Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Dirk



It was Adam's birthday on Sunday! and that can only mean one thing.....more cake!

I had 3 designs in mind, one of which was to revisit a really old cake design (Adams 21st birthday cake infact) It was Bender from  the show Futurama. I would love to see how I made it now with the skills Ive learnt since making him the first time. My original Bender was unstable, leaning, and he eventually fell backwards with a 'thump' off the cake.

The 2nd idea I'm going to have to keep to myself just in case I use it for next year ;) lol

And the 3rd idea which won, was a zombie cake. Now regular readers of this blog, or people who personally know Adam will know he HATES horror, hates any sort of horror related programme and film and his worse nightmare (has admittedly said) Zombies are his phobia. Chalk and cheese comes to mind - I cant get enough of horror!
So wouldn't it be really cruel of me to make his nightmares come reality in cake form? mwahahaha.

In my defence though, I made it for a reason. Although he poops his pants at every zombie film going (when I can force him to watch one - which is not often) he actually became really fond of the show 'The Walking Dead'.



Now I found this REALLY weird. Out of all the other horror things like vampires, werewolves, slashers and monsters he chose to watch a programme containing his most hated undead friends.
I think he enjoys following the storyline more than anything (whereas I'm the opposite and just want to see someone get their stomach ripped out lol) and the episode where Dale gets attacked has been the one with the most lasting impression on him. So much so that even when the scene changes from people sat at camp, to them walking in a field it will make him jump!? WTF?! lol



Anyhoo, we haven't missed one episode,  he cant wait for season 3, and I wasn't passing the chance to make a zombie cake.....so Dirk was born.

I went on such a journey creating Dirk, I turned bipolar and went through every emotion possible.
I hated him, then I loved him, then I wanted to rip his head off and dropkick him out the front door, then I wanted to eat his brains....

Its not something I would do again in a hurry, but I would try something similar again one day - hopefully when I have more time to work on it properly and not 1 day!

I got inspiration from the new season 2 special boxset which I came across:


I didn't want to make him the same though as I was excited about making my 'own' zombie :D

So lets see some progress shots....there aren't many! I was too busy stamping up and down the kitchen between stages. Here he is 'padded' out with collar bones etc and just started ripping his lip off :)



Next I added clothes and started abit of shading along with his 'open' eye :)


For this eye I was inspired by what I would say was the freakiest zombie in the entire 2 seasons. It wasn't the huge fat one down the well:


It wasn't the iconic half a zombie:


Nor was it any of the really gruesome ones:


It was this dude:


Not many open wounds, no disfigurement and not much gore....but that face, the painful expression, skinny body and the way he walked aimlessly with those very much soul searching eyes made him one of my favourite zombies from the show.

*shivers*

I would have probably had an eye very similar as when I was making the zombies ragged shirt I bent down and almost skewered my own eye on the stick protruding from Dirks other eye socket! Can you imagine walking into A&E with me carrying a zombie and a stick connecting us both by the eyeball, I wouldn't have known how to explain that one!

So after much more painting, blood splatting, and adding drool to his mouth Dirk was complete.

The Walking Dead Cake



Some close ups too. If your already grossed out and a nervous wreck from all the above I don't think you should scroll down lol

Dripping blood and smashed up cheek bone:


Ripped lip


Mine would have probably looked like this on the end of a stick! lol







What did the birthday boy think of his cake?.....


eating braiiiiiiiinss





Then I decided I was going to create a video, so I shot some footage of Dirk, closeups, moving round the cake etc But by the time I had put it into the computer, I didn't have the software to work with AVCHD. Bummer....so I just put together a slideshow instead :


Abbi is TERRIFIED of the zombie noises he he he

Then Dirk took a knife to the shoulder...


This would be me carrying it into A&E....if you were doctor what the hell would you say to this walking through the door?!




I would change loads of things if I ever made him again, but I always do that with each cake!

The best part? Giving Adam a nightmare about Zombies, and Dirk - even in cake form give Adam the willies when he turned the kitchen light off, looked back and saw Dirk sat in the darkness with just the outline of his eye staring back at him. It was one of those *I'm the last person downstairs at bedtime so turn the light off and run up the stairs as fast as you can because something might chase me* moments :D

Dirk was given his name by a lovely lady on my facebook page, so many suggestions rolled in which nearly made me spit my Vimto on the monitor. Jeeves, Fred, and Seymore Brains were among the suggestions, but Dirk won....he just looks like a Dirk, and reminds me of the word dork :)

SOOO the next day (now Sunday) We headed to Blackpool for the circus (Remember Kai's birthday letter from March? Yep...killing two birds with one stone)

We headed to Coral Island for a carvery, one of the best carveries ever, followed by a treat of melted fudge cake = stuffed!



Then we had a bit of time to kill in Blackpool tower, so we headed to the balconies of the ballroom



I found this painting on the roof rather freaky! A hazy blue pointed hat wearing demon looking creature at the side of the Olympic torch holding couple (yes sarcastic!) with a Wizard holding a flaming bowl of soup warding away 2 evil spirits.



