Thursday, November 10, 2011

The 24-layer Chocolate Cake

Deciding on what a "luscious and elegant" chocolate cake should be for a recent request was easy as pie :)  I immediately thought of only one cake.  The elegant 24-layer Chocolate Cake from The Strip House restaurant is the most delicious chocolate cake I've tasted.

The layers are alternating chocolate cake and chocolate filling, coated with a semi-sweet chocolate ganache.  Very luscious, indeed!!  Usually after a steak meal I would pass on dessert, which would have been regretful in this case.  Thankfully my sweet tooth insisted on it; chocolate cake heaven!

My mini version was made with a dark chocolate ganache and filling.  I also made a twin, which is destined for a friend in Europe, thanks, P :))))

Golden currants top the cake and slice.  The beautiful Santos rosewood table was turned by Thomas Saunders.  Silver cake server by Don Henry.

My favorite holiday season has commenced :)  Wishing you joyous days...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More cupcakes & who's slacking at the bakery?

The izakaya chefs are still busy rolling sushi.  Nothing new happening there...yet.

Meanwhile at Bliss Bakery, the bakers have finished more cupcakes, lemon ones this time.  Hey, where's Alison?  Wherever she is, she'd better get off her behind and move the baked goods to the pastry cases and bread shelves cause they're piling up :)

Goofy, yes, but it's what was going through my head when setting up for this photo shoot :)

I'd also like to extend a warm welcome to the new readers of this blog and thank all for joining me on my ongoing journey as a polymer clay foodie :)))


Fellow artist and friend Tom Saunders has opened an Etsy store!  Do visit him at Etsy; you won't be disappointed :))))

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tebineri and Izakaya Tableware

A couple of months ago, I first learned of Tebineri "pottery" clay from Cindy Teh's blog (see her elegant sashimi platter at  Thanks, Cindy :)  Had to find it and order it pronto!  I was anxious to receive it, though when it finally arrived in the mail, there was no time to play :(

Fast forward to a week ago...a sushi platter request gave me the perfect excuse to check out this fab material.  Very addicting stuff!  Just like the cupcakes of my previous post, I couldn't stop at the end of the project; had to do more.  Ideas of what to make snowballed out of control, lol.  I had talked myself into making not only izakaya (Japanese pub) tableware and food, but a table and chairs as well o_O  The tableware is done, the food is in production, but the table and chairs may be out of my league...

More to follow soon :)

Glam izakaya tableware. Not an oxymoron; modern izakayas have evolved into chic establishments.  Far left, freeform ikebana vessel; at center, asymmetrical, wonky plate "glazed" in the raku style.
The unvarnished teacup exterior shows off the beautiful texture of cured Tebineri.  Love this clay!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hackers and cupcakes...

A few minor but annoying events popped up late last week.  Blogger ate all of my blog photos.  Shortly after, gremlins hacked my website's host server making it inaccessible for a while >:^(  No viruses involved, just irritating glitches and people!  I believe in karma...hackers beware >:^)

Fortunately, a special project earlier in the week made it easier to tolerate the above-mentioned nonsense.  A good friend, whose daughter goes to university thousands of miles away (like mine!), wanted to send a food miniature with the usual care package and rang me up.  The request was for strawberry cupcakes, the last thing daughter baked before departing for school.  For a lot of miniaturists, the first thought would probably be, "walk in the park" or "piece of cake".  Not me.  I've never done cupcakes before.  I wasn't terrified of attempting them, just never had the urge to try.  In the end, I really had a great time "baking" the strawberry cupcakes.

Of course, I couldn't stop there, lol, and made these Black Forest cupcakes for the shop.  The icing was piped into heart shapes :)

Looking forward to a great week and hope you all enjoy the same :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

More Laduree...

It's been consistently hot and humid lately, but I try to refrain from complaining due to the more intense problematic weather affecting others.  Still, my clay is literally mushy due to the weather conditions here and it's driving me crazy!!!

Hence, I resorted to practicing my piping.  Fun, but very messy :)  The result was this Laduree cake...

