Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Andreea's Egg Designs

Who said Easter can't last all of April?  And with Mother's Day just around the corner, the designs and techniques that Andreea shows in the post below are sure to be a hit!

Instructions for Decorate the Cake Egg Designs

All the designs started out the same. They can be done in actually cake or what I did was just make “shells” out of fondant. If desiring a larger size, you can use the Wilton 3-D egg pan. For that I covered one side of the pan with plastic, rolled out the fondant and allowed to dry overnight on the outside of the pan. The next day, the fondant was carefully removed and placed on the INSIDE of the pan so the underside could dry. I decided to use the medium egg pans instead. It was difficult to get plastic on each compartment so instead I greased the back of the pan with shortening, rolled out the fondant and placed it on the forms. Do one at a time as you will need room in between the shapes to cut the excess. I first cut with a mini pizza wheel and then went back with an exacto knife for more precision. Again , allow to dry overnight and then remove gently and flip to dry in the inside of the pan. The more humid, the thicker the fondant…the longer the dry time. You can also use gum paste if desired.

I made a few white as that gives you more options on decorations but also can marbleize the fondant as I did on one of the eggs or make in a solid color. While the eggs where drying I also cut out the different plagues to use as bases. Most are Jem cutters as well as the strip cutters. These also need to dry overnight and then flipped over to dry the underside. For the scalloped plague, the design was cut out with a tip 12 again for add some extra detail. These can be a solid color or marbleized to your liking.

Now for the decorating… for the anniversary one, the Cameo 2B- rose stem mold was used. I molded it in solid white, allowed to dry and then colored with dusting colors. The banner was cut out and allowed to dry (Jem cutter) and then the words were retraced with silver and a paintbrush. This would be a great keepsake as well as a nice topper. Names or dates can also be added.

The marble base is decorated with the mini studded buckles mold. There were molded in grey and then once dried painted in silver dust with lemon extract for a deeper look. If I wanted gold, I would have started with a yellow or orange paste to help deepen the color of the gold. A thin strip of fondant was then cut and weaved through the buckles. You can also use gum paste or real ribbon if desired. The center mold is the Cameo 1B-misc. flower #1. You can hand paint it like I did with the rose mold but I chose to color it silver and you can how that makes the intricate design just pop. This would be a great idea for a handwritten message or wishes. You can also do it across the top of a cake or a “shoe box”.

Next project is a little more “modern”. Black stripes were cut with the strip cutter and glued on. A larger size oval was cut from black and the same cameo rose mold was used again. Quick, easy and elegant. The last 2 projects use the finding long oval flat center mold. On one of the eggs, I molded the piece and then while it was still moist enough to cut, I used an exacto knife to trim out the inside oval. What that does is allow the color from underneath to show through. Design piece was dusted with luster dust and then placed on the egg itself in order to dry in that position. A bottom border of tiny pearls completed the look.

The turquoise and lime green was a fun one. I love the color combination on this. Base was cut and allowed to dry on both sides. Then the egg was glued to base and 2 thin stripes were added for detail. Finishing touch was the orchid carved mold in lime green.

The last showpiece is my favorite…guess because it’s for my niece Nicole but still. This one I purposely did without cake. Egg was molded as usual. Plague was cut out and inside oval was left intact. The edges were painted with gold luster and lemon extract and placed on the egg to dry to keep its shape. Once the piece was dry, I went back with a food marker and wrote her name. Now here is why this is my favorite. This piece will actually be her place card seating at the Easter table. So she has something pretty to look at with her name on it BUT when she lifts off the egg…there’s a surprise of candy underneath so it serves a few purposes included continuing my title of the best Auntie Day Day in the world. No matter how old they get…the love still grows and grows.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gift Wrap Your Cake!

Everybody loves bows! I remember starting out making the loopie bows, but always wanted to make the "christmas" bows - So after tearing apart several ribbon bows, I was able to see how they were put together and that lead to developing "Melissa's Package Bows and Bow loop molds"  -- Rebecca post below walks you thru the steps so that you to, can create package bows!


Materials used:

Gumpaste or Fondant with Tylose added
Gum Glue
Package Bow Loop Mold from 
 I had 2 different molds and you will see samples of both interspersed throughout this tutorial
Flower former
Pearl Dust, if desired
Pasta machine (or rolling pin if you don’t have one)

Molding the Loops

I used 13 loops each for the pink and the dark rose bows.
Roll gumpaste thin, my pasta machine was set on 2 (1 is thinnest on my machine). 
Dust the mold with super pearl or luster dust of your choice, if desired.

Lay the gumpaste over the cavity and slightly press in with your fingers. Place the top piece and press down.

Holding the top piece down, pull or trim away the excess.

Remove the top and work the edges down into the mold. If you work in all the way off the vertical edges and press the gumpaste into the mold well, you will not need to trim the strip after removing it from the mold.

Replace the top and press down, especially along the edges to seal what was worked down.

Remove the top, flip the mold over and “walk” the strip out. This prevents any distortion while removing the strip from the mold.  

