This month's Dynamic Duos™ design, dubbed "Pretty as a Flower", combines one of my favorite places with one of my favorite people: Maine, where lupine and sweet peas grow wild with abandon, and my mom, who can be a bit wild at times too ! The addition of delicate butterfly and dragonfly overlays makes this design a perfect fit for garden-loving moms everywhere! And with Mother's Day right around the corner, little could be better, right?!
With that inspiration behind us, let me show you what I've just released:
Flowers and butterflies are clearly the dominant themes!
And where can you locate these beauties?! I thought you'd ask, which is why I've compiled this handy link list for you. All of these stencils can be found in various spots on my partner Confection Couture Stencils' site:
- Pretty as a Flower Dynamic Duos™ Background Set (upper left),
- Pretty as a Flower Dynamic Duos™ Message and Frame Set (combined with the Duos™ background set; upper right),
- My partner Confection Couture Stencils' Echinacea and Spicata Flower Cookie Stencil (lower right), and a past Mother's Day release that has been a perennial fan favorite, my . . .
- Thank You Prettier Plaques™ Set.
Also, per my partner's new procedure, the background stencil in this month's background set (pictured to the far left in the image below) is also sold separately! So, if you're not yet ready for fully layered sets, have no fear! You can create plenty of gorgeous floral cookies by using only my Sweet Peas and Lupine Dynamic Duos™ Background Stencil.
Now, what about my Stencil of the Month Club offering?! I knew you'd ask about that too, so I came armed and ready with the following graphic :
Yep, as always, club members get huge (~20%) savings on a bundle of stencils that includes the current month's Dynamic Duos™ Background Set and my partner's coordinating single stencil. If you're a frequent stencil user and don't want to miss out on substantial savings, then, by all means, check out my Stencil of the Month Club.
As a way of changing things up a bit, I'm going to cut to the chase by starting with a "style reel" video that shows the many design variations possible with this month's Duos™ set. And here you have it!
Phew, so many options from just two sets, right?! And what I showed is just a small subset of the possibilities. Think of that! Now, if you'd like to see how I put together one of these layered stencil designs, then proceed to this next time-lapsed technique video . . .
Or, if you're a lover of words and still photos, then read on for the particulars of how I work with both sets. First, the background set . . .
The background stencil, a profusion of sweet peas and lupine, is quite lovely on its own . . .
Here, I've done it in six colors: Spectrum Flow Sky Blue mixed with their white, along with AmeriMist Electric Green, Avocado Green, Electric Pink, Regal Purple, and a custom mix of Royal Blue and Violet in a one-to-one ratio (for the darker parts of the lupine). I positioned much of stencil's central void in the center of the cookie, with the thought that I might put other foreground elements in that space later. But having a few simple cookies in every set makes the overall set easier on the eye. So I ultimately left these cookies as is. Below is the same background stencil on a much smaller heart cookie, which looks elegant too . . .
But, what garden is complete without a butterfly or two?! Or three plus a dragonfly, in the case of this set! In the following series of four photos, I've airbrushed these elements into the void, without using any masks, because I did not want them to overlap the pretty flowers. You could, of course, do some masking and "plant" a butterfly right smack dab in the middle of the flower garden if you'd like. That's the beauty of having masks!
I love the streamlined, clean look of cookies when every element is perfectly airbrushed directly on the icing. Oops, let's not forget to add a dragonfly into the mix. . .
Here's a closer view of my airbrushing . . .
In case you're wondering how I fit three colors into the teeny tiny, closely spaced openings in the butterflies, it's called precision-airbrushing, and you'll have to come to my next Zoom class to get all of the details! Seriously though, so much learning happens by doing, and the intensive hands-on nature of my online classes can really take your airbrushing skills to new levels. (I announced my April class on Tuesday, and you can find every class detail behind either of the previous two pink links!)
In addition to the three airbrush colorings used in the butterfly (AmeriMist Leaf Green, Regal Purple, and Orange), I dusted the interior white spots with some Canary Yellow Petal Crafts dust. You may be better able to detect that subtle dusted color in this next close-up . . .
As much as I like the striking simplicity of an all-flat look, the butterfly and dragonfly foreground elements, as well as the sweet peas and leaves in the background stencil, lend themselves quite well to dimensional treatments. Below, you'll see an occasional sweet pea and numerous butterfly wings flying off the cookies!
How'd I create that dimensional look? Easy! I just airbrushed the elements onto wafer paper, pretty much the same way I'd airbrush them onto an iced cookie, and then I cut them out, shaped them with a bit of wafer paper conditioner, and attached them to the cookies with piping gel.
The following four cookies show other variations with wafer paper butterflies and sweet peas . . .
And, lastly, a super close-up view so you can appreciate the dimensional details . . .
Now, let's talk about the many additional styles that become available once you layer in the complementary message and frame set. They are substantial, as you'll see!
A single, large message cookie among simpler, smaller ones can make a big statement . . .
In this case, the message and frame were airbrushed and stenciled directly on the cookie icing. The pale pink background within the frame was done using the shading stencil with a longer-distance shading technique, also a topic I cover in my upcoming cookie class.
In the case below, the message was made as a fondant appliqué and then set above the cookie on a small bit of fondant . . .
Again, another big cookie that makes a bold statement among the rest of a set . . .
This message is also a fondant appliqué, but it's attached directly to the cookie with no fondant in between, so it's a little less dimensional (but no less pretty) than the earlier one . . .
Below is the same cookie with yet another message, which demonstrates the beauty of fondant appliqués. I can change them up to my hearts content before committing anything permanently to the cookie, which helps me land on the best possible design. In this case, the fondant appliqué was also contoured (set to dry inside a paper towel tube before attaching it to the cookie) to give it a graceful curve . . .
And, last but not least, I leave you with a cookie that has it all: the background stencil's garden, the design's namesake message ("Pretty as a Flower") on a fondant appliqué, and a dimensional wafer paper butterfly!
- My Dynamic Duos™ stencil sets
- My Stencil of the Month Club
- My entire stencil line, including my Prettier Plaques™ sets
- More Mother's Day stencils
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. Thank you!