Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sugar Arts as Healing Arts

     Summer's warmth, the nurturing energies of the sun, the invigoration of fresh air, and the joy of clear, cool waters....I haven't seen them in over a week, have any of you? I'm already missing them.  I also know all too well that it will be another 7 months before I see them again. Sadness...

     What to do in the meantime? Why, bake, decorate, celebrate, of course!

     When I was in college, and fall was upon us, I would take to my kitchen, baking all my own breads, rolls, etc, until springtime. It was healthier, and I found it to be VERY therapeutic, too! Focusing on the task regularly kept my brain working in good fashion, and kneading the dough helped work out whatever frustrations of the day I was experiencing. I felt so good! Then, tasting that love that went into each item, I  had to share it. I gave away three quarters of what I made! Seeing the smiles on the faces of friends and family who received my home-made goods was just as rewarding as actually making them.

     Now, while I don't do much breads baking any longer, I find the same scenarios apply to the sugar arts. Each project is borne from celebrations to come. Anticipation is high, people coming together, time, stories, love to be shared.

     Our part as sugar artists in this process, this experience? We are the ones through whom the feelings of the celebration come into physical being. We take the time, our energy, thought and skills, to bring our art to our clients' tables. Most times, we're ready, and eager for the opportunity. Some times, not so much.

      We artists are all human...we have good days and bad. But business is business, right? We have clients to meet, designs to put together, and cakes to create. I myself have a bad time motivating to start a project when I'm stressed. I stew, I worry, and worst of all, I continue procrastinating. UGH! But when I remind myself of the people who've asked me to make a cake for them, I realize I can't let myself be the reason part of their celebration fails. Therefore, I pick myself up, sit down and my workstation, and just get my hands BUSY. Once I start, even if it's just fumbling at the beginning, it gets the ideas moving, the motivation crystallized, and the excitement to see ideas come to life builds.

     We spend hours, sometimes days, pouring our hearts and minds into our projects, and as they near completion...can we stop? Sure, to take a break, rest our eyes from time to time, or whatever. But walk away from it? Heck NO! I know I am fulfilled, personally and professionally, by the completion of each and every cake I create. Aren't you? I thought so! We each start out in a certain space when a project starts, and by the end, that energy is transformed into a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment for us. It's also very heartwarming to share the love and passion for our art with others. And the motivation to push forward, to create the next. For our clients, the energy is transformed into an expression of joy, celebration, and love.

     In the end, not only do our clients reap the benefits of our art, but so do we. 
     In my opinion, that's healing, plain and simple.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My "first" cuppies

Cake has ALWAYS been my passion.
I like cookies, don't get me wrong, but never got into decorating them until recently (more on that in another post soon).
Cupcakes have been the same thing for me...not much interest in making them 'interesting.'

Then came some inspiration yesterday, and I decided, I'm going to make some yummy (hopefully), beautiful (keeping my fingers crossed a second time!) gourmet cupcakes!

I've had bananas on the brain for baking lately, as we always have them in our kitchen, but usually nearly all go to waste. Well, Bananas Foster is a favorite dessert in our household, so why not in a cupcake form???

A mad dash to the grocer for under-ripe bananas, and a visit to the liquor store for some dark rum later, and I banged them out in just a couple hours. For an idea I just came up with, and didn't write out and plan on paper, I'm pleased with the results.

little bites of heaven...

'beauty' shot?
What do you think?
What are some of your favorite desserts you'd like to see reinvented as a cupcake? I'd love to hear from you :)

Hope you're all having a great day ~ Scott

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A C-R-A-Z-Y week!!!!

     We've had family in from out of town for the past two weeks. That's great, as we don't get to see them all that often. Add one nephew who comes home from his FOURTH tour in Iraq. FANTASTIC! Welcome home, Matt!
     Add on top of that a cake order with a LOT of sugar detail work to do ahead of time. Check! No problem there. Also add a small, but heart-felt cake to celebrate Matt's homecoming. Still, all's well.
     So, the "fun" part was a 3- and a 5-year old, running around the house, "whatcha doin', Uncle Scott??? What's that for? Can I eat that?" All day...every time I sat at my work station!! Don't get me wrong, I love kids.... in small doses. :)
     The final 48 hour push to complete both cakes was insane...with the last 24 spent without sleep, to get everything together. Which is great, because I work better in the kitchen under pressure. Keeping things fresh and my work as pristine as possible, I really shine to bring out the best in each project.

     The fruits of my labours of love...I hope you enjoy them as much as I did in creating them!

     Now, onto more design work for two more projects in the coming week and a half....I need more coffee! Stay tuned, and I hope you all enjoy a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!