Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Raffle! Raffle!

Hello everyone!

I want to tell you about a beautiful little boy named Aidan and his family. Aidan is 4 years old and survived a near drowning accident two years ago. Tragically, it has left him significantly disabled. He needs constant care, special medical equipment, and many specialty services and therapy. Aidan's mom is a kindred spirit, as she is a devoted cake decorator as well. Erin and her husband also have two other small children. You can read all about Aidan and follow his progress here: Pray For Aidan

SugarEd Productions is sponsoring a raffle during the month of April , and all proceeds will be donated to Aidan's care fund. You will be notified of your ticket numbers via email after your purchase. The winner will be chosen by random drawing the first of May.

Buy your tickets now for a

$200 shopping spree at SugarEd Productions.


Thank you so much for support!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Not Quite Ultimate Enough Cake

Hello Everybody!

Sorry it took so long to get this post up. Took a long time to load all of these photos!

As you all know, we did not win our episode of Ultimate Cake Off, but we are very proud of our cake, especially in light of all the problems we had in our kitchen that day, which were all true, BTW. No made up drama there. Unfortunately.

Here is my incredible team left to right:

Wendy Baiamonte.... my best friend, an incredible cake artist, the unsung hero of SugarEd since day one, my rock. She kept me calm and grounded during the preparation phase, and never tired of me obsessing over elements, ideas, potential problems and the rest. There is no way I could have done this without her. During the contest, she was the steady force at my side the whole time, driving me on, doing anything I asked, working her butt off. She talked me off the panic ledge a couple of times that day too. They don't make 'em no better than her, I tell you.

Adele Lind Nichols.... my very good buddy from Colorado. She was one of Rebecca Sutterby's assistants last season with me and Becky. She was in charge of all the poured sugar work. And she hand painted that incredible floral plaque on the front of the cake. More on that later. She too listened to every thought and worry I had during the whole process. She is a wonderfully talented, funny, and gorgeous lady.

Becky Willard....... is from Kansas and also assisted Rebecca last season. She was our silent but deadly secret weapon. She keeps her head down, quietly moving from task to task around the kitchen, doing whatever needs to be done with grace and poise. I hate that they barely showed her on the show, because she did just as much work as the rest of us, and was just as important to the success of our cake as any of us were. She handled the gumpaste rose work, the scroll pattern, applying jewels, and anything else that needed to done. She has a wonderfully dry sense of humor, and is a complete doll.

There really are not enough words to express how much this was a team effort. Every one on our team was involved in the cake, from the planning phase through the execution. It was very much our cake, not my cake. I wish that came across better on TV.

Here we are after a very long day in front of our cake. We were just happy to have finished it!

This is the blue kitchen on load in day.

Here is the famous clock over a large freezer we could use if needed.

During our 3 day stay there, we saw several other competitors in the lobby of the hotel. We ran into teams shooting before and after us. Every other lead contestant I saw had a 3 ring binder, tabbed, categorized, illustrated and with computer print outs in every section, full of all kinds of top secret notes and sketches. Um, I must either be a total loser or I did not get the binder memo. Because I used a raggedy school notebook I hijacked from my son with a few pages of scribble scratch notes and checklists. Yep folks, this is the master plan we worked from...... Maybe why we did not win? LOL

Remember in a previous post I mentioned how incredibly humid it was in our hotel room? So humid the water was dripping down the inside of the window. We have since drawn the conclusion that this was the catalyst behind the famous "pole won't go into the hole" scene. You know, the bleeping, friggin', me freaking out scene. What must have happened was that the humidity caused our black base boards to swell, making the hole in the middle smaller, causing the pole to not fit. It sure fit fine when we tested it at home! And what is even worse is that it actually happened twice! They only showed it once on the show, but it did happen again later in the day. Wendy saved the day, and me from a panic attack, by coming to my rescue and working her magic.

I do not mean to brag, but I can honestly say that the cake was even prettier in person that in these photos. The colors are not quite true here, and it had more pow, more sparkle, more dimension than the camera can show.

We used a large tapered hex at the base, then alternated tapered round and hexagon tiers with Styrofoam spacers in between the sections.

Adele's sugar beads hung in swags below the hexagon boards in front of the silver separators.

Unfortunately this is the best shot of the topper that I have, and it does not do it justice. We had our arrangement of purple roses in varying shades, and little battery operated lights tucked in the arrangement that created a wonderful glow coming from behind them. The crystal monogram topper caught those lights and twinkled as the whole topper slowly rotated.

Here you can see the poured sugar brooches that were on top of each swag tie. Wendy custom made the molds using Silicone Plastique from actual brooches that I purchased off of eBay. The gem part was purple poured sugar, let to set, and then the rest of the mold was filled with gumpaste, which was painted silver when dry. The gems were not as dark as they look here, they were a true regal purple. This was one of my favorite elements of our cake.

