Monkey Business at Cake Fair – Orlando

Posted by on Dec 6, 2017 in blog, homepage

Monkey Business at Cake Fair – Orlando

From the U.S.A to England & Canada… October and November were whirlwind months for me.  Thanks to my very understanding husband and some help from friends I was able to make all of this travel happen and also make it reasonably easy on my kids.  A bit of organising, but we got there. First stop was Orlando for the CakeFair show.  I arrived 4 days early, to hang out with the incredible Avalon Yarnes and Zen Video Master Zach Waters and to start work on a showpiece that she asked me to be a part of.  She had already been working day and night for a week on a life-size girl clown that was floating away with some balloons.  Although the clown was only halfway done when I arrived, she was already looking realistic, with a fine arse on her too. My job was to make a life-size standing chimpanzee that was pointing and laughing at her (at the clown…. not Avalon).  My plan was to be really organised and bring the chimp head completely finished with me from Ireland.  But, as usual, time got away from me and I had only made the basic shape.  I hit the ground running though and started in on it as soon as I arrived.  I didn’t want to let her down and have her regret that she asked me at all. The whole project was a huge undertaking but thankfully we got help from some incredibly talented women.  Shawna McGreevy, Shannon Bond, Sara Laird Webber and Sandra Velez-Beltran.  It seriously wouldn’t have been completed without them.  Actually, while we were in the house we found out that Avalon, Shawna and Shannon were awarded Top Ten Cake Artists in the USA!  PROUD! Every day from morning until night we were all working on the pieces constantly.  And it was FUN.  When you’re  so used to working with cakes on your own all of the time it can get a little lonely.  I don’t mind it – but I do find that sometimes when I meet another human being, I start talking a mile a minute about nothing at all – just to be able to talk to someone!  So this whole situation of staying in a house with all these like minded, crazy, fun, talented ladies was a recharge of my batteries.  Don’t get me wrong, it was hard work and there were some tears.  There was also some singing, dancing, teasing (mostly of me), some wine (again mostly me), attack frogs and a lot of pyjama wearing. Thursday was D-Day (delivery day).  We had around a 20 minute drive to get to, and find, the convention centre with some VERY delicate pieces in the back of 2 vans.  The clown lady had to travel in 2 pieces (cut at her waist) in one van and I went with the monkey in Sandra’s van.  I was very nervous that his...

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Upcoming classes

Posted by on Sep 30, 2017 in blog, homepage

Upcoming classes

I’m back in the saddle again!  It’s been awhile, but I’ve finally organised some more classes and demonstrations!  If you see anything you like, click on the links to find out more or to buy your tickets. ADORABLE HEDGEHOG CLASS Join in this hands on modelling class with Corinna Maguire of Lovin’ from the Oven.ie. Model and create this cute hedgehog in his blanket using a variety of texture methods. Learn how to… – create cute animal faces. – paint modelling chocolate – create easy textures – gain confidence in using modelling chocolate Suitable for all skill levels. All tools and materials supplied. Coffee and snacks provided. ADORABLE HEDGEHOG CLASS NOVEL-T SCHOOL OF CAKE:   MOATE, CO. WESTMEATH October 7th (1:00pm – 5:00pm) Price = €75.  Non-refundable deposit of €32 needed to secure place. Deposits can be made to: www.paypal.me/lovinfromtheoven/32 ADORABLE HEDGEHOG CLASS THE AMERICA’S CAKE FAIR – ORLANDO ORANGE COUNTY CONVENTION CENTRE October 14th (9:00am – 12:00noon EDT) Price = $150 (USD)  Tickets can be purchased here. www.cakefair.com EVIL CARVED PUMPKIN CLASS Carve and cover a real cake to make a creepy Pumpkin! Texture, airbrush, dust, model all the details and more! NOVEL-T SCHOOL OF CAKE: MOATE, CO. WESTMEATH October 28th (1:00pm – 5:00pm) Price = €125.  Non-refundable deposit of €60 needed to secure place. Deposits can be made to: paypal.me/lovinfromtheoven/60    HALLOWEEN CUPCAKES & WINE NIGHT TOODLELOU CREATIVITY LAB: ORANMORE, BOG ROAD October 26th...

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Snail Rider

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in blog, homepage

Snail Rider

A Steampunk Screaming Snail Rider!  Sure why not…? This is my first attempt at a Steampunk styled piece and I had so much fun with it. It was also, for me, a bit of fear therapy too. I have a bit of a fear of snails – so the research and pictures of it almost broke me! I call this piece – “Rush hour traffic” as this is what it feels like sometimes. Please go and see all of the other pieces in the Steam Cakes Collaboration...

