If you know me, you know that I've been obsessed with this cake since I first saw it. It makes me happy every time I think about it... I mean c'mon, it's a rainbow! I first saw it on 19-year-old baking whiz Kaitlin, aka the Whisk Kid's, blog... she's as cute as a button and clearly, a genius! Since today's my birthday, I thought I'd give it a try... (I'll let ya know how it goes...)
So here it is - it's a dreaded nighttime photo, but I think it turned out pretty good! The recipe is here... it's basically a coconut cake minus the coconut. The only change I made was to flavor the Swiss Meringue Buttercream with half vanilla and half lemon extract instead of all lemon... the combo is much more subtle, and vanilla and lemon together are just really yummy. Also, most definitely buy the 4-pack of gel food coloring to color the layers... regular food coloring isn't as vibrant as the gels. And be sure to mix your own orange and purple from the 4-pack... the individual orange and purple gels I bought separately turned out to be real duds. It's a cake that takes a little time, but it's totally worth it... cutting into that perfectly white cake and seeing a bursting rainbow of color - you can't help but smile!
So here it is... part birthday present - part much-needed office accessory. I've been saving up for a Heywood Wakefield desk but until I can afford it, this beautiful Russel Wright original will have to do...
They're both blonde with clean lines, but the Russel Wright was a fraction of what the Wakefield desk costs (about 1/10th to be exact!) and I love it just about as much. I swiped these photos from the internet but once I get my computer moved and everything set up, I'll post some photos of my (actual) new desk in my (actual) new studio space. I have to say I'm really excited... I've needed a desk for... what... 5 years?! Yep, 5 years. Yikes. I'm not going to know how to act!
Melody Gin - courtesy LA Times Isn't it funny how you can go for days and days without a single interesting activity and then all of a sudden there's a massive deluge of stuff to do every night for weeks on end?! Well that's what's been happening here lately, and I think it started with that trip to the opera... (wow, who knew a trip to the opera could do such a thing!) There's way too much to detail here, so I'll just hit the highlights. After the opera, we spent several nights viewing films outdoors, 2 of which were at Hollywood Forever, where we picnicked and watched Hitchcock's "To Catch A Thief" one night and Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" the next... it was so much fun...
Grace Kelly & Cary Grant in "To Catch A Thief" (as projected on an outdoor wall) ...and then the next thing I knew... it was my birthday!
On the big day I had lunch at Chateau Marmont, which is now sort of a tradition, followed by an exciting day filled with good friends and happy celebrations. I did the LACMA art walk at the Craft and Folk Art Museum on Saturday where I met some really cool fellow artists and crafters, and had just an all around great day. And on Sunday, some friends threw me a birthday party... and what a party it was! Actually, it was a party for me, but it was also a Dewanatron show (slash) magic act (slash) interactive post-it-note-art-experience, complete with champagne flavored cake. wow. And the whole shindig was covered by NYLON and the LA Times...
Brian Dewan, Rob Zabrecky, Tim Maloney - courtesy LA Times (and check out that spoon art!) Me, Rebecca Tull - courtesy LA Times Brian Dewan, Me, Leon Dewan - courtesy Mark Blackwell Syd Lynch - courtesy LA Times Lisa Bae & friend- courtesy LA Times Cake! - courtesy LA Times It's about now, I imagine, that you've started wondering about the
Dewanatron... a remarkable invention that you need to experience in person to
order to fully appreciate. Since we can't really do
that here, I've posted the Times article below, which describes its
eloquence and uniqueness quite nicely.
Continuing the fun, the next day we had a SpoonFed
Art photo shoot, so look for some new photos with a lovely
new model and a new website design, all coming soon. And to wrap up the extended SpoonFed Art/birthday/Dewanatron weekend, we
watched "Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey", an interesting little documentary about the inventor of the first electronic synthesiser instrument...
Last week was full of great adventures too, including an enchanting evening of magic and cabaret with my friend Rob Zabrecky, Handsome Jack, Derek DelGaudio and the incredibly lovely and talented Lindsay Benner. It was my first time seeing Lindsay, and I was thoroughly thrilled... she was amazing. I was also lucky enough to be invited to a little comedy club located in an alley in Santa Moncia where I saw my friend (and former SpoonFed Art model) Pamela Walt perform stand-up for the very first time... and she was great! It most definitely takes talent and lots of guts to do stand-up, and Pamela has both - (way to go Pam!!!)
And so, after all of that, the NYLON Magazine party is tonight in Hollywood. And there's even more coming up this week. Whew... when it rains, it pours!
*Shine on, Dewanatron*
By Dean Kuipers, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 1, 2009
If you've got a melody gin, it only takes two little musical tones to
make a song, a really good party, or even a strange and ever-changing
career as a musician. Sunday night at Ghettogloss gallery in Silver
Lake, the duo known as Dewanatron made a rare appearance with their
handmade instruments, pulled together a bunch of L.A.-based musicians
and a birthday cake, and left the local hip-oisie gaping in wonder.
"Much like a cotton gin weaves together strands to make cloth, the
melody gin weaves together a melody," explained Leon Dewan in between
sets. One half of Dewanatron, Leon makes the "guts" of their handmade
analogue electronic instruments, while his cousin Brian Dewan makes the
cabinets. Leon's father was an inventor and worked with high-voltage
equipment. "It's better to work with low-voltage, solid-state parts,"
nodded Leon, "and not risk death every day."
The Dewans' melody gins come in various sizes and shapes – some, like
the Dual Primate Console, are too big to transport easily. Others are
gallery installations or meant to hang on walls, where they generate
tones on their own. Leon explained that the particular gin he was
playing that night, which was about the size of an old reel-to-reel
tape machine, generated sets of two toggling tones – up to sixteen
total – that could then be modified with banks of knobs and dampening
At full roar, the Dewanatron experience howled and warbled with
demented mid-1960s fervor, all simple rhythms laced up with complex and
freakish electronic wails, a retrofuturistic journey to the reinvention
of the synthesizer.
The Dewans were joined by screenwriter Mark Blackwell on guitar;
filmmaker Paul Yates on his own Dewan-built melody gin; bassist Jim
Robbins; Drivin' n Cryin' drummer Jeff Sullivan; Tim Maloney on
incidental violin, trumpet and guitar; plus other folks on electric
dulcimers and found percussion, and Tommy Jordan banging spoons all
over the place.
Spoons, in fact, were the motif of the evening, with silver spoons
arranged on the walls, as the night also celebrated the birthday of
Spoonfed Art proprietor Karin Collins. Her jewelry, based on spoons (www.spoonfedart.com),
has been featured in about a zillion publications including Nylon,
Health, Jane and L.A. Weekly, and is available at the Ghettogloss
Magician Rob Zabrecky, formerly in Silver Lake band Possum Dixon, even
kicked the night off with a card trick and some illusions. Which were
really good and worked even in lights so dim you could hardly see. What
more do you want from a Sunday night?
Hello! I decided to treat myself this morning so I went by Joan's for coffee and a strawberry muffin... man it was good! Things are shaking up here, both literally and figuratively! We've had 3 earthquakes in a row now and I've been planning some changes that should shake things up even more... (more on that later...) Believe it or not, I'm off to get ready for a trip to the opera tonight... I've never been before so I don't really know what to expect... I'll definitely let you know how it goes - and a big Happy Birthday to my sweet friend Ginny! Hope your day was as spectacular as you are - xoxo!