Saturday, March 27, 2010

Classes, classes............

Hello all!

This weekend I am away (yes, AGAIN!!!) at a cake group meeting.  We had classes today and another one tomorrow, and then our meeting is tomorrow afternoon. 

I took the class this afternoon (yes I still like to learn new stuff, lol).  The class was on the Lambeth Method of decorating.  Here are some pictures of the cake that we did in the class:

What did you learn today?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sugar Cookies.......

For quite a while I have been decorating cookies for both competitions and to give out as favors for various events.  I came to realize after the last batch I did, I don't like the icing that I've been putting on them.  It dries too hard and is too crunchy (it's Royal Icing made with Meringue Powder).
So yesterday, instead of working on decorating the cookies I need for this weekend for my cake meeting, I searched for new cookie icing recipes online.  I found one that sounded good, so I decided to go ahead and make it.

Here's the recipe I used:  (it's from

5 cups Confectioner's Sugar
3 Tablespoons and 1 teaspoon milk
3 Tablespoons and 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1¼ teaspoons almond extract (or flavoring of choice)
assorted food coloring

In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup. Should be a consistency good for piping onto cookies. Recipe yields enough icing to ice approx 5 dozen cookies.

So, I weighed out the sugar into the Kitchen Aid bowl, added the milk and turned the mixer on.  Did I get a smooth result??  Far from it.  I got sugar that was a wet sandy consistency.  I thought, ok....I'll mix in the corn syrup and see what happens.  Go to measure out the corn syrup, and have 1/2 of what the recipe calls for.  So, I figure maybe I did something wrong, and proceed to measure out half the sugar and milk and put it in the KA again.  Same result.  Add in the corn syrup and it doesn't improve the situation at all.

Then I decide to sit down and read through the comments on the recipe.  One said 'don't use a stand mixer'.  Others said they had to add more liquid (milk or corn syrup).  I decided to add more liquid to the mess I had in the mixer.  I ended up adding double the amount of milk, and it actually turned out like I think it was supposed too.  I was shocked!  and VERY happy!

Went out for more corn syrup and finished making the rest of the icing that I had started.

So, today I decorated the cookies (all but 11 of them).  Have to make more icing and finish them tomorrow.

Here is what they look like:

There are 30 of each color combo.

Have you found a new recipe today?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cake Pics from VA

It's been a few days.....been at the cake show, and recovering from the cake show, lol.

Here are the pictures of the cakes I entered in the show:

This is the Zodiac cake.  The zodiac symbols (on the side of the cake) are cross-stitched onto fondant plaques.  The top has a run-sugar 3-dimensional sun surrounded by the zodiac constellations. 

This cake won an Honorable Mention ribbon!

 This is the Rose cake.  It is a hexagon cake dummy covered in black fondant.  The roses on the sides are piped embroidery that was piped onto fondant cut to the shape of the flowers.  The roses on top are gumpaste, and then dusted with red.  The lines piped around the top were done with tips 0, 1 and 1.5, some stacked/piped on top of others.

This cake won a 3rd Place Ribbon!!!

 The trip down to Virginia and back was full of hilarious moments.  We rented another Book on CD for the trip home, but it wasn't nearly as funny or entertaining as the one we had on the way down.  We didn't even finish listening to it, lol.

On to my next project - cake meeting this weekend.  I am making cookies to give as favors at the meeting.  That is tomorrow's adventure - icing the cookies.  I leave Friday morning to head out to Western Mass, and have tons to do before then, lol.

Off to get some sleep so I can get up bright and early tomorrow :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Proud to be an American

I've always been proud be an American, to live in the country we do, with the freedoms we enjoy.  There are many people in many countries that don't enjoy the same rights and liberties that we do. 

We spent today in Washington DC.  Our great nation's capitol.  A place that some Americans may never get to visit in their lifetime.  And we're lucky enough to live within driving distance of it.  This is the second time I've been to Washington DC.  The first time I was 11, and certainly did not appreciate what I was seeing and where I was.  I did get to tour the White House (something you can't do today).  Got to meet one of our state congressman in person.  Saw a lot of stuff about America's history, and sadly couldn't tell you some of it because I didn't pay that much attention then.  We mostly saw Memorials today. 

