Sunday, October 9, 2011

ICCA Annual Wedding Cake Competition 2011/Ebony

Before I say anything more may I laugh my head off at that "Hot Dogs" sign in the back ground? Hahahhaha!

Wonderful, have I kept you waiting for long? Well I hope I did cause the longer you wait the more you want to read it or maybe.. You would have totally forgotten about it...

Didn't exactly feel like posting much because there were so many pictures to upload and the size or something of the pictures I take with my "new" camera is apparently HUGE so it takes YEARS (As in one picture takes 10 minutes, so by the time everything finishes loading someone would be bugging to use the laptop or I placed the pictures in the wrong order again... Or.. Something like that! Innocent-please-don't-kill-me grin*)

So ANYWAYS, without further adoo (Hmm... Is "Adoo" even a word? I think it's "a due" after all.. Funny how I hear that all the time in "Speeches" and I don't know what's the word they are using..) and if you haven't met/seen her already, Ebony.

If you were wondering how I got her name well.. It was a pretty hard, brian brain cracking task but somehow or brother rather this line from Snow white popped out in my head "Her face as white as snow and her hair as black as Ebony", or... Something like that, can't exactly remember but YAY, I got another one of those things-that-are-black names, I use so many of those names (I think I should make an "Anti black piping or fondant" cake soon or my heads gonna explode..) for my cakes that I can't think of anymore! 

I don't know, there isn't much to write about this year on the competition (I knooow, I didn't write about the competition at ALL last year but trust me I was SO happy I was in tears but this year I was SO UNhappy I was in tears, sometimes I wonder why I cry all the time, yeesh, I'm utterly disappointed in myself.) and I don't exactly feel (As in I REALLY want to but well.. That person would probably not stumble across my blog or anything but err... I am horrible at making up excuses, aren't I?) like bashing people because, ONE it wouldn't make any difference since the whole event is already over, all I can do is just praaaaay that IT won't happen again next year or.. Or.. There WILL be WAR, and I don't want a few "certain people" to think I'm a "monster"... Of some sort. 

ANYWAYS (I can complain ALL day but I Don't lose my temper so-sso quickly, bobeepbobeepbobeepbobeepbobeep AH! Bobeep- Oops, got carried away...) let me tell you the FULL (Did a pretty brief one when I posted her on my FaceBook wall.) story behind Lady Ebony.. From top to toe! That.. Strangely sounds like those "Top to toe" body wash stuff.. Hah, stinky random things that pop into my mind..

The main "Rosey ruby" bouquet, have been doing pink roses too much, needed a change (And I wanted the flowers to "POP" from the monochrome-ish cake and pink doesn't really "POP" all that much!) so the roses went RED and boy, I am officially sick of red roses and the HUMONGOUS pile of petal dust that is needed for a SINGLE rose, it's seriously CRAZY! 
I had never made an actual bouquet before, you know.. Those that have OTHER things besides the flower and their "Proper" leaf so I relied on Alan Dunn a lot for well... Inspiration on how to put the whole bouquet together?
The bouquet is made out of life size red roses, I-forgot-the-name berries (This was pretty much everyone that saw my bouquet's favorite touch, I think it's mine too! But I somehow like the poppy seed heads just as much since I made them by myself AKA without Alan's books! Try spotting them!), ornamental grass, simple rose leafs or any random green leaf, poppy seed heads, random long leaf/grass thingy AKA my "Trafulla tree" (Oh dear.. I haven't watered it in AGES! Is it still alive?! Press panic button*), I-forgot-the-name seed pods. 
I REALLY dislike my flower arranging, should have done more research.. Frowny face*   

