Posted on Leave a comment

Becoming Better, Creatively: All-Around Crafting

Hey Sweeties,

It’s week five of the 5 Things to Help You Become Better, Creatively.

You’re in the right place if you’ve read the posts from the first four weeks. If you haven’t, here are the links:

5 Things to Help You Become Better, Creatively
Becoming Better, Creatively: Baking & Understanding It
Becoming Better, Creatively: Decorating Cakes & Cookies
Becoming Better, Creatively: Where Baking & Crafting Meet

Some of these have been short and sweet posts, but you don’t need long and drawn out to learn. Sometimes, “less is more” and there are times when “more is more”. We will cover two different areas in this post: inspiration and meanings of some terms mentioned in previous posts.

Inspiration

How to look for inspiration- When looking for inspiration, how do you do it? Do you open up Pinterest or Google and endlessly search? Do you have one thing in mind and search?

Sometimes this works, but sometimes it doesn’t. This is where the “less is more” and “more is more” thing comes in. Before you look for inspiration, think about your style and what looks best in your style. I don’t care what anyone says, not all styles can be applied to everything and turn out cute. Don’t let anyone tell you that lie. Most of all, don’t tell that lie to yourself. If you’re making a Winnie the Pooh-themed baby shower set for someone, but you like a vampire style, think about how well that will sit with your client—moving along. Other things to think about are your mood, what room you’re going to hang it in, who it is going to, and to what audience you are presenting the finished product. The more questions you ask yourself and answer, the more you can narrow it down.

Where to look for inspiration- Where do you search for inspiration? Is there a place or a specific set of places you go to? Do you use social media? Do you use what’s around you (outside, in your home, at the store)?

No matter where you look, just know what you’re looking for. If you got through the “how,” the “where” will be easier. If you’re a wide searcher no matter how much you narrow something down, then you’re a lot like me. If I want to learn how to make something but don’t have a recipe to refer to, I look for no fewer than ten recipes to compare the similarities.

A good example is when I learned to make red velvet cake. There were so many different recipes and so many different things about them. A result being, that the two things that stuck with me were that the cake was red and chocolate. I then made my chocolate taste as rich as I want while using the amount of red food coloring I wanted…but that’s the end of the story.

How to use inspiration- Do you go straight in on the first thing you find? Do you take something from each and make it something else? Do you duplicate it, or do you use it as a foundation?

Let inspiration be just that. Back to the red velvet example and before I started comparing recipes, I did make the mistake of using the first one I found. Before comparing all the recipes. I tried one of these red velvet cake recipes before going out on my own, and it was the worst cake I had ever eaten. I knew how to bake, and I made it twice, which eliminated my mistake. It was super sweet. And the icing on top of super sweet was a no go for me. It was also unappealingly red…and my favorite color is red. Red is one of those colors that’s supposed to make you hungry, but if misused, it doesn’t work. This is what led me to compare recipes and techniquing and tweaking.

This may sound like I’m knocking duplicating, but I’m not. Just make it work for you and ensure it’s right for you or whoever you’re giving it to. If I hadn’t made that mistake, which caused me to technique and tweak, I would’ve failed myself. Me sending a cake like that cake out my doors with a customer would’ve been a complete disaster. “What works for someone else may not work for you.” I don’t know who said that but it’s true.

Terms Used

  • Technique With a Tweak or Techniquing & Tweaking- Taking what you’ve found and learned and making it into your own. You may do this a lot or a little, but if you’re doing it, it shows you have passion for your work and for leaving your mark. So we change it until it comes out the way we want it.
  • BangQuality- Shopping + Techniquing & Tweaking = BangQuality. We shop for what we can afford in any part of our lives. Looking for the best bargain or the cheapest item isn’t always the best. I want everyone to remember when something is mass-made, it’s more likely to be defective than other items. It’s not that the one you paid more for can’t be defective, but the chance of it being defective is less likely. I’m not going to get all into the business stuff here, but its something you’ll notice when you buy the same type of item from two or more different stores over time. BUT when someone says you get what you pay for, it’s real. This applies to food and non-food items alike. Ask yourself, “Do I want to come back to this store, in the middle of what I’m doing, and buy the better brand since I went cheap the first go-round?” That’s time and money wasted.
    • Example: I used to buy Great Value Marshmallows all the time. They melted with no problem. I’m not sure what changed years later, but the marshmallows refused to melt. I thought they were out of date or I had them too long. But no, I had just bought those two days and checked the dates before. I had to go back to the store in the middle of what I was doing to get some Jet-Puffed Marshmallows. I don’t know if it was that batch or the recipe was changed, but I no longer buy Great Value Marshmallows unless it’s for hot chocolate.
  • Learning How to Buy It- If you want it, buy it. I’m not saying go against your budget. Just think about how many trips to the store you’re going to make or how many more times you’re going to need to order it. It’s not about quantity; it’s about quality unless its something where the quality doesn’t matter. I’m not saying go out and buy the most expensive artificial flower or powdered sugar off the shelf, but make sure you know how that item works, tastes, or how it stands up to what you’re using it for.
    • Example: Heavy whipping cream is quite pricey, no matter which brand you buy. My husband and I were at a store where I don’t usually buy heavy whipping cream. We picked up the Shurfine brand and went about our business—first and last time. Thinking back on this upsets me so much that I don’t want to talk about it. It separated.

