Sunday “Sweet” – A Very Wrecky Birthday

A few weeks ago, our friend Tara invited us to her “End of the World as We Know It” birthday party – scheduled for the day after this most recent “rapture” date.

Well, we all know what happened to my husband and I the day after the LAST scheduled rapture, so I was already a teeny bit nervous about this date. Trust me, I had no idea how horrifying and twisted the day would become.

You see, our friend wanted a Cake Wreck for her birthday. As I was BEYOND finished with decorating cakes, my husband graciously stepped up to the plate.

… the man has never decorated a cake in his life.

Due to the nature of the cake theme – you know about Cake Wrecks, right? – I was woefully unequipped for my husband to get his decorating on. No, to do a cake of this wrecktitude, it would require a trip to the cake shop, and the purchase of – shudder – Wilton stuff. I’m pretty sure “Wilton” was the name of one of the lesser known fifth horsemen of the apocalypse. Yes. Pestilence, War, Famine, Death, and Wilton Fondant.
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How to Carve a Halloween Pumpkin Like a Pro – Expert Guest Post!

Update: Alex will be appearing on “Good Morning America” this Halloween!

Halloween is such a fun time, and my husband and I look forward to it all year. Thing is, we look forward to it for the convention we attend – and it tends to preclude us from things like bothering to decorate our house. As a result, any potential I may (or may not!) have at pumpkin carving, Halloween crafting is largely un-realized!

In other words, Halloween seems like an awesome excuse for a guest post or two!

Remember Alex, “The Pumpkin Geek“? I’ve fangirled out about featured his amazing talents on this blog before. Check it out: Far-Flung Awesomeness of the Pumpkin Variety

It’s been a super productive ROCK STAR year and a half for Alex. He counts Jeri Ryan, LeVar Burton, Gene Simmons, Joe Mantegna, Brad Paisley, and Taylor Swift among his fans – they’re all proud owners of his work.

He’s been written up in international news, online newspapers, blogs… and has shipped his work to 9 different countries and counting.

He’ll be appearing on CBS’ “The Doctors” on Friday, Oct 28th for a segment on safe carving – so be sure to set your DVRs for that! Having only known him online, I can’t wait to see him actually working!

In the spirit of Halloween, check out some of his horror movie carves: (more…)

Cue the Swan Song, I am FREE!

Yesterday was a day that I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time. I delivered my very last wedding cake!

You see, my retiring from cakes was something that had to be worked out carefully, 2+ years in advance. I stopped advertising in wedding media. I stopped taking mainstream orders, choosing to just work with nerds and geeks. I slowed, then stopped taking orders – quietly – so I could finish off the majority of my remaining contracts without adding to the work load.

Eventually, I made it to the next step . Made the big announcement, and publicly was off the market for cakes at that time. There were still a couple cakes still on the horizon for friends, as favors, etc. Nevertheless, at that point, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

As of yesterday, I’m done. DONE. Man, it feels good. So, let me tell you about the cake, the bride, and the retirement.

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Star Wars Groom Cakes

This trio of awesome Star Wars cakes courtesy of Jen at Sweet Element Cakes, who is also on Twitter at @SweetElement

Interesting note: The molecule Jen uses in her logo is Theobromine, which she chose due to the amount of chocolate she uses! She considers herself a “moderate” geek (Yeah, right…”moderate” – with a logo like that!), but is surrounded by geeks, and married one!

AT-AT Groom’s Cake
At=At Groom Cake
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Custom “Nerds” Wedding / Party Favors!

Editing to add: Due to popular request, I’ve shared my template for these boxes. You can find it HERE.

Saturday was our 5th Wedding anniversary! No one’s died or been (significantly) maimed, so I think we’re doing pretty good at this whole “marriage” thing 🙂

While we splurged on the venue, we did a lot of our wedding ourselves, DIY. It was all quite nerdy and perfect for us.
We got married at the Science Museum, which was a no brainer for us. It was the only venue we’d looked at! In looking at a local wedding magazine, with huge lists of the local venues, we got headaches just thinking about picking a venue. Then, we saw the Science Museum listed. Boom. Done.

Our centerpieces were very simple, just 3 test tubes glued together tripod-style, each with a stargazer lily. These were placed on mirror tiles on each of the guest dining tables – each table named after an element. We had fun trying to arrange the table names in an appropriate way – closest friends were seated at tables named after our favorite element, the kids were at the “Neon” table, etc.

The food was not so hot, our cake (I did NOT make it!) was freezerburnt, and our photographer spent most of the time hitting on one of our friends, rather than actually working. Meanwhile, the DJ and the bartender did their absolute best to make it an awseome evening, which it was. I mean really, we had our ceremony less than 5 yards away from “Bodyworlds”, LOL!

Anyway, in honor of our anniversary, I’d like to share what we did for our favors: Custom Nerds candy! (more…)

Geeks do the BEST proposals!

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Geeks do the BEST proposals!

