About Me

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Durham, NC, United States
My name is Veronica and I own Southern Gold Leaf Cakes. I opened my home-based business in 2008. I am a licensed and inspected home bakery specializing in custom cakes. Since all cakes are made to order there are no frozen cakes here, only fresh and only home made. I am a self-taught baker but I have a strong art background with years of baking experience. It is the most rewarding feeling in the world when you can apply your skills to do something you love. To see my cake creations and view our yummy menu visit us at www.southerngoldleafcakes.com!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I have two great Halloween cakes to share.  The funny thing is that neither was for Halloween.  The skull cake was an April birthday but done so that we could honor the gamers love Halo (grunt skulls).  This cake was done about five years ago but still looks awesome in pictures.
All the wee tiny skulls you have
to find in the game.
This bad boy was red velvet and one of my first sculpts.  I was pretty pleased with it.  It was full size as well so much cakey goodness.

Birthday boy gets his cake!

Our second cake is still creepy but hopefully in a more cartoonish kind of way.  This year, Oct 6, we got to do a mad scientist cake.  This awesome kid wanted the eyes to pop out and really go for gross.  I decided that it must be that his brain was too big which is why his eyes popped out and so I decided his brain should pop out too!

It's ALIVE!!!!

So there you have it!  Happy Halloween!

October 27, 2012 Susan and John

Congratulations to Susan and John who tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony in front of friends and family at the .Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott.  Ginger Buchanan and the catering staff did a wonderful job making sure that everything from the hotel went smoothly.

  Catherine Katz of Cherished Celebrations and Megan Bugbee  did a superb job of setting up the room where the reception was held and then with limited time to work "flipped" the same room so that it became the reception area as well.  There was live music from lovely duo playing fiddle and guitar, as well as other instruments, entertaining the guests in the main lobby as they waited patiently for Susan and John to take pictures.    The catering for the reception was done by Catering by Jasmine which is some of the best Mediterranean  food I've ever had.

Once everyone had eaten it was time for cake cutting for pictures and cake cutting for eating.  The cake I created for Susan and John was done in two flavors: the top tier was strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting while the bottom tier was orange cake filled with chocolate ganache and frosted in orange buttercream.  The whole cake was covered in fresh marshmallow fondant. 

The design was actually created by the groom.  He had a very specific look that he wanted and was great about providing pictures for visualization.  The tree limbs and branches were made of modeling chocolate and the flowers were of gumpaste and fondant.  The "double happiness" in Chinese script was also made of fondant.  The two birds on top were made of cold porcelain as keep sakes.

It is always such an honor and a pleasure when I get to see the couple I've created a cake for enjoy it with their guests! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sarah and Andrew

Aren't these guys adorable!

My birthday was earlier in October and among other cakes created that weekend, I had the extreme pleasure of creating a beautiful wedding cake for Sarah and Andrew for the October 6, 2012 wedding.  Their topper was too cute!  They had a felted cat and dog made to symbolize their pets and it really suited them.

The reception was held at the Blu Seafood Bar in Durham.  It was a gorgeous afternoon, the food smelled great and the cake was just the right touch!

