Saturday, January 09, 2010

Hellooooooooooooooooooo!

Yikes, it's been so long since I've been on here I forgot my password. Well, actually I forget my passwords constantly so - whatever.

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. We sure did. I have to say it was probably one of the best. Most definitely the poorest, but we had a great time!

So, what has been going on in the life of Shazza these days? I guess you could say a lot. I've changed careers. I am now a cookie baker! 3 months ago if anyone would have asked me what royal icing was I wouldn't have had a clue. Now I decorated hundreds sugar cookies and created an army of gingerbread men and women and have delighted many folks around the holidays.

It's been a blast!

This all came about in a moment of synchronicity.

Back in the summer I went to a friends bar-b-que. Many of the guest were artists and their spouses. Some I knew...most I did not. It was interesting that I went to this party as I was reading a book my sister gave me called "The Artists Way" by Julie Cameron. I've been trying to get more in touch with my creative self and the book has some really great exercises to help you become "unblocked".

Anyway - at the party I met some really wonderful people. We all sat casually around the table like we had known each other for years. Now normally I am a little pensive at parties with people I don't know, but I felt at home with this group.

Two of the ladies I met were Helen and Kim. Helen is a watercolor artist. You can see here work here: http://www.helenharrispaintings.com/ and Kim was working for a large corporate company that paid the bills and kept them both covered by insurance. (Hooray for Civil Unions in NJ)

It was one of those meetings where you talk and laugh and have so much fun that you didn't want it to end. We had an immediate bond.

We befriended each other on Facebook and told each other to keep in touch.

Then....one day I got a call from Kim. Her job at the company she worked for had been eliminated and she was now unemployed. BUT - she had an idea!

She wanted to open up a cookie delivery place. Bake cookies and deliver them warm to your house with any topping you want. Kim wanted to know if I was interested in helping out.

Sure...why not? I am still unemployed and had the job rejection blues. This would get me out of the house and make some new friends.

Then Kim asked me: Do you know how to bake?

Um...well sure I guess. I've baked cookies and cakes and breads in my life. How hard could it be?

Next thing I know - Kim and her partner Helen found a little store front in downtown Toms River, NJ and created the Cookie Cab! http://thecookiecab.net/ (There isn't much on the website at the moment, they have been VERY busy!)

So, since the end of October I've been baking my little heart out and I am having the time of my life! Helen and Kim are two great ladies, I get to be a little creative finding new recipes and playing with royal icing and we have fun! Lots and lots of fun!

The high school kids have made the place a hang out and even though we were initially hoping it would not be that way, the kids have been great. Respectful and nice. They can plug their iPod into the stereo and play their music. We have a few games around the dining area for them to play and they in turn buy a lot of soda and cookies and brownies and chat with us and their friends.

That is what I've been doing these past few months. The holidays were crazy busy with trays and trays of cookies ordered for office parties and gifts. Our cookies are a bit different than some of the other trays around the area in a sense that we don't bake the same ol' mass production cookies that most of the other bakeries do. We use all fresh ingredients, no frozen cookie blobs and we change our specialty cookies almost every week.

I've gained back all of the weight that I lost over the summer, but I really don't care.

The initial "make your cookie, your way" idea has changed but this is a growing little business and we are adapting to what the customers want. They've given us a lot of positive feed back and ideas and through word of mouth they have really helped us grow.

Thank you wonderful customers!

Now - for my New Years resolution I want to get reacquainted with my blog, because I do miss it and I think I'll have some amusing stories to share about "The Cab" and also because I am wasting WAY too much time on Facebook stalking other people and playing Mafia Wars.

What a time suck that is!

And - I want to get more in tune with my creative side. I finished a painting for a friend of mine and it got the ol' juices flowing and now I have a gazillion different ideas in my head that I hope to work into some kind of reality.

I need to find something to do with all of the paper I've shredded to clean off my desk. A friend suggested paper mache! I haven't done anything with paper mache since I was in the 4th grade so this could be an interesting challenge!

Stay tuned folks - I'm not sure what you will see on here in the next few weeks, months etc., but hopefully it won't be boring!

Happy New Year and peace to all!

And here is a photo of my latest painting. It's called "Sailing Bob" and it's a portrait of my friends father who passed away in October after a very long battle with cancer.

5 comments:

Poetikat said...

You have certainly found your niche, Shaz! I'm so pleased for you.
Do you send out care packages to cookie-deprived Canucks?

I look forward to your new posts and all the fun updates.

Beautiful painting too!

Time suck,eh? Don't abandon Billy the Kat, I'm in enough trouble already with only 11 Mafia!

dive said...

Wowee! What a deliciously upbeat post, Shazza.
So glad that you have found a new and particularly scrummy vocation. Mmmmm … cookies!

And what a gorgoues painting! I can see Neetzy's not the only talented artist in your family.
Fantastic!

Keep the good news coming.

the only daughter said...

Love the painting, love the news...baking, WoW!

Congratulations to you and a very Happy New Year!

8thdayplanner said...

Happy to see you back posting, baking, painting, and a new puppy!

A happy and healthy new year to you too!

neetzy said...

Yay! Glad you're back! Amazing how "synchonicity" happens. You know I love that painting. Keep on keepin on!