Thursday, March 14, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Cookies!

Okay, so I have to day, blog hopping always has me in awe of the amazing cookie photography that some of the other bloggers do. Things are always so nicely arranged, placed and the colours and textures simply shine. I have a harder time making nice photos. Having just moved to a new home (and out of a closed apartment with bad lighting), I assumed my photography would improve with better lighting and more space to stage my photos. Alas, I still find that is not the case. So.... I am officially blaming my camera. Sure, I need to do more staging, but my camera (as my friend pointed out) is more of an outdoor natural light camera, and does poorly indoors. Also it is about 7 years old... hmmm...

This week, I decided to play with the lighting outside and see if it made a difference, And it did! The colours were more vibrant and the cookies had much better shades. The only problem was that I had shadows.... which I will have to work on. here are some of the shots:

It was only when I focused on the north side of the cookies that the shadows got bad to the point that they drew attention away from the cookies...

Additionally, square-on photos suffered from shadow..

And side-photos took away from the cookie...

Again, playing with outdoor light did help. I guess I have a lot more to do. These cookies in particular were more of an experiment in photography.... again because of Lilaloa's challenge, but also because I really want to step up my photography; what use is it to not have good pictures?

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

On Grateful Dead and Golf

 I have to admit, I know very little about music. As someone who listens exclusively to the CBC radio on her iPod (yeah, I'm that lame), I find myself stumped at music lyrics which most people can belt out or recognize instantly. This is not to say that I am not musically inclined, it is just that when it comes to 'the classics,' I am not as well versed in knowing the band or song title.
With that preamble complete, I will say that I was excited to be asked to make a birthday cake for a Grateful Dead fan. The concept of the band and their "Jerry Bears," with an album cover made my client super excited. It was decided that a painting of an album cover (below) and the Bears surrounding the cake would make a super exciting treat for the Band Fan Birthday Boy.

 The cake was created, rainbow (tie-dye) vanilla cake with white fondant covering. The design included one hand-painted topper (removable so you don't need to eat all that colour), and the dancing bears around the sides. The top of the cake was painted in Americolor gel colouring diluted with water. Some people have asked in the past how I paint... I don't use vodka as some do, but instead find that water, with a little white colour gel, works great!

Of course, everything I do is free-handed. This cake was a 9-inch round with MMF, which some know as being a pain to paint on... some bleeding and sugar melting was inevitable.

I think the best part of this cake, other than the amazing art which I was super happy to pull off, because let's face it.... often cake decorators try to take on projects that challenge them and that may or may not work in their execution, was the fact that I worked with a buddy (that was a run-on sentence! Fun to write, horrid to read, and I refuse to fix it! My inner English Major is screaming in silent protest).  No, My friend came to help me to build a cake of her own, and to keep me company. Her husband's 37th birthday was today (yay!), and as a treat, I showed her how to create her own personalized cake. Since the birthday boy in this case is a golf aficionado, we decided to make a cute little golf cake...

Now, that's not too bad for someone who has never worked with fondant in her life. I had the cake prepped in advanced (dirty iced and good to go), and she iced, covered and decorated the cake all by herself.... well, with a little help, but it was mostly superficial! Super happy birthday to my friend! I hope you have a fabulous trip in Florida! What a great place to celebrate!

Okay, time's up! See you soon!
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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cookies... an experience

 Lately, as you may have noticed, my creative cookies juices have not flowed. I have had no interest or inspiration in terms of creating decorated cookies. Maybe because of my icing woes (getting the icing to flow thought the tip without interruption... or maybe it's because I've been lazy (most likely option). Either way, cookies have not been given their due.

So when LilaLoa decided to have a cookie photo challenge, I thought... this is my excuse! So, here I am with a cookie update. I decided to try something completely different in terms of cookie decorating. I have been known to paint on cookies, but mostly elaborate designs. I decided to try this with a more simple design...

My challenge was to go out in the winter weather, braving cold temperatures, and adding the sparkly balls just popped the colours.

So, overall I would say that painting a whole cookie is not as fun as decorating the whole cookie. I had done one more cookie pattern, but am going to save that one for later. I do like the lighting outside! Maybe when the weather is warmer, I shall endeavor do more frequently take my photos outside!

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