From Paris with love! In my dreams, that is . . . I’m actually sitting in my basement kitchen-slash-office in Missouri as I type this release post! LOL! Anywho, I’m back with a new stencil design after taking a month off, and “From Paris With Love” is the name of it! With hearts, Cupid, and other symbols of the City of Love, this set’s aim is to whisk you off to a love-ly and faraway place even while in the confines of your own home. Ready to see what this release has in store for you?
I'll kick off with videos of it, both my usual style reel and time-lapsed tutorial. Bon voyage!
If I can be so bold, I must say that I'm pretty enamored with this set. When prepping for this release, I could hardly put down my airbrush. I felt as if I could have gone on creating cookies forever. This release's plethora of design elements and framed messages (a record-breaking eight!) has a lot to do with its versatility. But before I get too far ahead of myself and into design variations, let me give you an overview of this release.
Here it is in one at-a-glance image . . .
And here's where you'll find all of these swoon-worthy stencils on my partner Confection Couture Stencils' site:
- From Paris With Love Dynamic Duos™ Background Set (upper left),
- From Paris With Love Dynamic Duos™ Message and Frame Set (combined with the Duos™ background set; upper right),
- My partner Confection Couture Stencils' Tickets to Paris Cookie Stencil Set (lower right), and one of my fave Valentine's Day releases from years back . . .
- Forget Me Not Dynamic Duos™ Set.
As always, the background stencil in the background set (the cabbage roses and dots shown to the far left in the image below) is sold separately and can be found under Cabbage Roses Dynamic Duos™ Background Cookie Stencil on my partner's site.
So let's talk about my Stencil of the Month Club. Even though I call attention to it every month, there are still many cookiers who don't know about the incredible savings it offers. Long story short, if you join my club, each month you'll automatically get the current month's background set along with my partner's single companion stencil, all at a substantial (>15%) discount! Not only that, but as a member, you get 15% off anything else on Confection Couture Stencils' site whenever you'd like.
And let's not forget my monthly cutter release as well. Phew - there's so much happening here in stencil-and-cutter land! This month's release is the Lara Plaque, pictured here and in many of the cookie photos below:
Named after my niece Lara, who traveled with me and my husband to Paris a number of years back, this cutter is as graceful and elegant as she has grown up to be!
Now, let's see what you can do with my January goodies, starting with that background set!
Not only does this set have five foreground elements from which to choose, but the charming Cupid has a corresponding body overlay. Oh là là! Don't you love those details?!
Details aside for a sec, this set creates some gorgeous cookies even with only the background stencil (the cabbage rose-and-dot pattern) in use. Here are some cases in point . . .
Heck, you don't even have to use the entire background stencil on your cookies, and they still look stunning! Here, I only partially airbrushed some of the dots . . .
Now let's bring in those five foreground elements! I've done so in different ways on the cookies you're about to see - sometimes by airbrushing them directly onto the cookies and other times onto wafer paper, frosting sheets, or fondant instead. See if you can pick out the various materials used below!
Yep! Both of the stamps above were made by airbrushing and stenciling on frosting sheets. I then deckled the edges, airbrushed them to accentuate and "age" the tears, and then set the stamps inside paper towel tubes so they'd dry with graceful curves. (You can tell these stamps are made from frosting sheets because they're more opaque than they would be on wafer paper, and thinner than my usual rolled fondant appliqués.)
And, yes - the Eiffel Tower here is directly airbrushed onto the cookie - though a bit too far into the top roses if you ask me. On the cookie below, I decided to give it more headroom and to embellish with another frosting sheet stamp - and royal icing roses, of course!
Here, the swallows have come to play with two other elements (the Eiffel Tower and stamp), all of which were directly airbrushed on the cookie . . .
How about another frosting sheet stamp to fill the gap?
Sure! I'm always a fan of added dimension! Now on to some foreground element-laden cookies that use my new Lara Plaque cutter.
I color-coordinated my modeling chocolate bow with the stamp shading! It's always nice to repeat the same colors across different elements. This approach leads to more design cohesiveness and visual balance, IMO.
Aha - the round stamp makes its first appearance applied directly to the icing!
