One cupcake topper a day!
Jean A. Schapowal from Cakes with Character, is an award winning cake artist based in Long Island, New York, creating cakes for over 15 years. She is also part of the Cake Dutchess Instructor team!
Jean was a finalist for a Cake Masters award for best collaboration and has appearred on numerous TV cake challenges. She loves to create fun and engaging pieces, cakes that “pop”. When people see one of her creations, they can say, “oh thats a Jean cake”!
Jean has been dedicating herself this year to make a cupcake topper each day for a whole year! That means in the end she will have created a whooping 365 caketoppers, all unique and different.
Want to learn more about Jean her project and why she is has given herself this big challenge? But also how does she stay motivated for 365 days?
Look how adorable each of these toppers are!
How did you come up with the idea to do this project?
About 6 years ago i came up with this idea as a way to drive people to my business page. I felt it was a great way for someone to come back every day to just see what I would do. And while they were there to check out my other work. Well this year I decided to revisit it, use just one medium to create the toppers and to see if I could improve my skills from then to now! About 3 years ago I started entering in cupcake categories besides cakes and I was having a lot of fun creating on such a small scale!
How do you come up with a new design each day?
I usually google holidays for each month coming up with some obscure or little known celebrations. This gives me a starting point and then I consider the season, national and religious holidays as well. If that doesn’t cover the entire month then I look at an overall theme where I can get anywhere from 6 – 12 designs from it.
I see you work around themes a lot, which theme was your favorite?
My favorite theme was/is Halloween!! It was great to create an entire months worth of cutie, spooky Halloween designs and nothing else!! Halloween is my favorite time of year!!
Do you have a personal favorite topper or one with a special story?
One of my favorite toppers was the Girl Scout cookie and sash from their uniform topper. Both my girls were girl scouts and I was very involved for years with the organization! I was also a cookie Mom handling cookie sales year after year so celebrating National Girl Scout Day with this topper was perfect! I also got great feedback when I did the vegetable and fruit toppers. The little spuds topper was so cute and easy to make but the whole series and I think there were 15 different toppers got such great response on my page!
Have you ever felt a loss of motivation and how did you recover?
In the very beginning I questioned why I was doing this again. I remember the last time there were days I just was so sick of it. This time around I made sure to be prepared. I was very organized, every month I laid out a list of designs and instead of working day by day I created a few weeks worth at a time, took all the photos and then it gave me a break to think on the next months projects and still concentrate on other stuff.
Looking back at the project what is the most important thing you have learned from it?
The most important thing Ive learned is to be ORGANIZED!! Its helped me in the past and so much so now. Yes were in the midst of a pandemic but I do work a second job, I am still doing custom cake orders ( though not as much as previously) and other projects. This past year we suffered through a serious tropical storm and lost power for over a week. Ive had surgery twice and dealt with taking care of both sets of parents who do not live close. Having these things done ahead of time I was able to still post daily and never forget a day. Things happen and Ive always felt its better to be prepared for anything even when it comes down to posting cupcake toppers daily!
You work with Cake Dutchess Modeling Paste , do you have a great tip or advice for someone who has never used it before?
Some advice is to mix all your colors ahead of time! I plan out my designs, figure out my colors and pre -mix and pre -knead everything! Once thats done it makes it so easy to just get down and create! I also love the quick set up with the modeling paste! I can just make my toppers and they set up so fast! I can quickly set them up for pictures and they last so long!! Once this project is all over Ill have a picture of most of the toppers !! Ive kept my favorites over the past year and durability and lasting color is amazing!!
We are getting closer to the end of the year, I feel we should be cheering you on towards the finish line!! Is there anything else you would like to say to the people who just discovered about your project through this blog?
Just keep tuning in as I still have another 2 months worth of toppers to showcase!! And hopefully you can check out the previous months worth and maybe something there will inspire you to try it!! And while you’re there take the time to check out my other work and hopefully you’ll enjoy that as well!! Its been so nice to see the same names tuning in since january and following this journey with me!!