New Year´s resolutions and old year´s blessings

Here we are, thes time of year when we all like to go back and check at what we did to make our resolutions for a new beginning on January 1st.

Well, that could have been great for a normal year, but we can all agree that 2020 was anything but normal and that one of the things we learn was to put things in a totally new perspective.

So, I don´t want to just talk about this next year as if it will solve all of my problems and having the blind hope that it will be better than this one since nothing can be worse than 2020. No, I want to really take things into a new perspective.

I had so many resolutions last year, the online school, this blog, my YouTube channel and my cake business alongside with my teaching job. Then 2020 came and everything stopped, but did it?

A blessing was about to come for me in the most unexpected way. Cake Friends Stay Creative group was born out of solidarity towards cake friends that were alone during the quarantine and it opened doors that I couldn´t imagine.

I not only met people from all over the world, amazing souls that now I can call my friends, but I had the chance for the world to get to know me and the best part was that I got to get to know myself along the way.

Through the eyes of my new cake friends, I saw my work being recognized, I have been invited to a great number of cake collaborations, have been very active in the international cake community which now has place me amongst people that I admire and couldn´t even dream to meet.  I have taught and touch people from all over the world, my work has been featured in magazines, cake competitions and more.

My biggest gift from 2020 is that thanks to now 4,500 members of our group and so many new friends and followers I found myself.

My biggest gift from 2020 is that thanks to now 4,500 members of our group and so many new friends and followers I found myself.

 I found a purpose that goes beyond cakes, I found that I can help others and that all of you have helped me.

I am not sorry to say, THANK YOU 2020!

So, new year´s resolutions…no way!

I am done with new year´s resolutions, I now believe in hard work, focus, achievement, help others, grow, and just keep looking ahead for the next opportunity to learn. I can only ask for strength and perseverance, I just want to keep growing and learning, for me , for you and because that is how you face an uncertain future and that is the only sure thing I learned this year.

So, keep strong my friends, stay safe and most of all Stay Creative!

Wishing you all a good, safe, and healthy 2021.

Love,

Cristina

Santa Claus Pictorial

It is Christmas month and the magic continues!

Last year I made this very simple pictorial guide to the making of a cute Santa Claus

Today I wish to share with you this simple pictorial I made on ” How to model a Santa Claus figure”

This one is made out of polymer clay and not sugar paste or fondant, but the principle is the same and can be applied to both.

Hope you like it!

1.) Model the face of Santa using white, skin color, pink and black and a round cutter. Pai Natal (1)

2.)Using the polymer clay, model the body. Twist together some white and green for the bottom of the dress and sleeves.Pai Natal(2)

3.) Make some buttons and a scarf, and finally model the hat. Don´t forget the shoes!

Pai Natal (3)

It looks very cute!Pai Natal (4)

Oh, Christmas tree!

Oh, Christmas Tree…

Yes, it is that time of the year. Lights, gifts, love and joy, Santa Clause all around, sweets, family gathering and for all the Christmas spirit one thing has always been the focal point of this holiday: The Christmas Tree

Our friend group Sugar Mad opened the Christmas Season with and amazing cake collaboration about this beloved holiday. And it couldn´t be more original than to pay some homage to the pine tree, main character of this celebration.

Personally, I am a big fan of my Christmas tree and I don´t leave its decoration to anyone. I can be a bit of a freak control; I often joke about having Obsessive Christmas Disorder, and taking the task to decorate the tree very seriously. And when I heard about this great idea to create a Christmas cake collaboration about Christmas Trees, I was in!

Our dear friend Gerardo Zarco alongside Radoslava Kirilova and her husband Vladimir, curated this great collab that holds the amazing talent of cake artists from around the globe that show us a very special, unique, and personal approach to the Christmas tree.

