Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Craftsy Class! Topsy-Turvy Cake Construction!

Hi Everyone!  I just wanted to quickly post about this class for anyone interested.  I recently discovered Craftsy and took the Handcrafted Sugar Flowers class with Jacqueline Butler.  I really loved the class and learned a lot.  I had signed up for Craftsy's newsletter and this morning received one that might interest you! 

They don't have a lot of cake decorating classes as of yet (2 at this point!), but seem to be building in that area.  This morning they just announced their new Topsy-Turvy Cake Construction class!  It's discounted at 50% right now, although I'm not sure how long that discount will last for.  The price right now is $29.99!

I've done topsy-turvy cakes before, but I think I might sign up for this one!

From Craftsy's website:

What You Will Learn in Topsy-Turvy Cake Construction

  • How to design and create a cake based on composition, gravity and temperature considerations
  • How to use equations to easily calculate the angles for each tier
  • How to effectively cover cake in fondant
  • How to build a structure that supports every tier
  • How to transport your cake safely to its final destination
I'm particularly interested in structure and support, because I want to work at trying to create "extreme" cakes and need a better understanding of how to plan the support system.

If you are interested, you can sign up here.

Happy Caking :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Peacock Colors: Blossoms Cake & Cupcakes

Last week I had the pleasure of working on this order.  These photos are just a small sampling of the many cupcakes that I made to match the 6" cake for the bride and groom.  The brides colors were peacock colors, so she requested simple flowers that were green, blue and purple!  I love those jewel tone colors!
To make the flowers, I used the Blossom Cutter/Veiner set by Sunflower Sugar Art that I purchased from Global Sugar Art.  The cutter that comes with it is the largest size 5 petal flower that will fit in the veiner, it goes right to the edge... but you can use any other smaller sized cutters in the same veiner to get a variety of different size flowers.  In addition to the one it came with, I also used 2 of the 5 petal cutters that came in my Wilton set.
Most of my cakes are fondant covered, but this bride requested a buttercream cake...  But a proper buttercream finish still needs to be just as smooth as fondant!  There is something so satisfying about that super smooth icing!  I used Swiss Meringue Buttercream (of course!) and you can check out my post about smoothing SMBC to see my technique!
Cupcake weddings are very trendy right now.  I was delighted to be asked to create this adorable design!

Happy Caking :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Handcrafted Sugar Flowers (with Jacqueline Butler)

I wanted to share with you all, a class I recently took...  Now, I believe I've said many times over that I am self taught at cake decorating... but, I will be the first to say that I still have so much to learn.  The fact that I have not taken any cake decorating classes yet is not so much that I don't WANT to take classes, it's that the instructors I am interested in learning from never seem to make it up my way.  I'm not sure that I would get much out of a Wilton class at my local craft store.. and even my semi-local cake supply store only offers the most basic classes.  But, I would love to learn from some of the masters!
Enter... Craftsy!  They offer online crafting courses (okay, I think that was at least partially implied by the name, haha!).  At this point they only have one cake decorating/gumpaste flower class, but hopefully it will be popular enough that they will produce more in the near future.  The class that they offer (and that I recently enrolled in and completed), is called Handcrafted Sugar Flowers and it is instructed by Jacqueline Butler!

Jacqueline, if you don't already know... is internationally known for her stunning sugar flower arrangements.  She often travels to teach her techniques, but unfortunately has only once, that I know of, made it to my area... and I didn't find out about it until a week later!!  She writes The Petalsweet Blog.  Head on over to check out her amazing work, she is one of my favorite sugar artists!

Last month, I received, in my inbox, an ad with a discount offer for the Handcrafted Sugar Flowers class (regular price is still a great deal at $59.99), so I said why not?  It's a great deal and I've been looking to take some sort of formal instruction for a while now.  This class teaches Hydrangea Petals, Buds and Leaves as well as some Filler Flowers, Buds and Leaves.  While they may seem simple, sometimes it's the simple things that are the most difficult to learn/do.  For instance, I bought the new Wilton cutter set a while ago... and while I know they cutters aren't the greatest, I was hoping to at least make some half-way decent hydrangea!  I couldn't figure out how to get the tiny little center to stay attached, it got so slippery with glue!  Well, I don't want to infringe on Jacqueline or Craftsy by mentioning about her techniques... but she teaches some basic skills that will be useful when making sugar flowers, things I never would have thought about myself!
This class definitely gets my stamp of approval!  If you are, like me, mostly self taught, I recommend trying this class!  It's interactive, so you can ask Jacqueline questions and she can respond.  It's very informative and will have you mastering these basic flowers in no time!  OK, so I know that I have not yet mastered them... but my technique has already improved and I'm confident that with a little more practice, I will master them in no time!

I hope that my flowers do this class justice!  I have not yet received my order for the cutters and veiners... so I had to make due with the Wilton ones I had!  If you want to try this with the Wilton Hydrangea cutter... I suggest cutting the petals a little to give them more separation and a little more realistic look!

Sign up at Craftsy!
Online Cake Decorating Class

Happy Caking :)