About

Hello! Thanks for visiting. I started my blog so I could put all my creative stuff in one place. 

Have a great day! Tina

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20 thoughts on “About

  1. Good Evening:

    I am doing my daughters wedding cake for October 2009. I fell in love with your fall cake with twigs and fall leaves. Can you give me any instructions on how to make the fall leaves? How to color them and how to make the twigs. It would be greatly apprecited.

    Thank you,

    Debbie

    • Hey Debbie, Thank you! That type of cake will be perfect for October!

      If you need more details, let me know. To make the leaves, I found leaf cookie cutters (maple, oak, etc) (got them from hobby lobby, walmart, etc) I used fondant for the leaves – gumpaste dries faster than I wanted and didn’t give me enough time to get all the veins in the way I wanted to (maybe I’m slow -ha). I have mixed fondant and gumpaste to get shapes that dry faster than fondant but slower than gumpaste. If you want more time to vien -you might just want to use fondant.

      Roll out the fondant. I used a pasta machine (from JoAnns) to roll the fondant flat and only did enough for about 3-4 leaves at one time to keep it from getting dried out. I cut out all 3-4 leaves at one time then would vein one and cover the rest with a clear rubber sheet (also from sugarcraft) so they don’t dry out. I would either use the veiner or part of it and then hand veins some with a fondant tool. (I got my set of fondant tools at Michaels – very handy) On some of them, I went over the center vien with a fondant tool just to make it a little more prominent. I also cut some leaves (the simple ones) by hand for more variation.

      Once the leaf is cut out and veined, I used a sheet or two of tin foil with smooth valleys and hills shaped into it placed in the bottom of a big box (like a big donut box) The advantage of using a box is you’ll be able to move them out of the way while they are drying. Dust the foil with cornstarch so the fondant doesn’t stick. Lay the leaves over the foil to dry to create the irregular leaf shapes. However you lay it – that’s how it’s going to be when it’s hard so make sure and get a lot of variation to make it more natural.

      Make the twigs with the fondant too – just shaping the fondant into a twig and letting it dry. Same with the berries – roll fondant balls and let them dry. You can do this weeks ahead of time. (including the coloring). Just leave in a cool place – not in the fridge. I’ve done a wedding for my kids – and you’ll probably be too busy to be doing this stuff right before the weddingso the more you can have ready, and boxed (I packed all my fragile stuff on bubble wrap . I also froze my cakes ahead of time too – and put it all together the day before. I did the cakes and the flowers 1 1/2 days before the wedding… what was I thinking?! 🙂 joking.. I’m glad I did it.

      I let the leaves, twigs and berries dry for at least 2 days, One might be good enough, but I wanted to make sure they were really dry and sturdy since I would be handling them so much to paint them.

      Once everything is dry and hard, I mixed a variety of gel food colorings with vodka in a painters palette (white with tiny round reservoirs – with a few reds, 3-4 greens and a few yellows). At this point – two small and probably obvious things that I’ve learned. Put a piece of bubble wrap on the table under where you will be handling the leaves in case you drop one and use rubber gloves… or you will be red, green and yellow for days. I was colorful for about a week after.

      I hand painted everything with paint brushes – clean new ones. Now I keep quite a few for food only. You may want to color your fondant a very pale green or gold/yellow before rolling and cutting them out – but I liked the white because then my colors would be more of what I wanted them to be, however, I found myself painting them almost all yellow so I could use that as highlights. Once painted – just dry them on parchement or waxed paper. Again, putting them all in a box – very handy in case you need to move them. Paint the twigs and berries too.

      After everything is dry, I used either ivory or pearl luster dust (also from sugarcraft) on the leaves and berries and a little on the twigs. Petal dust doesn’t have a sheen, luster dust does – or at least that’s what I’ve assumed from the ones I’ve bought. One tiny jar of dust should be plenty to do everything – a little goes a long way. You just dump a little dust out onto a piece of parchment, or a plate then use a big fluffy brush to apply it. Always test on the back of something first.

      After everything was done and dry and I’ve done my ribbon tests (yes, I test everything – setup 4-5 variations then pick the right one) Attach the ribbon with a little royal icing because it will aid in securing the “foliage” to the cake. If your ribbon come off… your leaves might too. You could also do fondant strips in place of the ribbons.

      I used royal icing and a little buttercream to attach the leaves. This cake had to go up a mountain – literally – so I used royal icing. If travel isn’t a concern, then buttercream would work – but I still think royal icing is much more sturdy. Once all the fondant leaves, twigs and berries were on, I mixed a little more gel color with vodka (slightly less vodka for more vibrant colors) I hand-painted the swirlies onto the fondant. I would save out a piece of fondant to test on… always test on something… it’s very helpful. You can also mix the vodka with the luster or petal dust for really vibrant colors – or even silver or gold. I sent some of the extra leaves with the cake for them to put on the serving table.