October 6, 2013
Sarah and Andrew

Cold Porcelain that Worked

I've written a few times about working with cold porcelain but I don't think I ever really decided whether I liked it or not. I believe this is the case mostly because it wasn't working for me and I really wanted to like it but it wasn't giving me a reason too.
My most recent wedding cake needed a topper that was a keep sake and it was very specific. I just felt that doing a gumpaste topper this time wasn't the way to go. Once again I turned to the cold porcelain.
I've done some research and I know it can be purchased in the store, ready to go but I'm a "do-it-myself" kind of person, a deconstructionist if you will, because I like to know how things are made. Because quite frankly, sometimes, it's easier to whip something up in the kitchen at midnight than to wait until the stores open at 10 am the next day and because when you're learning something new you don't want to spend a lot of money. So while yes there are certain items I will buy this doesn't need to be one of them; not until I have declared with 100% certainty that I can't make it myself.
So here we are trying again. I make the porcelain using one of two recipes I have and turns out great. I sculpt my little birds and set them aside to dry and wait to see what happens.
After 12 hours of drying things look good. I'm pumped. After 24 hours of drying I'm starting to see the tiniest little hairline cracks. I think, "I'll just patch these with some more porcelain and see if that works." It doesn't. Within another day there are more cracks, they're bigger and I realize this isn't going to work. Time to do some Internet work.
After searching a bit for artist who work in cold porcelain or forums of the same I'm not getting very excited as it seems I may be out of luck. As a last ditch effort I turn to Facebook. I find someone there, Cold Porcelain Art,  who is willing to answer my questions  for me!
It seems the reason my figurines kept cracking was that my recipe included water. Since cold porcelain is an air dry product, like some clays, it will crack as the moisture is removed and it shrinks.
You can see the split at shrinkage.
OK. I have a second recipe that doesn't use water and we give it a try. I create my figurines and then wait and watch. Perfection! Here's what I also found with this recipe that was different than the first one. The consistency of the second batch was much more like working with gumpaste and felt much more familiar. The previous batch and recipe always felt much too soft and I never felt like I could get a good sculpt with it.
My birds were sculpted and took about 3 days to dry. I noted also that there was much less shrinkage than before; another plus. So I now have three sets of figurines to play with - two that can't be used because of cracking and "the keepers" that need to be colored and sealed. Given the fact that I have extras I can experiment with pastels and acrylics and see what I like.
acrylic and sealed
I've never really worked with pastels but I've done a lot of charcoal work and it's basically the same principal just with color.  I did like the look of pastel on the porcelain, however, in this case the acrylic gave me the color and the look I wanted.   Birds are painted and sealed and have successfully done their job as toppers. 
Double Happiness wedding cake with cold porcelain bird topper
I think I"m starting to like cold porcelain! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Gumpaste or Cold Porcelain?

I've recently been asked to make a non-cake presentation piece.  When I was approached about this project I made certain that the interested party understood that I normally work in cake and edible elements.  So, after talking about what they were looking for and what I could do for them, we decided that what I would create for them would be a styrofoam construction, covered in gumpaste and other sugar pieces.  But then I started thinking this week as some of the construction began, wouldn't cold porcelain be better?

Gumpaste is really great for working structures that need to be solid because it sets up very solidly.  When done in a 50/50 mix with fondant it is even stronger.  But in this case the entire project is meant to be a keep sake and really has no reason to be made of sugar.  I'm thinking this three and-a-half week project will be mostly cold porcelain when possible.   I will not be able to post pictures until this is complete as the whole project is a huge secret.  But I will take pictures as I go so that they can all be posted afterwards. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thank you note!

I received the nicest thank you card when I delivered the anniversary tier.  I was really surprised and also very touched.  My clients thank me all the time but it so nice to get a hand written note once in a while.  In the note they thanked me for all the hard work I put into their wedding and groom's cake and that it was not only beautiful but the focal point of so many wonderful memories.  They also told me how excited they were to receive their anniversary cake because it would be another chance to taste their wedding again.  And lastly they thanked me for helping them celebrate this first milestone in their marriage.

I thank them both for their wonderful words.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Anniversary

 Happy 1st Anniversary to Sarah and Christian Funkhouser!

Last year on September 24th  I had the honor of creating the wedding cake for Sarah and Christian.  I delivered to the University Club at the University Towers here in Durham, NC.

The designs you see piped onto the cake were the inverted colors of the topper they had created.  

I really enjoyed working with Sarah and Christian.  They had a great groom's cake too!  

Congratulations and happy 1st anniversary!

This is the pattern on the fabric that the topper was created from.  We decided to do red on white to decorate the cake.

The groom's cake.  The camp fire really flickered!

