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Julia's February 2021 Stencil Release - Hopping Into Spring!

 

After last week's polar vortex fiasco, I'm hopping as fast as I can into spring - and so is this month's Dynamic Duosβ„’ design! The design, called "Hopping Into Spring" (of course, what else?! ), is more whimsical than my usual releases, and there's good reason for that. In light of all we've been going through, I really wanted to give you something that would elicit huge smiles this time! And so, here you have it, in all of its super cuteness, my February 2021 stencil release . . .

New FEBRUARY 2021 Stencils1

You'll find all of these goodies on my partner Confection Couture Stencils' site, under the following links:

Also, have you heard?! The background stencil in each month's background set is now being sold separately! So, if you're not up to tackling fully layered sets, you can get my fun-loving Easter Lawn Background Stencil (pictured directly below) on its own and make several cheerful springtime designs with just it. I'll be showing you a few of those designs in a bit.

SJU0374_GRAYSCALE

But, first, let's talk about what Stencil-of-the-Month Clubbers will receive in their mailboxes this month. As always, they'll get the carefully curated bundle of my Duosβ„’ background set along with Confection Couture Stencils' complementary accent stencil (the lamb and chick one, in this case) . . .

SOM_FEB_2021BORDER

So sweet! But what's even sweeter is that club members automatically get these stencils - my very latest releases - at huge savings (about 20% off) each month. To read more about my club and to sign up, click here.

Now, on to that background set . . .

Hopping Into Spring Dynamic DuosTM Background Set (6 pieces)SJU0369_package_contents_pixelBORDER

This set is super special this month insofar as the foreground stencil includes extra overlays to add a bunny face, ears, and belly to the bunny body. I'll show you how they all work together in a sec, but I first want to address how you can use the background stencil all by itself. One option is simply to airbrush it onto the cookie. Here, I captured just the left side of the stencil, because this cookie is rather narrow . . .

Simple just back more context BRIGHTER

But, regardless of my cookie's size, I love capturing just portions of the background stencil, in different ways on each cookie. These various views lend interest to a set. For example, on the top cookie below, I simply flipped over the stencil to capture the mirror image on the right rather than the left side . . .

2 PLAIN BACK NICE-ISH

This orientation looks great too!

Before I move on, I should do a little 'fessing up, however! I actually did a little more than airbrush the background stencil onto the above cookies. If you were looking closely, you'd have seen that I snuck in some teeny floral fondant appliquΓ©s for a touch of dimension. In addition to airbrushing the flowers onto fondant and then cutting out that fondant, I also contoured the cut pieces by setting them to dry inside measuring spoons of various sizes. That drying process is what gives them their gentle curve.

Now, what to do with the foreground stencil elements and their corresponding masking pieces?! The masks are designed to block out space on the background stencil, so that the foreground elements can sit pleasingly on top with no interference from the background pattern. But, in the case of the top right cookie below, I opted to airbrush the large egg duo onto a royal icing transfer rather than directly on the cookie. The transfer was made by tracing the duo's shape with royal icing, letting it dry, and then airbrushing the egg patterns on top . . .

IMG_8163 PLAIN WITH DIM EGGS HOR BEST

Here's a closer view . . .

DIM EGG CLOSEUP BESTER MORE CONTEXT SQ

I love the extra dimension that these egg transfers provide. I'm hoping the super-zoomed close-up below helps you better appreciate their poofy-ness!

DIM EGG CLOSEUP BESTER

I also airbrushed the bunny onto some cookies in the more classic way, by using the masking piece to leave room for it. Here are a couple of those variations . . .

TALL BUNNY PEEKING IN FROM SIDE OF FRAME CUTE USE

Peek-a-boo! This bunny's being a little shy, so here he is again, coaxed into a full-screen view . . .

TALL BUNNY NO MESS Shift left nice sq

Technique Aside: To make the bunny, I first shaded the body very lightly (and at a distance) with brown; then I set the combo ears-face-belly overlay on top and hit it with pink (ears, nose, and belly) and dark brown (eyes and whiskers). Lastly, I removed the overlay, reset the body stencil, and airbrushed around the edge with more brown to better define the bunny shape.

But . . . who said you have to capture the entirety of the bunny on the cookie? He looks awfully cute with just his head peeking out from the bottom of this plaque . . .

IMG_8213PEEKING BUNNY NICE OPENER

Here's a closer take . . .

PEEKING BUNNY NO MESS MORE CONTEXT NICE SQ USE

In the above cookie, I've added a bit of dimension with floral appliquΓ©s, but why not take the cookie to even greater heights (pun intended) by turning the bunny into an appliquΓ© that hovers above the cookie surface?! I did just that in the following cookie, and then also used the bunny as a prop to stack an egg transfer even higher on top . . .

IMG_8253tall aplique bunny vert

Zooming in so you can see these details more clearly . . .

APP BUNNY SQ NOSE TOUCHED UP

We're not finished yet (in fact, we've barely gotten started )! The background set contains yet another foreground element - the Easter basket! Below, you'll see it airbrushed and stenciled directly onto the cookie in the classic way . . .

EASTER BASKET 1 SQ MORE CONTEXT

Whereas, here, I've elevated the design, literally and figuratively, with a fondant appliquΓ© for the basket bottom and royal icing egg transfers!

