Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Blog is Carbon Neutral

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Dianne Gruenberg's "OSM" Workshop

This week I was lucky enough to have attended Dianne Gruenberg's original soft method of “botanically correct” gumpaste flowers. For those of you who don't know who Dianne is, you should! Dianne has been a cake decorator for 45 years and has 21 years of experience as a Sugar art instructor, demonstrator and show judge. She was recently on TLC's "Ultimate Cake Off: Wedding Celebrations" in October where she made over 200 flowers for Mike Terry's winning cake. Dianne is also the sole American distributor for Lin and Dave Cook’s creative molds, veiners and original platinum flower paste from Sugar City, UK. The catalog for their amazing products can be found here. Dianne’s site is currently being re-vamped so once that is up and running I will post her information here so you can check out her fabulous goods!

Okay, about the class! It was held in San Marcos at RoZ's Sweet Art Studio, so for all of you cake decorators or inspiring cake decorators you should really checkout her site. She offers a variety of classes six days a week and she has a retail store. After I took my basics to fondant class a few weeks back I knew I had to head back to the studio for more.

The class consisted of roughly 23 students that are the who’s who in San Diego baking, well, at least to me they are! I wasn’t initially sure if I was going to be nervous considering this was my first time ever making realistic looking anything but everyone was really warm and friendly. Sometimes when you go to events like this people can be snobby about their tricks of the trade but the lovely gal’s I sat near were fantastic about sharing their work and gave me some inspirational ideas!

For the class we made four flowers on our own after Dianne gave us the how-tos. This was done over the course of two days but she also gave demonstrations on products, techniques on quilling, feathers and several other flowers. Dianne was very patient with everyone and never really seemed bothered by the cry of the student’s help when we seemed lost, had broken a piece of a leaf or had torn a petal. We all kept chalking our “mistakes” into the beauty of nature and how imperfect some perfect flowers might be with a slight bite from a hungry insect.

I wish I had pictures of step-by-step techniques but my camera battery died, this would have come in handy for me to recreate at home but the overall impression and day’s work will be with me forever!

Thanks Mom and Dad for sending this broke maternity-leave mama to the workshop!

Below are a few pictures of my completed flowers!

alstroemeria - this one was my favorite! I love the stamen, the added bud, the color and the leaves. It truly looks real!

Pansy - I enjoyed making this one as well. I really like the way my leaves turned out.

Clematis - This was the first one I made and you an really tell! I was so ready to throw the towel in while making this, but I am glad I kept on going.

Orchid - This was the last one we made, I was so tired, but I am still pleased the way it turned out despite me mixing up the petal sizes, this is why it isn't as full, but you get the idea.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Like the flower and the bee, great friends are we!

(Photo Courtesy of Grin and Share It Photo)

Lately, I have been posting about ladies I met while planning our 2007 wedding. During our planning months (or 1+ years in my case) I met such amazing women and we have remained friends, some of which I consider my closest friends. Our group is one-of-a-kind, we can share anything and I trust them with the details of my life. The greatest joy about our group is that we shared special moments when we were tying the knot, but something more amazing occurred in 2009. During the past year most of us either conceived or gave birth to a child, some only weeks a part. Our little loves are going to grow up in such a great circle of friends, which I only hope will continue for our lifetime.

Alanna the next mommy-to-be is due in May, we celebrated her bundle of joy this Saturday as we showered her with love, good food, amazing conversations and of course gifts! I baked my red velvet cupcakes with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting and added fondant flowers to go with Rachel's flower theme. I had such a great time and I cannot wait to meet little baby Peters.

I love these ladies and I am so thankful to have them in my life.

(Photo Courtesy of Grin and Share It Photo)
The glowing mommy-to-be!

"A single rose can be my garden... a single friend, my world."
Leo Buscaglia

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Amanda's 18th Birthday Cupcakes

I have watched Amanda grow from a shy fourth-grade angel into a beautiful, smart and extremely dedicated young woman. Yesterday she celebrated her 18th birthday and I am so happy I was able to celebrate this milestone with her. Amanda is more than a "cousin" but someone I look at as a little sister.

I baked her dark chocolate cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream. The cupcakes were lined in both black and zebra liners, adorned with fondant stars and edible glitter.

Happy 18th Mandy!