Wow :) This cake was amazing! I know that I'm not the best cake decorator, and that I make mistakes, but I can't believe how this cake turned out! I mean, the icing was smooth, the color was great, the fondant didn't melt and was the right consistency, and the cake didn't fall apart!
I think the best part, though, is that it followed my vision. I love it when cakes do that! :)
Before I launch into all the technical aspects of this cake, I would just like to show (because pictures say a 1,000 words and all that) how much work went into that purple:
That's a lotta toothpicks! I mostly used the violet and burgundy colors, but I also used Royal blue so that it wouldn't be so pinkish. At first, I thought that the color wasn't dark enough, but of course, buttercream color darkens as it crusts, so that worked out nicely for me.
After I iced the cake (crumb coat first) and did that wonderful Viva thing, I used my handy-dandy garland marker and marked out 8 divisions in the cake, with more toothpicks. After that, I made myself some fondant swags.
I couldn't've done it without the wonderfully talented people over at CakeCentral. Not only did I learn how to make the swags, but I also felt confidant that the swags would stick to buttercream icing (thankfully!).
I wasn't sure if the MMF and gumpaste mix would be tasty, but when my grandma tried some, she said that it tasted like marshmallows. So, I think that worked out. The swags and pearls were made out of the same GP/MMF mixture, about 50/50.
After I stuck the swags and pearls on there (using toothpicks for the swags for added support), I dug out the imitation brandy extract that we've never used and the Pearl Dust that I bought at Michael's (Yay, Michael's!) and proceeded to paint the fondant a nice pearly color. The effect was gorgeous, in my humble and completely un-biased opinion. =P
My fondant (and in general, cake) skills have come a long way in a year, haven't they?
Happy Birthday to me :)