Conclusion

This isn’t inspiration versus duplication. Don’t go out here spending all your money. Weigh your options. They’re there; you have them, open yourself up to them. Know your situation and know your creation. Be practical and efficient. Don’t forget to have fun. There are ways to do all these things, but you have to make it work for you. Just ask yourself questions and give yourself answers.

Posted on Leave a comment

Becoming Better, Creatively: Where Baking & Crafting Meet

Hey Sweeties,

It’s week four of the 5 Things to Help You Become Better, Creatively.

You’re in the right place if you’ve read the posts from the first three weeks. If you haven’t, here are the links:

5 Things to Help You Become Better, Creatively
Becoming Better, Creatively: Baking & Understanding It
Becoming Better, Creatively: Decorating Cakes & Cookies

Where Do Your Loves Meet

For me, baking and crafting are like a marriage. Baking and crating make the perfect marriage. When you bring two things together that work well, you can turn them into anything you want. So make a marriage out of those talents and embrace them.

My story starts where you wouldn’t catch me doing any decorating, sewing, or paper-related. Yet, I can do all of them. I wouldn’t say I like decorating or sewing, but if I need to get down to it, I can; aside from that, baking and crafting became one for me. I look for inspiration in non-food items and put out a food version of it and vice versa.

Please take what you’ve learned or taught yourself from the first three posts and put it together. Ask yourself some questions:

  • Where do you see this going?
  • Can you make something of it?
  • Do you love it?
  • How does it make you feel?

There’s something I read last week on my business feed. The statement pretty much said to say something good about yourself. That can be hard if you don’t take the time to give yourself credit for anything. So after answering those questions above, I want you to stop and tell yourself something good. Tell you how proud you are of yourself. Remind yourself that this is something you love.

Whether you read this today, tomorrow, or one month down the line, it’s still the same. Leave a comment about yourself below. Let me know how you feel about what you’re doing. You’re in the right mind space if you can announce why you’re doing something and be happy with how it sounds. How proud of YOU are YOU?

Join me next week for the next topic, All-Around Crafting. Subscribe to the blog if this is your first time. Keep up with what I post here and be sure to check my YouTube channel to see how I use my creativity in different ways.

Posted on Leave a comment

Becoming Better, Creatively: Decorating Cakes & Cookies

Hey Sweeties,

Its week three of the 5 Things to Help You Become Better, Creatively.

If you’ve read the first post >>CLICK IT>>5 Things to Help You Become Better, Creatively<<READ IT<<, and the second post >>CLICK IT>>Becoming Better, Creatively: Baking & Understanding It<<READ IT<< you’re in the right place.

If you haven’t, don’t spoil it for yourself, go back and check them out before finishing up here.

Decorating Cakes

This is my favorite part. The best part of the things you love to do, is your favorite part. Especially when its your day off, all other chaotic things are out of the way. You get in the zone.

You might ask, Thelisha, why didn’t you talk about the brainstorming, planning and getting it done before this? That’s because we’re not ready for that. There is a time and place for everything and now ain’t the time or the place. You have to know for sure if you want to love this or not. We all see things that look fun and say, “Oh, I want to try that!”. We go out, get all the stuff, start it and be like, “Nah uh.”

You then ask, “Well isn’t this doing the same thing?” No, its not. When you put yourself in a space to take your time, you use what you have to practice. Before I started decorating cakes, I always had flour, eggs, salt, granulated sugar, powdered sugar baking powder, butter, milk, and vanilla. Thats because I was always a baker and there are other uses for a majority of these things. I already had cake pans, a hand mixer, and so on. All I needed to do was learn to make icing and decorate cakes. I had a lot of practice working in a bakery, but I wanted to make my own stuff. I wanted to step away from the store bought icing. I didn’t want to buy boxed cake and I didn’t really want to buy my kids cakes from the store anymore.

It’s a thing now. I bake and decorate cakes and I’ve been doing so for some time. That’s where The Sweets by Thelisha came from.

Decorating Cookies

I never wanted to decorate cookies. My mom tried to convince me for two years. She even bought me a beginners book. I looked at it and put it away. Two people asked me to make cookies for them, I tried it and I hated it. Not only was I horrible at it, but royal icing was the worst thing I ever touched. More time went by and I never thought about cookies again.