      I think that’s it. If you need anything else, let me know!! Tina

  2. Hi Tina:

    Thanks so much for typing in detail. You’re cake is beautiful…please take pride in knowing that your talent and skill will be a part of my daughters wedding day!
    Thanks again for sharing..

    Debbie

  3. Hi I have another question for you: I am wondering if you know or have a link as to how I would make gladilous flowers out of gum paste or rolled fondant?

    This is what my daughter wants on her wedding shower cake.

    Thank you,

    Deb

    • Hi Debbie, Sorry for the delay, I was out of town. If I were going to make gladiolus I would use gumpaste because they are delicate and probably fairly fast to make the individual flowers. I’m sure you can find a cutter for them – I’ve found it’s well worth the time & money to get the right tool for the job… this lesson becomes more apparent at 2:00 in the morning… 🙂
      You might check on youtube for how-to videos on making them. I did that for calla lillies and it really helped. I didn’t check to see what her new videos are, but Edna is one of my favorites: Edna’s Cakes
      Good luck!! Tina

  4. Hi Tina,

    Where are you located? We love your baseball cake. I’d love it for my sons 1st Birthday.

    • Hi Kimberly, Thank you! My only regret with that cake is that I didn’t find him a little plastic bat to go with it… because of course, 1 year olds get to demolish their cakes any way they want to, right? 😉
      I live in northwestern Wyoming. Tina

    • Hi Becca,

      Sure thing. I just rolled out fondant then used some paper templates I had made to cut them out with an exacto knife. Then used my basic gumpaste tools to shape the edges and add all the details, using a few photos of actual horseshoes for reference. I used an icing tip to cut the holes all the way through. I let them dry for days then hand-painted them with color (vodka & either dust or food color) and then added a little bit of dust for sheen. Let that dry for another day or so and that’s it. You can use gumpaste instead of fondant if you don’t have the time to let them dry, but you have to work faster since gumpaste dries more quickly… I’ve even mixed fondant and gumpaste to get a medium that’s somewhere in the middle. Hope that helps! Any more questions, let me know — Have fun! Tina

    • Thanks Becca, that’s so nice of you!! 🙂
      I’ve never liked using fondant to cover cakes because to me it’s always been too dry and hard to work with but I believe that’s because I had been using the Wilton fondant. I love to paint on it once it’s on the cake, but it’s always been a struggle & a fun killer for me so I’m assuming I either need to start making my own or buying a different brand. The problem here is that we’re really rural here in Wyoming and stores around here don’t carry anything else but next time I go to Montana I’ll see if I can hunt down a small container to try. So, that being said… the Wilton brand works just fine for me to make things from like horseshoes, barbed wire, etc. If I could figure out how to hand paint (with a brush) on buttercream, I would never need to use fondant to cover a cake again.. haha. The more I do buttercream, the more I like it – and that barbed wire cake was one of my favorite buttercream cakes.

      If my fondant gets hard in the process of making figures, etc. I just put in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up (soften it) then add a little vegetable shortening and kneed it in. (a little goes a long way) I’ve even done with is a new batch of wilton fondant just to make it more pliable.

  5. So when you say “paint” on the fondant (or buttercream, where it possible!) what exactly does that entail? I am quite the rookie cake maker…as I am sure you can already tell. Thanks!

    • Hey Becca, Oh sure. When you use fondant, you can take food color or dust (look up lustre dust or petal dust online)aint and mix it with enough vodka to get the consistency you want, then paint it on, just like you would paint watercolors or acrylic paint on paper or canvas. I just use paint brushes (designated food-only) and a paint palette with the little wells in a circle. OH… and here’s a trick I learned. I keep a tiny bottle of vodka in my food color box of goodies along with a plastic syringe – no needle.. just the plastic kind with a larger hole in the end. That fits inside my tiny vodka bottle… then gently squirt it into the wells. Pouring from that little bottle was always a distaster. Try searching for “painting fondant” on youtube… I’m sure there are videos about it from someone. Sometimes a visual makes all the difference. I have an airbrush, but I haven’t tried it on any cakes yet… I’m being a big chicken. 🙂 I wait for my fondant or gumpaste to dry thoroughly before I paint them. I’ll be posting some painted butterflies on the site when I get enough free time to go through all my photos.

  6. I so appreciate how much detail you put into replying to your posts. It’s awesome! I really do enjoy learning new things, but sometimes when people are not as detail oriented as yourself it really gets hard to follow. Takes some of the fun out of it, if you know what I mean;) Anyhow, thank you.

    • awwwww. so sweet! thanks! My hubby says I don’t know how to make a long story short.. ha.. but I guess that comes in handy sometimes! I know for me some of my major frustrations came from the most basic things – so basic that it was hard to find information on how to do it. I have additional work (like whoopies and bon bons) coming to my other website as soon as I find some time to update it. We started a cancer fundraiser for our granddaughter but even though she’s doing really well now and kicked cancer’s butt… I decided to continue it – gives me an outlet for baking and it’s for a good cause – http://www.bites4mazie.com

      Have fun! keep in touch!

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