April Blooms

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There are  several gardening blogs I like to read, one of which is May Dreams Gardens. On the 15th of every month she hosts a linky party where you can post what is blooming in your yard or garden.  I’ve meant to do this for a while now and resolved to finally do it today.  So of course, I woke up to this-

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It is lovely to get moisture after such a warm dry winter, so no complaints here.  And I happen to get some snow free pictures the other day.

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The view from my porch, most of the color you can see comes from Apricot Impression tulips my husband and I planted last fall.  They are really large and start out rather orangey before aging to a pretty coral pink.

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Apricot Impression Tulips

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Here is the opposite view of the same bed as above, sans snow.  Last year, in addition to the tulips, I planted Basket of Gold (Aurinia saxatilis), “Accent” daffodils, “Stainless”daffodils, blue pansies, (and some Marit tulips that yet to open) for spring color.  This year I added some Rock Cress (Aubrieta)  which will give a nice blue purple pop for weeks each spring.IMG_2072

This is a similar view from last April, just a little earlier.

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Last spring, I spotted a gorgeous coral blooming shrub in a strangers front yard.  I had no idea what it was, so after driving by several more times, I decided to go up to the door and ask.  My boys were mortified, until i returned and told them no one had been home.  I found it on the internet, it was a flowering quince and then planted one in the fall.

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It is a little scrawny now, but should reach 4-5 feet tall and wide.  This is double flowering variety that is supposed to be fruitless and thornless.  I’ll likely be adding a fruiting variety to the backyard eventually.

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The quince is right behind our oh so lovely utility box in our side bed.  In this bed, I also planted “Geranium” Daffodils, in addition to tulip, rock cress, and basket of gold.

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Geranium Daffy smell very sweet and have 2-3 blooms per stem.

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Another of last years shots, a little earlier.  This years blooms seem to be about 3-4 weeks earlier than last years. IMG_3398

Our lilacs are blooming, and have been for around two weeks.  I am glad I had something to post on my first bloggers bloom day.  Hop on over to see more blooms at May Dreams.

Baby Cakes

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This first cake was for a sweet new mom at church who had recently had twin girls.  Those babies are so adorable! Double the cute for sure.  I was inspired by all the frilly and sweet dresses that show up at baby showers. The cake was butter vanilla with lemon curd and traditional butter cream.

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This second cake was for a dear friend who was expecting her first little one.  She and her husband were planning on a Noah’s ark themed nursery so we made a cake to match.  Making all the little animals was so much fun.  My boys were enthralled as well, if it was up to them I would have made a whole zoo full of animals.

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Here they are in their pre-assembled state.  I think the turtles were my favorite.

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Two Sisters, Two Cakes

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One of my favorite things about making wedding cakes is when I get repeat orders from families.  These cakes were actually a few years apart, but I realized that I hadn’t posted the first one before.  It was for a friend’s son and his bride.  It’s been long enough ago that I don’t remember the flavors of the cake, but I do remember making all the different snowflakes and having a lot of fun doing it.  The picture isn’t fabulous, I really should take a photography class,  but this is the best I got.

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The snowflakes were a mix of royal icing and gum paste painted with silver and ice blue luster dust.

About a year and a half later I got a call that one of the brides’ younger sisters (she has three) was getting married and having a summer wedding.  It was actually held in a backyard in my neighborhood.  The cake was devils food with mint chocolate ganache.

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The top tier was fondant with piped royal icing coral polka dots, then a tier of light peach fondant with white brush embroidery flowers, and the bottom was white with more coral royal icing, this time in stripes.   I loved the opportunity to use so many techniques, but my favorite part of the cake were the gum paste dahlias.

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I was very happy with how they came out, and the colors were perfect with the outdoor setting.

Side yard before and almost afters.

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In May it will be two years since we moved to our home.  I love this house, love our neighbors, love the location, love our big old yard, love the all the natural light in our house.  There is a lot to love.  However we knew going in that there would plenty to do to make it the home our own.  I think the first update we did was new toilets.  One of the kids had taken to calling them Grandma toilets.  Why, I don’t know, but they were tiny, and didn’t work properly, ever.  Now, I’m sure you’ll be disappointed, I don’t have picture of toilets today.  Most of our updates have been not super exciting, like the toilets, or fixing shredded window screens, or outdated smoke detectors.

The yard has been a little more fun. The original owners built this home as their dream home from what we’ve been told. He loved to garden and she realllly like pink(more on that later).  By the time the house came to us, however, the yard had been the victim of benign neglect for about 8 years.

