Monday, April 21, 2014

A Rainbow Connecting Hawaii and New York
On November 13, 2013 Hawaii Governor, Neil Abercrombie signed a bill legalizing gay marriage, and same-sex couples were allowed to marry starting December 2nd. Having spent my childhood through high school years on Oahu, I recall back in the early '90s when Hawaii was at the forefront of states allowing same-sex unions, but then later amended its constitution to ban those same unions in 1998. The topic of gay marriage is a divisive one, and if you are in the wedding industry in one of the 17 states plus the District of Columbia where same-sex marriage is legal, it is likely at some point you will be approached by a couple wanting to hire you. If you live in Hawaii - one of the most popular wedding destinations in the world - that point will be sooner rather than later.

Ever since we opened our doors back in 2005, cakelava has welcomed any couple to have a special custom cake designed for them. Most recently, we had the pleasure of designing this beautiful wedding cake for Val and Susan who celebrated their marriage after more than 20 years of being together. When we started communicating with Val and Susan, they desired to have Hawaii and New York, where they were both from, represented on the cake in some way. Their requests were simple - Hawaii, New York and a Rainbow, to symbolize their union. Rick decided to take a very stylized, colorful and artistic approach to their cake, bringing together elegance and a traditional shape with an unconventional and playful design. He decided to have a night time scene for New York City, because that is when the city comes alive, and a sunny beach scene for Hawaii, combining the best of two of our favorite places in the world, into one beautiful cake!

Val and Susan adored their cake and wrote us shortly after to say how much they and their guests loved it. Apparently, the kids at the wedding were drawn to the little taxi cabs, which we thought was so cute! I love this cake and the cute NYC taxi cabs make me smile every time I look at them! Congratulations to Val and Susan!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dragon Cake - The Cake Bucket List Gets Shorter!
Last month, cakelava observed 9 years in business! In each of those 9 years, Rick made hundreds of beautiful custom cakes, and I've had the pleasure of communicating with each and every client. Those hundreds of cakes each year, has turned into thousands of unforgettable memories that we will treasure as we move forward towards our first decade!

About a week before cakelava's 9th birthday, Rick sculpted an amazing gold dragon cake for a client who gifted the cake to several of her male friends for their birthdays. The cake was delivered to a huge catamaran near Waikiki on a Friday night. We had been excited about this dragon since the order came in! It was the first time Rick had the opportunity to make a stand alone dragon - one that wasn't painted on or supported by a cake. We knew it was going to be a challenge, but after all these years of making dragon themed cakes, he was well prepared to do it!

Making the sculpted gold dragon cake was symbolic for us. Artistically, it was a feather in Rick's cap - a challenging design he's always wanted to make - and we were waiting for the right client to do it. As fate would have it, the request fell into our lap when a previous client of ours wanted a dragon cake as much as we wanted to make it! This has happened on many occasions throughout the years. Eventually, a design on Rick's cake bucket list is requested and the client's budget can support the request. As any cake designer knows, having the budget to accommodate a labor intensive request is important, and without it, the cake doesn't get made. It remains on the bucket list. When the stars line up and you have that winning combination of desire to have and desire to create, and able to afford, the magic begins and the cake is just meant to be. The cake bucket list gets shorter! This was the case with our Star Wars Yoda cake, the Monster Truck, the Antique Diver's Helmet, and the Gold Buddha cakes, among others.
Aside from making the cake bucket list shorter, the sculpted dragon cake was symbolic of our company's beginning 9 years earlier when Rick made a large wedding cake with a gold dragon on it for our booth at our first bridal expo. We thought the dragon would make a huge impression at the expo and it did! It was such an unusual piece, especially for a wedding, and couples as well as other vendors were drawn to it. The cake which was made faux, was later put on display at a local country club we were working with, and also brought many subsequent requests for a cake with a dragon on it. 9 years ago, cakelava was a fledgling company with big dreams, (and an ambitious bucket list!) working out of an incubator kitchen with no air conditioning and rented space by the hour. Thousands of cakes, (and many dragons later), we cross the sculpted dragon off the cake bucket list, and look forward to more cakes to come! Thank you so much to our wonderful clients who have brought us years of inspirations and supported our creative endeavors. Here's to 9 amazing and unforgettable years!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Maya's Kangaroo Birthday Cake
We have a long history of making cakes for Maya and her family. Six years ago, Maya celebrated her 3rd birthday and Rick made a "messy cake" for her party. It was a fun and colorful cake that Rick designed to look intentionally messy and like it was created by a child. The colors were bold with plenty of contrast. The following year, our client ordered another messy cake for Maya. The first one was such a hit with everyone, she decided to keep the same theme for her daughter's 4th birthday.  This time, she asked if Rick could do a pretty "messy cake" in girly colors fit for a princess. We knew that could be a challenge given the theme and colors, but once again, Rick designed her cake through the eyes of a child - a little girl (as best as he could) and we were all happy with the results!

