Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Happy New Year!!

I've been slightly M.I.A. lately, and my sincerest apologies for that. 2011 has been a hell of a year, and I truly mean this in the most glorifying way.

Through my classes and workshops I have met some incredible people, enjoyed some great moments and witnessed an Esprit-de-Corps develop among my students, that took me back to memory lane while serving in the Canadian Navy back in 1993.

Making cakes the Kitschcakes way requires many important ingredients: lots of know-how, imagination and creativity of course, but also virtues like patience and persistence as well as the willingness to focus on a project that will take us out of our comfort zone and give us a "sleepless streak" for a few days.

Sounds like hard work? You bet it is! Think of it as running a marathon where you suddenly hit a wall and you struggle those last 10km. If you give up, it's all for nothing. Persist, and you get to live something unforgettable that you can be proud of.
With the cakes however, it's even better than that, because you get to make people happy. You work on that project for endless hours, struggling, googling on your iPhone, cursing at the X-acto knife. And when you reach the finish line, it's all tears and recognition from the others, and this all reflects on you! Bliss for all! There is not much else out there that I can think of (other than enduring pregnancy to give birth), that can get so many people emotionally involved for the better.
Cakes are AWESOME!!!!

This being said, there is another downside...I even call it the Dark Side, and I preach about it all the time (just ask my girls...). Most of my students really love this art (which is fantastic). They like it so much, that they literally give their cakes away (for Free!) I'm always nagging at them for this, because they sometimes (often) don't value their work and their time like they should be.

Today, one of my students sent me a pleasant surprise. I was so happy to read this, because it reflects exactly what I am often ranting about. I think that they are slowly starting to "get it", which makes me very happy, because they deserve to be celebrated for what they create! :-D

You all can read it...I can hear myself psychobabbling when I read this....LOL!!

By the end of this post someone will have just finished working 12 hours and 20 minutes working on a cake for a birthday, baby shower or wedding. They will have skipped sleep, missed a day with their family and spent a good penny on ingredients. Pushing themselves as they juggle between sleep and sanity. All for a free cake! Yes you heard it here. FREE CAKE!

How is this cake free you ask? I’m sure you want to grab one of these for your next event. You too can have a cake “as seen on tv” for free!

Let me explain something to you. When cake artists are at work. They usually put in about 300% more work than most people. Like many artists they are in this for the passion and love. Like they say “love don’t pay the bills”.

Well the reality is, the bills have to get paid. No matter how appealing a free cake sounds and you would love to get a great deal. Its like stealing! Yes you are robbing someone, who has worked incredibly hard to make you edible art that will adorn your function. Feel guilty yet? If the answer is “NO” then my time is wasted on you. I suggest you go to your local grocery store to get your next dream cake. If you have little respect for the artists then this cake is not for you.

So perhaps stealing is too strong a word. But borrowing implies you’ll be giving it back. I’m not sure rent-a-cake is going to catch on. Or whether anyone would want their “borrowed” cake back after you’ve had a slice.

Wondering why I am against the free cake idea. Well lets say many of us in the industry have been asked for discounts that are often insulting and sometimes a little crazy. Its understandable that we all have reasons to save money and love a good deal. But this is not the place for a bargain. Cake decorators don’t exactly make a lot on cakes. Well you have a few who do. But thats only the ones you usually see on television with brands that represent them. The majority are not on television and are equally talented. They do not demand remarkable prices. Many undervalue the costs of their cakes. So when someone requests a 3 tier cake with all the trimmings and sparkle for under a $100. Well its just unfair.

So lets make a resolution starting this year. Lets forget about the “free cakes” and start appreciating the workmanship and time these artists invest in your cake.

Hope you liked it as much as I did!

Wishing you all a wonderful New Year, and think about this New Year's Resolution:-D


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