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Mothers Day Memories

Picture this. A 10-year-old scullery maid climbs up the stone stairway to the attic in the dark, all alone except for the small candle she carries in a jar. Condensation from the windows runs in a steady stream down the walls with nothing to catch it and no other source of heat. It’s an early night for her, only 10pm, because she worked so hard to wash the dishes from the servant’s hall as well as the family dinner. Soaked to the skin with perspiration and dirty dishwater she crawls into bed full of anticipation and excitement. Tomorrow is Mothering Sunday.

 

The Christian holiday on the fourth Sunday of lent, ensured that every domestic servant in the UK had at least one full day off a year. They came from some of the poorest families in the country and were considered lucky to leave home at the age of nine or ten to enter into a life of service. It was better than the workhouse. The work was gruelling and the hours were long, starting at 5.30am and not finishing till 10.30pm. Mothering Sunday took them home to their families and to their ‘mother’ church, just for one day and the children would stop along the way to pick wild flowers to give to the church or to their mothers.

The yearly religious occasion eventually fused with the secular event of Mother’s Day to become a day to appreciate motherhood with cards and gifts. Things have only gotten easier as time goes by. Where once, Mothering Sunday would have been the highlight of the year, for those of us who still get to text our mothers, call them, email them, see them anytime we want and even still rely on them – it’s easy to leave our appreciation till the last minute with a quick card and bunch of flowers on the way home from work.

But picture this.

There’s an old box of photographs hidden away at the bottom of a cupboard with a lifetime of memories. Snapshots of a wedding day, a pregnancy, countless birthdays and precious holidays. Now picture these stolen moments decorating a dozen freshly baked cakes and the surprise as cherished memories are brought back to life. Because let’s face it – everyone loves cake and what better way to let your mum have her cake and eat it than with a gift that is tailored to her memories.

With just over a week to go, now is the time to order your personalised Mother’s Day toppers or choose from our predesigned range. Check your latest My Cupcake Toppers newsletter for our simple cupcake recipe and your 20% mother’s day discount. It’s easy to give your mum something unique this year to show her how much she is loved.

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How to get a nice clear cake topper

Our customers often want to use their own photos, logos or images for their cake toppers so we wanted to offer some advice to get the best possible result.

We offer personalised cake toppers either using our 'design your own cake topper tool' or through our in-house design service (this includes personalised corporate cake toppers and personalised charity cake toppers), however both methods involve uploading your images to our website.

Increasing DPI (dots per inch)

Image Size

 

We recommend a resolution of around 300 Dpi (dots per inch), however the higher the resolution of the image, the better.  We also recommend the size of your image to be around 1000 pixels square - especially for our larger cake toppers.  You may experience problems uploading files much larger than this. Files under 500 pixels square are lower resolution and may not produce a nice sharp finish.

Dpi - dots per inch, or number of pixels

Types of image files

 

Whilst jpg and png are the best and most recognised file types that we use, there are others that we can work with.

For our in-house design service you should also be able to upload pdf, gif, tif and bmp files as well as pdfs or word documents.

File types we can use for printed cake toppers

A helping hand is always here

 

need help?...and finally, if you need any help at all when choosing your cake toppers, or designing them, please feel free to drop us an email at enquiries@mycupcaketoppers.co.uk or give us a call on 0800 043 4557
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How to get the best colour match for your printed cake and cupcake toppers

Getting a really good colour match when printing your cake toppers is a little more complicated than it may first seem, and when you are considering which images to use for your cake toppers the following may come in useful.

In the majority of cases we are able to get a really good match, however occasionally it can be affected by one of two issues.

The first reason is that we print with edible ink, not standard ink, and this can very occasionally make a difference in the colour obtained. 

The usual reason however is to do with the format of the image supplied.  Images created for digital use e.g. websites, email, digital ads use the RGB colour system (displayed using red, green, blue and light) whereas images created for printing e.g. magazines, advertising leaflets and cake toppers, use the CMYK colour system (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).

RGB vs CMYK colour systems

Also, as light is not used in the printing process once an image is printed on the cake topper, it unlikely that it will be as bright as when viewed on a digital display (phone screen, laptop or monitor).