Apologizes for "Monochroming" it, it just looks SO beautiful like this! Well... To me, apparently not everyone enjoys monochrome stuff like I do.
I absolutely LOVE this tier, actually all my "lace" tiers, apparently it's my "strong point" and I find it very unique because well, I invented it? 
I started doing this when I realized how beautiful those damask stencils looked and.. How expensive they were, I couldn't afford to buy them so I decided to kinda.. Pipe them?
But as USUAL, I am a horrible copycat so somehow or rather, I discovered this "lace" technique and I am pretty pleased with this first attempt (That took like 1 lazy week to complete!) and look forward to seeing some lace on my next few cakes!
Oh yes, forgot to mention that I used the so called "Eye lid technique", you know.. Poke random holes in fondant while it is still dry and pipe around it, the holes were the centers of my fantasy lacy flowers and meet my old friend, "Fish net extension work"! 
I know, it's pretty short! Had to do it on the spot, had NO idea I could travel with it but apparently Alan says it's possible (Pipe, dry, travel with it upside down.. How risky is THAT?! Oh well, there's always the "Pipe on the spot" option if it doesn't work out!)! Well, there's always next time!
OHOH, another thing! I wonder if anyone noticed the random "collar" of piped flowers on top of the lace work, I was too lazy to pipe a "proper" collar and some how the royal icing run out I was working with would somehow soften (Ahem, short story: I wanted to do a RI lace fan at the base of the cake board, gave up after making the fan for the 2 1/2 time, it was SUPER time consuming and it always, sob, melted. Sigh, the cake would have look beautiful with it.. I guess Ebony REALLY didn't like fans, sheesh, what a fussy lady.) overnight, even with a dehumidifier...
Oh yes also take note that all of the piping for this cake was done FREEHAND.. Simply because I'm too lazy to stencil stuff out and go over it AGAIN with the icing, such a timesa wasting thing to do! 
Well, I'm glad I'm gifted with being able to just "Eye ball" things.. 

(I just realized you could see a couple of "fishnet drop strings" that didn't make it!)
Second try at "lacing things up", my ABSOLUTE favoritest tier/cake board (But leaning to the cake board side, wait. I think this whole thing is "One piece" so, never mind!), EVER.
The "cake" (Everything is styrofoam.) was made up of freehand over piped fantasy flowers and leafs but somehow my favorite part of that "tier" is the lace boarder on top of all the flowers.
The lace boarder was pretty much inspired by Raven Madison, a fictional character from one of my favorite books, Vampire Kisses with fictional clothes, so I'd just have to imagine how her lovely lacy gothic (I simply LOVE gothic stuff, mainly because well... It's different and all that LACE! I would like to own a wardrobe full of gothic dresses and the other one full of my usual... Colorful clothes..) dresses look like and that's how I see the lace trimming on her dresses...
It was a pretty last minute decision to have that random "Drop strings", I just like the fact that it is "Dripping' with black lace..
Now, the cake board, I still can't believe the cake board (Oh right, speaking about the cake board I think/HOPE you have realized that is was completely FLAT, I decided to well.. Not have a usual FLAT cake board so I cut a random sized round styrofoam into half and filled the rest with royal icing.. And BOY it was HEAVY! I made like.. 3 1/2 batches of the Wilton RI to fill it up THEN put a sheet of fondant over it since I am HORRIBLE at icing cakes with RI and butter cream.. Yes, I still haven't mastered it, how embarrassing is THAT?!) is my favorite part of the ENTIRE cake!   
I was just doing some "table cloth" envisioning and decided that it would be a "Wiggly and squiggly" out line since... I can't really pipe a perfect circle free hand and all round a 20" board!
And a "Boarder" outside the outline just to make stuff more interesting, I can't (Know your weaknesses, you REAAAALLY do NOT want to mess up if you are piping black on white... Be adventurous only when you KNOW you can ERASE!) pipe perfect "Drop strings" on FLAT surfaces and put another boarder on that boarder to complete the look and another boarder "Outside" the "Table cloth". 
Anyone still following?      
I would like to say it's henna inspired but it really.. Isn't anymore, but that was what started it but somehow I guess it isn't all THAT Indianish, It has been Karen Cuppy Cakeyfied! 
Oh yes, the circles holding the "Table cloth" together, I'd like to say it's inspired by that "Chantilly lace" but it really, ACTUALLY, isn't..?
You know how I've been into Korean pop this days, well, their clothes, are simply eye catching and I noticed  this black net shirt in "oneee" of the music videos I was watching one fine day on replay/repeat and only THEN did I realized how nice it would be to use THOSE "circles" instead of those "lines" that I used for the baby blue lace tier!
Only later that day when I was surfing CakeCentral I saw a post on "Chantilly lace".. Strange, eh?
Well, what else can I say? I SUPER lurrrrve this cake board!! 

