First Stargazer Critique Needed

Decorating By smittyditty Updated 6 Oct 2013 , 2:28pm by smittyditty

cakealicious7 Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 4:57pm
post #61 of 86

AWow it really looks beautiful!!

smittyditty Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 5:02pm
post #62 of 86

Thanks guys!

Yes I'm dusting before assembling. I put a lot on trying to go heavy then tap the petal on the container to get the rest off. It falls down the petal and gets on the tip. I can wipe it off but I thought there probably was a proper way to do it. Also I should steam before they are put together? Why out of curiosity?

smittyditty Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 5:05pm
post #63 of 86

Ya I went a little dot happy on that first one...ya'll were just being kind..lol  Its like a world of difference between the two now if I only had the right dust powder it would have been even better. Don't hold back people that's how I learn.

sixinarow Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 2:40am
post #64 of 86

It looks SO good, smitty! I can't wait to see it all put together! :) I don't have a recommendation as to how to keep the color off while your dusting, but maybe this will bump it back up so someone will chime in. I do know that I clean up color residue with vodka and it works really well to take all the color off -- even black.

JWinslow Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 3:42am
post #65 of 86

I hope you're not getting sick of hearing from me - if so, just let me know,  I don't want to be a pain in the butt.

You ARE improving by leaps & bounds

 

Steaming - If you know you're going to touch the dusted part of the petal during assembly, I would steam so you don't accidentally smear it.  When using dark colors, consider dusting in layers instead of trying to achieve the dark color all at once.  Yes, it takes a little longer, but only in the beginning - it is a practice that once you have success, it is automatic.

You certainly can steam after you assemble, just take care.  It's very hard to keep your white edge from picking up the dark pink, but I have to say you've done a pretty great job. 

 

Next step with dots:   Now that you see the difference between your flowers, try to make your dots a tad smaller and just a little more random.  Not an easy task, I assure you.  I have ruined beautiful petals with a slip of the brush - couldn't even fix with vodka.  Not sure about the white dots.  Not loving them yet, but not sure on an alternative method - thinking.....

 

 

Jeanne

,

smittyditty Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 3:12pm
post #66 of 86

No seriously I never get tired of anyone on here! I love all the help I can get. Chime in anytime. I love the honesty too! I am not easily offended so no worries. I'll try the multiple passes of color next time. I think its one of the harder flowers I have done. Roses and other romantic flowers are easier mainly just because you don't have to make it so dark and the whole no color on the edges. I also think its harder because I have never seen one of these in real life. That makes it less fresh in my mind visually. I agree with the dots needing to be smaller. Next time I go to the cake store I'm gonna look at powders and gels and stock up on the right color just encase I get future orders. That would make my life a LOT easier.

 

Sixinarow - thanks I'll try the vodka out on the edges. Wasn't sure if it would make it more frail or not? Not sure why I thought that...lol

milkmaid42 Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 3:42pm
post #67 of 86

I'm almost hesitant to suggest this, for it is a highly charged emotional discussion here on CC.

 

Since gumpaste flowers are not recommended eating and although they are considered non toxic, you might want to try using artist's pastels. I have a set of 72 colors, (non oil based) from which I make my own petal dust. I rub them against a fine mesh tea strainer and keep the collected dust in plastic bead containers from Michael's. Those, combined with a number of commercial dusts, give me a large palette from which to choose. Frankly, I just don't have the funds to afford all the colors I desire.

 

I love watching your progress and have bookmarked this thread for guidance when I attempt my first stargazer. Also just a thought...if you ran a line of egg white along the edge of the petals, would that give you the sharp line, provided your base petal color was white already? I've done it for ivy veins when I want them to stand out white.

 

OK, now I'm going to duck for the barrage I expect will hit. (Only I am in good company with this recommendation  since Scott Clark Woolley suggests the same thing and someone one time here on CC reported that her Wilton instructor taught the same thing, re pastels.)

 

Jan

JWinslow Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 4:18pm
post #68 of 86

Quote:

Originally Posted by milkmaid42 
 

I'm almost hesitant to suggest this, for it is a highly charged emotional discussion here on CC.

 

Since gumpaste flowers are not recommended eating and although they are considered non toxic, you might want to try using artist's pastels. I have a set of 72 colors, (non oil based) from which I make my own petal dust. I rub them against a fine mesh tea strainer and keep the collected dust in plastic bead containers from Michael's. Those, combined with a number of commercial dusts, give me a large palette from which to choose. Frankly, I just don't have the funds to afford all the colors I desire.

