Friday, February 14, 2014

Gifts & Talents

In case anyone ever feels intimidated by my baking (or art & craft) posts...DONT!

I firmly believe 

• we all have different talents & are gifted in different areas.
• not everyone is necessarily born with the knowledge needed for that talent, but we can learn & practice.
• sometimes the talent or gift FOR a certain talent comes with age & maturity, & possibly even need...!?!

My first attempts at baking were horrible. Barely anything I baked in my teens & early 20's worked. 

Now I want to take a minute here to apologise for the quality of the pics in this post; they are photos of photos. I had the idea for what I wanted to say & wanted to get it written & posted straight time to scan photos lol :-/

The picture I'm going to share with you is from my 3rd child's 1st birthday; I was 25 turning 26 later in the year. I had thought I couldn't sink any 'lower' than a shop bought & decorated sponge, with a few tiny teddies thrown on top, for my eldest child's first birthday. How wrong I was! 

For this cake I purchased two premade sponge 'slabs' which I cut into the shape of the number 1 and attempted to hold it all together with jam & whipped cream. I can't remember if I ran out of cream but I know the cut edges were a nightmare & I was so embarrassed by the finished result. 

To be fair on myself I was struggling to survive on a single parent pension & no maintenance with 3 children to support. 

So money was a factor but I do like to think that these days, given the same circumstances I'd come up with a better plan. I believe my skill has developed with maturity. Yes I must have some sort of natural talent to start with but my goodness you can see I've really had to develop that skill, & the desire & tenacity to do this came with age.

My Mum did some pretty good cakes when we were young. 

She was a little ahead of her time I think compared to other mums. These days she would rival Martha Stewart in regards to homemade party food.

 But back in the 80's she was very unappreciated. Kids just wanted chips when they went to a party....chips & chocolate crackles...something my mum never served!

But once my brother & I grew & left home there wasn't any need for decorated cakes so aside from a couple of cakes for my eldest girl, she didn't start again until my eldest sons 3rd birthday. 

She made a Bob the Builder dump truck, the tray loaded with lollies. 

Tucked underneath the tray, under layers of cake & icing were Mars Bars!

But even then, out of practice, it was very hit & miss. I asked for another dump truck but Mum does not like to make the same cake twice. For my 2nd sons 2nd birthday she attempted Bob the Builder cupcakes. They were...ok....the kids got it so that was good.

She has gone from strength to strength ever since, making jungles, volcanoes, the mushroom fairy house....on my Facebook page I will make an album of her cakes.

My mum now makes all the cakes for my children's birthdays until they turn 18. She won't do cakes for adults, and has only on very rare occasion made a cake for a non family member child.  I do cakes for friends children & adults. I do this happily because I know what a blessing it is to not have to worry about a cake when preparing the party & also as practice. My mum won't be here forever. One day she won't be able to make the cakes anymore & I will need to step in and fill the void for my kids, which will keep me fresh & in practice for when it's time to make cakes for my grandchildren :-)

So don't feel discouraged. Be encouraged! Everyone starts somewhere. We might be in the middle of our lives but we can still learn & practice something new!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Power of Pinning...

I'm confused by a newly acquired awareness that the majority of people don't use what they Pin to help them create things...apparently they just pin & pin & pin & don't do anything with that knowledge....

In fact Pinerest is synonymous with procrastinate...!?!

My past posts show what I've taken from Pinterest & 'nailed'; some I've even sarcastically nailed :-/ And I blog what I do & upload to Pinterest detailing my pitfalls or success for others to learn from or get inspired by.

But now I think quite a few people I know feel inadequate because I apply what I Pin.

I'm sharing pics of the baby shower I hosted today.  I had a secret board on Pinterest as there was lots of pregnant mummies in my friends circle & I didn't want anyone lifting my ideas before I'd had a chance to use them. It also helped with the element of surprise for my friend.

Aside from most of the food which was my own idea, as was dying as much of it pink as was possible, the rest was all ideas I found & learned on Pinterest.  Some of it I only stumbled across in the last few days of prep.  

I not only pinned the ideas I wanted, I read the sites & sometimes tutorials that went along with them.  A few times I also needed to google the item to get a broader knowledge base for the one idea.

I'm so happy with my results, and yes it was about twoish months of work, fit in amongst Christmas, a trip away, school holidays & making the most of my time with 6 kids.

All I want to say is if you Pin & don't're Pinning the wrong stuff... :-/

And yes my friend absolutely loved her baby shower & canvas :-)