Jeez, I just realized I didn't have a "Solo" picture of my..-  

Oh wait, I DO!
Oh well, you would have to endure the super blurness since it wasn't taking with my "Super duper" camera! 
I think this tier was indeed, SUPER fun! I love playing with colors and since I had that SK-sent-me-suitcase full of food coloring.. This is what I came up with, it was inspired by one of my "Colorfulish" ink pen drawings and a stained glass cake I saw on CakeCentral and as usual, it didn't turn out looking like it at ALL! Another cake, Karen Cuppy Cakeyfied!
It was all just random piping, joining them together and when you are too lazy to do the "blobs" just pipe some "Spider webs"!  

Okay, lets start with the "Fantasy hydrangeas". I used the "tooth pick" method to make them paper thin, almost transparent, the same method I used for my very first flowers, they were "so-called" daisies and they happen to be my Dad's favorite flowers.
He wanted me to make those flowers for the previous wedcakecomp (Read about it here: ICCA Annual Wedding Cake Competition 2010) but I refused because I thought they were well... Primitive? And he was pretty upset so this year, TADAH, you get a whole tier to yourself Papa! Wide grin* 
Oh yes, I used a simple Wilton (I think..) blossom plunger for them, made them into "Hydrangeas" by cutting out a petal then "Veining and squashing" them with a toothpick!
I really love that little "Cascading" (?) effect down the cake and in white and grey, beautiful!
Okay, moving on to the very..- Oh wait, There is another tier (The grey and black mosaic tier/s with hand painted Patchwork cutter gum paste butterflies around it, placed in "Hidden Mickey" shape! I wonder if any one spotted that "Hidden Mickey"...) , can't believe I REALLY forgot to take any photos of that tier (It's the tier just above the black lacey one, with the rose in the center, it has some foliage but it isn't all that visible in the photo.).. Anyways, that particular tier was inspired by the base of THIS cake (I think they called it the wedding of the century or something so, let me rephrase that.. THIS Wedding of the century cake, the only thing that REALLY caught my eye was the base, no offense! I had never seen the tiers being placed like that, ever. So as usual, I love unique stuff!): 

I think you are probably wondering why the tier below it AKA the Black lace tier isn't a "Hidden Mickey" as well it simply because.. It it... Grew.. Fungus... ARRRGGGHHHH (Read about it here, you may have to scroll down a little though..:Bothers )! And how could I have known that all the cakey shops I went to did have anymore (No, not a single one..) 6" round styrofoam dummies?! Yeah, I kinda dumped the whole thing, I don't.. Think very well when I get angry...

Whew, I guess I'm done doing the entire list on "Inspiration" for Ebony?

Erh, where should I start? 
I think the night before would be good.. What a SUPER crazy day, I mean night it was! Actually the past few days were as well, no time to eat or.. Drink because time would fly by so fast and before I knew it, it was night fall already and I was "Hey! I only had a slice of bread and butter and a cup of water for breakfast! No wonder I'm starving..". I'm pretty glad that'd over, funny how when you're working you can't feel how hungry you are, only when you stop... You can practically feel your stomach juices eating into you but there's still SO much to do! Funny how those few days relate SO much to this quote (Or whatever you call those stuff..) I saw somewhere. "I am most productive at the last minute"
Well, I REALLY didn't enjoy the last few days. It was basically "Wake up, work, work some more, and more then sleep"..
The night before the competition, at 12AM I still had SO much (As in calyxes to wire and put on the roses, oriental grasses and some other foliage to dust, ALL the foliage to glaze and some other stuff to touch up and stuff..) to do and I was practically doing them with my eyes closed because well... They wanted to rest?
Not long after my "Taxi drivers" (My family, I was working in my Uncle's apartment.. By myself... I am not exactly someone who enjoys being alone, am too used to having Stinky fly, Honey bear and Fluffy head around I suppose.. And at the same time I can't STAND having them around!) came to pick me up and I STILL wasn't done yet.. I suddenly burst out in tears, I am really not sure why... May it was because I missed them or maybe because I had enough of playing with that -bbblleeeppps- gum paste or maybe I was tired.. And hungry, even though there was a load of food in the fridge but it would waste 10 minutes of my PRECIOUS time eating, I vote all of the above!  

