Friday, May 24, 2013

In Honor of our Veterans

Today's post is dedicated to my grandfather Kazuo who is a veteran of World War II, and to all of our military veterans. We honor our brave men and women and thank them for their service!

I've been thinking about my grandfather, as I have every Memorial Day weekend since he passed away. This year he is on mind even more, because in less than 2 months our book will be released and we won't be able to show it to him. He passed away long before writing a book was even on the horizon. My grandfather was a veteran of World War II, proudly serving in the 100th Infantry Batallion and a member of the Military Intelligence Service (MIS). He was a successful entrepreneur who often asked about our business and gave us advice. He had a sweet tooth and loved to eat cake. We miss seeing the big grin on his face when we showed him photos of Rick's latest designs. It would have meant so much to my grandfather that we have a book, a tangible representation of all our hard work and determination, and I know he would love the subject matter!

Last weekend, I thought about my grandfather as we delivered a Kiowa Warrior helicopter groom's cake to a military wedding. The Kiowa Warrior is one of the most difficult military cakes Rick has ever made and was a surprise gift from a bride to her groom. The cake was 3 feet long and sculpted out of chocolate cake. It took a significant amount of time to make because of the intricacy of the details and the pressure to make an accurate representation since the groom flies this model of helicopter. In relation to other sculpted helicopter cakes Rick has made, the Kiowa Warrior was more labor intensive than either the CH53 Delta or the CH53 Echo cakes. The Delta and Echo are impressive helicopters but we thought this one was especially Bad Ass!

In honor of our veterans and Memorial Day, Craftsy, the online crafting website is running a very special Memorial Day promotion. This weekend only, a portion of all Craftsy class sales will benefit a veteran's organization to support those who have served our country. Select classes, including a bunch of cake decorating classes, will be 60% off. The Memorial Day promotion runs from now through Monday, May 27th at Midnight MST (expires Tuesday morning). To take advantage of this wonderful promotion on Craftsy, click here!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Stroll Down Memory Lane - 2011, Part 2

Thank you for joining us as we continue our retrospective of cakes made in 2011. Yesterday, we began Part 1 of "A Stroll Down Memory Lane - 2011", showcasing a selection of some of our favorite cakes, ending with the month of May. Throughout the history of our business, the month of May - "Mayhem" as I like to refer to it - is always one of the most hectic. It feels like the start of summer here, but while everyone else is playing, we work that much harder! In May 2011, our stars aligned and collided at the same time. We were busy fulfilling cake orders and quite suddenly, had an incredible book deal on our hands! We needed to quickly figure out how to balance our company's commitments and a deadline for our book.

The week we signed with our publisher for EXTREME CAKEOVERS was filled with cake orders and all very different from each other.  Rick made two Law school graduation cakes - a bright pink floral cake, and a "Legally Blonde" inspired cake - a Parisian cake (above), a Little Einstein's cake, and a 70's themed cake. I also had dental sugery scheduled that week!

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Stroll Down Memory Lane - 2011, Part 1

photo: Christie Pham Photography

It's been a few months since our last "Stroll Down Memory Lane" post. I purposely paused the retrospective after the year 2010, knowing 2011 would require a lot of time to write. 2011 changed our lives in incredible ways! The single biggest event that year was our book deal for EXTREME CAKEOVERS with our publisher, Clarkson Potter. Then all the hard work began! Also that year, Rick began teaching his "Discover Your Inner Artist" classes with his first stop in Canada. The classes were arranged the previous year, long before a book was on the horizon. After returning from Canada in in the Spring, we immediately started the book.

In 2011, we received the coveted "Best of HONOLULU" award for "Best Custom Cakes" by Honolulu Magazine, and Rick's wonky cake was selected for the cover, which were thrilled about! The Hard Rock Cafe Waikiki had its grand opening party which Rick made an outrageous Tiki themed cake for. The year was also full of photo shoots. Just when one was ending, another was starting. We still look back and don't know how we did it all - juggling cake orders, working on the book, traveling to teach, and trying to maintain a blog! It was a crazy, nonstop year of 13 hour workdays. We discovered what we were really made of!

Before all the craziness began that year, we were "just" making cakes, which we've done quite happily for the previous 6 years we were in business. In fact, it is hard to imagine not making the cakes for clients. It brings tremendous satisfaction and keeps the creative juices flowing, and one of the reasons we chose to accept orders while working on the book. We've selected some of our favorite cakes from that year to share with you.