Gerardo Zarco tells us about this collab:

The Pine Tree  –  A Christmas Story Collaboration that was born with the intention of using the advantage and keeping the attention in a project that is very significant for the month of December, but also the intention was not only to do a beautiful job but for the people who participated to be happy creating something that we all like! We wanted to celebrate the Christmas season and forget a bit about the difficult times, for this collaboration I asked for the support of an external administrator and Radoslava Kirilova together with his Husband Владимир Георгиев were in charge of giving life to this idea that came out of my head, putting their touch on it and they really made my idea come to life, resulting in a great visual experience that is incredibly beautiful and that together with the artists they were able to fill a difficult moment in our lives with smiles. It really is a great pleasure for me to be able to have the support for the making  of my ideas or yours too, why not? To such invaluable friends that we have at  the SUGAR MAD AGROUP. Many thanks to all those who were part of such a beautiful exhibition of Christmas work and made The Pine Tree a Christmas Story a true visual spectacle full of color and passion for sweet art.

As Always, I can only ask you to visit their official page, to leave some love and nice comments to each one of the great pieces and to spread the Christmas spirit by supporting this amazing collab.

Link here: https://www.facebook.com/ThePineTreeCollaboration

Here is the amazing job of the talented artists that participated:

I really hope this post will get you ready for Christmas as the blog and my page will be dedicated to this holiday all month.

Happy holidays, merry Christmas and as always

Stay Creative!

Don´t forget to like, comment, share and subscribe.

Love,

Cristina

Sweet Catrina

I know Halloween is long gone, but after the All Hallows eve we have the beautiful tradition of Day of the Death or ” Dia de los Muertos” and one of its most representative figures is the Catrina.

Some of my dear cake artists friends, decided to pay tribute to this beautiful tradition that connects us with death by organizing an International Cake Collaboration called “ The Catrina Parade”

The “ Dia de los Muertos” brings us closer to death in its most beautiful way, the reunion with our loved ones.

  “ La Catrina” being part of this tradition of a day to talk and remember our family and friends long gone through the veil of death, came as a reinvention of a tradition of native cultures transformed and evolved with the influence of the church so these traditions wouldn´t get lost.

Many people, now influenced by merchandise and party celebrations, do not realize that Day of the Death as well as Halloween are old pagan traditions that have endure through ages by becoming part of our culture no matter the influence of where we live.

Dia de los Muertos or Day of the death I believe is one of the most celebrated one in every culture and country, but in Mexico it is a way of life, a tradition that passes through family and that brings together generations.

My dear friend Gerardo Zarco along with Daniele Cannarozzo and Daniela Cabrera organized this cake collaboration. Gerardo wrote to me in Spanish:

“Catrina Parade nace por el gusto de celebrar las fechas del día de muertos que son el 1 y 2 de Noviembre, aunque muchas veces inician desde antes ya que muchas personas tienen la creencia no sólo de que sus familiares vienen esos días sino,que incluso sus mascotas también, en México la cultura a la muerte viene de épocas prehispánicas es una celebración a la vida, la Catrina es un personaje muy arraigado a las fechas aunque no fue creada precisamente para ello fue Guadalupe Posadas quién la dibujó haciendo burla a la sociedad de la época en la que vivió ya que decía “La muerte es diplomática” y tiene razón es lo único seguro que tenemos desde el día en que nacimos, podemos ser rico, pobres, exitosos, famosos, etc todos vamos a llegar a ese punto de sueño eterno y porqué no celebrar en vida!! Así que después de creada se convirtió en imagen de las festividades en la cuál rendimos homenaje . Quizá sea que la muerte no es más que el principio.”

Let me translate his words: “The Catrina Parade was born from the idea to celebrate the Day of the Death that is between 1st and 2nd of November, even though many celebrate even before. People believe that their family and even their pets that are dead return during those days. In Mexico The cult to death comes from pre-Hispanic times and it is a celebration of life itself. The Catrina , created by Guadalupe Posadas became an icon of these celebrations, representing a diplomatic figure of death, since it is the most certain thing we have since the day we are born and death comes to all, poor or rich without exception. So why not celebrate it during our lifetime because death might not be the end but the beginning.”

I can only invite you to see this great collaboration and enjoy all the amazing pieces that many of my cake friends created for this occasion.

Check out this amazing artists and their pieces:

And if you like this post, please like and follow the Catrina Parade official Facebook page and don´t forget to comment, like, share and subscribe to my blog.

Love,

Cristina

Are you ready to be spooked?

I´ve been quiet here in the blog, in one hand a lot has been going on and in the other I was waiting to share with you some amazing cake collaborations that came out during the Halloween weekend.

And for the true fans of horror, gore and spookiness this next cake collaboration has it all!

This is not for the fainted hearted, this is not your cute “Trick or Treat” kids asking for candies, however it is a sweet treat for the lovers of a scary Halloween.

Let me invite you to the Creepy World – Cake Art Collaboration.

Amazingly curated by Brenda Salcedo Cake Artist, with the support and collaboration of The Cake Collective and more than 80 cake artists form around the world showing us the beauty of creepiness.

I asked Brenda about her motive behind this collab:

“I’m Brenda Salcedo, a Peruvian cake artist currently based in France.

I’ve always loved Halloween time, it’s the perfect time of the year to watch horror movies, listen to horror story tales and feel the adrenaline of scare and being scared and who doesn’t love adrenaline, right? I wanted to share this with more cake artists around the globe inviting them to be part of my first collaboration in partnership with “The Cake Collective” called CREEPY WORLD – CAKE ART COLLABORATION, I wanted it to be really creepy instead of cute to try to scare viewers and live the Halloween experience.

We’re more than 80 cake artists looking forward to scaring you, we promise you some crazy goosebumps!!!

Here is Brenda´s amazing work:

Brenda Salcedo

I was part of this one and I must admit that it was a complete challenge, as it pushed the boundaries of what I normally do and made me explore my creepy side. One thing is for sure, my piece is even “cute” compared with the rest os the talented artists that participated. So be prepare and don´t get scared, it is sugar after all…hahahahah ( evil laugh!)

Cristina Arévalo- Creepy Sam- Creepy World Cake Collaboration

I leave you with the work of these great artists and the promise that for next year will be even more creepy!!!!

If you like this post, please support the artists by checking out their work and liking the official page of this cake collaboration,

Link: https://www.facebook.com/creepyworldcollab

and remember like this post, comment, share and subscribe!

Happy Halloween!

Love,

Cristina

Believe the Magic – British Fantasy Collaboration

To Maryiana

If you have followed this blog for a while and know me, you know I am a big believer of magic. And if you are new to this page, know you know.

Magic can come in many ways, not only the supernatural, magic tricks, or fantasy worlds. Magic can come from a piece of art, a few nice words, the hug of a loved one and the smile of a total stranger.

Today I want to share with you magic through edible art and this amazing cake collaboration hosted by our dear Radoslava Kirilova from Bulgaria with the help Elza Baldzhiyska and

  of some of her friends, as well as the talent of many incredible sugar artists from around the world.

Piece: Chernobog (American Gods) by Radoslava Kirilova

This cake collaboration was based on the love of British Fantasy Literature like J.R.R Tolkien, C.S Lewis, George Orwell, Terry Partchet, J.K Rowling and many more.  So, each artist chose a character from their most beloved story and let their talent, artistry and imagination run free.

Amazing pieces of edible art were made, from cookies, to cakes and figurines, I can only invite you to look at their official page and see for yourself the amount of talent packed in this collaboration.

British Fantasy Collaboration

Link here: https://www.facebook.com/BritishFantasyCollaboration/

Here is a selection of some of these amazing work:

I had the opportunity to take part in this one by representing Mr. Tumnus from the Chronicles of Narnia.

Thank you Radoslava for letting our magic come alive through our art, and thanks to all the amazing artists who participated for offering us a bit of their own magic.

I really hope you enjoy this collab and if you liked this post, please like, comment, share and subscribe.

Stay safe and stay magical my sweet friends.

Love,

Cristina

Why teach?

I am and will always be, first and foremost a teacher.

Since I started working I´ve been teaching.

I began as an ESL English teacher in Venezuela about 20 years ago and I am still teaching up to date between the Cake and Gelatin workshops, online classes and even went back to teaching English.

Why do we (cake decorators) teach?

I never knew the importance of asking myself this question until recently, this is because I realized that nowadays everyone teaches something, we all want to be the one with the ultimate method, we want to be the one that stands out from the crowd and tells how things are done.

Now, in the light of recent events and the changes that our society has been facing due to this virus we´ve had to rethink our businesses as cake designers and teaching, especially online, has grown immensely over the last seven months. 

But as great as any of us can be at their crafts; cake design, modeling, cookie decoration, royal icing, baking, and so on, not all of us are capable of teaching.

Sorry but it´s true!

So, what makes a good teacher?… many things but I will start with planning!

Why can´t all of us just teach?… we sure can, we just really need to prepare for it.

Can we all learn to be a good teacher?…most definitely!

So, I am starting with the word ” planning”

In all my time teaching that has been the key to a successful class, committed students, great results, and much more. That is why I am creating a new course for any cake decorator or cake designer who wants to improve their teaching skills or even start teaching.

However, I want you to go today with a minor idea of what this is all about, so for that, I am starting with this article´s title question: Why teach?

When you think about “The why” you are instantly setting a path for your teaching journey. By asking yourself the reason for teaching, and any reason is valid, you are deciding how to teach, where to teach, who to teach, and when to do it.

So, ask yourself:

Am I teaching for the money, student´s satisfaction and accomplishments, vocation or fame?

The answer to this question will be the core of your teaching path.

First, all of the reasons are good, you just must decide how you approach them.

If you are in it for your student´s satisfaction and transformation, just by accomplishing the result of the project you are teaching you´ll succeed, congrats!

Students are your clients and they will come back and spread the word if they feel happy, to make them achieve the results you are offering, your success is guaranteed.

Vocation! , it is your life´s calling, you can´t stop doing it, so you will be motivated and happy, and a happy teacher equals a happy student, so they will recommend you and come back for more.

Money...hello…no one works for free; we deserve to get pay for what we do and well paid by the way.

Teaching can be a hard and exhausting job, it is not only a couple of hours of class is all the work you do before and after that counts, so please, think about the money and learn to charge well for your work, as that is one of the keys to keeping yourself motivated and your business running.

Fame, why not?  If you are a famous cake artist people will want to learn with you, and if you are a good teacher you´ll be famous in your field.

Closing the circle, that means that you´ll have more and better students, you will be famous in a good way and because of it, people will learn from you and you will gain more money.

Once you get a hold of WHY are you teaching, you can move on to build your teaching strategy.

This means you can focus on what to teach, how to teach it, where to teach it, and when to teach it all because you have a clear purpose and you have your goal set!

Do you want to get deep into these concepts and let me help you build your teaching method and  teaching techniques, let me invite you to be part of my community on my Facebook page The Art Cake Experience and my Facebook private group: The Art Cake School Group.

I´ll be live on  Facebook live Tuesday Oct 29th at 3:00pm (GMT+1) where we can talk about all of this and I´ll be happy to answer any questions and to help you with your teaching journey.

I really hope you like this post, if you did, please like, share and comment and don´t forget to subscribe to my blog.

See you live on Facebook. Link here: https://www.facebook.com/theartcakeexperience

Love

Cristina

Nutella Filling!

 

Homemade Nutella filling:

Who doesn´t like Nutella? 

I just love it!

There is something magical about mixing chocolate with hazelnuts, and to add that into a very rich chocolate cake is even better.

Nutella filling can be a very popular one and even though you can use the Nutella directly from the jar, it can be too sweet or too thick to add to your cake.

Let me share with you the recipe I use. It is not absolutely mine, found it online but it really works.

Ingredients: 

  •  200 grams of dark chocolate.
  • 100 g. of heavy cream.
  • 1 tablespoon of butter. The original recipe was unsalted, but I like to use salted butter
  • 200 grams de Nutella

How to:

First melt the chocolate in Bain Marie or in the microwave at minimum intensity so the chocolate won’t burn. Then add the cream and the butter little by little mixing well until combined. Finally add the Nutella and there you go!

Let it rest and cool before using, I like to leave it on the fridge overnight for better texture. Just take it out of the fridge about 30 min before using.

This makes a delicious and very firm filling great for cakes or piping into a cupcake.

Hope you like it!

Don´t forget to like, comment, share this post and subscribe to the blog for more recipes.

Love,

Cristina.

 

 

Instagram-Link in Bio for Cake Business

Hi, my sweet friends,

Here I go again with the importance of using social media platforms for your cake business. This can make the whole difference in the way clients see your work and it is a great tool to find new costumers and target your niche.

Social media platforms continue to be a big help for me and have been a game-changer for my business. I try to cover as much ground as I can using Facebook, Pinterest, groups, pages, web site, and online school. However, one of the platforms that actually works for my audience is Instagram, and using ” Link in Bio” has been a game-changer for me.

So let me share with you a few tips that work and actually makes your life easier so you can dedicate your time to be creative and make beautiful cakes while you keep your community informed and updated.

Your Instagram profile has to be one of the most complete business cards you can find. Just by opening your profile, your audience has access to:

Diapositivo4

  • You
  • ( picture)
  • Contacts
  • Bio
  • Purpose
  • Brand
  • shop
  • stories
  • IGTV
  • Location

When you use “link in bio” funnels it gives a whole new dimension to your brand, because with just one click, your client can have access to all your social media platforms, and much more. Specially when you are a baker or a cake decorator, that as we know, we don´t have much time to be in Social Media at all hours of the day. So giving a window to your clients and followers that is always open, is a great tool!

In my case, I use the @Tailwind service to link my bio to all of my social media platforms only by using the free plan I have the opportunity to have my ” Link in Bio” and to schedule Instagram posts and Pinterest pins. This  gives my community the opportunity to go directly to my Blog, my Online School, YoutTube channel, Facebook, Facebook Groups, and to contact me to place an order of cakes and gelatins.

Check out my Instagram: @cristina_theartcakeexperience and click on link in bio to see it for yourself.

There are many other platforms that offer you the link in Bio possibility, some are free other not but it is a great tool to use.

For now, leave me a comment below with your Instagram link and I´ll be more than happy to follow you!

Don´t forget to like this post, comment, share, and subscribe.

Hope you liked it!

Love,

Cristina

Art of Pottery- An international cake art collaboration.

I think by now you are all familiar with the concept of a cake collaboration, but just in case you are just joining this blog, let me explain a little bit.

In the international world of the Cake Design , many times a year, artists and bakers from around the globe use the online tools to get together around a theme and create not a competition, but a collaboration showcasing their work that can be cakes, cookies, busts, figures and many more as long as it is edible.

This cake collaboration is one of the many amazing events of this year and the theme is about Pottery!

I had the great pleasure to be part of it, along with 64 artists that created pieces, cakes, cookies, modeling and so much more just beyond believe. They are just amazing.

Our dear host, Tasnuta Alam form Bangladesh who now lives in Aberdeen, UK came up with the idea to join cake artists around the globe, and together celebrate the Art of Pottery.

Why? I asked her.

“I do gardening and for small plants I like to use stylish pottery for home decoration.” – She said.

For Tasnuta, pottery’s color, texture, design, pattern attracted her so much. and as a cake artist, she got an idea!

Tasnuta Alam

She told me, “suddenly It came to my mind, what if we carry out the pottery ideas on sugar art, how will it be? As I thought, I started planning. But never imagine it will outbreak my expectation. The whole “Art of pottery” collaboration team has done outstanding work.” She replied.

And that is the absolute true, the work was beyond amazing.

My piece was inspired by Portuguese ceramic work from the north region of Portugal. The inspiration image was a holly water fountain from Coimbra. I just adapted the design of the cake from it, add a few colorful elements and raised the color scheme a little bit to make it colorful and shiny.

Cristina Arévalo

I must confess something. It was not my most thought work, I didn´t spend much time planning it and making it and it was not something I am used to as I work more with modeling and sugar dolls. However, it turned out amazing and the best part is the amazing welcome my cake had form many people and above all from my fellow cake artists. It was a very fulfilling piece for me.

Now, let me show you some of the amazing pieces of this collab and leave you with the link to the official Facebook page so you can enjoy all the details of their work. Art of Pottery- An international cake art collaboration

We are 64 Cake artists from 21 countries around the world come together to represent “Art of Pottery” an International cake art collaboration which is hosted by Tasnuta Alam. She is a Cake International’s representative and multi award winning cake artist. This collaboration is all about worldwide pottery’s art, texture, pattern, design and all. We have tried to carry out this inspiration to our work through wedding cake, cookies, cupcakes, sculpting cake, bust cake, figurines.

I can only thank Tasnuta Alam for curating this amazing collab, for inviting me and for giving me and many other artists the opportunity to push our creativity to new limits and improve our work, because at the end of the day, that´s what a collaboration is about.

And if you liked this post, don´t forget to like, comment, share and subscribe!

Love,

Cristina