For the longest time, I always looked on with admiration and wondered, "How in the world do cake decorators get invited to participate in cake collaborations?" I'd see collaboration after collaboration show up in my news feed and I was always amazed and admiring - but also always wondering... how?
Then it happened - a few months back a message appeared in my Facebook inbox inviting ME to participate in the Easter Coloring Book Cake Collaboration! I was so honored and excited... and completely unprepared for the amount of work and commitment that goes along with being a contributor.
After that collaboration was revealed, I got a few messages asking how to get invited or what I had to do to be a part of it and the truth is... I can't answer that. I still don't know how my name made the cut. I didn't personally know the organizers and was only familiar with a few of the participants. But nevertheless, I was beyond excited to take part and it was an amazing group!
So why am I telling you this? Because after posting my cake and announcing my participation in this Gardens of the World Cake Collaboration, once again messages started rolling in - fellow cake decorators asking me how to get invited and what they could do to participate in the next one... and the truth is - I still can't tell you.
I'd say if you have a driving desire to be a part of one and the skills to organize - start one yourself (although be prepared for lots of work. LOTS and lots of work). Or ask another cake decorator to join with you and start one as a team. I know that's probably not the answer you want to hear, but as far as being invited to take part in one... I think you just have to keep putting your work out there, share on other pages, and wait for a lucky break.
That's how it happened for me. So now you know.
As for the Gardens of the World Cake Collaboration - it was primarily organized by one of the participants of the Easter collab. So by participating in the first one - it opened a door for another. And by participating in both of these, I've met more cake decorators, built more relationships, and hopefully opened more doors for future opportunities.
So now... let me tell you about my cake... My Lemon Tree Cake....
Here's the description from the collaboration page:
When I was invited to the Gardens of the World Collaboration, I chose the Italian gardens because Italy is where my best friend lives. After talking with her extensively about what she thought of when asked about Italian gardens, she kept mentioning roof-top gardens, lemon, orange and olive trees, and organic, natural gardens. As I thought about it more and more, I was intrigued by the lemon trees.
After researching several gardens that fit that description, I was most drawn to Giardino della Kolymbetra located in Valley of the Temples, Sicily. I found a few photos and used them as inspiration for my “Lemon Tree Cake”. My design is more whimsical than realistic but I wanted to keep the tree light and airy and have the whole cake very organic and fresh feeling.
One website described the garden this way: “visitors can wander about the olive and fig trees, poplars, mulberries, and orange, lemon and mandarin trees along the paths around the garden.” That’s the feeling I wanted to get from the cake... wandering among the trees on a rustic path.
Here are links to the pics that I used ...http://
travel.michelin.com/web/ destination/ Italy-Sicily-Agrigento/ tourist_site-Giardino_della _Kolymbetrahttps:// www.walksofitaly.com/blog/ all-around-italy/ gardens-of-italy-tivoli
The "ground" on my cake was rice cereal treats covered in a mix of modeling chocolate and Satin Ice Brown Fondant, then painted with corn syrup for shine. I used graham crackers with green gel coloring for the "mossy" look.
For the lemons, I used a mold like this. I rolled a little ball of rice cereal treats (to keep them light), then covered them in yellow fondant and pressed them into the mold. When I had all the cavities filled, I stuck the mold in the freezer for 10 minutes to let the lemons set so they'd come out of the mold without getting smooshed or stretched or distorted. They're pretty cool, huh?!
And the leaves? They were all wafer paper, sprayed with Wilton Color Mist (a mix of green, black and gold). I hand cut them all, sprayed them then let them dry and glued them to floral wires with sugar glue.
I'm sure there are a hundred other things I could tell you about the cake but this post is already insanely long!
So... if you have questions, leave me a comment! And before you go, I'd love for you to click over and like the Gardens of the World Cake Collaboration Facebook page and look at all the cakes and watch the video! You can also see (and FAVE!) them all on CakesDecor here.