Friday, October 31, 2014

Poker Dessert Table + Dr's House Call

When a Doctor turns 60, loves the game of poker, and has more than 200 family and friends who want to celebrate with him......what do you do?  Order up a decadent, over-the-top dessert table full of royal flush edible playing cards, a sculpted lab coat cake, Towers of French Macarons, sparkling sugar cookies, and platters of fresh fruit surrounded by lush flowers and beautiful linens.




 As I said in my previous post about Life Lessons Learned through Cake.......every cake experience renders a life lesson.  This order was quite an adventure.  Delivered to Prescott, about an hour and a half North of Phoenix, this order included an 8' table, linen, flowers, props and stands, as well as all of the desserts.  A storm was brewing as we left the Valley and headed into the mountains of Prescott.  The storm reached it's full capacity as we entered the center of town with large hail, torrential rain, wind, mud slides, rock slides and cats and dogs.  Oops, sorry, no cats and dogs, just my imagination and overall panic!  I am so glad that my husband decided to accompany me.  We reserved a local hotel room for the night, as I was scheduled to return the next morning to pick up all of my rentals.

When we arrived at the top of the tallest mountain in the area, it was still pouring, and the host was frantically moving furniture, band equipment, and serving equipment into the house.  The storm was unrelenting and predicted to continue throughout the evening.  We moved all of our containers into the house, got soaked, and  waited for room and instructions to set up.  The host was in an amazingly good mood, dealing with all of the changes with laughter and good humor.  By the time guests started to arrive, the storm offered a little reprieve and I shot this photo on our way out.


Back to the lessons.....

Preparation is the key to success!  I had packed all of the desserts for travel.  Securing the cake well with a dowel through the center of the cake and into the board kept it from sliding all over the box as we went VERTICAL!  Honestly, the incline was ridiculous as we got closer to the house.

Edible transfers may seem like an easy-out, but are actually very time consuming.  I made 100 gum paste blank playing cards, let them dry for a week, and then transferred the edible playing card images onto them. they didn't fit perfectly, so I had to trim each one individually (four sides) of each card. Then, I stored them in flat boxes to be applied on site.

On a more personal level, I learned that the Persian Culture is amazing!  The food, the hospitality, and most incredibly, the love that they show for family and new friends (me and my husband) is nothing less than heartwarming.  In a world of mistrust, fear and judgement, it's hard to go to a set up like this at a personal residence, feel comfortable, and not be nervous that what you have orchestrated for the party will not be admired.  Well.....this group of family, friends and vendors was nothing short of AMAZING.  They even invited us to stay for the party, which we politely declined as I was exhausted, my clothes were still wet form the rain, and I was starving.  So, we retired to our hotel and enjoyed a hot dinner, a glass of wine and a warm bed for the evening.

The next morning was sunny and warm, we went early to the house for pickup and they greeted us with open arms...literally and big thank yous!

A great adventure, new friends and a lesson in hospitality even in the face of a terrible storm!

Love this job!  and special thanks to Shervin Photography for the phenomenal photos.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Custom Cakes+ Life Lessons Learned

Can you learn "Life Lessons" from baking?  I have come to believe that every single thing we do, with passion, has an underlying lesson, or message for us.  And, the sooner we learn it, the sooner we can move on to the next lesson,  using what we've learned.
I LOVE decorating and baking cakes and desserts, but making the same cake over and over has never been my idea of ...well fun.  So, I try to design a new cake for every client, and this means that every cake is a new challenge, a new adventure, and a new opportunity to learn a lesson.
Sometimes this lesson is just, well, a CAKE lesson.  A particular technique, method, or something I've been wanting to try.  Sometimes the lesson comes as a new "challenging client", patience through the process, listening to someone's difficult situation, or maybe the story of the loved one that they are honoring with a celebration.
I think this is my favorite, seeing the other person's love and caring for someone and wanting to honor them with a cake or dessert that just "thrills" them, and makes them feel so special.
But sometimes, the lesson is private.  Learning my limitations, mostly physical.  Learning not to be surprised when something turns out great, I am deserving. Learning to be grateful, even when I am beyond exhausted.