Mommy forced some food down my throat and Papa helped (No, he didn't help with anything else, I swearies.) me do some dusting and glazing while I made the calyxes, sob..
Soon Mommy left with the boys since they were tired and I stayed on with Papa till 2AM and.. We had to get up at.. 6AM, niceee.  

The next morning, I mean that same morning when I got up, I had that "Did I even SLEEP?!" feeling as I went up to get dressed and go on a panicy search for some sort of a cloth as a "prop", apparently it adds extra points, I find it stupid. So some one who had HUMONGOUS, beautiful props and a lousy cake would win as well? Ehh....?
I was pretty relieved (As in JUMPINGOVERTHEMOOOOOONWITHJOYYY type of relieved!!) when I went digging in my Aunt's closet and found a nice goldish, shinee shiny curtain!
A very sleep and kinda grumpy Papa drove us over to the apartment to pick up the cakes and OFF we went!

  One of the worst feelings in the world (I think) is probably driving with a cake, a cake you have worked on for an entire month.. I felt VERY sick during the journey to Sunway Giza, as in that vomitish feeling, the exact same feeling I had last year even though I kept asking myself "Whats there to be nervous about??!", one of those feelings when singing "Genie" doesn't help..
After some very sloooow and smooth driving, I practically had a heart attack when Papa went over a bump he didn't realized was there and all the cakes went "JUUUUUUMP"!
I think I death glared Papa to death.. Papa said he was glad I didn't have a craft knife near me or he would have been murdered. 

The first thing I did once the car was pared was to check on the oriental string work tier, WHEW! It was fine, only the of ALL parts the front part was crushed.. Niceeeee.
Carrying the boxes up was... Torturous because I felt like I was going to vomit on them or maybe trip on the steps because my legs felt like jelly...
It was pretty surprising being the first one to arrive, I was the 23rd last year, Ah.. I remember the number of my cake so clearly.
After placing all the boxes at the table, there was certainly NO time to unpack, ran to the toilet (Am glad I know Giza like the back of my palm, even though I don't look at my palm too much but err... Weird person who invented that saying..) and -CENSORED-! (I have a feeling that shouldn't have been written in my blog but err.. I don't have a diary anyways!)
I felt much better after that though (Better as in able to sing and dance Genie with a hop and a skip!), thankfully. 

Later it was all smearing RI everywhere, stacking Ebony up, fluffing the curtain, randomly placing gum paste rose petals on the curtain, florist taping the calyxes to the roses (Didn't have time to last night, too.. tired..), florist taping the berries, seed pod that wasn't the poppies (Who knew Poppy seed heads was the ingredient to make heroin?! I have drugs on my bouquet, hahaha!), arranging the sprays and piping the fish net!
Even though I was the first to arrive I was the last or third last to leave the "rink", it was pretty scary when the staff went "Five minutes mooorreee" and I wasn't even complete piping the fish net all round, my hands got SO shaky that my piping tip poked the already-piped-fishnet and a HUGE piece from of ALL places the FRONT (I know right... I swear the front part of the cake is jinxed.) dropped.
Another going-to-cry (I wish I was those "Kick the wall and then feel better" people..) part, I am not someone who works best under pressure even though I overheard that I piped pretty fast but I don't exactly consider myself a fast piper...    

Above: Rosalind judging my cake

After I was done (I guess you could call it that.. But I would have liked to get at least like.. 10? "Layers" of fishnet..) Nina (She was my "Best friend" or like Papa puts it, "Best fan". I used to arrive super early at ICCA Hartamas when I was taking my Wilton courses, Nina and I would chitchat for ages, she would usually bring some cupcakes and I would help her ice them.. Yeah, I miss those days.) whisked me off for "Coffee", also known as breakfast since she said I was feeling too jumpy!

Went for some pastry, I had my favorite mushroom and chicken pie, YUM.
It indeed made me feel less jumpy, met another contestant there, chitchatted some more... 
And when we went back to the "rink" the judges (Rosalind Chan, Lorraine Mckay, ALAN DUNN, Amy Beh and... I don't like that guy.) were already judging!
NOOOO! I wanted to see Rosalind judge my cake, at least Papa took photos...     

Lorraine (It was strange, I didn't expect her to look SO petite.. I had a tough time spotting her!) judging my cake.

Alan judging my cake!!

