May 24, 2012

Let's talk KopyKake

Ok...cookie lovers....let's take some time to talk about KopyKakes shall we.

If you are not familiar with a KopyKake...it's a projector that let's you place an image in it, then it projects the image onto the surface below, be it a cookie, cake or even a piece of paper.

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This is  KopyKake..I have a KopyKake 300xk...I purchased it from Madison Art Shop, they sell it at a great price, their shipping is fast and their customer service is top notch, if you are looking for one, I suggest them.


Now that you know what a KopyKake is....let's get down to the nitty gritty shall we. 

What you are about to read is MY opion, these are MY feelings about the KopyKake, and mine alone.  I know many cookiers and cake decorators have them, and I am sure they have their own opinion, so what you read is not meant to hurt any one's feeling, to  encourage or discourage you to purchase one, or pass judgement on decorators who have one or don't have one...get it...MY opinion...My feelings...my thoughts.

OK..Now that you know these are My opinions...I need to tell you about ME....well really about THE COOKIE PUZZLE

I CAN NOT draw...really...ask me to draw a stick man....and well .....it is just sad...one arm is longer then the other...the eyes are not evenly spaced...and the nose...well...it is just not a pretty site...it is just sad...THIS CHICK CAN NOT DRAW...sad...but oh so true.

My handwriting is AWFUL...bad bad bad...think...3rd grade boy trying to learn cursive (do they even teach cursive writing anymore?)....and the spacing on my writing is even worse...so...if I can not write on paper...well...let's just say writing on a cookie....well....again...not a pretty picture.

I do cookies as a HOBBY!  A hobby that totally sucked me in in February of 2011.  Cookie cutters, disco dust, tips, sanding sugar, bags, butter, flour....well that stuff costs money...so occasionally, I sell cookies to support my addiction, I mean hobby.  I have a full time job, my husband is self employed...selling cookies does not pay any bills in our house...selling cookies...it buys me COOKIE STUFF.

I only work in glaze, I have tried royal icing three times....the first time...it never made it into a piping bag...tossed it...it just looked strange to me...the second time, I actually colored it, filled a piping bas...then it just felt strange to me in the bag...and I tossed it....the third time, it actually made it onto a cookie, in piping detail...and again, it just looked and felt and tasted strange to me.  I started with glaze, and it is just what "feels" good to me, it tastes good to me, it works good for me...and it is what my friends, family and most importantly my customers love....so I am an official GLAZE GAL...I always will be.  I mention this because, well, glaze and royal icing are TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT cookie mediums...they don't look or act the same...what you can do with royal icing, you can not do with glaze....and what you can do with glaze you can not do with royal icing.  Now please note, again...this is MY OPINION...I have huge respect for every cookie decorator who can master their chosen medium...and I know several cookiers who work with both, sometimes on the same cookie...so hats off to you...but for me....GLAZE ALL THE WAY!


Ok....are you still with me?  Good...now let's get down to the nitty gritty of a KopyKake.

Let me tell you what I "hoped" would happen when I got my KopyKake, which was a birthday gift from my hubby...thanks honey!  I thought, that with a KopyKake..I could make AMAZING and PERFECT cookies....and do it over and over again...and each cookie would be perfect.  Yep..I really thought that.  Now let me tell you the cold hard facts (again, FOR ME).


THE KOPYKAKE IS A TOOL...A TOOL ALONE!


Does having a fancy, beautiful copper cookie cutter give your a perfect, beautifully decorated cookies...every time?


Um...NO!

Does having fancy PME tips, give you perfect beautifully decorated cookies.....every time?

Um...NO!

Does having the perfect shade of icing, give you a perfect beautifully decorated cookie..every time?

Um...NO!

Does having a great tasting cookie give you a perfect beautifully decorated cookies..every time?


Um...NO!  (but it sure does help)


Does a KopyKake give you a perfect beautifully decorated cookie...every time?

Um...NO!


So...what does give you a perfect beautifully decorated cookie?



YOU DO!  YOUR NATURAL TALENT...YOUR PRACTICE...YOUR LEARNED SKILLS...YOUR PRACTICE...YOUR CREATIVE MIND...YOUR PRACTICE!


See a theme...or a common word?