Friday, July 13, 2012

To the Blue Zone

The hottest weekend on record and my delivery happened to be four tiers of red velvet and cream cheese to the Blue Zone at UNC.   We managed to make it in plenty of time and without melting and the results turned out pretty good.  Congratulation to Molly and Matt on their gorgeous ceremony and reception.

I don't know if you can see it but there's a sword behind the cake.  I think they planned to use it to make the cut since there is only a cake server next to the stand.  I have to say, if this is the case, not only is that oober cool but I'd love to find a picture of that.

Tisha and Rodney's wedding update

So I haven't gotten all the pictures back but the couple that I do have are really great.  I am told that not only did the bride love her wedding cake but the groom couldn't get over his XBOX 360 cake and controller.  It was so much fun to make.  Here are the images I do have thanks to Megan Bugbee of MEB Photography  http://www.facebook.com/MEBPhotography02.

You also must keep in mind we had a bit of a floral snag.  Originally the florist was to leave flowers to be cascaded down the cake.  When the delivery guy was leaving I asked for those flowers and he said he didn't have any.  Immediately a phone call was made the Catherine of www.cherishedcelebrations.com who was actually at the ceremony site.  When the delivery guy found me six, count them six, small little flowers left over in a corsage container, she asked that I use them as a topper.  It did explain the abundance of flowers at the ceremony site.  I am waiting for a second set of photos but I'm told the some flowers did make it to the cake.  
This was a good reminder that things can go wrong.  When putting a cake together sometimes we have areas that we think, "Oh, I can cover that with a flower."  Unless you are actually providing the flowers you better not count on it.  Luckily I wasn't counting on the flowers to cover any major flaws but that cascade of orchids would have looked really pretty too.

Fall colors and dark chocolate

I am very excited about my upcoming October 27th wedding.  Grayson and Greg are a great couple who love chocolate and aren't afraid to be bold.  When I first met Grayson she said, "We love chocolate.  Our colors are all darker fall colors.  I don't know what we can do with that."  So when we met for cake and design she certainly went for the chocolate - dark chocolate mousse filling and classic fudge frosting.  Because they are going with a fall theme and an outdoor, rustic but elegant ceremony/reception she was afraid the chocolate would be too much.  I mean, who uses those colors for a wedding cake?

Ah, the darker color palette is always a friend.  Nothing makes fall colors stand out like a darker background.  White is always stunning but a dark background makes your colors come alive.  We came up with a beautiful design that lends itself to the rich colors of the dark chocolate frosting allowing the beautiful colors of gold, maroon, rusts and reds to come to the forefront and lend their hues to the event.

I'm excited about this design and can't wait until October gets here so we can get some great pictures.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grocery store cakes are a great bargain!

Really?  I recently saw a segment (via Yahoo.com news feed and now I cannot find it anywhere) but the essence was that you can get a wedding cake just as good as a professional bakery for 10x less cost.  The cake they showed was three tiers, possibly 100 servings, white cake, strawberry "filling" and buttercream frosting, simple piping and details for only $316.  The quoted that a professional bakery would charge$3,300 for the same cake.  Really?

I did some quick math based on my own prices, and since we're guessing how big the cake is, I found that very realistically it can be done for that price (more or less depending on the unknown variables).  How many times have you met a client that talked about a wedding cake that tasted okay or just not good?  It looked great but the quality of the cake versus the beauty of a cake was no where near equal.  Why?  Because that grocery store cake was not made fresh, not even in the last 72 hours in most cases, and mass produced frosting was used; and it wasn't made from scratch.  The designs the bride and groom can choose from are usually very limited as are the flavors of cake and filling they can select.  

