cropped flowers

Wafer.Me.Happy. !!!

 

Wafer paper.

It is ALL the rage.

Some people love it… some people hate it…. some people know nothing about it and think we’ve all gone mad.
(Which may actually BE the case, but let’s not digress.)

Me? Well… I am a lover.
From the moment I laid eyes on a cake having incorporated this heavenly, edible paper (I think one of the first I saw was my friend Kara’s GORGEOUS cake, here, of Kara’s Couture Cakes. Eye bulging, salivia-slippin’-out-of-the-corners-of-my-mouth, GORGEOUS… knaw I’m sayin’?) I fell in love with the possibilities my li’l brain instantly envisioned!

Ok… now “envisioned possibilities” are really great and all.  I mean, I love visions as much as the next guy… but what GOOD are they if you can’t actually bring them to life, right?

In other words… I had NO FLIPPING IDEA HOW TO WORK WITH WAFER PAPER.  Heck, I didn’t even know where to get the stuff…. or even what it’s official name was to start Googling it (I just don’t know how to spell that word so I’m ignoring it and moving on) as a while ago, almost every artist who’d used it seemed to call it something different.

Um, FRUSTRATED much?

But Google and I are buddies.  We spend a LOT of time together, you see.  And as a result, I know JUST how to push ‘er buttons and get ‘er goin’.  (hee hee, get it?  K.  Nevermind.)

Anyway,  after some trial and error (and just the teeniest of head bashing)  I figured it out.  (I’m not suuuper great at asking for help.  I know… add it to my long list of “much needed therapy sessions ’cause I’m riddled with issues”. *sigh* )

AHEM, I found a source (good o’l Amazon came through for me once again)… and I WENT TO TOWN on this stuff.  I dabbled and dipped.  I poked and prodded.  I pushed and SHOVED.  I ripped and TORE.  I curled up into a tight fetal ball…

And then I had a REVELATION. (I know… weeeeird.) Piping gel is nice.  Water is good.  But what about STEAM?  Could it work?  Could steam get me the bend I need to shape this stuff the way I wantta?

Hadn’t heard of anyone using it… so maybe I’s just completely daft and hanging somewhere out in left field, admiring the butterflies… but MAYBE not.  (Stop laughing.  That’s not nice.)

What if I took out my li’l travel steamer and… experimented?  I mean, I had PLANS for this stuff, and thus far, it just wasn’t completely cooperating.

So I tried it.

AND IT WOOOOOOOORKED!!!!!

Holding it for however long I needed to, right in front of that blissful stream of steam, enabled me to manipulate it HOWEVER I wanted!!!

I could make EASY RUFFLES!  I could bend pieces I had cut out to form PETALS.  I could make clothing for my modeled FIGURES, even!  Life could now be SO MUCH EASIER!

ARE YOU HEARING THE WORDS THAT ARE COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH????

Oh wait… you can’t hear me.  Right.

K… ANYWAY… I made the all of the flowers (except the white rose buds) in this recent wedding cake, right here, WITH WAFER  PAPER.   Roses and small dahlias.   NO drying time!   Busted out my “precious” (aka, my airbrush) when I was done, and brought some color to their world…. and viola!

They’re easy… they’re light (no worries about them falling off o’ the cake)… and they’re WAY quicker to make than their gumpaste versions, I’ll tell ya!

Moral of the story?

YOU NEED WAFER PAPER IN YOUR LIFE.

Stop fighting it.  Don’t be sceeered.  Let it overtake you.  It’s ok…

It won’t hurt.  It is only goodness and light.

(And strangely addicting to chew on during projects.  *AHEM* But that just may be me.)

Gosh, I am a head case. ;)

Check out my  free WAFER PAPER RUFFLES TUTORIAL by clicking HERE!

Check out where I get my WAFER PAPER from by clicking on my affiliate link, HERE!

Check out what kind of STEAMER I use by clicking on my affiliate link, HERE!

And of course… I plan on having a wafer paper rose and dahlia (and even peony) tutorial available to you in some form or another!

