Saturday, August 29, 2009

Swamp Thing Class Photos

Hi all!

This post would have been up a few days ago, but after about 2 hours of work, and near the very end of the entry, my hand had some kind of demonic spasm and wiped the whole thing out. After staring at the screen in disbelief, banging all kinds of keys to no avail, then dropping a few choice words, I had to just walk away from it for a couple of days to get over my pissed off-ed-ness. I am over it now. Mostly. Maybe.

This past weekend Dena Bryngelson and I taught our Swamp Thing class here in New Orleans. And boy did we have fun!

I mean we had a ball.

No seriously, I am not kidding. It was that fun.

Dena is crazy talented and a natural born teacher. Here she is carving her gator cake. I call her Edward Scissorhands. That knife just a goes a-flying and in what seems like a few seconds she has a 3 D masterpiece in front of her.

All of the students did amazingly good jobs on their cakes. Honestly there was not one cake in the bunch that was not excellent. We had some really talented gals in our class. And I would tell you if they sucked, trust me :)

What was really fun for us was to watch each swamp scene come to life over the 2 day period. Each student had the same instructions, used the same tools and colors, but each gator, stump and turtle had its own unique personality.

This is my buddy Pat. This is her third class with me. She is just a doll and quite the character too. I call her the walking Let's Make A Deal gal. You need anything, anytime, she has it. Really.....anything. It's amazing.

Here is Pat's gator in the early stages. It was kinda cool having a whole room of gator cake fetuses at one time. Once they got legs and eyes they really started to come to life.

Here is Pat's full grown gator. Isn't he just adorable? He looks like he is laughing.

And here is her turtle. Oh my gosh he is cute! I wanna just pinch his little cheeks and take him home with me.

This is Pat's completed scene. Isn't it just awesome? The gator sure is eyeing up that turtle! HAHA!

This is Kim D, another home grown gal. Doesn't she just look like a nice person? Well, she's not.

JUST KIDDING! Kim is a sweetheart, and her cake came out great too!

This is Erin. She is a hoot. Great sense of humor. We hit it off just fine. She flashes a beautiful smile as she wields one big a$$ knife. Look out!

This is Chae, another loyal student. She has the cutest Cajun accent. Here her gator has his crumb coat and awaits his skin.

Chae's swamp scene. Fantastic!

This is Patti. She works at LSU where my son goes to college. I told her she was responsible for keeping and eye on him and making sure he stays on the straight and narrow. That should be easy to do with a student body of about 25,000 don't you think? I just love her smile.

This is Heather, Patti's daughter in law. She does cakes as a hobby and is going to nursing school. YAY for nurses! You go girl!

This is Ramona. She is Patti's sister in law and best friend. They have been buds since childhood. So I guess that makes her Heather's aunt in law? I bet if we kept at it we could find Kevin Bacon in the mix somewhere too with these three gals.

This is sweet Scarlett. She is very quiet. Just stayed in her little back corner and worked as quiet as a mouse. We had her out of her shell by the end though! She came all the way from Tennessee!

Scarlett's beautiful cake.

This is Kristy, another Cajun gal. This was the first time she had ever done any cake carving or airbrushing.

And she did an amazing job! Bravo Kristy!

This is Sharon. She has been a student of mine in Austin. She is very talented at all kinds of art, not just caking. She is very much a perfectionist. She was worried her gator would not come out looking good.

And she worried for nothing! Look at that masterpiece!

This is Natasha. She was very serious when she was working, but always up for a good laugh. She has a beautiful little girl too.

Perfect swamp scene. I love how the gator splashed mud onto himself while he was romping around.

This is Becky. My dear friend helped me out at my ICES booth his year. She is a very talented caker and just the sweetest gal you will ever meet.

Kim, another local bud. She helped me out at ICES too. What great friends I have. Kim works at Shell Oil, same place my sister Barbara does. Small world. I wonder if Kevin Bacon works there too?

This is April working on her little turtle. Mom to a sweet little girl also.

April's kick butt Swamp Thing.

This is Carolyn. We were in culinary school together for 3 weeks. (I dropped out cuz my dad got sick and I never went back). But we stayed friends. She graduated with a 4.0 at the top of her class. Carolyn has been doing cakes for a very long time and is extremely talented. Super sweet too.

Here I am carving out the stump cake.

One student stump.

And here is another. See what I mean about how they all look different, but all look great?

Here is foliage drying that was airbrushed.

And the turtle that Dena an I made drying for a bit.

Here is a little video of some of the class action. This video proves that I certainly need to keep my day job.

Video link is HERE.

2 days and 23 hours of class time later, each student left with a truly wonderful swamp scene. We worked really hard , but we had a lot of fun and laughs along the way.

Here are Dena and I with our completed cake.


What do you mean that last picture looks funny?

I have no idea what you are talking about.

Ok,Ok, I confess I doctored the photo.

