Friday, October 29, 2010

Sugar Skulls!

Hello Friends!
The preparations for Dia de los Muertos are almost complete!
We've made dozens of sugar skulls:

And whipped up some royal icing, dyed with natural pigments like turmeric and beet powder:

And we've prepared a station for decorating skulls with icing, sequins, and glitter. This is a skull I decorated for my sister, who passed eight years ago. She had a beautiful singing voice, and a great sense of humor, and and I put the skull on the altar in her honor.

The altar is set, and ready for offerings... in Mexican tradition the souls of the dead have to travel a long way to get back to this world, so they are weary, thirsty and hungry. Please bring offerings of food, drink, and treats that your loved ones who've passed enjoyed in this life (I need to go get some candy corn, because that was my friend Charlotte's favorite Halloween treat, cigars for my Papa, Pabst Blue Ribbon for my Granddaddy, and some chocolate for my Mopsey) and pictures, flowers, and other things to beautify the space and honor our ancestors.

Blank sugar skulls are $5 each, and a portion of proceeds will benefit Defensa Comunitaria, a local grassroots immigrants rights organization. We will decorate the altar and sell skulls from noon to six on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. On Monday night, we are going to bring the contents of the altar to add to the one at Mayfels, where we will feast and dance with the dead, in costumes!
I feel so happy to be sharing this celebration with the community at the Cake Shop for the second year in a row, and, already feel how important repeating rituals and celebrations is for rooting ourselves in time and place.
Much love!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Autumn News from Short Street Cakes!

Click here to read our Autumn Newsletter, which is full of useful information such as: Winter Hours, Halloween Cupcakes, Kitchen Space for Rent, and three new books involving Short Street Cakes!

We thank you and we love you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bookish Happenings

Well, Hello there! Now that I've completed the writing portion of my forthcoming Cake Ladies book from Lark Books (due out in October 2011), I will have more time and energy to give to my old friend, My Life in Cake. So, without further ado, let me first turn your attention to another project I participated in by the lovely folks at Lark, Craft-In!

Craft-In, by Kathleen McCafferty, is a "box-set of 12 craft booklets featuring all indie crafters. Each booklet features a craft project by a different indie designer, with step-by-step photos, tips, inspiration, and suggestions for your own crafty gatherings. Projects include jar lid masterpieces, natural cupcake makeovers, cruiser hula hoops, sock creatures, crochet cacti, pet portrait embroidery, mint tin worlds, felt strawberries, shrinkable plastic jewelry, terrariums with sheep, retro paper dolls, and culture logs."
Indeed. And guess who wrote the book(let) on cupcakes? That's right, little old me. The Cupcake booklet, with photography by Steve Mann and design by Suzie Millions, features recipes and inspiration for making and decorating all-natural cupcakes.

Craft-In is available now from your local bookseller (like Malaprops, for example, if you are in Asheville) or online.
To celebrate the release of the book, Lark is hosting a Craft-In Book Release Party at Barnes and Noble, by the mall.
Kathleen also made this lovely little video about it:

And can I just get an Amen for Lark? Lark has been employing crafters, artists, writers and thinkers in this town for as long as I have been here, doing their part to make Asheville a place where artists can survive and thrive.
Thank you, Lark, and Thank you, Asheville!