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Friday, July 6, 2007

Flower Friday!

For today's installment of Flower Friday, I thought I'd tell you a little story about primroses! I have to admit that before the spring of 2001, I wasn't quite sure what a primrose even looked like! But boy did I have a lesson! It all started with a little Wilton Course cake decorating class at Michael's... I mentioned that I was having fun learning to decorate cakes to my friend Renee. Renee was getting married at the end of April 2001. Renee asked me (her friend who had only taken a beginner class!) if I'd make her wedding cake! And even more shocking, I said yes!!! I thought she'd like something relatively simple, understanding that it was my first wedding cake and all - little did I know that she had something VERY specific in mind. She sent me this link and said she'd love to have the primrose cake to go with her wildflower-themed wedding. Umm. Ok. My first cake - and it's no less than a MARTHA cake that she wants, and it has gumpaste flowers. What?? I didn't have any clue how to make gumpaste flowers!!! But of course I didn't want to let the bride down! So I found a gumpaste class at my local cake supply store, where I learned how to make all kinds of wonderful flowers, but alas, no primroses! How was I going to make primroses?? I was still trying to figure this out when my husband and I left for a UK vacation in March (~1.5 months before the wedding!). My first bit of luck was seeing the planter of flowers up above, which it turned out were real-live primroses! Who knew?! So I studied them a bit, and still felt bewildered, not knowing what I was going to do. Then as LUCK would have it - we were in a small town in Wales called Monmouth, sitting in a pub enjoying some pints, when our friend Scott (who was traveling with us) looked out the window and said "Hey Libby, there's a cake shop across the street." So of course I had to run over and check it out. At the time my local store didn't carry many gumpaste tools, only the standard Wilton package (now the store, All in One Bakeshop, is under different ownership and has an excellent selection of everything!!) - this little cake shop in Wales was HEAVEN! They had so many different molds and cutters!! I told the owner that I needed to make primroses, and would you believe she had a specific primrose cutter?? She also said that she would be teaching a class that evening at the store, and if I could come back she'd show me how to make primroses! So I pleaded with the boys that an unscheduled night in Monmouth was in order, and thankfully they were sweet enough to agree (they sat in a pub playing cards, so it wasn't all bad for them!!). The class was SO MUCH FUN, one of my happiest travel memories, and I've done a lot of traveling - the shop owner and two other Welsh ladies, making cake decorations and chatting over coffee. It was the sort of "real life" experience you don't always get when you're just a tourist in another country. And the owner showed me how to make EXACTLY the same flower that Martha's cake had! To say I was excited is an understatement! There was some kind of happy harmony in the world that made us happen to take a pit stop in that random small town in Wales, and then wind up in a pub across the street from the cake shop! My cake, of course, did not turn out as perfect as Martha's, but both the bride and I were very happy with the final product. Thankfully, because I was really sweating it before our vacation!! :-) Since then I've made two other wedding cakes, one for my friend Diane that I really loved, and another for a couple who were actually foolish enough to pay me! But I have since retired from the wedding cake business, it was way too stressful! Now I'm happy just to make my son's birthday cakes each year!


  1. WOW are you talented. That cake is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

  2. I love your story, Libby! What a devoted friend to go through what you did, to create such a beautiful cake!! You are so very talented, and sweet!

  3. Wow, that was brave! I don't think I would have been willing to try create a wedding cake with only one class, but it turned out wonderful ( i'me assuming that the photo is your cake?) It looks gorgeous! Perhaps this will become a new hobby? Cake decorating for pay? Either way, great job)

  4. Hi, Libby! You had me at the primrose photo and then you went and told that great story which I totally enjoyed! What great lengths you went to to give your friend a beautiful wedding cake (it turned out fabulous, by the way). This was a fun stop today, but it usually is fun to read your posts. I hang on every word!

  5. That's amazing! I wish I could bake...but that's another day. Hey, I tagged you on my blog!

  6. This cake is lovely....can't believe you decorate cakes! I AM impressed!

  7. Wow, Libby! Of course, I saw the beautiful cake at the wedding 6 years ago and I was totally impressed. But I never knew the back story about the class and everything - how very cool! Coincidentally, we saw Jeff and Renee and their kiddos for dinner last night. First time I've seen Renee since Carter's baby shower. Hope to see you at Zonta on Saturday!


I always enjoy your comments - thanks so much for taking the time to leave one!


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