This is what we started with-

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Weedy and rocky, the soil was like cement.  The weeds were even kind of sparse because the ground was so hard.

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One upside was that it was nice and shady in the afternoon, and we don’t have much shade on our property.  The weeding went fast and the existing lilac and buckthorn were in good shape.  I used some wood mulch from some stumps we had ground down to suppress the weeds.

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This the best “after’ picture I got.  Since this was taken, I planted another butterfly bush along with some pansies and sea oats grass, and transplanted another brookside geranium.  In the spring I hope to divide the hosta and add some more color.

Catch up


I realized that I hadn’t posted many of the cakes I made last year and that maybe I should catch the blog up.

First up is Leif’s birthday cake.  It was his second birthday, but the first cake I’ve made for him.  On his first birthday we had just moved in and my parents had come to visit and my Dad and I picked out a single cupcake for him at the grocery store.  Poor baby.  There isn’t even a picture to document it.  Maybe that is good thing.

As for his second, at the time he lived and breathed trucks of all kinds and especially construction trucks, and chocolate.  I went with a pretty simple design, chocolate frosting, cookie “dirt” and toy trucks.  He loved it.IMG_2159 IMG_2158

Chchchchanges…


About seven years ago, my brother introduced me to blogging.  I quickly started a little family blog like the rest of the world and this blog for my cakes. Everyone was blogging and then everyone joined Facebook, and just like everyone else, I let my little family blog go.

Over the years, I’ve wanted more of an outlet for my other hobbies, quilting, gardening, etc, but felt like I couldn’t post them here.  After all, this is a cake blog, what if my three followers got mad.  Then I realized that the blogs I most enjoyed featured a variety of things and I just might enjoy blogging a little more as well, if I turned my attention to whatever is most exciting to me at the moment.  So as of today my blog subtitle is no longer ” Just Cake”, but “what makes life sweet”.  Hopefully I’ll post a little more often, and still have a some sugary eye candy frequently enough to make my baker friends happy!

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Cake Trends and My Summer Cakes

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After about ten years of making cakes, I can look back and see clearly some of the trends wedding cakes have gone through in the last decade.  Shortly after I first started everyone wanted 3 tiered square cakes with ribbon wrapping the bottom edge. 026susanawilcox 001I had forgotten how much I loved this cake, still one of my favorites.

ferndell11-05 043After the square trend faded, most of the wedding cakes were round.  The new trend seemed to be grooms cakes, like these:bentley cake 015


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There’s been other trends of course, and I really don’t do a ton of cakes, but this summer I notice the shape of cakes changing again.  This first cake was so fun to do,  I thought the simple clean lines and the color were just gorgeous.  It is always fun to do a cake that appeals to your own design style.  The dahlia was made from gum paste and was the element that caused me the most stress, having never done one before.  The plaque was made with modeling chocolate, using a technique that my sister in law Veronica taught me this summer.

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DSC_0148I was also lucky enough to have my brother and family visiting at the time and he graciously took some great photos for me.  Thanks Forest!

The next cake was done for a sweet and sassy bride that I had the chance to teach at church.  It was a joy to be a part of her special day.  I loved the design she choose as well.  Notice the silhouette, narrow stacked tiers with an extra tall center tier.

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Love the flowers, her florist did an awesome job.  Those extra tall tiers can be tricky to cover, but I love the look.  This one was hand painted with gold lustre dust.

I love seeing the changes come and go, what do you think will be the next big thing in wedding cakes?

A Cake with Kick

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IMG_1229I have so many cakes that I need to post , owls and race cars and even a snowflake covered wedding cake.  But this Tae kwon do cake is the most recent.  My neighbor and her family are some of my best customers.  This cake was for Peter, an awesome yellow belt, for his birthday party at the Tae Kwon Do studio he attends.  Devil’s food with vanilla buttercream and mm fondant.

IMG_1232I made 25 of these little ninja cuppies.   I should have taken pictures of the process but  it was midnight and i didn’t think of it til I was done.  Would anyone be interested in a little tutorial on how I made them?

Boots and a belt buckle.

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Over a year ago I received a phone call from a mother of a bride who was searching for a baker willing to do a sculpted cake, specifically two pairs of cowboy boots.  And a wedding cake with a belt buckle.  What a fun order!  I ‘d tell you what flavors they were, but its been so long I can’t remember.

His boots.

Her boots.

My first wedding cake wearing a belt buckle,  notice the gun toting bride and groom.

All together.

 

 

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