 

I love watching your progress and have bookmarked this thread for guidance when I attempt my first stargazer. Also just a thought...if you ran a line of egg white along the edge of the petals, would that give you the sharp line, provided your base petal color was white already? I've done it for ivy veins when I want them to stand out white.

 

OK, now I'm going to duck for the barrage I expect will hit. (Only I am in good company with this recommendation  since Scott Clark Woolley suggests the same thing and someone one time here on CC reported that her Wilton instructor taught the same thing, re pastels.)

 

Jan

 

Jan, why would you think this is a highly charged thread.  IMO, a very productive thread that we've participated in - I went back and even re-read your suggestions on dots - I like that! :)  Egg white is something I will experiment with next time I make a stargazer - thanks

 

Jeanne

kikiandkyle Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 4:19pm
post #69 of 86

I think Jan feared the suggestion of using pastel dust on a flower to go on a cake would be likely to draw strong opinions, but I don't think it would be too much of an issue on a flower that clearly nobody will be eating.

milkmaid42 Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 4:26pm
post #70 of 86

Oh heavens, no. I love this thread and think it is one of the more helpful ones I've read/participated in. It is difficult, sometimes, to convey intentions with written text. Kikiandkyle understood what I was trying to say. Thanks for clarifying for me. I just know that there have been several threads over the years that have generated a lot of comment, pro and con re using pastels as petal dust. Too many people take it on as a personal challenge to dump on other's opinions. This thread has been most cordial and informative which is why I have bookmarked it for my future use.

 

Jan

smittyditty Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 6:26pm
post #71 of 86

They say non-toxic most of them anyhow so I don't see why that wouldn't be fine. I will look into that I think that is a great idea! I have never used egg white but I'll try that as well. Do you use the meringue powder or real egg white?

milkmaid42 Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 7:43pm
post #72 of 86

I use real egg white, although I no longer have chickens, I am accustomed to the real thing. I always find a way to use the yolks as witnessed by the several packets of various curds in my freezer. I do keep meringue powder on hand for things like flowed sugar and sometimes, royal.

 

Jan

JWinslow Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 10:53pm
post #73 of 86

Quote:

Originally Posted by smittyditty 
 

They say non-toxic most of them anyhow so I don't see why that wouldn't be fine. I will look into that I think that is a great idea! I have never used egg white but I'll try that as well. Do you use the meringue powder or real egg white?

If you are using dusts that are non toxic on gum paste decorations you're fine.  Gum paste although considered edible, is not really palatable.  The second you use a wire - it is a non edible decoration. Crystal Colors are FDA approved and Chef Rubber has a line of FDA approved colors.

 

Jan,  my very first dusts were "homemade" from non toxic chalk.  I learned it from my Wilton instructor years ago.   I still have some in my box. :)

smittyditty Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 3:16am
post #74 of 86

Thanks everyone for your help finally got a picture from the photographer was in such a hurry couldn't take one. The humidity and my buttercream were not friends so I was rushing to work with it best I could.  I edited out the topper as I didn't like it. The picture is also WAY HARSH she didn't know what she was doing and had the flash when the tent was lit brighter than my living room. So I learned my lesson on not taking a picture and forgetting my camera!

I hand made the sugar flowers, anchor and half the shells. Some shells were molded due the tiny size of them. This was a 4,6,8 inch cake. Buttercream Ombre banana flavored cake. Top tier is Key Lime flavored.  Thanks for looking!

JWinslow Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 3:41am
post #75 of 86

Congratulations of a lovely job.  I hear you about the photographer.  I've been disappointed more than one.

kikiandkyle Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 4:44am
post #76 of 86

ALooks great!

milkmaid42 Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 1:07pm
post #77 of 86

Congratulations from me, too. It is a beautiful cake, and I know what you mean about a topper. Sometimes it can just ruin a cake into which you've put so much time.

Now that you have mastered the stargazer. what is your next goal? 

 

Jan

smittyditty Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 1:55pm
post #78 of 86

Working on a Peony without cutters today...lol.. did one once before but it was a closed peony. This ones gonna be open so hopefully less petals!

smittyditty Posted 5 Oct 2013 , 5:26pm
post #79 of 86

My second Peony made of gumpaste. The ruffles are all fondant. Thanks for looking!


Less petals but it still wanted to fall apart on me. Partly because I was in a hurry and let it dry one hour. Partly I need a ceilo pad I hear they are great. So I had problems with the leaves. I dusted them how I wanted then went over them with vodka to get them shiny like leaves and the dusts all ran together.. DUh what was I thinking? How can I get shiny without that happening?

milkmaid42 Posted 5 Oct 2013 , 6:45pm
post #80 of 86

There are several ways to get a shine.

