Julia's December Stencil Release - Roses Are Red!


I know, I know! It's not even Christmas yet, and I'm already tempting you with Valentine's Day stencils. ❤️ What can I say?! That's just the way things go here in cookie-stencil land! I always strive to be two to three months ahead of you, so you're never caught without stencils for the holiday at hand!

This month's release started with a desire to convey designs that look like fancy Valentine's candy boxes - with a vintage flair, of course! And it ended up with what you're about to see below. Basically, the background set contains some criss-crossed ribbons, positioned as if they're tying up a box. The ribbons are a bit rough around their edges (so to speak) to give them that time-worn, vintage feel I was after. That set also contains three foreground elements (namely roses and mini hearts) designed to dress up your "candy box lids". The complementary message and frame set carries through on the candy gift box theme with three frames and a whopping SIX messages fashioned to look like tiny gift tags.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let's move on to a photo collage of all that I just said!

New December 2019 Stencils 2

And where can you find these sets?! Good question! Here's where:

I love, love, love Valentine's Day, so I've got no shortage of other stencils for this occasion! You can check them all out here. And, while you're on the site, be sure to jump on over to my Stencil of the Month Club! It offers significant savings over normal site prices on specially curated stencil bundles like this one for December:


This Valentine's Day bundle is worth $22.99, but Club members get it for only $14.99! But that's not all! They also get 15% off anything else on the Confection Couture site, every day of every week, as long as they stay in the club! What a swoon-worthy deal! If you're interested in learning more about the club or signing up, just click here

Ready to see how this month's Duos™ Background Set translates onto cookies? Yes?! Well, steel yourself; your heart might just skip a beat or two. The designs are especially lovely this month, if I do say so myself!  First, a view of what's in the set:

Roses Are Red Dynamic DuosTM Background Set (6 pieces)

One of the simplest ways to use this set is to choose a single foreground element, and stencil it onto a plain white cookie, just as I did here:

Just the Rose Element of the Background Set in Use

Above, I used five colors (which IS relatively simple for me!): AmeriMist Deep Pink and Maroon on the roses; AmeriMist Electric Green and Avocado for the leaves; and a custom "antique" blue for the bow, mixed with Spectrum Flow Sky Blue, Spectrum Flow White, and Chefmaster Harvest Brown. (Aside: Spectrum Flow is an alcohol-based airbrush coloring; the rest are water-based. For all the reasons I choose one type of airbrush coloring over another, please stay tuned for my upcoming video on the topic. I'm also planning a video that shows exactly how to use this set, which should release by mid-February.)

Here are a couple of closer views . . .

Simple white more context LIGHTER 2

Single white super close SQLIGHTER 2

Of course, you can always use all of the stencil layers in the pack - that is, set down the background stencil with a mask; then remove the mask, and stencil in the corresponding element on the foreground stencil. I did essentially that to create the next four cookies with both ribbon and heart embellishments.

First, a white cookie with the damask heart foreground element (as a fondant appliqué) . . .


Here it is a bit closer . . .


Second, a white cookie (with brown shading) and the striped heart foreground element . . .


Third, a variation of the above cookie with the blue and brown colors swapping places on the heart . . .

Antique Blue SQ Good

And, fourth, a variation of the above cookie with a pale yellow background and brown ribbons (with the foreground element as a fondant appliqué) . . .


The other thing I did with these four cookies is experiment with "mood" by changing the intensity (or saturation) of the colors. I used all the same colors in the very first cookie photo, but I instead applied more layers of coloring to create a deeper, richer effect. I also concentrated the darker hues (brown and maroon) in the bigger elements (like the ribbons) to create added boldness. But, if you prefer subtle to bold, then use a lighter touch and a higher ratio of pale hues (pink and blue) to darker ones.

Now, what about that message and frame set? First, it's got the following six pieces, including (a record) six messages on one of the pieces (usually, my sets have a max of four messages):

Roses Are Red Dynamic DuosTM Message and Frame Set (6 pieces)

Once again taking the path of least resistance, I began by using just one element from the background set (the roses) and one message. Here, however, rather than airbrushing the roses directly onto the cookie, I turned them into a fondant appliqué, which sits above the cookie icing just a hair. (There are tiny fondant blobs underneath for supports.)

Simple roses are red SQ

The messages and frames could, naturally, be stenciled directly onto the cookie. But, in all cases in this post, I really wanted them to look like gift tags, so I stenciled them onto wafer paper, cut them out, and then attached them at one end to the cookie with a touch of royal icing. And, because I'm a more-is-more person, I couldn't resist embellishing with mini royal icing roses and leaves (piped with Wilton #101S and #349 tips, respectively).

Next, I took the design complexity up a notch by applying the background stencil in two colors along with the elements in the previous photo, and the result is what you see here . . .

single big pink sq BRIGHTER

As another experiment with hue, I changed up the background icing color on the cookie. Notice how a stark white background (below), with just a touch of pink shading on the cookie edges, creates a far more dramatic result than using the exact same colorings on a pale pink cookie (above).

Big pink p goodbrighter

I also swapped in yellow backgrounds, which lean softer and more vintage too . . .

IMG_8526big yellow heart trio simple nice

And, here's one last photo for this month - a closer look at that big yellow cookie in the center . . .

Big yellow heart red plate NICE SQEVEN BRIGHTER

Phew - I'm all photo'ed out! As you can see, there's no shortage of designs you can dream up with these sets. In fact, if you can hold on for my upcoming video, you'll see a 3-D heart box fully decorated with these stencils!

'Til then, check out my recap of key stencil links below, and have a great holiday!

Possible Opener Logo Down

Key Links:
  • To purchase my Dynamic Duos sets, click here.
  • To join my Stencil of the Month Club, click here.
  • To see my entire stencil line, including my Prettier Plaques sets, click here.
  • To view my videos that show how to create layered looks with my stencil sets, click here.

If you have any technical questions about these stencils, just email me at sweetlife@juliausher.com or leave a comment below. Please, however, direct all ordering and Club questions to my stencil partner, Confection Couture Stencils, at service@confectioncouturestencils.com. Thank you!

***** ADDENDUM *****
February 14, 2020

That How-To Video I Mentioned!


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Cookies Fantastique by Carol posted:

These are absolutely fabulous Julia @Julia M. Usher!! I'm enchanted with the gorgeous designs and the possibilities. The vintage look is perfect for Valentine's Day and you've expertly captured that feeling ❤️

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Thanks, @Cookies Fantastique@Manu, and @Icingsugarkeks. Happy holidays to all!

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