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Orange Blossom Cake

Supplies needed: Fimo Classic Clay: Transparent/Translucent, White; Golden Yellow, Orange; (if you use any clay other than Fimo Classic, you may end up with a different color for your cake); cornstarch; miniature cake mold (can be purchased from a miniature shop); artists' soft pastel sticks: yellow ochre, burnt sienna, medium shade of brown (do not use an oil pastel stick - this is different and will not work); coarse sandpaper, resin and hardener (I use Envirotex brand); amber transparent resin dye. Optional: miniature cake plate, orange slices, orange blossom leaves.

Hints: when I talk about blending parts of colored clay together, it is very simple. For instance, blend 1 part Transparent with 1/2 part White and 1/4 part Orange. Cut a piece of Transparent clay any size that you want. Cut this in half. Put 1 half aside. Cut a piece of White clay the same size as the one piece you kept. The same applies for 1/4 part. Cut the Transparent into 4 equal pieces and put 3 pieces aside. Cut a piece of Orange the same size as the piece your kept.

1. Blend 1 part Transparent, 1/2 part White, 1/2 part Golden Yellow, 1/4 part Orange clays until you have a pretty shade of orange.

2. Dust the inside of the miniature cake mold with cornstarch by using a paintbrush or dip the mold into the cornstarch. Shake off excess powder.

3. Make a ball approximately 3/4" in diameter. If you are using a different mold than I used, then adjust the amount of clay you use. Keep gentle pressure on the clay with your thumb as you press the clay down into the mold with your other thumb. Be careful that the clay does not pop out of the mold. If it does, then ball it up and start over again. It does not matter if you have cornstarch on the clay.

4. Use your x-acto knife to slice the excess clay from the top. The clay should be even with the mold.

5. Turn the mold upside down and gently tap on the bottom. If the clay does not release, then use the x-acto knife to gently loosen the edges all around the mold by placing your knife between the clay and the mold. Slide the knife all around the mold. Be careful not to cut the clay with the knife by inserting your knife too far. Just loosen the very top.

6. Insert the blade gently into the center of the clay and lift it out of the mold.

7. Use your fingers to smooth the edges on the bottom. Be careful not to distort or flatten the top of the cake while doing this.

8. Press the bottom of the cake onto your work surface to adhere and texture with very coarse sandpaper. Press the sandpaper gently into the clay.

9. Brush the cake with the ochre pastel stick. Crush the pastel stick into a container. Dip your brush into the shavings or swipe your paintbrush back and forth on the top and sides of the pastel stick. Place your brush on the bottom of the cake and brush upward. Repeat this process until entire cake is colored. Since we are putting a light color on darker clay, the result will not be that noticeable but this step is necessary.

10. Brush with the burnt sienna pastel stick. Brush from the bottom of the cake upward. Do not brush the entire cake. Only brush those areas that would normally brown during baking.

11. LIGHTLY brush with the medium brown pastel. Brush around the bottom and the top and sides of the cake. Brush from the bottom up. Here again, brush only the areas that would brown during baking. Do not use a lot of brown. Apply very light coats. You can always add more color is you want to.

12. Optional: if you want to decorate your cake with orange slices as shown in the photograph, cut 4 slices from an unbaked orange stick. Curl each slice slightly. Hold between our thumb and finger and bend inward to curl. Use Liquid Sculpey to attach the slices to the cake.

13. Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.

14. Glue to a cake plate or whatever you are going to use to display it. If you are using a paper doily, do not glue yet.

15. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of Envirotex Resin and 1/4 teaspoon of Envirotex Hardener (can be purchased at a miniature shop or any craft shop) with 1 drop of amber transparent resin dye (can be purchased at a miniature shop). You can also use amber transparent glass stain (not paint - use the stain). Stir slowly to avoid air bubbles. Use a plastic cup and spoon and a craft stick to stir. These will be thrown away when the resin sets up. It usually takes anywhere from 4-8 hours to harden.

16. Use a craft stick or toothpick to drizzle the resin over the entire cake. Let some drip onto the plate. If your cake is not glued to a plate, place it on waxed paper. After the resin hardens, you can peel it off of the waxed paper.

This gives you a different view of the cake - from the top.

Optional: If you do not want to use the resin, then paint the cake with matte varnish.

You can decorate your cake with leaves, orange slices, etc.

Enjoy your cake! You did a good job!

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