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Hulk Smash!

Posted by on Jun 10, 2017 in blog, homepage

Hulk Smash!

Well it’s that time of year again… my son Cormac’s birthday.  Cakes are expected and time always seems to be short.  I always end up rushing his cakes for some reason.  So this time, I decided to try and come up with a design that would be easy to put together last minute and this one worked! I’m normally a one cake a week, kinda gal.  But this week I had 4 cakes to do!!  That may not sound like much to some of you. I’m always amazed at people who can whip out 15 immaculate cakes in a week.  But that’s just not me.  So I had to make as much as possible in advance.  Five days before the big day, I was able to model Hulk’s face and hands, using Vera Miklas modelling chocolate, some Cerart and some Sugar Shaper modelling tools.  I also did a little dusting and painting on him to add some depth. This way, when I made the cake itself I could just ‘insert’ them in. There was going to be a bunch of 5 year old boys with grabby hands there.  So I didn’t want to use any toothpicks or anything that they could choke on (or use as a weapon).  Safer all around to keep it as a ‘flat cake’!!   I’m all about hidden candy in the cakes for my kids.  And this one was no exception.  Under the Hulk’s face I used a thin cake card to make a tube to hold up his head securely and also to keep the candy inside nice and dry.  I cut out a circle of cake from the base layer and popped in my secret candy compartment. I carved out a rough and jagged ‘crevice’ from the top layer of the cake to go on either side of his head to build that wall.  After icing and covering it with white fondant, I placed in the head and started making the indentations of the bricks using a sugar shaper.  I was tempted to use my brick impression mat, but the bricks on mine were too small!  After marking the bricks out, I pressed crinkled tin foil on them to give them a rough texture.  With a soft (clean and new) sponge I dabbed each brick with a mix of terracotta petal dust and some vodka… after all, this is a party  😉 . Once it had dried a bit I placed in his fingers at an angle to look like he was pulling the wall/cake apart. But the wall needed some more ‘exploding’ bricks too.  I could have used marshmallows for them but I wanted to make sure that the colours would be the same so I kept with the fondant and just cut out ‘bricks’ and used the same method to texture and dust them.  They were still wet enough to stick to the cake...

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Crowfoot

Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 in blog, homepage

Crowfoot

My Crowfoot lifesize bust from the Cork Cake Competition.  He won a Gold! While spending Christmas in Canada in the FREEZING cold, we had to entertain the kids somehow without turning them into icicles.  So we spent some time in a good few museums.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of the Native American clothes, headdresses and history in these places and the need to ‘cake it’ began.  So with a month to go before the Cork competition I decided to start my Crowfoot piece.  VERY unlike me.  I’m usually a last minute-mad-panic-like-crazy-trying-to-finish kinda girl. I knew I wanted to do a Native American bust and after some research I finally decided on recreating Chief Crowfoot, who was an amazing guy from the 1850s.  He brought peace between the First Nations and the government and was also known for fighting alcoholism among the Blackfoot people. After a chat with a friend in Canada I knew how I wanted to create the beaded panels with sprinkles (dragees/nonpareils) secured into modelling chocolate.  But I had no idea how long this would take.  I started with one of the side circle pieces on the headdress.  Yup…. 3 hours later I finally finished.  I would have quit that idea but it turned out perfect and I had to trudge on.  My eyes were going wonky by the time I was done. Just when I thought I was done, I ended up having to redo the first one, as it was OBVIOUSLY my first one. Sigh… Crowfoot himself was made from chocolate biscuit cake in his torso and rice krispies in his head.  He was then covered in Vera Miklas Milk modelling chocolate and textured using silicone tools from Cerart.  I (as usual) ended up putting too much detail in.  He has 2 fully formed ears that you can’t even see under his hair and there’s even a tied strap on the back of his shirt that you, again, can’t see.  I knew it at the time – but couldn’t help myself. The feathers were then made with wafer paper and a stem of spaghetti wrapped in wafer paper that was sprayed with Fabriliquid.  I found it stuck to the wafer paper a bit better this way.  I then painted a mix of black dust and vegetable oil to make the black ends to them. They were then secured into place in the red modelling chocolate tubes and that was another bit done!  The Hudson Bay blanket that he’s wrapped in, is made from rolled out modelling chocolate and textured using a new dish scrubber.   After I had the piece almost completely finished my hubby came in and said he loved it except for the eyes.  I spent ages looking at it and couldn’t see what was the problem.  That’s when it was time to get a little help from some friends. With one look they knew that the eyes were flat.  There was...

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