In January 2011, Rick made the gorgeous wedding cake (above) shown next to its inspiration piece, the bride's designer Anne Namba gown. It is one of our favorite wedding cakes ever! The client also ordered a sculpted cat groom's cake pawing a 3-tier wedding cake.

Less than a week after this wedding, Rick made a sculpted Snoopy cake driving a race car for a birthday party. It was all made of cake and took quite some time to make!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

William's 50th Birthday Fishing Boat Cake

Last Saturday night, our client Carol C. escorted her husband William to his surprise 50th birthday party, held in the ballroom of a Waikiki hotel. As the couple opened the doors, waiting anxiously behind them, was 150 of their family and friends, Rick and I, and a beautiful sculpted fishing boat made out of our Guava cake, which Carol had arranged for her husband. Everyone yelled "Surprise!" in unison and William's party began!

Although we never met the couple before the day of the party, the fishing boat cake felt special to me because it brought a family together. There was Carol C. who was so excited about ordering the cake for her husband and chose one of his most prized possessions, a beautiful fishing boat named after her. How romantic! Our client's sons were also involved. They photographed the fishing boat from various angles so Rick would be able to envision the massive piece of machinery as if were in the room with him. Carol and I had several conversations on the phone about the details of the boat and she conveyed to me how much it meant to her to gift the cake to her husband. We discussed the type of fish we would put on his fishing line in the water and chose a marlin because we wanted him to catch a big fish on his special day! She asked if we wouldn't mind delivering the cake a little later to allow us a chance to meet in person. We didn't realize at the time that we would be arriving just before William and Carol entered the room. Everyone rallied around William, the guest of honor, and he didn't even know it!

The cake was sculpted out of our guava cake, and all decorations on the boat and in the water were handcrafted. We were happy with the end product and looked forward to having Carol, William and the entire family see it. It was great to meet everyone. We hope William had a truly memorable 50th birthday!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

We have a Winner!

We are pleased to announce we have a winner for our Craftsy cake decorating class giveaway! The lucky winner who has already been contacted, is Lorie of Sugar Song Cakes! Lorie  is very excited about her prize, one of the two fabulous Craftsy classes taught by superstar instructor, Marina Sousa. A huge Congratulations to our Lorie, and Thank You to everyone who entered the contest!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Giveaway! Win one of Marina Sousa's Craftsy Cake Decorating Classes!

Craftsy Instructor, Marina Sousa

For an artist serious about their craft, the learning never stops. We constantly seek out new inspirations and ways to broaden our artistic horizons. These days, there are a myriad of options available for learning a new craft and expert instructors are ready to teach you anything you want to know. One of the most popular online craft websites is Denver-based Craftsy, which started 2 years ago when their parent company Sympoz began offering online education classes. One of their first classes listed was a quilting class and it was so popular, Craftsy was born to celebrate all things craft! Craftsy is an enormous network of 1.5 million users and growing, who purchase professionally designed online video classes in quilting, sewing, cake decorating, and more. It brings together traditional, in-person courses with the flexibility of the internet, allowing viewers to watch their video when it is convenient for them and start and stop whenever they want.

Rick and I were invited by Craftsy to do a giveaway for a cake decorating class taught by one of their superstar instructors, Marina Sousa, and we were excited for the opportunity to share this talented designer's work! Marina is a Food Network Challenge Champion and owns Just Cake in Capitola, California. Rick and I have been fans of Marina's unique style of decorating for years. He and Marina worked at the same upscale cake boutique in Beverly Hills, and have been supportive of each other's careers. I interviewed Marina for our blog's "Interviews from Cakeland" series and she was generous with sharing information, just I imagine her to be when she teaches - which she has done all over the world!

Marina is currently offering two classes on Craftsy, Advanced Fondant Techniques which embellishes on cake decorating techniques you already have, teaching you how to make ribbons, flowers, and add texture and sparkle to your decoration. Her other class, Jeweled Wedding Cake shows you how to make brooches, bling and pearl bursts. Click on the links above to view more about each course.

Now, for the details on this special giveaway! To enter to win one of Marina's classes, first visit this link on Craftsy to create an account. If you already have a Craftsy account, you can use your existing login information to enter the contest. One entry per person. We recommend using the Firefox browser if  you are having trouble viewing the contest. The contest will end on Monday, May 13th at 5:00pm EST. One winner will be randomly chosen and the winner will be emailed directly and asked which of the two Marina Sousa class they would like. Craftsy will then add that class right into the winner's account. How easy is that!

We would love to hear your thoughts on online classes. Have you used Craftsy before? What classes have you taken? Is there a technique you are dying to learn?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...