Well, now I can reveal that THIS is what has been keeping me busy for the last couple of weeks. My youngest brother turns 50 this October, but he lives in California so the whole family won't be able to celebrate with him then. Since he and his family came for a visit east this week, we surprised him with an early birthday party yesterday. Yes, it's very early, and yes, we are kind of a strange family. This is the cake I made for the occasion, and yes, it is 100% edible. Even the wine bottle is made of cake!
The box the the bottle is resting on is the main cake -- butter cake with cannoli cream filling. The drape is fondant, sprayed with an edible pearl finish. The crate was made of fondant (a couple of weeks ago so it could dry hard), and then painted with food coloring to simulate a wood finish.
I created a stencil and used an edible cake decorating marker to get the words on the side of the crate. The grapes and poppies are also made of fondant, or a combination of fondant and gumpaste -- all edible (except for the wires in the flower stems!).
I created a custom label in Photoshop, using a picture of his house, and sent it off to be printed with edible ink on edible paper. I adhered the paper to some thinly rolled white fondant and cut it out before applying it to the bottle. The photo below was taken before I painted the edible gold onto the top of the bottle and placed it in the crate.
It was a lot of fun to make this one, and truly a labor of love!