Sunday, July 26, 2009

Liesl's 7th Violin Recital (and the Cupcakes it Inspired)

"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" Theme
Variation D of "Twinkle" (16th notes)

I've said before that our violin teacher goes above and beyond the norm in many ways; one of them is that she has recitals every month instead of just once or twice a year. The recital classes are a bit more relaxed than most recitals I have attended, they are a safe place to practice performing in front of a crowd. And there is always a reception afterwards with treats and goodies, so that the kids have a chance to relax, socialize, and catch up with each other. (It's a nice time for us violin moms and dads to catch up and exchange ideas as well.)

Liesl had a bit of a rough patch as far as practicing goes for the last month. She was balking, acting like she didn't know basic musical terms (when in fact she would recite these things to herself when she thought we couldn't hear her), and generally not having the best of practice sessions. I was concerned, and, if I was being honest, worried...I am so used to her being such a good student with very few bumps in the road, even for a 3 year-old. I shouldn't have worried. After about 4 solid weeks of lousy practices, recalcitrant attitudes during lessons, whining, stomping, and that reverberating "Nnnnnnnn..NO!!!!!!" that is so common with preschoolers; Liesl got up on stage today and decided to just wow the pants off of everybody. We had a new pianist at today's recital, whom we really enjoyed meeting and working with--she is the pre-K music teacher at a prestigious private school in our area.

And afterwards? The potluck reception! Violin, schmiolin...the real reason I love these monthly recitals is that it gives me an excuse to bake.

I got the idea for monarch butterfly cupcakes from a book I borrowed from the library, "Hello, Cupcake!" It had some amazingly cute animal ideas in it, but the idea that grabbed me was a swarm of these adorable and beautiful butterflies. I had to try them.
Above is my test cupcake. The body didn't come out as well for this cupcake as the final products did. Other than that, I was not disappointed in the final outcome.

Finished cupcakes on the stand. I had to tote the cupcakes, stand, wings, M&M's, a pastry bag full of chocolate frosting (for piping the butterflies' bodies), and the antennae in separate containers, and assemble everything on the site. The butterflies needed to be assembled with the cakes on the stand so that I could make sure the wings wouldn't bonk into each other when I set them up.

Another closeup. I assembled everything on the stand except the top cupcake, and moved the stand with all of the assembled cupcakes from my work surface over to the serving table. It was frickin' nerve-wracking, I was so afraid I was going to drop the whole thing. Some of the cakes have two small butterflies instead of one large one. The kids fought over these.

On the top cupcake, you can see the peanut M&M's I used to support each wing.

These were a HUGE hit at the reception following the recital. I had so much fun making them, but they were a LOT of work. I will probably not make these again for a long time, until my kids are old enough to either help or at least respect the process.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Those turned out AWESOME! (awesomely?) Even after seeing the disembodied wings, I couldn't quite picture the result. Fantastic work! I think you should do something like that for your girls' birthdays when they get a little older and have their friends over.