Here you will find the answers to the most commonly asked questions. Please take a look. It’s most likely that your question will be answered.
Q. Why am I not getting your emails with free lessons and ideas?
A. If you signed up for a free lesson and are not seeing the emails I’ve been sending to you, they might be ending up in your SPAM filter or in your Gmail “Promotions” tab.
If you are using Gmail, check your “Promotions” tab. Not sure how? Watch this short video. In this video, you will also how to make sure future emails from me show up in your inbox and not in the Promotions tab.
Q. How do I use a coupon code?
A. Most of the time, we do not have active coupon codes. So, if you have one, take advantage of it right away.
If you have a coupon code and are not sure how to use it, this short video will show you how. You simply enter the coupon code into the coupon code box on the cart page or the checkout page. Then click the orange button that says, “Apply Coupon”.
A. If you a beginner who want to try a little carving without investing in specialized tools? Start with my Hearts and Roses.
If you want to learn a wide variety of carvings starting with easy lessons and progressing as your skills improve, you’ll love my Vegetable and Fruit Carving 101 Course for Beginners. Even though these lessons were created for aspiring carvers to succeed, don’t let the words “for Beginners” in the title fool you. I have had professional caterers and experienced carvers join these lessons.
If you already know how to do the carvings in my 101 Course for Beginners, and want to start carving Thai Style Melons, lesson 11 of the Course which is Carving Watermelons – Roses, Buds and Leaves is a great primer for learning melon carving. It is available as an individual lesson.
To take your melon carving skills to the next level after my 101 Course or Carving Watermelons Roses, Buds and Leaves, you’ll like my Melon Flowers – Smooth and Jagged Petals. This teaches more intermediate techniques.
My Watermelon Cakes #1 and #2 lesson set is good for any level carver and is great to learn while watermelons are in season. It starts with a super easy watermelon cake. After that, you learn a cake that requires more carving. Then you progress to the 3rd cake which is an intermediate carving design. Although no other lessons are required as a prerequisite, those who have taken my Carving Watermelons Roses, Buds and Leaves lessons will put those skills to use when making the third cake.
When you want something a little different after learning from my other lessons, you can get Amazing Carving with Jimmy Zhang. In it you will learn 3 complete centerpieces that can be done by a carver of any skill level.
For a more intermediate melon carving lesson, you’ll like my Watermelon Carving Scroll Pattern lesson. I recommend the 101 Course for Beginners as a prerequisite. At the very least, you will want to take the lessons in the last week of the 101 course, which is Carving Watermelons Roses Buds and Leaves before learning the Scroll Pattern.
Our most recent video lessons were made in response to many student /customer requests. Carving Letters and Words #1 and #2 will teach you how to carve words and letters that will allow you to create memorable personalized carvings. You see how to create patterns, transfer patterns, what fonts are best for carving, how to carve cursive fonts and thin fonts.
Can’t decide and you want to do it all? Get my 17 Lesson Collection that includes everything I’ve listed above at a generous savings.
If you want to carve recognizable portraits of people to honor them at birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations and retirement parties, then you will love my Portrait Carving Course that will teach you exactly how to carve great portraits into pumpkins and watermelons.
If you want to carve 3 dimensional pumpkin heads, check out Ray Villafane’s 3D Pumpkin Carving Tutorials.
DVD versus Online Courses Questions
Questions about Online Courses
Questions about Playing Video Lessons
Q. Can I watch the online lessons on my iPad or tablet?
A. Yes. As long as you have a recent model. The iPhone 3GS and earlier will not play the video lessons.
Q. Will the DVDs play on my DVD player or my computer?
A. Yes, the DVDs will play on your computer. They will also play on your DVD player as long as your DVD player plays NTSC format. Much of the world outside the North America uses the PAL format for videos but it seems most video players across the world will also play NTSC videos.
Q. Do I need special software to watch the online videos?
A. If you can watch any other videos (like on YouTube) you should be able to view my video lessons. You will need high speed internet to watch online videos. If you don’t have the computer or internet connection necessary to view videos, you can get the DVD versions of the same lessons.
Q. Are the lessons downloadable?
A. You may watch them as many times as you like but they are not downloadable to store on your computer.
Questions About DVDs
Q. Will the DVDs play outside of North America?
We have shipped many DVDs all over the world and have not had anyone complain of not be able to play them.