RGB vs CMYK difference in appearance

The majority of images that are supplied by our customers are created using the RGB colour system, however if you require an exact colour match we strongly recommend uploading a CMYK image.  Whilst it may look slightly different on your monitor, it should print in the correct colour.

Should you have any concerns, please get in touch and we will try to help.

Magenta, bright pinks and purples, are the most difficult colours to match. If your image contains large areas of the following colours then it will be very difficult to get an exact match

Problems with printing pinks Bright pinks will print more red

 Problems with printing purpleBright purples print more burgundy

You can read more about RGB, CMYK and pantone colours in this great blog by Natsumi Nishizumi.

What is the difference between rice paper and icing?

Of the many questions we are asked here at My Cupcake Toppers, the most common by far is the difference between rice paper and icing. With years of experience behind us now, we thought we'd share what we know as it's an important decision if you're looking for the best results. 

 

Standard Rice Paper

For a long time, standard rice paper was our most popular product. It's a basic way of adding a 'little something extra' to your cupcakes and also the most cost effective.

At 0.44mm the paper is very thin and flexible with a slight translucency - for anyone who's ever bought a themed supermarket cupcake kit these are generally the toppers they add.

As these toppers are so thin, they will absorb a large proportion of ink and are best suited to simple designs like logos, cartoons and clipart - this is case where less is definitely more. If you have a black or very dark image with small or white text, you might want to consider another option as large areas of dark colour can bleed into small areas of light.

Standard rice paper can be added to any cake topping but will absorb water from the surface causing swelling at the point of contact. This should work well if you have pressed the whole topper into the surface of the icing but placing them on piped icing will eventually curl the edges of your toppers upwards. To avoid this, you may want to add them at the last minute.

The flexibility of this paper makes the A4 sheets useful for wrapping around a large cake or for curved decorations added to the top of a cake such as printed photo strips, banners or flags.

Premium Rice Paper

Premium rice paper has long since become our best selling product and rightly so as it is the easiest, most reliable topper and as a mid-range product, won't break the bank.

This paper is 0.7mm thick, opaque off-white and a smooth sheen finish, almost like a very thin layer of card.

If you are piping a buttercream topping onto your cupcakes and want to add the toppers in advance without worrying about them afterwards - these are the toppers to choose. The toppers will stay firm for days (if your cakes last that long!) and the print quality is excellent for high resolution images.

This paper isn't really suited to regal or fondant icing as it is brittle and won't bend without breaking, so unless you are sure of a completely flat surface, stick to the standard paper or try our icing discs.

Icing

Icing is the best quality product we supply, for it's thickness (approx 1mm), flexibility and finish. It will drape over the surface of your cake like a second skin so is suited to any cakes finished with fondant or regal icing. If you're piping a topping onto cakes - stay away from icing toppers or you'll end up with bumpy images and possibly a wasted effort.

Due to their flexibilty, A4 icing sheets are also well suited to wrap-arounds and curved decorations with a slightly more impressive finish than standard rice paper.

If you're keen to have icing discs on cupcakes and want them to stay firm, you can back them with white chocolate discs.  If you do this, then they should stay either flat on top of your cupcakes, or you can stand them up vertically.  We now stock chocolate silicon stencils to fit both sizes of our icing cupcake toppers to make this easy. You can watch a quick video tutorial using our stencil here.

We have now started keeping a stock of sample packs so that you can see for yourself what the difference is between the types of toppers. If you’d like one sent out to you please get in touch by email or add a note in the special instructions box when you place your next order.

EPILEPSY SOCIETY FUNDRAISING TOPPERS!

 

St Valentine is recognised as the patron saint of epilepsy so today we’re giving a shout out to our friends at the Epilepsy Society  who have been keeping us on our toes lately. We’ve been busy making thousands of cupcake toppers for their annual Purple Day fundraising packs which will be used to help turn the world purple on 26th March 2016.

 

          

 

Anyone involved in Purple Day will know that this international fundraising and awareness day is a big deal and it’s getting bigger by the year. On Purple Day, anything goes (so long as it’s purple) and we take our hats off to the families and friends of the Society who raised a massive £45,000 last year through events including fun runs, coffee mornings, cake sales and dress-down days.

