And a Partridge in a Pear Tree…

Last week was a total blur!

Us cake makers know that it’s all or nothing and we don’t know the word NO!!

All I had booked in for this week was a sugarcraft demonstration in Scotland at the beginning of the year then a close friend recommended me to her friend to make her wedding cake, ‘of course I can!’  Then a couple of repeat customers wanted cakes and I thought, right that’s it… When a text landed from a good friend asking for a cake for her mum. OK but this is definitely it… Plus another two cakes for my very regular customer. Please stop, I just can’t take any more!

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Then, an email arrived the week before, I’d won a two night stay at the Hilton York with tickets to see James Martins live cookery show AND meet him! Well, I couldn’t say no! (Yes, I was this close and yes, he’s as lovely as you think he is!)

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So, with my lists and military precision timings I got through it all! I even managed my trip to London on Saturday too, with a visit to Sky Garden.

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So, 7 cakes, 4 lists, 3 nights away, 2 sugarcraft classes and 1 cocktail (the vodka infused candy cane one!)

 

 

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The guilty side of cake decorating

Apart from saying no (to cake orders I must add!) my guilty feelings kick in when I go on holiday.

We’ve just had a week away and although I haven’t turned any orders away, I still feel guilty for closing the shop.

We love going away in January. It’s quiet and cold so some sunshine is just what we needed! We flew on Thursday and a very good customer wanted a cake for the Friday so although I said no, she insisted that it would be OK for Wednesday so I agreed.

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So off we went for a week away – answerphone message set and closed sign on our shop door. It’s pretty difficult nowadays to get away from anything completely. I can remember about 4 years ago when we had our first holiday since opening the business. We took our small laptop with us and every other night we sat in the hotel bar (the only place that you get a wifi signal) before dinner to check our messages and orders. Most hotels now have brilliant signals and I could even get wifi in the cave we visited, so there’s no escape!

The snow hit when we arrived back which delayed our flight but as I had two orders for Saturday I was straight back to work on Thursday night after we landed.

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So we’re back to normal now. Settling back into the cold and catching up on emails, it feels like we’ve never been away!

Have you made a New Years resolution? 

I’m not taking about the usual stuff – eat more healthily, exercise more etc… I’m taking about something you can actually achieve!

I was talking to one of my students a few weeks ago and she was saying that she really wants to take more time and care with her cake orders and I actually said I want to do the opposite! Well that’s not strictly true, I just think I need to care a little less! Does that make sense?

I really do spend too much time overthinking things and if you’ve read my cakes=stress post you’ll know why! (if not then go and read it!)

Which brings me onto mindfulness. I recently listened to someone who made total sense (up to a point, I’ll get to that later) of the whole thing. Before then I just thought it was a load of rubbish, like yoga! I just didn’t get it!

So for me, mindfulness is all about now, right this minute, today.

Not thinking about the past and the mistakes I’ve made that I can’t do anything about, or the future and how I can’t predict what’s going to happen (or if the cutter I really need for an order is going to arrive in time!) It’s about today and making the most of it. Enjoying it, whatever you’re doing, not spoiling it by thinking about the past or future.

Obviously, I always think ahead and love a list (or two) but I need to start thinking about today and enjoying the moment, because I do think I’m missing out and life is passing me by!

If you’re sitting with a cuppa reading this then think about; Is it your favourite mug? Is it a special tea or coffee?

What happens more than often is that we make a cuppa then start doing something else and it goes cold. Don’t let it go cold!

Love today and make sure you enjoy it!

Happy New Year!

P.S. The bit I didn’t understand was about thinking about where my tea came from… Mine came from Lidl 😉

Wouldn’t life be a lot easier without customers?

Obviously not, as we wouldn’t get paid, but you know what I mean (do you know what I mean?)

It’s December, it’s nearly Christmas and I love this time of year. I usually don’t have that many cake orders and only a few Christmas cakes to make for my regular customers, so it’s always nice to get some little bits and pieces made for the shop (homemade Christmas puddings, fudge, truffles, mince pies) but not this year! Why? I hear you ask, well I’ll tell you… CUSTOMERS!! Well one customer in particular. She’s lovely and orders a lot (and I mean a lot) of cakes so I can’t say no! (Well I can but I just couldn’t do that to her!) She is always a last minute Betty, so I’m totally used to her ringing me, or texting if she hasn’t got the courage to call, but when she rang on Saturday for 3 cakes for next week I honestly thought she was joking! Oh no, she wasn’t (oh yes, she was!) Actually she wasn’t and I had to say yes! So my now quiet week for making my lovely goodies has gone out of the window and I now have a birthday cake for Wednesday, a 3 tier birthday cake for Friday and a christening cake for Saturday along with two other cakes and cupcakes for Saturday. This is not including my usual Sugarcraft classes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and my Christmas classes on Saturday and Sunday.

The ironic thing is, I bleet on to my fellow cake decorators about being strong and saying no if you’re busy and finding time for you and your family. I really need to give myself a good talking to!

If Santa is reading my blog, I wont ask for much this year (honestly, well apart from some lovely Paul Smith gloves I’ve got my eye on!) so can I please have an extra day in next week as I think I’m going to need it!

Hopefully see you on the other side, if not it was nice knowing you! Wish me luck!

P.S. This my my last wedding cake of the year. Complete with handmade bride and groom x

About me

Hello, I’m Karen and I love cake! It all started for me when I was 20. I saw an article in Women’s Weekly on how to make a Mr Men birthday cake. I was totally amazed at how the little characters looked so real but totally edible, so I decided I wanted to have a go! My first cake was a Wallace and Gromit birthday cake for my best friend this didn’t seem too challenging and I was really impressed with the results! Looking back maybe not so much, but we all have to start somewhere! So I’m now nearly 20 years older and definitely wiser! My passion is still going strong and for the past 10 years I have had a cake making and Sugarcraft supplies business with my long suffering husband!

I hope you enjoy my ramblings!

Welcome to my shiny new blog

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Well hello! Fancy seeing you here!

Hopefully you’re here because you love cakes, sugarcraft and anything cake related! If not then I might just convert you so please keep reading!

So I think I’ll start with a little bit about me… I’m Karen and I’m 38 and live ‘Up North’ in a little village called Rowlands Gill (not far from the Newcastle Upon Tyne or the MetroCentre). I’ve been making cakes for 18 years. Starting off for family and friends (as you do) I now have an established cake making and sugarcraft supplies shop.

I’ll keep my first post short and let you know what I’ve got planned for you. From my point of view my life is quite boring – get up, do stuff, go to bed and repeat. But sometimes funny stuff, irritating stuff and horrible stuff happens so this is what you’ll get. I’m not promising it will be regular or interesting but hopefully it will give you something to read while your waiting for the kettle to boil or waiting for your computer to load your 50 million emails since yesterday!

I’ll leave it there as I’m really struggling to get to grips with how this blogging thing works and I feel like I’ve been trying to write this for 200 hours (actually only an hour!)

See you soon x