Here are the places we went:

Arlington National Cemetery: The Eternal Flame and John F. Kennedy's grave

Arlington National Cemetery: Tombs of the Unknown Soldiers - Changing of the Guards

Washington Monument and the Reflecting Pool:

Lincoln Memorial:

World War II Memorial:

Korean War Memorial:

I just realized, I did not take a picture of the Vietnam Wall Memorial.  It is quite an impressive memorial to look at.  Walking around Arlington National Cemetery, and all the different war memorials has confirmed to me how thankful I am for all those that have served their country, OUR country, fighting to protect the freedoms that we enjoy each and every day.

My father served his country.  He was in the Navy, for three years.  He proudly served his country for those years.  During one of his years, he was stationed way out on one of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska (I'm not sure which one).  His job was translating the Russian's Morse Code messages into words.  It was obviously in Russian, and there was another gentlemen (or more, not sure) that translated the Russian into English.  He recently told me some stories from that year spent in Alaska.  On their days off, him and the guys he was stationed with used to go sledding on the island.  This was all years before I was born, but I'm glad he told me about it.  My father passed away this past year.  I purchased a tie-tack type of pin today, and am planning on bringing it home and burying it in the ground in front of his headstone. 

On a much happier note, lol, the cake show is tomorrow and Sunday.  We are getting up in about 5hrs to get ready to go.  There will be pictures tomorrow night from the show!

Are you proud to be a citizen of your country?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, roadtrips.............

Hello faithful readers (of which I think I have 3 :) )! 

Sorry there has been no post for a few days.  We were traveling yesterday.  We're in Virginia!!!  YEAH!!!!!  We made it.  We always do, lol.  We spent about 12 hrs on the road.  It would have been less had we not stopped at that bank (need $, right?), Walgreen's, Michael's (always forget something), Cracker Barrel (YUM is the only word necessary), and of course gas and bathroom breaks.  Oh, and let's not forget the backup at the George Washington Bridge.  Stupid, stupid, stupid we are!!!  EVERY time we say 'We should take the Tappanzee Bridge because it's better than the GWB' (yeah, we've done this trip a few times, lol).  We even planned on it this time.  Had our Mapquest directions and everything.  So, you might be asking yourself, 'How did they end up on the GWB?'  The simple answer? We are basically morons who don't know to leave well enough alone. 

We were on 95, and quickly approaching the exit for the Tappanzee.  You see, we have this misguided notion that there is only traffic in NYC at certain hours of the day.  While this may in fact be true, it seems that it's the hours we drive through, regardless of the actual time of day (we slightly suspect this means there is traffic ALL THE TIME in NYC).  Then we think, 'well it won't be so bad this time'.  I have no idea how we come up with this, since there is no rational basis for it.  So, as we are approaching the exit, a decision needs to be made, and fast (I don't drive slow, lol).  We mutually agree to forgo the Tappanzee and instead risk it on the GWB.

And of course, we totally regretted the decision.  You see, we had plenty of time to think about it while sitting basically stationary for a good 15 minutes trying to get onto the GWB.  Here's where we normally would have flipped out completely (neither one of us can stand traffic).  However, we were listening to a Book on CD, so it didn't seem so bad at least (more on that in a few minutes).  We did eventually make it over the Bridge (top level, the only one worth driving IMO).  We looked to our left as we crossed the bridge (ok....Janet looked, I glanced).  And we were treated to a view that makes all the agravation and sitting in traffic worth it - the skyline of NYC.  What a wondering gorgeous sight to see.  I believe it was Janet who said "and THAT'S why we brave the GWB."

I believe that was the worse traffic we encountered.  We had some through DC, but not much else that I can really remember.  And since it was only yesterday, you'd think I would remember bad traffic.

Have you ever rented/bought/borrowed a Book on CD (formerly known as Book on Tape when we all had cassette players in our cars)?  I never have.  Janet never has (that I know of).  We did yesterday.  Cracker Barrel (in all it's awesomeness) rents Books on CD at their stores.  It is pretty cool.  You pay the rental fee (3.49 in our case) and the cost of the Book (approx $22, this might be different for each title, not sure).  When you return the book (to ANY Cracker Barrel in the country!) within 1 week of the purchase date, the price of the book is refunded to you. 

We were going to pick a book we had already read, since we have a tendency to zone out/ignore the radio/talk, etc......  We thought we'd be "rewinding" a lot to re-listen to parts we didn't remember hearing.  How wrong we were!!  We ended up deciding to rent a book neither of us had read.  It was one of Debbie Macomber's Angel books.  If you've never read her books, you really should - they are good!  We rented "Where Angels Go".  It was an awesome story.  We found that the hours just flew by because we were paying attention and listing to the story.  I managed to drive the whole way and not really get tired at all.

