Treasures, Treasuries, and Thoughts

I swore I would never do a blog! So much for swearing. I didn't think that I would have much to say or share. I was wrong! I have been so blessed with a wonderful family, loyal friends, sharing colleagues, and the support from so many that I will never run out of topics to write about.

I have opened an on-line store at a place called Etsy (rhymes with Betsy). The items on the left are available for purchase there. These will change from week to week to show you my latest creations. The link to the store is in the upper left corner of this page.

I also have items for sale listed on Art Fire. The link to my Art Fire Studio is

I hope you will visit this blog, my Flickr page ( and my Etsy and/or Art Fire stores often. (

So come along on my Trail of Treasures! It will be a Spirit Journey for me and I invite you to join me on the trip.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Anatomy of A Birthday Cake

We recently celebrated my husband's (Warren's) birthday. His favorite part of the celebration was that his 11 year old Granddaughter, Olivia, made his cake from start to finish.

As many of you know, Warren is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. He appreciates and analyzes how things are made. And this cake was no exception.

Olivia is on her way to becoming the family's official cake baker. For her birthday two years ago, we got special permission for her to enroll in an adult Wilton cake decorating class. She loved it.

So on Saturday, she arrived at my house with all of her tools in hand. Olivia, her brother, Mason, and I marched off to the grocery to purchase the supplies she needed for her masterpiece.

She chose a recipe that only made two layers and she wanted three. So, she promptly did the math and meticulously measured out her ingredients.

Once the ingredients were combined, she equally divided the resulting batter.

Then Mason arrives to play an important role in this process....LICKING THE BOWL!

Once the cake layers are baked, the fun begins! She fills the layers with "Carmellow" filling. Carmellow filling was invented for this cake. Once the layers were filled, she frosted the cake with her the homemade Butter Cream Frosting she learned to make in her class.

A chocolate sculpture dubbed "The Tree of Life" was created from a mystery ingredient and decorated with flowers. It became the cake topper.

Olivia blended her own colors from her large collection of food dyes. She used various tips from her growing collection of tools.

After dinner on Sunday, Olivia and Mason present the cake for the customary blowing out the candles and singing Happy Birthday.

Grandpa is so pleased that Olivia did this just for him! He declared, "Move over Ace of Cakes, Olivia is on her way!"

Footnote: Big sister Sydney was not present for the cake making. She was out of state with her dance team. But she returned for the celebration and with the news that her team placed first in all of their events except one. They got second in that one. Congratulations to Sydney. She danced while the cake baked!


Brett Ward said...

YAY OLIVIA!!! The cake looks fantastic! I agree with grandpa Warren...."Move over Ace of Cakes!" and to the "Cake Boss" Look out you Hoboken Hobo..."Olivia-I ALWAYS MAKE GREAT CAKES", is on her way!!

yankeegirl said...

So more ways than one!! The cake is gorgeous and the look on Warren's face says it all!
Thanks for sharing Joni!

Judi B said...

What sweet fun! Love it when someone is encouraged to follow their dreams and finds that kind of satisfaction in the appreciation that follows! Good for Olivia, Good for Grandma and Grandpa and their loving support, too!

Julie G. said...

What a delicious looking cake! Yummy, I want a piece Olivia. How great to have this opportunity to bake a cake for this very special occasion. Julie

MagdaleneJewels said...

Happy Birthday to Warren! and what better way for him to celebrate then to have his granddaughter make one of her special cakes for him. The Waldorf couldn't have done better!
A see a future on the cooking channel for Olivia!
Thanks for sharing a joyful memory.

jstinson said...

Thanks to all of my Bbest friends who commented here. I truly appreciate the support that I get from all of you!