Friday, February 24, 2012

Quilt and bow cake

I've talked a lot about my cousins in the past, but today I'm going to introduce you to my cousin Nancy.

Technically Nancy is my dad's first cousin. And I didn't even meet her until I was ~13 years old. (Or at least that's the first time I remember meeting her). Afterwards we didn't keep in touch all that much (ahhh, pre Facebook days...), but as the years went by I always remembered her and how much fun we had that weekend.

Fast forward almost 10 years later to 2002 when we decided on a whim to live together after Nancy had moved to Chicago for law school and I had finished college. Technically Nancy and I were cousins, but in practice we were practically strangers. It didn't take long for that to change; by the way we so quickly clicked you'd think we grew up together our entire lives!

Nancy and I only lived together for two years before I headed to the Bay Area in 2004 for grad school, but in that short time we became very close. One thing in particular I give credit to Nancy for is helping me break me out of my shell. I gained a lot of confidence and improved my sometimes-awkward social skills during those years when she'd force me to go on road trips with her or clubbing until 5 in the morning.

And although Nancy and I were once again separated by thousands of miles, this time we remained very close. I even flew back to Chicago in 2008 and made her a cake similar to this one for her engagement party. WARNING! That blog post is NSFW, aka not safe for work (or home, depending on who you live with...)

Letting our inner goofiness out with... the claw!

Later that year she got married. And we suffered through the freezing Chicago weather together to take some absolutely stunning wedding photos by Peter Wynn Thompson.

It was insanely cold AND windy, but our laughter got us through the pain.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when Nancy's daughter had her 1st birthday party. And I had the lovely honor of making the cake.

Happy First Birthday!

I also made a smash cake for the birthday girl. (For those who don't know, a smash cake is a small cake where the birthday kid is given carte blanche to eat/destroy it as they see fit.)

Cute little 6" cake to complement the big one

At first the birthday girl was a little shy with the cake. Nancy had to provide a little push to get her to stick her little fingers in it. After a little bit she started getting more and more comfortable with the freedom, and getting a bit more aggressive with the cake. Soon after she started going to TOWN on her smash cake, stuffing handfuls of cake and frosting into her mouth while ripping the whole thing apart.

Check out that big hunk of cake in her right hand!

It was priceless watching her have so much fun eating and destroying the cake. Maybe next year for my 33rd birthday I'll make myself a smash cake. Seeing that it coincides with Valentine's day, an excuse to destroy something is always welcomed...

And if I say so myself, I was really proud of how the big cake came out too. My first time with a quilted pattern was quite successful, even though I pretty much winged it.

And the cake topper came out as festive as I had hoped!

I used this tutorial from Cake Central if you're interested. 
But I added tylose powder to my fondant to make it more like gumpaste.
I also wrapped thin strips of fondant around chop sticks to get those fun curly-qs.

Happy 1st birthday to Olivia!! Looking forward to many more.

So even though Nancy is technically my first cousin once-removed and her daughter is technically my second cousin, there are never technicalities in having a great friend, family or not. 

Yours in loving the fact that she's now being referred to as Auntie Jacqueline,
(Auntie) Jacqueline


Sanda said...

Beautiful cake and adorable baby! May she grow up to be a healthy, strong, funny and smart young lady, just like her Auntie Jaqueline...

Nancy said...

That was a great read, Jackie! Not only because it was about us (well, er, yeah, because of that), but also because I got a little boost to my ego by being reminded of what I mean to you. I'm glad that I was able to corrupt you enough to break out of that shell. ;-) It wasn't that hard. And, look at you now. I'm so proud. Seriously though, I'm so glad we both took a chance on living together because I could not imagine my life (or Olivia's) without you! You are definitely making it in the will...remember that convo on friday -- anyway, it was weird because I totally did think of you as my runner up! We'll talk more about that later. Thanks again for a beautiful cake! Love ya!

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