To Enter or Not to Enter?

This past June was the 5th Annual NY Cake Show at Pier 36 In Manhattan. With so many categories to choose from how do you decide what to enter? I usually enter a category I can have fun with, cookies, cupcakes, celebration cakes or sculpted cakes!

Traveling is a big factor in deciding at least for me, because if I can drive with it then I can go alittle bigger and unique in design. If I have to fly then I usually scale things down, make it something I can take as carry on or put in overhead.

The past few competitions I’ve been trying to create something different than my usual work or to work with materials I normally don’t get the chance to. For the NY Show I decided to challenge myself and enter into Showpiece!

Showpiece is a category where the cake is based on a pre determined theme. This years theme was Broadway.

Each competitior had to chose one play from a list and then create a cake based on that play. Each cake needed to be in proportion to the table provided ( 5’ diameter) and to also provide the table covering and decorations which would lend to the overall display. So your cake is not on a table with other cakes, its individually displayed and usually prominently on the show floor.

This was a big change for me and scoring is quite different from the other categories. I knew I had to create a clean piece, use many techniques ( and use them well!) and follow all the guidelines!

I worked for close to 2 months on this piece, alternating between stress and frustration! Certain elements worked and others were a big failure! I bugged friends online and on the phone but in the end I created a piece I was proud of. I knew what my flaws were but I was happy with the finished product!

Cakes with Character - Collage

And to my surprise I took 3rd in division!! So happy and more confidant to now work on my next big competition for the Oklahoma Sugar Art Show!

So after all that why do it?? I don’t enter to win, I enter to challenge myself, to work in mediums I don’t get to, and to experiement with new techniques and to surprise myself with the finished product!! You never know what will happen unless you give it a go! Try it, you may surprise yourself! And its about growing as an artist and pushing the boundaries of yourself and your art! Yes it can be stressful and frustrating and there were times that I walked away from it all for a day or two. But in the end even if I didn’t place I still created a damn good cake that I couldnt wait to show off!!

Looking forward to seeing more of you at the next show!!

Let the Competitions Commence!

Well competition season has now started and is in full swing! The Austin That Takes the Cake show started things off with a bang! There are many more exciting shows that have taken place and more coming up, SoFlo and the NY Cake Show! If you get a chance try to go and see all the amazing entries and even better if you can enter a piece I would highly suggest it!

Austin Cakes Collage.jpg
These are my 1st & 3rd Place Winning Entries from The Austin That Takes the Cake Show!

For me competing is all about the challenge, to push myself to step outside my comfort zone and try new things; to take classes and up my skill level. To see what new products are out and the exciting possibilities they have to offer and of course to meet up with industry leaders, innovators and great cake friends!

 

I know competitions sound scary and you read all these stories online about mishaps in transporting pieces but I feel they offer healthy competition among artists and are fun to enter! Dont feel intimidated! Research the show if you’re considering entering or at least come to the show to see what it all entails. Read the rules! Reach out to fellow competitiors and ask questions. Don’t leave things to the last minute!! And always prepare yourself for anything and everything to happen. Never feel like you can’t do it because of who is entering; you never know what the judges are looking for.

After competing at the Austin show I am now taking some time o to get ready for taking my game to the next level! My next competition show is the NY Cake Show. I will be entering in a category I never have before and trying new skills and techniques for the very first time. But I look at it as a great practice run for entering into Grand Wedding at the Oklahoma Sugar Art Show. I’m very excited to get working on my pieces and to see the final results!

Again its always about the challenge and I look forward to seeing what others bring to the table. And its always exciting to discover new talent and new techniques.

Happy New Year!

( A little bit late I know!!!) 2016 was such an exciting year full of traveling, cake shows, classes, TV(!!!!!!) magazine publications and so many fun cake creations! 2017 looks to be just as jam packed with exciting new adventures on the horizon!
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I’ll be looking to trying my hand in some new opportunities and making some much needed changes here at home! I can’t say much as things are really very early in the planning stages but please stay tuned for updates!
When I started art school I came from a public school where I was 1 of maybe 3-4 kids who wantphoto-collage-2ed to major in art.
Art school was a huge eye opening experience for me as now I wasn’t one of the few cool art kids that everyone asked to paint their jackets or binders or work on school projects but now I was one of hundreds!! I had to learn how to make myself stand out, find my style, practice and try new things!
Well 2017 is going to be a lot like that! Breaking out of my comfort zone here in my little part of Hicksville, Long Island! I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned while also giving others the opportunity to shine!!
Can’t wait to share it all with you!
Stay tuned!!!!

A Time to Give Thanks!

With Thanksgiving almost upon us I wanted to take the time to say thanks for the many opportunities over these past few months! To start with I got to go on Food Network and compete in Cake Wars!! It was such an amazing opportunity and I had so much fun! Thank you so much to Gilda Burke from Jolirose Bake Shop for picking me as her assistant and giving me this opportunity to show people what I can do !!!

cake-wars-collage_fotor

Our episode was Halo so you can check your local TV guide for listings and repeats!! It was an epic battle!!

