Update: I normally don’t update posts, but since so many have requested a how-to for the Barbie cake, I have made one. You can check it out on this blog post. Thanks for your interest, everyone!
As I have mentioned, I worked for a time at a candy store. Well, candy store slash gift shop. It was GREAT. It had a ton of kitschy little gift items, with which I was well acquainted and very much a fan, but also had tons of candy.
I’ve been a candy fiend since I was a kid. We’d spend our allowances exclusively on candy. Airheads. Warheads. Big League Chew. Jolly Ranchers. Snickers. Reese’s… Anything. The list went on and on. I loved it all. We ran a small candy ring out of our bus when we were in elementary school. We’d buy Airheads at 10 cents at the grocery store and sell it for a quarter. Not bad! It was well-known that they cost 10 cents but we’d start yelling about supply and demand and that was that. Some Christmases ago my parents gave me a Costco case of Airheads as a gift. I ate all 75 of them in a day and a half. In the 8th grade I was in a class where our algebra teacher brought in supplies once from his side business as a vending machine operator. What was a loosely academic discussion of how a business operates turned into selling us candy twice a week in the middle of class. The school eventually asked him to stop.
Candy was my thing. So it was only a matter of time until I worked for a candy store.
The above photo is from Halloween, sacred holiday of the candy store. I am dressed as the Greek goddess, Splenda. My sandals are Tootsie Roll brand, my scepter a large lollypop, my laurel wreath accented with both fake greenery and small apple and watermelon Laffy Taffy.
The job was great. I love small business retail and I was very knowledgeable of the product. I met so many people like me. We were down the street from Houston’s main medical center, so there were stories related to that, too. People buying ginger chews for family members doing chemo (it helps!), kids running around like tiny terrors because this is the only fun they could have before heading back down the street… One time a guy ran in out of breath looking for a certain licorice for his wife, who was IN LABOR (!) in their car. She wanted him to get “her candy” before they were stuck in the hospital.
And my favorite part of the candy store job? Making candy cakes.
We would take foam cake rounds and hot glue on candy. The cake above was a custom order done for a church tea. They said they wanted it Lifesaver themed because, “Jesus was their lifesaver.” They were very pleased with the results.
There were other non-round cakes, too. These Barbie cakes were from the mind of my old manager who would buy Barbies and insert them into the Styrofoam mold. The dress design was all me, though. Cool thing is that once the candy was all ripped off and eaten, your kid got to keep the Barbie.
Here you can see this number cake in progress. The uncovered Styrofoam peeking out… Perfect for an 8th birthday.
I really do miss the candy store some days. These cakes allowed me special creativity. Creating something with my hands. Something that starts without a road map that slowly comes together to form something I could take pride in.
I suppose that’s what this blog is, now. A place to store and share my creativity.