Needless to say, we are finding a Cracker Barrel before we leave VA and are going to return the book we have and get another one.  If I ever have to take a trip by myself (driving), I will certainly be looking into getting another Book on CD, they are fabulous! 

Was the story a good one you might be asking?  Well, you'll just have to listen (or read) for yourself - I'm not giving away the story :)   We of course, also had lots of laughing and fun on the trip down. 

We are off to explore DC some today.  After some much needed sleep however.  Wednesday night I only got about 5 hrs of sleep and Janet got less than that.  We apparently are not smart enough to go to bed early when we have to be up and driving for long periods of time.

What do you like to do on roadtrips to keep yourself entertained?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Multi-tasking............Not always a good idea!

Ok, so we all try to multi-task when we're doing stuff.  I have a very bad habit of trying to multi-task when decorating.  This is not a good idea!  That was the lesson I learned this afternoon.

My hexagon cake (not the zodiac one) was all done and just needed to be attached to the cake board it goes with.  So, I pick up the cake from the dining room table to bring it into the kitchen.  Aaaannndddd my thumb pressed against one of the leaves on the side of the cake and snapped it off.  Ok, no big deal it can just be glued back on with either royal icing or super glue (hey, it's competition, it's not going to be eaten).  So, I bring the cake and the broken leaf out to the kitchen.  Set the cake on my turntable and the leaf on the table.  Then I realize the table is a mess, so I start straightening the table and putting my shtuff away that I don't need for the cakes anymore.  While doing this I noticed a left over cookie from dinner last night (had Subway and had a leftover cookie).  So I start eating the cookie.  And sit down to glue the leaf onto the cake.  Can you all guess what's going to happen next (cake in front of me, cookie on one side, leaf on the other side)?

I picked up the leaf and put it in my mouth like it was a piece of cookie, and bit down on it.  My first thought was "that was the ******* leaf" (family-friendly, remember?).  Sure enough, it was.  Did I throw a fit?  Did I scream and curse?  No, my faithful readers I didn't (this time....there will be a next time don't worry!).  Instead I laughed.  A lot.  Hey, at that point what else can you do??  So, after I stopped laughing, I cut out another leave, piped it, let it dry and attached it to the cake where the other one broke off from.  No harm, no foul.  Can't really tell it happened either.

So, I got new tires for my car today (yippee!).  Well, yippee for the tires, not the bill, lol.  However, this means we will have a good trip to VA and back.

Don't know how much blogging there will be for the next few days, not really doing anything cake related until the show on Saturday.

What lesson did you learn today?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spending spending spending........does it ever end??

Hi all!  I've been busy here getting ready for the trip to Virginia.  Janet and I have each purchased some yummy road trip food and drinks (no alcohol, we're driving!).  Why do we buy snacks and drinks?  It's a misguided attempt at thinking we won't have to stop for snacks and drinks, only actual meals.  It is severely misguided by the way, lol.  We still manage to stop for plenty of snacks along the way, lol.  It is nice, however, to know they are there, and we do eat them :).  I have also been purchasing some much-needed maintenance for my car (along with those pesky things called tires).  So, I am a little bit poorer now than I was this morning, lol (ok ok, a LOT poorer).  However, we can travel safe with the knowledge that not only will we make it safely to Virginia, but also back home :).'re all probably wondering about the cakes I bet.  One of them is done (YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), the other will be done tomorrow (WOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!).  Thanks to my bestest idea person, the finished cake is awesome looking!  You're probably all wondering why I'm not readily posting pictures and details about these cakes.  Well, it's like this.  There is the possibility of someone I know being a judge at this cake show, and although judges are supposed to be impartial, I feel it would be wrong to blatantly tell her which cakes are mine.  I have no idea if she reads this blog, but the link is in all my emails, so it's possible.  I will freely share details and pics about the cakes once the show is over this weekend!

What did you spend your money on today?

A Glimpse Into My Crazy Life

A mere 84 hours from now, Janet and I will be well on our way to Virginia for the National Capital Area Cake Show, with a bevy of cakes in the car, their aromas assaulting our olfactory glands.  Thankfully, after a half hour we won't be able to smell them anymore!  lol

So, you're all probably wondering how the cakes are going.  I wasn't able to work on them yesterday (went to my Cousin's to do their taxes - yes I am multi-talented), and had to drop the car off to have some work done (want to make sure we make it to Virginia and back home!) today.  Rain - I hate rain (but it's better than snow).  I had absolutely no motivation to do any work on the cakes today, but I persevered and got some done.  Covered a cake board and piped some detail on my zodiac cake.  Hopefully I can get them all done tomorrow.  I'm dying to see them finished!!

