And if you’re really lucky, the team from Branco Prata takes the photos. Dying to see more of their work? You can see the complete Branco Prata gallery here. Special thanks to Sofia and Andre for their beautiful images.Read More
My sister-in-law, Ashley, got engaged last year and planned a November 2011 wedding. I first met Ashley when my now-husbandtreated her to a two-week adventure travel tour of Costa Rica for her 18th birthday. My friend Jackie had convinced me (coerced is more accurate) to go on the same trip, which is where I met and fell in love with Cory. That was seven years ago,and had it not been for Ashley, I would have never met my husband, so I wanted to do something special for her shower.
As guests arrived, they were greeted by a small flower arrangement that Megan made of hydrangea, roses, dusty miller and licorice displayed in a vintage wine glass (below, left). I repurposed a small wooden ladder (perhaps you remember when it was yellow?) by spray painting it a satin-finish pink. I secured a damask pattern scrapbook paper print to foamcore board, and used decorative brads to attach cardstock with Welcome printed on it. I then fastened a ribbon to the back of the foamcore, and hung the small sign from the glass. I’m no graphic designer (although I fancy myself one), so for the invites, I bought some scrapbook paper that I scored into a tri-fold using my indispensable Martha Stewart scoring board (I like to think of myself as a younger, hipper, more socially conscious, urban Martha), and printed the invites in the fanciest font I could find.
For the backdrop (above and below left), I hung a large white sheet from a photography backdrop stand and overlaid inexpensive gray broadcloth secured with ribbon to create a draped look. The tablecloth was just inexpensive broadcloth (about $2.99/yard). For the bunting on the front of the table, I made a template out of foamcore board. I used the template on 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper and overlaid the cutouts on contrasting paper (actually, this is the part Molly did), securing them with double stick tape. To secure the squares to the pink ribbon, I spray painted binder clips in a glossy pink.
For the brunch, I made baked French toast casserole (excellent and easy, and extremely high-calorie), egg and sun-dried tomato souffle (delish and simple, but not for those on a diet), rosemary potatoes, berry salad, a yogurt bar, homemade biscotti, homemade banana crunch muffins, and a bellini bar (friggin’ fancy).
Look closely…See how I put the French toast label in front of the egg casserole and the egg casserole label in front of the French toast? Yeah, well, I didn’t notice until it was published in The Knot Magazine.
Ashley’s husband-to-be is a yoga instructor, so we thought it would be fun if we handed out flash cards with various yoga positions and had all the guests what position Ashley was in. It was equal parts goofy and fun.
For the ribbon backdrop (below), I stapled ribbons of varying widths to a horizontal piece of ribbon and printed out L-O-V-E on 5″ x 7″ cardstock. Ashely knew exactly what she wanted for her cake, and although I’m a little out of practice with my piping, I think it was up to her standards.
Special thanks to Chatti for taking the photos. Event and cake design: Erica OBrien of Erica OBrien Cake Design ( www.ericaobrien.com ) / Flowers: Megan Gray of Honey and Poppies ( www.honeyandpoppies.com ) / Photos: Chatti Phal of Savady Photography ( www.savadyphotography.com)Read More
I’ve noticed lately that one wedding cake is no longer sufficient. Here are some cake trios we’ve worked on recently (although not thatrecently, because my roses have gotten considerably better).
And who could forget this classic?Read More
Yet another photo shoot I got roped into by Megan Gray (Honey and Poppies). She’s got a knack for suckering me into these things by inventing some oxymoronic yet catchy title that has just the right balance of pretension and kitsch to really intrigue me. (Seriously, just the other day she emailed me about a Depression-era chic-themed shoot. Really? Depression-era chic?) In short, she’s quite crafty.
I think this one was called “Psychedelic Glam”, or something like that. Anyway, the pictures are quite lovely. (You can see some additional shots on Green Wedding Shoes.) I know everyone likes to see the inspiration and how I interpret it into cake, so I included it here too. (I never know where the photos for the inspiration boards come from though so I never give credit. That’s pretty bad, huh?) Enjoy.