Forming the loop

Lay the bow loop flat with textured side down.  Fold the left side down (texture side will come to the top), apply gum glue to the top of the end, then bring the right side down (texture on top) and position that end over the left end.

Adjust the alignment of the overlap to get the point to the shape you want.  Flip the loop over, shape it and place in the largest size flower former (or on a spoon board) for drying. 

You may need to add a little cone of paper towel to help the loop hold its point for a minute or so. Repeat for 5 loops for the bottom layer, 5 loops for the middle layer and 3 for the top.

Assembling your bow

 You will need to let the loops dry long enough for them to hold their shape, but still be pliable. Arrange the 5 bottom loops as shown in the picture, applying a small amount of gum glue and stacking the round ends on top of each other, centered.

The next layer of 5 loops will fit in-between the lower loops. Once again, use a small amount of gum glue on each, and align the round ends. The stack of ends will cause a raised center section – this will actually help this layer sit correctly. Carefully push the “leg” of the loop down, between the center and the actual loop portion. This will give the loop the proper slant to fit in place.

The final layer consists of the last 3 loops. I trimmed as needed to get them to fit and fill in at the top of the bow. Secure with a small dab of gum glue.

Allow to dry, preferably overnight. Placing the bow on a wire rack will shorten your drying time.


To match your bow with a fondant ribbon on the cake, make the bow with the same fondant, adding a small amount of tylose to hasten drying and give it strength.

A slightly smaller bow can be made by making a tighter loop, overlapping the ends more, then trimming.

Vary colors by layers, or mix up several colors throughout.

A larger bow can be made by using more loops, move them out a little and overlap just the side of the round ends, as in the picture  –keep adding layers until your bow is filled out. This bow uses tighter loops for the 3rd and 4th layers.

The large bow was not pearl dusted. I didn’t have any problem with the fondant w/tylose sticking in the mold.

Package cakes are one of my "customer favorites". Thank you to Melissa for developing these molds for the loops. Be sure to visit Decorate the Cake to see the variety of bow loop molds available.

Rebecca Stewart

DTC Products Used:
Plain Bow Loop

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Alstroemeria Tutorial By Sandy Swart, AKA Sewsweet2 - and how sweet they are!

It's Spring! time for blossom, blooms and all things bright and beautiful. The next DTCPUG project is a wonderfully detailed tutorial by Sandy Swart (be sure to scroll all the way down to see the final bunch of flowers, they are amazing!) -- Thank you SO MUCH Sandy for this project!  and your contributions to DTCPUG and for being a great friend!


Sandy Swart aka sewsweet2

Gumpaste alstroemerias are wonderful as a filler flower but will also stand alone with ivy for a gumpaste arrangement. In 2006 I had the wonderful opportunity to take my first gumpaste class from Jennifer Dontz. Our gracious hostess was Melissa Dotson (owner of DTC). She has been a true sugar friend of mine ever since.

For any questions on the tutorial you can contact me @

A special thanks to my photographer: Furbee's mom and BFF- (aka Cheryl)

NOTE: Alstroemeria, also know as Peruvian Lilies, have long been a favorite of florists, coveted for their intricately patterned flowers, remarkably long vase life and wide range of luscious shades.

Some gumpaste flowers are constructed by making each petal separately on a wire, formed, dried and then taped together. I use a method used for platinum paste where the flower petals are cut, veined, dusted and assembled before the petals are completely dried. I like this method for alstroemeria because it allows me to move and play with the petals when I am taping without them shattering into pieces.

Equipment needed: florist foam or something to stand petals and stamens in, pointed wire cutters, soft brushes (one for gumglue and others for dusting), gumpaste rolling pin, small cup or bowl to cover gumpaste, alstroemeia cutters (2 set), 4 piece double alstroemeria veiners from DTC, cell board for rolling gumpaste, plastic page protector, scissors (not shown).

Supplies needed: various petal dusts (green, pink and yellow used for this tutorial), gumglue (I use a small amount of tylose in water, mix and allow to set overnight), gumpaste, green floral tape, white covered #33 wires cut into approximately 3 1/2" lengths (6 per flower), green taped (can be white) #33 wires (I have used heavier but don't know the size because they were given to be to a florist) cut into 3 1/2" lengths (6 per flower), small amount of shortening, fine tip red non-toxic child's marking pen (not shown).

1. Use point of wire cutters to bend a flat hook at end of white wire
2. Use pliers to squeeze the hook together
3. Wire with hook on left and finished wire on right with hook closed.
4. Lightly dust wires with petal dust to match the color of flower you are making.

1. Dip end of stamen in gumglue and dip in petal dust to mimic the pollen. I like to use a luster dust for a little extra sparkle but that is personal preference.

2. Place the stamens in the florist foam to dry.

3. When stamens are dry, tape 6 together so that they are 3/4 the length of a petal. Notice that all the stamens are different lengths. This adds to the realism

Take a sheet protector and cut along one side and the bottom. Take a small amount of shortening and place it along three edges so that when the protector is closed it makes a sealed envelope. This will help prevent your gumpaste petals from drying as you work them. You may also put them in a zip lock bag but since I have the protectors anyway, this works well for me.