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Tiramisu is absolutely irresistible to me and my daughter (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree).  We went overboard eating it recently, though it was worth every bite!  These mini slices are now available in my shops :)

Snakewood and ebony bowl by Jeff Spera.  Snakewood and Madagascar ebony hollow vessel by Bill Helmer.

Ok, this blog has been a snooze lately and I apologize for it.  I've been on a mission to fill my neglected shops with inventory so I can spend time on projects that have been calling out to me.  Can someone please send me more hours for my day?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Red Velvet Cakes

Another family favorite!  I'm a chip off the dad had a sweet tooth :)

Red Velvet Cakes are now being served here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A mini wish :)

These cakes were the inspiration that motivated the request...

Clockwise, from left: Mango Mess Cake, Orange, Yogurt & Hazelnut Cake and Pear & Honey Polenta Cake.

for a version in miniature...

The beautiful pedestal serving pieces and Santos rosewood table were turned by Thomas Saunders.

and all the while how I wished to sample a piece of each!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A mini slice of my life...

At my last post, I was working in overdrive but it was okay; I knew something exciting was just around the corner.  I was fortunate to tag along on an adventure with my husband, the coach, my daughter, the assistant coach and an awesome basketball team to their tournament in Las Vegas!

Well done!  Congratulations, team!

We had a great time with the girls and their families, while enjoying the wonderful dining, shopping and entertainment that Las Vegas has to offer.

At the Bellagio indoor garden.

Matching a face to the name :)  'Tis me in the second row, second from the left.
I love this casual group shot taken after a fabulous buffet dinner at the Bellagio Hotel.  Kudos to Dr. Andrew Dang and team mom Jolinda Yamamoto for getting us organized for this dinner (not an easy task!).  Also many thanks to Dr. Dang for the fantastic photography throughout the trip, including these photos.  Last, but not least, a big thank you to the team, parents and Coach Agena and Aunty Lani Agena of the Kalakaua Basketball Foundation for an unforgettable experience!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New on the www!

Finally, a new post *sheepish grin*  First of all, I'd like to send a warm welcome to all new followers and many thanks to everyone still interested in this often dusty blog!  Hoping that you're in good spirits and enjoying the summer, or winter, as it may be.

So far in my summer, family, friends, homecomings and gatherings have been a fun combination in a whirlwind of activity.  Through it all, I've been sometimes glued to my laptop to take care of a few things like...a blog refresh at the beginning of June and the construction of my new website!  At the start, I was so out of my element, but after some marathon days and nights and bleary eyes, it's finally done.  Now all that's left is stocking the shelves with minis...easier said than done!  Do stop by when you get the chance,  :)

I was on a roll making religieuses for an order...guess what's first available in the shop?

Hope to be back soon...have a great day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bumps in the mini road...

There are several projects in different stages of completion scattered in my work area and I'm technically stuck in all of them.  So instead of continuing to bang my head against the wall, I moved on to stuff that I could work on while sorting out the obstacles.

The peony/maple leaf ikebana floral arrangement and wagashi (Japanese confections) assortment are for the tatami room.  Thomas Saunders turned the beautiful Italian soapstone hollow vessel and maple platter.  I made the rest :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Strawberries and Roses

This strawberry whipped cream cake is my favorite in full scale :)  The pink soapstone platter is by Thomas Saunders and Jeff Spera turned the alabaster hollow vessel.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dinner and Dessert

Never say never.  I said that I didn't think I would ever make "uncooked" whole fish but here it is by request.  Inspiration came from one of my favorite food blogs, Cannelle et Vanille.  Thai basil and cherry tomatoes are from my garden.  The baguette boards and knife were fun to make :)  Hopefully my next knife will have a metal blade and all my fingers will be bandage-free after I'm done!

Coconut cake is my mom's favorite dessert.  I "baked" it for her since the tatami room I had planned to give her for Mother's Day is no where near completion.  The beautiful red and gold truestone pedestal platter was turned by Thomas Saunders.  Silver cake server by Don Henry.  I was playing with resin and made the gold plate.

