If you are a follower of my blog, you know that I have been decorating a long time... actually about 38 years. A technique that was popular several years ago was a technique called cornelli lace. I still use it now and then, but it hasn't quite been as popular as in years past. To make cornelli lace, you need a very fine round tip (I usually use #1), and you basically squiggle randomly over the entire area of the cake without lifting the tip and without touching or overlapping any of the lines. The result is a pretty lace look on the cake. It becomes very easy with practice, but is still a little time concsuming. The way to make this technique look the best is to use a very small # tip and squiggle close together and very dainty so it resembles lace. I think it looks prettiest "white on white," but I've also used dark chocolate (never black) on a different color background.
Pretty cornelli lace white on white buttercream
Delicate cornelli lace with mini pink roses and
CTR emblem make a perfect baptism cake
Dark chocolate cornelli lace on white buttercream heart
White on white cornelli lace wedding cake
Another beautiful technique that I have used lately is small scroll work over an entire area of the cake. Unlike cornelli lace, I used a bit larger of a tip (#2) and the surface of the cake is done in free hand scrolls of different kinds. Some of the scrolls touch, others do not. Again, the scrolls need to be quite close together in order for the design to look pretty. This scroll work technique takes much longer than the cornelli lace, but the end result is stunning.
Simple and elegant