These video are NTSC which is the North American video standard. Most of the rest of the world uses (PAL). However, most DVD players sold outside the USA will play both types. And, even if your DVD player will not play the videos, your computer will as long as it has a DVD player.
Also, when you order DVDs, you also get online to access your lessons so that you can get started before your DVDs arrive.
Q. What Languages are the lessons?
A. The DVDs are available in English only right now.
Q. Do the video have subtitles?
A. No, not at this time.
NOTE: In spite of no subtitles nor other languages other than English, I do have customers who are deaf and who speak other languages successfully using my lessons. One student / customer wrote to me to tell me that she was not only learning to carving but also to speak English using my lessons!
Questions about Tools
Q. Will I need special tools to do the lessons?
A. Yes, except in my Hearts and Roses lessons where all you need is a sharp pointed paring knife.
As with any hobby or craft there are some basic fruit carving tools that will make carving easier, faster and more effective and you will have better results. When you place your lessons of choice in the cart, the tools necessary will be shown. In some cases, when you add a lesson or a course to you shopping cart, the necessary tools will be added to your cart. (When added to your cart, you may remove any tools that you already have before continuing to check out).
NOTE: Fruit carving tools are quite inexpensive when you compare the cost of tools for other hobbies. You’d spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars for cake baking equipment, sewing equipment and supplies, golfing, fishing, bicycling, tennis, and many other hobbies too numerous to name.
Q. What tools do I need to begin carving?
A. Your questions about which tools go with which lessons are answered here.
A. The U and V cutters in the 7 Piece Pro Tool Set are larger, sharper and more curved than those in the Smooth U-V cutter set. If you invest in the Pro set, you probably won’t need the other set of UV cutters, although I find both sets useful.
Q. Where can I get the tools?
All of the tools and lessons can be found in my ONLINE SHOP. When you visit my shop, the “LEARN MORE” links will take you to pages that will give you more details on each product.
Q. In what local stores can I get fruit carving tools?
A. Fruit Carving tools are difficult if not impossible to find in local stores in most pasts of the world. That is why I offer them for sale in my online shop. It makes it easy for you to get good quality fruit and vegetable carving tools.
Q. Which Tools are Used in Which Lessons?
A. Your questions about which tools go with which lessons are answered here.
NOTE: you will notice that many tools are used repeatedly in many of the lessons. Once you have your basic set of 6 to 8 tools and tool sets, you will have have you need for most of the lessons.
Q. How do I order?
A. It’s Easy. Go to our online Shop.
Click the “Add to Cart” button for any item that you would like. Once in the cart, you can add other items by looking in the section below where the item that you added to the cart is shown. Or, you can click the button that says “Continue Shopping” to return to the shop where you can add other items.
Once you have all the items you would like in your cart, click the “check out” button. then fill out the form with your billing address, shipping address (if different than your billing address) and enter your payment information. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and Paypal. Then click the submit button to complete your order.
Q. Do I need to log in to order?
A. No. To order, just click the “Add to Cart” button for any of the items you want. When you are done adding items to your cart, go to the cart and you will be taken to a page where you can add your name, address and payment information. The log-in area is for members who have already purchased lessons so that they can log in to watch their lessons
Payment Method Questions
Q. What methods of payment do you accept?
A. Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover cards. We also accept PayPal.
Q. I don’t have a credit card, how can I pay?
A. We accept PayPal. You can set up a PayPal account at www.PayPal.com. Another possibility – some customer/students have a family member or friend pay with their credit card or PayPal and then pay them back.
Q. Can I pay by check?
Q. May I pay by bank transfer or Western Union?
A. No. We are not set up to accept any payment other than Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover card or PayPal.
Q. Can you send my order to be paid cash on delivery (COD)?
Q. How long will it take to get my order?
A. We ship all in stock DVDS and tools the next business day. Orders in the USA will take approx 3-7 business days. International orders take 3-10 weeks. Orders are shipped from Kansas. We generally ship orders the day after we receive them when the items are in stock. (We do our best to keep all items in stock at all times).
For Online lessons, you get online access right away. Occasionally it takes 24 hours.