More than half a million people in the UK alone have epilepsy (that’s 1/100), defined as a sudden interruption in the way the brain works. It was first recognised by Hippocrates so it’s been well researched over the years. These days, 40 different types of epilepsy have been identified but it’s very difficult to diagnose and although 70% of cases are controlled with drugs, more research is needed which all costs money.

The Epilepsy Society use the money raised on Purple Day to help support their hospital, the Sir William Gowers Centre which is the national epilepsy assessment and treatment centre, taking patients from the UK and overseas. Funding also goes towards continued research as well as the provision of a helpline and information services for those living with the condition.

We have just shipped off a fresh batch of toppers so it’s not too late to get involved. Purple Day packs are available online from the Epilepsy Society and contain a fundraising guide, poster, stickers, banner, balloons, collection box, leaflets and sponsor forms. The second pack (our favourite) is the Bakers Edition which includes cake toppers, labels and recipe cards.

If you can’t do it yourself but come across any purple people on 26th March, we hope you’ll lend your support to these fun-loving fundraisers and to those of you already planning your big day, the staff at My Cupcake Toppers wish you the very best of luck!

DID SOMEBODY MENTION VALENTINES DAY?

After spending the last couple of weeks printing hearts, romantic photos and Valentines messages for all you lovebirds out there, it occurred to us here at My Cupcake Toppers that we don’t really know how we came to be ordering so much red ink in February? So we took to the search engines to try and find out what all the fuss is about and came up with some interesting facts and theories about our national day of love.

                                                                                     

Turns out no-one is really too sure how it all started but the most common story is that Valentine was a Roman bishop during the short reign of Cladius II. Claudius decided that men should not marry during wartime but Valentine rebelled and carried out secret ceremonies which earned him a prison sentence. During his stay, he healed his jailers blind daughter, Julia, before being tortured and beheaded on 14 February 269. It is said that one of the last things he did was to send Julia a letter, signing it ‘Your Valentine’.

By the time Gelasius I became pope in 492, Valentine was down in history as a Christian martyr and Gelasius declared that the 14 February would be celebrated as the feast of St Valentine. However, it wasn’t associated with love until almost a thousand years later when English poet and writer, Geoffrey Chaucer, wrote about the traditions of Valentines day. It's been argued that his accounts were purely fictional but when they were studied in the 18th century (the time of courtly love), his ideas were taken on board and people begun sending each other valentines cards and notes.

             

The first printed cards were available in the late 1700’s and ‘The Young Mans’ Valentine Writer’ was published around this time with suggested verses for those who couldn’t come up with their own.  By the 19th century, cards were factory produced and it is documented that in 1835, 60,000 Valentines cards were sent by post in the UK. In 1868, Richard Cadbury made chocolate love official by producing the first box of Valentines chocolates and by the 1900's, swapping gifts became the norm.

The diamond industry didn’t join in till the 1980’s making jewellery a popular gift and it’s now thought that 10% of marriage proposals take place on 14 February.Today, it is estimated that the global business of Valentines day is worth up to £1.3bn annually with 35m heart shaped boxes of chocolates, 110m roses and more than 140m cards being exchanged around the world
each year.

Despite our best efforts we still can’t tell you when baking came into it and how many cupcakes are gifted each year but we’re happy to say it’s enough to keep us busy for a little bit longer. It’s not too late to order toppers from our valentines range or personalised toppers of your own if you want to mix things up with something that’s a little bit different this Valentines day.

A BIGGER BETTER CHRISTMAS FOR MY CUPCAKE TOPPERS

My Cupcake Toppers have settled into a new premises in Strathclyde Business Park just in time for the Christmas rush

 

 

After starting as a one man kitchen table enterprise over five years ago, business boomed in 2015 and we've grown into a team of three with a brand new office at 33 Grovewood Business Centre, Bellshill.

With over 7,000 orders and still counting in the last year alone we needed more space and more hands to turn your pictures into toppers so director Anna Kennedy has brought in two new members of staff including a second director, Ruth Downs.

The new office is ideal for us and the double doors will allow us to roll in some serious machinery for cutting toppers with more speed and precision in the very near future.

Our sister business, My Cupcake Heaven, is still operating from 33 Tenant Wynd for our local customers who need a quick solution for party cakes, treats and gifts.

A massive thanks to everyone who has supported us this last year, we all love our job and plan to just keep getting better.

 

 

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