When we get asked to do a cake, obviously, the theme for the cake is always geared toward something that is special to the recipient. I know that seems like a ridiculously obvious thing to say but bear with me, this story bears telling.
For example, my last post was about our friend who ran the Philadelphia marathon.
Some of you might remember the cake that was for our friend who loves a particular video game.
There was also the fifties themed cake that needed to have rubber ducks on it.
There was the cake for my son-in-law who also loves video games…
and the cake for our friend who is a Braves fan….
There was the cake for our pastor who loves Spike, his dog….
But the hardest cake to nail down was my youngest daughter, Gracie’s, cake.
Since we started doing fondant cakes, we do a fondant birthday cake for everyone in our immediate family. The last one to get a fondant birthday cake from us this year was Gracie. Now, we’ve spent the entire year looking at pictures of cakes. We have probably looked at hundreds of cake pictures. We looooooove to look at cake pictures. We never get tired of looking at them, however, we probably drive the rest of the family crazy looking at cake pictures. But cake pictures are extremely helpful to us. We get inspiration from them. We look at colors, techniques and sometimes, what not to do (checkout the blog, CakeWrecks….thanks to my friend, Jennie!).
Every time we find a cake that is really unique or just plain pretty, we save the picture. Sometimes our family gets sucked into looking at our pictures with us. Such is the case with Gracie. Whenever we find a picture of a cake that we want to try or one that we really like, we like to share it with everyone. Knowing that we would do a fondant cake for her birthday, Gracie would look at a particularly unique or just plain pretty cake and say, “Is that what you’re doing for my cake?” She started to say it every time we showed her a picture.
Since Megan and I are both planners, we had pretty much chosen the cakes for Bethie and Jeremy and even Thatcher, my grandson’s, birthday cakes. Thatcher won’t have a birthday until next April so that gives you some idea how far ahead Megan and I like to plan. We had talked about Gracie’s cake but hadn’t really nailed anything down. Gracie loves music and I always envy her because she is one of those people who can play music by just listening to it. We figured we would do a piano on top but that was really all that was a definite.
We started to have this running joke every time Gracie asked us the infamous question, “Is that what you’re doing for my cake?” We would smile and nod and say, “Yes, Gracie, that’s what we’re doing for your cake.” We all knew that we couldn’t possibly do every cake that Gracie had liked over the past year………or could we?
Gracie is the baby in the family and it took us all a long time to figure her out. It took Gracie a long time to figure Gracie out too. In many ways, we are all still trying to figure Gracie out but one thing we know is that she is different from her sisters and, for that matter, she is different from most people I know. I wrote a Facebook note called, “Ode to Gracie,” when she went away to college and this is how I described her in the first paragraph…”she lives in a world where everyone is smiling and the sun is always shining, even when it rains. you can trust everyone and people don’t ever hurt each other, and they all wear bright colors. she floats, she doesn’t walk, and she smiles her way through her days.” That pretty much describes Gracie’s view of the world. She is a ray of sunshine wherever she goes and, she is also very eclectic.
We decided to pull together some of the elements from some of the cakes that she liked the most. We had kind of a hard time with this cake because Megan and I both like everything to coordinate. Nothing goes on a cake that doesn’t belong there. We have already made gum paste components to a cake and decided not to use some of them because it would just be too much on the cake. To put a grouping of mismatched gum paste figures on a cake would be like fingernails on a blackboard to us, and yet we knew that is what would make Gracie happiest.
So we got to work…..on all the things that Gracie loves…….
Gracie works in the floral department at Wegman’s, and she absolutely loves what she does.
She looooooves Nutella. She thinks that Nutella is a gift from God.
Gracie has always loved the movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” I think that she knows every word to the entire movie. I know that she can play all the music. She sleeps with a stuffed Jack Skellington.
She loves henna art,
and all things Asian….
So it all came together….
in a somewhat quirky, color-coordinated, kind of way…..because that’s how Gracie is……and it made her happy……which is all that mattered anyway.