Kai's big head


Circus time! We found some seats and took a couple of sneaky shots


This next picture was my mum being threatened by Adam. 'You better have not told Mooky (the clown) its my birthday, I'm not getting up...they are not singing to me, I will kill you if you've done anything, have you done anything?' Then he turned to me waggling his finger and saying the same thing 'I will seriously fall out with you if they come up to me!' ha ha ha


The interval arrived and it was 'birthday shout out time' The whole time Adam sat looking out the corner of his eyes and drumming his fingers. He was safe, though now I'm wishing I really HAD told Mooky about his birthday :) lol

£1.50 facepaint...I could have done better with my eyeliner and lipstick out of my bag


Here are the stars of the show Mooky and Mr Boo. Adam loves these two more than the kids :S



Awesome show at the circus, you all need to go and check it out!
Then we had just enough time to ride on the donkeys! (well I didn't...But Abbi and Kai did)




And no trip to Blackpool is complete without a face cut-out




Right that's me done for today...I'm off to eat the rest of Dirks Braiiiiiinnnnnssssss

Monday, 16 April 2012

Is this cake for a funeral?

Oh my days.

Well you know I had my Blackpool wedding fair coming up, it was yesterday!

Saturday night saw me up past midnight baking testers, packing the cakes tightly in boxes so they wouldn't slide, icing cupcakes, wrapping my nephew Myles' first birthday presents, and putting the finishing touches on his cake.   My head hit the pillow and before I knew it my alarm was beeping....6.00am
*groan* nooooo...not....enough.....sleep!
I got up, and got dressed. What do you wear to an 'elegance' wedding fair? I wasn't exactly sure but I could bet it was the opposite to what I actually wore :)

By 8am we were on our way (with 2x boxes up cupcakes on my knee) and hit Blackpool Hilton just before 9am. Only 3 other vendors were setting up at the time so we found our table and started to unload the ton of boxes from the car. I was so concentrated on what I was doing (and also panicking for no reason) that I didn't see much else that went on. In comes my huge sign for the front of the table, and I started to unbox the cakes. 'Lets start out gentle with the teapot cake' lol





I was tweaking the stands and proudly placing my (last minute) homemade signs for the cakes, throwing all my business cards in my bargain £1.79 cherry pot and stood back to take a picture.


An instant calm came over me at this point. I had done it! All the cakes arrived in one piece, the table was just about big enough, I didn't need to rush and........I was ready.

As I looked up I noticed an elegant table in the corner with white bird cages, a lady on the next table with white wedding chair covers and lots of twinkly lights and flowers in vases and another cake lady by the door with a cupcake tower and few white tiered wedding cakes (everything so white!)....I turned back to my stand, stared for a moment at the dark and crazy designs and then just grinned....I should have been a nervous wreck about being so different among the other vendors but I wasn't, one look at my painted skull and I was ready to take my place behind the table.





I took a few more pictures of the set up to kill some time as the fair didn't start till 11am.

Check out my bargain £1.79 cherry jar!



And this is the amazing little goonie who helped me the whole time:


My better half :)
He stayed up with me all night and helped write our Nephews birthday card out, ferried the boxes to and from the car....and also helped with eating the cake samples lol

With everything being set up I had the 'picture with my very first cake stand' picture ha ha I set all the camera up and just told him to click the button - he did pretty well with that too!



Then things got silly :) I was just so happy I was all ready to go that no matter who was walking past with their white stationary and pretty bouquets I was out infront of the table doing this...



After this quite a few more vendors were coming in to set up and one came round to browse. He came to my table, stopped..... frowned and then said...'skulls?!....for a wedding?!.... that's a bit macabre!' before I had chance to open my mouth he spotted the Nightmare Before Christmas Cake and with wide eyes said 'is this a cake for a funeral!?'
My VERY first comments on my cakes for the day - how comforting. I just replied that yes they are a bit different, and that the purple and black cake was actually based on a very popular film. He then nodded dismissively and walked away. I turned round to Adam who just glared at me and said....'DON'T'
Meaning 'Don't you dare take any notice, you have much right to be here as everyone else'
At one time I would have just slunked into my seat hiding behind the cake stands and pray that it was time to leave. BUT weirdly enough it actually brought a smile to my face....that even though he didn't seem to like the cakes, I bet he would remember them and talk about it when he got home!
Not only that but it was a great status update for Facebook:

 LOL

My boots also make an appearance on that photo which I proudly wore with a rather cheesy name matching cherry dress :) and get this....as I was painting my nails, I noticed the shade was 'cherry jubilee' LMAO utter cheese :D

Adam got a little trigger happy with my camera - he felt so important holding such a big piece of equipment lol