One broadcaster said, "How much cake does the bride and groom get to eat anyway?"  Okay, I'll grant you most of the time there isn't much cake eaten by the bride and groom but you'd be surprised how many couples carve out a little time to eat cake while sitting and visiting with their guests.  Now, the flip side of the coin, "How many guests are eating cake?"  Almost all of them!  And while the bride and groom are visiting with these cherished friends and relatives who have come to help them celebrate their special day one thing they might hear about is the wonderful cake, not just how pretty it is but how delicious it is.  You want to see extra glow on the bride's face tell her how awesome her cake tastes.  Most of my clients take extra care to choose flavors that are not just delicious to them but that will also be loved by their guests.  This leads them to choosing multiple flavors but in the end they are thinking as much about their guests as themselves.

So before you rush out to the grocery store to buy your budget cake shop around.  Pick at least three bakery professionals to interview.  Talk about pricing, what's included and do a tasting to see the difference in their product and the local grocer.  

You know one thing they didn't say the grocery store did was the delivery?  Now that's a whole new topic.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Renewing your vows

For years I have said that if  couple can make the first ten years they should get to do it again - new dress, catered reception, gifts, the works.  Why?  Because many of us look back and say, "I wish I'd done...." and by now we need new stuff!  On top of that ten years is a big milestone, I think, by today's standards. 

Imagine my surprise and delight when I met with a bride-to-be and found out this is actually a renewal of vows wedding.  They are celebrating ten years and she wants it to be so much more than it was the first time.  Obviously if they have made it ten years it's not the party that makes a marriage but after ten years maybe you deserve a party.  She explained to me how the initial wedding and reception were handled.  They were nice but her memories of it are not great.  She wants to do it her way this time and so we got to talk some cake.

An hour and a half later, many laughs and knee slaps later, we had created a gorgeous cake that said, "Yes, this is the one." 

I'm so glad that I am not the only one who thinks that every ten years should be a chance to say, "I would do this all over again" and (maybe) get new stuff!

Monday, April 30, 2012

What's the difference?

Many times while talking with clients they describe their cake like this:
"I want three layers with...and each layer a different flavor."  This caught me by surprise the first couple of times simply because you can indeed have a three layer cake.  This isn't what they really intended.  What they were really trying to describe was a three tiered cake with each tier a different flavor. 

The first time this happened I decided to give the same description to a friend and see if she would catch the difference.  I started to describe a wedding cake that was three layers and so forth and, again to my surprise, she didn't see anything wrong with what I proposed.   Again, there are three layer cakes but I guess I took for granted that most people would know and understand the difference between a layer and tier.  Then again, depending the subject matter, I'm sure there are plenty of things I presume I know plenty about and I'm completely off the mark.

The difference between a layer and tier is this:  a layer is one part of many layers that create a tier.  It usually takes four layers of cake to create one four inch tier.  One cake pan will create one  2" layer of cake.  (There are 3" cake pans but I'm working with standard numbers today - and yes, you can fill the pan half way and make a one inch layer cake but that doesn't fit today's purpose either.)

You would need to bake two 2" cakes to achieve a tier.  Once those cakes are cooled and leveled (meaning cut off that bulge at the top so it's nice and flat) you then cut them in half horizontally so that you now have a total of 4 thin layers of cake.  Now you fill them with frosting or your desired filling and stack them one on top of the other until your assembled tier begins and ends with cake.  Once this has been crumb coated (that just means the first layer of frosting) it should measure approximately 4" tall.  That is an assembled tier.

Reflections by Cathy Foreman Photography
The picture to the right is a 5 tier cake.  I like doing really tall cakes since they are a rarity for me.

So now I know that taking even the smallest bit of information for granted is not a great idea.  Live and learn and never, ever presume.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tisha and Rodney, a June wedding

So my good friend Catherine Katz of Cherished Celebrations http://www.cherishedcelebrations.com/ emails me to see if I have June 2nd open because she's got this fabulous couple who are in need of a great cake.  Um, yes!   We met at a Panera Bread in Cary where I toted dozens of samples.  It really wasn't dozens but I got creative with their requested combinations so they could get the most out of their time and taste buds. 