You can subscribe to my blog, HERE, (on my homepage in the box to the right) if you haven’t already, and you’ll get my updates as soon as they come out. :)

And you can subscribe to my YouTube channel, HERE, if you want to be sent my free tutorials, automatically!

 

NOW, GO GET YO’ WAFER ON, I SAY!!!  Xx

 

wide 1

I Hearby Dub Them, “Snickers Bar Ruffles”

 

Yes, I’ve given this technique a new name.

It shall, from here on in, (in my little brain, anyway) be officially labeled “Snickers Bar Ruffles“.

‘Cause, you know… not GOING anywhere? Need a Snicker’s Bar? (Look up the commercial… it’ll make sense, trust me.)

Ok, so the thing is… I may not ever be crowned “Everlasting Queen of Patience.” ORRRRR even, “Princess SLIGHTLY Patient“.

Ok, fine. I wouldn’t even be crowned “Duchess of EVER BEEN THE TEENIEST BIT PATIENT IN HER ENTIRE LIFE.”

It’s a virtue I officially lack. (But maybe, for now, I’ll just blame that on my parents…. ’cause that’s what children are supposed to do, right?… while pretending it’s not my fault at all… and leave that therapy for another time.

…Moving on…)

SO, in my severe “patient deficient” state, I often find myself muttering, “Oh HECK no. Rather poke myself in the eye with a red hot branding iron than sit down and do THAT,” while staring at those clearly abnormal people who were somehow infused with those ridiculously crazy HIGH levels of patience hormones at birth. What is WITH those people, anyway?  *cough* Not jealous at all.  But I digress…

Ok, WHAT am I saying, here?

(Let me think… oh yeah, got it!)

What I am saying is this… I RARELY decide to execute a very long, time-consuming and often tedious technique on one of my cakes.
I’m just not mentally stable enough, I think.
So I try to find a different, QUICKER way.

EXCEPT FOR IN THE CASE OF THESE RUFFLES.

I’ve made these kinds of ruffles on a cake, twice now, and each time it takes a near ETERNITY.

But did you hear me?  I’ve done it TWICE.  And I’ve clearly stated my little patience problem… so why on EARTH would I  attempt them a SECOND time, you ask?

‘Cause I love them.

‘Cause my inner girl rises up in song… waving a pink, ruffly, banner-like thingy (you know, like the dancers in the Olympics use)… while crying tears of sheer delight, each time I sit my but down and start these ruffles.

I just can’t help myself.  ’Cause they’re beautiful.  And delicate.  And frilly.  And fluffy.  And just really ALL things GIRLY.

And as I’ve recently mentioned, my inner girl currently has my inner tomboy tied up with pink, sparkly rope and shoved in “the attic”. Which means she has free, unrestricted control of my brain, at the moment…

and this chick can be VERY convincing.  Like, SERIOUSLY.  You have NO idea.  Just ask Thomas.

So, as with this cake for a lovely bride who wanted a “simple” design, and loved the idea of some light blue and pink, and maybe a flower incorporated… I suggested these ruffles… which she happily agreed to. And four hours later (*AHEM* that time being spent on JUST the ruffles, mind you) while on the verge of a mental breakdown, I heard the happy song and cries of joy of my inner girl…

and decided, AGAIN, that it was worth it.

(Do crazy people KNOW they’re crazy?  I’ve always wondered… ;) )

 

Some notes…

**I captured the making of these ruffles on video… and then DROPPED my external hard drive on which the video was stored… and am now in the process of shelling out TOO much money to retrieve all of the info I had stored on said hard drive.  While banging my head against the wall.  But will hopefully have a video of how to make them, for you, at the end of it all.

 ** You WANT a pasta machine (or pasta roller attachment for your kitchen aid.)  I’ve purchased a relatively cheap pasta machine, Click HERE for the link (or see my TOOLS page of my website), and I use it for this ruffle technique… along with several other techniques, and am EXTREMELY happy that I now have one on hand when I need it.  COMPLETELY worth it.  I highly recommend investing in one!

