It’s Birthday Season
It’s birthday season around our house. During mid April through early may we have several birthdays lumped together. So, this is the time of the year I start thinking about upping my cake decorating skills. It also happens to becoming up on teacher appreciation week and I like to make something nice for that too.
I love learning new skills. Even though I consider myself to be a very advance sewist, I still like to learn new techniques. I often visit other blogs or watch youtube videos from favorite master seamstresses. I can always learn a new technique for putting in zippers or easier piping or adjusting patterns. There are so many great people out there teaching techniques.
Learning New Skills with Classes
When it comes to other areas of crafting where I can use a lot more help, I have really turned to Craftsy. So far, I’ve taken 2 of the online classes. Modern Buttercream by Joshua John Russel and Dipped, Dusted, & Rolled: Handmade Chocolates with Gayle Harte. The buttercream class really helped me improve my frosting techniques. I still consider myself a novice, but you can see a few of my cakes here.
Versus In Person Classes
One thing I like about the online classes is that you can go at your own pace. You can stop and start, watch on a tablet in your kitchen or while you are laying in bed. You can watch it over and over. When you take a class in person you only get the material during that block of an hour or two. Then you are on your own. I actually pull the Modern Buttercream class up before I make a cake almost every time.
As I said above, I love online video tutorials. The big difference with the classes versus the free videos on youtube is quality. The classes are professionally videographed. They are often broken up into little segments or lessons. There are a few of the top names in baking who make really high quality free classes – mostly to show you how to use their products – which I totally respect. But, you cannot get everything you need. Some of these online videos presuppose a certain level of ability that you may not have.
It doesn’t have to actually even be fancy to be cute. Two years ago I made this birdhouse cake with my giant cupcake pan. It turned out very cute and it was really easy to make. The buttercream class got me making softer crusting buttercream that pipes out perfectly. I used to make by buttercream way too hard and then get frustrated when it was too hard to pipe.
Try them for Free
If you just want to check things out before you buy a course, they have a series of free classes. You can click over to the free classes with this banner. The Modern Buttercream is a great free mini course to start with. That’s how I started with the online classes. Craftsy offers about 25 free classes from cake decorating to basic knitting to how to take better family photos.
Classes – Print Tutorials
If you aren’t into watching videos, they also have print classes. I like these because they are like a digital sewing pattern, but for cake decorating. They are much more involved than most of the cake books I have.
This Year’s Ideas
Kamille actually doesn’t like frosting so I’m thinking about a naked cake this year.
Here are my two possibilities. I really love the drip cake, but the little individual cakes are so sweet. They also look much easier. I might save them for teacher appreciation week though. We shall see. There will be no cake for our mom’s birthday party. We are doing fondue.