Saturday, 26 January 2013

Lala Loopsy Gumpaste Figure Tutorial

I'm so excited to be sharing with you this tutorial. It's the very first tutorial that I've done ever so please bear with me on this. :)

WARNING: It's a looooooooonnnnngggg tutorial. I apologize. There are a lot of steps involved.

A lot of people have been inquiring and ordering these Lala Loopsy dolls as toppers for their cakes and cupcakes. Usually when I do figures, I try to check the web first for available photo or video tutorials on the figure that might help me mold it just to get a clear background on how it's made, proportions, etc. Lala Loopsy is fairly new so there aren't any online tutorials on it. I decided to check out the dolls itself at the toy store to see the designs and the colors as well and check the figures/dolls online as well.


The Lala Loopsy doll is a bit complicated to make given the different colors and costume details of the dolls. I decided to make it a bit simpler and not dwell too much on the costume detail but still making sure that the "look" and overall Lala Loopsy design isn't lost. My clients usually order these toppers in bulk and I don't have the luxury of time to make them as detailed as the dolls themselves. They're pretty cute and colourful and you can dress them up in a lot of different styles!

Here we go... My first gum paste figure tutorial. :)

-Fondant: skin tone, white, black, magenta and orange
-Fondant or Clay extruder
-Tylose Powder
-Mini scrapbook scissors
-Fondant Modelling Tools: Ball tool, Bone Tool, Veiner
-Water brush OR gum glue with a small paint brush
-Black edible pens
-Small fondant rolling pin
-Crisco or Shortening
-X-acto Knife or Hobby Knife
-Wet wipes/Moist Towels (not in photo)
-styro foam
-Craft cutting board (optional: I like using a cutting board as the fondant doesn't stick to the surface)

If you may notice, I have a lot of extra tools in the photo. I got too excited and I grabbed whatever tools that I think is needed but there are some on the photo that I didn't use in this tutorial. :)

1. We start working with the skin tone fondant first. As much as possible, I work with the light coloured fondant/gum paste first so the darker colors don't stick on my hands and get on the lighter ones. Make two small balls with the skin tone fondant. One roughly the size of a big marble, the other just a bit smaller than a ping-pong ball. I add a little bit of tylose powder to my fondant to make it into gum paste and so it hardens quicker than regular fondant.

2.-3. Roll out the smaller ball with your fingers into a long log a little bit smaller in size than a pen or a pencil.

4. Pinch the log in the middle to make the legs.

5. Take the bigger ball of skin tone and knead it till soft and smooth.

6. Shape it into a smooth ball first and mold it into a slightly oval shape. This will be the doll's head.

7. Grab a nice and sturdy toothpick, dip it a little gum glue (a mixture of water and tylose powder) and stick it under the head.

8. Set aside and let the head set for a while by sticking the toothpick onto a small styro foam.

9. Take a ping-pong sized piece of black fondant and add a little bit of tylose powder to it.

10. Shape it into a ball and roll it a bit on one side to make a tear drop shape. This will be the doll's body.

11. Flatten the bigger base of the tear drop shaped gumpaste onto the surface.

12. Position it on top of the legs directly onto the folded part and make sure the proportion is right (the body is not too big or not too small). Gently press it down to get a mark at the bottom of the body shape as to where the legs will go and glue it down with a bit of gum glue.

13. For the skirt, take a piece of magenta coloured fondant and roll it into a long log. Gently flatten it with a rolling pin until it's flat and long.

14. Cut off the edges lengthwise until you have a clean long strip of fondant.

15. Do the same with a small piece of black fondant. Roll it out in a flat strip.

16. Cut the edges for a smooth and clean cut. *You can use a pasta roller if you want a thinner strip of fondant.

17. With your water brush, add a little water or gum glue to the black strip.

18. Glue the magenta strip to the black strip.

19. Once it's glued on, fold the 2 strips on itself like a fan or a ruffle.

20. Put a little glue on the body and legs of the doll and carefully stick the ruffled skirt on the body.

21. To cover the messy top part of the skirt, roll out another piece of magenta fondant.

22. Like the ones before and for a clean finish, cut the edges to size and make sure that it fits around the body and covering the top of the skirt. Don't knead or crumple the cut edges for the shoulder straps on the doll's dress.

23. Glue on the last magenta strip just above the doll's skirt. Make sure to not cover the top black part of the doll's body.

