Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Birthday To You!

Today is my mom's birthday and my dad and I have been working on a BIG project for her this week. It all started about a week ago. My dad came over and asked me if I would have time to make a cake for my mom's birthday. Of course I said, "Sure". Then he says, "I was thinking it would be cool to make a grand piano cake." I said, "Yeah, I could probably figure that out. I'd need some kind of base though." "I can probably come up with a base for it", he says. Okay, then. I leave the next day for Jenny's house to spend most of the week before my daughter starts school again and we can't stay at Jenny's. I thought about how to make a piano cake but I wasn't too concerned. Mostly I was concentrating on making my mom some more cards for her gift. Then I came home and my dad comes over to show me the base he has been working on. He has reference photos and he found the measurements for a Steinway on the internet (I didn't know my dad used the internet except to swear at the occasional attempt at an e-mail). He used his work calculator (he's a construction estimator) and came up with an EXACT scale for a Steinway. Here I should just add that we are a dangerous pair. I got my over attention to detail from my dad and so together we start heading into minutiae. Once when I helped him set up the Halloween party at the church, he and I actually used a tape measure to ensure that the tables were spaced evenly (54" apart, just so you know). That's when I started to get a little nervous and worried about how this cake was going to turn out. Later that day, he called me and informed me that he went to the music store with his trusty tape measure (what would we do without those things) and measured how deep a grand piano is and, using his calculator came to the conclusion that the box of the piano, where the cake actually is, needed to be 2 and 1/8" high (don't forget the eighth). I just love that guy! Well, he made me the most beautiful cake stand that could be imagined and after a solid 11 hours of work (yes, the cake was 10 minutes late to it's own party) this is what we came up with.

A little F.Y.I. for you. That cake is exactly 2 1/8" inches high. Guess how I know. When I made the first layer, it measured 1" so I stacked on the second layer and measured it. It was 3" tall. What?!!! I then used my tape measure (keep it in my purse, you know) and placed toothpicks all the way around the cake at 2 1/8" then using the toothpicks as a guide, I cut off the extra 7/8". I need help, I know but I fully expected my dad to break out his tape measure and check it for me. He didn't (probably because he can eyeball to the nearest 1/8", he's got skills, I tell you).

Yes, that is a part of the actual music for "Happy Birthday To You." Painted it on with a toothpick. Minutiae I tell you, minutiae. I'm so glad to be my father's daughter. Much of my creativity comes from my attention to detail. I have the best parents EVER. My mom loved her cake and didn't have the heart to cut it even though the inside contained the most fabulous White Chocolate Lemon Poundcake ever. I just LOVE that recipe. One of these days, I should post it. And lest you think that I have given up on cards to spend time with the baked goods. Here's one of the cards I made for my mom. There are seventeen total so you'll have to wait a while to see the rest. I worked at a feverish pace while I was staying at Jenny's so I didn't keep real great track of all the different products I used but if there is something that you would like to know about, just drop me a line and I will get back to you. Well that's all of my adventures for the last couple of weeks.
Finally, one more Happy Birthday to the coolest mom. She absolutely amazes me. I want to be just like her when I grow up.


  1. WOW! What a neat piano cake & sweet story about your mom! I am sure she enjoyed it! Great card too! :) TFS

  2. I bet mom finds some permanent way to preserve the cake. It was super cool and she was way excited about it. I agree, you do have the best mom ever!

  3. Oh my, that cake is absolutely gorgeous! I had to come comment on it. :) I would love to someday create a cake that beautiful & precise! :)

  4. There are no pictures that can do justice in capturing the beauty of that cake! Perhaps it is because love is hard to preserve on a photo. It is an incredible work of art that took HOURS to make and an "artist genius" to create. I am still speechless. I have it in my office at work. There is NO WAY I can cut it--even though I know there is a lemon pound cake (made with white chocolate) underneath. And if this cake wasn't amazing enough--the hand made cards are themselves works of art. Those intricately beautiful creations are only sent to special people
    I loved the party, too. To be able to celebrate with family and friends means so much to me. I love you all. THANKS for a truly memorable birthday! Mom