Here are a couple of the purple gumpaste roses. I used this cutter set here to make them. This set has a lot of different sized petal cutters, so I was able to make them in varying sizes for the spaces I needed. I did them in a free form, fantasy rose style. I did not want them too structured or formal, as the couple said they wanted the cake to be a little hip and modern. They started out white and were dusted with African violet, lavender and violet petal dust. Clusters of silver dragees in varying sizes were glued in the middle with piping gel to add to the Hollywood bling factor. I really really loved how they looked.

Here you can see part of the bottom section of our cake. The art deco thingies were made with this Stephen Benison cutter. We lovingly nicknamed them the Benisons. I used purple Satin Ice fondant with a lot of tylose added, and dried them over a curved former, so they would stand away from the cake. After dry, they were dusted with amethyst luster dust. Silver and black dragees were added above them to accentuate them. I really loved this element of our cake too!

Here you can see the lights shining behind the flowers. That did not show up on TV at all. You can also get a glimpse of the little gumpaste charms we had on wires. They represented the couple's mutual interests. We had footballs, cooking utensils, that movie clacker thingy (when they say action!), and movie reels. They were so cute! I purchased wine glass charms to make the custom molds with. They were molded of gumpaste and painted with silver luster dust.

Here is the bottom section. Black fondant drapes and ropes with huge sugar brooches at the joins. Clusters of flowers here and there....

None of the pictures are showing the faux finish very well, but it was really visible and pretty in person. Wendy did a great job doing this; she had the perfect touch with the paint brush. After the cakes were fondanted, she used Luck's airbrush shimmer color in pearl, with a squirt of silver, full strength. And she stippled the whole cake with a fluffy brush. It gave it great subtle dimension. It was a very classy sophisticated look, a lot like marble. It had just a tad of shimmer to it, but did not overpower the rest of the cake. Lagniappe: it totally hid flaws in the fondant, amazingly well! I might faux every fondant cake from now on!

This is not a great photo, but you can see our little silver charms in the flowers.

Can you tell that this one is cooking utensils?

And here is the amazing floral plaque that Adele hand painted to match the bride's invitations. They came out and threw this surprise element at us in the last few hours of the show, and we were really really behind schedule. We spent a few minutes brainstorming, and then I said to forget about it for now. It was more important to finish the cake, and then we would worry about the plaque. Somewhere in those last couple of hours Adele snuck away and used the black fondant and white chocolate we had on hand to hand paint this masterpiece. It was truly incredible! And it really did look like it was meant to be part of the original design. She really knocked it out of the park with this one.

Here you can see the sugar beads hanging in front of the separators. The seperators were Styrofoam that we covered in white fondant, used the line impression mat on, and then airbrushed silver. An easy technique that gave a nice graphic and bold backdrop for the beads and flowers.

See the little football in the flowers? We also threw a few black Sworovski crystals in there too for good measure. The beads were oblong, made from black poured sugar using custom made molds that Adele made before the show.

Another picture of the bottom section. The scroll work was done with the cutter sets sold here and here.

Nice shot of the scrolls, flowers and Benisons.

This is a poor shot of the Benisons close up.

This is the larger sugar brooch we used at the bottom. Wendy made the silicone molds from a humongous brooch I got on Ebay. Again, they were not this dark in person. They were a beautiful shade of purple and shiny. (Tip: rub them with spray Pam and they stay shiny.)

This is a little more true to the color purple, but still a bit darker than in person.

After the judging they sit us in these chairs to participate in witty banter while the judges deliberate. Let me just take this moment to say that all three teams left the best of friends. We all got along wonderfully, hung out and laughed together. There were no hard feelings between any of us for any of the events of the show. I was mad at Jan for sitting me out the 2nd time for about 3 minutes, and then we were joking and kidding each other right afterwards. But they did not show that on the show.

The aftermath.

More aftermath.

Yikes. Did we do that?

Here are the teams hanging out while the leads went in for judgement. Can't you just feel the animosity between them all? :)

What was left after they dismanted it all.

In the garbage. I am glad I was not there for this part. :(

After all was said and done, and all the obstacles we had in our kithen that day, I am immensely proud of the cake we produced. It may not be the one the bride picked, but that is OK. We accomplished what we went to do, it was a big challenge, and we did it! I am incredibly proud of my team mates, and our beautiful creation.

Thank you all for the outpouring of support and encouragement after the show. It means more to me than you could ever know!

I look forward to seeing all of you talented peeps when it is your turn!

Happy caking!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cricut Cake Class and Winners!

Hello Sugar Friends!

SugarEd Productions and Sweet Ideas the Cake Shoppe will be hosting a 2 day Cricut for Cakes class.

Taught by the incomparable Sweet Southern Ladies, Martha and Becky.

Come learn all about the new rage in cake decorating: how to use the Cricut scrap booking machine to make appliques to embellish your cakes.

August 1-2, 2010
Robert, LA

Please email Wendy for all the details:


Winners of the DVD idea contest are:

The Sugary

Thank you all for entering your ideas and email us to claim your prize at


We are off to the DC area this weekend to vendor at the NCACS Cake Show. Please come see us if you are in the area!

The Bleeping TLC cake post will be up next week, I am still working on it. That's a lot of photos to resize and upload!

