What happened this week at Katy Sue HQ? 25th – 31st October

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}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));It’s been an exciting week at Katy Sue HQ!

Sunday 
Cake Academy! This show was presented by Christina Ludlum from Cakey Bakey Art! Christina is on our Design Team and her samples for the show were fantastic! We launched our two new Baby moulds on the show and they sold out in 40 minutes! We’re thrilled you loved them and we’re looking forward to the full launch on Monday 2nd! 
Catch up on the show HERE.

She also provided a Baby Shoes Template which you can find HERE.
Monday 
We launched our new Art Colouring Books live on Amazon! This is very exciting for us as we all love the books and really want you all to like them!

Also on Monday, because the Baby moulds had been so popular on Cake Academy we decided to run a competition! A name the new arrivals competition – winner was announced on Friday.
Tuesday

We got word that our promotion in Cakes and Sugarcraft Magazine was live! Check it out here to win a Baby Washing Line mould! 
Wednesday
After being inspired last week Micky, our Finance Manager made this great Halloween Trick or Treat Tin with his children! Just goes to show how simple our moulds can be to use 🙂

Noreen had been preparing all week for the show on Thursday and today she showed us her sample pages and cards!
Thursday
Big day today!! We had two shows on Create and Craft today. If you missed them you can catch up:
If you’re in the UK (or anywhere in the world) and want to watch, click HERE.
If you’re in the UK and want to buy, click HERE.
If you’re in the US and want to watch or buy, click HERE.
They were fantastic shows! Noreen and Sandra took some great behind the scenes photos!

What a fantastic day!!
Friday
It was Noreen’s Birthday today! She spent her morning driving back from the TV show, but she had lovely plans for the evening!
And… we announced our Facebook Competition winner! Congratulations to Dee McKenzie who won the Baby Boy and the Baby Girl for the names Molly and Jack. The winning names were picked by Doreen who has spend so much time working with these moulds she wanted the perfect names!
Check our website on Monday to see our two new Baby moulds AND 3 new design mats: Smocking, Knitting and Cable! Here’s a great cake by Sarah Harris from the Cupcake Range showing off our Knitting and Cable mats!


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An Interview with Art Colouring Books Illustrator Sandra Rushton

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We sat down with artist Sandra Rushton to ask her a few questions about her life, her art work and how she came up with the fantastic illustrations for Katy Sue Designs’ newest venture: Adult Colouring Books! 

Sandra, Noreen and the books will be available on Create and Craft TV on Thursday 29th October. There is a show at 12pm for the UK and at 5pm GMT/10am PT for both the UK and US!

How did you first become interested in art and crafts?
It’s always been there, I can’t remember a time where I didn’t have a collection of paper, pencils and scissors.

Have you always wanted to work as an artist?
I dreamt of being an artist when I was at school but it was not meant to be at that time. I  pursued it as a hobby, which led me into teaching in the creative subject areas. It is only recently after watching lots of students following their dreams that I realised it was about time I did the same. 

Did you study art or design at university?
I studied art and design as a mature student at college but then went on to completing a degree in  Design and Technology so that I could work with lots of different materials, progressing onto a Masters’ degree specialising in computer aided design/manufacture in education. 

What do you do now?
I now run a micro business where I produce my own range of printed clothing using my artwork. I provide a custom service for a range of businesses and of course, have been working alongside Katy Sue Designs creating colouring books. 

Where do you work?
I share a studio/office space with my husband in Shirebrook in Nottinghamshire and because I am self employed I do occasionally work from home, particularly when creating new images. 

Where do you get the inspiration for your illustrations?
 Inspiration comes from everywhere. Mostly it starts from a doodle in the corner of a page which then mixes with something that has caught my attention. I doodle in a sketch pad and record snippets of things that I like the look of. Sometimes my friends challenge me to see what I’ll come up with. The shoes for example started with a flute and high heeled shoe combination, mixing my two passions; music and shoes together for a challenge, this was followed by the masquerade shoe in the book as I was asked: how would I go about drawing a ‘fluffy’ feather?

