Shopping for Cake Toys!
I was recently indulging in my favourite past-time: buying shoes, specifically knee-high boots from DSW. Since shipping from DSW to Canada is somewhat pricey, my friend suggested that I ship my parcel to the US and take advantage of a service offered to Canadian customers by the UPS Store in Ogdensburg, NY; they will receive your package for you, for a small fee. If you live near the Prescott border or in the greater Ottawa area, like I do, it is a short trip to Ogdensburg to retrieve parcels.
Then I got excited about buying cake supplies too, especially items that are not readily available in Canada. As usual I went crazy buying cake toys, then culled the cart back until it was in the vicinity of something reasonable.
FYI, until the end of August 2012, Global Sugar Arts will give you a 10% discount on an order of $100 or more.
Sadly, $110 does not get you a whole heck of a lot in the world of cake decorating. Wow, silicone molds are expensive! I finally caved and bought a silicone mold for snowflakes. For my last snowflake cake, I piped the snowflakes from Royal icing, individually and uniquely by hand, which was nice, but very, very time consuming. The sad thing is, I often purchase these things because I want them, not because I know that I’m going to use them anytime soon. Therefore, I have tools, molds, stencils and other stuff that I have yet to use, which is not really efficient, budget-wise.
This time I bought 6 pots of petal/luster dust, which amounted to about $25. Petal dusts are like purses, I want one in every colour and if you’ve ever seen sugar flowers before and after a dusting, then you know that the difference is worth the effort and cost.
A few words of warning: the UPS Store will charge $5 per box or $3 per envelope per week to hold your items. When crossing the border, I had to pay a $10.75 USD fee because the items that I had bought were for my business. To be honest, I neglected to get clarification whether the fee was for items that I planned to directly re-sell or if it included items that would be used in the production of products that I sell. A technicality, but it may have saved me from paying the fee. On the way back, I had to pay taxes on all of my little goodies because I was only in the US for about an hour (after stopping at Price Chopper for some Ben & Jerry’s S’mores ice cream and Blue Bunny pistachio ice cream, which I stored in my cooler with copious ice blocks….oh you know it!). If it hadn’t been for the fact that my DSW shipment to Ogdensburg was completely free, as opposed to the $40 – $60 it would have cost to ship to Canada, it may not have been worth it to drive there only for the cake supplies, per se. However, it’s an option that is worth keeping in mind.
This Christmas I want to do a sugar flower cake with pinecones and dusty miller. I had no luck finding a cutter or mold for dusty miller, but Jennifer Dontz of Sugar Delites makes an awesome pinecone mold. I saw a few on Etsy, but they looked a little sad compared to the Sugar Delites’ version. I ordered the pinecone mold, very reasonable at $20, and a shell mold. I had heard from a few cake decorators that Jennifer Dontz, who has taught in Carleton Place at The Bulk Barn, is one of the nicest cake decorators around and it’s really true! She sent me the nicest personal email, then replied to my response and when I got my package, she had hand-wrapped the molds in pretty tissue paper and included a Sugar Delites pen. I was very impressed also that she shipped my order out within hours of receiving it. Great customer service that goes above and beyond deserves applause! http://www.jenniferdontz.com/
I have some upcoming projects, which is why I was on the hunt for new cake toys. Along the way I discovered a new use for scrapbooking punches. I have successfully used scrapbooking stamps on fondant and sugar paste, but I stumbled across a video on You Tube that shows you how to use edge punchers on sugar paste to make awesome borders and appliques for your cake. This week at Micheal’s the line of punches from Martha Stewart were all 40% off. I can’t wait to try this little trick.
Also at Michael’s you can find Easy Mold, which is a food-safe putty that you can use to make your own molds. I am anxious to try this as well, but I am not so confident with my mold-making skills–I’ll start with something easy, like a brooch or a button.
Looking forward to sharing my latest projects. Have a novel cake decorating use for something not normally considered a cake decorating implement? Please share with us!