Most of you know how very moved I was by having met Talia Castellano last year. God certainly had a plan in allowing me to make her 13th birthday cake via Icing Smiles last August 18th. This tiny child moved mountains in my heart- her fearlessness calmed me, her grace encouraged me, her life story inspired me. When the family reached out to me for help in honoring her life and birthday during the tribute event being planned I felt as though another piece of me had fallen into place. It just felt so right. We decided on mini cupcakes for the guests and at that time did not now how many to expect but anywhere from 1000-2000 plus the family wanted a birthday cake for Talia that they could keep and also just a small carrot cake to take home as that is Talia’s favorite. Talia had asked for a Paris themed cake prior to gaining her wings last month. If you know me then you also know that Paris is very personal to me as my mother, who also passed away from cancer 3 years ago, took me on a trip to Paris before she was diagnosed. That trip impacted me greatly and brought about Bliss Pastry. My mother also attended the church where the tribute was held. Everything has seemed so connected between Talia, myself and the loss of my mother. That loss is what Talia’s light helped to heal in me. This was a painful cake to make. It was painful to witness her passing even at the distance of social media. It brought me back to the details of losing my mom. I had a recurrance of those night time flashes which jolt me awake. Seeing my mom as I saw her for the last time. Remembering the place your heart is in where you begin to pray for deliverance and mercy. My heart was so moved by Talia’s family and her friends. By her mother who stayed by her side and held back her own fear and pain to be steadfast and true in comforting and supporting her children. By all of her family and friends who maintained hope through every moment until the moments passed and Talia was freed from her body. When you see them you can feel the exhaustion of their pain. Very clearly. Yet they reach out to everyone and let everyone reach out to them. They are gracious and kind and thankful. And right away you can see that all of Talia’s amazing qualities run deeply through that family. Since last night I have been absolutely haunted by the memory of Mattia and her friend singing Dancing In The Sky. I have been singing it all day. Mattia has the most incredible voice that emotes and mesmerizes and I hope she realizes she has a gift and a future right there. The most beautiful voice and song I think I have ever heard. It was perfection. Another gift that I will never forget. In making Talia’s cake I wanted it to be fun, quirky, playful and unique. Like Talia. Lots of Marie Antoinette dress inspired ruffles, corseting that was not too grown up but not too childish either, luxury, fun, all beneath a hunters moon shining behind the Eiffel Tower. A girl with all the style and energy to take over the world. Talia’s little poodle, Bella, is there as well looking over her mommy with a pink rose adorning her ear. My deepest gratitude and respect and love to Talia and her beautiful family and friends. Thank you for blessing me. Thank you for accepting the gifts of my hands and heart. It really means the world to me.
At first I thought steampunk was just a wicked cool looking part goth part robot part sci fi “style” but it really has a deeper message. Or maybe I am just really good at seeing messages in anything and everything. Taking bits and bobs of things and building something new with them is a very cool idea. For this design I was walking through the house wondering how I was ever going to make a bird for the top of this cake and I literally tripped over a toy on the floor. I may have said a bad word. Looked down. It was a broken robot/transformer looking wing. Gasp! It seemed just a miraculous thing to trip on at the exact moment I needed to trip over something like that. So I washed it up dusted it with cornstarch and pressed my paste in to it and it was the perfect size perfect shape. We always have exactly what we need when we need it. It may take us tripping over it to realize we had it all along. There are times when happiness comes easy and there are times when although we are not unhappy we are not quite comfortable. Not quite living our potential. Straining under the weight of all that we could be doing if not for whatever that thing happens to be that holds us back. We get restless. Twitchy. Maybe even a little short tempered. Instead of moving like a robot through our days blaming everyone and everything for wrapping us in chains we cannot break I realized something. You have the life you have. You have the day you have. The moment. You have each breath. I realized that there is no such things as chains. There is no cage. Except the one we imagine we are in. Take what you have in front of you, each day, each moment. Even if it looks broken and busted and useless -it is not. Pick it up, examine it and open your mind to what you can turn it in to. You may feel like a machine day in day out but if you reach deep down you will find you still have wings, the cage springs open, you take the key in your mouth and you know that you will never be back in that cage again. You are meant to fly free and brave and shine your colors down on everyone you meet. Use the bits and pieces of yourself that may be tarnished and broken, polish them up until they gleam gold in the sun, and use them for a better purpose. Re-purpose your life. Re-purpose your self. Fly and be free!