BRUSH EMBROIDERY

This might be the technique I struggled the most with. My first four attempts were huge failures, but I kept trying. My advice, in case you’ve experienced the same, is to focus on the consistency of the Royal icing, and practice on a piece of parchment paper or, if you have one, a plastic fake cookie like this. Don’t put pressure on yourself trying to decorate a cookie you have a special friend in mind to offer to. Once you get comfortable with the consistency, you are 80% of the way there. Today I share a few examples, made in the past three months or so.

I think these might be my favorites, but oddly enough they were born from a little mistake. When I made guidelines for the pattern, I used a yellow pen, thinking it would not show after piping the details, but unfortunately it was obviously there, underneath. I then had the idea of using yellow luster powder and gold to paint the design, so that the lines would not be noticeable anymore. Worked like a charm, and I must say I was quite proud of myself.

The same basic design works well as white on any color you like…

The one below I did not quite get right the embroidery effect, so I decided to paint the design to make it work better. The bottom line is, even if you don’t get it 100% right, you can add some color, a bit of Diamond dust, and all will be fine.

Inspired by the great cookier Amber, I used a two-color embroidery, which is actually quite simple to do. You pipe the first color at the outer edge of the design (in this case white), then the second color right next to it, and gently pull them with a brush. The second color was Fuchsia, from Sugarflair (thank you for the wonderful gift, Caro!). These were piped on a naked chocolate cookie, so you don’t really need the royal icing base to make it work.

I shared this final cookie in the past, but I will include it again here, because it is a nice departure from brush embroidery conceived by Amber, in which the effect with the brush is made on a wet-on-wet base. Give it a try, it is simpler because you can use regular flooding consistency.

I love the elegance that brush embroidery brings to cookies. And when I speak of elegance, someone comes to my mind right away…

I hope you enjoyed this small collection of ideas for brush embroidery. It is also a nice method to use for bee’s wings as I showed not too long ago.

Stay tuned for a next adventure in cookie decorating, which will bring a Fall atmosphere to the blog.

TWO BUSY BEES

Amy and Amber

Two awesome “cookiers”, two different takes on bees. Each brought some new technique for yours truly to learn. With Amy, I got into pressure piping and brush embroidery, but on my first attempt, I did not do a very good job. Amber brought very elegant Royal icing transfers, and border piping.

For Amy’s version, the wings were made with a brush embroidery technique. You can see her demonstrating the technique and making three different types of bees in this Facebook live (starting around the 17 min mark).The body uses what is known as pressure piping. The Royal icing is on the thick side, and you keep pushing it out of the piping bag and allowing some shape to take place, moving the bag gently up and down to create a bit of texture. The bodies of my bees were not too bad, my problem was the brush embroidery. The icing was not thick enough. I re-visited the technique a few weeks later, applying it to a different shape of cookie (briefly letting go of those training wheels). In the name of genetic diversity, each wing was a little different…

A little overview of the steps to make this cookie. It is easier if you draw the basic design on the naked cookie and go from there. Add the eyes, mouth and blush to the bee’s face after the iced cookie is fully dry (12 to 24 hours).

Amber shared a very unusual and elegant cookie. Starting with the color, a beautiful shade of blue, not normally associated with bees. That already called my attention. The hive was piped wet-on-wet, and the bee component was a royal transfer painted in gold and bronze. All details available in her own blog (click here), and you can see an Instagram video here. She is a magician with Royal icing, her bee hive is sheer perfection.

The bees are super fragile, so I advise you to make more than you need, as they might break when you remove them from parchment.

Bees were the subject of a blog post not too long ago (following a tutorial from Amy), and I incorporated some of those elements in a new design, joining the blue color with a stencil, and adding bee and hive made from Amy’s templates of my past.

Both border piping and brush embroidery are techniques I struggle with, so these cookies gave me an opportunity to practice. Maybe there is a little light at the end of this tunnel…

SEE YOU IN THE NEXT POST!