Saturday, July 16, 2011

How to turn your Hand Red

For heaven's sake!! I was searching through my lists of posts on this blog to clean anything up that was sitting around and found these pics ready to be posted! Holy cow this is from like January or February - well I think the cupcakes were Valentines so totally February.

What is this thing? Well this is a picture of the FABULOUS gift my Mother-in-law gave me for Christmas. I really really wanted this. It is an airbrush. Now I am not new to airbrushing. In High School I airbrushed in my drafting and architecture classes. Well really it was in architecture. Remember - I mentioned before that I took drafting/arch all through High School. Mr. Jackson, our teacher, was kind enough to kinda make up - fashion - create - new classes for 6 of us (was it 6? Kelly, Mike, Fred, Brad, Me....Steve may have been in it too, but he wasn't in our specific group of every year together in the class - so I guess it was 5). By the fourth year we had kinda run through most of the classes I think - there was Drafting - Arch I and Arch II. was 25 years ago.....maybe there were 2 Draftings and 2 Arch, but since each class was a semester there were really 8 semesters and - well like you really care there was a group of us who took a lot of drafting type classes and Mr. Jackson liked us all enough to keep us going with new areas of the field to teach us - plus he took us to yearly competitions (cool). Toward the end we were creating the exterior plans and then using different mediums to create the presentation - like markers, pencils, water colors and AIRBRUSHING.

Based on the grades I remember receiving I was pretty darn good at all the mediums except.....yes.....Airbrushing. I can remember Steve was excellent at airbrushing - in fact I am fairly sure he opened a tshirt shop where he airbrushed art work onto tshirts like they do at Six Flags. Okay maybe not.....but it is a possibility that it happened. I will ask Mary Jo - she always secretly crushed on him.

So I still keep in touch with Mr. Jackson. FB is a wonderful thing right? However, even before FB I had been in contact - visited - things like that. He had been following my cakes a bit - sending me some ideas and things. Both He and Dave had brought up the Airbrush and the thought that using it might open up some decorating techniques for me. Sounded fun - just needed to get one and at the time I wasn't doing enough "cakes for friends" to buy more then the supplies needed to bake a I put it on my Christmas list and my wonderful Mom-in-law made the purchase. YEA!
Anyway - back to my brand new totally coveted and wanted Airbrush. I opened it - it looked the same as the one I used in HS. And then the paralyzing fear of it came back. The AIRBRUSH. My classroom nemesis. I hated the Airbrush. How could I have forgotten how much I DID NOT like the Airbrush??

I mean look at the direction picture that details each part!! Ugh. The first day Mr. Jackson gave us the airbrush and had us dismantal it and then put it back together after identifying the parts and figuring out what each one does. Ugh. Now I have to do it again......the flash back fear of a test became overwhelming. However, I was determined to figure this thing see how using it could open up new cake decorating techniques. Only that week I had seen them airbrush the tops of cupcakes quickly and easily........and I was donating about 100 cupcakes to various classrooms at our school for Valentines - so airbrushing all of them vs actually mixing enough red dye into buttercream made sense financially as well as in time.

So I didn't close the airbrush casing........I kept going.........Finish Strong is what we tell the kids.
But then I found the directions.......Ugh.......they were so long!! And there were all these various pieces to deal with........ugh.......

But then I looked closer at the pieces........with the flash back of test anxiety came a flash back of recognition as to how to put together all the pieces of the airbrush. So pushing the directions aside I picked up the airbrush pieces and assembled it. Hey this wasn't so hard - 25 years and I could still build an airbrush - Whooo Hoooo Me!!

But I should read the directions.......But I didn't want to........They were long.......They were boring..........They weren't as fun as just sticking some of the food safe dye into the airbrush and Going For It!! Who needed those stinkin' directions anyway!! I took Architecture in High School and I already KNEW how to use the airbrush.........I am Airbrush Woman watch me CREATE!!

I poured the correct amount of dye into the pot. Closed it all up. Set it for spraying things. Put a cupcake on a plate and..........
Well and then I totally missed the cupcake on my first try.

The second try was a little bit better.........but almost as lame as the first try. I counseled myself into comfort by saying this was a "lack of reading the directions", this missing thing was more just a rustiness due to the 25 year time span of NOT having to use the airbrush in class.

After about half the cupcakes I started to get better. There were certainly blotching spots on some because my hand didn't have the grapse of slowly pulling back the trigger to release the dye, but with each cupcake I became a smidge better. Ben came by and wanted to try - so I let him. His were worse then mine so I patted myself on the back and said in my head, "See don't feel poorly about the way yours look. They are WAY better then his look!".......of course he is a 9 year old boy who has never in his life touched an airbrush.....and they only looked an itty bitty bit worse then mine........and he had the sense to say, "Hey if we add a few of those tiny chocolate chips you have on each cupcake they will look even better"......and he was right.

In the end he was probably the better airbrush artist.

Once they were all sprayed it was time to clean the airbrush. AGAIN I pulled those instructions out and looked at them. Geez O who needs directions.......I cleaned the airbrush out a million times. So I started the process of cleaning this one out. How hard can it be? Well honestly - not hard at all......unless you don't really remember HOW to clean our the airbrush and you are kinda just winging it based on the fact that you are too dang lazy to read the directions.

And with that.........

I turned my hand red.
And the counter. And the cloth that I had to use to clean the counter up. And 2 other cloths too.

Now you may be wondering........Did She Ever Use The Airbrush Again? Bet you think I didn't. Well you are wrong. I have used it, but not much to be honest. I am utterly scared of the thing. I saw on line that my absolute favorite cake decorator - who I have pilgrimaged across the country (okay only from IL to TN) to meet in person at her shop - was setting up an airbrushing class with a cake decorator who is in those competitions and teachers.......but I can't just drive to TN for a class.......and I couldn't find one around here. I should mess around with it more though because I have seen some seriously cute things done with an airbrush on a cake.

Now are you wondering did I read the directions? What do you think?

Of Course Not!!


Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. That was one of the most entertaining tid bits I've read palms down. I'll be giggling about this one for the rest of the day. Smiles all around.

Wade (Mr. Jackson)

mjblaze said...

You deserve the red hand after throwing me under the bus...but, I don't crushes must have only gone so deep.

have to admit I didn't read this when it was first posted, but learned my lesson.