Thursday, 15 May 2014

Falling Down the Hole: More Craters in Wonderland
























 I've done a few sets of Alice in Wonderland cookies. I love the subject, as there's so much scope for a great variety of images. And Alice can be whoever you like unless you're being expected to use Disney, or Tenniel's illustrations, which are of course the most well known.

The first time I did Alice, I based her very much on the Winter Girls cookies by Klickitat Street, who are still among my favourite little characters. Go and take a look, and tell me they're not adorable! This is what I ended up making:




Somewhat later I was making another set of  Alice in Wonderland cookies and decided to create my own little Alice character, though still influenced by the Klickitat Street style:




I was quite pleased with her, but I don't think she's anywhere near as cute as the Klickitat style Alices, except perhaps for her toes!

So this time I wanted to do something completely different and had in mind to show Alice falling down the hole. I came across a wonderful Korean illustration, which took a little while to identify the artist. This is by Obsidian who has a blog, I think, but I couldn't get the page to translate. A lot of (her or his?) artwork is a entertaininly risqué but Alice is just beautiful:







And I decided she would fit perfectly on a round cookie. And that's when the cratering problems started up again.




You might have read my previous posts about how cratering is all cured by a dehydrator? I've positively boasted about it. Well things weren't as bad as my pre-dehydrator days but they were definitely troublesome. The Red Queen has been causing me mischief.

 


If you look closely at Alice's skirts and leg (below) you'll see the indentations forming in some of the small patches. Later that week I was piping a whole bunch of bows which all collapsed into horrid, ugly little holes, despite being put straight into the dehydrator, necessitating the addition of a little heart motif to cover them up (though it also looked quite pretty!).

  


Much discussion ensued in cookie circles about why this would be - one notable difference seemed to be the weather. It was pouring with torrential rain most of that week. There's general agreement that high humidity makes craters worse.

My take on it is that seeing as the idea to prevent craters is to very quickly crust over the top surface, strengthening it against collapse, when the weather's humid, that crusting process takes longer, even in a dehydrator. Long enough for parts of your cookie design to fall into a dreaded hole, rather like poor Alice.

My next plan is to get something like this, an embossing heat gun for those extra wet days. I've been warned that too much heat can cause the icing to expand and explode into cracks, so it'll be interesting: if I play my cards right maybe I can get the right balance between black holes and supernovae.


























In the meantime, here's the rest of my most recent Alice set all tumbling down a giant Wonderland hole.





21 comments:

  1. I love this set! And as to humidity...I recently bought a dehumidifier to use during the summer months to try and fight the wet, sticky air. Seems to be working out great so far!

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    1. I shall bear that in mind! My desk will fill up with machinery soon!

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  2. Try Google Translate, it should work ;-P
    I also encounter this problem, no budget for dehydrater or heat tool...my solution is to make thicker icing and then leave the iced cookies in front of a fan...

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    1. Hi Dan - I tried Google translate but it wouldn't do it! I used to use a fan, but it wasn't foolproof, and I thought I'd solved everything with the dehydrator!

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    2. Hi Lucy, how did you try google translate? You can first go to google translate website, selecting "Korean" in the left column and "English" in the right. Then you can copy the website address http://blog.naver.com/obsidian24 and paste it in the left column, as soon as you paste there will be a newly generated link in the right column. You just need to click this link and will be able to view the artist's blog in English. If you have problem with this using IE browser, please try Chrome. Hope this help:)

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    3. Hi Dan - when I tried that (and just have again), it took me to a blank page with 'this page was not retrieved from its original location over a secure connection". No idea what that means! :-)

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    4. Hi Lucy, yeah that happened to me too when I used IE browser. But when I changed my browser to Chrome, it worked. You may try other browsers instead of your current one..

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    5. Good idea, I'll try that! First I have to work out how to find a different browser on this laptop! :-)

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    6. Thanks, it worked, but my word it's difficult to follow!

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  3. I agree with the quick crust method to drastically reduce craters ... but ... I am totally diggin' the slight indent in Alice's leg ... happy accident!

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    1. Ha ha - it didn't turn out too bad - could have been a cratered face! :-)

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  4. I truly love these...I am doing Alice next week and I'm not sure if you inspired me or deflated me! (I think inspired me!) I KNOW I was wanting to do a watch and some cards....I was thinking of some other ideas too........

    Okay, the cratering. I never have problems any more after I started using the heat fan. Like never...unless I am lazy and can't get the cookie to it in time..........until last week. Craterville.......all on cookies that seemed "okay" and then later cratered. It really can ruin a cookie, can't it (although I think they kinda added to yours). Christene, from Sugar Cravings was commenting she is using a new blowdryer on high heat setting. I did NOT do well with the embossing gun as I grabbed it twice from the "hot end" accidently. Also, you have to be so careful that no one bumps into it.


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    1. Thank you! Yes, it seems that once you think you've got something worked out - that's when it all goes wrong again, lol. Thanks for the tip re the heat gun :-)

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  5. just love the falling Alice
    and the toes on your own design. :)

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  6. Lucy, I don't care if you have craterville or not I always love your cookies! I've couldn't decide about getting a gun, I guess I'm going to go get me one.

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    1. Thanks Loretta! I haven't tried a heatgun yet (and as soon as I get one we'll have a drought of course...), but I'm not going to count my chickens again, lol (especially as Julia Usher said she'd switched from her heatgun to a dehydrator!)

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  7. You know I love all your cookies, your interpretation, colourings, everything.. I sympathise with your cratering.. And yes I think the weather plays a big part - I have daises which look so cratered I have decided to make them Autumn daises - that have been shredded in the Autumn winds.. sigh.. Going into Winter I might just be able to have a Heat Gun stand off with you!. X Kat, IbicciNZ

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    1. Ha ha Kat - it's definitely worthwhile having 'cover up' methods in your arsenal :-)

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  8. Stephane in AK17 May 2014 at 12:23

    You are one of my all-time favorite cookie artists. :D Thank you for sharing!

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