Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ready, Set, DECORATE! - Wilton Course 1

Many times in the past, I have looked at Wilton course listings at Michael's and ACMoore trying to figure out if I should take them. Well, the local ACMoore was offering 50% the course fee (which is normally $45!) so I gave in to the urge and signed up. Four classes and 3 cakes later, I'm an expert cake decorator. Um, no. But I am getting better at getting a super-smooth, iced cake. I am no expert at making the Wilton Rose, but with some practice, I think I'll be able to produce some pretty decent roses. (Just between us: I think roses are just okay. Both on cakes and as real flowers. I'm more interested in making other flowers. Shhhh...don't tell anyone.) I have enjoyed the classes and found them to be helpful for learning the techniques, but the supplies are expensive! I was told by the instructor before the classes started that if I bought the 101-piece Wilton kit (available at Michael's and ACMoore, $145 without a coupon), that I would only have to buy a cake pan to get me through to course 4. Well, during the fourth class of the first course, she fessed up and said that we would still have to buy the kits (about $30 each without a coupon) for each of the following three courses. But, but, but...And you have to buy the ingredients for both the icing and cakes and make them in your spare time before class. So there's quite a bit of homework. For three of the classes out of the four, we had to make a cake and two batches of icing. We had to ice the cake prior to class and thin the remaining icing down to have different consistencies. If you decide to take these courses, make sure you are aware of both the time and monetary investment involved.

I will share my cake pictures with you. The first two are from my cell phone so the quality is low.

Cake 1 - Rainbow cake (we had to freehand the rainbow because the instructor forgot the template)

Cake 2 - Clown cake

Finale Cake - complete with Wilton Roses

Monday, March 29, 2010

Shop, Drop, and Roll

Since I love crafting so much and I don't have work at the moment, I am going to try to market some of my wares on Etsy.com. It's a competitive world on Etsy, making it difficult to get noticed. I am reading "The Handmade Marketplace" by Kari Chapin, a guide to selling crafts locally, at craft fairs, and online, to help get my business started. It's a really great guide to "craftonomics," making sure one knows everything they need to know about selling their handmade goodies.

I am in the process of building up some inventory to list in my new shop: littleleaflane.etsy.com. I will be whipping up accessories such as barrettes, headbands, and purses as well as baby things such as pacifier clips, burp cloths, and bibs. I'll also be listing my handmade greeting cards and card sets on Etsy.

If you are looking for me sometime in the next few weeks, I'll be holed up in my craft studio. Happy crafting!