24. Using the edges from the last fondant magenta strip, cut 2 long and thin strips. Glue them on the body like on the photo.

25. Add a little glue to the top of the body for the neck.

Stick a rounded piece of magenta fondant for the neck

26. For the shoes, take 2 small balls of orange fondant and roll them into clean balls.

27. Roll it out with one hand on one side to make a small cone shape.

28. Using your bone tool, make and indentation for where the legs will be glued.

Glue on the 2 shoes to the legs

29. Now for the belt. Roll out a small piece of white fondant with your fingers into a long, thin log.

30. Carefully flatten it out with your fingers as well. You can use your rolling pin if you're in the mood. :)

31. Glue it at the middle of the body like in the photo.

Make small tiny flat circles and stick on straps to serve as buttons

32. For the arms, roll out 2 logs of skin colored fondant. Make sure that one end is a bit bigger and rounded than the rest.

33. Flatten the bigger end for the hand.

34. Using the ribbon tool or a knife or any flat tool, make lines for the fingers on the flattened end.

Stick the 2 hands on the body

35. For the sleeves, flatten2 small black fondant into half-cricles. You can use a small circle cutter and cut it in half if you want.

36. Add some detail to the sleeves with the veiner tool and glue on top of the arms.

17. Stick a toothpick through the body from the neck down. This will be the "spine" and will help hold the head without crushing the body down.

Put a little glue on the neck and stick the head through the toothpick

38. For the eyes, I make them manually. Roll and flatten 2 small black fondant balls. You can use a small circle cutter if you have available.

39. Glue the flat circles to the head.

Using your edible pen, draw in the mouth and the eyelashes

40. Take a small magenta fondant and mix it with white to get a light pink or rose pink color.

41. Same with the eyes, make 2 small flat circles and glue them on the doll's face to serve as blush cheeks.

You still with me? Alright! We're near the finish line with this Lala Loopsy doll.

42. We're going to do the hair. Flatten a big circular piece of orange fondant.

43. Measure around the head of the doll and once you're happy, glue it down and around the head.

44. Using the veiner tool, run it along the orange fondant in horizontal stripes.

45. We're going to use the clay/fondant extruder to make the rest of the hair. Knead orange fondant and make sure your use enough shortening or Crisco so the fondant doesn't stick and it comes out smooth.

46. Roll the fondant into a log and load it into the extruder. I use the disc with the 7 holes.

47. Extrude directly on the head to measure the length for the hair. Glue it on.

48. For the ribbon, I use a silicon ribbon mold. It's small so it's perfect for ribbons on small figures. Use a little bit of red fondant and choose the ribbon design that you want.

49. Un-mold the ribbon from the silicone mold.

50. Glue it on top of the head, in the middle to complete the figure. WUHOO!!! You're done!

You can use this figure for cakes and cupcakes or for clays.
Hope you find this tutorial is helpful. :)

Monday, 14 January 2013

Basic Intensive Class with Sharon Wee

Okay. Me and my sister, we're big fans of Sharon Wee's works. She does amazingly beautifully wedding cakes that are so sleek, clean, classy and intricately done. When we heard that she's conducting classes in Singapore, we immediately booked our flights and our classes with her.

This is Sharon Wee. Hi Sharon! You're awesome!

Sharon was incredibly helpful and patient and don't even get me started on how unbelievably talented she is! She's so friendly as well, the whole class just had a blast.

Because of our schedules, we took her Basic Intensive class last November. And since we are not as confident to take any of her advance classes just yet, we wanted a simple class that covered all the basics.

You would think that a Basic Intensive class would be pretty easy. It's not.
It's intense. It's work.

But it was fun. It was really fun. Like a-kid-in-a-candy store kind of fun. Hehe.

Here's a brief overview of how we did the cakes.

First up... Levelling and GANACHING. I'm gonna be using this word a lot. Ganaching. I like this non-word. Don't judge me. Same with CAKE-ing. I like them both.

Whoever said that ganaching a cake was easy must be the most optimistic and happiest person in the world. It's messy and a lot of work and if you're OCD you'll be spending a lot of hours on this step just to get it right.
But, if you want those awesome (Australian style) razor-sharp edges on your cake, you MUST MUST use ganache and perfect this stage. It's the most ESSENTIAL step of the process and if you mess it up you're gonna have a bad time.

