25 Days of Inspiration, a Revelation & a Resolution!

Unlike the chicken and the egg story, I know what came first ... the inspiration not the revelation.  However, the two have now come together and become a resolution!

To start from the beginning would be a good start! :)

In the madness that has been November, and most of 2011 for that fact, I have had something niggling in the back of my mind.   Not that it is not in the front of mind most of the time, but it is now screaming at me for attention!   OK .... I am still jumping ahead!

To know me before Blissfully Sweet (BS), would be to know a slightly different variation.   All the same mainly, but at the moment there are a few things amiss!   To all and sundry for as long as I can remember, I have been known as " the organiser", the "Martha", the "person to go to".   I think I always have been really.   Memories of organising dinner parties for my parents when I was 11 years old and making out my own menus with choices and ensuring I wanted to have the right servingware .... yep, definitely always been! Do not get me wrong, I still am those things, but inside my mind, something was screaming! .....not something, someone and it was me!

I have many faults (which I refuse to list here lol), but my main fault or inability at the moment is to say NO!   I have always been a pleaser, wanting to achieve, or even overachieve at everything I do.  I think it is the scorpion in me and also the fact that I am definitely my mother's daughter!   I refuse to believe that I cannot do anything I put my mind to (except singing I think) and have always lived my life like that, fearless and determined.

When I started this venture, I suppose I was naive in wondering where it would lead to.  I was a self taught wannabe cake decorator with only one goal - to make people happy with cakes!   The beauty of this dream was that I could achieve it from my own home and that I would be able to enjoy time with my family and still be able to nurture them, as well as my own creative soul, and hopefully even a business.

Like all of us in this same business, I am sure we all started with nervous quiverings of anxiety and hoping that it will be good enough!   Our main strength, and foe, is our own critical eyes - we see everything!  The good, the bad, the forgotten.   The main critic we fight with everyday is ourselves!

I was lucky from the first I think.   However I do not see it as luck, I see it as a reward of persistence!   I worked with client's that were easy to deal with and were excited about what I could do for them.  Word of mouth spread and 3.5 years later, I can say that I have never had a week without an order or preparation to be made.  I feel very proud that a large majority of my clientele are repeat customers as well as referred customers.  I still get bewildered when I get very excited requests from clients that have seen my work online.   I say all this not to toot my own trumpet, because if you know me, you know this is not true.   I say this as background information.

2011 has been by far the busiest time of my life on all counts - personally and business wise.   I have 3 boys - Liam aged 8, Ben aged 5 and Noah aged 14 months.   This alone tells you of a busy personal life.   However I am very lucky to be married to a man that grounds me everyday and is my best friend.   My boys adore him as much as I and without his constant support, none of this would be possible.  

From a business point of view, 2011 has had many highs!   I have had the priviledge of collaborating with exceptional stylists that I could only previously admire.   I now call one of them a dear friend, Leanne of Sweet Style, and associate with many others whose work I so admire.   I have had the opportunity in this year to create some beautiful cakes for clients who have given me free reign, which always excites me.  I have made 3 beautiful birthday parties for my boys this year and another for my gorgeous nieces.   I have also been featured on the Amy Atlas blog 5 times since August. I have presented at workshops on food styling and have had my cakes and treats photographed on beautiful tables for outstanding online publications like Birds Party, The Party Dress and My Little Jedi.  One of the highlights was being asked to design and make a cake for Cosmo Bride magazine - still excited when I think about it.   My mind is still a whir when I think about the past year!   Such a ball, but again, inside my mind, I am screaming!

I started this venture to try to be everything to everyone and I realise now that maybe I cannot.  However, with the beauty of hindsight, I think I still can be that, but I need to prioritise a little better.   Not the cakes though - I need to prioritise ME and also the people who need me the most!

It is with a sad heart that I admit that in the whir of 2011, in the wake of lots of cakes, my family has been left behind, as well as my organised life and organised mind!   Something needs to give!

So I made a revelation that will now become a resolution for 2012 and onwards. 

I will start to say NO more
I will ask for HELP

You actually do not know how hard that conclusion was to come to!  However, when the penny did drop, it dropped hard and loud and I heard it!

2012 will be a year filled with wonderful opportunities I hope, as well as creative and magnificent cakes to make.    I am completely addicted to the process and LOVE everything about what I do.  I feel very priviledged to have the wonderful blessings I do.    I feel like after 40 years I have finally found ME, the me that was waiting.    So bring on a new year with new challenges.  However they will be scheduled in AROUND my family and NOT my family around the cakes.   My family need me and I NEED THEM!   I also need my cakes!  They give me a sense of my own creative side and to know that this is my niche.

Which leads me onto my 25 days of inspiration!

While laying in bed and scouring magazines, as is my norm, I found something that made me think.   It was an article about 365 days of inspiration.   The article's main point was that every day during that time, this person would avidly look at the inspiration in their daily life, and capture it in photos to remember and remind ourselves about the daily things that really do amount up to the people we are.

So I thought, perfect!  I would like to do this in line with my relevation and resolution.   It would be a great chance to practice some photography (another favourite thing) and to put in a journal form as such, the everyday blessings that form my everyday life.   It is also a perfect time, as I am now in the wind down to Christmas and I wanted to ensure that I had this special time available for my family to celebrate the small things together.   I am a COMPLETE CHRISTMAS NUT!   I love everything about it and through this, I think that I will be able to be given a healthy reminder about my initial inspiration!

So, on this last day of November, I leave you with this first photo - titled:


During this wind down, I am taking the opportunity to spring clean out my pantry, my cook books (I am embarrassed of the size of this collection!) and my new "consultation room".  I came across this book late last night and it had sooo many memories.  It was my mums.   I remember her making our cakes from these pages and I thought this is the perfect first photo to show where it started from .... and I took it in my new room.   I love the 60s feel I gave to the photo!   It does take me back .....

I will be posting up every few days with my new photos and hope that you will enjoy this small glimpse into my daily inspiration.

I thank you for the time that you take in reading, commenting and appreciating my work.   It really is the creative soul of me that shines when I hear such beautiful feedback.   Enjoy this beautiful and festive season and I hope that this month leading up to Christmas is joyful, restful and filled with many days of inspiration!



Penny said...

Jacki - this happened to me in July - a year into my business. My family got left behind and I turned into a screaming banshee. I set some boundaries and rules around my time and have not wavered from it. And now the balance is much better. xxx

Leoni said...

Oh my goodness, that could have been written by me!! Except I am a sagitarius, turning 40 next year with 4 children and I am a selft taught wanna be cake maker who started almost 2 years ago!! I think you are my long lost twin, I could also relate to what you said about organising dinner parties at the age 11 and selecting the menu and serving ware. I even did the floral arrangements back then, and folded the napkins restaurant style LMAO

Thank you for sharing your journey above, that same penny dropped in this household in October this year. My new years resolution is also say NO more and organise my work that is comfortable for my family and I, not the other way around. You are a true inspiration and would love to meet you one day :-)

Leoni - Just call me Martha

OCakes said...

I just read this article and it was like reading my own thoughts. I've been "doing cakes" for 8yrs now as a business & often my family is "left behind" as you said - because I "can't say no" - also, as you said! I really enjoyed this. I LOVE your work! I was shocked that you were only lat 3.5yrs! I was brought to your site as I selected one of your wedding cake tables as inspiration for my niece's wedding this August. I am now following your blog, I don't see anything I don't LOVE - and I really enjoy your sense of humor (and I also have 3 kids, 2 of them being 4yr old twins! ..oh, & I also just went through my embarrassing stack of cookbooks, lol!) Thank you for sharing =)

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