BIG RED FIRE ENGINE -

Lessons learned....strategy is important, once you cut the supporting structure a certain size, there's no going back.  When you think things are simple, they might take longer than you think, so be prepared.  And, it's  NOT ABOUT ME.    I had become very used to my clients ranting and raving over their cake when I deliver right before the party, but in this case, no ranting, no raving, just a lot of busy people preparing for a very large party, for a very blessed little boy.
In other words, a gift which is given in true love is given with no anticipation of reward, gratitude or recognition.  This was a large, tall, heavy, time consuming cake, and I actually want to make another one, just to see if I can do better.



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Southern Inspired Cake Tasting + Wedding Workshop Photos

On Saturday September 13th I hosted my first Wedding Workshop and Tasting.  I invited a few of my "Dream Wedding Team" vendors and friends and a few new Brides-to-be.  When you work from your home, the challenge to transform the space into a wedding or event venue becomes more difficult.  But, with some teamwork, we pulled it off (my team was my wonderful husband).  It also doesn't hurt to have an amazingly talented florist (Ivy Weezner) by your side, and a rental company (Y-Knot Party Rental) with beautiful tableware to make everything sparkle! Kelly Beeby,  from La Tavola Linens of Scottsdale,brought me the most beautiful linens for the welcome table, sweetheart table, and late night buffet.  Molly Marie of Love Story Films, and Julie Read from Juju's Tutus rounded out the "Dream Team" list of special ladies.  Molly made everyone, including me, tear-up with her touching wedding video.  Julie looked absolutely angelic in the Serendipity Skirt from her newest collection, and shared tips to make the littlest members of any bridal party feel really special.  As always, a very special thanks to my very dear friend, Diana Elizabeth Steffan, once again, for making everything I do look so beautiful in photos
A beautiful yellow and grey linen provided by La Tavola Linen graced the Welcome Table
 I chose a blue color scheme for this event, 2015 promises to be inspired by the color blue, in all shades and  forms.  My adorable LOVE flower vase greeted everyone at the front door with sprigs of blue flowers.  It is a luster champagne color that blends with every color palette, always one of my favorite little touches.
Sweet Southern Inspired Dessert Table
The Pure Elegance Backdrop has been covered in a gorgeous satin finish caramel taffeta fabric and topped with a Swiss Dot Vintage white lace and hung with gold finished mirrors and sconces.  The sconces are from my personal collection, French antiques purchased specifically for this backdrop.
Sweet Southern Inspired Dessert Table with Pure Elegance Backdrop
The white linen on the table is made up of yards and yards of white chiffon.  Romantic and flowing just like the blush color from a few years ago, I just love the delicate feeling of this fabric.  I've been saving this white lace and beaded border for a special table, and this was the perfect occasion.
Southern Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting
 I've been developing some new flavors in both Gluten Free and Non-Gluten Free flavors........Peach Mojito, features Rum infused Vanilla Bean Cake with fresh peaches, Peach emulsion and mint Butter Cream topped with a sprig of fresh mint.
Bourbon infused Vanilla Bean Cake with Blackberry Butter cream , Blackberry Syrup Reduction and Fresh Lime Curd (my favorite)
 Double Chocolate Toffee Crunch with Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling



 The cake....is one of my favorites, simple, sophisticated and wrapped in plant-dyed silk ribbon.  The pale blue color of the sugar flowers took me HOURS to get just the right shade of blue.  Not too pink, not too grey, to compliment the beautiful, natural color of the blueberries, and the ribbon.  In the end, I loved it, even though the color blue has never been one of my favorites, this one is really growing on me.
The antique gold finished tier was brushed with several different luster finishes to achieve just the right tone, trying to match the finish on the various mirrors and sconces.