Once the cakes are done, I have cookies to make! No, not for the competition, for the spring meeting of the cake group I'm in.  I have volunteered to make cookies to hand out at the meeting as a little thank you for attending.  They are going to be spring-themed (flowers).  I am also giving a 10-15minute demo on how to decorate them.  The icing will need time to harden, so I need to bake them before we leave, so I can ice them when I get back.  Did I mention I'm doing 80 of them?  Did I also mention that I leave for the meeting a mere 4 days after returning from Virginia?  Well, I do, lol.  I also have baskets to make up so we can raffle them off.  Not too much to do, lol.  Fortunately I will have time this weekend to write up my demo.

 As of all this isn't enough, I've also been working on planning and researching information for my wedding cake entry for Great American Cake Show the first weekend of May in Westminster, MD.  Each year they pick a theme for the wedding cake competition, and your cake has to be decorated within the theme.  This year's theme is "Wedding Cakes Across America".  The idea is to pick a state (any state, not necessarily the one you live in) and decorate a wedding cake such that the state is recognizable from the cake.  I have my state picked out, and have been spending a few months researching all kinds of stuff about the state I picked.  I can confidently say that I know more about the state than I ever thought I would, haha.

You'll all be able to follow me on my journey to create this cake, it will be starting in about a week or so.  There are quite a few techniques on the cake that I haven't really tried before, so it should be quite entertaining, lol.

That's all for tonight, I need sleep if I expect to finish the cakes tomorrow.

How crazy is your life?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Love/Hate Relationships this morning did not start out as well as it could have.  One of the cakes that I am bring to the competition in VA has stacked fine line piping on the top of it (I know there's a technical name for it, but it escapes my brain at the moment).  Well....while looking for the cross-stitch patterns I drew for the other cake, I went to pick up the cake with the piping on it, without really looking at what I was doing (can you see where this is heading??).  Yup, you guess it, now I have to pipe one series of the lines all over again - damn thumb!!!  Ah well, stuff happens and the second piping will probably look better than the first.  This is an attempt to not get all riled up about it, hopefully it works (we'll see, since I'm typing this pretty soon after it happened and am going to finish the blog entry later).

Ok, so that was not the disaster I envisioned.  It was actually a pretty easy fix (woohoo!!!!).  I also finished piping all the cross-stitch that I needed to do, as well as attaching them to the cakes.  I have to say, cross-stitching in icing is pretty fun............once you figure out the correct consistency of your icing, lol.  But boy, does it use bags!!  I had 12 colors - that's 12 bags.  Disposable bags no less.

Now, I'm sure some of you are thinking "why didn't she just use parchment bags?"  Well, I'll tell ya, it's like this.  I have a love/hate relationship with parchment bags.  I love to hate them.  I want to like using them, but I just don't (a lot like soup...I want to love soup but I don't).  You see, I can make a parchment bag, I can even make one tight enough it doesn't have a hole at the bottom.  The problem come when I try to pipe with the bag.  Icing oozes out around the tip I'm using (highly annoying), and I can't seem to find a good way to fold down the bag.  Plus, it doesn't feel comfortable in my hand to pipe.  Part of the issue is that I love couplers.  I use them in every bag, every time.  I'm always wanting to try a different tip or something like that.  I've tried piping bags without couplers, and it's not a pretty sight.  I get all skeeved out and can't pipe (sadly, there have been witnesses to this).  Yes, I'm whacko.  You would have figured that out sooner or later even if I hadn't told you, lol.  I never thought I had OCD tendencies, however, my ever faithful sidekick, Janet, helpfully points them out to me when she see's them (and is usually laughing at me when she does) :D

If anyone has any ideas, tips, on how I can try to overcome my hatred for parchment bags, I'd love to see them!  It would save so many plastic bags if I could use parchment for some of it.  I do actually own parchment bags (I know, crazy!).  In fact, I own TWO boxes of them (that's 200 if anyone is counting)!  See, I've had a box since I took the Wilton classes as my craft store (like a good little student, I bought just about everything that was recommended).  Well, I needed a parchment bag for some cookies I was decorating (I needed 4 dots of icing).  I went to get a parchment bag, and lo and behold I CAN'T FIND THEM!!  It just about killed me to go to the store and buy another box.  Only to find the ones I already had AFTER I opened and used some from the new box.  I know own a lifetime supply of parchment bags!

Is there anything you wish you liked, that you don't?