** You also need a ball tool (click HERE) and a piece of thin foam (click HERE) in order to achieve this look.  Both very inexpensive, and both a much needed addition to your cake closet, if you ask me.  I use them both VERY regularly.

** I used Satin Ice Fondant mixed with a little Tylose for the ruffles.  The tylose is an edible stiffening agent that firms us the fondant just a bit, and helps keep the ruffles from sagging.  I also used straight pins in places that the ruffles needed  little extra support until they dried, completely.

** A little shout out to the awesome Stevie Auble of Hey There Cupcake, whose interview with CakeFu, I watched, and learned how to make those white, wafer, “filler” flowers around the gumpaste peony, on top of the cake.  Link to wafer paper, HERE, and link to my free, gumpaste peony tutorial on my YouTube channel, HERE.

And call me crazy (um, yeah, we’ve already established the validity of THAT, it seems) but I kindo’ like the look of the rosettes not quite finished.  Like in this picture.  Sorta kinda wanted to just leave them that way… but decided to save it for next time.

*SIGH*… I just said NEXT TIME, didn’t I?   K.  Inner girl’s startin’ to get on my nerves.

 

Airbrushed the pink onto the ruffles, after they dried.

You WANT an airbrush.

Just… just TRUST me on this.

(Click HERE to see mine. :) )

Finn 1

“Stupid is as Stupid Does.” (And stupid doesn’t even COVER it.)

Dear Friend,

May I ask you a question?

Have you ever come up with a seemingly fabulous idea/design that you think will look awesome and won’t be that difficult, just to find, only a few minutes into working on said project, that you are the biggest dope in the history of the world to ever reside on planet Earth and this is the single most RIDICULOUSLY difficult project you’ve ever even attempted in your whole, entire, meager existence?

No? Well, you really should try it sometime, then.
IF, of course, you think you may like the feeling of complete and utter panic, mixed in with a high level concoction of stupidity, naivety, airheadedness and BAFFOONERY. (Yes, that is actually a word this time.)

Jonathan (my fabulous nephew, and *AHEM* my ONLY nephew) turned sixteen last week (and no, we will NOT discuss, at this time, just how ancient that really makes me feel). Jonathan is super into robotics. Shawna looked up “robotics” on Google and came across a very cool image of a relatively “SIMPLE” robot. Shawna thought to herself, “Hey, that’d be pretty cool… and it’s a pretty simple design so it can’t be THAT hard.”

SHAWNA is a complete idiot.

Because, you see, once Shawna’s super hot husband (sorry, I had to throw that in there) convinced her that the robot would have to be pretty darn big in order to feed all of the guests at the party, and built her the structure for a PRETTY DARN BIG robot, (but really because Shawna’s husband has the nearly debilitating, man-disease entitled, “ALWAYS go big, or ALWAYS go home”), and then Shawna actually STARTED building the cake, and then, in turn, ganaching the cake, Shawna realized what a complete and absolute MORON she was to think that this design couldn’t be THAT hard.

(I realize I have a myriad of run-on sentences here, but it simply can not be helped.)

Shawna soon realized that most of this design was comprised of SMOOTH, ROUND, DECORATION-LESS SURFACES!!!!
Now, maybe that seems harmless to a cake-eating-but-not-interested-in-making innocent bystander, but to those of us who have mangled enough minds to actually attempt a design with such nonsense, it it a COMPLETE NIGHTMARE!!!

I HATE bumpy surfaces on my cakes. I just can’t handle bumps. The very idea of them torments me. Hence, I often go to GREAT lengths to ensure there are none to be seen on the surfaces of my cakes.
And if there happen to be a couple in the end, most of the time decorations cover them up.

Take a look at this robot cake while thinking about that very concept.

Also, may I mention here how hard it is to get large chunks of modeling chocolate completely round, with no indentations and/or uneven surfaces.
There is no fondant on this cake. It is covered ENTIRELY in modeling chocolate, so as to better blend in the seams.
And all of the ROUNDED parts, comprising of the arms, shoulders, legs, hands…. they’re all modeling chocolate. They needed to be… to hold their shape and to stay where I put them.
A complete and utter NIGHTMARE.
Kindo’ like “Nightmare on Elm Street” only worse.

