Friday, 21 January 2011

Baby with Blanket Tutorial

An edible model ideal for any small childs cake or celebration of a christening etc. The tutorial not only contains instructions for making a baby with a dummy or a smile, but also includes instructions for making it's bottle of milk.
Available now for only £6.00 from online shop.
Be one of the first to enjoy and have a go at this adorable topper.

Have fun!

Elaine x

Ps. Join 'Mystical Mischief's Mad House' on facebook before the 30th January and be in with a chance of winning 1 of 3 that are being given away to celebrate the launch of the new page!

Monday, 15 November 2010

2011 Workshops


6th February
Cake Carving - "Wonky Cake"
Taking you through basic cake carving techniques and modelling with this simple but extremely effective farm animal design.

20th March
Modelling - "Baby Cake"
A cute baby model and cake design, ideal for christening's and naming ceremonies.

1st May

Cake Carving - "Mini Car Cake"
Learn carving techniques that can be applied to any make or model of car or caravan.

12th June
Modelling - "Ragdolls"
A great workshop which will guide you step-by-step to making a girl AND boy ragdoll.

24th July
Cake Carving - "Sleeping Dragon"
Shhhh don't wake the dragon. Find out how easy this design actually is and create your own sleeping dragon.

4th September
Modelling - "Interior Designer"
Learn the techniques needed to bring character to your models whilst making this popular, interior designer model.

16th October
Cake Carving - "Teddy Bears"
Taking you through basic cake carving techniques and modelling with this fluffy teddy and topper.

4th December
Modelling - "Christmas model"
Learn the techniques needed to bring character and humour to your models.

Each workshop is designed to give you a better understanding of the materials used and the confidence to attempt the techniques in your own home or business.
The workshops are kept small (no more then 10 students) to ensure you get quality attention.

All materials are supplied and you'll be able to help yourself to drink and snacks throughout the session. The only thing not supplied is your lunch!

The workshops are held between 10am and 4pm at the Church Hall in the Village of East Huntspill, Nr Highbridge, Somerset. TA9 3PJ.


one day modelling workshop - £50 per person

one day cake carving workshop - £65 per person
Receive a 10% Discount for 2 or more, seperate workshops booked at the same time, per person.

Groups and Guilds Workshops are £30 per person, plus mileage at 25p/mile (minimum 8 people). You will also need to bring your own materials and will be provided with a list of items required.

An Interview with.........Joanne Foster

MM: What names do you go by?
JF: I have a Facebook Group called ‘Cakes …Cakes … Cakes’ where I have pictures of all the cakes I have made so far. Otherwise I am just known as plain & simple ‘Joanne Foster’ (but everyone calls me Jo)

MM: And your business name?
JF: I’m not set up as a business yet, but I have been in discussions with my local council and hope to set up some time next year.

MM: What’s your location?
JF: I live in Portslade, which is just outside of Brighton on the South Coast – about 5 mins from the beach!

MM: Where did we first meet?
JF: Unfortunately we haven’t met face to face yet, but we have been in contact via your Facebook Group. But I really do hope to meet you one day soon so I can personally thank you for all the help and advice you have given me.

MM: What areas of sugarcraft interests you the most, do you specialise in any?
JF: I can’t say I specalise, as I’ve only being dong this since March last year – (I’ve only made about 25 cakes so far), but I do love making flowers and trying to get them as life-like as possible. Socially, I am also into Rock ‘n Roll, and so any cake with a R’nR theme really excites me – I made a cake for a R’nR friend which white with a hand painted leopard skin stilletoe shoe on the top with a red rose inside, and a hand painted leopard skin bow around the bottom and red cherries around the side (sounds yuk if you are not into that kind of thing, but it looked great and its one of my favourites so far!

MM: I see you’ve posted this cake, I think it’s a stunning cake, I love it!!
MM: Where can we see examples of your work?
JF: All I have is my Facebook group called ‘Cakes … Cakes … Cakes’ but as soon as I am registered with the Council & HMRC I will set up a web site. I have some pics on Flickr under Joanne Foster, but I don’t think anyone has ever looked at them. LOL!!!!