The shoot was at the very dusty yet interesting Star Ranchin Southern California.
And a few shots of the cake before the wind blew it over (it was a faux cake) and knocked all the decorations off. (Luckily I had gone home by this time and didn’t have to witness the casualty.)Read More
I’ve always loved those rocks with words etched on them, and attempted (rather unsuccessfully) to make them out of fondant. (I’ll have to give this another try at some point.) I wanted this ruffle to be vertical, like the ruffles on the pillow below, but it needed something else so I added a ruffled rosette.
I got such a positive response to my last post on cakes inspired by imagery that I decided to use the same format again.
Here are two more inspiration boards and the cakes they inspired.
Photographer Ashleigh Taylor Henning (adorable, talented, really nice) wanted to create a photo shoot based on the restaurant scene in Disney’s Lady and the Tramp. Being pretentiously, even obnoxiously unfamiliar with the movie (really though, I’ve never seen it), I had no idea where to go with the cake, so Megan Gray of Honey and Poppies created this inspiration board (mostly) for me. (Blame her for not properly crediting the photos.) You can see more images and read more about Ashleigh’s concept on Green Wedding Shoes, but here is the inspiration board and a few shots of the cake.
This might surprise you, but I actually don’t like it when a client leaves the cake design completely up to me, giving me the artistic freedom to create whatever I want. I can’t speak for other artists, but I’ve found that this makes it almost impossible since there’s so much that inspires me. When the possibilities are endless–and so is your imagination–the task of narrowing it down and choosing a focus becomes very overwhelming. Instead, I like working within a conceptual framework and using my artistic eye to interpret the design in my style.
Below are several inspiration boards and the cakes they inspired. I would love to see how other cake designers would translate the images into cake. I just think it would be fascinating to see how different artists interpret same thing.
I considered entitling this post “Two Cakes I Love”, but thought better of it for fear of sounding boastful. I am extremely critical of my work (and, I like to think, quite humble), so it’s rare for me to say I love one of my cakes, let alone two. Truth be told, however, I love both of these cakes. There. I said it.
For the first cake, based on the Floral Ring invite (below), I cut fondant into the same shapes found on the invitation (roses, leaves, and a large circle for the monogram) and dried them overnight. I used a black food coloring pen to outline each shape, to draw the veins on the leaves, and to write the initials on the monogram. The roses are colored with a mix of food coloring paste and powder. I also added some detail directly onto the cake using food coloring pens. The cutouts are adhered to the cake using edible glue (a mix of gum tragacanth and water).
I used the same fondant cutout technique for the second cake (below), based on the Artistic Maple: Autumn Orange invitation.
I’ve been going a little (okay, a lot) crazy with cake bunting lately. I first saw it on Etsy, when Charla, my friend and colleague, requested it for her daughter Brooklyn’s second birthday party cake. It seems that now there’s been a proliferation of cake bunting on Etsy, but this artist remains my favorite. This one is particularly cute:
I also stumbled across this fiesta bunting one day on Eat Drink Pretty.
Anyway, when I saw that cake bunting I loved it–loved it!–and decided to make my own. The only difference is that I make mine out of fondant. I use two lollipop sticks and tie the ribbon to each. Fondant does not like to stick to ribbon, so now when I make cake bunting I actually back each fondant piece with a smaller piece of fondant, wet them both with water or egg white so they adhere, and sandwich the ribbon in between. Here are some of my recent cakes with fondant bunting.
For a baby shower:
50th Birthday with Fiesta Theme:
Second Birthday Party:
I am very critical of my work, so I’m always pleasantly surprised when I actually like something I’ve created. The Fiesta cake was for Quica’s 90th birthday celebration. I met with her daughter and granddaughter, and together we came up with the design based on the Delicate Doilies invitation from Wedding Paper Divas. The finished cake had Quica’s photo on it in an oval, beaded fondant frame. You can see some of the changes I made from the sketch to the final product.
The invitation design.
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We would love to answer all of your questions! Feel free to contact Erica OBrien Cake Design. We’ll either email you directly or post your question on our blog.
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