I made this cake for my church's anniversary picnic this afternoon. So many techniques went into it that I had never done before. I'd never painted with food color before, never stacked half sheet cakes (THAT one had an unfortunately sharp learning curve), never made/used modeling chocolate or ganache. I spent hours in the last several days studying this forum, gleaning recipes and techniques and looking up questions. I had so much fun with it.
It's 2 and a half 12x18's (started as 3 but I lost a half when I tried to torte it and lift the whole layer), torted and filled with ganache, carved into a book shape. MMF covered, modeling chocolate "cover", modeling chocolate/fondant blend ribbon, food coloring paint. modeling chocolate roses. It was a huge hit and it's gone!! I see flaws when I look at it but nothing that really makes me disappointed with it.
I just wanted to thank you all for your help and for making all this information available!