Sunday, October 28, 2012

New cake order Ombre style

Yesterday I was fortunate to send out another cake order. Yeah! This time it was for a basic 8" chocolate devil's food cake with Ombre-style piping. I used italian buttercream icing for the piping and realized that for the price I was charging I probably should've used a more basic buttercream. 
The customer asked for a bavarian cream filling after my quote so even though I should have charged more I really wanted to make it. I could have used pre-made bavarian cream to keep the cost down but I was going to get to learn something new. Have you ever had bavarian cream from scratch? OMG! The scratch bavarian cream with the chocolate cake and the italian buttercream was soooooo yummy together. I almost wish the customer hadn't come to get her cake.

As with all the cakes I do, I learn something that I need to remember for next time. I see plenty of things on this cake that I would like to fix but I KNOW this cake tasted amazing and I think I was able to make Bill's birthday that much more memorable.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A plane birthday cake for a 3 yr. old

Recently, as a way to make some extra money, I started offering my creative abilities in creating custom cakes. I've posted up signs and put up some Craigslist ads and I've  gotten a little bit of interest from people. The other day I was able to deliver a custom birthday cake for a 3yr. old. I can now add airplane cake to list of cakes I've created.

The client decided on a fondant covered chocolate cake. Because this was for a little boy I decided to go for a cartoon look and give the plane a happy face. Thanks to the help of a Google image search I was able to get some idea about how to construct the cake. Below are pictures of how I created my cake. 

I'm pretty happy with how the cake turned out and luckily for me I have another cake order coming up. Stay tuned for that one as I will be doing a frozen buttercream transfer for that one.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Illustration Friday: Sky

Here's my submission for this week's Illustration Friday: Sky
It's a reductive monotype with chalk pastel. I haven't done a reductive print in a while......
I think I'll have to dig out that plate soon. : )

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New silkscreen napkins

Today I thought I would share with you a peek into a couple napkin designs I've done recently. Even though I had made plans to simplify my studio and have less stuff, my new studio is starting to get crammed with silkscreens. What can I say? I love creating and that seems to create more studio "stuff".

Created with my own illustrations, I'm making sets of four napkins printed with either a dahlia print or a teapot and cup design. I'm loving the pink dahlia on white which although you can't tell from the photo, is a shimmery colour. Perfect for tea don't you think?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Illustration Friday: Water

Here's today's submission for Illustration Friday's: Water. This little drypoint with watercolor seems to get a lot of love on Etsy. It's a cloud shape that I've worked on several times before and it must hit a chord with me because I'm on the wet west coast. 
This is one of the drypoints I did on plastic and it's made me think that I might not buy another zinc plate again. I did a previous post that explains the process here.

Monday, October 8, 2012


I know it's only the beginning of October but where we are we've already begun harvesting the pumpkins from the garden. We planted Sugar Baby variety to keep us well stocked for pumpkin pie. This year has been a great harvest and we had about 30 pumpkins. Now we have the great problem of finding what to do with all that pumpkin. Pies are a must but what else would be on your list?

Here are some on my list: Whole wheat pumpkin muffins
                                       Pumpkin spice Rice Krispie squares
                                       Leftover pumpkin pie ice cream
                                       Pumpkin scones

Take a peek at my husband's blog "Brewing beer the hard way" to watch a video of the harvest (fast forward to the 3 min. mark). If you're in Canada and you can send him a good pumpkin ale recipe, he'll send you a dozen pumpkin seeds. Mmmmm....pie.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Online courses with

As I work towards a career I always feel a little nervous that maybe I don't know enough about being an illustrator because I never took it formally in school. I learned the technical aspects of printmaking but we were never given any hints as to how we were to make a living with our creativity. I know this is a common complaint of art school graduates but for some reason those students who took graphic design and illustration as their major were given those necessary building blocks.

As such, I have taken extra courses centered on illustration and the business of it. I have taken courses offline as well as online and I really enjoy getting the chance to work towards my career goals. One of the last courses I took, Digital Painting in Photoshop was online through with Will Terry. I really enjoyed the format of the course in that it was all pre-recorded videos that let me go at my own pace. I was able to draw and follow along in Photoshop which made me very thankful to be able to use the pause button as I'm still learning the program.

I really admire Will's work and I find myself regularly clicking his Facebook links and reading his blog posts. Each video and post has a wealth of information without giving the feeling that a career in illustration is insurmountable. Will teaches illustration  offline as well at a university and I find myself pretty jealous that his students have such direct access to this great resource. I'm pretty happy though that through and the wonders of the internet that I'll be able to keep learning too and I will be able to get closer to my goal of being a children's book illustrator.

I should clarify that doesn't just offer digital illustration courses. If you're interested in oil painting, ceramics,acrylic painting, screen printing, watercolors, or pastels  you might be able to find something just for you. Take a look at what they have to offer and know that there is no monthly commitment or huge course fees to pay. Yet another reason to love

Have you taken a course too? How did you like it?