The other day I was sitting in a wonderful little coffee shop slowly sipping a sublimely smooth cappuccino when I noticed a quote on the wall which, as a cake designer and sugar artist, really appealed to me. The quote said:
“We seek goodness and beauty in everything we do to inspire moments of happiness….”
This is so true of what I do and probably why over the years many people have wistfully said that they’d love to do what I do…. they’d really like be me….they’d love the opportunity of working with work with me…… etcetera, etcetera. To give you a taste of what it’s really like behind the scenes, I’m inviting you to fly all the way to Denver, Colorado with me. Are you sitting comfortably? It’s a long 10-hour flight!
Why Denver? Denver is located on the edge of the Rocky Mountains and is known as the ‘Mile High City’. It’s a fascinating place, founded in 1858 as a gold mining town. Today it is a modern vibrant, cosmopolitan city full of towering glass skyscrapers, it is also where Craftsy Inc is based, which is where we are headed.
Craftsy, in case you are wondering, are one of the leading providers of online tutorials for the creative and crafting worlds. They currently have a staggering 5 million members in over 200 countries worldwide. Their categories include quilting, knitting, sewing, photography, painting, cookery and of course my category, one of their largest, Cake Decorating. This will be the third class I’ve filmed with Craftsy and I can’t wait to get started.
Craftsy can be found in three locations within the city and we are going to what is known locally as the ‘Taxi’ building. A rather strange place that to me, looks and feels like a rabbit warren! It is a building full of dark twisting and turning passages, some covered in large grey-green tiles with angular surfaces, and of these passages are darkened rooms with double doors – how can you not get lost?
Our home for the week is Studio D, an averaged sized room with no windows and all very dark except the marble workstation and the fake grey tiled kitchen behind. In front, there are many pieces of technical equipment including monitors, tripods, stands and yards and yards (they still use imperial measurements here in the US) of cables. This may all sound rather drape but trust me, add people, power and cameras and it becomes a fun and vibrant place, a place where the magic happens!
Days 1 & 2 – Prep Days: I’m very pleased to have you with me…..how’s the jet lag? Denver is 7 hours behind BST so it’s going to take a while for us to adjust and if you are feeling like me, you’ll be a little light headed and woozy – nothing a good coffee can’t help fix! Now let’s make a start…there is an awful lot to do, are you good at covering cakes and mixing colours? I do hope so, I could really do with some talented help…..Craftsy’s cake decorating assistant is on holiday and her stand-in is on maternity leave!
Day 3 – Rehearsal Day: This is the day where we run through lessons with the film crew, have a test run in makeup, chat with the talent coach, check the script and make sure everything is ready for filming. However what I’d like to know is have you ‘acclimated’ yet? Yes us Brits do speak a different language to our American cousins, for your information acclimate equals acclimatise. In Denver, it is very hot, very dry and the altitude can also cause problems, the answer I’m told is to try and stay hydrated by drinking 4 litres of water a day. I am finding this impossible to do and consequently woke up this morning not being able to move my head without considerable pain – where is a drip when you need one! It’s taken a while to recover today, but I’ve drunk as much liquid as I physically can and dosed up on the ‘magic’ Acli-Mate powder and all is now well. So much so that I even took part in my first ever Facebook Live post which was a lot of fun.
Day 4 & 5 – Shoot days: As you can see from the shoot schedule below these are full on days, they are also the days when the air conditioning and the humidifiers that make like life more comfortable are repeatedly turned off. It’s 38°C outside, so I hope you have some loose fitting clothing. How are your eyes? Mine really don’t like this dry air and have decided to stream continuously, so much so that the skin at the corners is red and extremely sore. Eye drops and no under eye makeup is the answer for me and maybe for you too, let’s hope this won’t be noticeable on screen.
By the end of the week and despite the many and varied obstacles, did we create “goodness and beauty”…well of course we did. Three vibrant colourful celebration cakes that I’m proud of…
Will we “inspire moments of happiness”? From the team’s reaction to my cakes I believe so, but until the editing is finished and the class is published we will have to wait and see.
Happy Cake Decorating
UPDATE: My class is now live so why not find out more or sign up today!