Sometimes, it's a technique from another medium, as with the millefiori or patterned paste techniques.
Often, I'm inspired by a pattern on a wallpaper, a greetings card or other everyday object. The monkeys came from my son's pyjamas!
And occasionally, the design develops itself, as with the funky floral wedding cake.
What's in my head at the minute? Well, some patterned paste ideas for a Golden Jubilee cake for BSG International in May; a new teapot shape with a Clarice Cliff inspired design; a freezer (!); an Islamic-inspired pastillage scupture; and a modern wedding cake, also for BSG International. Stay tuned to see the results.