda CR-V, drives very well, and will be my constant companion back and forth on the thruway this summer. Here she is parked outside of Joan's.

ok, so went into work this morning with visions of Darth Vader dancing in my head, and Joan puts the prepped cake in front of me - and it's a bit different than I expected. It's a large dome cake w/ a "head" on top and Joan explained it's her typical cake assembly for teddy bears, Sesame Street characters, other critters, and of course - Sith Lords. She also said that I had one hour to do the cake because then I had to move onto 20 cupcakes w/ DV's face on top. Ahhh! I'm used to spending hours on all my cakes, but I am coming to realize that she doesn't have the time or money to spend on each cake, especially when she isn't charging outrageously high prices (like the way she said: "people expect Ace of Cakes cakes but don't want to pay Ace of Cakes prices). So I have to learn to be simple and fast and crank through as many orders as possible.

[L] Here is the $45 "Darth Vader" cake - I think she'll add a red lightsaber dowel in his hands. His helmet needs to be a bit bigger but she wouldn't let me fix it - "there's cupcakes to do!"
[R] haha so these are two cakes on the shelf in the cake closet - Darth Vader on one side and a twin baby basset on the other. Just such a funny juxtaposition of good and evil - another good interpretation here.

So Darth Vader stained my hands black from all the icing dye and took me from 10-2, I cleaned dishes and my workstation for half an hour, and @ 2:30 Joan plunks a 9x13 prepped cake + a Dora the Explorer image in front of me and says, "You can draw. You have until 3:30." I was a little nervous - Cake Wrecks featured Dora the Explorer wrecks a few weeks ago and I began to think about how easy it is to martyr well-recognized characters.

It's all in the face. I avoid drawing faces on all my people because it's just a skill I never mastered and I feel can really ruin a drawing if it's not right. So I was a little nervous about doing a cake with realistic figures (well, are cartoons really realistic?) But I iced, smoothed, drew, mixed, piped, smoothed, hot-knifed, mixed. piped, smoothed, mixed... so it was done at 5:30, but overall I'm pretty happy with the final result (airbrushing and trim by Joan):

ok, this is turning into a long post so final thoughts: Fridays and Saturdays are the pressure days because that's when most orders are picked up or delivered. Everything has (hopefully) been baked and prepped by now and about half of the orders of the week have been finished and/or picked up. I stayed until 7 o'clock tonight to box up the cupcakes that I'll ice and add fondant hearts to tomorrow. 188 of them. Oh man. G'night.

1 comment:

  1. Michelle! Your Dora looks nothing like the ones on Cake Wrecks, she came out great! It's interesting to hear about you doing professional cakes, not just ones for fun, where there are more time constraints and less time to be super-creative and think it all through...I can't wait to see how next year's cakes will look now!