 The cake stand is White Italian Marble with vintage crystal and gold "ball 'n claw" feet, originally from  a vintage furniture piece.  The stand, as well as the backdrop and all props are available for rent.
 The blackberries featured on the cake are sugar, and one of my favorite little touches, dark grey sugar pearls!  The ribbon is a new find from Silk and Willow, plant dyed silk ribbon, vintage-look, and such a find, they are my new obsession.


 Vintage French Scones


 The large silver vases and cake stands are part of the Angela Saban Design Decor Collection and are available for rent with a Floral Decor Package.
Place settings by Y-Knot Party Rentals.  Special thanks to Christine Young for joining the party, educating guests about all the gorgeous rentals available including the gold flatware and vintage-look chargers.  The pale blue hydrangea linen from La Tavola Linens paired perfectly with Magnolia blooms. Kelly Beeby absolutely reads my mind every time I visit the Scottsdale showroom, it's like she reads my mind!

 Dessert Taco Late Night Station with Lemon Curd and fresh strawberries, Red Velvet  and Cream Cheese Cake Shooters.  Gold Chevron table runner from La Tavola Linens.  Thanks to Kelly again!

 I picked up the YUM letters at Micheals, they are ivory leather-look and so cute!  All props and stands are available for rent as well..
 Blue thistles in the adorable bride's maids bouquet.
 Jamila Watson, the mastermind behind Parties on Purpose  shared some ingenious ideas for bridal showers, including this collection of "Favorite Things".  Such a brilliant theme, a collection of a bride's favorites as gifts for her guests.
Jamila shared a few of her recent parties and themes. 


This workshop was SO much fun, and worth every minute.  The brides had fun, the vendors networked and made some great new connections, and most of all, I was able to share my inspiration for the upcoming wedding season.  My heartfelt thanks goes out to every one of you!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sweet Southern Tasting + Sneak Peeks

This week has been all about Wedding Decor.  I have been designing, sewing, hanging, and prepping for our Wedding Workshop on September 13th.  The ideas that our guest speakers will be sharing are invaluable to any newly engaged couple, even if you are getting ready to walk down the aisle soon, there's something for everyone.

I gave a sneak peek at the linen for the Dessert Table earlier this week on Facebook.


I really love how it is coming together, although a good steam is in it's near future!

The Pure Elegance wall has been recovered with a gorgeous Caramel Taffeta, and draped with Swiss Dot Lace.  I can't show it off yet, don't want to give away too many secrets.

The cake is also coming together today, a sneak peek at some of the sugar flowers that will  be placed on the sparkling gold layer.

Not finished with them yet, they get two more rows of big petals, some gold leaves and tiny blue hydrangeas added to the mix.

The Glam Doughnut Bar is almost ready too!  This is probably my favorite setup for desserts.  Usually I use my Ceremony structure outside, but I have recently starting renting it for indoor setup, when ceiling space allows.  Draping a Sweetheart Table is beautiful, but when I stack mounds of tiny doughnuts on a table and surround it with yards and yards of white lace....something magical happens!


If you haven't purchased your tickets yet, better hurry, tickets sold at he door are $45.00 for two people, instead of $35.00  Tons of ideas, you can ask all the questions you can think up, and you get to try LOTS of fun food ideas for your big day.   Join me, and my very special friends form Diana Elizabeth Photography, Juju's Tutu's, Love Story Films, La Tavola Linens, Y-Knot Party Rentals, and Parties on Purpose. for a few lovely hours of Design, Decor and Dessert!!!!  See you on Saturday!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sugar Flowers or Real Flowers + Wedding Cake?

Some girls just KNOW what they want.  Others are not so sure, especially when it comes to choosing real flowers or sugar flowers for their wedding cake.

Real Flowers on a Butter Cream Cake
So, lets explore the advantages, disadvantages and reality of the question "Should I use real flowers or sugar flowers on my wedding cake?"  
Sugar Flowers with gold tipped edges
When using real flowers on your cake there are a few things to consider:
1.  The flowers should be special ordered by your florist with no pesticides.  The stems may be inserted with a straw to protect the inside of the cake, but as the petals and leaves touch the cake, the pesticides may be transferred to the edible area on the exterior of the cake.
2.  The  flowers may wilt or fade.  When the flowers are placed on the cake, there will not be water provided for the stems, so there is a possibility that the petals may become limp and unappealing. 
3.  Using real flowers can be beautiful and budget friendly!   This is a plus, as your florist my have stems left over from the other arrangements they are providing and may be happy to supply these extras for the cake.  In any case, it doesn't hurt to ask.

