A couple months back I received a cake commission from my friend Julie. It was for a the fifth birthday of her daughter Nola. Nola, mind you, had very specific requests when it came to her cake. She wanted chocolate cake, something blue, the number 5 on it, and with a mermaid on it that she could eat.
I started to sketch out my design and knew I wanted to sculpt mermaids out of fondant. I wanted a sample image to work from and that's where I ran into a problem. 99% of the images available for mermaids were quite voluptuous, Siren-esque and downright provacative--definitely not appropriate for a party for a 5 year old!!! I thought about changing my design, stressed over the whole thing a few days and decided to keep looking at images online. It took ages, but finally found an image of a a mermaid, or rather a mergirl that was sweet and child-like. Yihah--I was in business! From that image the cake below developed.
Not knowing Nola's favorite color I sculpted 4 little fondant mergirls in different colored costumes, but each as a brunette, like Miss Nola. A pearl necklace and a flower in the hair added a girly finishing touch. As for the "5" part, I made a piece of driftwood out of fondant that I marbled to look like wood. Each mergirl holds a rope attached to the piece of driftwood.
So who knew, when all this started how hard it would be to find an age appropriate picture of a mermaid?