I'm delighted to share with you the photos and history of the newest piece in my personal collection.

It's called "A Piece of Cake" , but could just as easily be called "Between Friends". You'll soon see why.

Read below how a badly neglected, unfinished shop front was magically transformed into the

centerpiece of my miniature collection.


Many years ago, I purchased this unfinished store front box from the late Keith Ballhagen. My original intentions were to turn it into a ladies shoppe. I soon discovered that a ladies shop would require much more square footage than this box included. It was placed on a high dusty shelf, and ignored for years. It was one of the things that I mentally put on my "when I retire" list, and I thought that perhaps I could turn it into a cake shop to showcase the fabulous cakes I had purchased from Carolyn Brown.. But more about those later.

When my friend Moonyeen Moller came to visit and work on the lighting for my Ladies boutique, I was immediately amazed at just how creative and talented she really is! In addition to her fabulous lighting techniques which she is so well known for, she is incredibly imaginative and gifted in so many other areas too! She does fabulous finishes, and is wonderfully creative. Not afraid to think WAYYY outside the box!

Before she left my house, I climbed the ladder and took down this dusty store front and handed it to her. I said, "Take this home with you and turn it into a cake shop for me. You can do anything you want, use any finishes or colors you want, and make any changes to the box you want. Don't tell me a thing about it as you work, make it a surprise. You have total carte blanche. Just keep it Edwardian era and wonderful.

She grinned a big grin, grabbed the box and said "Sure, it's a piece of cake"

I knew immediately that this would be the name of the cake shop when it was finished. The more we used the name, the more I loved it, and so it was to be. "A Piece of Cake" was born.


I bet if you asked Moonyeen, she would tell you that this project was anything BUT a piece of cake. She worked so very hard on the shop. Inside and out, front and back, not a detail was omitted.

Here, she has lined out the grid pattern to make the faux brick work on the side of the building. She has also made up the paper patterns that will be used for the hand leaded stained glass work in the windows.


The glass top was removed and replaced with a wooden multi layered ceiling. This would allow us to use lovely ceiling fixtures in the room.

Note the construction activity above the door too... hmmm...

Moonyeen selects a color scheme like you and I would select a new blouse. She tries it on!!!

Here, she has painted the doors and areas in the facade a deep red, and put a quick coat of deep brown on the other areas of the facade. The red will be replaced with a marble effect later, but for now, she wants to know that she likes the palette and that the overall color placement is well balanced.

Notice that lots of the original scrolls and doo dads have been removed form the front, and that above the door the area is now recessed.

This will allow for a great place for signage, which can now be lit by lights hidden up inside the recessed area.

If you know Moonyeen, you know that the lights in this project, as with all her projects is going to be WAYYY over the top. Actually they are under the bottom too!!!

This photos shows the base that she has built to sit the entire building on. Not only will this allow for a great sidewalk area in front of the shop, and elevate it 4" making it nicer to view, it also provides a grand place to hide three transformers and extensive wiring.

Yes, I said three transformers. The lighting on this storefront is amazing. There are "open hours" lights, which include all interior lights, even the showcase lights and of course the ceiling fixtures. There are "After Hours" lights that can be used when the store has closed for the day. These illuminate the front sign and the front bay windows.

These two combinations can be used separately or together, because they are each accessed by their own small push button on the back side of the platform. ;

Only a single cord with a plug on the end extends from this building, inspite of the elaborate lighting. Just one single cord!!! No transformers falling out of the wall sockets here!!!

Moonyeen used illustration board to mock up a false wall in the back of the shop. This wall would allow us to build a recessed and lit display area. It also has a door which leads to the back room. The door will allow the viewer to imagine the very busy bakery that must lay just out of sight.

A gorgeous hand laid oak floor was finished with several layers of varnish and sanded between each one, resulting in a floor so gorgeous I wish it was in my REAL kitchen!

The interior of the shop was painted a lovely warm buttery yellow.

With the exterior, lighting and interior finishes complete, Moonyeen came back to deliver the shop, and spend a week with us playing with some of the finishing touches.


