Valentine's Teddy & Heart Tree Cake
Before I get into showing you how I made this Valentine’s Day themed cake, I wanted to mention something about the design of it, first…
and maybe try to debunk any misconceptions (and/or lies) you may have in your brain on the matter.
Question: Are you one of those people who tell themselves on a regular basis how uncreative you are and how you wish you could be more like those OTHER people who have brains the size of planets with creativity juices oozing out of every orifice?
‘Cause that’s what I used to do.
I figured out early that I had a knack for drawing, yes… that I could make something look, on paper, the way it does in real life without too much trouble, but for whatever reason (and I have my theories on this), I regularly told myself and most around me that I wasn’t a REAL artist, ’cause REAL artists could just conjure up crazy masterpieces in their brain and then transfer them onto paper.
REAL artists are creative.
And I was somehow born without that gene.
But somebody shouldo’ kicked me in the shin.
‘Cause what I didn’t realize is that art comes in so many different forms, it’s RIDICULOUS, and just because you have your limitations (just like every other human being on this planet) it doesn’t mean you’re NOT or CAN’T BE creative.
Creativity is something that often needs practice, but we mostly shut it down before we even give it a chance to flex its muscles.
And that is a cryin’ shame.
This Valentine’s cake is a good example of what I mean.
Would you be surprised to know that I didn’t “create” any of the design elements of this cake, myself?
‘Cause I didn’t.
What I did do was find some seriously sweet pieces of inspiration from OTHER artists, actually, and put them together to create a new scene. The tree, the falling hearts idea, and the teddy are all from other pieces of art I had found while surfing the web, and had pinned ’cause I liked them so much.
(The tree on the left is an original watercolor painting by Yael Berger. I couldn’t find the artist of the falling hearts tree, and the adorable teddy drawing is by Marina Fedotova.)
“Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed.” – Wikipedia
And in this case, I created something new by using already existing ideas.
(And there’s a good chance that Marina Fedotova, the amazing artist who created that adorable teddy bear drawing, was actually looking at some form of inspiration when she was creating him, putting her own spin on the idea.)
So, my point is, if you’ve been telling yourself that you’re not creative ’cause you can’t devise a NEW kindo’ teddy bear on your own, hope is NOT at all lost.
Start looking around the world, “pinning” (either in your brain or on your computer) things you like… and then give your brain a chance to think up new ways to arrange them.
You most likely won’t achieve perfection on your first design (or maybe ever, ’cause really, what does that MEAN, anyway?), but think of it like bodybuilding – you need to put the time in to build up those muscles.
And everyone’s got muscles.
But if you tell yourself you’ll never be as strong as you want to be and just shut down any and all attempts… well then, you’ve just sealed the deal, haven’t you?
Ok, ok, lecture over. But I DON’T wanna hear ’bout you ever saying you are SOO not creative, EVAH again.
‘Cause I think you CAN be. You’ve just got to give yourself a chance.
(And I’ma be all OVAH ya like white (or brown) on rice if you do say it.
Just sayin’.) Xx
How I made this Marina Fedotova inspired, teddy bear Valentine’s cake…
I needed to make a double barreled, 8″ round cake to have enough room to fit the whole design.
(See how to make a double barrel cake, here.)
I used a razor blade (that I got in a pack of 100) to neatly trim the bottom edge.
While looking at the photo of the heart tree, I painted the trunk on with a mixture of warm brown airbrush color and white gel color (to lighten it a bit.)
I went over the branches and part of the trunk with a line of straight warm brown to bring them to life a bit, and I dipped a clean brush into Everclear (or you can use a high proof vodka) and brushed some onto the trunk to give it a little “textured” look.
Then, I mixed up multiple shades of red and pink, using red airbrush color, pink airbrush color, and white gel color, and went to town painting on hearts!
But I knew I wanted to add a 3D element to the tree, so I punched out three different shades of hearts from wafer paper that I airbrushed,
and then I held each one in front of my travel steamer for a second to bend them a bit so they weren’t so flat.
I added a little glob of shortening (or you could use buttercream or royal icing) to the back of each heart and placed each one over a painted heart of the same color on the cake.
And my tree was a little bit more alive.
I wanted the teddy to be 2D and 1/2 ish (err… that’s maybe not a technical term) so I started making the appropriate sized shapes (looking at the photo on my computer) out of modeling chocolate.
I basically started with (almost) balls of mod choc that seemed about the right size and then pushed them down onto my surface just a bit so that they were somewhat flattened but not FULLY flat. You can use your fingers to smooth down the edges in a slope-like fashion so the middle stays relatively rounded but the edges slope down to the mat. And I placed them over the picture I printed out of the teddy to make sure they were about the right size.
And then used my sugar shapers (which you can get a discount on, here) to score the fur on.
To make the bear a bit easier to reproduce, you can print out the photo to the exact size he’ll be on the cake and hold your pieces of modeling chocolate over top of the photo to make sure they’re the right size.
(When making the pieces, break them down into shapes that you see and then attach them to each other by rubbing in the seams with your finger.
Don’t try to make the whole body out of one piece.)
After I finished forming him, I then used my petal dusts to color him a bit, adding chocolate brown to the edges, inside the ears, along the edges and creases of the heart, and the shaded parts that I noticed in the photo, with a little pink dust on his cheeks.
I then mixed some very light pink and some red petal dust with some Everclear (diluting them both quite a bit as I didn’t want them to be too bold) and painted on the falling hearts.
I hot glued some ribbon on (with three different colored bows, as well)…
and then couldn’t decide between the pink and the gold stand to display it on.
And STILL don’t know which one I like better.
Wishing you all a very romantic (or at least SERIOUSLY cozy) Valentine’s Day, filled with lots of love and a good amount of chocolate, too.
(Or cake. Cake will do just fine.) Xx