Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fall Cookie Bouquet Class at Ms Debbie's Sugar Art!

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, we had a Fall Cookie Bouquet class at the bakery. I posted about it here already, but now I'll give you pictures I took during the class!

We started out by outlining our cookies. Traci had beautiful nails so she became the class' official hand model!

Here's Jerry concentrating on his cookie and pretending I'm not taking a photo. I don't know how he decorates standing up...I forget that I'm standing and lose my balance. Seriously. The whole class was standing so I decided to stand, but I almost toppled over sideways! Does that happen to anyone else???

Then, I taught them how to thin down their icing to flood the cookies. There were 5 people in the class and 5 colors to thin down...perfect! Each person took care of a color. I love it when things work out like that!

Emily was the only person in class who hadn't taken the Wilton Method classes at Michaels - but you couldn't tell! She was awesome!

We lined all our cookies up and aimed a fain on them so they'd dry super fast!

After a little drying time, we added the final details. Don't you love how Corinne marbelized the flood icing on her acorn?

And Anita's turkey turned out super cute!

This is a close-up of the turkeys in process.

And the finished bouquet!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Handmade Christmas Cards

I don't know what's gotten into me lately, but I felt ambitious enough to make my own Christmas cards. I guess when you have the energy, you've got to put it to work before it fizzles out!

The cards I made were pretty simple and relatively cheap. I didn't price everything out, but I'd guess I spent no more on these cards than I would on store-bought ones.

To make these, I bought 2 sheets of scrapbook paper (at $0.69 each) that had ornaments all over it. I cut out the ornaments and glued them on to the page with a little brown ribbon and a colored bow. So easy! You can't tell from the photo, but the ornaments are sparkly so they're classy and festive too!

For the top two pictured here, I cut a strip of scrapbook paper that had the red and white stripes on it and glued it to the card stock. Then, I glued a ribbon across the seam. The tiny Christmas trees are actually metal brads and the snowflakes are just plastic (got them both at Michael's Craft Stores).

The bottom card was also made with scrapbook paper! I found a page that had rows and rows of presents and another one that had "Ho" written all over it! First, I glued down a strip of the presents. Then, I cut out one "Ho" and framed it in a piece of blue card stock. I glued that in place with a little white bow accent. It's "Ho" cubed...get it? Ho ho ho? You do get it, right??? Maybe I missed the mark on that one...

And these are my favorite because they're so colorful. The center rectangle is scrapbook paper I already had. I've actually had it for years so I'm happy to be finally using it! To make these, I framed the patterned scrapbook paper in a piece of colored card stock and glued it to the card. Then, I glued down 2 strips of ribbon (one with a knot tied in it, offset) and stuck two foam candy cane stickers on top! Again, super easy!

I am not gifted when it comes to paper crafts. So if I can make cards that look somewhat decent (at least, I think so...), you can too. Of course, if you don't feel up to it...check out your other options. Some people are actually PAID to make this stuff!!! Like my good friend Nicole in her Etsy shop.

Happy crafting!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rivalry Week in College Football and Snowman Cookies

It's rivalry week for a lot of college football teams across the nation. Adam and I are psyched to watch our teams play...against each other...this afternoon!

I'm predicting a tense afternoon. We have to silently cheer for our teams so we don't upset each other. After all, neither of us wants to sleep on the couch tonight! We can usually get through the day relatively unscathed. It's our parents that do all the trash talking and cause all the trouble! Hush, you guys! *wink*

Lately, I've been on a sugar cookie decorating kick so in honor of the most exciting game of the season (in my opinion, at least), I made two snowmen wearing our school colors.

Notice the University of Florida (orange & blue) snowman's nose is pointed downward while the Florida State (garnet & gold) snowman's nose is point up? That was my subtle way of predicting the outcome of the game. The Noles will win!*

*Adam rarely reads my blog posts so I don't predict that this little comment will cause much trouble in the Judge household. hehe Go Noles!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fall Cookie Bouquet

Last Sunday, I taught a Fall Cookie Bouquet class at Ms Debbie's Sugar Art. There were only 5 students, and I think that was perfect! There was plenty of room to move around, lots of individual instruction, and enough time to socialize. Best of all, the students completed a cookie bouquet just in time for Thanksgiving! Yummy!

This is the finished bouquet:

There were 3 fall leaves, 1 pumpkin (with orange sparkles!), 1 turkey, and 1 acorn.

Notice that little blemish on the left side of the turkey? Well, as the instructor, I had to sacrifice the perfection of my piece to demonstrate what would happen if you touch the flooded icing as it dries. Yea, that's the ticket...

I think the turkey and the acorn are my favorites. So cute!

Check out more photos on Ms Debbie's Sugar Art Facebook Fan Page. And, if you're interested, we'll be doing a winter cookie bouquet as well as a gingerbread house class in December! Check Debbie's website for more info on those classes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wedding Dress Cookies & Tutorial

It's been a while since I've posted a tutorial for you guys! But I think you'll enjoy this one. These cookie are pretty easy to make if you have the right tools.

