MARLYN’S INSPIRATION FOR AUGUST

If you follow this little virtual spot of mine, you’ve heard that Marlyn proposes little homework challenges each month. For August, her suggestion was to use Royal icing to generate texture on a cookie. I had just made her 3D underwater scene (my previous post) and loved so much the method to make fish scales using a petal piping tip, that I wanted to practice a bit more. So here are two versions of a pretty colorful fish, using a cookie cutter I love, as its shape is unusual, I’d say funky and modern. Available here.

This is really a very simple cookie to decorate, but might give the impression it is labor-intensive. The steps are shown in the composite picture below…

Do a little sketch to help you separate head from body as you pipe the scales. Add them with Royal icing and a 102 tip, it will crust quickly since it is a thicker consistency. Use flooding consistency of the same color to add the head and tail – or if you prefer to do the purple style of the tail, just continue piping with the petal tip. Add a PME black pearl for the eye. Let that crust and add a little fine line defining the division between head and body. That step is optional but it makes for a more polished cookie. Now let it all set, and have fun painting. I used several colors of luster powder with vodka. A little smile with a food pen, and you are SET! Let them swim freely…

ONE YEAR AGO: Mr. Seahorse and his friends

MAY INSPIRATION POST: CHARACTER COOKIE

For the month of May, Marlyn proposed a slightly more challenging task: make a character cookie preferably using stencils that we would design ourselves. She gave Winnie the Pooh as an example. During the past few months, Marlyn has shared very detailed tutorials coupling Procreate (a drawing software for iPad) and stencil cutters, which is pretty much all you need to make your own cookie stencils. I will not go in too much technical detail, but even if you cannot draw (like yours truly), Procreate allows you to start from any image you find in the internet. You draw the outline and other details as independent layers that will then be made into a stencil using any machine you have (I have a Cricut, Marlyn uses a Silhouette). I tried super hard, but just could not make it work. At this point, I am not sure if the issue is my pen (to save money I bought a knock-off brand, and not the original Apple), my iPad (old model), or a combination of the two. Still, I could not stand the idea of skipping the Inspo challenge. Soooo, I cheated my way out and got a stencil available online.

The problem with stencils bought online is that they do not always work as expected. I downloaded three that were a waste of material, and the one I settled on was also not ideal. What Marlyn hoped we would do is make a stencil in which the outline gets air-brushed and then maybe two or three additional stencils could be used to do the whole thing by air-brushing. But the stencil I found gives a full image, without a defining outline, and no way to color different areas independently. As you can see below… I air-brushed with a sheen golden color that would not end up too dark.

I had to start from that, and then use food pens to add color and details.

To add a bit more detail to the design, I made little bees with fondant…

Soooo, I give myself a C to this homework. I love the cookies, so that’s not the issue. I just feel that I could not rise to the challenge of designing a stencil myself. But, I lose a battle, not the war. Once I recover from the self-inflicted soap opera, I will try again, maybe with a simpler image. Stay tuned!

ONE YEAR AGO: Out of this World Sugar Cookies

APRIL INSPIRATION POST: COLORS AND SHAPES

As I mentioned, Marlyn from Montreal Confections has been proposing challenges for her cookie-followers to work on their own. Here is the assigned task for the month of April.

That was it, my friends. Two shapes. A few colors. Go to work.

After much mental back and forth, hyperventilation, monologues around the house, I came up with a flower composition to use all colors. Had a few issues with the fine lines, but other than that, I am reasonably satisfied with my cookie set…

It all started by planning the petals around the center, and adding one leaf, making it easier to incorporate the electric green…

Once the cookies were baked and the colors mixed, the fun began… Flooding the different components and adding some wet on wet for the center.

For the final details, everything had to set for a few hours, and the colors mixed in piping consistency. I hit the dark green so well that I spent a few minutes doing a short version of the Happy Dance.
Look at those green lines! Don’t you love them? I thought so.

All that was left was some colorful piping to use the other colors, and tie the whole design together.

I really love these little challenges because they force me to do something on my own. Yet another thing to love about cookie decorating. Getting out of your comfort zone to explore the universe of colors and shapes.

Thank you, Marlyn!