Here...let me help you...the word is PRACTICE!

Want to make a beautiful cookies    PRACTICE....that is what makes perfect!

Well..in my case not so perfect...but better.....my current cookies look a great deal better then my first cookies..why...because I PRACTICE


So...a KopyKake can HELP you make a beautiful cookies....but not do it for you!


So...do I still love my KopyKake?  Yep...I love it!  Would I purchase one again?  Yep...I would.  Would I educate myself better next time, so that my expectations were not so high?  Oh yes...that is a big fat YES?


So...want a little education...via THE COOKIE PUZZLE...you know that cold hard truth...the stuff that many "forget" to talk about.  Again...I don't want to step on any toes....again...MY OPINION!


In order to get a really detailed...highly complicated design on a cookie...the cookie has to be pretty BIG!  Now...this just might be the case for me...so again...MY OPINION.  My typical cookies are in the 3-4 inch range...that is what my friends, family and customers like,  I make my cookies pretty thick...so a cookie much bigger then that....well it is hard to eat that much cookie.  So imagine my disappointment...when I found the PERFECT image I wanted to put on a 3-4 inch cookies....and it was just a hot mess....for me...it just DID NOT WORK.  I don't know if my piping skills are lacking...or if is the fact that I work in glaze..or if I just have no idea what I am doing....but for ME...to get a highly detailed image on a cookie....I have to go pretty big   4.5-6 inches, depending on the image.  So for me the dreams of getting an image like that on one of my typical cookie....is just gone...for me...it ain't gonna happen...no way...no how.  Now that is not a total failure for me...when I do order, I just let the customer know that those type of cookies are pretty big...so the price goes up...usually they will order...a couple of those cookies...and the rest just regular sized...complementary cookies....It has not been a problem for me...I just "work" around it.


Another thing you want to consider...is that just because the image looks all cute and wonderful on paper, does not mean it will look great on a cookie...at least when you pipe it onto a cookie...again...my opinion. Fact.....piping a projected image onto a cookie is NOT the same as tracing a image on paper...Apples and Oranges...not even in the same league.  Just like piping beautiful "lace" work on a cookies takes practice...piping a projected image onto a cookie takes practice.  Practice practice practice...and skill...it takes skill also...if you can not pipe a straight line on a cookie...having a Kopykake will "help" you...but not do it FOR you.


One BIG helps a KopyKake does offer me is with my writing on cookies.  It helps me have "better" handwriting and the spacing problems I have are solved.  My KopyKake is a real life saver for me when it comes to words on cookies...names...Happy Birthday....Get Well...I LOVE YOU...all look better on my cookies, thanks to my Kopykake.  I still struggle with "fancy" "funky" and "fun" fonts...but a simple font I have down pat...I can totally rock  Arial Rounded MT Bold, right now it is my font of choice...most all of my cookies use this font...it feels good to me...it works with my style and looks great...and me and my glaze love it.  I am sure there will be a time that I will change fonts, but right now...I am sticking with it.  I like simple fonts....and this is a simple font.


Another lesson I learned....is getting the size of the image is a struggle.  It takes practice...I find myself reprinting and reprinting, as my printer does not have a reducing or enlarging feature..so I have to size images on my printer.  A KopyKake can reduce and enlarge some...but not a lot...try to get the image as close to the size you want as possible.  What I usually do is select the image...then trace my cutter onto paper...to "see" how it would look, the make adjustments.  I do this BEFORE I bake...sometimes I find it is better to go with a simple circle or square, rather then a shape specific cutter.  Again...this takes practice....lots and lots of practice.  Another lesson I learned it to KEEP EVERY IMAGE you use...that way if you want to 'recreate' the cookie in the future, you will have it.  A really organized cookier would have them categorized but I am not that all organized...I just got one of those photo boxes and toss them in there...that way if I need a image...I just look in the box..and I am ready to go.  Also...once I found a font that I loved...I printed common phrases that are on cookies, I don't have to reprint them every time.



Boy...when I started out..I did not think I had a lot to say about a KopyKake...but I guess I was wrong.  Sorry for the long post.


I do want to make a couple of statements about KopyKakes before I go...so hang with me a little longer...please


Ok....thanks!