MM: How long have you been involved with sugarcraft and what got you started?
JF: I started in March last year - my husband’s family is very close and we get together regularly. It was my brother-in-law’s 50th Birthday and we were having a party for him & it was my job to sort out the birthday cake. I looked on the internet to get some ideas for a really spectacular cake that I could order and found a picture of a fabulous two tier chocolate and white wedding cake covered in chocolate and white roses and decided that was the one I wanted. I looked more closely at the roses and wondered if I could make them myself so I surfed the net to see how to make roses and experimented a bit with a pack of fondant icing and they came out ok, so I ended up making the whole cake. My brother in law loved it so much that he wouldn’t let us cut it. He took it home and covered it in some sort of preservative and we’ve never seen it since. That was in March last year – it has probably gone green now by now, grown legs and run away!

MM: Where did you learn?
JF: I’m self-taught via the internet and books. I did a 10 week beginners decorating course in Portslade which was very basic, and I also had a few lessons with Pat Ashby who lives nearby in Hove and runs small groups at her home.
MM: Ooooo Pat Ashbey eh? I am jealous…….

MM: Is there anyone that has been your inspiration?
JF: Everyone! Everybody has their own creative touch or ideas and I find inspiration from every cake I look at, whether it be a border design, a style of character, a shape of a cake, a way of using colours – the list is endless! I have just bought Eddie Spence’s book (he is one of the cake decorators to the Royal Family) and his piping is absolutely amazing. He gave a demonstration at our local Sugarcraft Guild which I missed, and apparently he was brilliant to watch.

MM: Where do you feel your love of the craft will lead you, have you any aspirations?
JF: I hope to get myself up and running as a business next year, but this will be purely in addition to my full-time job. My dream though, would be to eventually have a small shop where I can make my cakes, with glass displays mounted on the walls filled with beautiful wedding cakes and sugarcraft flower sprays.

MM: What’s your favourite and least favourite part of sugarcraft, do you have any pet
JF: I’ll start with the least favourite - I HATE HATE HATE cleaning up the mess and crumbs from levelling and shaping cakes. However careful you are, you end up with crumbs everywhere, and there always seems to be so much waste – if anyone has any tips for cooking a cake that comes out lovely and level, I would LOVE to hear from you!

MM: Could be your oven temperature, try lowering it slightly, it will take a little longer to cook but should stop the middle peaking. You could also try putting a whelt in the middle of the mix when you put it in the tin as this also gives it room to rise ;O)
JF: As for favourite parts of sugarcraft – I love trying out new things, whether its making new flowers, making a new type of paste, or trying out a new skill. I also love looking back at my original drawings and comparing them to the photos of the finished cakes and seeing how an idea on paper suddenly transformed into a real cake.

MM: Have you ever entered your work into any competitions, & if so how did you get
JF: No not yet! I have loads of ideas that I would like to experiment with, and I look at the competitions to try to see how I could adapt my ideas to fit the criteria, but I think I am still a long way off yet. I’m still on such a huge ‘high’ with my cake decorating, and the thought of being brought back down to earth with an almighty bump is something I don’t think I am quite ready for at the moment. But once I feel a bit more confident I may give it a go.

MM: Definitely give it a go, I for one, would love to see your ideas, I’m sure you’d do well.
MM: Have you a signature cake/style and were do you get your design ideas from?
JF: No, I don’t have a signature cake/style - of the few cakes I have made, each one has been so different that I haven’t yet been able to find something that I do that is unique to me. As for cake ideas, I surf the internet, books & magazines for inspiration – wedding websites are always interesting. I buy lace and material from fabric shops and try to replicate pretty designs that could be used on cakes. Whenever I go into shops I am always looking for anything that could be used or adapted as a cake decorating tool. Even my husband looks out for things for me as well!