Q. Is the freight/shipping included in the price when ordering the course with the DVDs?
A. No, shipping is added depending on what is shipped and where.
Q. How much will shipping cost?
A. That depends on what you order and where you want it shipped. To see the shipping amount, add the lessons and tools that you want to your cart. Once you have the items that you want in your cart click the “next” button. On the check out page, add your country or state and the shipping will adjust accordingly. You can see the shipping amount before entering your payment information.
Q. Do you ship to my country?
A. We ship to most countries across the world – see the International Shipping Questions on this page.
Questions about International Orders
Q. Can you ship to my country?
A. We ship to most countries across the world via First Class International Mail. We ship to most countries across the world excluding countries with which the USA has trade embargoes.
Q. When will my order arrive?
A. International orders typically take 3 to 4 weeks. They can take up to 10 weeks. Often, orders arrive sooner. (When you order lessons, you will be able to start learning by viewing your lessons online, well before your order arrives).
Once the package leaves the USA and arrives in your country, it is up to your country’s postal service to deliver. As a result, we cannot accurately predict when your package will arrive.
Q. Can you guarantee that my package will arrive in my country?
99.8% of the packages that we send to foreign countries do arrive at their destination. Make sure to provide accurate address information when you order. We can provide you with proof of shipping but we cannot guarantee that your package will arrive. We also have no control over whether or not your country’s customs will delay the shipment or add customs fees. Each country is different.
In spite of the risks, 99.8% of our packages do arrive at their destinations.
Q. How much does it cost to ship to my country?
A. The shipping fees vary depending on your shipping destination and items ordered.
You can easily see the shipping amount before you order by adding your items to the cart. Once you have what you want in the cart, click the green button that says “check out.”
Then, simply select the country where your package will be shipped. The shipping amount and total will automatically be calculated. You will be able to view this before adding your payment info and completing your order.
Q. How much is the total for my order in my currency?
A. To see the currency conversion in your country’s value, you can go to www.xe.com and you can convert the US dollars your currency. It is an approximation. Your credit card company or PayPal, will make the actual conversion.
Q. When will my order ship?
A. Once your order is completed, we ship all in stock items the next business day.
Q. When can I access my online video lessons?
A. You will get access right away when you order lessons that are available online and you can get started carving.
Q. What forms of payment do you accept?
For payment, we accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express and PayPal. I’m sorry but we are not set up to accept bank transfers, Western Union, or pay on delivery shipments.
Log In Questions
Q. I want to order but I can’t log in.
A. There is no need to log in to place an order.
Q. I joined the free lesson and now I can’t log in? Help.
A. The easiest way to get back to the free radish bouquet lesson is sign in for the free lesson again with your same email address that you used to sign in before. The system will recognize you and take you straight back to the free lesson.
The log in is for members who have purchased lessons. It allows them to access their online membership.
Q. I am a member who purchased a lesson and forgot my password. How can I log in?
A. Go to the member log in page and click where it says “Members Log in Here” near the upper right of the page. Then click on “Lost Your Password”. Then you can enter your username or email address and you will receive a link via email to create a new password.
Click here to see a video showing you exactly how to reset your password.
Q. I just completed placing an order for lessons. How do I access my lessons online?
A. When you complete your order, you will receive an email confirming your registration that contains your user name, password and the link to the member log in page. If you don’t see the email, check your SPAM folder and/or your “Promotions” tab if you use gmail. the email might end up there. If you still do not receive an email, contact us and will we straighten it out for you.
Q. How do I log in and navigate to the lesson that I purchased?
A. This is ONLY FOR CUSTOMER / STUDENTS who have purchase lessons. If you need instructions on how to log in to your online membership and how to save the log in page in your favorites, here is a quick instructional video showing how.
Q. I purchased some of your lessons and I can’t see all the lessons that I purchased in my online membership.
A. Contact us with your name, email and order number (if you have it) and let us know. We we will look into it and fix it.
Q. How do I transfer a portrait photo to the pumpkin or melon?
A. You will learn how in the Portrait Carving Course. I find the Transfer Pattern Paper to be the fastest, easiest, most accurate way to transfer carving patterns of any kind to watermelons and pumpkins. However, I teach 4 other methods in my Portrait Carving Course.
In my Portrait Carving Course, I go into details about how to choose a photo or shoot a photo that will make a good pattern. If you shoot a photo, you can use any camera including an iPhone. You will need a computer to make your pattern and a printer to print it.