When using sugar flowers:
1.  I may be a bit biased, but sugar flowers can be anything you want them to be.  Whimsical, fabric-like, tipped in gold or silver, centers of pearls or rhinestones, or entirely realistic duplicates of your favorite blooms.
2.  Sugar flowers may be preserved.  The hard sugar paste used to create these magical blooms can be preserved in an airtight, cooled environment for a very long time.  I actually used a preserved topper from a couple's wedding on their 25th wedding anniversary cake!  It was beautifully preserved in a little cardboard favor box, and will again be handed down to their own children, possibly to be used again! 
3.  A bigger than life element, sugar flowers can be larger than normal, an unreal color, or an exotic bloom that is out of season, exotic,  or even unattainable through any other medium. 

Last, but not least, maybe flowers are not your style at all.  There are beautiful options such as bows, blinged-out sashes, scroll work, or vintage lace.  Whatever your style, MAKE IT YOURS!  The best advice is not to let "trends or friends" dictate your style. Go with your heart and choose something that makes it truly flutter.  Then, find a cake artist that can make it happen for you.  And, if that's me.....then let's talk!!  Don't miss my Sweet Southern Tasting on September 13th for a sample of new and exciting flavors and ideas.



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sweet Southern Tasting + Wedding Workshop


Updated!  Register here
SWEET SOUTHERN TASTING 
+
WEDDING WORKSHOP

Join us for a few lovely hours of dessert, design and decor!
A fun little Soiree for anyone dreaming of an elegant wedding day, shower, engagement party, or celebration.


“Experience my distinct style that honors the storied traditions of Southern hospitality
paired with a modern aesthetic and flair for the unexpected.”    


September 13th, 2014 from Noon until 3 PM

  • Deliciously decadent tasting of Southern inspired desserts including a preview of new 2015 WEDDING CAKE flavors and trends and an exciting new LATE NIGHT DESSERT MENU including artisan doughnuts, & dessert tacos
  • Personal appearances and expert advice from Diana Elizabeth PhotographyLove Story FilmsLa Tavola LinensJuju's Tutus,  and Parties on Purpose
  • 3 DIY projects that will turn any wedding, shower, party or event into a Southern Soiree.  
  • How to use specialty linens, lighting, flowers and decor to infuse elegance, grace, hospitality and personality into your event 
  • Southern Inspired Double Wedding Ring themed dessert table and tips for DIY features
  • A Sweetheart Table with a custom canopy that will make any couple feel like royalty
  • How to make your guests feel like family and have the time of their lives with an event design that tells a deeper story and arouses emotion. 
  • Debut of the Exclusive AS Designs Decor Collection available for rental and custom installations
                             Updated!  Register here

This event is open to all Brides and one guest $35.00 ($25.00 for each additional guest) , 
Wedding Planners & Wedding/Party/Event Industry Professional & Students $50.00 per person 
Please contact Angela@AngelaSabanDesign.com for reservations and payment info
September 13th, 2014 from Noon until 3 PM
5401 West Alameda Road, Glendale, AZ 85310

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Geometrics + the new black?

Geometric designs are everywhere I look, or maybe I'm just obsessed?  I just know that I was very excited when the team from BTS Events contacted me about a fun, bright, 40th birthday party recently.  Just a few days after my own birthday, my brain went directly to the new geometric cakes I've had my eye on.   Therapeutic, making squares and then rectangles and piecing together the design.
Three tiers, Double Chocolate and top layer is Vanilla & Raspberry
Raspberry, Blueberry and lemon Cupcakes
Raspberry Lemonade Sugar Cookie Bars in Geo shapes

Lemon Cake Pops