I kid you not, it feels a little frivolous to be promoting stencils right now. But, on the other hand, if they're cheery and bring people joy, especially at this uncertain time, then perhaps it's just fine. The truth is: I have contractual commitments to post about my stencils each month, and so onward I go, hoping that some semblance of uninterrupted routine will at least convey stability and normalcy when we need it most.
This month's set is indeed cheery, inspired as it was by my mom's abundant flower gardens that I try very hard to emulate on very different (clay-laden and poorly drained) Missouri soil. They represent my dream of a secret garden, so lush with flowers and heady with their scents that one can't help but be transported to some magical place! Originally designed with Mother's Day in mind, they also work for birthdays, garden parties, general pick-me-up gifts, or spring celebrations.
In a snapshot, here's this month's release:
And here's where you can locate all of these lovelies online, on my partner Confection Couture Stencils' site:
- How Does Your Garden Grow Dynamic Duos™ Background Set (upper left),
- How Does Your Garden Grow Dynamic Duos™ Message and Frame Set (combined with the Duos™ background set; upper right),
- My partner Confection Couture Stencils' Garden Elements Stencil (lower right), and, last year's charming Mother's Day release . . .
- A Mother's Love Dynamic Duos™ Set.
Of course, you could wait for my stencils to release every month and buy later, or you could sign up for my Stencil of the Month Club, and automatically get specially curated stencils, well before everyone else, at HUGE discounts each month. As an example, in March, club members will get this collection of stencils:
This secret garden set is worth $22.99, but club members get it for only $14.99! PLUS, they also get 15% off anything else on the Confection Couture site, as long as they stay members! That's a deal that few - if any - can beat! If you're interested in learning more about the club or signing up, just click here.
Now, let's dive into the background set, and figure out exactly what can be done with it . . .
How Does Your Garden Grow Dynamic DuosTM Background Set (8 pieces)
There's purposely a lot going on with just the background stencil (the gate and arbor) in this set, as, remember, I wanted a lush, overgrown garden effect. So, that stencil looks great all by itself, without any of the foreground elements layered on top. But, seeing as I'm a more-is-more person, I just couldn't leave things as simple as that! Directly below, you see the full background stencil in play with hyacinths from the foreground stencil both directly airbrushed on the cookie and hovering over top as a fondant appliqué (aka stenciled piece of rolled fondant). Oh, and let's not overlook all of the dainty hand-piped royal icing roses!
Here's a slightly closer view to help you appreciate the details . . .
Very lush and lavish, right?
It's always nice, though, to include some less lavish cookies in any set, to give the eye an occasional, placid resting spot. To that end, I blocked off one side of the gate in the next two cookies to leave the cookie completely clear for a pot of iris and a watering can . . .
This cookie is effectively the same as the one above, just in reverse . . .
Reverse images can also add interest to a set, and are easily achieved just by flipping over stencils and working on the back side. And, last but not least, here's another cookie that makes use of the full background stencil paired with a single watering can appliqué.
Maybe you didn't notice (or maybe you did!), but I didn't use either the garden shovel or rake in any of the cookies in this post. (Sorry, I ran out of time, people!). Either foreground element would, of course, look super cute leaning up against that gate.
I would hazard a guess that any garden-loving mom would be enraptured with these cookies just as they are, but I guarantee she'll be even more excited to see them personalized with messages. Before we move on to doing just that with the complementary message and frame set, a few words about the colors used throughout this post . . .
I used a combination of AmeriMist Electric Green and Avocado Green for the leaves and vines; Electric Green and Chefmaster Harvest Brown for the mossy rocks in the foreground; Harvest Brown, once again, for the gate; a combination of AmeriMist Deep Pink and Royal Blue for the tiny flowers; and AmeriColor Deep Pink soft-gel coloring for the royal icing roses. To fill out the scene, I shaded the upper cookie edge (and some of the interior) with Spectrum Flow Sky Blue (for sky), and the lower edge and foreground with AmeriMist Electric Green (for grass or moss). I hope I didn't miss anything!
Okay, with the coloring recap now put to bed, let's tackle the message and frame set! Here's a view of the six pieces that it contains . . .
Messages can always be applied directly to cookies by using the masks to leave space for them. But, for the cookies in this post, I made every single message as a separate fondant appliqué, just because I wanted the messages to look like signs hanging in front of the gate. Using a separate layered piece automatically adds the necessary depth. Below are a few examples of what I mean . . .
I love that whimsical message, but this set has more traditional springtime and Mother's Day sentiments too . . .
Yeah, I'm pretty sure any garden-loving mom would relish a cookie gift like this . . . if I do say so myself!
Even if you're not yet cookie-ing for Mother's Day, I encourage you to give these stencils a try. A little peaceful cookie decorating is sure to keep us happily occupied during these quiet stay-at-home times. Please be safe and stay healthy, everyone! Provided I don't go stir-crazy (I'm in lockdown mode at home), I'll be back next month with a Father's Day set!
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. Please, however, direct all ordering and Club questions to my stencil partner, Confection Couture Stencils, at email@example.com. Thank you!