Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Stroll Down Memory Lane - 2009. Part 1

I realized after the 2008 retrospective was posted yesterday, that I had omitted an important mention which was the start of my "Interviews from Cakeland" blog series. My first interviewee "victim" was Jen Yates of Cake Wrecks fame in August 2008. If you missed my interview with Jen, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 here. Little did I know at the time that I was the first in what would be a very long list of people who interviewed Jen and that Cake Wrecks would become very successful. My interview series is listed on the blog, and ended with Katherine and Sophie from TLC's "DC Cupcakes" in 2010, right before the start of their show.

As I scrolled through the cake photos selected for 2009, I realized that it would take at least two posts, like the year 2008, to offer a sampling of what happened that year. It was a crazy busy year from start to finish and ended in December 2009, with the biggest media opportunity we ever had. Rick and I flew to Denver where he competed on Food Network "Challenge" TV show for "Spongebob Birthday Cakes"!

Prior to the months before we were in communications with the Producers of "Challenge" and began preparing for the competition, Rick was making some of the best cakes he has ever done!  It was the year he made his first standing electric guitar, and sculpted a burning firehouse.  He sculpted a Serenity spaceship from the Sci-Fi film "Firefly", a Little Einsteins rocket ship, a bulldog, a Toilet!, a life size tire for Lex Brodie tire company, a P-3 airplane, and with the help of his assistant, a large composition featuring Spongebob and a bunch of his friends! In between the cakes, there was a feature in Your Wedding Day Magazine (YWD), a fundraising calendar for American Cancer Society, and a 50th birthday cake for Ala Moana Center, one of the biggest outdoor malls in America! It was time for cakelava to Go Big or Go Home, and we went for it, in a BIG way!

 The year started with a photo shoot with Stephen Ludwig for a 2010 fundraising calendar for American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life" which Rick was invited to be a part of. Rick and I were so excited to be able to give back for such a worthy cause. The creation of this cake was quite precious to both of us. Each cake designer was asked to design a cake that was inspired by a song, and Rick chose a song by Hawaiian artist, Israel Kamakawiwaole and the song was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", which you may be familiar with. It is a gorgeous rendition of the classic, and celebrates the beauty of Hawaii, with its abundant rainbows. Rick painted a stylized land/ocean scene on the cake and dedicated the cake to my Aunt, who has been battling cancer for a number of years. Being able to give this art piece that we had such an emotional connection to was one of the most special experiences we had that year!

January 2009. It was Rick's first standing up guitar, made as a groom's cake for a couple who flew in from Baltimore. We hadn't done too many upright sculpted cakes and Rick was excited to take on the challenge. We were both happy with how the guitar turned out. For their wedding cake, the couple went with a traditional and elegant cake with beautiful handcrafted  tropical flowers.

A couple of months after Rick made the standing guitar groom's cake, he made a stacked drums wedding cake. The drums were done in a similar green to their wedding colors.

I remember Lena and Mike well. They bucked the traditional wedding cake idea and went for a sculpted burning firehouse with cusom figures of themselves in a fun pose. They were a fun loving couple and Rick was determined to convey this in the cake. He made a handcrafted custom figure of the couple with Lena tossed upside down over Mike's shoulder, a way that he used to carry her. I love this photo, taken by Dave Miyamoto!

We both adore this cake! It was a time consuming design for Rick to make because of the artwork, but it was so pretty in person and couldn't have been more at home in its environment.

We're big fans of the MINI Cooper, and enjoyed being able to make one in Rick's favorite color - orange! There is a fun back story for this cake, which you can read about here.

In Spring of 2009, Your Wedding Day (YWD) magazine released the issue with a feature called "New Ecclectic Hawaii". We were honored to be asked to do a shoot for YWD and be part of an awesome team of wedding professionals which included blufotographica, Finishing Touch, Yvonne Design, Emi Ink, Rachel Robertson, and Les Saisons. Rick designed the cake around the theme, which combined modern, tropical and Indian themes and included yellows, silver, white, black and bright pink. The result is shown above, captured beautifully by blufotographica.

We saw some themes gain popularity in 2009, like the "animals" theme - jungle animals, farm animals and the Noah's Ark animals. It was the first tine Rick had made a sculpted barn or a Noah's Ark filled with animals. Both cakes were done in all cake and the animals were handcrafted edible pieces. We both remember when he made all the animals for the Noah's Ark cake. There were animals peeking out of every open crevice, 360 degrees. The Ark suddenly felt much more massive when it was home to so many animals!

The start of the jungle/safari theme cake requests. It remains one of the most popular kids party themes and Rick has made many variations. This design is one of the most difficult jungle cakes he made, with each piece made and handpainted and the animals have a more realistic appearance than others.

Another jungle animals cake, done differently than the one above, but just as cute! All decorations are handmade.

Then came the Monkeys themed cakes. We have made so many of these, in different sizes, for twin children with two monkeys on top. We love them all!

The Sci-Fi/geeky cake theme was another trend we noticed in 2009. We adore the Sci-Fi cakes! More Millennium Falcons (above), R2-D2, the Death Star, a Star Trek Communicator, and "Serenity" ship from Firefly. All shown below.

The "Serenity" cake has an interesting story, which you can read about  here.  It was one of the most difficult shapes Rick had to create and though he is a Sci-Fi fanatic, neither of us had seen the movie, which made making the cake that much more difficult. 

It was our first dimensional Candy Land board game cake, and we set aside a substantial amount of time for this party. At the time we were still making custom cupcake towers and our client added on a candyland themed cupcake tower to go with it. I still remember the week this cake was done. We had a bunch of cakes requiring a lot of artistry, and I don't know how Rick got through it all. Every time I turned around, he was making decorations or painting them, and our kitchen looked like one big colorful art explosion. The cake below was made that same week. Yes, that is, in fact, a dog with a scuba mask on.

The last cake in this post was a striking leopard print with bright pink daisies design and became very popular after it was posted. We loved this cake and it sure made its way around the internet! It will always be one of our favorites and the colors really came together. It was one of those cakes you are sad to deliver because of all the work that went into it, but then you see the expression on the client's face and it's all worth it! 

I hope you have been enjoying seeing the cakes as much as we have liked re-living some great memories! In the next post, we will continue with 2009.

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