First off… here’s the video. It’s a bit long, but it’s very much worth it!

Alternatively, there is a slick “Cinematic Version”, here. Very nice.

Chocolate Zombie Easter Bunnies!

Last week, I was perusing my favorite online shop (Think Geek, of course!), when I happened upon a new offering of theirs: Chocolate Zombie Bunnies.

Chocolate. Zombie. Bunnies!

Seriously. click here to check them out.

They were out of stock, and I was still enjoying the memories of the fun evening I’d spend with my husband recently, creating easy Pysanky Easter eggs, and had an idea – we were going to make our own Chocolate Zombie Easter Bunnies, at home!

Seriously, this cost us under $20 for candy melts, molds, and everything. It’s something I enjoyed doing as a kid, and even made a great date night thing. Have fun with it!

Here’s how we did it:

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Easy Pysanky How-To (AKA Epic Easter Eggs!)

Though I’m actually Irish Canadian, my best childhood memories of Easter are decidedly Ukrainian flavored.

Manitoba is known for a huge population of Ukrainians. Huge! Excellent homemade perogies could be found anywhere… but I digress. My grandmother’s neighbor was Ukrainian, Easter meant that she’d bake up these wonderful citrussy breads – Paska – and share with us. Oh, they were amazing. My favorite part of Easter, I still remember those delicious breads.

Another favorite part of Easter back then was seeing the Ukrainian Easter eggs, which would show up in advertising, or on display, or whatever. I’d marvel at the intricate designs, the bright colors. Tons of beauty and talent, right there.

One year – I’m sure I was probably in grade 4 or 5 – my class went to the Ukrainian Cultural Center to learn how to make the eggs. We were given little tools to draw wax designs on our eggs – a little stick with a cone shaped well. We’d scoop some wax into the little well, use a candle to melt it, and draw our initial outlines on. We’d dye it, dry it, draw more wax on… lather, rinse, release. When we were done, we’d carefully hold our eggs up near the candle flame, to melt all of the wax we’d drawn on, to reveal all of the colors that we’d protected from subsequent dye baths.

Although none of our eggs looked anything like the gorgeous egg art displayed in the Center, it was a lot of fun. I’ve always loved learning new skills, and I’ve always loved learning about other cultures.

The other day, I was thinking about how much fun I’d had back then, and decided that I would try it again, with my husband. As we’re both sort of anti social, doing at at home was the most attractive option. As I didn’t own any Pysanky tools, I needed to either buy some, or some up with an alternate way to get the wax on the eggs. I briefly considered painting melted wax on with art brushes… but then thought of another way – CRAYONS!

So, last night we bought some crayons and eggs, and went to it. We had a BALL! It was so much fun, and definitely an interesting, fun alternative to our usual Tuesday night “date night”. Though our results were far from professional, they were definitely more interesting than your average “egg dyeing kit” results… and really easy! This is a fun craft for kids AND adults or all skill levels. Let me show you how we did it:

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Cutest Wedding Cake Ever – Bubble Bobble

As you may have guessed by now… I LOVES me a geeky bride!

Michelle, the bride who ordered the cake I’m posting about today, is pretty much a perfect representation of what kind of bride I love to work with: Identified geeky in the first email (which was also well written, polite, and had great grammar and spelling – FTW!), didn’t take anything too seriously – no bridezilla moments at all! -, gave me ultimate reign over the final design, and wanted her wedding cake themed around an old school NES / Taito game!

Oh yeah. She also held her real wedding in Vegas, getting married by an impersonator. Not any tired old Elvis impersonator (which, in my mind, would still be kind of awesome to do!).. no. She got married by a “Bishop” impersonator from the Princess Bride. Yes, her “mawwige” was “wut bwings us togedder”! Awesome!

Check out the cake: (more…)

The Predator, with his cake!

Remember that time I made a Klingon Bird of Prey cake, and got photos of the fully-costumed Klingons cutting it with a Batleth weapon? I have similarly cool/geeky cake cutting photos today!

I have a friend, Todd, who is well known locally as “The Predator”. No, not for anything gross, but for his costuming prowess. He routinely dresses up as The Predator for Conventions and special events, and looks great!

In fact, I was gonna bring him as my date to an event, in costume. Received an event invite from a local business person who’d badmouthed me and my business, and it got back to me. Yes, the one who said I was throwing it all “down the toilet” by cavorting with Klingons. Whatever. She’d made the mistake of referring to “creative fashion appreciated” on the invite for her chi-chi “NYC style” event, so I figured “The Predator” woulda been fun. In the end, A.) I figured she was probably baiting me, and B.) I’m not fond of spending much time with wannabes and pretentious fake people, so I didn’t go. I can get by on the mental images of what coulda been, though!

Yes, it could have been delicious, but I digress. Todd hosted a room party at a local horror movie convention this weekend, so we planned to do a small cake for the event. I think I’ll let the photos do the talking for me 🙂 (more…)