But really, all of what I’ve just said can be boiled down to five simple words…

THIS.CAKE.NEARLY.KILLED.ME.

It took me HOURS upon HOURS longer than I expected. I finished it just one hour before the party started. There was no time to put ANYTHING on the wooden board… and at that point, you may not have convinced me to decorate it even with a gun pointed at my brain, ANYWAY.

BUT… (though I nearly collapsed into a pile of useless flesh and bone once this deceptive robot was complete) I DID, in the bitter end, survive. And even mustered up enough energy to get myself showered and presentable (I think) for the party.

And then we had to TRANSPORT the thing.
Some stories, though, I simply do not have strength enough to recount. *shiver*

 

Yours Truly,

Biggest Idiot to EVER Walk the Face of the Earth

P.S.  After a project like this, slicing open your thumb with the brand new blade you just put onto your exacto knife while cleaning your color shapers, (not knowing your knife was in the bundle of shapers you were rubbing the tips of to clean, of course) is NOT helpful.   Just thought I should mention.

Head, chest and butt… all cake.

Boots… styro blocks covered in modeling chocolate.

Everything you see… modeling chocolate.

Check out the AMAZING Mike McCarey’s Bobble Head cake class, HERE, in order to learn how the build a proper structure for a cake like this!

It is an absolute FABULOUS class, and I HIGHLY recommend it.

Check out my free YouTube video on how to make modeling chocolate, HERE.

And check out my “tools/products” page, HERE, to find all the tools you’ll need for a project like this, including the candy melts needed to make the modeling chocolate.

bottom tier 1

An Edible Crocheted Hat With Matching Boots? Sign.Me.Up.

You may have noticed that I made a horse’s head for my daughter’s birthday a few weeks ago. (Yes, I know… very Godfather like, but never-the-less, it had to be done.)

So, how funny is it that the VERY next week’s brief was for a cowgirl themed cake? This, though, for a sweet little one year old’s big birthday bash.

It was time to get creative.

Sometimes, the problem with seeing so many different cakes, so much of the time, is that with certain themes, you can feel like you’ve seen it all.
And you need to start thinking OUTSIDE of the box if you want to do something a little different.

Now, granted, this cake is not exactly THE most creative cowgirl cake known to man. In fact, as far things go, it’s actually quite standard, I realize. But sometimes, just giving a slight twist to a popular idea is enough to get me all kinds of excited about a design.

So when I saw a picture, online, of actual crocheted cowgirl booties and a cowgirl hat just like the ones you see here, ALL kinds of excited is EXACTLY what I got.
(Ummm… the fact that I now had a solid, unshakable reason to go ahead and splurge on that ridiculously cool crochet mold I’ve been eyeing up for forEVERRRRR, really had nothing to do with it.
Kinda.
Sorta.
But I digress…)

My fabulous customer loved the idea, and was hoping for some paisleys (as the birthday girl’s name is, in fact, Paizley), and maybe a belt buckle to be incorporated as well. So with that, I quickly went ahead and “invested in my business” (*ahem* I may overuse that phrase, evvvvvvver so slightly… but that is of no consequence, really) and bought myself (UH, I mean, my COMPANY) an AWESOME crochet mold… and went to work!

 

The end result… my-slightly-standard-but-with-a-li’l-twist cowgirl themed first birthday design.

And, of course, a new beloved addition to my fancy collection of molds.

That I’ve invested in.
For my BUSINESS.
Personal enjoyment *cough* really has nothing to do with it. *cough*

 

 

Top tier cowgirl hat… made of cake, covered in ganache and then covered in fondant (using a crochet mold like the one that you can find by clicking HERE.)

Middle tier… cake covered in only ganache. No fondant.

Bottom tier… cake covered in ganache and then covered in fondant.

Booties made of solid modeling chocolate and covered in fondant using said crochet mold.