February 26, 2011

Getting Ready for a Wedding

One of my favorite sisters is getting married in a few weeks and my other favorite sister and I are making the cakes.  Crystal has chosen a cake buffet with a few different flavors of cake.  The centerpiece of the table will be a cake like this one – it represents the love of nature that Crystal and Bill share.  They spend lots of time at parks and Crystal loves photographing wildflowers, so this natural cake is a perfect touch for them.  Bill also took Crystal to a state park to propose!
It’s been a while since I’ve made a sculpted cake, so I need to practice.  This one is pretty easy to sculpt, but covering it in fondant is not as easy.  Luckily I have a few more weeks to practice.
Crystal drew inspiration for this cake from this photo, which can be found on the Cupcake Envy web site.
Below is a photo journey of my afternoon.
100_1401  Cakes are baked, cooled, and have amaretto simple sugar on them.
100_1404 Cakes are stacked and trimmed so the sides are flush.
100_1406 I think a basket of flowers would make a nice cake also.
100_1410 The half-finished cake with chocolate fondant on it.  Next time I will put even less buttercream under the fondant.  It looks a bit puffy here.
100_1423  The finished cake.  I made the grass and flowers out of fondant as well.  Crystal and Bill’s initials are inside the heart and since the top seemed so empty, I drew in the tree rings also.
February 21, 2011

The Basics Charity Challenge

I donate to various community organizations on a regular basis.  My favorite place to donate material items is the Home of the Innocents.  I got connected with this organization shortly after I moved here - 6+ years ago already!  I volunteered for a short time, but with a major change in my work, I couldn’t guarantee being able to be there on a set schedule, which was necessary for my volunteer position so I stopped volunteering.   I never stopped donating, though.
I donate everything from clothes, to personal needs, to art supplies, and I feel good knowing that what I donate is used by the children at the center.  Look here for a list of their current needs.
Today’s post isn’t about the Home of the Innocents, though.  It’s about a post I saw while blog surfing on my sick day.  Yes, the teacher finally took a sick day.  I’m actually on day two of being out of school, having been sick all weekend. Sad smile  What better way to recuperate than to read blogs and help other people???
Cara over at CaraQuilts, has a great post HERE about her pull to donate to a local shelter.  I can’t write it better than her, so please read her post.
the basics charity challenge.
As I read her post, I thought about how often I donate to HOTI, and how often I don’t donate to other locations.  There is a shelter very near my school that serves many families, including some of my own students.  I volunteered at the shelter on a community-wide volunteering day a few years ago, but I had never donated anything there.  CHANGE THAT!  This is an organization that helps my own students and their families.  How can I not help them?  I promptly sent a donation through their web site and will have a donation of wish-list items for them as soon as I get over this bug that’s hanging on.
I’m offering you the same challenge.  Drive past a local shelter.  Check their web site.  Give them a call.  Find out what they need.  Donate something.  Help those around us. You can do it, and I bet you’ll have fun doing it.
Happy Giving,