I then competed at the Oklahoma Sugar Art Show for the 7th year ! I entered into the Holiday Professional category and took a 1st place win and Confections Professional with a 2nd Place win!

If you’re interested in seeing the show and entering a piece check out this video from Sugar Geek Show! It gives you an great idea of the show, and to hear from people who entered pieces!

The rest of the time I have had the honor of being a part of so many awesome sugar art collaborations .

See the links below to check out all the amazing creations!

https://www.facebook.com/GreatPumpkinYear50/

https://www.facebook.com/SugarMythsandFantasies2.0

https://www.facebook.com/sugarskullbakers/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/sugarspooks

And I also had 2 of my collaboration pieces published in Cake Masters Magazine!!

I am so grateful for the many opportunites Ive had this past year but also for the amazing friendships I’ve gotten to cultivate as well!! The cake community has been there for every question, support, problem and well wishes!! I look forward to what the New Year has in store and I cant wait to share more sugar creations with you all!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Enjoy the day with family and friends and safe travels!

Highlights of the 2016 NY Cake Show

This past May, I had the honor of competing in Lisa Mansour’s 4th Annual NY Cake Show! The theme this year was New York, and the competition was fierce! Anything you can imagine about NY was replicated in some form of sugar art!

Check out the links below for pictures and a quick video of some of the winners!! 

View the 2016 NY Cake Show Photo Gallery!

doxy

And for you Harry Potter fans who cant wait for the new movie Fantastic Beasts check out this amazing new collaboration Fantastic Beasts of Birthday Mischief!! I was honored again to be a part of this fantastic project! We were all assigned a fantastic beast and had to come up with our own interpretation of them!

 

Here is a picture of mine the nasty little Doxy! Check out this link to view the amazing visuals and artwork created by my fellow artists! Or watch a great little video below!

Till next time!

 

 

Sweet Fairy Tales

I had the honor of being part of this amazing cake collaboration “Sweet Fairy Tales’. “Sweet Fairy Tales ‘ is a collaboration between 50+ cake artists to combine nursery rhymes with edible art in an effort to raise awareness and funds to the amazing non-profit organization, Project Night Night which provides books, stuffed animals and blankets to homeless children. Each piece510fnxSp3BL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg was printed in a book (available for purchase on amazon)

All proceeds of the book go to Project Night Light. Project Night Night donates over 25,000 Night Night Packages each year to homeless children 12 and under who need our childhood essentials to have a concrete and predictable source of security and an increased exposure to high-quality literacy materials during their time of upheaval. Each Night Night Package contains a new security blanket, an age- appropriate children’s book, and a stuffed animal – all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag. Retouched_NNP_2-338x348By providing objects of reliable comfort, Project Night Night reduces trauma and advances the emotional and cognitive well-being of the children we serve. Every child who receives one of our Night Night Packages leaves the shelter owning a book which encourages reading and family bonding, a security blanket which can be cuddled, and a stuffed animal which can become a cherished friend. We have one objective -to deliver our Night Night Packages to every homeless child in the country who needs one. Project Night Night is a tax exempt charitable organization under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. We work with over 10,000 volunteers each year, and we are the leading provider of nighttime comforts for homeless children. http://www.projectnightnight.org

Below is my contribution to this wonderful project. Pick up a copy today, the kids will love it and its for worth while cause!

tweedle as Smart Object-1.jpg

April Showers Bring….CAKE!

Where does the time go?  March certainly came in like a lion and I think went out like one too! Im still trying to catch up from my many adventures that past month! So much traveling across the country, competing, fun stuff, learning new techniques and catching up with and making new friends!

And now were into April and Spring has certainly sprung as well!6a0120a5924ef0970b01bb08ce9f43970d.jpg

My first journey was to the Austin Texas That Takes the Cake Show.  I entered into 2 categories, Tiered Non-Wedding and Cupcakes! My tiered cake was a Jack Kirby inspired hand painted cake .

To get all the info on this cake click here!

Sailor Moon Cupcakes.jpgAnd Sailor Moon inspired cupcakes for which I took 2nd Place!

Next up was the Cakefest Competition in Lafayette, LA with this theme being “Freakshow” I entered into 3 smaller categories as I didn’t have time to create a cake. Cookies, cupcakes and decorated board! Took 1st Place on all 3!!

Cookies.jpgLA Cupcakes.jpgDecorated Board.jpgLA Awards.jpg

In between all the traveling and orders I was also honored to be a part of so many fun cake collaborations. One in particular had my contributioIreland Fairy.jpgn traveling across the world over to Ireland! Away with the fairies was a collaboration at the Irish Sugar Craft show with contributions from 250+ artists.

Watch below to see it all come together!