Knead your gumpaste to condition it and roll it out on your board thin enough that you can read through it. Allow it to set while you do the next step. Do not allow this to set for very long. I would say maybe 3-4 minutes. Otherwise cover it up.

We are now going to "tweedle" the gumpaste on the wire to allow us to connect the petals we will be making to the wire. I am no good at inserting wires into petals so this is an alternative.

1. Take a small ball of gumpaste and place it on the #33 wire the distance that is equal to the length of the petal cutters.

2. Take your thumb and finer and roll it back and forth as the gumpaste moves along the wire.

3. If the gumpaste is too sticky, try using a small amount of shortening on your fingers. I use my thumb and pointer finger but thumb and middle finger work fine too.

4. Continue process to the end of the wire

1. Keep your extra gumpaste under your cup or bowl to keep from drying out when you aren't working with it. You can wrap it up in plastic wrap or put it in zip lock bag but under the cup method is the fastest and easiest for me. 2. Place your "tweedled" wires in the page protector to keep from drying out as you cut out your petals.

A. Flip the rolled gumpaste over and cut out 3 petals of each size. The slightly dried side being down helps get a cleaner cut. B. Place the cut petals into the page protector until you need them. Knead the gumpaste scraps together and place under cup to use for another flower.

1. Take one of the larger petals out of the page protector and place on the larger petal veiner. I found that if I place the little point of the petal into the veiner where the point is, it veined better. 2. With the double veiner from, I found that if I gently tapped the other side of the petal veiner on top of the petal on the veiner, the petal would stay in place better for me for the next step.

1. Remove one of the "tweedled" wires and apply a small amount of gumglue to one side of the gumpaste. Do not use a heavy hand with the gumglue but do make sure that there is glue all along one side.
2. Place glue side down on the gumpaste petal so that the wire is almost to the end of the petal where the point is. 3. Carefully place the bottom veiner on top and press to vein.

1. Remove from the veiner. This showed the back side where the "tweedled" part is attached to the petal. 2. Gently roll the bottom of the gumpaste along the wire to finish up the base of the petal. If the "tweedled" gumpaste extends below the petal, remove it so it won't be in the way when taping. Set petal in florist foam while you work the other two big petals.

1. Place smaller petal on top part of smaller petal veiner. 2. Glue a "tweedled" wire as you did for the larger petal and place glued side to petal so that the wire extends just short of the end of the petal. 3. Place bottom of small petal veiner on top and press gently to vein. 4. Remove from veiner and gently roll the gumpaste round the botton of the petal. If the "tweedled" gumpaste extends below the petal, remove it so it won't be in the way when taping. Place wire and petal in floral foam. Repeat two more times.

Check out all the different colorations of alstroemeria by typing in alstoemeria in Google images. There are so many different color variations. I chose a vibrant pink with yellow for this tutorial. Having a picture printed out beside you when dusting helps you see where color needs to be applied.

 1. Using a soft brush, I dip the brush into the petal dust then tap it in the lid. This helps prevent getting too much color on at once. Less is more, and you can add it easier than taking it off.

 2. Dust the middle sections of two of the smaller petals with yellow.

 3. Using green, I dusted the little point on all three of the larger petals. Also lightly dust the bottom of each of the six petals where the gumpaste and the wire meet. These little touches seem to make a lot of difference in the appearance of your flower even if they seem like trivial things.

4. Next I dusted the centers of the three larger petals. The smaller petals, I dusted the ends above the yellow on the two and the third small petal with just pink. NOTE: When not working with the petal, I had it stuck in florist foam so that it wasn't laying flat on a surface.

I can't handle regular floral tape. It's too wide for me so I cut my floral tape in half before I begin to tape my flowers together.

1. Take the two small narrow petals that have the yellow highlight and tape to a group of stamens matching the bottom of the petals with the bottom of the stamens. Remember the stamens were 3/4 of the length of a petal.

2. Tape a large petal behind the two narrow ones that are side by side. Tape the last narrow petal opposite the large petal.

3. Last, tape the last two large petals on each side of the plain pink narrow petal. Tape on down the wires to finish it off.

A. Notice that the narrow petals form a "Y" shape.

B. Consequently, the large petals form a "Y" in the opposite direction. Curve the stamens in random angles with your finger tips or tweezers.
NOTE: Petal dust may be "fixed" by holding the dusted completed flower in steam from a boiling pot of water .

A. The flower is assembled but still needs some little dashes to finish it off. You may use a fine liner brush and use powdered color mixed with iso-propyl alcohol to paint the little dashes that are found on most alstroemerias. I have not yet mastered the art of painting small dashes so I opt to using a fine pointed non-toxic children's marker for my flower. I used red for this tutorial but burgundy and sometimes brown is appropriate to use depending upon the coloration of the flower you are making.

 B. Looking at pictures or a reference, draw or paint the litle dashes on the two smaller petals onto the two adjoining petals that you taped together first.

Here are three examples of the coloration you can use in making your gumpaste alstroemeria.

Sandy Swart (KS)

DTC Products Used:
Alstroemeria Veiner