Q. How do I learn to carve portraits on watermelons?
A. the techniques taught in the Pumpkin Portrait Course apply to making watermelon portraits. The Watermelon Portrait lesson will teach you how to apply those techniques with a few changes, to carving watermelon portraits.
Q. How much do your lessons cost?
A. You will find all the pricing on currently available lessons in my Online Shop.
Q. Do you have a physical brick and mortar shop?
Questions about Specific Ideas for Carving for a Specific Event
If you are looking for specific carving ideas for a particular event of competition, you may use by blog as a resource. Here is a link where you can go to learn how to search my blog for idea for your event.
Q. Do You Offer Certifications on your Courses
A. When you email to me your photo of each of the projects in the course, I will send you a certificate of completion.
Q. What is your Guarantee?
A. We guarantee satisfaction on all of our lessons. If you are not satisfied you may request a refund up to 60 days after your purchase. Just return your DVDs to us and we will refund the purchase price. There is nothing to return for the online lessons.
Q. Do you guarantee your tools?
A. We make sure the tools that we ship are in good condition before shipping. If you receive tools that you believe faulty, let us know right away. We cannot be responsible damage occurring from misuse of tools and for that reason, do not offer the same guarantee as we do on our lessons. For the Transfer Pattern Paper and the Pattern Transfer Fabric make sure you read the instructions fully before using.
New Lessons, Live Lessons, More Lessons?
Q. Can you notify me when you have new videos available?
A. Yes, just sign in for the free lesson and you will be notified of new videos when they are available. You will also receive occasional emails with tips, tricks, mini-lessons, photos and news of carving events.
Q. Do you offer live lessons?
You will be surprised at how much you can learn from my video lessons. I have had many people tell me that it’s like having me right there in their kitchen with them. I was even sitting with one of my customers at a live fruit carving presentation done my someone else and she leaned over and whispered to me that she liked my video lessons better because can always see and hear and if she misses anything, she can replay it.
You will always have a front row seat and be able to hear all the instructions. You will also be able to go back at any time to refresh your memory.
(When I offer live lessons, I will announce them via email to all those who have signed up for my free lesson and receive my information emails).
Q. How can I get free lessons?
A. Sign in for the free lesson. In addition to the free lesson, you will also get occasional mini-lessons, tips, tricks and photos that will give you ideas for creating your own carvings and other food presentation ideas.
Can I Really Learn to Carve Fruits and Vegetables?
Q. Carving Fruits and Vegetables looks too hard. I don’t think I can do it.
A. You are not the first person to doubt whether or not they can do it but, I KNOW that YOU CAN get great results with carving. My step-by-step lesson make it easy.
Here is what several students have written me in emails about learning to carve with my lessons. ( And these are just a few. I have so many more messages from enthusiastic customer/ students).
Thank you so much. You are amazing and the reviews I am receiving for my carvings are such fun. Thank You. I am not creative but I CAN do this…YES!
“The radish it is perfect it is easy with your corrugated tools I am happy . I received the OHHHH and AHHHHH WOW praises already from my family. If I am not working tonight I will show it to my friends we have small gathering tonight. I kept my carvings in the refrigerator . I followed your instructions to keep it fresh etc… Thanks.”
“I liked very much the way you teach. No stress, to the point, lots of advices and you give the impression that it is easy and it does look easy because you make it look so and that is very encouraging.”
“All the videos I purchased from you paid off, as I was able to carve up some
‘pretty cool stuff’. Honeydew melons were my favorite.”
“I love watching and trying all of your carvings, I’ve been so surprised at myself trying carving and most turned out reasonably well. Thank you so much Nita for allowing us to be able to try out what you truly have a gift for.”
“I made pepper flowers and Callas in a vase, talk about ooohs and ahhhs.”
“I carved the melon rose and decorate my food I brought to work for Thanksgiving potluck! I received oohh and aaahs. but they dont want to eat my food coz they dont want to ruin the beauty. thats the problem!”
“I am so enjoying the DVD’s and I have only watched 2, several times. This is my second attempt at the lotus onions. Ooooohhh and aaaahhhs at work. Cannot wait to amaze them as I work through the lessons and get better.”
“I made lotus onions, and a few other things and made a bouquet for our church Thanksgiving dinner Sunday night. I got raves. I also made a bouquet out of green olives, black olives and peppers. It also got raves. I am enjoying this very much.
Thank you Nita.”