After a couple of hours of cake, coffee, lots of laughing, wedding talk, cake designing and so forth, I have to completely agree with Catherine (http://www.facebook.com/#!/CatherineKatz and  http://www.facebook.com/#!/CherishedCelebrations ) and she was so right.  Tisha and Rodney are so much fun and I'm so excited to make their wedding cake.  It's going to be....FABULOUS! 

Once we get through their big day we'll update this post with some awesome pictures!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Forums and advice

I know this has been touched on a lot lately and recently by my friend Kara at http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com but I felt the need to put in my two cents worth. 

Here's my gripe: there are some fairly popular forums out and at least nine out of ten posts are about "How do I...?"  That in whole would not bother me.  I have often had to consult more experienced decorators and ask they opinions and advice for something I've never tried or to see if my own theory is at least on the right track.  But these "how to" questions are almost always, and I mean 99% of the time, about the most basic things. 

Like what, you might ask?  Well here is a short list off the top of my head:
Where do I buy pans? 
How do you make frosting?
How many tiers make up a cake?
I've never baked but....

And this is my favorite one that makes me shake my head the most. 
I am making my first (fill in the event blank) cake and I've never done it.  It's this Saturday (post being on Wed) and I need help.  Where do I start?

This takes me back to the finger pointers that say, "See, home based bakers don't know what they're doing."  

But back to my original point that these are the types of questions being asked in forums where you may get 100 responses but some of them are as inexperienced as the person asking the question.  These are the things you either take the time to learn on your own, before volunteering to accepting a client or you take classes.  Most public libraries are full of books in the baking section that cover baking, decorating, how to, etc. that the most inexperienced baker can learn.  You can find books on recipes only to try your hand at, you can find basic decorating books, you can find advanced books on full dessert tables and it won't cost you a thing.  Heck, in this new world of video media you can Google just about nay topic and get dozens of Youtube responses back where people have actually made tutorials. 

Forums are wonderful.  I have several bookmarked.  I read several blogs.  But as it's previously been said, you need to know that the people you are getting advice from are experienced enough to know what they are talking about and credible enough to trust.  You can get the same advice from your next door neighbor as you can someone in a forum and it may be as accurate.  And just because you get a dozen people telling you the same thing, depending on who they are, doesn't make it right. 

If you're new to baking and just want to see what you can do, take a class or borrow a cook book, get a tutorial and have a fun in the kitchen.  It really is the best place to start.  If you've ever been to a craft store you know they all have a cake section where pans are sold.  If you feel you've got a knack for baking then find a good class.  These are the places to ask those basic questions and for heaven's sake take notes.  You can always research what they've said and validate the advice. 

I love forums and they are great places for people to share ideas and how tos and so forth but if you're really at the first step of the process and you really don't know what to do first, please, look into a local class where you have an actual person to answer all these questions for you; face to face, hands on, personal interaction is the best way to learn the very basic beginning stuff.   Teachers/instructors are there for that very reason and then consider the forum's as extra credit reading!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mom and dad, you pick the cake!

What a great way to usher in the month of April.  The first true spring cake and it was picked by the bride's parents.  Mom and dad, you pick the cake - these are the very words Mrs. Robinson said her daughter told her.    

These are not often the words you will hear from a bride.  I've had brides tell me that they are only getting cake for the reception because they have to have one; they don't really eat cake.  (They don't really have to have a cake but I'll talk about that another time.)   In this case, the bride eats cake but it wasn't the most important aspect to her and she trusted her parents with the entire process.  That takes a lot of trust and I could tell when speaking with Mr. and Mrs. Robinson that theirs was a family that was close and that they would design the perfect cake.

They brought in two very different but specific images to help make their choice and chose a simple selection of white, chocolate and lemon cake.  We talked, laughed, discussed and really enjoyed the mutual company.  In the end, they chose all white cake and frosting but also wanted chocolate cake and we did those in sheet cakes to be served as requested.  They chose a simple but lovely design and we tweaked it just a bit to make it stand out.  They provided me a color swatch to match the banding and in the end we had a lovely four tier confection.

