We are delighted to share with you the overall winning entry from our ‘Creative Writing Competition’. Lindy was very impressed with the presentation of Rhu Srand’s entry, the detail in the story, and how Rhu was inspired to create this beautiful, and different, cake. We admired Rhu’s attention to detail eg: the stitching , the research that went into the design, the ‘tweeking’ of the cake recipe, the ‘on-trend’ vintage style, and the beautiful finished cake!
And here it is…Rhu’s, aka Mama Rhu, winning entry. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did.
A Textile Creation and Pandora Beads in Cake:
“Melissa’s mum contacted me about making a cake for her 21st birthday, Melissa is at university studying textile design, she loves Pandora beads and the artist Julie Arkell.
I went off to research Julie Arkell and also fell in love with her work, she is a textile designer who makes adorable quilted objects such as bunnies and brooches from cast offs and findings. Her work is delicate but simple, and so I decided to decorated the cake using elements of her work.
I fell hook, line and sinker for these flowers so this is where the inspiration of the hand painted flowers comes from, and I spent a very happy morning creating ditsy flower designs on each of the flowers …. very therapeutic.
Melissa’s mum also sent me pictures of all the Pandora beads that were being given to her by loved ones and asked if I could replicate them in sugarpaste. So each of the beads I’ve made are the ones Melissa received for her birthday. I also received a number of pictures of Melissa in her favourite outfit so that I could make a character to sit on top of the cake wearing her very own Pandora bracelet.
With all these elements under way, the cake was baked. A rich chocolate cake recipe I have adapted from the BBC Good Food network an amazingly rich, moist chocolate cake and one of many I tested to get that intense chocolate hit, and this one certainly does that. I replace the sour cream for natural yoghurt and the coffee for the French raspberry syrup ….. the kitchen smells glorious, but the problem is having to keep going back to France to get the syrup …. such is life!!!!.
The picture I’d imagined in my head of how the cake would look started to appear before my eyes as I assembled all the pieces together and adding the finishing touches, sugarpaste vintage buttons to the hand painted flowers, sugarpaste ribbon around the side of the cake and ‘sewing’ the flowers into place, this inspired the stitched ‘Happy Birthday’ message on the top.
I know that Melissa’s mum, Nicole, spent a lot of time making bunting from fabrics that Melissa had in her bedroom as a child, such a beautiful idea and how amazing that must have been for her. Melissa’s mum and I had spent a lot of time corresponding with each other to ensure we both provided a cake that Melissa would remember for ever, but I was delighted to receive such a heartfelt thank you from the birthday girl and one from her mum.
Melissa’s thank you
Mama Rhu – Thank you so much for your part in making my birthday so special, the cake looks absolutely STUNNING and no-one is allowed near it with a knife! xxx
I am absolutely delighted with the cake Rhu created for my daughter Melissa’s 21st birthday. I wanted Melissa’s cake to be extra special, I knew of Rhu’s work via facebook and had been an admirer from afar for a while. I felt that Rhu was the perfect person to create the extra special cake that I was looking for to make Melissa’s day as special as possible.
Rhu guided me through providing the brief for Melissa’s cake in a very professional, warm and courteous manner. Rhu asked key questions at the beginning and during the cake making process such as who Melissa’s favourite artists is, what Melissa’s favourite colours are and whether I would like Melissa wearing jeans or a skirt etc. Using this information Rhu produced a stunning and amazingly detailed cake which truly captures Melissa as the creative, family orientated beautiful young lady that she is.
Melissa loves her Pandora bracelet as the beads are gifts from her loved ones, Melissa loves sewing and textiles and Melissa loves this cake, saying ‘wow’ and ‘it’s amazing’ and ‘it’s too nice to eat’.
We haven’t cut the cake yet, we are planning on cutting it on Friday when we are all together as a family again. This gives us a week to enjoy admiring the cake even more. Melissa is going to keep the sculpture, box and flowers and I am already thinking about how I’m going to preserve a few of the Julie Arkell inspired ditsy flowers for Melissa’s 21st birthday scrap book page!
Thank you Rhu for making Melissa’s birthday as special as it could be!!!
With love and appreciation from Nicole x x
Melissa and Nicole the pleasure in making your cake was all mine! Thank you Rhu x”
Click the link to see more of Rhu Strand’s cake designs
To learn more about Julie Arkell click here