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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Flowers, Butterflies and Birds

Inspired by the new colors I'm using in the living room, I created this 9"x16" window hanging.

I used "my version" of the technique I learned from Richard LaLonde when I took a class he taught in Boise, Idaho last year.

This is made primarily from glass frit, which is ground up glass - most of this was from powdered glass frit... some from finely ground glass frit.

There are also bits of dichroic glass in the butterflies. Too bad we didn't realize what the piece looks like from the other side... the dichroic really stands out much better from the reverse side.

The piece is currently hanging in the window at Gallery West/ The Frame Plant in downtown Laramie - for sale! It is gorgeous! You need to go see it from both sides. If it doesn't sell, I'll get it back again in a few months to enjoy it on display in my new living room "gallery," as I've run out of room in my studio gallery!

Continuing the color theme... Here is a photo of the first tiered cake I've ever made.

I call it "Cross Training" for my glass art - I have been taking some cake decorating classes at Michael's in Cheyenne, WY. I like the colors in my living room, so carried it over into my cake decorating colors for this cake.

The top is a 6" cake, the middle is 8", the bottom is 10".

The cake is from a recipe called "Italian Wedding Cake." It contains pineapple, coconut and pecans. I was aiming to find something "sturdy" so that the layers would stack well.

The filling is pineapple curd - a recipe I found in a fairly old book that I checked out from the public library.

Part of the fun of baking cakes is finding new recipes.

The photo below is the top of the cake. The flowers are all made of Royal Icing. The butterfly is gum paste.

I got the idea for the butterfly from something I saw on You Tube. I never found a butterfly gum paste press, so I used a cookie cutter to cut out the gum paste.

I'm not a big rose-making fan... still need some practice. The other flowers are a lot of fun to make, though. I actually like the challenge of trying to make them as small as possible so that they can be used on cookies - or even sugar cubes, if anyone remembers when people used to decorate sugar cubes. Does anyone still even sell sugar cubes to do that anymore?

This (below) is the arrangement of flowers under the top tier.

Can you see the butterfly wings? (You can click on the photo to make it larger for viewing.)

When I added the orange color (a combination of burgundy and yellow coloring) to the gum paste, I didn't knead it all thoroughly because I kind of liked the marbled effect of the two colors together.

I dipped the edge of the wings in Royal Icing, then into yellow colored sugar sprinkles just for fun.

And, here (below) is a photo of the bottom layer - so you'll know it was there! - with some of the decorations on the side of the middle layer.

The biggest problem I had with this cake was trying to figure out what to do with it all when I got it home (safely, by the way).

We still have the bottom layer here at home. The other two layers went with Phil to where he works. I wonder if they're going to get tired of having cake there ... Phil is going to take the next cake class segment with me, so we're going to have twice as many cakes! Next time with fondant!

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