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Let them eat cake

Brandy Parnell, cake decorating student, fills an icing bag with butter cream icing at the Arts and Crafts Center on base April 8. The butter cream the cake decorating class uses is made of shortening, butter, confectioner’s sugar, and milk.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lausanne Morgan)

Brandy Parnell, cake decorating student, fills an icing bag with butter cream icing at the Arts and Crafts Center on base April 8. The butter cream the cake decorating class uses is made of shortening, butter, confectioner’s sugar, and milk. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lausanne Morgan)

Cake decorating class students prepare to fill icing bags at the Arts and Crafts Center on base April 8. This class is the Cake Decorating Course I of III and is four weeks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lausanne Morgan)

Cake decorating class students prepare to fill icing bags at the Arts and Crafts Center on base April 8. This class is the Cake Decorating Course I of III and is four weeks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lausanne Morgan)

A two-part device consisting of a base and ring called a coupler is used to decorate cakes. The coupler has different tips that can be used to achieve many different results to include making stars (pictured), dots, and swirls.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lausanne Morgan)

A two-part device consisting of a base and ring called a coupler is used to decorate cakes. The coupler has different tips that can be used to achieve many different results to include making stars (pictured), dots, and swirls.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lausanne Morgan)

Shown is an exercise to practice control when applying decorative icing. An icing bag is used to create and achieve many different decorating techniques to include borders, stars, and flowers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lausanne Morgan)

Shown is an exercise to practice control when applying decorative icing. An icing bag is used to create and achieve many different decorating techniques to include borders, stars, and flowers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lausanne Morgan)

Jennifer Roberts (center), Arts and Crafts cake decorating instructor, helps Breanna Katsonis and Kristin Sonustun, cake decorating students, create icing stars at the Arts and Crafts Center on base April 8. Mrs. Katsonis and Mrs. Sonutsun were part of a cake decorating course provided by the Arts and Crafts Center on RAF Lakenheath. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lausanne Morgan)

Jennifer Roberts (center), Arts and Crafts cake decorating instructor, helps Breanna Katsonis and Kristin Sonustun, cake decorating students, create icing stars at the Arts and Crafts Center on base April 8. Mrs. Katsonis and Mrs. Sonutsun were part of a cake decorating course provided by the Arts and Crafts Center on RAF Lakenheath. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lausanne Morgan)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Most children are brought up and taught in schools with creative environments to help develop their minds. They are given art supplies including glue, markers, cotton balls, and paint. They are free to express themselves however they choose. Most of the time when people grow older, the road to creativity starts to drift away, but the Arts and Crafts Center can help you get back onto that creative path.

The Arts and Crafts Center at RAF Lakenheath gives that avenue to adults by providing classes, facilities for do-it-yourself projects, and an arts and crafts store with many different products from which to choose. Whether someone is three years old making fruit-loop necklaces or a grandmother making a quilt for her grandchild, everyone needs a creative outlet.

One of the classes the Arts and Craft center provides is cake decorating. This class has three courses and each course lasts for four weeks.

"I love to be able to share the fun of creating something that people ooh and ah over," said Jennifer Roberts, 48 Force Support Squadron Arts and Crafts cake decorating instructor. "It gives people a great feeling of accomplishment, and I love seeing the joy on their faces as they proudly show me the cakes they've made."

Students learn the basics of cake decorating, then move to more advanced tasks such as making flowers or using fondant to create tiered cakes.

"I am really hoping to learn some new techniques to sharpen my cake skills," said Melanie LeCroy, cake decorating student.

From birthday cakes that smile back to the perfect wedding deserts and confections, each is a work of art created from a vision brought to life.

"I love to create a piece of edible art to express myself," said Mrs. Roberts. "Each cake is different and I love challenging myself to make something better than the last cake."

Not only can people get their creative fix, doing extracurricular activities has benefits of their own.

"One of the biggest benefits to this class is the opportunity to meet people," said Mrs. LeCroy, "I also enjoy having 'me' time and having a hobby."