e's first birthday... part 1

i think this was one of the first creative projects i worked on after e was born. during all of the time spent learning how to be a mother, i must have saved up some of my excitement to be creative, as i was bananas over my upcoming event. the theme for her birthday was woodland. think moss, mushrooms, fern, fallen logs, little critters. i gathered ideas and prepped during e's nap time for months, and finally the day rolled around. it whirled by just like any event that one is really looking forward to. but at least i have some pictures to remind me of the first birthday party to date. there will be many more. i'll start with my favorite, the cake. i had the idea of making a cake look like a couple of stacked logs, perfect for the woodland forest theme. i made the cake using nick malgieri's... how to bake... recipe for celebration cake. seemed apropos. i carved the cakes into the proper log shape. i added cupcake bottoms to serve as lopped off branches. the "bark" icing is chocolate ganache, and the wood of the stumps, where the tree rings would be, is my grandma's recipe for chocolate frosting. 
 what is a birthday cake without cake toppers and decorations? i made little snails out of marzipan paste, and gave them their eyeballs with tiny nonpareils, and a little dot of food color, then slicked them with corn syrup for that slimy look.

to the cake i added meringue mushrooms from martha stewart's recipe. then the cake was finished off with fresh fern curls, and fern sprigs, and tiny blue grape hyacinth... then we ate it.   more 1st birthday tomorrow!

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