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Monday, November 22, 2010


I'm still working out how to do a control journal to help me with executive function.  I've included regular time for blogging in there, but until I'm on a proper schedule, I may have to forego blogging in favor of schoolwork, etc.  Like last week, for example.

This week, I am making a Tiki cake.  Toba Garrett's book has a very distinguished-looking cake, covered with fondant and ringed with royal icing rings connected by small lines of royal icing to form a kind of chain.  Also, there are small scrollwork hearts connected to swags, a random stringwork cap and some smocking.  Very elegant and rather boring.

So, I made my smocking look like bamboo, the hearts into bright green tiki-water-flower shapes, the rings curl into a tiki hut, with the roof the stringwork cap.  The cake is almond cake, which is way too sweet, so I made a matcha (green tea powder) buttercream to go underneath the fondant and cut the sweetness a tad.  I'm working white chocolate Godiva and some cocoa powder into the fondant to make it a sand color and more pliable (Fondant loves booze.  It will do anything you want if you get it drunk enough.)

The next project for the class is our final.  We have to do fondant, some royal icing piping and gumpaste flowers on a wedding cake.  I'm doing a stained glass cake.  The bottom layer is based on Louis Comfort Tiffany's Pond Lily pattern, the middle on his Cyclamen pattern, and the top on Mackintosh's famous rose pattern.  It goes from very busy on the bottom to very simple on the top, and moves upward through decades, culminating in a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired "stained glass" bride and groom topper.  Here's the process for designing the bottom layer:

 First, I found a picture I liked, and imported it into Photoshop.

I trimmed the top and bottom, leaving just the design.  Then I went to Free Transform and skewed it into more of a rectangle shape, cropping the image after I was finished manipulating it.

I then tripled the image and manipulated it to fit into 32 inches, the circumference of the bottom layer of the cake:

Finally, I messed with the color so that it wouldn't clash with the other two layers:

This is a rather weird-looking mockup of how the cake is supposed to look when it's finished.  Except, I promise you, it will look very little like this:

I tested several ways of coloring the fondant the other night in class, and found that petal dust and luster dust with a dry brush seems to work better than gel colors or wet dust.  I found this surprising.  Once the patterns are transferred to the fondant and painted on, I'll line it all with gunmetal gray royal icing.

In Honors English 3, we're studying Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.  It wasn't sad the first time through, but it was the second time, when we took it apart piece by piece.  I'd tell you what the book was about, but the way it's written, the author slowly unveils what the story's about and that discovery is a big part of the reading experience.  He also wrote The Remains of the Day, which I loved in movie form.

It's different in Japanese class.  We're learning Japanese as usual, lots of tests, quizzes and classwork, but no big semester project nor presentation like we did in Chinese class.  Japanese 2 has a different instructor, so next semester might be different.  I'm taking that as well as the dreaded algebra I need to graduate, History of Asian Art, Dreamweaver, and the other cake decorating class (sculpting, etc.).

We spent some of the weekend combing the local Toys R Us stores looking for the Epic Mickey charging station.  We can't find one anywhere, unfortunately.  Oh, I can't wait for the semester to be over so I can play Epic Mickey.  I'm going to miss my professors, though.  I hit the jackpot this semester.

We saw Harry Potter 7A Thursday night/Friday morning at Long Beach Towne Center.  When we left at nearly 3AM, there were people lined from the theater door to the exterior door for the 3:10AM showing, and the mall parking lot was full - I mean, all the way down to the WalMart full.  Amazing.  And they still didn't break any records but their own.  Noe isn't interested in Harry Potter, so he didn't go.  He wouldn't have understood a thing.  I really want him to see my favorite, #3.  I can't force him, but for me, someone not interested in that is like someone not interested in Mele Macs, the most delicious Hawaiian candy ever, just because they haven't tried it.

The high point of the film, for me, was the gorgeous animation in the Three Brothers sequence.  Jerry Beck's Cartoon Brew discusses it today. It was like shadow puppets in water, but better than that!  Even if you're not into HP, if you get a chance to see a clip of it (I'm looking, I'm looking!) give it a peep.

I have a lot on my plate for today, and all I want to do is curl up with a toffee cocoa and coo sweet nothings to my space heater.  Well, I got the blogging done, anyhow.  See you tomorrow. 


1 comment:

  1. Oh you MUST post the finished product. This looks to be truly wonderful!