MM: Do you live outside the UK? Have you anything interesting/useful you could tell us
about your countries cake culture?
JF: No, I live in the UK, but while I was in Spain recently on holiday I did look to see whether making cakes over there would be a viable business venture if ever we were to move there. It could certainly be done if you could find catering premises with air conditioning. Loads of people go over there for stag and hen weekends, or celebrate birthdays and anniversaries while they are on holiday, and there doesn’t really seem to be anywhere that you can buy a proper traditional english iced cake from (at least from the part we visited). Considering there are so many ex-pats over there, I’m sure they would love the opportunity to be able to order a good old english birthday cake!

MM: Have you any tips or advice that you think may come in handy to anyone who’s just
starting to explore sugarcraft?
JF: As far as experience goes, unfortunately I don’t really have any tips yet, except practice practice practice – you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. Look up cake decorating on You Tube – it always helps to actually see something being made rather than just reading about how to do it, as it can be very confusing. But most of all, just enjoy it!

MM: Do you have any stories about sugarcraft that have stuck with you?
JF: A lot of sugarcraft has stuck to me – but that’s another story! No, I can’t say that I have any particular stories as yet, but I do know that everyone I have spoken to or contacted who does sugarcraft, seem to be really genuine people who have a true love of what they do, and are willing to share their experience and tips with those who are learning - and that is something of a rarity these days.

NEC Results!!!

Class G - Novelty Sculpted cake (all edible) GOLD and 1st place!!!!!!!!!!!
Class F - Novelty decorated cake (all edible) GOLD and 3rd place
PME live final - 2nd!!! woohoo

Thursday, 14 October 2010

November workshop date change!

Due to unforseen circumstances, the date for the November workshop is now the 28th, subject: Santa's helpers.

At least we get a little more time now to recover from the NEC!! lol

Monday, 20 September 2010

“An interview with...........Suzanne Mawhinney”

MM: What names do you go by?
SM: Suzanne Mawhinney or suzannem

MM: And your business name?
SM: I trade as Cakes by Suzanne, and work from home. I find that cakes have taken over more of the house than I would like, I also have five children between the ages of 4 and 13 and a husband who has of necessity learnt how to dowel and stack cakes. He’s also very useful for delivering the heavy stacked cakes and could probably bake and iced them if he would try!

MM: What’s your location?
SM: Templepatrick, not far from Belfast, Co Antrim (Northern Ireland)

MM: How do you know me?
SM: From the BSG Forum – where I have met so many lovely cake people who understand how I think (about cakes, mainly)!

MM: What areas of sugarcraft interests you the most, do you specialise in any?
SM: I do a bit of everything, I love modelling and character work but am gradually being persuaded that flowers can be nice too!

MM: Where can we see examples of your work?
SM: ok, here goes
MM: Blimey suzanne, you get about a bit! ;O) lol

MM: How long have you been involved with sugarcraft and what got you started?
SM: I’ve always loved baking and decorating cakes and it has been my hobby for as long as I can remember. When my youngest son was born I decided not to go back to full-time employment (I had worked full time whilst the other four were small and now feel I missed out on so much, but we needed the money). I initially returned to work part-time and started baking cakes during my days at home and it has really all taken off from there!

MM: Where did you learn?
SM: I am mostly self-taught, I did do a hobby class one evening per week for several months to learn new techniques mostly relating to flowers as I’m not really ‘into’ flowers and find it hard to make good, botanically correct ones. I have hundreds of cake decorating books and have spent hours looking over them and have never been afraid to experiment – if it goes wrong I learn so much for the next time!

MM: Is there anyone that has been your inspiration?
SM: I have been inspired by Lindy Smith and love her books. It was her books that mainly gave me the confidence to try out new things for myself, I love the fact that she’s self-taught and she has introduced modern design to cakes. Some of her designs are quite
busy though, sometimes I prefer simpler styles but her designs are innovative and fun.

