Monthly Archives: May 2012

Highly Commended

I somehow managed to get through last week! I was pretty pleased with my entry for the cake competition, though I wasn’t that impressed with myself that I was up until 4am the day I was going to Telford to finish it. I thrive on pressure, but I’m not so good at working with no sleep! I didn’t help myself by only deciding on the entry (and ordering the cutters which I didn’t have) with less than 2 weeks to go and there are a few lessons which have been learned for next time!

When the piece was judged and I saw how I’d done, honestly I was a little disappointed to have a ‘highly commended’ in front of my piece. I went away and thought about this though and speaking to the judges helped. My taping and my glazing let me down and they’re both things that I was (deep down!) aware of as I handed my piece in. The flowers themselves I was really pleased with and I received very positive feedback from the judges over them. I was proud of my piece and I hadn’t entered to win anything, I’d entered to challenge myself and to improve my skills. I had achieved both aims. As I was proud of my piece before I handed it over, ultimately, nothing had really changed after I had received a piece of paper. Yes, it would have been nice to have had a bronze or silver, but I can’t argue with the judges and I’m not quite at that standard yet.

I’ve only entered 2 competitions (this being the second) and I can count on 1 hand the number of sprays that I have made. I know deep down I’m not gold standard yet, as being gold in the novice category (the category I had entered) meant that I’m ready to be in the open category and I don’t feel I am, yet. Therefore, with a bit of thought, I’m happy with my ‘highly commended’. I had lots of lovely feedback from friends and lots of ‘well dones’ when I told them and my appetite has been whetted to enter some more competitions and to carry on improving my flowers.

In the short-term, I’ll be catching up on my sleep(!) and I have a stall at the Twickenham Arts and Crafts fair next weekend (Saturday 2 June). After that, I’ll get practising on my flowers as there’s another competition out there and I’d like the judges to comment on how good my taping is next time!

Advertisements

All Change!

Rather shamefully, I haven’t written this for longer than I care to admit. I have been busy, but that’s not really a reason as there’s always time to write something. In the last couple of months, I can’t really say I’ve achieved much, or been able to tick much of any list. I am working on a piece for a sugarcraft competition (organised by the British Sugarcraft Guild and held in Telford this weekend), but that’s only taken over my life for the last week or so!

I’ve been doing a fair amount of thinking recently – about what direction I want my business to go in and how it will get there – and I came to the difficult decision to stop supplying the Earslfield Deli. I had reached the stage where I was baking 3 nights a week and I wasn’t able to do anything else during those evenings. The rest of the week I had to try and catch up on everything else that needed doing and I was struggling to find any balance in my life. As I recently fractured my finger (in February; it’s healing well, but isn’t quite back to normal), I am now more wary of doing too much and I am keen to learn the lessons of not trying to do too much.

I love baking and I did enjoy trying new flavours and recipes, so I’ll keep doing that, but without the pressure of having to do something regularly. I’m also keen to make a few changes in my life and for that reason, I’ve started another blog. That doesn’t mean this one will go to the wall, as they are very different and I’ll be writing about very different things. This will continue to be about my business and cake (and I have promised recipes here, so one day…!) and my other blog is about my adventures in craft. If you want to have a look, please do: http://clairescalling.wordpress.com/

I do have plans for the next few weeks at least – I have the cake competition this
weekend and on Saturday 2 June, I have a stall at the Twickenham Arts and Craft Fair. After that, I’ll start thinking about the future and world domination by cake!