When I see a beautiful cookie....I think "Wow that is a beautiful cookie"...I don't think..."oh...she had a KopyKake, she just traced it...she is a good tracer"  That is just wrong...a beautiful cookie, is a beautiful cookie, is a beautiful cookie!

Having a KopyKake will not give you skills that you don't have...anymore then a cookie cutter will....it is a TOOL....a tool that you have to learn to use....practice at...and maybe, if you are lucky, master.  Don't believe me...well look at some of the cookies that I have done with the "HELP" of a KopyKake.....see...not so perfect.



I used my KopyKake for the words on the shirt..and for the puzzle pattern.

Logo is KopyKake....stitches on baseball are freehand

M is done with KopyKake

Entire cookie done with a KopyKake...this is an example of the "shaped" cookie
cutter did not "work" soo well.  This is an "official" Mizzou cookie cutter...yet the image
does not fit perfectly on it...in this case..the image would have looked better on a round or square cookie



Again..all KopyKake
I did the black outlined with the KopyKake.
Letter shaped cookies with words written on them..using a KopyKake
Again..help from my KopyKake
Happy Mother's Day...written with help from my KopyKake

As you can see from the cookies I showed...for me....I use my KopyKake, primarily to "write" on a cookies.  I want to use it for other cookies...I just have not had time to practice doing them with it.


So....there you go...my humble opinion of a KopyKake.....what I use my KopyKake for...some helpful tips...and a little of what to expect out of a KopyKake.  Again...all of this is MY OPINION...I know others have their opinions...and I think that is great!


Tell me what you think of the KopyKake!

Do you have one?

Do you use is alot...or just occasionally?

Is it all you "thought" it would be when you got it?

How do "feel" about cookies decorated with the help of a KopyKake?  Is is "cheating"  OR  Is is a tool that you have to learn?


Do you have any helpful tips you are willing to share with me and others?  I would love to do a follow up, so send me your tips...send me your photos of how you use your KopyKake.  If I get enough responses...I will post them all...or how about a "linky" post?  That would be fun.

thecookiepuzzle@gmail.com




Happy Decorating

Kim

17 comments:

  1. Looks good. Although you already know my opinion that I am the in the minority that believes it is cheating.............I do see now that it is more of a tool and I do know that just because you get the image on the cookie that it takes skills to fill it in and make it look good. Just like a coloring book, the picture only looks good if you choose the right colors and color within the lines.

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  2. Fantastic post! I sooooooo want to get a Kopykake, but I am fully aware that it still takes skills. That's why I am continuing to learn all I can and practice, practice, practice my piping skills before I invest in one. It was interesting to read that detailed images don't translate well onto smaller cookies. You were the first one, of the posts I've read, to mention that. Definitely something to keep in mind. Thanks for the great information! Kim (Barefoot 'n Baking)

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  3. I love my KK! It was strange at first and I still have issues with my "tracing" occasionally. Matter of fact I'm using it this week to make ri runouts. They are new for me so I hope they turn out alright. I use it for writing too. I'm terrible at making a pretty script look nice on a cookie.

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  4. Great post! I've been on the fence about whether or not to get a KK. For right now I'm using handmade templates when I need help or royal icing transfers.

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  5. I love my kopykake too. I don't think it's cheating at all. That's like saying it's cheating for an artist to use a ruler to get a straight line. Like you said, it takes a lot of skill to pipe accurately. With the exception of logo cookies, you can still use it creatively. I like how it allows me to get consistent results, especially for lettering. I used to stress out so much about writing on cookies because I had a hard time with spacing and centering.

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  6. This is the best KK blog. I want one but mainly so I can attempt faces and fancy wording. But i also feel in the back of my head that it's cheating. But really it's not. Not if you still have to have talent to use it. So it sheds a new light or perspective for me on the topic. Like cookie contests- I almost wish they were held 'sans' KK - cause I wanna see how the cookiers I love do without a KK. It's just me, but eventually I'd love to play with one. So if I run away from home can I come play with yours ? :). Love the post. Thanks.

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    1. I think I'm like Heather on this one. In the back of my head I think it's cheating but at the same time it's not. I feel prouder to be able to present my cookies to someone and not have to say I used a projector. But I also think there r some things I can't do if I don't get one.

