Friday, February 13, 2009

President's Day Cupcake Mosaic

Friday, February 13, 2009

For those of you who missed out, about 1,800 of us had fun watching Zilly Rosen and her team assemble a 5,900 cupcake mosaic of Presidents Obama and Lincoln at the Smithsonian in DC today (they had a live webcam set up). It was even cooler than it sounds, believe it or not.

(You may remember I featured Zilly's work last November; check out that post here.)

Below are some progress shots taken from the live webcam. They shut off the camera just as I was about to get the final shot, but fortunately Kasey D. was on the scene, and sent me a picture of the finished product. Thanks, Kasey!

Thanks also to Sara K. for the streaming link!

My fav Zilly quote: "Obama's on the left. Appropriate."

Progress shots: 2:50 EST:


3:18 EST:

3:44 EST:4:10 EST:
4:38 EST:

Tada!

Note: I consider Zilly's creations more cupcake "mosaics" than the dreaded cupcake-cake abominations I usually heap disdain upon, so I'm not classifying this as a Wreck: more just an interesting bit of cake news.
Kathryn Magendie said...

Lawd! I have to stop looking at these cakes *laughing* - i have writing, editing, etc to do - stop me now! Dang Gumbo WRiter for linking you today *haw*

Dominic said...

Today at 2? What Time Zone?

me said...

My friends and I are planning to go to the museum in time for the deinstall at 5 p.m., and which guest can "volunteer" to help by eating the cupcakes. Mmmmm....

Cara said...

356 viewers already! I wonder how many are from this blog??? And it's only 1:30 lol!

Karen said...

Time zone??

angeluvsyou2 said...

post pictures?!! I gotta get back to work! :(

Brent, Lisa and Jordan Hall said...

2 o'clock in what time zone? It says off air when I go to it! I want to see cupcakes! :)

Elleah said...

That's great! I would have never thought to do something like that!

k8lynr said...

that is amazing, and i'm watching it live now!

though right now all i can see is a lady unloading cupcakes. still more exciting than what's happening where i'm at. ha.

-kate

Jen said...

Sorry, Dominic - that's 2 Eastern. Although, it's 2:25pm now, and they're just now getting started. (And I'm finding this WAY too entertaining. Plus I have work to do, too, Kathryn, so I feel your pain!)

Anonymous said...

Had to comment just because of my word verification. Today's cupcake mosaics must have taken several buckets of "eysings"!

Tracy

FairyNuff said...

It's growing!

The girl in the NW section is really annoying me, she can't space them out properly, dying to get in there, smack her hand out of the way and do it for her.

I can see I'm going to be stuck here for some time, lucky I'm in the UK so the kids are in bed :D

Kelly said...

This is fascinating and all, but that blonde girl REALLY needs to pull up her pants. I wonder if she realizes her bottom is being streamed live on the internet....poor thing.

Tuldas said...

Is it just me, or is the woman on the top left side having issues with straight lines...and proper spacing.

Mama said...

Favorite part so far: when it was mentioned on camera that you could see right down one of the cupcake arrangers pants! Then we got to hear the offending cupcake placer be told about it - turns out she didn't care, but it was funny!

Ami said...

I tuned in just in time for the camera people to point out to Zilly that one of the cupcake placers that, well... um, crack kills (her butt! dead center on camera).

So Zilly is asking her does she want to stop? no. Does she want to put on a sweater? no. Does she care? *laugh* no....

TOO MUCH :D

Anonymous said...

I just saw a bit of the live feed. That's so cool to be able to see the creation in real time! I'll try to check in again later to see the progress. It's also awesome how practically all the comments on the bottom of the video website are from people who found it through cakewrecks :).

spoofmaster said...

I think my favorite part is that the Obama cupcakes are chocolate-filled.

Valerie said...

I can't look away. It's interesting and insanely boring at the same time.
And I really want to give the lady talking a cough drop.

Thanks for the link. :)

Beachgal said...

1311 viewers right now...I hope if they don't finish before I leave work that I can find a pic of the finished product...This is SOOO awesome.

Heather said...

I keep wondering as I'm watching them all put it together if anyone's gonna get to eat the cupcakes. I hope so! What's the point of making a big edible mosaic if the cupcakes don't taste good, or if they aren't eaten at all?

Doublebanker said...

It's 2...my time at least. Should be interesting!

3 new posts to my daily gif blog today.

Anonymous said...

this website had brought cake into a whole new level of involvement in my life. I find it funny that I am actually watching someone assemble cupcakes via live-streaming web. wow. do you realize your power? use it for good, my friend. :)

Marilyn said...