Take your time, put on some soothing music and ganache your cakes away!

I wasn't able to take photos of our ganaching during our class (because I forgot and I THINK I was listening intently... I'm such a goody-goody teachers pet). Not Quite Nigella shows a great step-by-step look on how to properly ganache and cover cakes Australian-style on here blog.

Read her awesome step-by-step blog article here during here class with Faye Cahill
Not Quite Nigella

There's carpentry involved if you're going to use wooden boards and dowels. Don't be afraid of tools. Love it! You'll feel all macho and bad-ass afterwards.
We levelled and filled our cakes and put them on top of their boards. Now, this is important. Have a board on top that's EXACTLY the same size and shape as your bottom board so your cake is straight and un-wonky.

Believe me, I didn't follow this exactly, I made a round cake and measured the board by hand, both of them and after ganaching the cake it cake out all wonky. Very bad. If you can get them the same size always from a shop or somewhere then good for you. Bad for us here in the Philippines where we make our own boards. There's a business opportunity behind this misery. I shall look upon that.

The ganached cake really helps when it comes to covering. The cake is much more sturdy and the ganache is rock hard there's no destroying it in the right temperature. As usual, using 2 cake smoothers and acetate, you buff out the imperfections and create that razor-sharp cake edges.

Challenge accepted and done! I'm proud of this! It's the cleanest square cake I've ever done!

I love it! Razor-sharp cake edges are beautiful!
OH.MY.GOD. Ganaching a square cake is tedious! TEDIOUS! oh my. Getting those edges sharp is a challenge and covering it is even a greater challenge.

We also learned how to carve a giant cupcake and ganache an irregular shaped cake. This was new to me and a refreshing way to make a giant cupcake since all my giants are baked on a mold.

Look at our table! It's messy but I never got a messier picture when we were carving. Ganache and cake everywhere!

My sister happily ganaching

Ganached giant cupcake. It looks funny right? hehehe

After ganaching the cakes, we had to hot knife the ganache to make sure every surface is smooth, covering them is such a breeze and we had a lot of fun decorating them.

Izza covering her round cake

smoothing out the fondant

We left the ganached cakes for at least 12 hours or overnight to set in an air conditioned room which is very essential given that you're working with chocolate. The next day we covered all our cakes with fondant, made the stripes and the decorations, etc. This is where the fun begins!

After covering there comes the stacking. This cake wasn't a normal center stacked cake. The 2nd layer was stacked a bit off-center to make way for the bow.

This is my cake. I love the colours! I wanted something vibrant and bold but not using dark colours.It's suppose to be a girly cake

This is my sister's cake. The colors are simply adorable! Love it!

I just got introduced to this brand and SUGARFLARE gel colors ARE.THE.BEST. Hands down! I love love love it! I used the bitter lemon lime for my square cake and the claret color which I fell in love with for the bow.

During the last day of class, we did the gumpaste figures and all the other decorations like the bow and the pearls and of course covering the cake board with fondant.

Meet my cute elephant figure

my happy happy clown

And this is my flamboyant lion. With a ribbon. That's right. It was after we finished the cake that I realized that lions with manes are male and I wanted my lion to be girly. I like him. He's so pretty and happy.

At last our finished cakes! Three full days of non-stop cake-ing and decorating and we're done!

my finished cake :)

my sister's finished cake! awesome!

Finished cakes of the whole class

The best thing about taking classes like these are the people you meet. Our classmates who are also there with you taking on every class challenge and going out of their comfort zone and thinking out of the box to create their best works.

Our teacher, Sharon who was as supportive and very very helpful and never hesitating to answer questions about her work. Troubleshooting the cakes whenever there's a problem with your work became easier with her help. We learned a lot from her. Making new "cake" friends is amazing. It's great to meet people who are also on their cake decorating journey and just having fun and learning.

Me and my sister with Sharon

And of course our hosts, Artistiq Sugarcraft who were so accommodating and so happy-go-lucky and whose passion for cake-ing and decorating and finding ways for all of us to experience the opportunity to take classes with amazing and talented decorators. Awesome awesome!

You can check out Artistiq Sugarcraft's classes in Singapore at their website or their Facebook Page.

Here's their contact information below:

Artistiq Sugarcraft Pte Ltd

19 Mackenzie Road #02-02
Singapore 228678
Tel: +65 62388806 Fax: +65 62388807

For enquiries:

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