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  7. As someone who has recently gotten a KK I can say without a doubt that it isn't easy to create those KK works of art. There is a HUGE learning curve as it is quite difficult to pipe an intricate design. I am getting better but there are still many designs that are well beyond my KK abilities as of right now. With continued practice I am definitely getting better My final thought is that a KK cannot take the place of talent and practice!

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  8. I recently had a friend come over and my KK was on my kitchen table. He asked what it was for, I explained it to him and his reply, "Oh, I thought you did the cookies on your own!". My reply, "Um, the projector doesn't decorate the cookie for you!".

    This is my problem with people thinking it's cheating using a KK. Photographers take better pictures if they have a better camera. Bakers make better tasting pastries if they use higher quality ingredients. Teachers can have a better curriculum if they have the better supplies and books. In any job/industry/career, you find people can do their job better if they have access to better equipment/supplies. You're not going to think a doctor cheated if he has better equipment than the next doctor. Is using a pattern to make a dress cheating? I don't think so....

    Maybe because decorated cookies can be beautiful, people assume that the person who made them are creative and artistic. I am NOT creative, nor artistic - but can I make a damn good cookie! :)

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    1. Very well said Jill....I love the last statement you made! Sooo true!

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    2. Right on sister! I am one of these people who was born with, I think, a large amount of taste and sense of beauty, but no skill at all to create it. But why should that stop me? I love making cookies, but I hate having subpar results. When a customer orders something, I want to knock their socks off, not have them think, hmmm, they aren't great, but at least she did it free hand!
      One thing is for sure, making cookies requires loads of time in finding a design, making the perfect colours, planing the shapes...the KK is that last step towards making it just perfect! And anyone who thinks it's cheating just has to use one and see how often your hand overshadows what you are trying to draw to realize that, although it is the best help you can have, it is, ONLY HELP!
      But that just my opinion...! LOL!

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  9. I just got a KK and I LOVE IT! I do agree it is a learning curve but what new thing isn't. I don't think it is cheating but I must say that when I find out my favorite cookiers have one ... it makes me feel a little better and like I too can one day get to that level of awesomeness.

    Nicole

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  10. Great post Kim. I'm surprised to hear some say that using a KK is "cheating". I would love for them to give it a try and see if they still think it's cheating. Just like learning to get the icing just right and to pipe the design and make a tasty cookie, it all takes practice and hard work. Like many said, the KK is a tool and not one that makes your cookies perfect. I love my KK and use it for some writing and for specialty characters. It takes too much time to use it on all your cookies, but it is definitely the perfect tool for those special designs. As far as organizing your print-outs of special designs, I use blue tape to tape it inside my KK when I use it and then after I've used that design, I put the design (with the blue tape) onto a piece of paper and add it to a binder. I love my designs that are with my KK and without because I'm making someone happy and showing them that I care. And then for those designs that are just awful learning, I have teenagers to gobble up those ;-)

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  11. Hello Everyone,

    Kopykake Enterprises here :)

    We are sooo pleased to hear that everyone is enjoying their KK products. I love the one I own because I use it to create murals, etc. and I do not think that it's cheating at all! Like THE COOKIE PUZZLE said, it's more of a tool than anything else and like everything else it just takes a little bit of practice, practice, practice. It's up to all of us to let our creativity shine thru and make the best possible confections/art work possible.

    If anyone ever has any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at 1-800-999-5253 ext. 133 (Mario)

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  12. As a cookier who now uses and owns a KopyKake, I cannot believe that anyone would consider it cheating. The KopyKake is a "tool". Could a carpenter build beautiful a home without his hammer, drill, levels, etc.? NO. They are his tools! A KopyKake is NOT EASY to use. I was one of those cookiers who thought my cookies were going to magically be perfect after getting the KopyKake. I've now had mine for 6 months and I am still learning and perfecting my skills. I have learned that the KopyKake takes A LOT of learning...there is much "technique" to using one. I have to remind people of that every time a friend or potential customer says, "Isn't that cheating?"

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    1. Oops, typo..."build a beautiful home"... :)

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  13. I dont understand why we need to buy an expensive KK when you can just print out on a piece of paper the size of the image you want and place the transparent paper over it.

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