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Monday, June 9, 2008

A "Layered" Life: An Interview with Karin from Icing on the Cake Studio

Lemon Chiffon Cake

We recently “sat down” with Karin from Icing on the Cake Studio and Creative Chaos to ask her a few questions about cakes, crafting, and inspiration.

How long have you been “baking” these cakes? What was your original inspiration for your first cake?

Actually, not that long. I was getting ready to do my one-year blogiversary giveaway and was trying to think of something that would be fun and relevant to the “big” event. Somehow, someway, a Birthday Cake popped into my head and away I went with it….

What are your favorite materials to use? How long does it take to make one?

I start with papier-mâché boxes. I love to use vintage wallpaper as the base of the cake but have been known to use whatever strikes my fancy at the time. From there, I use trims, ribbons and papers to “frost” the cake and embellish it with flowers. I always finish it off with a ton of glitter. The time it takes to make one can vary depending on the complexity of the design and how much my kids are bugging me while I’m working on it.

Strawberry Shortcake and Cream Cake

Do people usually buy your cakes for décor or for a special occasion?

Usually both. The nice thing about a cake is that I can personalize it for the occasion or for the person.

What was the first craft you learned to do? At what age? What are your favorite crafts to do now? What inspires your crafting now?

I feel like I’ve been crafting as long as I can remember. Creating and art are a part of me as much as my arms or legs. It’s something I always felt drawn to. Although I began college as an art major, I eventually changed to Journalism and Psychology. I fell into the field of social work for a number of years before starting my own design business about 10 years ago, and I designed and sold children’s layette and embellished picture frames wholesale through sales reps until my first son was 3. I then decided to put it aside for awhile to stay home with him and my second son.

Just about two years ago I was itching to get my creative groove back, I started creating jewelry, and then I discovered the world of creative blogs and was hooked. I took a completely different direction with vintage paper collage and paper art … not to mention the fun I was having writing in my blog. The whole blog community has inspired me beyond words. With young children, I felt a bit isolated artistically, so blogging has been a great way to connect with other artists who “get” my need to create. That really has been the biggest inspiration for me lately.

What music do you listen to while creating?

When I have my way, I listen to an odd mix of 70’s music and old-school rap on my cable station. When I don’t have my way, it’s usually a mix of Thomas the Train songs. Not the most inspiring music to work to … but it keeps certain little people happy!

What is the craft tool you can’t live without?

Does coffee count? No? Well then my glue gun. I LOVE my glue gun! I’ll let you in on a little secret if you promise not to tell my husband: I leave it plugged in all the time. Yep. Because you never know when you’re going to have a glue emergency and there just isn’t time to wait for the darn thing to warm up! I also love Paper Glaze for affixing my glitter—it changed my life and the way I glittered forever.

Vanilla Cream Cake

What do you find is the biggest obstacle to leading a creative life?

Never enough hours in the day to create!!

What idea/motto/etc. do you use to get you through those rather "uncreative" moments?

It sounds soooo cliché … but, “this will pass.” I used to get freaked out when I wasn’t feeling the “creative groove.” I would think that last great idea flew out of my head and that was the end of that. But what I’ve discovered is that everything comes in waves, and creativity is no different. When I’m feeling less than inspired, I totally go with it. I now know that subconsciously I’m just recharging my batteries, and I have the confidence to know that inspiration will return.

Is crafting your "main" job? If not, what do you do in "real" life? What is your hope for the future of Icing on the Cake Studio?

Right now being a mom to two active, fun boys is my “main” job. Everything I do for Icing on the Cake and Creative Chaos works around them right now. But as they get older, and especially when my youngest goes to school, I’ll have more time to carve out. I love being with them and know they’ll be growing up faster than I can imagine. So, right now it’s a balancing act between the two things I love to do: being a mom and being an artist!

Thanks Karin!

Be sure to visit Karin’s Etsy shop Icing on the Cake Studio and her blog Creative Chaos.


Sherry/Cherie said...

Great interview with Karin -- I love her creations -- they look so edible and decadent!!!

I'm smiling at listening to the Thomas the Tank Engine songs -- brings back some happy memories of when my boys watched those videos and the tv show.

The Rose Cottage said...

I really enjoyed reading this interview and I think your cakes are amazing and beautiful Karin :) I also enjoy your writing, your blog posts always have a sense of humor to them and make me giggle*
Thank you for sharing with us!

Debbi said...

yummm. These cakes are sooo beautiful. Enjoyed reading the interview!

Cindy@Cutepinkstuff said...

Nice post! Karin, I feel as if I know you even though we have never met. I miss talking to you when we were in Swanky Moms! Beautiful cakes! You are so creative! One day I expect to see Thomas the Tank Engine as a cake topper, or maybe Percy, or Toby, or James, or Bill, or Ben, or. . . .

Cindy @ cutepinkstuff.com

Anonymous said...

Your cakes are beautiful, Karin! Great interview too.

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OMGosh I love the strawberry shortcake!

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Charmingdesigns said...

This is wonderful!! right above is Marionberry...shes contacted me. found out she lives about a half an hour away.lol. small world! Laurie

Anonymous said...

Adorable I make wedding cake boxes!