How long does the average illustration take? Is it different for a pattern page and a main image?
Some illustrations take shape quicker than others and some I go back to over a period of time. The shipwreck in Nautical adventures for example was completed over a couple of days but the land ahoy shoe took around a week.

What materials do you use to create your work?
Each drawing begins as a pencil sketch using a basic mechanical pencil then once I’m happy with the outline I like to define and add detail to the image with a fine tipped pen. My choice of paper varies depending on what I’ll use to enhance it. I work mostly in coloured pencils and oils but enjoy watercolour and acrylics from time to time.

What’s the creative process like for you? What do you do from start to finish?
Once I start an image I become obsessed with it and it becomes a huge part of my life over a period of time; even if I leave it for a while its always in view. The idea is not always complete in my head before I start; I just have an idea of where I want it to go then allow it to develop naturally. The detail within the image for the most part is drawn freehand using a pen.  There is always something in progress, my workspace is always scattered with paper and pencils.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
Never give up on your dream, think it and it will become reality.

Follow Sandra on Social Media:


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We also have a Facebook page specifically for the Colouring Books:

Create and Craft UK

Create and Craft USA

Available on Amazon now!

What happened at Katy Sue HQ this week? 18th – 24th October

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Hi everyone! What a week! So many new products, so little time!

Sunday

The very first Cake Academy show was broadcast today. And even though it wasn’t technically at Katy Sue HQ, we were all excited for the first specialist Cake Hour on Create and Craft so I’m including it anyway! 

If you missed the first show presented by Rosie Cake-Diva, you can catch up here, from anywhere in the world.

Monday

Monday was my first day back after being sick last week, unfortunately I must have infected Claire the newest member of the Katy Sue team as she has been coughing and sneezing all week!

What a day to go back to. The Sugar Buttons Animals and DVD launched today on Create and Craft, It was a one day wonder so Kathryn Sturrock demonstrated on 3 different shows over 2 days and did a great job. We’re so happy you all seem to love the animals and we can’t wait to see what you do with them!

Tuesday

You may remember from a What Happened post from a couple of weeks ago (here) that Noreen was teaching Jo how to make a Halloween Trick or Treat Tin. 

Here’s Jo’s finished ‘masterpiece’ – her words haha! We think it’s fantastic! 

The great thing is that Micky our Finance Manager has now been inspired to make one with his children! They went to the Gateshead craft show and loved creating with the clay.
It seems crafting is infectious!
Wednesday

It’s getting exciting now! Remember last week? Sue mentioned the top secret project we’ve been working on for months and months? Well we can announce that we now have a range of adult Colouring Books!!! 

There are two books (for now) called Le Shoe and Nautical Adventures and the fantastic illustrations in both have been created by artist Sandra Rushton. These books are aimed at adults who want to enjoy the relaxing benefits of colouring whilst learning how to improve their colouring skills. 

They will be available on Create and Craft TV from Thursday 29th October! The show is on first at 12 noon in the UK and then later at 5pm in the UK and simulcast in the US!

Today we got the initial delivery of the two books, it was very exciting!
We also got some of the samples back from the Design Team, these will be shown on the TV, but here’s a sneak peek of a coloured page from Nautical Adventures! Shhhh!!
Thursday

The first proper delivery of books came today! Here they are in our warehouse:

It was very much a team effort getting these books where they needed to be today! That’s the great thing about the Katy Sue team, we’re all willing to help where we’re needed. We had people from Sales, Marketing and Production all lending a hand in the Warehouse today! Never a dull moment at Katy Sue HQ!
Friday

We announced our gorgeous Baby moulds! The newsletter announcing that they will be on this Sunday’s Cake Academy (5pm!) went out at lunchtime and by mid afternoon we had already had a phone call from a customer saying how great she thought they were! That’s what we like to hear! 🙂

We can’t wait to see them on Cake Academy at 5pm on Create and Craft! 