Here is the real photo. OMG the hair! Please let me explain the hair. I must explain the hair.

Saturday night after class Dena and I slept at my mother in law's house because she lives very close to the classroom. (My house is an hour away.) After class a large group of us went out for a nice leisurely dinner. By the time we got back to the house it was after 10 PM and we were really pooped.

Dena had overslept just a tad on Saturday morning and asked me to check on her Sunday morning to make sure her alarm went off this time. Sure, no problem. I set my alarm and take a wonderful hot shower and plop into bed, exhausted. My mother in law's bed is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in in my life. Period. I think it has magical sleep fairy dust in it or something. I slept long and hard; best night sleep I have had in months, no kidding.

So my alarm goes off, and I get up to check on Dena. She is in the shower already. Check.

That is the last thing I remember, up until the point that Dena comes into my room . "Sharon , Sharon? Didn't you want to leave at 8:30?" I hear her saying thru my slumber.

I sit bolt up in the bed. "What? What? What time is it?"


"What? really? OMG how did that happen? I must have fallen back asleep! Shit! Class starts at 9 am! The students are probably already there! Crap!"

So I jump up still half asleep and started grabbing clothes and toothbrush and God knows what else out of my bag, and run around in circles in the room getting nothing accomplished. I cannot think. I am panicked. I cannot believe I did this. I am never late for my classes. Ever. I am very punctual and responsible. OMG. OMG.

It was the bed's fault! That damned evil magical power sleep fairy dust bed! It must have cast a spell on me and sucked me back into its vortex via a transcendent gravitational force field. Dang mother in law and her perfect bed.

Dena, being the voice of reason, as well as being perfectly made up, cute and perky (I coulda decked her), suggested that she go ahead on to the classroom and get the students started while waiting for me to come. (We did have 2 cars, thank goodness.) So she went on ahead and I went into overdrive. In less than 15 minutes I was dressed, hair pulled up, slapped some make up on, brushed my teeth and threw on my wrinkled clothes and was out the door, blowing MIL a kiss goodbye as the wind I created rushing past her nearly knocked her 4 foot 6 inch body down onto the sofa. Driving well over the speed limit and taking turns on 2 wheels (not really), I made it to class just 18 minutes past 9. I got a round of applause when I walked in. Funny ladies.

And that is why I look like I do in that picture. As you can see, it was by no fault of my own. It was that evil magical bed. Yep.

It's a Swamp Thing 2009 was a huge success! It was my honor and pleasure to teach with Dena, and we are making plans to do it again. Thank you to all the wonderful ladies who took our class. You all were great fun and did a great job on your cakes to boot.

Thanks for reading!

Happy Caking,


Dana Marcus said...

Sharon - You are so funny, you kill me! You are right - every gator did turn out beautiful! Teach a class in Miami - I will be there!

Nancy Smith said...

I love how different they all look. What fun!! Can't wait to take a class from you someday!!!

Anonymous said...

PLEASE do a step-by-step photo or DVD tutorial of this cake for those of us who couldn't take the class...I would gladly pay for that.

Martina said...

Wonderful cakes! I hope, I can take a class someday. But I'm really far away.

kdodgen said...

Sharon, You and Dena made this class so much fun. I wish I could take every single one of your classes. I know that each one of us had a fantastic time and learned a great deal from both of you. Thanks again.

Kim D

Mattie said...

Oh I am so sorry I missed the class! Sharon please let me know when you have another class and for that matter any classes here in the New Orleans area. I want to have fun and become another one of your class buddies!

Janel Waters said...

I so wish I could have been there!!

darn that bed! hahahahaha - hey, can I come sleep at your mil's???

I need a good night sleep!!

btw - don't forget, we have swamps in florida too!

Elaine said...

You are so funny! One day I hope to take one of your classes.

Vicki said...

Funny post!! :) I want to take this class from you and Dena too, but would settle for a DVD.

Gayla said...

Sharon, you crack me up! Love the swamp cakes, looks like it was tons of fun and like everyone did a great job! Can't wait to see what class will be next, would really like to take a class of yours. Thanks for sharing!

Kendella said...

Wow - when are you all having this class again? Sign me up. It sure did look like a lot of fun. I missed this class.
I love those cakes ....

Dena B said...

Fantastic class....the beds at your MIL's house were all that comfy...I can verify that story...uh fact...everyone was amazing and fun...the whole thing was a blast and we have to do it again sometime!

Edward aka Eddie aka Dena

SharonG said...

It was nice to see the video of everyone and you tell you all had a wonderful time.

WOW! I have to say everyone's gators were outstanding!, and from the looks of it, you got to learn a whole lot in the class.

I am glad everyone had a great time and fun while learning to do this cake!

As I always say "Someday" I might get to take a class from you, lol.

Carena's Stryker Hip Recall Blog said...

Whoah! That's really scary and beautiful!