Saturday, April 23, 2011
Barney Cake and Family Celebrations
When Sue asked me if I'd make a Barney cake for her grandson Jake, I was happy to say yes, but I'd never made one before. I was online late last night finding images of Barney, sketching them, and designing the cake. After finishing the bridal shower cake after midnight (for an early morning delivery), I decided to go to bed so that my energy would be fresh in the morning to "tackle" Barney. I got up at 6 a.m. and went straight to work.
Every time I have to design a cake I've never made before, I am grateful for those four years of art classes at Saratoga High, under the direction of Mario Izzo, the best art teacher I'd ever had. I can't help but remember, as I mix colors for frosting, the many times my palette knife mixed different paints together to get just the right hue. It's all very similar. Mixing colors to decorate a cake brings me back to that classroom every time, and to the motivating words that Mr. Izzo blessed me with, "You are an artist." While none of my cakes are Picasso-esque, just having his encouragement stored away in my brain, and in my heart, lets me know that I can do it, that I can design a cake and follow through and be pleased with the result.
It's very gratifying to see friends lift the lids of cake boxes and realize the joy in their faces as they like what they see, that their vision of a cake has come to life. I was driving home today and I thought about the tasks ahead of me (cleaning up my kitchen, getting ready for my own weekend baking and cooking). Baking these cakes takes up a lot of my time and energy; sometimes it feels as though I have two jobs. I wish I had more time to myself, but then I think of how what I did, what I created, added elements of happiness to not just one family's occasion today, but to two, and that makes it worth it. Congratulations, Laura and Will, and happy first birthday, baby Jake!