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Monday, December 27, 2010

Thank you and goodbye (for now) !

The last official order for The Cupcake Gallery was completed just before Christmas.

After almost 3 years of The Cupcake Gallery, I’ve decided to stop taking orders for now due to the many changes that will be happening for us in the next 12-18 months. With moving house, welcoming a new baby, husband studying full time at Bible College and me studying part time next year in preparation for our move to Africa to work as Christian missionaries, I really wanted to spend this year focusing on ‘us’ and catching up with friends and family before we head overseas. It is a little sad to see the end of this caking chapter of my life, but I’m excited about what the future holds. If you're interested to know more about our mission journey, go to www.ongsgreatadventure.webs.com

What a journey God has taken my family and I through in the past 3 years of the business and I'm so thankful to him for every minute of it!
If you are unfamiliar with my story, The Cupcake Gallery began like many other home cake businesses – with making the kids’ birthday cakes. I’ve always been interested in cake decorating but really got hooked on it after making my daughter Teaghan’s 1st birthday Noah's Ark cake out of a Debbie Brown book. From there on, word spread and the rest is history! It has been great to be able to work from home as I was able to look after the kids while I worked, but on the other hand it has been hard to draw the line between work and home, which often had me making or decorating cakes all through the day and then until 2 or 3am in the morning. Wedding cake deliveries were always a family affair as my husband and I pack two kids plus cakes into the car for each delivery, but the kids loved wearing their 'uniforms' and dancing around on the dance floor at reception venues.

I never really planned on starting a cake business as my plan was always (and still is) to return to teaching one day (though I did teach part time in 2008 when I was pregnant with Lucas while still running the business, that just about killed me!), but found that I had to run with it when it took off and I'm glad I did. I have learnt so much in these short 3 years of caking. I’ve done new things that I never thought I’d do, and have improved my skills in all areas. I can still remember the thrill of getting that first ‘real’ order – an order from a stranger! Not to mention those first cakes I made to build up my ‘portfolio’. Cakes for a family from our church  –  the cricket cake for Joel, cat cake for Kaylee, and Bakugan cake for Luke (which to this day is still the most viewed cake on my website!).  There's still so much I want to learn and try, but for now, those things will have to wait.

Feb 2008
June 2008
I started my cake making on our dining table which I had to pack up for meal times. I eventually made the move to an area of our lounge room complete with a designated caking table and shelving for my growing collection of caking equipment.

This is the sketch book my husband bought for me when I started. I still use it to sketch my cake designs.

and here is the little oven in our little town house that I've used for all my cakes!

God has given me sooo many opportunities that I feel I really don’t deserve! There are so many brilliant cake decorators from whom I still have so much to learn. But yet God has blessed me with opportunities beyond my dreams, including: competition wins, newspaper press coverage, fundraising event, book, author talk, selling through a cafe, workshops, a page in the local council calendar, and feature in US Brides magazine. Maybe he knew I only have a short time for my caking journey so decided to hit me with everything all at once! Cakes I have made ranged from cakes for a dog's birthday to a cake for politician Maxine McKew.

I have met some wonderful people through the business - mums, brides, fellow cake decorating enthusiasts etc. Then there are those who love and respect my ‘cake art’. It has been great to make new friends through The Cupcake Gallery – many who are talented cake makers I admire, oh how I stand in awe of some of the cake creations out there! A big thank you to all my fans who have been such a support and encouragement to me over the past years. I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of you and some I might only ever chat with online.

So... it is with mixed feelings that I stop taking orders. However, in 2011 I will still be making cakes for my family and friends, running workshops, as well as focusing on promoting my book Fondant Fun. So I guess this is not the last you’ll hear from me!

In summary, this is what I've done in the past 3 years:

3345 cupcakes (including 420 cupcakes sold through a cafe)
109 figurines
18 wedding cakes
30 cakes
10 sculpted cakes

Most challenging cake - Bakugan cake (see above)

My favourite cake – African Water Well cake for the Micah Challenge

My favourite cupcakes - Princess cupcakes (these will be taught at the 26th Feb 2011 workshop)

First order – Ami’s 30th cupcakes (March 2008)

Last order – Lyn’s cakes (Dec 2010)

Lastly, if you are after some beautiful cakes/cucpakes, I'd highly recommend:
Bec-a-licious Cakes and
Creative Cakes by Julie

Love, Jo


Julie said...

Jo, I will miss your cakes so much - you are an amazing artist, but I know you will go on to do more amazing things in other areas! I wish you and your family all the very best for the future! And thank you so much for the mention! xo

Bakverk och Fikastunder said...

Oh no, I just started to follow your blog, you do amazing things.. I wish you the best with your new project!

macaron said...

OMG!! I'm sad, yet excited for you. I've followed your blog for the last 2 or 3 years and love your work. I really admire your skills in personalzing each cake and making it extra special. I always wanted to order something, but I doubt a cake would make the journey to San Francisco. Good luck and enjoy your new chapter in life!!


Mandy said...

Thanks Jo for the wonderful figureine you made Luke for his baptism cake. It was an awesome piece of work and everyone has commented on how nice it was. Very excited about the new chapter in your journey though.xo

Bee's Cake Design said...

Oh what a shame you're stopping! I just google searched you because I saw your work on the Aussie Cake Off comp on facebook. You are absoutely awesome at this! Seriously, your figures are among the best I've seen...
Hopefully you do the odd one now and then.

Bee (of Bee's Cake Design).

Bee's Cake Design said...

Oh what a shame you're stopping! I just google searched you because I saw your work on the Aussie Cake Off comp on facebook. You are absoutely awesome at this! Seriously, your figures are among the best I've seen...
Hopefully you do the odd one now and then.

Bee (of Bee's Cake Design).

Sarah said...

I have just been to your fondant fun at castle hill. I know you say they are easy Jo but I still think you are very talented to do something like that. Your little boy even gave me a hug. He is so cute. I have the council calendar and ever since I saw that I have wanted to meet you and see some of your other amazing cakes.
Good Luck in Africa, I am sure you and your family will be happy there. I hope your baby on the way is well and you enjoy him/her.
All the best

mgibs17 said...

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