March 28, 2012
When I first started decorating cookies I ordered every Americolor gel available, because that’s what you’re suppose to do, isn’t it? Go full speed throttle right out of the gate?
Don’t believe me?
And before you ask, you can find this AWESOME slim rolling cart at The Container Store. It took five minutes to put together and if you can have a love affair with a portable 4-tiered plastic rolling cart then consider me smitten! I have two of them. This one holds my glaze making/color supplies. The other one holds my decorating supplies (toothpicks, candy tweezers, piping tips, wax paper, paper towels…). But back to colors.
So there I was with all those amazing color gels but every time I made up an order of cookies my color choices were hit and miss. More miss than hit. My red would be deep and intense, my green too blue, my yellow too pale and my purple was so neon it looked like Tinky Winky, the purple Teletubby had gone head first into the Vitamix.
Not only did I have a hard time matching up the shading, hues, and tones but every time I veered outside of the primary and secondary colors, things got even more sketchy. And then…cue harmonic heavenly music….I discovered two incredible online color resources, Design Seeds and Photo Card Boutique.
Designs Seeds is all color all the time. Everyday they pop up two or three color palettes. To find a selection of color palette choices that include blue, you just need to type “blue” into their simple site search engine and all their past palettes with blue will come popping up for you to look through.
But leading the way for me is Photo Card Boutique. In addition to their regular offering of cool color palettes they also provide other graphic services and resources like fonts, freebies (wonderful word posters), and tips/tricks/and tutorials for photographers and card makers. But me, I’m all about their Cool Color Palettes.
So let me tell you how it works.
The other day I wanted to make a spring time set of flowers in muted soft shades. I knew I wanted one of the colors to be like a muted purple so I went over to Photo Card Boutique and using their site search engine, typed in “purple” and up came this one among the selections.
Once I decided this was the one I was going to base my cookies on, I printed out a color copy, and started mixing my icing colors. In the example above it was easy to match up the top two colors. All I had to do to get the first was to add a drop of Royal Purple and a couple drops of White to the glaze and almost immediately I had a spot on match. From there I added a few more drops at a time of the Royal Purple until I had the bolder second color. You know the color copy I mentioned printing out before starting to mix the icing colors?
This is why I match my icing colors to a printed copy rather than to just view the palette on my iPad. Can you imagine what a sticky mess my iPad would end up being by the time I was done! As you can tell I had a tough time getting the green lined up. What eventually saved the day was Avocado (one of my favorite colors for tweaking) and a speck of Egg Yellow (another great one for tweaking).
Once I had a match for all the colors on the color palette I decided it would be fun to add a lighter green and a lighter fuschia to go along with the light purple so all I needed to do at that point was take a couple tablespoons of the existing colors and add them to containers of white glaze.
In a couple days I’ll be showing you the full set of cookies because there’s a very touching story that goes along with them I want to share with you but for now, I just want to give you this peek so you can see how well the colors worked together.
Nice, huh? Wait until you see the full set!
On another related note, the cookies pictured above were actually extras that I held back from the order, so that I could package and freeze them. In another week or two I’ll remove them from the freezer and after they’ve thawed I’ll take a few photos so we can see how the finish and color of the frozen glazed cookies compares to the fresh ones.
So that’s how I come up with my color palettes most of the time.