These are a few of my favorite things........ (sing it, you know you want too!)

We are now T-7 (**Correction....T-6 days.......this was started yesterday, lol) days until I leave for the cake show in Virginia.  If anyone wants to read about it, you can check it out here:   Got some work done today, even though I slept in and had to run out this afternoon, lol.  Made some more royal icing, did some more piping.  Tomorrow is set aside for piping cross-stitch stitches in royal 12 different colors.  Will let you know how it goes!

I was thinking about yesterday's post on inspiration, and realized I have another picture, and story, to share. 

This cake was done for a wedding cake competition, and the theme of the competition was "Fabric Fantasies."  The idea was to find a fabric to inspire your cake design. 

The fabric has blue stars outlined in gold and gold swirls in random patterns all over it.  Each tier of the cake features blue gumpaste stars outlined in white, and hand painted gold swirls.  In addition, there are hand made gumpaste hydrangeas and roses inside the gold swirl-y seperator.  The cake topper is also made up of hydrangeas and roses.

The fabric had to be incorporated into the table decoration somehow, so the fabric is laid over the white table cloth I had.  There are also handmade gumpaste hydrangeas scattered on the table.

I love making gumpaste flowers, and as such, I try to put them on every cake I do.  I've even done just flowers and entered them into competitions.  Here are some others I've done (sorry, can't figure out how to arranged them how I want, lol):

I guess this arrangement is going to have to do, lol.  As you can see, I like Sweet Peas, I think they are a very pretty, dainty flower.  There are also hydrangeas and a rose in the pictures.  I must be pretty good at them, since all but one have won an award in their category :)

That's all for now, wanted to finish up the post I started yesterday and never finished because the &^#&#$^ pictures wouldn't go where I wanted them too, and I ran out of patience dealing with it, lol.

What are some of your favorite things?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Inspiration, anyone??

Sorry there was no blog yesterday  A dear friend's uncle unexpectedly passed away and I was with the family yesterday.  I seem to have lots of 'second families' and they are one of them.  Janet's family is also like a second family to me.  There isn't anything I wouldn't do for them or their families.

Ok, now on to happier things!  I mentioned in my last post the Janet and I are heading down to VA for a cake show next week.  We actually leave in exactly one week!  Needless to say, I still have A LOT left to do on my cakes.  I am entering two cakes into the competition.  I am probably 30% done with each one, but am on track to finish them on time.  You will all get to see photos of the cakes when they are finished.  I do not like to show pics of them before that time, sorry!

In the absence of detailing the work that I'm doing on my cakes, I thought I'd talk about some of the challenges I face when entering a competition, or just doing a cake.  Don't worry, if I have mini-meltdowns or something close, those details will be here, lol.

One of the biggest challenges, and usually the first one I face, is what to do.  What kind of cake do I want to create to enter.  Most competitions have a 'Show Theme' category which can be specific, as well as general categories.  For instance, in a show I went to a few weeks ago, the show theme category was "Child's Play".  The one coming up in VA is "Nursery Rhymes".  In addition to that category, there are the normal or usual categories that most decorator's have come to expect to see: Non-tiered, Tiered, Special Occasion, Novelty, Special Techniques, Foreign Techniques, Buttercream Only, etc.  The list can almost be endless.  Some shows/competitions have a lot of them, others only have a few.  There are also different skill levels with each of those categories.  The upside to this is if you're a beginner, who's been decorating cakes for less than a year, you're not competing with someone that has over 10yrs experience.  The downside is, it usually appears as though some cakes are in the wrong skill level.  The judges have the discretion to move a cake to a higher skill level.  It doesn't happen a lot, but I have seen it.

Back to ideas, lol.  I usually start by looking at the categories and see if any ideas pop into my head on their own.  They haven't been lately.  Then I think of what I like to do, and do well, and see where those ideas fit in.  Sometimes I come up with crazy ideas - some work and some don't.  I'm not afraid to try something and fail at it.  At least I tried.  (Too bad this philosophy seems to be missing when it fails, lol)  It also helps to have an incredibly awesome idea person :D

Barring any of that working, there are many places you can find inspiration for a cake.  Look around your house, the store when you're out shopping.  You'll be amazed how many things you start wondering how to make out of cake once you look at things through a cake decorator's eyes.  Some of the items I've looked to for inspiration are fabric (who doesn't love browsing the fabric section of Joann's?!?), greeting cards (yes, you will get looks if you say to your friend 'I bet this would make a cool cake'), gift bags (look at the designs).  Depending on your level of confidence, you'll look at stuff and say 'no way I could do that'.  Hey, even I do it, and there's very little I think I can't do (no, I'm not singing my own praises, I just have a high confidence level and will try just about anything).

