Saturday, February 13, 2010

I ♥ you

One of the greatest things about cultivating a niche business is not having to do "traditional" holiday cakes. Back in ye olde days, february was a month filled with red icing and pink for the adventurous, heart shaped sequins and cakes. Now, if I say "heart shaped cake " chances are i mean , Heart shaped, as in anatomical.Who is to say that one heart shaped cake fits all anyway? Perhaps your paramour likes zombies? demons? no problem. So, in honor of Valentine's day, I send my love and gratitude to my clients who challenge and inspire me to think outside the heart shaped box. heart decors for a valentine's day wedding

a wedding cake!
nothing says I love you like this character called "gluttony". Honestly, I think it does look valentine's -y , but that might just be me.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I'm big in Sweden!

....and other tales of how google translate betrays and amuses!

Oh! the WORLD wide web!I'm a very curious person by nature .I think I am often as intrigued by what some inquiries are not saying as what they are.I'm truly fascinated by what makes people do the things they do. In fact, I spend a lot of time pondering this.I do love a mystery.Possibly, I may be the only person under 70 who truly enjoys "Murder She Wrote"!
Well, lately, I had a spate of inquiries with obviously translated text. My curiosity was in overdrive!
I put on my Jessica Fletcher hat (ask your grandma) and set about to solving the case.I was able to ascertain from subtle clues that these requests were coming from Sweden.More emails flooded in.Here's where google translate betrayed and amused, sample text:"my brother is completely inside DJ and DJ stuff and the plate would not even be a stupid cake" .........classic!
Now, before it sounds like I'm judging, I knew what they meant but....I'm thinking of having this printed up on t shirts, that's how much I love it! I have also used online translating tools from time to time and I am certain I provided similar entertainment value.
I finally decided to go right to the source and ask how these emailers were finding out about me. Turns out, I have been featured regularly by this site
Mystery solved! Alas, Sweden is a wee bit outside my delivery range. However, if someone wants to fly me there, all offers will be considered. Suddenly I'm in the mood for some Ikea meatballs.......
here are a few pics my new Swedish friends featured ,Tak sa myket! and I do hope I didn't just tell you to "have a nice pickle!"

Friday, February 5, 2010

Why is there a dog on the table?

.......when I heard this uttered by restaurant patrons in response to a cake I had made I knew I had stumbled upon something.
Some of you may know that I have had a love /hate relationship with cake for a very long time. When I first started doing cakes I looked at it as just a job. Surely this was just a stepping stone on my path to , well something other than cakes. Two decades ago, people were not exactly clambering to become cake decorators. Oh how things have changed! Over the years I tried to get away from cake. I was a muralist, a handbag designer,a sushi chef all with varying degrees of success.Still, there was always a draw pulling me back to cake. It was something I was good at, even if I had burned out on it so many times.Flash forward to 2001. I was preparing to move from my native North Carolina to The San Francisco area.I knew I would need a job and I inevitably heard the siren call of cake again. This time around, I was working in an X-rated bakery (name withheld to protect the less than innocent). I'm a very open minded person , but I'll admit it took a bit of getting used to calling for the baker to add another large c**k to her baking list! When the novelty quickly wore off there I began to grow tired of cake again. The hours were long and the heavy production in a retail bakery were not at all conducive to creativity. Now, before you ask yourself "just HOW creative can you get with c**k cakes??" the answer is a decided VERY, but we did make other cakes as well. My main responsibility at the unnamed bakery was the sculpted cakes. I did my best there but when the clock is ticking and your boss is peering over at you with that "are you going to take all day, time is money!" look ... well, I did my best. When I wasn't getting the look , and when it was slow, my boss would pretty much give me free reign.One of these slow periods coincided with my boyfriend's birthday so I decided to make a cake in the likeness of our dog Pepino. Actually taking the time to do something I loved I could start to see a brighter future with this old frienemy of mine, cake.That night I surprised him with the cake at one of his favorite restaurants. Literally other restaurant patrons wondered aloud why there was a dog on the table.

A few months after that I decided to call a truce with cake . We decided that as long as I did what I enjoyed, on my terms that we could get along.It was that first dog cake that convinced me to leave the bakery and start my own business. Not long afterwards I had my first magazine feature, in not a cake periodical but instead a dog magazine called BARK.
I owe my whole career to dog cakes and I'll forever be grateful to Pepino for the inspiration .
Here are a few of my favorite dog cakes I've made since
Pepino again ! and finally how could I have forgotten this cute guy in a plane? Made for one of my sweetest customers!
Be sure to look out for three great friends of mine Wayne Steinkopf, and Chuck Hamilton of assisted by Clara Gold of as they compete this monday feb.8 on an episode of TLC's "Ultimate Cake Off" called "Top Dog" . Friends, dogs and cake what else could you ask for?