This cake was also a thrill for me as it allowed me to work with two of my favorite vendors who both recommended me to this lovely family.  Flowers by Gary provided our bride, Chanita, with her flowers and Pine Lake Pavillion was the venue.  A huge thank you to both!

Sarah and Andrew, an October wedding

Sarah and Andrew, an October wedding

I'm a short person.  I reach about 5'2" on a good day.  When Sarah and Andrew arrive for their tasting the first two things I notice are, 1) they are both about 5'11" and 2) they look relaxed and comfortable; both smiling!
As we began our consultation I asked them to talk about themselves for a moment so that I could get a feel for their personalities, see if I could get a real sense of where they were going with their wedding celebrations.  We talked about everything from school to solar panels to how to survive the zombie apocalypse!  Oh, yeah, I love these guys.

What I found was that Sarah and Andrew were very down to earth folks, fitting since Sarah is going to be studying horticulture and Andrew works with solar panels, and that they aren't afraid to do their wedding exactly as they want.  This means no big party, no bending to what everyone says they have to have, no creating a memory that isn't in keeping with their lifestyle.

Our finished cake will be simple, delicious and homey.  I can't wait to update this with a follow up story and photos!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What do you do besides cake?

At first I didn't understand this question.  Then I realized that what they really wanted to know was:
Do you also do catering?  Do you make cheese cakes?  Do you do breads?  Do you make muffins?  Do you make pies? The list goes on so you get the idea.

How I would like to answer this: no, sometimes, only for my family, yes, yes and only for me right now, et cetera. 

In all fairness it is an interesting question.  It is a query into my baking and dessert making skills.  I do make bread and such for my family but not for sale.   I do make muffins for both dessert and breakfast.
Cheesecakes have proven to be a bit more problematic but something that gives me a goal.  When you can make a great cheesecake then you've really figured it out.  I cater only in the respect that I deliver to a venue.  I can set up the table and I can artfully arrange the scene but that is as far as my catering skills go.  I do like to make pies but only for my family right now.  I would love to do a pie buffet for a truly ambitious person.  Pie is really fun and I love pie! 

I suppose that it's another facet into the personality of the baker.  If you say, "I'm a baker," most will presume that is all things baked.  I can understand that.  But someday I'd like someone to ask me, "What do you do besides cake?" and actually mean with the rest of my day!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Who makes your birthday cake?

It seems like this would be obvious but, alas, it still gets asked of me.  Now, if I had tons of money I would commission a cake from one of many fellow bakers whose work I know to be at my own standards.  This would be a way to get it as close to my own baking as possible.  I use it as an excuse to try experimental recipes or just go simple. 

I've had cookies, old fashioned ice box cakes, ice cream cakes, and so on.  It's kind of like asking the mechanic who fixes his car.  If it's something you can do yourself, most of the time you do. 

Do you ever watch....?

It never fails that as soon as someone asks: "What do you do for a living?"  and I answer, "I'm a self-employed baker," the next question is inevitable, "So do you ever watch those cake shows on tv?"  Really I could answer the question a dozen different ways but the following question would still be the same.  My answer, actually is, yes.  Actually, I DVR a lot just because I have to be able to catch them in my own time, which could be any time with my weird timing, but still, yes, I watch them. 

Why?  I've got a couple of reasons and I don't think they are all what people expect.  There are some shows I no longer watch for some unexpected reasons as well. 

Reason 1:  Cupcake Wars
I know it's not really the amount of time the show says they have so don't think I believe everything I watch.  But they do have to come up with really interesting flavor combinations in the first round from supposedly obscure reasons.  The table may have bacon, chili peppers, licorice, rice, sea weed, etc.  So the short answer is I watch for interesting recipe and flavor ideas. 

