Sunday, 27 April 2008

Whirlwind weeks...

This week went by so fast!
On Monday it was my mums birthday- so I took her a cake into School ( She works for a boys college)- it was a student free day- so there was only the teachers around- none the less the entire cake was eaten!

I used a copper and chocolate colour transfer on the white chocolate, personally I thought the end result was a bit "manly" for my mum, but she loved it!

My mum is probably my greatest marketing tool. I have had her attend many networking functions with me- as she has the gift of the gab! Whilst I can talk- she can really sell! She often steers potential clients in my direction- something I am very greatful for.
This week I made the wedding cake of one of her past co-workers. A stunning Blood red and gold cupcake tower- that I assembled yesterday at her home.

This cake was the second delivery of the day- the first was another cupcake tree- where I also established my first workplace injury! I managed to shut the car door into my eye/eyebrow- don't ask me how I did it- but boy did it hurt! I am sure the first clients must have thought I
was a little upset- as my eye was bright red and puffy! LOL!!!

Blood Red was certainly the theme this week- with three if my cakes featuring the same colour.
This next cake had Blood red sugar roses, and was for a wedding held on ANZAC day. The symbol on the base tier is a "Heartogram" significant to the couple.

This coming week has me making my first ever grooms cake!
I am flat out for the next couple of weeks- so I will try to keep my computer time to a minimum!

Lose Ends...

OK- When I prepare a quote for a cake- I offer the option of paying via Direct deposit. This is something that is great for both myself and my clients- but it does have its downfalls.
Even though I tell EVERY client that I see to record their names and NOT "WEDDING CAKE" as the transaction tittle- I still get many people using this as the tittle. 99% of the time- the client realises withing a week or two- after not having received a receipt- and follows up the payment- and I put 2 and 2 together. But I have ( for more than 2 months now) had a large payment made into my account- that I cannot trace. Due to privacy laws the bank cannot tell me who deposited this money- and I have contacted every client with a cake for this much- to which I have had no response. I have also contacted everyone who received a quote around the time of the deposit.
My greatest fear is that this client will call me either the day before or on the day of their wedding asking about their cake- and due to the fact that I have no confirmed order for them- as I could not trace the payment- they will be left without a cake!!!
Hopefully the owner will come forth and I will be able to match the payment with the cake!
Moral of this story is that when using internet banking- make sure you use the transaction tittle stipulated by the recipient!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

1 year on!

Well today marks exactly one year since I started this blog!
Thank you so much to all of the readers who view the site each week!
I was lucky enough to have over 9300 visitors last year alone!

Although I have a site meter that lets me know where most of my readers come from, I would love to know why you come and read this blog!
Below is a Poll- Please take a second to click on the most relevant option for you.
If you choose other- or believe that you want to express yourself more- I would love for you to leave a comment!

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Number 3

Ok- I know this is my third post for the day- but I can't bring myself to box together all of my thoughts and stories into one entry!

Last but not least- this weeks cakes!
I have had such pretty cakes this week- however some of my photography is substandard!
This week everything was "pretty" soft and traditional- with many of the cakes having soft piping detail.

The first one is and ivory iced cake, with a star Jasmine and vine and dot pattern weaving over the tiers.

The next one- sadly- I cannot claim as my own. It is based on an Original design from Sweet Art in Sydney. Although the cake looks a pale yellow- in my tragic photo- it is actually lustred a soft gold, with a brush embroidery overlay, and sugar roses.

Last but not least- this cake with its pale pink mini roses, and pearls is the epitome of pretty.
Sweet piping detail, and a cute couple for the top! ( Cartoon topper was supplied by the client)

In two days my Blog will be turning 1!! Thank you to all of the 9000+ visitors!

Proxy 30......

This week has been filled with family and close friend's birthdays!
Last night I had the pleasure of attending, and creating a magnificent (if I do say so myself) cake for My sister's Best Friend Angela's 30th Birthday!
Angela has her own online Scrapbooking business- Scrap Relief- so it was no surprise when I received her gorgeous handmade invitation. As soon as I saw the invite- I was determined to make a cake that reflected the invitation design.
So I took the 3D flower design and put it onto the cake- in the theme colours of the party- Red and Purple. This cake looked fantastic! And inside it only got better! A white chocolate Mudcake with Kahlua, and a Dark Chocolate Mudcake with Baileys- Need I say more.
Ange also got me to make up some cupcakes for the kids!!

The light from the candles made the lustered 30 sparkle even more!

Angela and her little boy (Zac) Trying to cut through the separator board!!
It took me a few moments to notice them struggling- then I helped them out!

To celebrate her birthday Angela is having a sale of all of her Scrapbooking products! You can check out her specials on her website and her blog!
The cut cake- all matching with the plates, and table cloths!!

As my sister is Overseas, she wasn't able to make the party- so it was great to be able to celebrate with Ange on her behalf- now this morning I am paying for the over celebration!

Happy Birthday Ange!!!

Hits and Misses....

This week has had me on a roller coaster of emotions.
It all started early on Monday morning, when I received an email canceling an order for Saturday- which, but late Monday afternoon was reinstated. I gather there is a long story behind the initial cancellation, some stories are better left untold.

This week I have had my Best friends Birthday- My Mother in Law, and Brother in Laws Birthday, My sister's Best friends birthday, and on Monday- My own mothers birthday! Thats a mouthful! So far I have only made cake for one - with that blog entry to follow!

My New cake studio is up and running- although it is not 100% complete- I am seeing clients in my new room!

Located downstairs at my home, the new Studio (once complete) will not only have my mammoth collection of wedding cake magazines on display- but also some cakes, and feature pictures around the room. The Crisp White and Stainless look was devised by my husband- and has received rave responses from the clients I have met with this week!