Also, Lucky was in the office today and to do her work she demands lots of attention…..

She makes sure you get your work done by lying next to your chair so you have to stay at your desk!
And because she is so good at what she does she rewards herself with lots of naps!
It’s been a busy week at Katy Sue HQ, but a fun one!


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How to: Baby Elephant Bath Time Fun Cake with Sarah Harris from the Cupcake Range – Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of the Sugar Buttons Baby Elephant Bath Time Fun cake! Yesterday Sarah Harris from the Cupcake Range showed you how to make the Rocky Road base of the bath. If you missed it, here it is!

In today’s post Sarah teaches you how to decorate the Rocky Road after it has set.

 

You
will need:
Katy Sue Designs baby elephant
mould
Ingredients to make your
favourite Rocky Road recipe (or seeseparate blog entry for mine)
A4 sheet of acetate (or a mini cake tin/cake ring approximately
7cm wide and lined with parchment paper)
Ruler
Round cake drum (approximately
15cm wide)
Chocolate flavoured or brown
fondant (for wood panels around the bath)
White fondant
Small amount of black fondant
2 white nonpareils (for the
eyes)
Baby
blue fondant (for ears and water)
Edible glue
Large edible pearl balls (for
the bath bubbles – or use balls of white
fondant)
White modelling paste
(approximately 100 grams)
Ribbon to go round the cake
drum and double sides tape to secure it (I
used brown grosgrain ribbon 15mm wide and about 50cm long)
Rolling pin
 
Optional
Extras:
Wood grain texture mat/rolling
pin or cocktail stick

 

Swirls or ripple texture mat
(for the water)
Step 1:       
Make up some grey modelling paste for the elephant by adding a tiny piece of black fondant to some of the white modelling paste. Make elephant’s head, neck and trunk with the grey modelling paste. Add in eyes using a tiny ball of white modelling paste for each eye first, then a tiny ball of black fondant on top, then add a white nonpareil, as shown in the picture. Stick on the trunk using edible glue and leave to dry for a good few hours or overnight.
Once dry, press two thin pieces of baby blue fondant into the elephant mould for the inside of the ears, remove from the mould, neaten the edges and smooth into the inside of the two grey ears as seen in the photo above.
Step 2:
Make up the rocky road mixture and press into your cake tin which has been lined with parchment paper. If you don’t have a cake tin the right size, cut the A4 sheet of acetate in half lengthways and roll one half up to form a tube approximately 7cm wide and secure with sticky tape. Place the tube on top of a flat plate and press the rocky road mixture inside. Pack it down well so it forms a good round shape with a flat top. It should be about 4cm tall. See yesterday’s blog post.
You will have loads of rocky road mixture left to make more bath tubs or just your regular rocky road bars. Or the recipe can be scaled down to make less mixture if you just want to make a bath tub or two! Leave the rocky road to set in the fridge for a couple of hours.
 
 
 
Step 3:
Prepare the cake drum: add a tiny amount of black fondant to some white fondant to make a grey colour similar to the colour of your elephant
 (TIP: Go easy on the black fondant, it really doesn’t take much to get a grey colour!).
Roll the grey fondant out and smooth onto the cake drum, trim and neaten the edges. To give a square tile effect, press the edge of a ruler into the soft fondant at intervals of approximately 2 cm, first one way and then the other, to make 2cm squares all over. Add the ribbon of your choice to the side of the cake drum and secure with double sided sticky tape.
 