Have a great week!

Friday, April 15, 2011


I've been told that my blog is a bit dusty.  Nice way of saying I should post something ;)  Here's a few of the latest requests...

Thank you, Lesley Shepherd, for your gathering basket tutorial.  Instead of using wire for stakes, I tried #00 round reed (approximately 1mm dia.) which worked out well.  Polymer clay roses were shaded with soft pastels...stems are reinforced with florist's wire.  The lemons were requested with the...

Easter peeps cake!  From the cover of Phyllis Hoffman's Celebrate magazine.  Whipped cream frosting dusted with lemon cake crumbs.  The stand was not available anywhere so I made it, along with the knife napkins and tray.  Cake server by Don Henry.

Sunflowers take forever to least these look somewhat improved over the first attempt a year ago.  Like the roses, these are made of polymer clay with wire-reinforced stems and shaded with soft pastels.

I'll be back before the dust settles again, LOL!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Tower

This macaron tower turned out to be an epic project which often frustrated me.  I've done three others, but not as large.  It's finally finished to the best of my ability and going home to the window of a patisserie modeled after a famous one in France.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Play time...

Last night, I was working on income tax returns and could no longer concentrate on the zillions of tax-related bits and pieces before me.  Good excuse for a make another basket, lol!  And I couldn't resist playing a little...hope you like it :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Baskets 101

I was shopping for everyday type mini baskets online...didn't find what I wanted except beautifully woven ones that didn't fit my purpose.  So I decided, while reading Casey's blog and her posts on baskets (awesome tips, tutorials and photos!), to learn how to weave some myself.  A basket tutorial by Lesley Shepherd was also very helpful to me.  The first and second attempts came out okay...they're made from unwaxed, white linen thread, cotton-covered wire and Minwax stain.  The lighter basket was dipped in stain once, the darker was dipped twice in the same color stain.

And finally, I've waxed and buffed the top of the low table destined for the washitsu.  I wanted it to look like a family heirloom that was lovingly cared for through the generations.

I hope I've passed the test for beginner's basket weaving (and beginner's furniture making, as well).  Casey and Lesley, thanks for your help!!

p.s. Have a great Valentine's Day!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A new blog and the shop is open!

After experiencing a few problems with his blog, miniaturist Tom Saunders, is online with a new blog...pop over for a visit and say hello!

More good news...Tom's shop has reopened at Artfire.  Pictured above are some of his gorgeous turnings, including the rosewood table.  I filled the peach-colored soapstone bowl with my fruit but left the peach alabaster pedestal platter and Chinese soapstone pedestal bowl empty so you can see the colors and variations in the stones.  Absolutely beautiful...glad he's back!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Keeping Calm and Carrying On

I've been away too long, my apologies to all!  Time's been flying too quickly...

Several different projects have been on my worktable, some with components that I'm creating for the first time.  My holiday, helter skelter frame of mind and short attention span had been blocking progress.  One afternoon, my husband witnessed me struggling in frustration and out of nowhere blurted out, "Keep calm and carry on!"  For a split second we looked at each other then burst out laughing;  it was so comically off-the-wall!  I needed that :)

Though I work at a turtle's pace, some things are moving along towards completion.

This low table is made of bass wood with five coats of golden oak stain.  The finish isn't done yet.  Remember my post of last November 30?  That project has evolved into a washitsu (Japanese-style room with tatami floors) which includes this table.

Project supplies!  I purchased the beautiful silk fabric for zabuton (Japanese seat cushions) from kimonocards at Etsy.  The ornamental tatami is from Ebay.  Its weave is too wide for 1/12 scale so I've removed the fabric border and will re-weave the rush grass using notched cardboard for the warp string.

A lovely customer with the patience of a saint is waiting for this macaron tower.  Each macaron is handmade; I've discovered that I'm terrible at casting molds.  It'll be completed very soon, then be on its way home.

Wishing you a good weekend...