Danniel messaged me at the beginning of September with photographs of a sugar paste figurine she had ordered that had clearly been made in a hurry and not with a huge amount of attention to detail for her 30th Birthday Cake that weekend. It was not in her budget to pay me for another figurine when I quoted her as she had already paid for the figurine from another baker. Realising how important this little figurine was to her, I said if she would travel to me from Pretoria then I could help her fix it.
As I was expecting her the next afternoon I had a look at the photos to come up with a solution to fix the figurine she had ordered. It really looked beyond just some cosmetic sugar touch ups and so I decided that I would make her a completely new figurine and I surprised Danniel as she arrived with this pretty Japanese Girl Figurine. Her message saying I had made her year was all the payment I needed for this little sugar piece. Thank you Danniel for trusting me to rescue your birthday cake.
The Good Food and Wine Show in Johannesburg has come and gone and it was more than just a wining and dining experience for me. I have my Embracing Nature Figurines as a daily reminder of the challenge of entering a competition piece for the show and having a fun weekend. This sugar paste couple was my entry into the Cake Competition hosted by the South African Cake Decorators Guild (SACDG). I was so chuffed that the judges noted that they liked my “two enchanting figurines in a field of daisies”. Constructive criticism was that I needed to roll my paste thinner for my flowers.
The detailed painting Nature’s Embrace by Josephine Wall, was my inspiration for this piece as I could really choose any celebratory piece to enter in the competition. Josephine captures equally the power of nature and its gentleness and grace and her artwork resounded with me as Knysna had just been devastated by ferocious fires. Immediately following the heartbreak that came with images of families and animals left either homeless, or having lost their possessions in the fires, came the beautiful images of a caring and compassionate and generous country that came together to support those who had been affected. My two sugar characters only have eyes for each other in this piece and hopefully I managed to portray the gentleness of Josephine’s embracing trees.
Josephine Wall’s Nature’s Embrace
I hand moulded the faces using Saracino Modelling Paste and then used the Zeelandia for the bark covering, making sure to mark the paste to recreate the bark and then allow it to fold over their backs and waists to show their emerging torsos. Nature’s trail follows them in the ivy and daisies resting on the edible moss floor and gently chasing up the roots and bark surrounding them.
As usual, a pleasure baking for your family celebrations Vee! You chose this delicious rich chocolate cake with Amarula buttercream for your mom’s 80th Birthday. I love that you chose the cream flowers as they contrasted so beautifully against the combed chocolate buttercream. Espresso mini meringues and chocolate balls, cream fondant rope detail and an embossed cream cake board completed the cake for this occasion.
Thanks Teigh and Carmen for my birthday voucher from Hostess Pro . I was so chuffed to be able to get this rope mould (among others) to add to my collection, it is always fun to have something different to finish off my cakes. Vanessa has such a wonderful selection to choose from so my just have to take another drive out to her shop in Pretoria!
Sweet words of thank from Vee: “Darling Lisa, thank you so much for the absolutely beautiful, delish cake. Everyone commented on it – it was such a great hit. You are a star.”
Simple but effective vanilla bean with vanilla buttercream cake for Ona’s mom’s 50th Birthday. This was an all white cake with softly ruffled sugar paste flowers & pearlized chocolate balls for decoration. I used a mixture of non-pereils and pearls from Jodees to sprinkle on the top of the cake and to finish off the cake board and some of the smaller flowers.
Sweet words of thanks from Ona: “Hi Lisa. The cake was lovely! Everyone enjoyed it! And my mom loved how it looked..100%. It literally was the cherry on the top! Thank you so much.”
Natanya and her family have 2 gorgeous labradors and 5 beautiful cats that they not only adore, but that all had to fit onto one cake for her daughter, Kirsten’s 17th Birthday Cake. Thank you Natanya for sending through loads of photos of these furry friends. Luckily for me non of them are camera shy and I was able to try and represent each of them in sugar for Kirsten.
I am guessing that at times they cause chaos and mayhem in their household, but I have shown them here sitting peacefully together, all looking like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths! It was great to make you all, Spock, Mac, Leo, Luna, Pixie, Bella and Astro! Happy 17th Birthday Kirsten and I am so pleased you loved your cakes and all your little sugar animal figurines!
Bella and Astro below looking as good as gold, but bet they are as mischievous as all labradors can be!
Pixie is a cute white kitten and I made her with Zeelandia Sugar Paste!
A bit of a belated post of this Rugby Figurine Cake I created for Reece’s 18th Birthday shortly before flying off to Ireland. Reece had just suffered a 2nd major rugby injury to his knee and underwent a 2nd operation meaning that he wasn’t able to play serious competitive rugby again. I thought long and hard whether this figurine was then the right figurine of Reece for his cake as I didn’t want to make him sad on his birthday. Inspired by this photograph taken by his dad and inspired by the passion he portrayed in his weekend festival of rugby I went ahead with it and hoped it would be accepted with the admiration it came with.
You could never capture in sugar the passion and determination this young man showed for his sport and his team mates. He worked for over 9 months with fierce drive to recover from a previous injury in order to play in such a prestigious school event. I witnessed him running on to the field with a pride I hadn’t witnessed in someone so young and then saw him play some awesome games that showed his passion for his sport. The pain and devastation that everyone around him felt for him with his 2nd injury that weekend, taking him out of the remaining games, left us truly winded. However Reece arrived back onto the field, cheering and encouraging (… and whatever else guys do….) his team from the side! I think you honestly believed your crutches were for waving and encouraging the dudes and not for holding you up!!! In those moments Reece, you showed true sportsmanship and passion for your sport, and you were and still are an inspiration to all around you. You certainly taught me that, even when the going gets tough, it is the spirit and loyalty you show in adversity that creates the person you are! Thank you for sharing this passion and love, as well as all your other amazing characteristics with us, making us laugh and smile along the way. If you take all this strength ahead with you in every adventure your life leads you into, you won’t need rugby boots to fly, just yourself!
PS….you have way better hair than I managed to capture in strands of sugar!
This Bridal Figurine Cake deserved first and foremost a mention of the occasion that it was created for and the wonderful women I had the privilege to meet on that occasion. My previous post has the full story of this wonderful day. As she turned out to be a really pretty figurine I have added here extra photos I took of her just prior to the competition.
I created her using Sweet Revolutions by Domy Woman Mould for her face and torso. These moulds have been amazing in that they allow me to make a figurine in a much shorter time frame. The beautiful Saracino paste, as always was amazing to work with and gave my bridal figurine a soft, gentle look as she stood elegantly in her lace dress.
I chose one of my favourite lace designs from Crystal Candy, Will-o-the-Wisp Mould for the lace covering of the dress. Underneath the lace I added a paper thin white Zeelandia paste dress from the waist down. The lace layer I wanted to be a separate layer so I attached it in a few places leaving the remaining lace to fall naturally over the bridal figurine and spill around her onto her cake. I cut out tiny pieces of the lace design to add as shoulder and bodice details and completed her with a simple swish of brunette sugar paste hair.
I had no idea that creating this simple cake and figurine would lead to such an extraordinary day (so many of my sugar experiences are adventures …. but this one took the cake…!) Thank you to Santi Britz of iDUC and to Vanessa Broughton of Hostess Pro for your wonderful gifts you have given and continue giving in your own ways to women everywhere.
This tiny sugar paste duck I moulded using Zeelandia sugar paste and it represented the logo and the colours of the iDUC organisation. The iDUC sat proudly on my cake and now holds a special place in my heart as we learned the story of this humble symbol of comfort from Santi Britz herself.