Another collaboration I was honored to be part of was the Sugar Artists for Autism Awareness!April Sugar for Autisim.jpg

And last but not least I also put together a collaboration “ A Sugar Artists Tea Party”! Pop on over and take a peek at some of these gorgeous Tea party settings!

https://www.facebook.com/teapartycollab/

Until next month which is almost here stay tuned for more news and more reveals!

Happy Valentines Day!

Wow, where has the time gone!! Its Valentines Day!!

Please enjoy this quickie cake I made in celebration of Valentines Day … may I introduce “Cupid Pig”! A 8″ double barrel cake with a hand sculpted 2D image complete with wafer paper hearts courtesy of Icing Images!

new pig

And for all you last minute folks enjoy this quickie how to on making candy roses out of Jolly Ranchers!

 

This month is going to be the start of some crazy fun times! So many fun cake collaborations will be revealed and so honored to be a part of them so watch my page and keep on the lookout!

Also I will be traveling to Austin, Texas for the That Takes the Cake cake show and competition! Entering 2 pieces and so looking forward to learning new techniques and seeing all my cake friends! Once I come back its scrambling to put together pieces for another show “Cakefest” and to start thinking of my entry in the NY Cake show!

So lots of stuff coming up so stay tuned and Happy Valentines Day everyone!!!

 

A Wonderful Whirlwind!

Wow, where to begin?

It has been non-stop since my last blog post with so many exciting things that have happened! To start off, October saw my annual trek to the Oklahoma Sugar Art Show hosted by Kerry Vincent. This year besides entering into 3 categrories ( tiered, non-wedding, chocolate and cookies) I was also competing in the LIVE 1 1/2 cake challenge, with this years theme being fairy tales. This is such a fun and friendly competition in front of an audience of your peers and first timers. Finished my piece in the allotted time and took 2nd place! And I also took 2nd place in the tiered non-wedding category with my entry of the Story of Star Wars. Each tier was one of the planets from the series and featured hand painted scenery, modeling chocolate characters and topped off with a Death Star topper! It was a great show made even better by meeting up with many of my fellow sugar artists!

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Next up was November and what a magical whirlwind that was. My cake collaboration Simpsononymous an artistic edible mash up was up for a Cake Masters award for best cake collaboration. I had the opportunity to fly to Birmingham , England to attend the awards ceremony, which I’ll never have a chance to attend the Oscars but this was the next best thing!


And again meeting up with so many of my sugar art friends was the highlight of my trip!
While atttending this awards show I also had a competition piece entered in the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique 147th Salon of Culinary Arts show at the Jacob Javitz Center in NYC. My piece was part of a team entry from the Long Island baking and Pastry Guild. I took 2nd Place with my piece titled” An Homage to the Foundation year art student”

art school

 

Then once I got back it was busy completing my entry for the 2015 Threadcakes competition!

thread main as Smart Object-1

Then in December it was the 3rd Annual Long Island Gingerbread Competition. This years theme was Victorian! And this year I took 1st!

new house as Smart Object-1What an amazing cake year it was and so looking forward to what 2016 will bring!

First up will be the “That takes the Cake” cake competition in Austin , Texas in Feb. Looking forward to seeing everyone again!

Stay warm and Happy Caking!

Jean

 

CAKE COMPETITIONS

It’s that time of year again, though it doesn’t really end we just take a short break over the summer! Cake Competitions/Sugar Art Shows are in full swing, with the Satin Ice sponsored CakeFair in Orlando which just ended and the upcoming Oklahoma Sugar Art Show (OSSAS) first weekend in October. There’s Cake International in the UK in November, The Cake Masters Awards as well and then the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique Culinary Art and Exhibit in NY. Lots to do, lots to see and lots of amazing people to see, talk with and learn from.

I love doing these competitions because it gives me an opportunity to create works of edible art that my customers necessarily wouldn’t ask for and to try something new and different. Yes, it can be stressful, like how do I get my cake there? Drive, fly, ship it out? What if my cake is damaged? Should I bring a tool kit? Do I have time to fix it? I’ve gone through all of these experiences doing shows and you always seem to work something out and be able to get a piece on the table.

I compete not to win, but to push myself further, learning new techniques and trying different styles or designs that I would never think of. If I win, great an added bonus but my goal is to get something that I’m happy and proud of out there for other people’s enjoyment.

I also love the camaraderie of the cake community. Love seeing old friends and making new ones! I love taking in all the other competitors’ pieces and seeing so many different takes on a certain theme! Learning what to do and what not to do. Taking classes so I can further myself along and bring back what I learned for my customers.

As I’m writing this I have finally completed my 3, yes 3 pieces for the OSSAS show. I decided to enter in some other categories that I usually don’t do work for. Figured I would try something different this year! Oh and I’m also competing in the LIVE cake challenge as well! Crazy I know but I am so looking forward to the show, seeing my friends, talking cake and seeing what’s next!

Its a busy 4 months with more pieces to create but in the end its all fun! If you have a chance to see a show in your area, come on out! You won’t be disappointed!