Today is one of those days that I feel like that successful mom. You know those mornings that you wake up to a clean house, the kids are dressed (okay just the one, but believe me that’s progress in my books), you’ve got showered, dressed, hair and makeup done. The coffee pot is brewing away and scrambled eggs and bacon are cooking on the stove and it’s not even 9am on a Saturday morning?! Yeah I’m relishing in this too as it NEVER happens. This has been my first full week on my own with the kids since coming back from holidays in Texas and then off again to Birmingham, so as you can imagine, the day to day routine has taken it’s toll in the frantic chaos department. Sooo I finally have the chance to tell you all about my trip to Birmingham.
Never in a million years did I ever think I’d be going to this event let alone entering a cake in it. When my friend Victoria asked if I’d like to go I initially declined as we’d just spent a fortune on airplane tickets to visit family. Then I took a harder look at our financial situation and thought if I could squeeze in a few more orders and Kyle was able to get his shifts rearranged…maybe it could be done. And it was. And I’m so grateful that I have a husband that supports my crazy love of cakes.
I figured if I was going to go to the show I may as well enter a piece as well. So I did, even though I knew that when I got back from Texas I would have 4 days to make 3 cakes and also my competition piece. I was adamant I wouldn’t get it done in time. The first leg of my journey I took the train from Thurso to Kingussie and actually covered my entire cake board in black and white checkers on the train. I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t have time to finish. When I arrived in Kingussie I had a few hours of sleep before Janette from Janette MacPherson Cake Craft came to collect me in our rental van (check out her work, it’s phenomenal!) From Kingussie we drove to Glasgow to collect Etty. Etty is the goddess behind Cake Dutchess (another caker to check out as her tutorials are just fabulous!)
We drove for what seemed like a lifetime, and as much fun as those gals are, it’s still a very long drive especially when we were all on very little sleep. We finally reached Birmingham and that’s when the real fun started. Guys!! Do not even attempt NEC without a SatNav. The roundabouts and one way streets are so confusing. Myself and Etty were at the point of hysteria we were so tired and we were at the point that EVERYTHING was funny. Anyway I finally got to my hotel room at 1230am and my piece was still very far from done. I was in panic mode. I gave myself 2 hours and then went to bed for 3 hours. I woke up just in time for Victoria to arrive with her piece. We had to get in line as soon as possible as there were apparently 1300 entries this year!
So I met my friend Victoria last November when we took Avalon and Liz’s Lady Nouveau class in Ireland. We hit it off straight away and spent most of that weekend in each other’s pockets. Since being home we’ve been WhatsApping eachother and then almost a year to the day later, we’re sharing a hotel and attending the world’s most prestigious Cake Expo.
So I bundled Marie Antoinette (my cake of course) into the car and off we go. At this point I’m pretty pleased with her. I think I’ve done an alright job especially with just a couple days to work on her. And then we step in to CI and my heart sinks. I just want to take my cake and run. She’s hideous compared to the talent I’ve just walked into. I take a deep breath, talk myself out of it knowing I’ve come too far and lost too much sleep to give up now. After we leave our pieces we relax a bit and get the hell out to freshen up properly and enjoy the rest of the day.
And what an amazing day it was! We are seeing some of our cake idols left right and centre, there are demo’s, cake stalls and exhibitions as far as the eye can see so we quickly had to work out a starting point and trail so as not to miss anything. You seriously need at least 2 days to take it all in. I’m pretty sure I still missed out on a few stalls. Anything you could possibly need in the cake world plus things you don’t but you know you have to have anyway… I came home with backdrops, lustre dusts, reusable moulds, Cake Crack, cake lace, modelling tools etc. I was like a child in a sweetie shop. When we finally decided that our feet had had enough we went back to our hotel and slept for a blissful 10 hours. We took our time getting ready the next morning as we were crazy nervous about our pieces as we would get our results later that day. When the time finally came I was too nervous to check so Victoria looked for me. I thought I would be disqualified for whatever reason so I was absolutely gobsmacked to find that I’ve been awarded a Bronze! I was ecstatic. I knew exactly where I lost points so for me it was a confirmation that I’m far too hard on myself and that there is definitely room for improvement. All in all a great experience as it made me want to work even harder at my craft.
After all the excitement we still had the Cake Master’s awards to look forward to. Being a full time mother and caker it’s very rare that I get to take my time getting ready and actually getting dressed up, so I’m not sure what I was looking forward to the most 😉
We sat down to a lovely 3 course meal and had the opportunity to meet some of the lovely cakers that we’ve only talked to via facebook and other social media. It was just a really wonderful sense of community. The award giving was an experience in itself and I genuinely got very emotional for all the finalists and award winners as there’s a real sense of understanding when it comes to how much work is put in to where they’ve got to now. All in all a truly wonderful experience. If you’re considering entering the competition I say just go for it! You’ve literally got nothing to lose and everything to gain xx
Here are a few pictures of my Bronze awarded cake!