Shiver me timbers! I must admit that creating this cake has been the most fun project so far! This cake was for a special little man on his first birthday (I got to do his baby shower cake last year...where does the time go?) The birthday party theme - pirates! So my instructions were to "make a ship". I basically added the rest. I researched other cakes on the Internet, and created this design using the parts and ideas from other cakes that I liked. The cake itself was 4 layers of cookies and cream cake held together with layers of frosting. I carved the edges and corners with a serrated knife to create a boat shape. Then the whole cake got a layer of frosting. (I forgot to take a photo at this point to show proof that it really was cake. I promise...it was!) I covered the cake with brown fondant which I textured to look like wood planks. I added details to the cake with additional fondant: railing around the bow, a red racing stripe, a cleat with a coiled rope, port holes, and a life preserver. Then I molded the ship's wheel and attached it to the boat. I added Rolo candies to the sides for cannons, and a pile of Whoppers for cannon balls on the top of the ship. I then molded "Captain Ryder" out of fondant and placed him at the helm. The skull and cross bones on the front of the ship and on the sides were molded out of chocolate and attached. For the sails, I hot glued wood dowels together and wrapped them together with dental floss to create a "T" (note - this is the only part of the cake that wasn't edible). I rolled out the striped fondant and cut out the sails, wrapped them around the dowels and let them dry over a half of paper towel roll to keep their billowed shape. I added black flags to the top, which I piped with additional skulls and cross bones. Since I had to trim off some good sized corners from the cake, I decided to add a treasure chest to the back of the ship. The chest was a small square of cake covered with fondant and stuffed with candy and sprinkles to resemble treasure. With the other corner of cake, I created a shark with gray fondant and hand-cut fondant teeth, which I placed in the "waves" of blue frosting surrounding the ship. Lastly, I added the fondant birthday banner along the non-shark side of the ship. I had so much fun molding all the details for this cake, and I was so excited with how it came out! I think I really like doing the shaped cakes, especially when there are lots of extra pieces and corners to eat as I decorate. That is, if my family doesn't find them first!