Everyone have a wonderful, sweet and delicious weekend and I will check in with you all next week!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Bleeper part two

Thank you all for the outpouring of support and love since yesterday's post. It really has warmed my heart and made me feel better about all of this.

I am who I am and will not apologize for that. I am fiery, very verbal, emotional and animated. That is me, not a show. And I like me very much. Yep, I cuss sometimes. I am human. Yep, I get mad and frustrated. I am human. I use a lot of colorful language to express myself, but most often it is safe words like frap, frig, crapola and things like that. Do I say real cuss words? Yes. Is how they portrayed me on the show true to me? No.

There are some in the comment section of my blog that still feel the need to judge and chastise me. So be it. If my blog and TV appearances offend you, then stay away. And if you are too much of a coward to use your name when posting, then what does that say about your integrity and character?

I know I have set myself up in the public eye to be criticized. And I cannot have everyone like me. That is fine. I have never portrayed myself as a saint, perfect, or free of flaws. I am a cake decorator who wishes to share my love and passion of the art with the rest of you, and try to make a little bit of a living while doing it.

When I no longer deliver good quality cake decorating instruction at a valuable price, then all criticisms will be warranted on that topic.

That is the last I will say on this subject. Thank you again for the overwhelming support. Now back to the fun stuff!

Love you, Sharon

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sharon The Bleeper


Did you watch the show? Did you enjoy it?

I will have a full post up this weekend with all the juicy details and all the photos, but I want to address 2 things on last night's show that were misleading.

First let me address this comment to my blog:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Watch Teambito On Ultimate Cake Off Monday!":

What a filthy mouth for such a family show. I will never watch when you are on this show again. Not just mild words but ones my kids could tell what you said even though they bleeped you out. went back and counted what was shown 49 bleeps must be some kind of record for family tv.

Dear Anonymous,

Knowing your name would be easier to address you, but since you chose not to stand behind your words, I will post my reply here:

The bleeping on the show was way overdone for what was reality. ( And I highly doubt 49)

1) I did say "shit" once which need to be bleeped.

2) When the fondant was tearing I said "It is tearing like a son of a ----" and I did NOT finish the sentence. I said nothing else despite how they made it look. They added a bleep there for drama.

3) When the pole would not go into the hole, I was very frustrated yes, and saying "friggit!", not the other F word. IF you look at my lips you can see what I was saying. Again they added long bleeps for drama.

4) There were also bleeps added when my face was off screen and I was not even saying anything.

They apparently decided, that since I was feisty, showing a lot of emotion, and using "pseudo-cuss words" a few times, that they would go crazy with the editing and bleeping and make me look much worse than I really was.

Second issue:

During the skills test. I had not piped BC roses in about 20 years and I said so many times on camera. I also said that I knew mine were crappy, Pat's were perfect, and she had it in the bag. What I actually said during my interview was "I felt confident that Pat won the skills test because BC roses are not my strength." And they clearly edited my words to say: "I felt confident because BC roses are my strength".

Folks, this is a semi scripted TV show, not a true cake competition. They make it look the way they want it to look. They took many shot of words and facial expressions for all 3 of us and inserted them out of context, to tell the story they wanted to tell.

That is TV. We signed a huge contracting waiving our rights to complain, and giving them freedom to edit us anyway that they wanted.

I am no angel, I do cuss at times, but I have more sense than to let it rip on national TV in prime time. I was using my arsenal of safe "ugly words". Nothing other than the one "shit" did I say that really needed to be bleeped, but they saw the opportunity to create high drama, and did it at my expense.

Believe me if you wish; do not believe if you do not wish.

But I felt the need to clarify, and reiterate that things are almost always not as they seem on TV. Take it all with a grain of salt.

There, I have it off my chest, now back to the fun of caking!

I will put a full post up this weekend full of good stuff after I get my wedding order out the door.

Love you all,


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Watch Teambito On Ultimate Cake Off Monday!

Tomorrow night! 8 PM central time.... TLC

Watch us crazy a$$ girls get our cake on!

If they edit it right, it should be a very entertaining episode. I sure wish/hope they show more of the whole team. This competition is not about one person (the leader), it is truly a team effort. Our cake was a team effort from the design phase thru the execution. It was our cake, not my cake. My gals are the three best ladies anyone could have on their team. I am so very grateful to them for all the hard work, and moral support (yes I was very needy) throughout the whole process. No matter what the outcome, or how they edit it to make us look, I am so very proud and honored to have stood beside these 3 amazing women:



because she was a "silent" team member thru the whole thing as well. She gave design and structure advice when we asked, and was incredibly encouraging in every way. She was even on phone stand by for 911 crisis calls we had while in LA! And she saved our butts on a couple of things too!

I love all four of you to pieces!

If I come across as a crazy, mean lunatic, nut ball, I blame the editing. If I come across as delightful, witty, brilliant and skilled, then it was all real. Depending upon which way it goes, I might be entering the federal witness protection program Tuesday.

So everybody tune in tomorrow night, have fun, and don't take it too seriously!

Lova ya!~