I have this really great customer/friend of the family. When she orders a cake, she says things like, “I’m fine with whatever…” and “I’ll leave the design up to you,” and “I just can’t WAIT to see!”
These words are like the gold to me. No wait, I don’t even care much about gold… these words are like a brand new pair of the MOST BEAUTIFUL heels I’ve EV-ER seen. EVER. (Now you understand.)
Why? ‘Cause for me, it’s never been about the baking. I apologize to amazing bakers everywhere… I really think you guys are like, THE BOMB… but for me? Well, I could take it or leave it. If I never had to bake again, I’d be a perfectly content woman.
For me, it’s about the art.
And I have visions in my head.
(Ok, some are strange and slightly abnormal, yes… but NEVERMIND those…) I have a huuuuuuuuuuge secret Pinterest board of artwork… canvases, sketches, photos, fabrics… INSPIRATION. So much I want to make into cake. So little time.
So when someone says to me, “Do what you’d like”, it’s all I can do to keep from grabbing their face and planting a big, fat, wet kiss right on their smacker! (Listen, I’m of Italian origin… we’re affectionate. Bear with me.)
“Baby boy shower” and “Pottery Barn elephant” were my only parameters.
I’ve been drooling over this picture I’d found of an antique, blue, storage trunk for months now… so the fact that it popped into my mind instantly, was no surprise. And a baseball. Somehow, a baseball stuck in my brain, and I couldn’t shake it loose.
How the HECK was I gonna make a baseball? Think about it. Not as easy as it seems, huh? And THEN I remembered about the Make Your Own Molds, Silicone Plastique I’d bought, like, EONS ago, planning on trying it out someday.
What if I made a mold of HALF of this foam “baseball” my son was given a while back… then poured melted chocolate into it, let it solidify in the freezer for a bit, pop it out and do it again so that I have TWO halves… THEN heat a flat baking pan in the oven to about 200 degrees, take it out and hold the flat ends of both of the chocolate baseball halves onto the hot pan for a few seconds to clean the edges up a bit and then stick them together??? Would it WORK?
Most of the time the answer is a loud, resounding “NO” to my brain’s crazy run-on questions, but this time… THIS TIME I got to slap my husband’s hand in a high five after he closely inspected the results of my finished baseball. HOT DANG, it WORKED!
And, in fact, I had enough of the silicone plastique to make a mold for the baby keys, the baby block and a few other fun things for the future, as well! Can’t beat THAT with a stick. (And I promise I’ll write a blog in the future of how to use the plastique to get the best outcome.)
Alright, one more thing to discuss… textures. I’m into them. I want my “stuffed animals” to look soft. I want my blankets to look like they’re made of fabric. Too much to ask? Sometimes. But if you can find the right impression mat, you just might get to high five someone again. (Or just high five the air if no one’s around. You feel kinda stupid, but it’s better than nothin’.)
I used the “sand” texture sheet from one of the Makin’s set of four for the elephant’s fur and also for the polka dot blanket, and I used a linen- like mat I found at a local craft store for the other baby blanket. But I own just about every one of those Makin’s sets (all listed on my tools page, btw) and I use them CONSTANTLY. If I didn’t have my linen mat, I would’ve used the weave one from one of the other sets.
Oh, and for the panels on the box, I added a little tylose to my fondant, measured and cut them a day before, and used the half circle disc on my clay extruder for the trim, my First Impressions scroll mold for the woodwork on the back panel, and my new Marvelous Molds Flourish Centerpiece mold for the front panel’s woodwork, along with a random heart mold I had lying around, much like one from this awesome set by First Impressions. (Psssst… don’t forget the color shaper to get that trim dang near perfectly straight.)
I love molds.
I love impression mats.
I love tools.
And I am dangerous to be around, ’cause I’ll NEVER stop telling you about them. 😉 Ever.
Molds, molds, MOOOOOLDS! (And a clay extruder and color shaper, of course. :* )
And then there was buttercream…
I made the fondant panels a day ahead of time out of fondant mixed with some tylose, to let them dry and harden a bit.
Use some royal icing to pipe into the corners if they don’t meet, exactly.
Then I busted out my Precious. (You know… my airbrush.)
To get the distressed look, I brushed on brown airbrush color, lightly, in the corners and along the trim.
And then I added the toys and blankets…
which was seriously fun.
Like, with a capital F.
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