Hello you. It’s been a while. But you’re still there and I’m still here and there's something lovely about that. I’m laying on my bed tapping at these keys. The fan is blowing nearby and oh the breeze is welcome. Bastille is playing in the background, only quietly … I need to be able to hear my thoughts.
Yesterday was one of those days that makes you feel 'full'. The best kind of full, like love and happiness has bubbled up inside you and there’s just no room for anything else. Being full from too much pizza is a bit different.
Recently things have been overwhelming. I’ve taken on more business (thank you guys). I’ve felt so driven to make Bridie’s Cakes successful and somehow along the way I’ve lost the spring in my step. Ironically spring truly sprung the life out of me. We can’t have that now can we. I decided to set aside a week where I could just be me. Me the cake maker. Me the girl that likes to shop. Me the one with a big imagination.
Being able to imagine things is such a gift. Like I’ve always thought how magical it must be inside J.K.Rowling’s head and then I realise I’ve been there. Every time I’ve watched Harry Potter. If you have a gift like that, it would be rude not to let people escape with you. We all need to escape sometimes.
Now I didn’t create anything like Hogwarts, but I gathered my thoughts and tried to make them come to life. Summer is beautiful. It makes me appreciate flowers. It welcomes pastel colours. It has no patience for heavy, dark, dull things. Here here for summer.
I planned a shoot. A photo shoot filled with cakes, crockery to die for, layers upon layers and of course ... pink drinks. Instagram and books have led me to this place where I know what kind of style I like. It's the time of year when flowers are at their prettiest and I drew so much inspiration from them.
I'm hoping that the photos and all of my tips below might spark something in you. Make you think of something you'd like to escape to.
P.s. My friend Tash helped me with this shoot. Thank you Tash, you're a star.
I started by collecting all of the pieces which I felt would go well with the 'look' I wanted to create. I didn't want anything fussy, just timeless. I bought roses from M&S and peonies from my local farm shop, Calcott Farm. That show stopping vase filled with blooms is from Sainsbury's (I know!) I love how clearly you can see all of the stems.
I didn't end up using all of these pieces. Seeing all of them together did help me decide what would work best.
I gathered a couple of books. They are the perfect, rustic, not perfect looking way of adjusting levels for things to sit on.
I love buying fruit from the farm shop whenever I can. It's so nice to support their business whilst enjoying THE best fruit around. Before placing fruit on a cake, ensure there's no moisture on it. Otherwise the fruit and cake will go all mushy.
I LOVE blackberries. They're so bobbly and cute. I also love that my mum calls them brambles.
My parents have had these glasses for so long - I think they were a wedding gift. They're so beautiful. That's pink lemonade with a few slices of strawbs. Dusting the fruit on the side with icing sugar is such a simple, effective way of making them look frosty.
Setting something like this up is so enjoyable. It's best to take your time with it. I began by placing the flowers on the trolley. Then the stands. Finally the cakes, desserts and drinks.
Dipping the spoons and forks in buttercream makes everything seem even more welcoming. The cute vase on the left is from a shop in Dorset and the mini cupcake cases are from Lakeland.
And here it is. My summer trolley. The cupcakes are banana and chocolate flavoured. The main cake is my 'vanillary strawberry' flavour. My mum found me this trolley. She bought it for £15 on eBay, what a babe. It has a vintage vibe about it.
I wanted to style a small space to show you that it's the little things which make something beautiful. Even if you're just having the girls over, there are such simple ways to make it special.
Baby's breath/gypsophila always works and it's so cheap. As this shoot was already very pink and floral in my head, I wanted something neutral and rustic to soften it all.
I will always be grateful that mum and dad bought the house with the willow tree in the garden.
I chose this spot because the lighting is subtle. Even though you can't see the willow leaves moving in the photos, they make you feel peaceful, don't you think?
Lovehearts. Let's talk about those. They're simple, sweet and playful. Just like the random fluffs of candy floss I added to this cake.
Having a friend by your side - who happens to be incredibly talented with this sort of thing - is such a good idea. If you work well together, something magic can happen and every photo is a winner.
These gorgeous plates of mine are from M&S. I chose to dress them in colour and texture. I was inspired by Nectar and Stone for these. She has a unique way of layering desserts. It really is an art.
When you've invested time in something like this it really is important to make the most of your photo opportunities. After capturing the moment outside I decided to get a flatlay photo. It is such an effective way of photographing food I think!
I take all of my photos on my iPhone SE. By handpicking places which have good, natural lighting, photos really can be effortless.
Let me know if you liked this post and whether there's any others you'd like to see.
I hope that you feel inspired - to go and be bold and be you.