Shortly before our book Extreme Cakeovers was released last year, Maya's mother wanted to order a cake for Maya's father's birthday. We were already committed, unfortunately, but wished we could make the cake. We later learned Maya had made Rick's "Aloha Shirt" cake from our book and her mother sent us some photos. We were blown away by her ability and were so proud of this little girl we have grown to care about! Here is one of the many photos we have. You can view the rest of the photos of Maya making the cake on the Extreme Cakeovers website. Little did Maya know at the time that we already had an order for her 9th birthday cake. We were all so excited about what we had in store for her!
We got the request for the sculpted kangaroo cake while Maya and her family were living in Perth, Australia. Rick and I had visited Australia the year before and had a very special kangaroo encounter in the wild where we got to see and feed dozens of kangaroos. Having this amazing experience would be helpful in making the cake. Since the cake was for a 9-year old, Rick decided to make the kangaroo as cute as could be. With the family returning to Oahu to live, Maya's mother thought it would be fun to add a Hawaiian touch to the cake, so Rick put a flower lei around the kangaroo and a plumeria flower in its ear.
I've said on many occasions, it is always such a pleasure to share in the experience of the "reveal" - when someone sees their cake for the first time. Their reactions are often priceless and it is one of those special moments that remind us why we do what we do. This was one of those moments Rick and I will never forget. When we arrived at the family's home, Maya saw her cake and immediately started grinning and making the cutest giggly sounds. She was in awe of the kangaroo and it was like heaven for Rick and I to be a part of this. Her mother took the photo of Rick and Maya. As you can see, the kangaroo was not small.
When the kangaroo cake was delivered, her mother made a comment about how she would send the kids into the other room when it came time to cut the head of the kangaroo. We all thought this was hilarious and I visualized a room full of kids running into the next room while the parents beheaded the poor kangaroo. We've heard this many times before that people can become emotionally attached to their animal cakes and don't want to make that first cut. Our client had a great sense of humor about this potentially traumatizing moment and sent us this photo of her laughing as she's about to lop off the kangaroo head. We laughed out loud when we saw the photo, but were also happy we weren't there to have to witness that moment in person. Just as they can grow attached to their cute cake, so can we, and it's hard to see the little fellow go. A huge Thank You to Maya and her family for giving us so many memories over the years. We look forward to many more!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Non-Traditional Wedding Cakes: Plants vs. Zombies
In the past few months, we've been regularly posting non-traditional wedding cakes, most recently a stack of books made for Regi and Jeff who were married on December 29th. That was one of the last cakes we made in 2013. Just two weeks later, Rick made one of his most unusual non-traditional wedding cakes to date, a "Plants vs. Zombies" video game theme for Jovi and Brandon. The couple approached us months earlier to make their cake. At the time, neither Rick and I knew much about "Plants vs. Zombies", but all that changed as soon as we accepted the order. Like most gaming fanatics we've worked with, they come very well prepared and provided more photos and references than we knew what to do with.  Jovi and Brandon had a very good idea of what they wanted, but also encouraged Rick to let his imagination run wild and create the cake he felt worked best for the theme.

We all knew as soon as the cake was booked, this project was going to be a doozy and we allocated a large amount of time the week of their wedding to work on the cake. Everything on the cake was handcrafted - every plant, the bride and groom zombie figures, the house - there was a crazy amount of detail on the cake! Rick spent about 40 hours making their cake. After we saw the final product and heard how much the couple loved it, we both agreed it was totally worth it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...