Inspired By Sparkle
I loved the crisp and frosty, silvery look of the inspiration photo and all the little sparkly bits.
First of all I wrote down every single little appealing image (there were so many!!) that popped into my head when I thought about a white Winter Christmas Wedding. Just absolutely anything that I thought might be able to be turned into an attractive cake element. The one thing I wrote down early on in big capital letters was 'NOT FROZEN THEME' as I have two little nieces who love the Frozen movie and I thought it would be all too easy to fall into making something along those lines!
Then, still on paper, I started playing with tiered themes and taking the elements from my first list and playing around with how they might look on each tier. I made a lot of sketches (and threw a lot away too!) and slowly starting getting the various elements to work together.
My sketches are a great help in getting me organised and knowing exactly what I want to do on a cake. They make me feel more confident and in control of the cake. If I don't sketch, or at least write down what I want to do, then I can sometimes feel a little lost. Having a definite plan helps but it's still fairly fluid and flexible. If something is just not working then I can easily change direction, but having a sketch to begin with definitely helps.
Once I had my sketch finalized then it was an easy step to get started as I knew exactly what I was doing and how long I had to get it done by. My first step was to take each tier (I used Styrofoam dummies) and give them all a base coat of royal icing. Two of my tiers were going to have a textured royal icing finish and two were going to have a smooth fondant finish so that was an easy first step to take. Then I started playing with cake lace which was great fun!
I used a couple of Claire Bowman's lovely cake lace mats to create the pretty snowflakes and part of the flower petals. I also created what I was thinking of to myself as my 'Jack Frost sparkle pattern' out of different sized sugar pearls in white, black and silver and interspersed those with little Swarovski crystals to give the whole thing a glittery, frosty feel. I continued this pearl and crystal pattern on the petals of the cake lace flowers to tie them into the whole cake.
I don't think I changed much at all from my final sketch when bringing this cake to life. I adore this cake - I have loved every minute of creating this pretty, delicate, sparkly beauty, especially as we're in the lead up to Christmas. I got so excited when I first received the email, then even more excited when I saw the beautiful inspiration photo! There are a couple of things I might do slightly differently next time but overall I love it!