Here's what you need:
Wedding Dress Cookie Cutter Texture Set from Country Kitchen Sweet Art
Sugar cookies (cut with the Wedding Dress cutter, baked & cooled)
Fondant colors of your choice
a paint brush
an angled spatula or knife
a rolling pin

Step 1: Roll the fondant out to 1/8-inch thickness. If you use the Wilton 9-inch rolling pin, the purple guide rings are 1/8-inch so just roll the fondant out until you can't get it any thinner.

Step 2: Choose one of the texture mats included with your cookie cutter set. Lay it on the fondant and press firmly. Be careful that the texture mat does not slip/move on the fondant. Then remove the texture mat and set aside.

Step 3: Use the Wedding Dress cookie cutter to cut out the imprinted fondant.

Step 4: Slather a thin layer of buttercream on the sugar cookie, and lay the fondant cut-out on top.

Step 5: Decorate the dress! For this tutorial, I'm going to make 3 mini ribbon roses to sit on one side of the dress at hip level.

Roll a piece of fondant paper-thin.

Step 6: Cut the fondant into 3 strips approximately a 1/2 inch wide. Then fold the strips in half lengthwise.

Step 7: Starting at one end, roll up the folded fondant strip. I like my ribbon roses to have little pleats in them so you can do that too, if you like.

Step 8: Now, you probably have a bunch of ugly fondant on the back of your ribbon rose so just trim that off with your spatula/knife.

Step 9: Apply a tiny bit of water to the wedding dress, and place the ribbon rose on top.

Repeat Steps 6-9 for the remaining 2 ribbon roses.

You can make so many different dresses with this cutter and texture set from Country Kitchen Sweet Art. For example, here are a few bridesmaid dresses.*

*Please ignore the damaged bow on the dress on the right. I took these cookies to Daytona for an ICES Day of Sharing and, of course, dropped them. Whoops!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Basketweave Cake with Silk Sunflowers

A couple of weeks ago, we were asked to create a 2-tier cake covered in basketweave. For all my Wilton students out there, wouldn't this make a great hostess gift for Thanksgiving?! You all know how to do basketweave so there are no excuses. *wink*

The customer provided the cake stand (from TJ Maxx Home Goods) and the silk flowers, and we took care of the rest!

Don't you just love the colors of the flowers? So festive, rustic, and elegant all at the same time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Brave Girls Club & November - A Time to Reflect

Thanksgiving is coming up! For many of us, our activities for the month of November include planning holiday menus, beginning the holiday shopping, decorating for the holidays, and even brainstorming ways to avoid certain family members. It's a busy month! But I'd like to add one more thing to your to-do list, if I may.

Read this blog post by the Brave Girls Club. My friend Julie just sent this to me, and it's an amazing story.

It's one we can all relate to in some way...love, success, loss, failure, and the rebound. Most importantly, it's about the recovery process, faith in each other, and the power of a gentle, helping hand. So please take 5 minutes to read this story. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Every Cake Decorator's Worst Nightmare

Yikes! I just saw this post on Cake Wrecks and had to share this photo with you...

Oh my gosh, I think I'm going to have nightmares for weeks!

Blue, Pink, and Green Cake with Polka Dots and Daisies

A couple of weeks ago, a bride and groom came into the bakery to order a cake for their engagement party. They saw a photo of a cake Debbie created previously and loved it so we replicated it for them.

When they saw the cake, both the bride and the groom were excited about it! The bride then wandered around the bakery pointing out the other display cakes she liked, but the groom kept saying, "Our cake is my favorite one!"

Yay! Customer satisfaction is what it's all about, right?

The cake was covered with white fondant and accented with fondant daisies and polka dots with a gum paste bow topper.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Castle Groom's Cake with Sci-Fi Trinkets

It's Monday...you're back at work...and possibly searching for something to look at to kill a little time...am I right?

You know, my blog is most often visited during normal business hours on weekdays? I imagine you read your email, check in on Facebook, read a few blog posts, and then eventually get down to what you're actually paid for. And this probably doesn't happen just once each day - you probably repeat this cycle multiple times, hmmmm? Don't worry, I won't tell the boss. *wink*

Well, I've got just the thing for you today. A very...um, interesting groom's cake.

They specifically wanted Hogwarts castle made out of cake. No problem! Except the hand-sculpted exact replica of the castle wasn't in their wedding budget. So, instead, we used Wilton's Romantic Castle Cake Set to create a cake that somewhat resembles Hogwarts.

And, he wanted us to put a bunch of sci-fi trinkets on the cake. Above, you see the castle cake without the trinkets. Below, you see the trinkets added.

Front and center, you see the ring from Lord of the Rings.

Behind that, are Aragorn's necklace (Lord of the Rings) and Voldemort's wand (Harry Potter).

On the next tier down, we had a lightsaber (Star Wars), the Batman logo, a Star Trek Communicator Badge, and ruby slippers (Wizard of Oz).

The ruby slippers were my personal favorite. Just look how they glitter!

Technical notes: The cakes were iced in buttercream and airbrushed in shades of brown and black to add depth. All sci-fi trinkets were made of gum paste.