MM: Where do you feel your love of the craft will lead you, have you any aspirations?
SM: I am very busy creating bespoke wedding cakes so I have already fulfilled my ambitions to do this and I would love to eventually have a large sugarcraft supply warehouse with workshop facilities where people can come to learn – if I could get the right premises I would be keen to implement this but will keep you posted! Any suppliers in my area are small shops, sometimes not dedicated solely to sugarcraft and they only keep a small range, I would like to stock a full range of products and also show people how to use them. Maybe not me personally (I’m not good at demonstrating), but if the interest was there maybe people such as Mystical Mischief would consider sharing their talents in this part of the world!
MM: Ooo that's sounds brilliant, I'd definately be interested if you thought it would pull people in :O)

MM: What’s your favourite and least favourite part of sugarcraft, do you have any pet hates?
SM: No pet hates as such, I love baking and decorating the cakes but find the torting, filling and covering a bit of a chore – its not something I look forward to or enjoy very much but it has to be done and its quite satisfying when its done well. My favourite bit is when I have just finished a cake and step back to look at it and its EXACTLY how I envisaged it would be – its so fulfilling to be able to create something that you’re happy with and you know you couldn’t have made it any better. Doesn't happen often though!

MM: Have you ever entered your work into any competitions, & if so how did you get on?
SM: I’m not a competitive person and with no formal training I would be unsure of the standard required – its just not something I have ever considered.

MM: Have you a signature cake/style and were do you get your design ideas from?:
SM: No signature style as such – I do remember a bride saying she had chosen me to make her wedding cake as all my cakes were different – not the same cake in a different colour, so I suppose there is something to be said for variation! I love the design process, sometimes I see another designer’s cake and like certain elements which I can then customise to my style or, more often inspiration comes from all around me – patterns, designs and colours in the ‘real’ world which I can just see working in a cake! For wedding cakes I incorporate details from other elements of the day – dress, colours, flowers, decorations, any particular interests or hobbies the couple have or something that’s unique to them.

MM: Have you anything interesting/useful you could tell us about your countries cake culture?
SM: In Northern Ireland we’re part of UK but I’m sure every region has their variations – just can’t think of anything unique!
MM: What about this biscuit cake I've heard about? Maybe you pop something about that into the '101 interestingthings about cake' thread, on the discussion board ;O)

MM: Have you any tips or advice that you think may come in handy to anyone who’s just starting to explore sugarcraft?
SM: Experiment and practice – the worst that can happen is that it won’t turn out how you’ve planned it but you will learn so much from attempting and when it does work you will be so proud of the result – almost as good as winning the lottery. Don’t think for one moment that your friends and family will share your excitement though, you have to be a ‘cakey’ person to understand what its all about!

You don’t always have to follow other peoples instructions either, if you can see a better way of achieving the same result – go for it!

MM: What interesting stories have you got about sugarcraft.
SM: When my youngest son was little I used to sit and make decorations whilst keeping an eye on him. Just before Christmas when he was about 9 months old I had spent ages making and wiring dozens of sugar holly berries and left them on the table to dry. Something happened that I had to leave the room for no more than a couple of minutes and when I came back there wasn’t a single berry left on wire – he had climbed up and pulled down the piece of oasis that was holding them and ate every one! He kindly reached me the wires, though. I wasn’t sure what that amount of food colouring would do to him but thankfully he suffered no ill effects. I did learn my lesson though – never, ever leave your sugar items unattended when Ben's around!
MM: Leaving powders out is also a killer!!! lol

Thanks Suzanne :O)

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Elvis Presley

This week's been a busy week, I've had a dem and 3 cakes to do (still working on one), good job the kids are now back to school or I'd have been pulling my hair out!!

Design wise though, the first 2 cakes have been easy as one was yet another VW campervan (didn't take a finished picture) and the second was basically a copy of this Elvis cake . The lady literally presented me with the a print out of the flickr page and said she wanted that. So I looked up the picture and found that it was made by a lady that I'd spoken to previously, as she'd done a copy of my ben10 cake and I'd complemeted her on the likeness. So when I asked if it was ok to do it she was very happy for me to, I also found it funny that they're next to eachother on her flickr album (I know small things )

I didn't copy the model exactly and decided to do it my way, I think the fact that I'm not really an Elvis fan stopped me getting entusiastic about making him, and I found it hard to get motivated, and is probably why he's a slighty fat Elvis , then my PC broke and I couldn't do a print out of what he looked like so had to do it from memory, still not checked now

But once it was done I was so so pleased with him, and I must admit I was a little reluctant to part with him, which doesn't happen that often