I'm watching it now--that's incredible! To think they can make such realistic images with cupcakes and I can hardly draw a stick figure....

Lexie said...

Which museum is it? American History?

Kristen said...

Oh, this is hypnotizing!

The Boyfriend List. said...

i laugh about these all the time at work! thank you so much!!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe they put Lincoln on the same design... not a racist comment, but a partisan one.

Nicole

vanfox23 said...

Even though I don't like or support Obama, that has to be one of the most impressive things I've seen. The time and planning that went into that is amazing!

Robin said...

Anyone else see the mistake? Above Obama's eye of the left hand side... looks like two eye balls or something. I saw her misplace cupcakes, but not sure if it was fixed...

FairyNuff said...

I'm sorry to go on about NW corner girl but she has soooo wrecked Obama's forehead, can no-one else see it?
Anyone got a number to call Zilly?

Erin said...

I've been watching almost the entire time. It's amazing how much planning this took and how well it is being executed! Thanks for the live entertainment on a boring day.

Holly-Bee said...

Don't care for Obama, but man, this is like cupcake science or summink.

SCIENCE!!!

Tuldas said...

She has misplaced at least 2 cupcakes, I think 4.

But, to be fair, Obama's cheek, and left eye look weird as well. Flesh coloured eye highlight and lots of Acne?

Beachgal said...

I also thought the forehead was messed up, but apparantly noone THERE sees it. And I think they gave him TOO much twinkle that eyeball.

Adriana said...

If you're watching this now, notice that there's something a bit strange above Obama's left eyebrow... Isn't it a bit too dark there?

Salihan said...

That is impressive! I've never seen anything like it! Thanks so much for opening my eyes to the possibilities of cupcakes!@_@

P.S. Last day to win a handknit scarf at Salihan.com. Drop on by if you haven't done so already.

Dominique said...

Are these shellacked cupcakes? I see no icing on the gloves.

spoofmaster said...

I did see the girl doing Obama's forehead misplace the light cupcakes that are making it look a little wonky...she grabbed them from the opposite side of the tray, perhaps intending to place them correctly, but seemed to get distracted and then put them in wrong. :( This is why it's best to have one system that you use consistently, boring as that may be, instead of switching it up with each tray.

Carolyn said...

Nicole- I think putting Obama and Lincoln together makes a wonderful picture. Lincoln, a president very against slavery and Obama, our first black president. Makes perfect sense to put the two together.

Mare said...

It's a 5,600 cupcake portrait at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

The public will be able to "de-install" the portait too.

That's my kind of art!

Anonymous said...

Why don't cool things like that happen where I live? But that's simply incredible. Amazingly done!

Beachgal said...

Yay! it's 4:34 and they are going to fix his forehead!!! wooo.

Beth said...

I've been glued to my computer... fascinating! Brilliant!

Kilrothi said...

Oh, good, they're fixing Obama's forehead. Haha, it was so messed up.

Robin said...

She must have seen the mistake. To bad she had to lean over 20 cupcakes to fix it!
This is like art happening while I watch. As homer would say... mmmm, art.

Ladyfox7oaks said...

MM, Delicious frosted pixels!

Ladyfox7oaks

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable how attached I am to this feed. Probably not so much if there hadn't been the aforementioned mistake, but I can't help thinking that someone is going to fall face first into them trying to fix the problem.

Elizabeth said...

Obama's eyes look strange.
I think they messed up his face? Why are they taking it apart? I do wish there was volume.
But, it's such an incredible thing, I can't even fathom the planning that must have been involved.

dizmo said...

Yeah, apparently when she was setting up the trays, she inadvertently duplicated a row at two in the morning and is now going back and fixing the error.

Anonymous said...

you can come to the smithsonian american art museum to sample the cupcakes starting at 5 p.m. tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

What's the point in wearing gloves when she's playing with her butt crack and coughing directly on the cupcakes...

What's even worse is that she knows that this is being and broadcast.

Gross.

Kat said...

"Can I have a pretty cupcake? I don't want the sad Charlie Brown cupcake."

sendingtheclowns said...

I didn't get to see this happening live, but it doesn't matter. It's such a wonderful feat, even viewed after-the-act.
Beautiful. Moving. Appropriate. Real.
My Dad (who died in 2004) always said that his favorite president was Mr. Lincoln, and I know he'd have loved this! I'm absolutely positive he would've gotten a kick out of the way the election went, too.
I am so happy to be alive in this incredible time.
Thanks, Jen. >^~~^<

weewiccababe said...

love it - just watched them completing it, terrific!
greetings from Scotland
x

Melissa said...