Then the fair kicked off and a few couples trickled in. I tried not to be too 'in your face' so I just let people browse and tried to slyly watch their reactions without looking like a stalky weirdo. As they were coming from the left they were faced with the Nightmare before Christmas Cake first, I witnessed a few excited pointing and whispering, some gasps and some giggles as they walked past the skulls, but 95% of it was positive! What I found the weirdest was that on Facebook the Owl cake got the most 'attention' yet at the 'normal' fair it was the most ignored! Not that it got ignored as such, but they seemed to like the others more.
It was so much fun trying to read the people approaching the table to see what the reaction would be. I was on cloud 9 when a girl approached the table and stopped at the NBC cake, she then said that it was 'her wedding cake' and she was torn between a NBC or a Corpse Bride theme. She proceeded to take a picture of it and complimented my handmade topper as Jack and Sally seemed more 'close'. I got so excited that I kind of went overboard with my 'EXACTLY' statement and started to blurt out that I wanted to make them seem closer and that was one of my reasons for making the topper from sugar. She just seemed to totally understand the entire cake and I was thrilled :) as to me the NBC was the most 'out there' on the stand.

Then I couldn't believe my eyes when a woman dressed in black floated in the room (ok focus guys, I don't mean literally floated as that would have been REALLY awesome like out of a horror film...but the skirt was so huge she seemed to just glide) My eyes popped out of my head and I was like OMGGG. I didn't expect to see something like this for the 'elegance' wedding fair. She came over and complimented on my NBC cake which couldn't have matched her anymore if I tried! The dresses on the day were from a bit of an alternative dress maker down the road!



We squeezed her in for a quick picture, but on the way out her ENORMOUS (yes it really was!) dress caught a glass vase off the table to the left of my stand.
*smash*
oooooooppsss...
Out comes the vac for the glass lol
Creating chaos already!

I was amazed to see something like this at the show, and with some sort of acceptance and what seemed to be a few like minded people there too gave me a great buzz. A groom came to the table and was interested in the solid chocolate skulls for his shop....he was a tattoist! Seems I didn't have to go searching for my alternative people afterall...they were arriving at the normal fairs and were totally shocked to see a stand like mine in the middle of everyone and took the time to talk to me about it :)

The Teapot got a fab response too and seemed that for the people who didn't really 'get' the skulls, they LOVED the Alice in Wonderland Cupcake Tower instead. I also have a confession to make with that teapot, I don't mind sharing my flaws - im not proud lol, I am only human too!
With it being created for the other wedding fair, it was made from real cake. But with the other wedding fair getting cancelled  it had to wait a few weeks to attend this one - and real cake isn't going to last that long! I pulled it out of storage and thought OH NO! I cant take that! The cake had started to settle and the icing had developed a 'sag' near the bottom. I had NO time to remake it, so I pulled out an extra string of pearls and draped them around the base of the teapot and down the stand. Naughty Tracey. :D
BUT no-one is going to have the cake for weeks anyway and everyone who stopped to admire it said it was stunning!

Bucks Fizz was also being handed out, and I wasn't one for saying no! A few glasses later mixed with the great response it didn't take long..






Then within the space of 2 minutes one of the helium balloons had popped and the white dove they were using for photos went crazy and started flying up the walls. People were running around trying to catch it and I was totally unhelpful as I stood there laughing and pointing as it tried to land on the wall lights. Says it all really doesnt it?! I just find stuff like that funny LOL

Safely contained again I chatted to more brides-to-be who liked the 'Till Death Us Do Part Cake' and then had a little wander around whilst it was quiet. I chatted to the other vendors and left Adam stood at my stand with his scared face on. As I turned round again he was stood there all formal with his hands behind his back talking to someone about my chocolate skulls LOL He looked so wrong on that stand and was if he should have been selling wedding insurance or something. All in all it was pretty quiet throughout the day but Ive had a few competition entries already! If any of you bride and grooms to be are reading...get entering!:


I don't think it was a majorly productive day, but its opened my eyes to the whole wedding fair scene, and now I know I have the balls to stand among the white pretty stuff and not even care about standing out....it can only be a good thing right?
Well one other vendor didn't seem to have trouble expressing her thoughts. She arrived at my table already with a frown and said don't you do traditional cakes? I pointed her in the direction of the Ipad which was showcasing other styles of my wedding cakes in a slideshow and she said yes those are nicer, 'not this' and waggled her finger up and down my Till Death Us do Part cake whilst shaking her head with the most disgusted grimace on her face. She then looked up at my NBC cake just widened her eyes, looked at me shook her head and walked away! I mean I totally get people have their own opinions... that's fine. But I wouldn't dare walk upto someones invite display pick them up and go 'what the hell is this!?' whilst tossing it into the air lmao
Even though I was fine with her comments, (she has a right to have her own opinion) I was a little taken a back at the way she delivered them, and I got another 'DONT' off Adam lol But I bumped into an old photographer friend there who had informed me about some 'clique' wedding fairs in Blackpool so I just passed it off as that and put another smile on my face as Adam muttered obscenities LOL



So that was it, my first wedding fair completed. A quiet day with a few snippets of chaos thrown in, but it's made me more confident to arrive at another wedding fair with even MORE alternative cakes.....can you imagine the comments on a zombie wedding cake?! I'm going to do it just for the giggles and to annoy other vendors :) lol