Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fondant Class

For the last 3 1/2 weeks I've been taking a weekly Wilton fondant class at Michaels and I can't even say how much fun it was. It really surprised me how much I liked it. I enjoyed the first course too, which is a prerequisite for doing the fondant course, but it involved a lot of piping and mixing different consistencies of icing. Working with fondant was a lot more tactile; at times it reminded me of working with clay or sculpture.

The first three weeks of the course covered a lot of flower-making. We made all kinds of pretty flowers: daisies, roses, calla lilies, carnations and mums. We also made a large bow, like what you'd see on a birthday present and covered a cake board in fondant.

For the final class, we learned how to cover an entire cake with fondant. I really wanted to take advantage of having a Wilton teacher present so I brought in a square cake which is slightly more difficult to cover than a round cake. It ended up not being as hard as I thought it would be. After rolling out the fondant and flipping it on to the cake, I had to start with the corners of the cake (not the sides). And then trim along the bottom.

It's amazing what a coat of fondant will do to a cake! I wish I had taken a photo of before and after. My cake had had a little accident before the class so it was a little lopsided, plus the butter cream icing was starting to melt (not to mention that I hadn't smoothed out the butter cream icing very well and in some places it wasn't thick enough). Throwing on a coat of fondant made it look so smooth and pretty!

Here it is after decorating!

Some final thoughts after the course... I would never put a cake directly on to a fondant covered cake board again. It sucked all the moisture out of the bottom layer of my cake. Also, if I ever do a ball border again, I would prep the balls ahead of time. It took 45 minutes to get all of that border done and then I ran out of time to finish my flowers.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Taking Life's Reins With a Book and Some Coffee

This morning, I am quite happy because I have coffee again. I didn't have coffee in the house for a week and I missed it. I've been substituting it for tea but it doesn't work. Coffee to me means "It's morning and time to greet a new day." whereas tea is something that should be shared socially with friends. I can recall numerous conversations I've had with great friends over cups of tea (especially when I lived in the UK), but coffee is what helps me greet the morning (I'm not a morning person).

Anyways, today I have a cup of coffee in my favourite Eeyore mug and I am sitting out on the deck in the sunshine and reading a book. Life is pretty good.

The book I'm reading is called Taking Flight. I'm only a few pages in but so far I really like it. I've been needing to read something like this. I need to get my creative energies back and take back the reins on my ridiculously busy life.

At the moment, I am working 3 jobs, trying to play in 3 musical ensembles, attend a regular small group and have a social life, and go to church on Sundays. Let's face it. My life is crazy. It needs some balance. Fortunately, I have time today to take a step backwards and get some perspective.

My plan for today:
-drink coffee
-read some of my book
-bake and ice a cake
-do some cleaning (my parents are coming this week)
-make art

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Need to Create

“Artists reach into their colors or to the notes of a musical score, into the developing solution in a darkroom tray or to the flow of words on a page, they are interacting with the eternity God has placed in their hearts. They are trying to be significant in their universe — trying to mean something more than a random collision of molecules. Though modern philosophy tells them they are nothing, their hearts tell them something else. Because their minds cannot fathom what their hearts know, they feel the weight of the God-placed burden. Art often seems irrational, because the heart is reaching beyond the mind. A modern art museum displays the heart reaching beyond what the mind knows, trying to find the meaning of its existence.”
~ John Fisher

I finally have some free time this weekend (yay for Labour Day long weekend!). I haven't had any creative time for myself in a while so my plan is to spend most of the weekend crafting or painting. Funny how making art is like an addiction or an itch that needs to be scratched. I read this quote by John Fisher not too long ago that I thought explained my own need for creating perfectly.

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