Step 4:
When the rocky road has set, remove from the tin or acetate (TIP: If the top is a little uneven, turn upside down). Roll out a circle of baby blue fondant just slightly larger than the top of the rocky road “bath”
At this point you can add some texture to the fondant if you like, to resemble swirls or ripples. Apply fondant to top of rocky road and smooth down so it just goes over the top edge.
(TIP: Make sure your rocky road is not too cold at this point otherwise the fondant will have a tendency to go a bit sticky)
 
Step 5:
Prepare the wood panels: I made about 12 out of the chocolate flavoured fondant each measuring 1.5cm wide and 5cm long. Check yours for height, each panel needs to come just above the top of the blue fondant. I textured mine using a mini wood grain rolling pin; or you can mark in the wood grain using a cocktail stick or modelling tool if desired. Stick the panels all the way round the sides of the bath. Once they are all secure, carefully lift the bath tub up and position in the middle of the fondant covered cake drum.
Step 6:
Position the elephant’s head in the bath using edible glue to secure. Roll and cut a thin strip of grey modelling paste to go round the centre of the barrel using edible glue to attach, positioning the join at the back of the bath tub.
 
Step 7:
Press into the bath water, some edible pearls to represent bubbles, add in some baby blue (textured) fondant around the base of the bath tub to represent some water spilling over. Glue some blue fondant tear drop shapes to the wood panels to resemble water droplets and press in some pearls onto the wood panels and into the puddles of water.
 
Variations:
Use green fondant on the cake drum to represent grass instead of grey tiles and add in some pretty flowers.For a Christmassy effect use white fondant “snow” on the cake drum instead of the grey tiles and add in a few snow balls, holly leaves and berries or snowflakes.

Use baby pink fondant for the elephant’s ears instead of baby blue.

Position the bath at the back of the cake drum, instead of the centre, leaving space for a greeting or name at the front. Katy Sue Designs small domed alphabet mould would be ideal for some lettering to create that special message.

Make a tiny yellow fondant duck and position in the bath or in one of the puddles of water at the front of the cake drum.

Make the bath out of rice krispie treats, or a mini chocolate cake covered in buttercream or ganache, instead of the rocky road.

If made out of rice krispie treats, omit the cake drum and use the bath tub as a topper for a big cake – ideal for a baby shower!

Make a bigger version, applying the same principles, but with the elephant lying in the bath:

This one has been decorated using Katy Sue Design moulds – Mini Domed Alphabet, Bow Trio and the new Bunting Extras.
I would love to see your creations and please let me know if you have any questions! 

How to: Baby Elephant Bath Time Fun Cake with Sarah Harris from the Cupcake Range – Part 1

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To celebrate the launch of the Sugar Buttons Animals range on Create and Craft today we asked Design Team member Sarah Harris from the Cupcake Range to show you how she made one of her fab cakes! 

This first part shows you how to make the Rocky Road base of the bath tub, check back tomorrow for the decorating!

You will need:
125g unsalted butter
300g dark chocolate
3 tablespoons golden syrup
300g roughly crushed biscuits (digestives or chocolate chip biscuits work well or for a spicy flavour use half ginger nut and half digestives)
150g glace cherries, chopped
150g mini marshmallows
60g raisins

Icing sugar to dust
A4 sheet of acetate
Method:

Melt butter, chocolate and golden syrup over a gentle heat until smooth. Place all of the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. 
If you don’t have a cake tin the right size for the bath tub, cut the A4 sheet of acetate in half length-ways and roll one half up to form a tube approximately 7cm wide and secure with sticky tape. Place the tube on top of a flat plate and press teaspoons of the mixture into the tube as shown in the photo, pack the mixture down well so it is level at the top. It should be about 4cm high.
Tip the rest of the rocky road mixture into a lined baking tray, pressing it into the corners and making sure it is of an even thickness.
Place both the tray and the tube of mixture in the fridge for a few hours until set. Dust the Rocky Road in the baking tray with icing sugar and cut into bars.
Remove the acetate and turn the Rocky Road upside down so you have a nice smooth top. You are now ready to start making the elephant in the bath tub!
Come back tomorrow to find out how!


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