Yesterday Morning the Lovely Karen from Bliss Floral came over to drop off some flowers for a clients cake, and to my surprise- and delight!- she had bought me a Massive bunch of flowers- Just because! How wonderful is that! Such a totally unexpected- and much appreciated gesture!
I recommend Karen to my Brides- not only because I used her myself- but she does such wonderful flawless floristry! Her passion for her work really shows in the end product. As you can appreciate I get to work with many florists, and there are a chosen few that I would recommend without hesitation, as their work is always impeccable.

The Bunch of flowers was a mix of mini gerberas, lilies, freesias, and lotus leaves! Gorgeous!
So heavy it almost tipped over in the vase!

On a more somber note, I have had some disappointment lately with clients not showing up for scheduled appointments. As you can appreciate seeing clients and organising their cake- face to face- is a highlight of the design process. I organise consultations around my baking, decorating and delivery schedule, so often this time is very scarce.
Currently I have a 4 week wait for clients wishing to meet with me on a Saturday Morning, and a 3 week wait for an after hours appointment- so when clients simply don't show up I am left feeling not only frustrated, but disheartened for the genuine clients who are left waiting (seemingly unnecessarily) for weeks, for their consultation.

I try to be as flexible as possible, to accommodate my clients with times that suit them- so when I had a request from an interstate Bride for a consultation on Friday ( as she was only up here for the weekend) I shuffled my schedule to fit her in. I confirmed the time with her on Friday Morning, and I was bitterly disappointed, not because she rang 10 minutes after the scheduled time to say she was running late, but when she rang 20 minutes later (wanting to still attend her consultation), and was short and blunt with me- because I could no longer see her, as I had prior commitments, which meant by the time she got to me I would have had around 10 minutes with her- barely enough time to introduce myself let alone design a cake for her.

I am not one to publicly criticize, I have always had ( and still do) such fabulous clients, but it really does make you feel down when you go to such effort for each and every consultation, and clients just don't show up.

This week's consultations did end on a bright note though! I met a fabulous couple yesterday morning- the Groom grew up in Scotland- so I got to chat to them about my upcoming trip, as well as designing a gorgeous cake for their wedding in June!!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Big Beginnings........

This week just flew by!
It isn't often that I get the opportunity to make engagement cakes- as I am usually fully booked- but this week I had the chance to create not one- but two engagement cakes!
The first was a variation if the chocolate box design I created a few years back (originally for my Father in Laws Birthday). Encased in a solid chocolate box, complete with chocolate ribbons and tag- this cake featured lime green and dark chocolate hearts set into white chocolate, topped off with lime and dark chocolate ribbons. The colour combination looked great!

The next engagement cake was a last minute addition to my baking list. This couple was let down by their original supplier- after paying a deposit for their cupcakes, when the Bride to Be went to finalise the details- the company decided that they no longer "wanted" to do their order! HOW RUDE! Even though I was at my limit- I was more than pleased to be able to help this couple with their request. Coconut white chocolate mud cupcakes iced in vanilla butter cream with a Chocolate sugar heart, and dark chocolate mud cupcakes with chocolate butter cream and an ivory sugar heart! Together it looked great!

This week I did a couple of really BIG cakes.
The first is definitely in line with current cake fashion. Four tiers- each tier slightly offset from the one underneath, with smooth Ivory plastic icing, and Mushroom pink sugar roses ( to match the Bridesmaids dresses). This cake weighed a tonne! Even my Husband strained to carry it! Luckily for us- the XXXX Ale house had a lift to get the cake upstairs!

The next cake had 6 cakes inside. With each tier measuring around 18cm high- this cake was filled with butter cream, and iced in butter cream, with a soft palette finish.
Fresh roses and orchids to decorated the cake- leaving a soft pretty "Big Wedding" style cake!

A reminder that Voting is still open for the 2008 QLD ABIA awards- so If you have been a past wedding client, and would like to vote for your suppliers- and go into the draw to win a Luxury Hinterland Retreat- then click on this link!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Day Tripping......

This past weekend- saw me spend All of Saturday- through to 6pm at night delivering cakes!!
I usually don't deliver cakes that late- but by special request- I hand delivered a cake to a private Charter boat, just prior to the guests arrival. On what had been a mostly fine day- the rain- of course- had to come down, just as I delivered a cake that had to be carried 200m out to the boat dock! Needless to say the cake was fine, just myself and my husband were a little damp.

I am beginning to get allot of repeat requests for cakes I have done on the past- this week included one of my favourites- Martha's Magic. Originally inspired by a cake on the cover of a Martha Stewart's Weddings magazine, this design wonderfully combines chocolate with rolled fondant. With the base and second tier wrapped in a solid marbled chocolate collar- and chocolate satin bows on the other tiers- this cake is not only huge- but looks fabulous!

Designs like this aren't easily created. Finding the right sized film to work with the chocolate- and also having to be super neat- as not to spill the chocolate onto the sugar paste and stain it- kept me on my toes for sure. After delivering all 2okg+ of this cake to Gianni's in the city, safe and sound, I was back delivering again!

The next stop was the Downtown Rugby Club where, after talking with a parking inspector- so that she wouldn't book me whilst I delivered the cakes- I delivered this gorgeous Three tier white contemporary style design.

With each tier twisted, white sugar roses, and a quited top tier- this cake was really pretty and elegant!

Another favourite for the week was this three tier chocolate design. With smooth and level white chocolate chards- and Ivory roses and petals to decorate- this was a real "Wedding" chocolate cake.

This week is already speeding by!
I had better get back to it!!