I absolutely loved how both the "International" judges took time to judge the cakes, Alan actually went around with a chair and his favorite beverage (I soon learnt it was since you can NEVER find him without it by his side!), COKE.
Alan (The rest started at cake #1 AKA mine, of ALL people HE had to start at the other end..) started at the far end from my cake and I had to wait, wait, wait some more, have lunch, wait some more, wait and FINALLY he judged my cake but in quite a hurry because he was already late for the "Opening ceremony".. Sigh.

Alright, my fingers and eyes feel tired so I'm going to say this,
Ebony got "Highly commendable" (On the last day I was pretty glad I was there first since I would hear their comments first! Can't exactly remember everything, only the "important ones".. First of all the one that has been ringing in my head until today is that my calyx was placed upside down! When Alan pointed it out I burst out laughing like there was no tomorrow! I must have been super sleepy when I was wiring them, bwahahaha! Rosalind says the colors apparently are pretty dull and wouldn't want to have it as a wedding cake, then she asked me if I would. In my head I was going "DUH" but I tried not to show it outside, who wouldn't want a GOTH wedding?! -Crickets chirping- I guess I'm the only oneeee! Alan said I should take flower arranging classes, I kinda figured that out.. Rosalind said it would be better if there weren't the "blobs" behind the oriental string work. Everyone LOVED the lace! Alan said he would like to see a cake with JUST lace and he loved my flowers! Cries happily* Yeah, that's all I remember.) and here are my favorite cakes: 

Loties of lurvies,
-Karen Cuppy Cake

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Cheewiz, haven't blogged in almost a month I think and there are TONS of pictures in my camera, spent the entire evening downloading and editing my favorites, yeesh, who knew it was so tiring?
*Mumblessmulfle Especially with this stupoid  (I don't know why, I seem addicted to the world "Polaroid", adding the "Oid" to everything, hahaha!) cough and mossie's toes hovering around me.  

Anyways (This vord never leafs my aid. Let's hope you can make some cents out of that.), long story short:

Went for a wedding (Was looking forward to it very much because.. Eh.. Well I don't get to dress up in well a dress much and of course take some pictures of the sparkly chandeliers, too bad it turned out to be a "outdoor" wedding, heh.) and it was boring-ish (As usual, I come up with the crazyest stuff when I'm bored, I'm pretty pleased with this one though..) so we went out to the "other" side of the deck and let the boys loose.
Decided to whip out my camera again and take photos of the lovely nighty Putrajaya landscape, too bad they turned out super blur, actually super good because I played with the camera a little more and discovered a different way of taking "pictures (I am not sure if you consider them pictures..).
Kinda forgot how I did but I remember my hands shaking a lot so the pictures were just whatever I was taking a photo of and some colored lines so I decided to go ahead and shake/move the camera even more and this is what I got:

My personal favorite, it reminds me of Han's favorite nickname for himself "Fire blaze"  (When he first said that Papa was like "What?! Fireplace?!". Chee, can't stop laughing my head of!), so I'll just call this beautiful work of art (Pats myself on back*) "Fire Blaze".
This was probably made by moving the camera from side to side.

Another favorite of mine, can't decide between the one up there and this one.. 
A tsunami of colors, can't think of a name of it but it's basically a rainbow tsunami! 
Love the little "Stitch marks" effect..
Made by moving the camera in circles, hahaha! 
Fai gave me that idea, I wonder how many people stared as I was taking "pictures" this way..

"China town" (I have a wild imagination, I hope the "names" make sense, I wonder if I'm the only human that sees them this way.. I hope not though.). It just reminds me of all the lanterns and colorful stuff (Basically Chinese new year stuff, I suppose.) you see all around China town, as far as the eye can see...
I think I used the "round&round" technique for this too.

"Galaxy" (Try looking more to the middle, the swirly part not the "S" stuff.). Or maybe this looks more like a "Aurora", well.. You choose! 
I'm not sure how I took this one, I thinking I was just basically throwing the camera around... 

"Ghost caterpillar" (Oh, that sounds silly.. I need to drink more creative juice. Hmm... It reminds me of something a Mom would name a piece of kabloob-random-splatter-painting artwork her child did..).
Throwing the camera around technique again me finks...

"Slinky"! I have no idea why but it just plain reminds me of that toy...
Technique: Vigorously move your camera up and down. 

-Camerarrrr Clumsy cake