IMG_8264easter basket 2 Vert

Lastly, a side view to give you an appreciation of the depth and dimension that these techniques create . . .

IMG_8273 EB 2 SIDE VIEW

As you can see, so many designs are possible with just the background set. But, IMO, few cookie sets are complete without messages. And, on that note, let's turn to this month's message and frame set!

Hopping Into Spring Dynamic DuosTM Message and Frame Set (7 pieces)SJU0370_package_contents_pixelBORDER

Naturally, it's got lots of bunny- and spring-themed messages to tie into the visuals in the background set. In the photos below, I've applied the messages and frames to the cookies in both the classic way (directly airbrushed) and also as fondant appliquΓ©s. I'll start with two examples of the former . . .

BIG BUNNY WITH ALL MORE CONTEXT

For the cookie above, I chose to balance the blue and purple in the eggs with more of those same colors in the message plaque.

But other color combos can work too, as you'll see below. My general rule of thumb, though, is to draw on colors already used in the background, just to keep the look from getting too busy.

FLOWER FRAME MORE CONTEXT MID SQUARE

As cute as these two cookies are, I often prefer to create the framed messages as fondant appliquΓ©s. That way, I have the flexibility to try out different options before I commit any one permanently to the cookie with royal icing. For example . . .

PEEKING BUNNY LAGE SQ MESS SQ

I like the above framed message, but I'm thinking it hides too many flowers. Now, this round frame exposes the flowers on the left . . .

PEEKING BUNNY BIG ROUND MESS SQ

. . . but still seems to dominate the cookie space, perhaps because its dark bow is dead-center?! I finally settled on this smaller message with the bow turned to the other side, away from the bunny action! Just right!

PEEKING BUNNY WITH MESS USE SQ psd

Those bigger messages definitely have their place, however. This one fits perfectly, nestled between the flowers without any pesky bunny getting in the way!

BI WITH BIG MESS SQ

Of course, appliquΓ©s also allow me to dress up cookies at the last minute if I think they look too plain. Remember the righthand cookie (below) from the top of this post? Now, she's looking even smarter with a small message off to one side . . .

PLAIN WITH PURPLE MESS SQ

I could go on, but for fear of going into photo-overload, I leave you with one last image showing most of this Duo's design elements in action!

BESTEST OPENENER DODGED AGAIN REALLY CLOSE IN TO RIGHT TO SCALE NAP ALL RABBIT

For a fuller recap, take a peek at the "style reel" directly below, and also at the video beneath it, which shows how I layered the various elements on a bunny cookie.

Style Reel:
Time-Lapsed Tutorial:

'Til next release, stay warm and cross your fingers for an early spring!

Key Links:

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!

Attachments

Images (28)
  • Julia's February 2021 Dynamic Duosβ„’ Release  - A Sampling of What's Possible!: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Julia's February 2021 Stencil Release in a Nutshell!: Cookies and Photos by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Julia's February 2021 Stencil of the Month Club Offering: Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils; Graphic by Confection Couture Stencils
  • Julia's Easter Lawn Background Stencil: Stencil Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils; Graphic by Confection Couture Stencils
  • Hopping Into Spring Dynamic Duosβ„’ Background Set Contents: Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils; Graphic by Confection Couture Stencils
  • Just the Background Stencil in Use: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Two Cookies with Just the Background Stencil in Use: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Background Stencil with Egg Duo Foreground Element: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Background Stencil with Egg Duo Foreground Element  - Closer View!: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Closer Still!: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Peek-a-boo! Bunny Foreground Element Now in Use!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Bunny in Full-Screen View!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Partial Bunny Peeking Out!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Partial Bunny Peeking Out - Closer View!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Bunny as a Fondant AppliquΓ©: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Closer Look at Fondant AppliquΓ© Bunny: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Basket Element Directly Applied to Cookie: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Basket Element as a Fondant AppliquΓ©: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Side View of Basket Fondant AppliquΓ©: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Hopping Into Spring Dynamic Duosβ„’ Message and Frame Set Contents: Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils; Graphic by Confection Couture Stencils
  • Message Applied Directly to Cookie: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Another Message Applied Directly to Cookie: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Message AppliquΓ© #1 - Too Big!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Message AppliquΓ© #2 - Too Dominant!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Message AppliquΓ© #3 - Just Right!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Big Message AppliquΓ© on Larger Cookie: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Message AppliquΓ©s Dress Up Simpler Cookies: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Release Recap Photo: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils

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Comments (10)

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@LisaF posted:

Julia this set is divine!  So many possibilities.  And that bunny is entirely too cute.  I love it.❀️

Thanks - I know, the possible designs multiply like rabbits.  I had trouble deciding which photos to leave out because I had created so many options! (There are way too many in this post, but what the heck?! )

CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!!! Love this set Julia . Thank you for taking the time to make so many cookies that give us visuals of possibilities that can be done with this set . (And then photographing them all!) The set is definitely whimsical and perfect for spring. Love it ❀️❀️❀️ Hugs...

Thanks for the kind words. It's good to know someone is reading my long posts!

Last edited by Julia M. Usher
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