Friday, January 24, 2014

Under His Wings....

Remember I've blogged previously about praying  to God for what words to put on my art gifts?



This is another one.



I have a friend who've I've known for over 10 years now. Over time she has blessed me in different ways. I know she loves music, birds, bird song & God; so instead of doing a girl canvas I wanted to make something for her that reflected these things.



I had a different peice of chipboard art picked out but was given this 'fence' peice late last year and decided to use it.



I used my previously practised technique of gluing Bible pages to the wood to cover the bird.  



I don't know why but I'm really digging turquoise at the moment. I'm not sure it shows up well in the finished product but I attempted to paint in ombré style as well as using the crackle medium.



Then I put the flowers together pretty much as I would with a canvas. 



Can not wait to give it to my friend!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

HOOT HOOT!!

Seen it on Pinterest, TOTALLY nailed it!!!! ;-D 



I offered to make a Hoot cake for my friends sons 2nd birthday. Due to time & health constraints I told her straight up I wouldn't be able to do a standing up cake.

When viewing the pictures keep in mind the first day I worked on the cake it was a whopping 47 degrees celsius! The second day was a little cooler at around 35 degrees. I ran the aircon to help prevent the icing from melting but it was still a little softer than I would have liked.

I spent time over a couple of months looking at all the different Hoot cakes on Pinterest & online. When I found the one I wanted my cake to, hopefully, most look like, it didn't have instructions, just pictures.

My mum said if it was her she would draw the cake on baking paper & figure out all the cuts but that sort if pre planning makes my eyes glass over so I winged it....

I used a basic chocolate cake recipe I have, doubled & split between two tins.

Basically the cake is two circles, one slightly larger than the other & the size of my cake board determined just what size tins I would use. I used my 20cm tin & the next size up which I think is 22cms.

I was hesitant to make the first cut & studied the pic online trying to gauge how much of the round to chop off. And then I just said to heck with it & did it. 

Straight away I could see I had cut too much off the larger circle. When I placed the two cakes together they wouldn't match up without having to shave edges off and he looked stumpy. But I didn't panic. Instead I sliced a one cm strip off the cut piece and placed it back against the main section of the larger round. It was perfect ;-)



From there I cut both ends from the piece  that came off the smaller round. This gave me the beak. After that I cut a slice off the bigger piece, cut it in half, rounded the ends & that got me Hoots wings. The legs & feet were achieved by chopping fat little matchstick shapes out of the remaing bits.

I had initially hoped not to have to do a crumb coat as it was a young child's party & I didn't want the cake to turn out too sweet. But as I assembled all the cut bits together I realised in order to make my job of icing easier the next day, I needed a crumb coat. There were just too many cut edges & fiddly bits that needed to be held together. The crumb coat took a good hour.



The next day I started by icing the sections of Hoot I wanted blue. I was using all butter cream icing & had a plan for the eye section. I wanted it raised to give some dimension. I also wanted the love heart raised. I was aiming for the appearance of having used fondant, but with buttercream. So Hoots head & body got covered in blue.



The white I piped on with a star tip & then gently smoothed it out with a metal icing spatula. It gave the edges a neat patterned look & gave me a smooth surface to pipe & place the eyes on.


I used a skewer to draw an outline of where I wanted the white piping to go, so  I could figure out correct placement.



Then the nightmare began. Making orange.... I won't bore you with the details but I will say, for the sake if your sanity, steer away from natural food colourings if you have to mix to make colours...that's it, that's all I've got to say about that. Jump ahead two hours & my new bottle of Queen Yellow has saved the day.



I piped the orange onto the feet & wings with a smaller star tip than the one used for the white. I considered flattening the top of this icing but wanted the definition. The black piping gel went on well over the icing bumps.



That was pretty much it! From there it was finishing touches; black piping, placing the flattened marshmallows I used for eyes & piping his eyeballs. 



Oh I applied the orange icing to his beak with a small narrow headed metal icing spatula :-)



I have already received a heap of orders! Lol 



Anyway I hope you can have as much success making a Hoot cake as I did! ;-) And I hope you get as great a response from the recipient as I did!! :-D