I love this! Thanks for the heads up.

Tatersmama said...

Did I miss it? I'm always buggered with getting the time zones right. It said "off air" when I checked it :-(
What I want to know is, who gets to eat those cupcakes afterwards?
I want the nose, please - no eyeballs!

(my word verification is "caksyc" - how apt is that?? LOL!)

Jen said...

Watched the whole thing while working at home, thanks for posting the info about it. It was fun to listen to Zilly interact with folks and answer questions. Loved how she was with the kids :-)

wolfmom said...

Watched the whole thing off and on until completion...absolutely awesome!!!!

crankycupcake said...

This was so interesting to watch! I'm glad someone finally covered the blonde's coin slot. Food and butt crack shouldn't mix. The entire project was really amazing to watch. I would love to see some video from the actual cupcake production and planning stages as well. It would have been a great food network special. Thanks for the heads up!

Liz S. said...

That was amazing to watch! Thanks for posting the link!!

shinejewelry said...

that's pretty cool!

Lightening said...

All I can say is WOW! That is an awesome effort. It must have taken them FOREVER!!!

schnuckiputzi said...

Not only was I glued to my computer, I had it on all afternoon and my junior high kids were fascinated, too. (Apparently we missed the butt crack, but we did catch the messed-up eyebrow) A new generation of cake-wreck lovers is coming!

AGFC said...

Carolyn,
While I think this is an awesome mosaic, I do feel the need to throw a correction in here. Lincoln was not "a president very against slavery." Lincoln wasn't really that concerned with the slave situation at all. He only wanted to preserve the Union in any way possible. In fact, this is what Lincoln said on the subject:
"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause."
Cool mosaic, though.

Amanda M said...

Best. Cupcake cake. Ever.

Lauren said...

I watched the whole thing start to finish...I couldn't pull myself away!

Props to Zilly for being able to fix her error on Obama...he had 3 eyes for awhile but she fixed it without a lot of hassle!

Ninotchka said...

That is AMAZING! My stepdaughter alerted me to your blog. I love it! ;)

Laiane said...

Most awesome. Thank you! (from a long-time reader, first-time poster)

Anonymous said...

"Obama's on the left" /snicker
It's a wonder he even made it into the picture. But seriously, neat mosaic!

-Julie

Jessica said...

I love it! I could never even manage to master the torn construction paper mosaics during craft time in the third grade, so this impresses the heck out of me.

stinkoid said...

Now who doesn't just want to do a belly flop into that?

Becky B said...

1. How in the H do they figure this out?

2. I hope those treats are being fed to children starving for sugar!

drgns4vr said...

I watched about the last hour of this and Zilly was incredible. You could tell she was exhausted, but she didn't flap when they told her about the "third eye" mistake. She was very patient with the kids putting it together, with her own kids, and with the reporters. What a cool lady.
And I got so hungry for cupcakes!

Liza said...

Favorite comment by Zilly: "I wish we had 600 more blue cupcakes to make the border deeper". Don't we all wish for 600 more blue cupcakes (only 588 more than I have--I had to make a batch after the video).

Zilly said...

Hey Cake Wreckers!

Zilly here, after some much needed sleep, so glad to read (most of) your comments! Don't be too mean to my helpers...they worked long, long hours last week and the forehead mistake was mine, not theirs.

For those of you bothered by my voice, I want to assure you I am not sick and no amount of cough drops would help. I have a voice disorder: shot through the throat by bandits in Guatemala 11 years ago. Seriously.

Anyone offended by butt cracks will not be served a cupcake today!
Hee Hee.

And, my personal reason for the two together in the installation is that I am from Illinois, and today I am celebrating the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth and the Inauguration of President Obama. It's not a party unless there is cake!

After we "de-install" today at 5pm, we will deliver any left-over cupcakes to a few different shelters/soup kitchens. I don't want any of my little lovelies to be thrown out!

One more thing: I wanted to do the red stripes in red velvet cake, and Obama in chocolate cake, but this was such a mathematical challenge that I ended up not throwing in another variable. For those who are interested in the way I planned it, I'll be posting that to my blog (find it via my website) next week. Math was as important as the art and baking that went into this!

Cheesewench said...

Wow!That mosaic is remarkable.

Your site is a blast! I can't remember the last time I was intrigued and repulsed simultaneously!