1. Once the leaves are steamed to set the dust, you can use confectioner's glaze. To quote from Alan Dunn's Sugar Cr--t Flower Arranging book, Mix confectioner's varnish with isopropyl alcohol together in a jar with a lid. Stir or swirl together rather than shake to avoid bubbles. Dip leaves, shaking off excess, before hanging to dry or lay on paper towels to blot any excess. He suggests not painting directly on as it can remove some of the dust, producing a streaky effect. To avoid a plastic look, he dilutes the above in the following proportions: 1 part alcohol to 3 parts glaze for a high shine; half and half for a natural shine; and a quarter glaze, 3 parts isopropyl alcohol to 1 part glaze for leaves and petals t hat don't require a s hine but just need something stronger than just steaming to set the color and remove the dust finish.

 

2. Although I've never done this, Scott Clark Woolley suggests diluting a little piping gel with water and painting it on. A variation of this would be using vodka instead of water which would remove any of the stickiness. But here I think you'd encounter your original problem.

 

3. You can make a leaf and flower shine using gum arabic. In a small jar put 2 T. water. Sprinkle over the top 1 T. gum arabic. Do not stir. The next day it will be a liquid and you can paint it on with a soft brush. If you have left over, leave the lid off and let dry. Next time add a little water and once again, let sit overnight before use.

 

4. Just spray with light coat of Pam.

 

5. Use commercial Lacquer Spray. Made for confectionary use, it comes in an aerosol can and is very easy to use.

 

I don't use #5  too often for it is rather expensive  for my budget. I generally use it for larger pieces that I wouldn't want to brush on. For flowers and leaves,I prefer to use the confectioner's glaze as recommended by Alan Dunn.

 

I hope this gives you something you might be happy with. Your peony is looking great.

 

Jan

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 5 Oct 2013 , 6:59pm
post #81 of 86

AI actually get enough shine just from steaming, but I don't like much. If I want more on small details, I'm lazy and love the Pam trick, lol.

JWinslow Posted 5 Oct 2013 , 11:35pm
post #82 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes 

I actually get enough shine just from steaming, but I don't like much. If I want more on small details, I'm lazy and love the Pam trick, lol.

 

That's why I like the confectionery lacquer spray - doesn't make leaves super shiny like glaze.  I'll have to try the Pam trick.

smittyditty Posted 6 Oct 2013 , 1:31am
post #83 of 86

Jan WOW, You went above and beyond! I will print this out. Wish I could Pin to my pinterest. Anyhow I really appreciate it I will try a few of those and see what I like.

Thank You!

One more question when making this flower I wanted to know exactly how many petals and since its open I know that can vary, however is there a link to a botanical type of Wiki online that tells the anatomy of flowers. That way I know exactly the petal count? Also had no idea exactly how many yellow stamens( probably wrong word).

kikiandkyle Posted 6 Oct 2013 , 1:50am
post #84 of 86

AI love your latest cake, just beautiful.

milkmaid42 Posted 6 Oct 2013 , 2:48am
post #85 of 86

Loving to garden like I do, I have a lot of garden catalogs with lovely illustrations. The trouble is, it is darn near impossible to count the number of petals! If you could wait until spring I could go out and pick one to disassemble. :)  The cake is beautiful and the only thing I could offer would be to arrange the petals so they aren't quite so lined up, one directly above the other. That was the first thing I noticed. But with your comment that they kept wanting to fall apart on you, the fact that you were able to wire them at all is a success.

 

We are in the starting of Fall with the foliage just beginning to change colors. I never got my gardenia project started and the bush is through for this year. Now I find myself gathering up newly fallen red leaves to dry and am itching to make some more gum paste fall leaves. I need to buckle down and follow through with a project. I commend you on your dedication.

 

Jan

smittyditty Posted 6 Oct 2013 , 2:28pm
post #86 of 86

Thank you Kiki! I'm amazed at your first attempt with stringwork!

 

Thanks Jan, Ya problem is I made them too cupped so I couldn't move them over because they made huge gaps. I see what you mean. I also was trying not to figit with them too much for fear of them falling. Now that its been a day I might be able to move all of them over. I also didn't have a cutter which is essential in this flower if you ask me. The back petals weren't even long enough to reach the center so they are kinda hanging out on a wire if you know what I mean.

What peony cutters do you have? Sorry if I'm asking you too many ?s your just so knowledgeable..lol...better start playing dumb

You sound like me with the whole better get a project done.

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