Move over, Cake Boss, there’s a new Sheriff in town.
We all know at least one person who doesn’t realize just how fabulous she is, and Doodle Cakes is that, in spades. An artist extraordinaire, she continues to outdo herself with each delectable creation. Where Carlos (of Cake Boss fame) leads an entire team, Doodle is but one extraordinary cake creationist, putting together memory-after-cherished-memory for her lucky patrons on their special days. From simple and elegant to extravagant and over-the-top glamorous, she does it all.
Not only does she do these fabulous cakes, but she also designs her children’s Hallowe’en costumes pretty much every year – and they are extraordinary, let me tell you. She also fit me into her crazy schedule and helped me design and create the beautiful black faux suede (with gold embroidery) music folders I gifted to the members of Main Street for Christmas a couple of years ago.
I’ve featured Doodle Cakes on my blog many times, but I’m so pleased she’s finally agreed to put something in her own words!
A letter to Jenn.
To my dear friend Jenn,
Oh, The stress you have caused me the last few weeks by asking me to do a “Guest Spot” on your blog. You know I adore you. And I certainly wouldn’t do it for anyone else…
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a chatty person. I’m not “Bloggy”, as it’s plainly evident on my own blog, Doodle Cakes. I would love to be eloquent, and have fascinating stories to keep you all glued to your chairs and screens, reading and laughing. Alas, I am but a simple mom of 4 human children, 3 canine ones, 4 feline ones and 2 rodent ones. Yep. You can pick up your jaw, as most people do when I casually mention all this to anyone who asks. I am busy. Between raising my brood and all the rest, I bake. I love to bake. I hate cooking, but LOVE baking.
I’ve often been asked; “What kind of cakes to you prefer to make?”
Well, that is a complicated question, actually. I get to bounce from Weddings to birthdays, from celebrations to all around, hilarious cakes. I never get “bored” because I am never creating the same kind of cakes over and over again. I have to admit that I do have a particular “soft spot” for making funny cakes. I love sitting there and giggling as I create.
How did I start all this? It’s a funny story. My actual background and degree is in Fashion Design. I used to be head designer for a Team Sports uniform company WAY back before the onset of my lovely minions. Once I started my family, and as my oldest started school, I wanted to bring treats to the kids in the classroom, and I started making cupcakes. I fast became the “Cupcake Queen” of the school. As my family grew, so did my passion. I would NEVER consider bringing the SAME cupcakes to all classrooms! They all had to be different.
Then came… CAKE. Would you believe me if I said that it all started at Michael’s? Yup. Just like many other cake enthusiasts. A friend of mine asked me to join her in her cake classes. Well, I did. And as I sat there the first time, attempting to ice my cake, I wanted to cry. There I was, trying SO hard to ice a cake in buttercream, and failing. Not only that, but failing miserably!!! All the other students – including my friend – left the class with beautifully iced and decorated cakes, while I left with a white BLOB. As if THAT wasn’t bad enough, then came the buttercream roses. To use a term my kids have been using WAY too much lately: EPIC FAIL
As you can see… I didn’t give up.
I finished my course at Michael’s, and then I did two more. That was it. The rest, I am proud to say, is self-taught. Since then though, I have abandoned most of what I was taught in those classes, and came up with my own techniques (…sorry Michael’s!) They did however, teach me the basics, from which I was able to develop from there. But… please, PLEASE don’t ever ask me to make a buttercream rose again. EVER!!! ;) That experience was just too traumatic for me!
Fast forward from those early classes to the events and recognition I have gotten since then in my cake making journey. Jenn surprised me one day with my own Blog! How amazing is she? :) From my blog one day, I saw a few “hits” coming from the Cake Wrecks website. Now, keep in mind the trauma of the buttercream rose was still fresh in my psyche. Here I was thinking “Oh no!! Someone thinks my cake is a WRECK!!!” but to my lovely surprise, it was on their Sunday Sweets edition, in which I have now been featured 3 times (here and here) and can’t wait for the next!
Then came Cake Central Magazine. Jacquie from the magazine contacted me and asked me to create a cake based on a picture. No guarantees on making “the cut”, but as the cliche goes, I was thrilled to be asked. (It made the cut….WOoohOooooO!)
Next my dear friend (from the Michael’s classes era) asked me to enter a cake competition along with her. I figured “WHY NOT?” and paid my entry fee. The goodie bag offered for the competitors was FABULOUS – how can I not do it just for that reason alone?? Oh but I can’t begin to express, how stressed… freaked out… completely panicked I was at the very thought of one of my cakes being judged, let alone judged by my Idol, Courtney Clark (of Cake Nouveau, TLC and a Food Network Champion). I dropped off my entry on the deadline morning… carefully took it out of my truck and brought it in… only to be floored by the other entries. I actually considered taking it back and leaving right then and there. However, my dear husband convinced me otherwise (Plus I knew I wouldn’t get the above mentioned goodie bag if I pulled out!)
The thought of staying there while the cakes were being judged was simply not an option. There was no way I could handle that. So off to the beach I went with my family for the day. There may have been a few tears in there somewhere… OK, it was like Niagara Falls. Couldn’t stop them from falling! My family and friends, knowing how stressed out I was, made me relax and just enjoy the day at the beach. “WHO CARES what happens – I did it! It’s done. Ok.”
We came home that evening to a phone call. THE phone call. I had won… FIRST PLACE! Not only that, but of the PROFESSIONAL DIVISION!
Little ol’ me!! I still can’t believe it to this day. Now of course I wish I had stayed and met Courtney Clark in person and had my picture taken with her. But I was a chicken. A HUGE chicken.
The biggest stress since then has been… let’s see. Ah yes. Just last Monday, when my oldest son handed me a Bake Sale form (actually, he left it sitting on the table for me to find). A form that I was SUPPOSED to get the THURSDAY before that! The donations were for Wednesday, only 2 days from then! My cakes always bring in a nice amount for any of their fundraisers, and the staff always look forward to them. I wanted to make something, but WHAT in so short a time frame? It had to be at the school on Wednesday morning by 8 AM! There I was, Monday Morning, no prep work done, no ideas, no nothing. Well, from that panicked moment came the “Spring Chick” cake, which actually… I am really happy with.
So now, what could the next stressful date be? I have cake orders every week that are often quite involved, but they don’t stress me out anymore.
No, the real stress is that contest that I entered and won LAST year. It’s being held again later this year. Now I get to decide…
DO I enter again? …or DON’T I??