…some time later…after that more time going by…

My mom then found Julia Usher on YouTube or Pinterest. She showed me a baby rattle video made from cookies. She bought me the mold, I binged on Julia’s videos, I joined cookie groups, and I made the rattle. I got the hang of royal icing and started loving what I saw other cookie decorators do. Not long after that, I started selling cookies. I even got a call to audition for one of the Christmas dessert shows on Food Network. I didn’t make it, but it was fun to make cookies and do the interview.

Conclusion

Cookies, cakes or something else you love. The point here is to take it on. There are many things I want to try or have tried. Many of those things stuck with me or I left it alone. Don’t be afraid to make changes and try new things. You don’t have to like everything, you don’t have to master everything. Everything is not going to be your cup of tea. Don’t lose your focus. Learn from it. You can always take something from. Never think of it as a waste of time.

Check out some of my videos in the Thelisha Bakes Playlist on my channel. Soon I’ll have videos up on my new The Sweets by Thelisha channel. I won’t stop posting on the Where Baking & Craft Meet Channel, but the more detail videos will be posted on the other. All baking and decorating, all the time.

Join me next week for the next topic, Where Baking & Crafting Meet. Subscribe to the blog if this is your first time here and be sure to check my YouTube channels to see how I use my creativity in different ways.

Posted on Leave a comment

Becoming Better, Creatively: Baking & Understanding It

Hey Sweeties,

If you’ve read the first post >>CLICK IT>>5 Things to Help You Become Better, Creatively<<READ IT<<, you’re in the right place. If you haven’t, don’t spoil it for yourself, go back and check it out before finishing up here.

Today, we’ll be touching on the first topic of the original post, Baking & Understanding It. Now, as I said before, everyone reading this may not be a baker or crafter, but that doesn’t stop you from taking this in and analyzing whatever you discovered and taking it on. Remember, all this can be applied to anything. You have to have an open mind and the will to do it. So, let’s get started.

Everything we do has a recipe, whether we made it or it was already there. We know that every recipe can’t be one-size-fits-all. There is too much going on in the world for us to try to live with the cookie-cutter stuff made for us out here. What do you do? You learn it, you make it, and you tweak it. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves in talking about techniquing and tweaking.


The Recipe

Let’s say you have a recipe that goes as follows:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick of butter or margarine
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Add butter or margarine, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cream until smooth.

Add eggs to a clean medium bowl and beat. Add vanilla and milk to the eggs and mix until combined.

Sift flour and baking powder in a clean medium bowl.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix until combined. Add half the egg mixture and mix until combined. Repeat this process, mixing 1/3 of the flour mixture, the remainder of the egg mixture, and then the last 1/3 of the flour mixture. Mix until combined. Be sure not to over mix.

Note: This is not a real recipe, so don’t expect it to turn out right if you make it. The point in tis recipe is to see how well you follow instructions and how much patience you have for what you’re working on or wanting to learn. How many of you would have taken a shortcut and threw it all in the bowl?

The Lesson

How much thought you put into perfecting your skill is up to you. You may run across people that don’t notice it, but NEVER, EVER stop perfecting your craft because someone doesn’t see or should I say doesn’t want to see it. Guess what, there a whole lot of people out there that WANT TO AND LOOK FOR “BangQuality.” I’m a BangQuality shopper and I make BangQuality products…. We’ll talk a little bit about what BangQuality is later.

You know, it took me about 3 years to get dough right. I didn’t go to school, no one sat with me and taught me anything. I put in the work and I got the doughnuts, the bread, the soft pretzels, etc.

I was so frustrated. I thought I needed someone because I was a lost cause…but nope. I bought a textbook, and I practiced non-stop. You wanna know how I know my doughnut dough was right? It was because it felt right. All I had was one picture in that textbook as a reference and with my imagination, I created what that dough was supposed to feel like.

Posted on Leave a comment

5 Things to Help You Become Better, Creatively

assorted color great board decor lot

Hey Sweeties,

Sometimes, it seems my blog has no direction, but it does. That’s ALL THINGS CREATIVE. I have cookies, cakes, and crafts. When you’re creative and have a head full of ideas, you get bored with doing the same things repeatedly.

In the same way, I wasn’t a crafter, I wasn’t a cake decorator or an artist, BUT I was always creative. Nothing ever stood in the way of my imagination and creativity. No one should stand in your way. So first, I learned to draw, then bake, I learned to decorate, and I soon learned to craft. I can take food and make paper or take paper and make food. Worded weird, but you catch my drift. There are many things I’ve seen that I like as a food or non-food and feel like I should bring them to the other side. And no, I’m not the only one out here doing this, but I’m the only me, doing it my way.

With that being said, this blog post will put you on the starting path of combining what you love and want to do and making it what you imagined. It doesn’t necessarily have to be baking and crafting. You can be a chef and a clothes designer. Here, I will use what I do and show you how to apply it to yourself.

