Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wherever the whim takes me

I stated in my "About Me" section that I have several likes, hobbies, know, things I like to do when I'm not required to work, sleep, eat or bathe. Here's a little bit more about just that. My blog is going to probably talk about all of these things at one point or another. I'm not exactly sure what my blogging will evolve into but for now, I plan to just talk about life, and what I'm moved by....wherever the whim takes me.

I love music...and singing...but music? Oh man...LOVE it! I'm surrounded by it, immersed in it and every chance I get I'm either listening to it or singing with it. Music moves me. You know what I'm talking about. The rhythmic beat comes drifting through the speakers and somehow seems to penetrate your very being, making you move in ways you have no control over. First, your foot starts tapping, then you feel your head begin to bob, the hips go next and depending on your willingness to surrender to the urge, all sorts of ridiculous shaking and wiggling may very well soon follow. But who cares? You are dancing! I bet it feels good too, doesn't it? Freeing almost...? Good!  Keep doing it.  And don't worry about the way that person keeps staring at you awkwardly, they're most likely just jealous that they don't have moves like you (you hope). So, yeah, I love music.

On another note...

Do you ever drive somewhere in the car and just see the most beautiful scene and wish in that moment your eyes could capture the "picture" so you can share it with everyone you know and people you haven't even met yet? Ugh! It happens to me all the time. My mom tells me I have "an eye" for photography, and maybe I do. But really, I don't know how anyone can look at this beautiful world and NOT believe in God.  Baffles my mind. I wish I had a camera attached to me so in that split instant, and without even having to think about it, I could just whip it out and snap that perfect moment letting it live on and be shared with everyone willing to appreciate the simple beauties, through my eyes.

So this is what I saw when I left work yesterday to head home...

And again, this morning as I was heading in to work....

I captured these with my iPhone and wished I'd taken the time to grab my camera....maybe tomorrow.
But see what I mean? Glorious! I think God is my favorite artist of all time.


Ok, onto a more recent and surprising little tidbit I discovered about myself over the summer of 2012.
I LOVE BAKING! I never knew I did until I had this overwhelming urge and desire to master the art of decorating a simple cupcake and make it look ravishing. My mom suggested I take a cake decorating class from A.C. Moore or Michael's to get some inspiration, so I figured, not a bad idea. I stopped into my local Michael's and lo and behold they were signing people up for the entry level Wilton Method cake decorating class.  It's a 4 lesson series, each consisting of 4 classes. I was slightly disappointed when I realized this first level course was mostly refresher to my 4-H days when we were blessed with being in a group with a woman who was a professional cake decorator.  I'd had SOME experience with it before and this course just brought it all back to me.  HOWEVER, and this was a HUGE surprise, I found something out about me that I never really knew before. Every class required us to bake something to decorate for class.  So there I was, annoyed that I already knew how to do the decorating part AND I had to BAKE? You have GOT to be kidding me!!! I'll be honest, we had to bring cookies to the first class and I cheated....I bought them :(  But I swore to myself that I couldn't continue to buy all the baked goods or it would cost me a fortune, so I begrudgingly decided that I would BAKE my own cupcakes for the next class. I did just that, and you know what?  It wasn't bad at all.  In fact, I rather enjoyed it tremendously.  The next class rolled around and we were ready to make a cake. I decided to bake it myself, and much to my delight, I loved it! By the third class, I was chomping at the bit.  I had already taken it upon myself to make several dozen cupcakes for one of our family's regular Sunday dinner gatherings and used it as an excuse to "welcome my brother and sister home" from their respective business trip and camp adventures.

Welcome home cupcakes

 Class time play...2nd class

 3rd class project

 Last cake for class

Ok, it should be blatantly obvious by now that I needed no further encouragement or enticement to bake more cakes. I couldn't wait for the final class of the first lesson. Our kitchen was warm and the house smelled of chocolate and sweet buttercream as I prepared for my next and final class. My Wilton teacher seemed to really like my decorating and even told me I was "a natural". Truth be told, I may have let that go to my head, just a wee bit. That little nugget of encouragement gave me the courage to make my first real-deal birthday cake.  It was a joint birthday celebration since my dad and oldest nephew's birthdays are one day apart. The challenge at hand was for a lemon, blackberry and raspberry cake. LEMON LEMON LEMON, I was told. Ok, no sweat! I got this. I was totally in over my head, but I didn't care. I just jumped in and ended up whipping up what my mom referred to as the best cake she'd ever tasted. WHAT?  Really?? Wait, you mean I'm actually GOOD at this?!?!  I could hardly believe my ears and the reaction my family had to my budding baking skills.
 Simply decorated, but I made the topper (sculpted with clay) and they boys loved it

Well, that did it, I just dove right in head first and started making cupcakes and birthday cakes for family affairs, bringing in yummy goodies to work and getting a bit of business going on the side.  I never in a million years imagined I would be good at something.

Test run for my sister's upcoming Vow Renewal

My sister's 8-layered Lemon, Coconut & Raspberry birthday cake (during assembly)

A Neapolitan birthday cake for a co-worker's wife...just cause

There is usually a little voice in my head when I first set out on a new endeavor that goes, "Whoa Katie....what do you think you're doing?? You can't do that! You'll never be good enough." and other sorts of rubbish. This time, however, there was no voice.  I keep getting inspirations and ideas and choose to dig deep and follow through on what by most people's opinions would be considered rather difficult for a beginning baker, but thus far I have completed most satisfactorily, if not above par, on all my endeavors, or so I've been told. I'm getting consistent orders for my gourmet cupcakes and feel my passion growing when I would have thought by now, it would have sizzled.
The way I see it, I've just begun to scratch the surface and I can't wait to see what I'm capable of!

With Easter coming this Sunday, I have cupcakes to make (I'll post some pictures) and two birthdays coming up the following weekend.

Won't you stick around and see what I create next?  It might delight you. Or even inspire you! Either way, I hope it sweetens your day like it does mine.

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