Cupid now joins the fray, shooting arrows at the swallows! (Sorry, I couldn't resist the rhyme!)
Aside: I used the same six colors on all of the cookies in this post, namely Spectrum Flow Sky Blue; AmeriMist Deep Pink lightened with a lot of Spectrum Flow White; AmeriMist Maroon for the rose centers and edges; various shades of Chefmaster Harvest Brown for the Eiffel Tower, Cupid, birds, and messages; and a combination of AmeriMist Electric Green and Avocado on the leaves.
I could go on and on with background set-only designs, as you've probably gathered . . . but let's check out some cookies that also make use of the complementary message and frame set shown below.
As noted before, this set has an all-time record-high number of messages (eight!). By the time I ripped open the cellophane wrapper on the set, my mind was spinning on overdrive with additional design possibilities. I'll do my best to distill the many cookies that resulted into my favorites below.
Let me start with the simplest of background set-only cookies from the previous section. A solo message fondant appliqué sure looks striking on it . . .
Here's that same cookie in full view . . .
Cupid's up to slinging arrows again, this time with a message of "LOVE" . . .
The slender vertical messages in this set fit neatly nestled with roses and other embellishments while still leaving ample room for the Eiffel Tower to shine . . .
Same cookie, different message! I've said it before and I'll say it again, "I love the interchangeability of fondant appliqués!"
Just to further demonstrate the interchangeability idea, I tried out three different message appliqués, all using the same frame, on the following cookie, and I still can't decide which I like best! LOL!
You needn't use the messages exactly as they are either. For this next cookie, I blocked off one of the "oui"s in "Oui, Oui" so the shorter message could fit in the heart frame.
Same cookie, different plate! I've inserted this photo here only to underscore what a difference prop selections can make. I never cease to be surprised by the many moods one can create simply by swapping in other plates!
And a slightly closer look so you can appreciate how precision-airbrushing techniques can virtually eliminate overspray into adjacent stencil openings. Note how confined the greens are to the leaves, and the pinks are to the roses. Again, that's all due to precision-airbrushing! (For more about this airbrush handling technique, stay tuned for my next live Zoom class.)
But sometimes even the best intentions result in a little underspray. On the next cookie, I concealed a little fuzziness (due to underspray) on the bottom of the heart frame with a frosting sheet stamp - and, voilà, all is good! Successful cookie decorating is all about mastering the art of masking mistakes! (Now say that three times fast! )
Last but not least, let's look at some message cookies made with my new Lara Plaque cutter. As you can see in the first cookie, fondant appliqués make it super simple to overlap elements, which adds interesting dimension . . .
Here, both the Eiffel Tower and message are fondant appliqués, though they've been anchored to the cookie at slightly different heights - again, to lend more interest . . .
Because you can dry fondant appliqués before putting them on cookies, they can also extend over cookie edges without drooping, as shown above and below, adding yet another unexpected twist.
And, once again, we see the interchangeability concept in action in the next three photos. It's the same cookie in each case; just two different "JE T'AIME" messages in three different spots.
I think I prefer the blue banner in this case, since it's a little more evenly shaded. (Sometimes I CAN be decisive! ) I also prefer the Eiffel Tower fully exposed . . .
Now as I fumble to anchor the blue banner to the top of the last cookie, I have arrived at the end of this post! I can't say I kept my promise to be sparing with photo selection, but hopefully I've given you enough design ideas to help launch your own - that's really my primary goal with these posts. I leave you now with one last cookie collection and the key links related to this month's release. May "From Paris With Love" bring you heaps of kudos and kisses when you share your cookies made with it this Valentine's Day!
- My Dynamic Duos™ stencil sets
- My Stencil of the Month Club
- My entire stencil line, including my Prettier Plaques™ sets
- More Valentine's Day stencils, some designed by me and others by Confection Couture Stencils
- My new cookie cutters (more coming each month!)
- My videos that show how to create layered looks with my stencil sets
If you have any technical questions about these stencils, just email me at email@example.com or leave a comment below. Please, however, direct all ordering and Stencil of the Month Club questions to my stencil partner, Confection Couture Stencils, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!