One of my favorite inspirations came from a greeting card.  It was for a wedding cake competition last May in MD.  I have no idea how long I spent looking for the 'perfect card' for the cake.  In the realm of competitions (at least those that require your inspiration piece to be displayed with the cake), some part of the inspiration piece is expected to be replicated on the cake.  I found plenty of cards that I could design a cake around, but nothing screamed "MEMEMEMEME, PICK ME".  I think I went into every store that sold greeting cards.  Even bought 5 or 6 cards that would work, but couldn't get excited about any of them.  It's very hard for me to put my best into a cake if I can't get excited about it. 

I had pretty much given up finding the perfect card, and had to run into CVS for something non-cake related.  I thought of looking at the cards, but honestly was just tired of looking and not finding anything that jumped out at me.  But.......I figured, what the heck, it couldn't hurt to look.  Lo and behold I found it!!!!!!!!  It was the second one I picked up.  I looked at it and said "that's it.  That's the card."  By the time I got home from CVS (all of 10 minutes) I had the entire cake planned out in my head.

 I don't have a picture of the card (and if I ever find the card around here I'll take one and post it), but here's what the cake ended up looking like.  Hopefully you can see the hours (and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours) of piping I did on the cake.  There is a glimpse of the card down in the corner, hopefully that is visible too.

There were approximately 50 or so wedding cakes entered in this competition, and my cake came in 14th!  This might not sound like much, but the competition at this show is tough, and it's an honor to have scored that well.  I have always said to my friends that I certainly never expect to win the wedding cake competition at this show, but I would be happy with being in the top 10.  Well........being #14 has encouraged and spurred me on to try even harder this year (more about that cake in the coming months, lol)

 What I will say, the inspiration for the wedding cake competition this year is a US State.  We are to pick a state and decorate a wedding cake using whatever we think will make people recognize it as coming from that state!  I have my state picked out and ideas flying around and can't wait to start on it!!!!

What inspires you?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hello World!

Hello to everyone out there in cyberspace!  I'm not so sure how many people are reading/will end up reading this blog, but I thought it would be fun to share my cake hijinx with the world.  My friends and family enjoy hearing about them, so I figured someone else might too.  Hey, you might even learn something, who knows!  (Or I will from your comments, lol).

A little background on me............
I started decorating birthday cakes for friend's kid's birthdays about 10 years ago.  Then decided to take some cake decorating classes (yes, the ones at the craft store :) )  [Beware, I love to use smileys - and this thing apparently doesn't have them, so you're all going to have to bear with me, cause I'm gonna end up using them anyway. :)]  My first classes were about 4 years ago (my god, has it only been 4 years?!?!)  That's where this cake decorating adventure really started. 

Four years and a whole lot of money (I don't even want to IMAGINE how much) later, here I am today.  I have a bedroom, part of a kitchen, half a living room and half a dining room that currently houses all my amassed cake "shtuff" (hey, I'm trying to keep this family friendly!).  I am actually scared (terrified maybe?) of the thought of even trying to add up what I've spent on this shtuff the last four years!  I entered my first competition waaaaaaaaaaay back in 2007.  With my ever-faithful and not-easy-to-scare cake side-kick, Janet. (She is also my go-to idea lady!!) She has pre-empted many a meltdown, and probably witnessed just as many.  (Go read her blog about food and kitchen hijinx!  Or just click on her name up there, lol.)  Have I mentioned yet that I have a temper?  Oh well, you'll see soon enough the trouble it gets me into (and the money it ends up costing me, lol).  :D

She has been brave enough to go to three competitions with me for moral support (she even entered one!).  We're going to another one in a few weeks down in VA.  We leave in 10 days (OMG!!!!!!!!), and so far, all is on track.  She's entering some fabulously delicious cakes in five (Yes, FIVE!!) tasting categories - Good luck to my friend!!!!!!!!!

Keep checking back for daily (I hope!) updates on my latest cake hijinx!  More about the VA competition tomorrow.  There's only so much I can type this late at night, plus I'm getting tired and I keep having to fix typo's, lol.

Don't be alarmed that this post is so late at night, I'm sure there will be many more that are later than this (or early, depends on your point of view I guess, lol).  I am a night owl, always have been always will be, lol. 

[Insert witty catchphrase here] (Hey, I said it's late, how much do you expect me to think?)