” ‘n boer maak ‘n plan” is an Afrikaans saying that means “a farmer makes a plan”. In South Africa it means, even if you don’t have access to what you need, you will make a plan to get something to work for you, no matter how outlandish your solution may seem. Do a search for that phrase and you will see some pretty ingenious solutions – some pretty eccentric though, like the guys with their braai/barbecue in the middle of a portable pool, enjoying their fire and cooling down at the same time (o:
I often use this “boer maak ‘n plan” approach with my creations and believe that you don’t need to have access to all the latest or best offerings in the world of arts and crafts (like crazy-expensive modelling clay, spray on varnishes etc.) to make beautiful things. Having grown up on a small-holding out of town and later on in Zimbabwe for a few years, I had to learn to make-do with what was at hand. Your imagination can take you very far with very little if you will let it.
The only thing that I went out and bought for these miniature cake projects was the white ready-mixed wall filler. Everything else was found at home:
- I already had icing nozzles that were the right size, they just needed a little plastic bag and an elastic band to hold the filler/icing. (and some soapy water on standby so the filler wasn’t left to harden inside the nozzle)
- For the cake shape – I used a wooden circle leftover after using a holesaw and some bottle/lotion caps. You can also look for old curtain rails that can be cut into rounds, stack cardboard rounds or experiment with sponge.
- I covered my cakes with a mixture of premixed wall filler, white acrylic paint and wood glue. The mixture stuck well to the wooden base and also the ridged bottle tops that I used.
- One cake was covered with shavings from a brown felt-tip pen (koki pen). These look like chocolate shavings. Another was covered with tiny cork chips (cut from a wine-bottle cork). They look more like nuts.
- The ‘cherries’ on top of the ‘meringue nest’ are stained mustard seeds (stained with red food-colouring and then sealed with water-based glaze.) The ‘jam’ on the cake with ‘chocolate shavings’ was made from radish seeds. These were mixed with red food-colouring and left to dry. After putting the seeds on top of the cakes, I dabbed a mixture of water-based glaze, acrylic paint and ink over them. A few layers of the glaze were needed to hold the seeds in place and to look like runny jam.
- The ‘skewers’ holding up the bunting are toothpicks that were sanded around evenly until they were much thinner than they had been originally.
- The bunting is paper glued over string. I guess tissue paper would work too.
- The ‘white plate’ is the stopper from a baby bottle. (the part that is inserted during travel, before being replaced with the teat). Ask some friends whose little kids have just outgrown their bottles (o:
- I sometimes glue beige felt to the bottom of the cakes to finish them off. (not visible from the sides, only if you turn the cake over).
I’d love to see photos of any miniature cakes you might make in the future. There is something delightful about these little things. (o: