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

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

Eat the cookie dough!

Yes!

Who doesn´t make chocolate chips cookie dough and try it out and start eating it before baking?

We all do, but it is not right because of the raw egg in it, so I don´t know who came up with this recipe of edible raw cookie dough but whoever it was, thank you.

Chocolate chips cookie dough, ready to eat, no baking, just heaven!

I heard about it and had to research and try it out. I found some recipes online and I have to say that it took me some two or three to get the one that was easier to do and better to taste.
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I found this recipe on Pinterest, wish I could give credit to the author, but it wasn´t mentioned in the post,.The recipe was really good and I used it to make one of the fillings for a very decadent chocolate cake.

So here is the recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3/4 cups of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 can of condensed milk

How to make it:

Mix together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and the condensed milk and last fold together the chocolate chips.

Very Important!, keep it cool!

It is necessary to refrigerate this dough for at least 24 hours before using it. You can either roll the dough into a cake an to make a thin layer to use as a cake filling or you can form little balls to later cover with melted chocolate and eat them as cookie bites, the important part is to refrigerate and keep them cool.

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Give it a try and don´t forget to tell me all about it.

Comment and like this post and remembers to subscribe and share!

Love,

Cristina.

 

 

 

Let´s play under the sea!

Cake collaborations are a big deal inside the cake decorating world and as you´ve seen my last two posts have been about them and this one is no exception.

With this year´s quarantine and social distance, most of us cake artists have turned into online work, groups and collaborations to showcase our work, meet new cake friends and promote our business. Also cake groups on social media platforms have been growing, giving us a big sense of community and providing amazing opportunities like working together on international cake collabs.

As my group hosted their first cake collab last month, my dear friend Gerardo Zarco´s group Sugar Mad also hosted their first one and here I´ll tell you all about it.

Sugar Mad Group

Gerardo Zarco, an amazing Mexican chef and sugar artists came up with the idea of a Mermaid theme collaboration when he was still member of another group, but with the opening of his new group ,Sugar Mad, he decided to make this collaboration as their first major activity in a way of bringing his community together, which has been his goal all along.

Gerardo , alongside his great friend, also an amazing sugar artists Daniela Cabrera Godinez, decided to co-host ” In the Realm of Mermaids a Journey Through the Fantasy”, an international cake collaboration which I was part of along with 54 great sugar artists.

As Gerardo told me , the idea was to present to the world of cake design his new group and to showcase the amazing pieces of his great cake community.

He started with 80 subscriptions and received a total of 54 pieces, all mermaids and merman, under the sea scenarios and fantasy all around.

His idea has always been to support each other as a big cake community and to see their members happy doing what they love.

It was a great opportunity for new artists to work on their first cake collaboration and showcase their work to the world as well as an opportunity, and I have to say an excuse, for many of us to get into the magical world of Mermaids and let our creativity run free.

Here is my Mermaid, Amethyst Coralie a bas-relief piece I made using sugar paste, modeling paste, gelatin paper and rice paper sails. Of course, she had to be purple and I just love how she is emerging form the waves. I used an illustration as inspiration for this one.

I can only invite you to check out all these amazing pieces and to get to know the artists by visiting the official Facebook Page and sharing your support with us

Link Here: https://www.facebook.com/Sugarmadgroup/?hc_location=group

Check out some of the great work by these artists

I realy hope you enjoy all of these amazing pieces and this small post to celebrate another great cake collaboration and one amazing group.

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

Stay Creative!

Love,

Cristina

Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

Yes,

Big Potterhead in the house!

Guilty of loving all the Harry Potter books and movies. So, being me and having the most amazing group fo cake friends in our Facebook group Cake Friends Stay Creative. I decided to do a very fun activity with our group to celebrate Harry Potter´s birthday.

It all started just a few months ago and with the idea of a cake collaboration. We didn´t have too much time to make a big cake collab in just two months so I decided to run a cake collaboration for next year about Harry Potter. However, I asked in the group if anyone would be interested in participating in some live demos for July 31st ( Harry´s birthday) and the answer was so overwhelming that me, being me, decided to make a big event in our group that included: A full day of live demos, a mini cake collaboration and the share of Harry Potter edible creations in the group. And it was fantastic!!!

I can go on and on about how wonderful it was, about the help I had from amazing cake friends, about the enthusiasm and love from my fellow cake artists to participate but this post is really about showing you our ” small” but FULL of talent cake collab and to showcase my fellow cake artists amazing work and to tell them how very proud and grateful I am for each one of them.

I have no words to describe the talent, my heart is full of joy for their commitment and participation, and I humbly thank them for going along with my craziness and be part of this celebration.

So, without further ado, let me show you our Harry Potter Birthday Celebration- International cake collaboration 2020 edition

Meet my witches and wizards!

Aleja Jijón 

Angel Torres

Carolina Lopez

Cristina Arévalo

Doaa Ahmed

Vanesa Graneros

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Eva Jimenez Garcia

Gerardo Zarco

Maythe Del Angel

Melissa Ramirez Galindo

Sabrina Mattia

 

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Sofia Silva

Tanjia Rashid

Umme Kulsum

Yerka Germion

 

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Please follow our page and like the amazing work of these artists as well as getting to know them and follow them on social media.

Harry Potter Birthday Cake Collaboration on Facebook

This is just the beginning for these cake artists and many more will be part of next year’s BIG celebration and a Harry Potter Magical Cake Collaboration 2021 edition.

For now, don´t forget to like, comment, and subscribe!

Love,

Cristina

 

Steam Cake International Collaboration 2020 edition.

It´s being a crazy year so far, we all know that, but in the world of cake design and artistic cake decoration, one of the things we artists look forward to is the international cake collaborations.

Usually are organized by fellow cake artists, picking a theme and inviting cake designers from all over the world to create an artistic edible piece and participate.

Some people from our community have mixed feelings about collaborations. It is a demanding and expensive experience, that for some points of view don´t bring many benefits to the artists.

For me is absolutely the opposite. It is time-consuming and can be expensive, but very rewarding.

We meet people and fellow artists from around the globe, the sense of friendship makes us not only praise each other´s work but share it to audiences from every corner of the planet.

We are inspired to be better, we learn from other cake designers, our work is placed amongst great artists and it is the perfect excuse to push our limits and create very artistic pieces that our regular clients won´t even dream of ordering.

And, amongst many, and believe me when I say, many cake collaborations there is one in particular that holds a very special place in a lot of hearts.

The Steam Cakes International Collaboration

Why?

Well, first of all, it is run by great artists and human beings that happen to be Portuguese and represent the great talent of our country, Carla Rodrigues, amazing sugar artists, teacher and award-winning cake designer from Portugal and her dear husband João Pimentel, a great video maker and multimedia artists, both of them create the perfect match to make possible this amazing Steam Cakes International Collaboration, that already counts with many editions and happens to be the winner of the 2018 cake collaboration award at  Cake International.

After last year´s pause, it came back as strong as ever, counting with 129 artists from all over the world that created the most amazing pieces all around the topic of Steam Punk.

It is for everyone to enjoy, Steam Punk lovers and not only so.

 

I happen to be part of it for the second time and I have to say that I went far and beyond with my piece.

I not only created a sugar modeling piece, but I also created a story, a part of me went to this sugar dolls, and to prove it, let me share with you the video I made introducing the characters of my work.

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I will write the whole story off this Steam ( Freak) Circus in another post just for you to enjoy it.

For now, I can only invite you to check out this amazing collaboration with great artists and amazing sugar work.

link: Steam Cakes- Steampunk Collaboration

Don´t forget to leave some love for them on their Facebook page and remember to like this post, comment, share, and subscribe to my blog.

Love,

Cristina

What to post during this quarantine for your cake business.

Fellow bakers, cake artists, cake designers, and cake decorators; these times have been hard for us. This forced isolation has made us face our fears, live in uncertainty, and wonder about our future and the future of our business.

Only one thing has remained true during this time and even better than ever and that has been the Internet and Social Media.

We have faced this 30 days so far ( for me) of quarantine, without work or just some few loyal clients, but in the other hand filled with new friendships from around the world, days full of tutorials and live events on Facebook and Instagram, learning for free from the best in the business and trying to keep ourselves busy and entertained so we can focus on the positive instead of falling into depression.

We have seen a rapid increase in live tutorials and online classes. Everybody is going live and teaching something, but why? Maybe in the desperate attempt to keep our business alive, our just to keep ourselves busy, maybe because possible future customers are online more often and have a better chance to see our products or maybe because we are bored and need something to do.

All the reasons above are more than valid and I can only encourage everyone to do it.

However,

These are sensitive times and we don´t want to be just selling when maybe our friends or customers are having a hard time with this virus, are sick or have lost someone. We cannot escape from that reality as much as we want to.

So, here comes the title of this post: what to post and how to post it during this quarantine.

I´ve been reading a couple of articles on digital marketing where I got inspired for writing this post, but I wanted to give you an input form a cake business point of view.

We should be communicative, talk about what you do, show your product and don´t stop marketing. It will be a waste of an opportunity now that more people are online every day. However, don´t expect a lot of sales, instead let´s focus on growing your community, help your clients, offer solutions and build a relationship.

For our cake business, this will translate on keep showing your wonderful cake art, even if you are not doing anything new show your older pics. Mention that special client, tell the story behind your cake, find new friends online with your cake passion and things in common, offer your clients to reschedule their orders and maybe send them a cookie or a treat to tell them that you are thinking of them.

Watch the tone of your posts, remember that people are more sensitive than ever. We need to be more human, be empathetic, offer compassion, provide value to your audience and even ask for help.

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Post positive captions to your pictures but without forgetting the current situation. Share positive posts and be there to help others.

Try to be empathetic, I know we are in the middle of a hard time, but you can´t ask a client to understand that you can´t cancel an order in a harsh way and from your desperation and fear. When you empathize with your client situation, this person will feel appreciated and will listen to your option to reschedule instead of canceling and order.

Some ideas for your Social Media Posts and where to post them

  • Inspirational quotes
  • Older posts or pictures
  • Baking at home
  • Creative work
  • Offer help on a topic (like a recipe or a decorating tip)
  • Educational videos, lives, Instagram lives, IGTV or stories
  • Update your profile accounts: New pictures of you, location, links, about page
  • Share some awareness of the virus situation, without going too deep into the negative and keeping the prospective of your cake business.
  • Help others selflessly: help your client or share a fellow cake artist´s work.
  • Be there just to talk and keep each other company
  • Join groups related to cake decorating and baking and interact as much as you can.
  • Meet people from around the world, comment and share their work.

And most importantly, remember we have more time! Use that to your advantage: Learn, think, create, reformulate your business, see things from a different point of view, enjoy what you were missing when you had your busy schedule and stay active in social media, you never know where that can lead you in the future.

I really hope this post has helped you and that you have enjoyed it because I loved writing it for you.

Stay safe, stay home and stay creative.

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

Love,

Cristina