While Moonyeen was hard at work on the shop, my family and I had taken a lovely vacation to Washington state. While having breakfast in an historical Victorian Building in Port Townsend, I realized that I was sitting in what could have easily been the interior of the cake shop Moonyeen was working on. l The tall front windows on either side of the door, high ceilings, wooden floors, even the doorway to the back room, were nearly identical. It was amazing and a bit spooky. I took lots of pictures of the inside of the bakery, inspite of my teenagers letting me know that I was embarrassing the daylights out of them. One of the things I loved them most was the exquisite art noveau wallpaper border that they had in the bakery.

I was tickled to death when I was able to find the exact pattern on the Internet and reproduce it for my own cake shop.

Here you can see a bit of the beautiful copper patterned ceiling that Moonyeen installed, as well as the false back wall, with the newly built display cabinet. The two beautiful gaslight chandeliers are by Lumenations by Mr. K, my favorite lighting artist. The door has a frosted glass window, with lettering that was laser etched letting the visitors know that this leads to a "Private" area. Using the colors in the wallpaper border, we selected a lovely green for the plate shelf that runs around the perimeter, as well as crown molding and baseboards.


With most of the real construction finished, it was time for the fun part! Filling the room.

The plate shelves are lined with a collection of Roseville pottery made by Kendall Minis. I felt that the colors and era of these pieces was perfect for the setting we were creating. Here you can also see the gorgeous wallpaper border a bit closer. If you want to see it in more detail, it is used at the top of this page as decoration too!


Remember those cakes I started to tell you about??? Well when the cake shop was finished, it was apparent that more cakes were needed. And there is simply no way that once you have one of Carolyn Brown's cakes that you could ever be happy with any less. The original dozen or so cakes I had originally purchased from her were mainly in pinks and purples, so I emailed her and asked her to make me a large selection of cakes, and please add some yellows, peaches and even greens and dark reds of possible, to add more variety and also go along with the colors we were using in the shoppe.

Carolyn outdid herself. No other way to say it! I am going to quit writing, and past a photo of each of the cakes here, so that you can appreciate the tremendous detail that she has put into each and every one.


A hatbox cake made just for me. Carolyn calls me the hat lady! Love IT!

Hungry yet??? Yes, the chocolate DOES look so real you want to lick it!!! Here are the cakes in the store counter too..forgot to photograph them before gluing them into place. Notice the darling hat cake in the lower center.

Carolyn can be reached at mapleleafminiatures.com if you are now dying for a cake of your own!

Here is the interior of the shop. The glass shelves are filled with finished cakes ready to be picked up.

For the visitor looking for a quick snack, two pastry carts are filled with sweet delights. The counter top display cabinet was made by

my husband Larrell, who helped with all of the finishing and arranging of this project. Pastry carts and bistro sets

are by Bespaq.

Here is a photo of the right side of the interior. Note the little bins of silverware on the pastry cart, the box of napkins and the yummy treats just waiting for you?

The chalkboard above the cash register counter has the days specials listed.

Here is the left side of the room, with more framed pastry artwork, and a second filled pastry cart. Can't you just smell the chocolate and strawberries?

Note: the pastries on the carts are the only baked goods not done by Carolyn. The cake shown on this cart was purchased on ebay as were the food items on the other pastry cart.

Here's the view when peeking in through the right front window.
And here's the view through the left front window.
This photo shows you some of the finer details, like the raised lettering on the laser cut sign, and the exquisite leaded stained glass windows that Moonyeen slaved over. If you look carefully, you might see the pretty cake logos which are etched into each of the glass doors.

Here is one last photo of the shop. I wish you could feel how this shop just glows from within! A very big thank you to Moonyeen Moller for all the creativity, talent and energy she put into creating this piece for me. Thank you too to Carolyn Brown, who will always be my favorite baker! Making a showcase for your work was the inspiration for this project.

And special thanks to Larrell, who helped with every step along the way, from mitering (Yuck) to hinging, to listening to me change my mind a million times. People ask me all the time how I manage to get so much done. Truth is, all of my time is taken up on business projects and I never seem to have time to work on my own things. I have finally discovered the way to complete my personal projects! Get someone else to do them!!! I'm fortunate to have incredibly talented friends to step in and do just that!