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I Chose the Pug Life…

Hey hey hey, cake chums!

Did you manage to check out the latest issue of Something Sweet yet? Don’t panic if not – you can catch up right here. However, if you did, you may well have caught the mention of a little project that one of my cake chums cooked up for my birthday last week.

Well, I say little… a more accurate description would be teeny tiny.

Yes, Sarah Bray of Daisy Cakes has been beavering away once more to recreate some more fabulous cakes in miniature – and this time they were all mine.

Sarah and I were originally chatting last year about whether she was going to do a sequel to her fabulous To Have and To Hold project. During that conversation, I rather cheekily challenged her to recreate my entire Grumpy Pug Collection as miniature cupcake toppers. I never for a moment thought she would agree, much less whip up the entire set (including the most recent edition) just in time for my birthday last week!

Each one sits on a 58mm cupcake topper, customised to look like the original cakes’ boards, and the tallest topper stands at just 75mm in height.

I was incredibly honoured that Sarah would consider my work worthy of paying homage to, and I was totally blown away by the sheer amount of detail that she was able to cram into such a small amount of space.

I thought it was only right that I gave you all the chance to appreciate them all in a bit more detail and I must say an extra thank you to Sarah for the pictures.

First up, we have the original Grumpy Pug and the one that kicked off the whole collection. Summer was originally created back in 2016 for the Sweet Summer Collaboration, headed up by Isabel Tamargo of Tartas Imposibles. This little chap just popped into my head one afternoon and making him was one of those rare occasions where everything just went right. He proved very popular online and in print media and I think he definitely marked a turning point in my caking career.

Sarah’s miniature depiction of Summer manages to capture all of the super fine details and she certainly did him proud.

Next in the series came Autumn, who I entered at Cake International Birmingham in November of 2016. If I’m honest, I wasn’t overly thrilled with this piece at the show as the colours clashed horribly with the eponymous pink carpets, but I had a lot of fun crafting all of the autumnal elements and the pumpkin innards came out brilliantly! He also scooped me a silver award, which is never anything to sniff at.

I didn’t envy Sarah the challenge of trying to recreate all of those additional embellishments, but she somehow managed it. I think all of the details really came together to create a wonderful piece and I might even go so far to say that Autumn is my favourite of Sarah’s miniature collection.

Spring was another competition entry – this time for Cake International London in 2017 and I was struck down with a terrible dose of the flu just as I got started on him. Luckily, the week leading up to the show was a half term holiday from school and so I was able to get up and work on him for an hour-or-so at a time, before collapsing back into bed. I was really thrilled that I was able to overcome the dreaded lurgy and get Spring onto the competition table – although you’ll notice that I didn’t manage to get any shots of him at home. Luckily the super talented Robby Dee Photography was on hand to capture a whole host of wonderful snaps – check out more of his Cake International shots from all the shows at his website here.

I knew Sarah would ace this one as I saw how good she was will tiny florals when she recreated my wedding cake as part of the To Have and To Hold project last year. I love how many of the tiny details she was again able to squeeze in and I think Spring makes an adorable cupcake topper.

The last in the original Grumpy Pug line up was Winter and he was created as part of a cake tutorial for Cake Masters Magazine. You may also have seen him make a recent reappearance in the Cake Masters Magazine Colouring Book 2019, which I wrote a about a few weeks ago. If I’m honest, Winter was my least favourite of the collection, purely because I was against the clock to try and get him done in time for my magazine deadline. This unfortunately meant that I was left with a couple of issues that I simply didn’t have time to redo (mainly, it’s that the eyes were too close together and it bugs me whenever I look at him!). A few people got in touch after he was published to say that they had been inspired to create their own versions of him though, so I guess it is mainly just me that has a problem with him… 😉

Winter was the biggest Grumpy Pug cake and he is also the biggest Grumpy Pug cupcake, standing at just 75mm tall. I think the bit that most amazed me about Sarah’s version here were the miniscule streamers. How does one even roll modelling paste that thin?! I swear witchcraft must be involved somehow! See if you can spot the new Bling Bling edible glitter from Magic Colours hidden amongst the baubles too.

The most recent addition to the collection was created for a demonstration at Cake International 2018 and he was recently demonstrated over at Shawna McGreevy’s Cakeheads too.

I’m thrilled that he made the cut and arrived in time to make it into Sarah’s collection and I can’t wait to see the two of them next to each other in real life (yep, I still have the original of this one).

I do hope you have enjoyed taking a closer look at Sarah’s wonderful project and I know that I have really enjoyed travelling back through my Grumpy Pug journey.

I once made the mistake of saying no more pugs a while ago, but it seems that many of you aren’t ready to see the back of them just yet. Who knows… he might just pop up again somewhere soon. I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.

I must say a huge thank you once again to Sarah Bray of Daisy Cakes for paying me the huge compliment of recreating some of my most recognisable cakes in delightful miniature and for giving me one of the best birthday presents ever! Do swing by Sarah’s page to check out more of her gorgeous work and don’t forget to click ‘like’ while you are there!