Bets said...

Hooray! Just heard her give a shout-out to the blog on her live interviews on the webcam! Pretty cool. She said, "Hi Cake Wrecks! I'm sure they are watching right now!"

Courtney said...

Zilly, your cupcake mosaic was absolutely amazing.

Anonymous said...

Why are people so eager to compare Obama to Lincoln for god's sake?

Meech said...

WOW!!! I am seriously impressed.

The Favorite said...

We LOVE Zilly and think she is the greatest cake maker in Buffalo!
Great work.

Tina said...

creepy

Sheri said...

AMAZING work, Zilly (and company). Truly impressive.

Word verification: boficis
Male plant that yearns to be a country singer.

spoofmaster said...

Yeah, after I made my comment I saw the part where it was revealed that the forehead was a problem from tray-building at two in the morning, not a problem with tray-unloading during the event.

Wish I could be there to have some cupcakes...as Zilly said on the feed, they did their best to follow health code, and if certain anonymice are too finicky to accept these conditions, they're more than welcome to not have any.

Also, pulling one's pants up/shirt down is not the same as "playing with her buttcrack." Jeez.

DangGina said...

That's awesome.

Jo said...

That is awesome! It must take an incredible amount of time and planning. They've got to have a "map" of what cupcake goes where. AWESOME!

Zilly said...

Thank you for defending my virtue and dignity Spoof!

Word recognition: Lograb! How's that for synchronicity!

Distressful Damsel said...

"How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg." --Abraham Lincoln

Obama has been in office for one month, and people are already comparing him to Lincoln? In my unabashedly biased opinion, the execution is good, but the concept is full of WRECK. This teeters somewhere between tacky and creepy.

cannwin said...

89 posts later... I'm wondering if anyone has thought of what would happen if some poor soul tripped. I think I would be mortified. I also think I'd be unlucky enough to do such a thing, or at the least have one of my kids go "MMM, mommy look what I found!" as he stands there with his face covered in what was once Obama's eyebrow.

Anonymous said...

I went to the "de-instalation" yesterday. I was really surprised after all that time the mini cupcakes weren't at all stale!

Beckie said...

i watched this whole build... it was AMAZING how it all came together!

Zilly said...

Everyone was surprised that the cakes tasted good! We worked really hard on the baking, handling, wrapping, and transporting to make sure of that.

As for kids near the exhibit, I was prepared for an "accident." I brought lots of extra cakes and fondant circles. I would have done a patch up job stat. Remember, 3 of those kids were mine!

Finally, want to share that I took the (very few) left-over cupcakes to a DC soup kitchen. I saw the same looks of expectation as the cake pan came around, heard the same questions (can I have a red one?) and heard the same polite gratitude as I experienced at the museum.

What an amazing experience!

For those politically minded of you who think the subject matter is a wreck, I have done my job as an artist if I have created something that evokes a reaction from you, any reaction. None of you are wrong. If you are interested in my personal reasons for using this subject matter and material you can check out my responses to those sorts of comments on the NPR website and the NYT website. I won't bore the other happy cake people here with those comments!

Jeffery Wright said...

another attempt to put BO on Lincolns coat tails? is anyone really buying this?

Miyna said...

I honestly don't think people are actually comparing Obama to Lincoln. I believe they're simply highlighting that it was Lincoln who, for whatever reasons he had, set the nation on the path that made Obama's presidency possible.

Enough politics for now - this is an amazing display, and called for hard work on everyone's part. Great job!

ity bitty me said...

WOW!!!

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

Now that is Auewsome...

Lynn said...

This blog rocks ! Thanks !

die Frau said...

I live in Buffalo (where Zilly works) and she did my sister's wedding--where we ate pie instead of cake. Each person had his or her own little cake-tartlet, compliments of Zilly. She's amazing and everything tastes AMAZING. I'm so pleased it went so well!

Dane K said...

i liked the warning sign next to the cupcakes... : http://flickr.com/photos/danebrian/3288418842/in/photostream/

Chava Malka Cooper said...

the cup cake mosaic reminds me of a guy on youtube that does these things with all kinds of things, he calls it 'goodbye art', he made a virgin mary mosaic out of pbj sandwiches, and also made art out of french fries. he is worth looking up!

Anonymous said...

Why the blip would anyone do a mosaic of Lincoln and Obama? Cause Obama sure aint worthy enough to be compared to Abraham or put beside the man in any shape or form. Including a 'CCC' basically.

and I'll laugh if anyone calls me racist for this comment.