Baking & Understanding It

Like anything else, baking is one of those things that some of us love but can’t do. Some of us don’t know how to boil water. It doesn’t have to be rocket science because it’s not. One thing I can tell you about baking is that everything matters. When I say everything, I mean eeeeeevrrrrythang!

The boring definition of baking is the process of cooking bread, cakes, etc. I define it as a form of cooking that requires you to be the most accurate, or what you’re making isn’t going to turn out right. It can be in adding the ingredients, the mixing, or it can be in the baking. The best thing to do is pay attention. If you’re reading a recipe to understand what you’re making, read it twice and look over it again. Don’t dive into it thinking you can throw stuff in the bowl and make a dessert. Yeah, there are one-bowl wonders, shortcuts, and substitutions, but before you think about a shortcut or substitution, learn the basics….that’s with anything.


Decorating Cakes & Cookies

I’ll show you my tips, tricks, and things I’ve learned from others on my cake and cookie decorating journey. For the non-bakers and non-crafters, you can apply this same thing to what you’re doing. It will take a bit of thinking outside the box, but you can make any “Technique With a Tweak” work when you’re getting creative.


Where Baking & Crafting Meet

Here is where it all comes together. For me, it’s where baking and crafting meet. (If you’re not baking and crafting) For you, it will be where your first love and your new love meet. Learn to merge the two and make them work together. You may not think this is important, but it will save you time and money when seeing how interchangeable tools are. It’s not all about shopping at a specific store or catching every sale (BangQuality)!


All-Around Crafting

My ideas are what they are, from the heart. When looking for inspiration, I can see forty different versions of the same thing but come out with something completely different. I’ll show you how to look for inspiration, make it for others, and not fall in the line of duplication; kids call it copycatting. Before anyone takes offense, there is nothing wrong with duplicating, but there is no growth or creativity in that. You want to be the creator, not the assembly line.


Brainstorming, Planning, & Getting It Done

You have the right the underthink and overthink everything, but doing too much of either can hurt your process. If you underthink something you want to create, you may not like the finished product. If you overthink it, you either don’t finish it because you’re overwhelmed or bored with it. There’s a reason people say “less is more” and “more is more.” I’m going to help you figure out if you’re a “less is more,” “more is more,” “balanced,” “chaotic,” or “moody” type creator. When you figure out what type of creator you are, we’ll go through brainstorming, planning, and getting it done.

  • We know brainstorming is when we generate ideas and put down things to figure out what we want to create.
  • Planning takes what we have and brings it all to one cohesive idea.
  • Getting it done is what it is.

Not to say we have to plan every little thing we do. We can wing it. Winging it is good when you want to get something off your chest, when you want to relax, and enjoy what you’re doing without thought. The only thought is to do it. Not saying you’re going to love it, but do it. Even our biggest, most well thought out plan doesn’t give us what we want at times. Don’t get discouraged.


Conclusion

I said all that above to say this. If you want to learn how to take your creativity to another level, not in one place but many places. Let’s see how far you take your imagination, not how far it can take you. So instead of letting your imagination lead the way, hold your imagination’s hand and walk by its side. You’ll never stop coming up with ideas, and you’ll never want to stop creating.

Over the next few posts, I will talk about each part mentioned above, how I apply it to my life of creativity, and show you how you can use it in yours. You’re gonna learn some crazy terms like “BangQuality” and “Technique with a Tweak.” There are a few things you’ll get used to as well, like “Learning How to Buy It.”

Join me for future posts, videos, and whatever else I have for this 5 Things to Help You Become Better, Creatively series. Make sure you subscribe to the blog and turn on your notifications. I’ll be posting once per week.

See Y’all Later!!

Posted on Leave a comment

Its been a minute, but I’m here…

Hey Sweeties,

I know is been a teeny stretch, but I’m still here. I have an update or two for y’all.

WBCM PICS Page

The PICS page has been updated for February. If you haven’t checked it out, be sure to head over and get your inspiration for the month. It’s all about love and togetherness…. Every day should be about that! Build on it and get creative.

Patreon

In the beginning, the only tiers that had access to full tutorials were the Silver and Gold Tiers. As of last night, the Bronze Tier will also have access to those tutorials.

Posted on Leave a comment

It’s Gelliuary

Hey Y’all,

For January, I’ll be dedicating more time to gelli plate projects. I haven’t used my plate as much as I’d like to, so I will do it this month. I won’t post every single day, but I’ll put together some projects you may want to try.

Did You Know?

I attempted to gelli plate a cookie with icing? Epic fail. I dont think the texture of the plate liked the icing. I did use my homemade plate since it was made from food-safe products. Ill try it again, but maybe on something other than a jiggly square if gelatin.