Sunday, November 25, 2012

Madame Clochette

I am lucky enough to have as my sister the fabulous Madame Clochette! And for my recent wedding she gave me the most spectacular gift, a custom made handbag. It was so custom, that she had secretly contacted the designer of my wedding dress, Wendy Makin and ordered matching fabric. She then attached my new initials to the front of the bag. If that wasn't special enough, even the way she packaged the bag was amazaing!

I also chose to use Madame Clochette bags for my bridesmaids, rather than very expensive flowers that die!! They were also matched to the bridesmaid dresses, and accessorised with individual charms.

Madame Clochette bags in action.
To order your own, visit her Etsy store Madame Clochette, like her on Facebook or read her blog.

Viktoria Novak

I have to admit that I have been thinking about getting married for quite a while, especially when you consider the fact that I was single for much of this time!! When thinking about dress and veil options I always thought that I would want a Mantila veil with lace around the edge...but what if I had a lace dress!! Decisions, decisions!!
When it got closer to the possibility of getting engaged, I started thinking about things more seriously. And when a wedding expo came up where a certain milliner would be displaying her designs, I thought "hey, why don't I go along and try some on, just to see if anything suits me!" And what do you know, something suited me!
Viktoria Novak helped me try on a couple of different head pieces and they were all so beautiful. She also told me that something could be designed especially for me. And then I noticed the bouquets...these beautiful brooch bouquets that I had seen pictures off but I hadn't seen in person. Well they were just beautiful!
So I had my solution - my head piece and bouquet would be made by Viktoria Novak. Now I just needed a proposal.

Then he proposed! Yay! And we set a date, and when I called Viktoria she did point out that since there was more than 12 months until the wedding, and I didn't have a dress yet, that she could book me in but I needed to organise some other things first. She was very helpful in giving me support and advice during the process of styling my wedding.

Once I had my dress and colour theme sorted I took a trip to Viktoria's Sydney studio and we got planning. I took a swatch of fabric from my dress, brooches from my grandmother's and my mother's veil from the 70s. I tried on only a couple of head pieces until I found one I liked, and when Viktoria arranged the blue tulle from m Mum's veil on the back of the head piece I have to admit...there were tears!!
I looked at the bouquets next, and there was one that was almost perfect...but I'm so fussy! So Viktoria took out the feathers, added some pink, added my grandmother's brooches and tulle from my Mum's veil to create the most perfect of bouquets!

On our wedding day I received so many compliments, as a bride normally does, but there were so many specific compliments on my head piece and bouquet, and how they suited my dress and my personality so well. I now get to keep my bouquet for ever, as well as my head piece, and now all I need is an excuse for my next Viktoria Novak design!

I do have one HUGE complaint about visiting the Viktoria Novak Studio: it's such a horrible temptation! I want everything! And I swear if I win lotto I will spend the rest of my life wearing Viktoria Novak designs and I won't care what anyone says - hats are always appropriate!!

Visit Viktoria's website to see the range of beautiful designs!

The photos below are from Melissa at 'A Shot Above the Rest'.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wedding Cake

When I first got engaged in August 2011 and started thinking about all things wedding related (I may have already thought about some wedding things, prior to my engagement), one of the things I decided I didn't want to do was to spend a lot of money on a wedding cake. I have heard of people paying almost $1,000 for the most simple of cakes, and I didn't want the most simple of cakes. For a three tier cake I would be looking at $600 at least, so I decided I would make one myself, I mean it can't be that hard.
So I enrolled in a cake decorating class, and I decided on the style of cake that I wanted. Three tiers with navy blue damask stencilling (in order to match with the damask print throughout our invitations).

Well I have to admit here, in writing, in public, that it was the dumbest idea I've ever had!!! Ugh, what an effort! The icing wasn't the worst part, it was the fact that to get the height of the cake tiers that I wanted I had to make 8 individual cakes in total!!
I could have bought pre-made, but un-iced, cakes but I have found that some other mud cakes I don't actually like. such as the ones from the cheesecake shops. And I found some really great recipes for the cakes that I ended up making.

In the end our guests enjoyed the cake, and many of the commented that it was the best wedding cake they had ever had. There were a few dodgy bits in regards to the icing, I had the cake set up so the best side was facing the front, but when I walked into the reception the staff had turned it around and so most of the photos that people have taken (and put on FaceBook) were taken from the worst side!!

These are the four individual 10" cakes that made up the bottom tier. You have to trim off the cakes so that they're even and so you do lose some of the height. But I have to admit that I didn't level it off as well as I should have.

The stencilling on the bottom tier ended up covering up a multitude of fondant icing sins! I used copha to help hold the stencil on the cake each time and it worked really well. Stencilling isn't really that hard at all!.

The three separate tiers - all on their own cake boards with support skewers in them as well. They were all transported separately before I put them together at the reception venue the night before the wedding.

Above is the photo from the side of the cake that should have been the front. And below is the side that almost everyone took a photo of and put on FaceBook!

Cake decorating since July

Although I haven't been blogging, I've still been making and decorating cakes. It's probably what I've been doing most - although there is always a cross stitch on the go for when I'm watching TV.
Here are the cakes that I have made in the past 3 months:

It was my fiancé's (now my husband) 27th birthday in August, and so naturally I had to make him a cake. I asked what he wanted and he requested a race car cake. I forget what I made the actual cake of, but all of the icing is fondant. I pushed green fondant through a strainer to create the little bushes, and used black fondant for the tyres. I made the flag out of white fondant and a skewer, and then I painted the black squares on to it.
Joel made the cars himself - it took him ages, but it was so worth it!! They turned out great.

Then I found an excuse to make a Dolly Varden cake (and buy myself the tin!). One of the nurses at work was leaving, and although people suggested a make some kind of cake with a needle on it (she worked on the immunisation program) I talked everyone in to a vintage Nurse cake.
It was surprisingly easy to make and to cover with fondant. I put rolls of icing around the skirt of the cake and then draped the fondant on top. Because you want it to look like fabric it isn't an issue to just leave the fondant how it falls.
The apron I got from a Mrs Claus cake pattern, and I designed the hat myself. Although not shown in this photo, I ended up painting a Red Cross on the front of the apron and hat. Everybody enjoyed it!

The next cake came from a request from someone I used to work with. She has two sons with birthdays close together, and although she's tried, she hasn't been happy with the cakes she made in the past. Apparently there were issues with a Mickey Mouse cake whose skin colour was too pink, and she dropped sprinkles on his chin. So he looked sunburnt with stubble!
So she asked me to make a Woody (from Toy Story) cake. I googled some ideas and you should see the types of cakes that people are making out there! They're amazing!! So while I didn't go to the effort of making a cowboy hat out of fondant, I think the cake still turned out pretty well.

And just one week before my wedding it was my (new) nephew's 2nd birthday, and he's obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine - as I think most 2 year old boys are. So a Thomas cake it was.
This one really scared me - I made a 10 inch square cake and then cut it and sculpted it together to look like Thomas. But there are so many different versions of Thomas, and I had issues with his face! So while I was out picking up some more icing, I also got one of those edible Thomas pictures, just in case!
But it all turned out quite well. I was still worried that the kids, being quite harsh critics, wouldn't like it, but as soon as we brought it out my nephew shouted "Thomas!". So all was good, it was a success and everyone enjoyed it (including parents!).

A long time and many changes!!!

I can't believe it, I haven't posted on this blog since July!! Isn't that shameful!
What's my excuse? Well, I blame the wedding. I just got married on 27 October 2012 and I guess the lead up to the 'big day' really took over more than I thought it would, but it was totally worth it.