This was the first time since last July that I was able to get back to St. Louis for the Mini-Group meeting. Sadly we were two people short due to family commitments, but we still had a lot of fun catching up. I missed my birthday month, which is shared by two others in the group, the Christmas luncheon last year, and the January birthdays this year so I carried a large bag of presents with me.
Christmas for our "resident man" in the group was the Hallmark Keepsake ornament that featured Santa Claus in overalls and a ball cap carrying a ladder and a large "Honey-do" list. (This was the only picture I could find of it. Sorry it's so tiny.)
When I saw it, I thought of him immediately. He was delighted and reminded me that for many years he did play Santa for various functions. The ladies all received an elf whose body is made from candy.
I purposely picked the different ornament for our male member so his wife (also a member) would not have to identical ornaments for her tree.
I failed to get a picture of the August birthday gift. I gave our man a tiny tiger statue carved out of tiger's eye that I bought at the Field Museum in Chicago last summer. He's furnishing a Victorian sea captain's study and I thought the statue would be a nice "souvenir from a distant place."
For the four ladies whose birthdays I missed, I sculpted red velvet cakes decorated with small candies.
I plated the slice for everyone and included a matching tea cup, but I left the cake itself un-plated. My friends are very particular when it comes to plated cakes and pies, so I decided they would rather add that detail themselves to fit whatever setting they are planning to use the pieces in.
The candies on top of the cake are miniature versions of some cheery cordial nougat candies that I discovered in the seasonal candy aisle at a store in town. For the record, they do taste like cordial cherries and I hope I can find some more soon.
I saved some to decorate a real red velvet cake in the near future. It's my favorite type of cake to eat on any given day. When I make one it has three layers and the frosting has an off-white tint to it from the vanilla extract. I don't bother to smooth the frosting or add any decorative nuts like the bakeries do. But for the sake of "just because" I will be putting the candies on the next one.
And the next three birthday girls want the same thing, so I have a few more to make. I will also be teaching this cake as a project in April at the local miniature club meeting.