Sweet Art for Sweethearts: A Valentine's Day Commission for Michelle of Bleeding Heart Bakery, Chicago

So, I am not a celebrity baker. But--I do artwork for celebrity bakers.

It's true. And this Valentine's Day, I had the exquisite pleasure of making life just a little sweeter for the entire family behind Chicago's original purveyor of "punk rock pastry"Bleeding Heart Bakery (mother and father of said family, btw, are the authors of new book Who You Callin' Cupcake: 75 In-Your-Face Recipes that Reinvent the Cupcake). It might have been the sweetest commission I've ever received--one piece each for the entire family.

And--full freedom to create pieces with minimal art direction (booyeah!). Here's exactly what I was given as guidance for each piece, and what I came up with:

Can you make me some things for my family for Valentine's Day? I would like to make a print for each member:

Oliver (newborn, first piece of art for his room, he is named after Jamie Oliver): so for this piece, I created a mother and father-cake with a baby-cake surrounded by "real" food...

Sofi (really likes puppies and kitties): for this piece, I created a sort of Eloise-meets-cupcake-meets puppies and kitties piece, pictured top);

Gabe (all about Dr. Who): for this piece, I made a cupcake Dr. Who surrounded by space-type food items;

Vinny (cake decorator): for this piece, I made a Vinny-lookin' cupcake making a tribute to his sweetheart, Michelle!

...and, as the icing on the cake, a piece portraying the whole crew having a food fight.

Best of all? Michelle, who commissioned the pieces, put full trust in me, so she was just as surprised as the rest of the family when she received them! How sweet is that!?

Have a sweet Valentine's Day, everyone!