Reason 2: Amazing Wedding Cakes
I have to pay very little attention to the people because most of their personalities alone can drive me nuts.  Nevertheless, they managed to hook a show on Food Network and so let's see what they've got.  I have been extremely impressed with some of the work and some not so much.  This is my "trendy idea" show.  There are lots of ideas floating around out there and this is a really great way to see what trend is trying to be pushed. 

Reason 3: Food Network Challenge/Next Great Baker

Challenge is probably my favorite.  It's not remotely related to the others because it's down and dirty for 8 hours (that's 16 if you count it's two people flat out killing themselves to do something they'd probably do in 2 days).  Techniques that otherwise take 3 or 4 hours are shriveled down to 30 minutes.  Smack talk and the very obvious camera in your face add their own stress.  But if you can pull it off, you've got a cool $10, 000.  I don't know how much they really get in the end but still...even if you lose you've been on TV.  And I've seen some new, fresh faces that have done really amazing work. 

The Next Great Baker was really an ingenious thing that Buddy did.  I only occasionally watch his show just because there is too much yelling.  But stepping out and creating another show that focuses on his bakery without it being about is bakery, genius.

Finally, reason 4:  You
The simple fact that so many people ask me if I watch certain shows tells me that they are watching these shows.  So that when they say, "Can you do..." and describe a cake they've seen on TV, I can say, "Yes. "  This is where conversation starts to go a little wonky because we have to talk about cost but I promise mine will still be less than what would be charged by the person on TV. 

So now you know that yes I do and why.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Is it okay to say no?

This is a tough question I have to put to myself constantly. While I am surrounded by people with my best interests at heart, offering advice and trying to keep me sane, it's still hard to for me to battle this question.

"No" is a word I don't have a tremendous amount of trouble with generally.  However, when it comes to clients, it's almost impossible for me to say this little monosyllabic word.  Do I over extend myself?  Quite a bit.  Do I work past exhaustion?  Constantly.  So here is the bigger question:  If it's okay to say no, when should you say no?

After much internal struggle I found the answer that fits best for me.  It is okay for me to say no when I take a client out of a feeling of obligation, even though I'm over booked and tired, rather than decline when it is really the best option.   I do not like to disappoint people.  And I have taken orders because of the particular challenge but now I have found where to draw my line in the sand.  Just because someone calls for an appointment or is potential client in anyway does not obligate me to sign on if I cannot produce my best work for them. 

Wow, I guess it is okay to say no.  What do you feel is the defining factor for saying "no" to a potential client/booking?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Prophetic Weddings

We all want to think that our chosen mate was "meant to be."   That you were bound to be together and your wedding was destined.  It's like you could read it in the stats. 

Well, I don't know about all that but I do know that in 2011 I had the priveledge of providing wedding cakes for two couples who just happened to have chosen dates that were said to be "the end of the world."  Obviously this did not happen according to schedule because I sit here typing this blog.  What I do know is that these weddings went flawlessly and that in anticipation of the end of the world, delivery traffic was very light on both days.

 May 21, 2011
 I delivered a wonderful wedding cake to Shelby and John at The Cotton Room in downtown Durham.  Delicious layers of angel food cake with fresh strawberry mousse in between.  The day was beautiful, sunny, and John and Shelby were beautiful together.

October 21, 2011

After a rough hurricane season on our coast, Jessica and Anthony found that they had to move their beach wedding inland, like all the way to Durham.  Having survived May 21st with no ill results we now moved onto October 21st, the newly ordained "end of the world" date.  Jessica's father, Jim Shaw (www.JimShawPhoto.com) jokingly asked if he could get his deposit back if the world ended...um, no.

Again, a beutiful, warm and sunny day in Durham and the reception site was relocated to Croasdaile Country Club (www.croasdailecountryclub.com).  Jessica and Anthony were able to have their beach reception with a cake covered in chocolate seashells and flip flop topper.

May 21, 2011 - not the end of the world.   October 21, 2011 - nope, still not end of the world.  They were definitely special days that, for a few families, will always be remembered as destined.