It is the time of year for engagement parties. Congrats to my nephew Bradley and his fiancee, Kristen.
Kristen is a fabulous artist and a lover of all creatures great and small. Including BUGS and REPTILES. Interesting girl. For her last birthday I made her a cake in the shape of an angry Leaf Beetle, but for her engagement party she wanted a more traditional cake with roses and a large Blue Morpho Butterfly.
Honestly she is the artist and not me, so I tried to get her to make/paint the Morpho that would adorn the cake, but she didn't take the hint. In the end I struggled and came up with something that was at least presentable.
I started out by cutting 4 individual gum paste wings using guides I made from wax paper. I smoothed the edges of the gum paste, and then cut shallow lines to represent the markings on the Morpho's wings. As a final step I inserted floral wire into the wings.
Here are the 4 wings waiting to be painted.
The Morpho butterfly is mostly blue with some iridescent teals and purples. I started out paining the center section with some Wilton Teal food color gel. I mixed a little bit of gel with some vodka and then just painted it on.
Next I added some AmeriColor Electric Blue
And finally I trimmed the edges in Wilton Black
Once the paint was dry, I used the embedded wires to twist the wings together.
And then I built a body on top of the wires. I also added some sparkly gems to the edges to mimic the white spots on the Morpho's wings.
Then I painted the body black, and inserted some thin wire for the antenna.
Sadly, the twisted floral wires weren't strong enough to hold the butterfly wings together, so I had to use some hot glue to hold everything in place. I also hot glued a wire loop on the back so I could hang the butterfly from the cake.
So here is the original sketch from the bride-to-be...
And here is the finished cake. She wanted the colors to be Coral and Turquoise. In the beginning I thought it was a bold and inventive combination, but now I realize they are the trending colors. <<I am so out of the loop.>> I also added a few more flowers than her sketch showed. I had some extra gum paste roses, and I felt bad about throwing them away and not using them on the cake.
So all in all it turned out well. Congratulations Brad & Kristen. Ya'll make such a cute couple.