Monday, July 16, 2012

oh how far we've come...

Well here we are. Today is officially Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe's 2nd birthday. Holy smokes. 

I was browsing through the last 2+ years worth of photos recently...that's actually what inspired this blog. Oh how far we've come! I remember when I first started this blog, I was using my little pocket Canon "point and shoot"! You know, the sliver rectangle camera that does EVERYTHING itself?! I think there might be settings on that thing, but it's not like using them made any difference. Any who what did I know?? I just knew I needed a camera to take pictures of yummy desserts- and a camera I had!


I almost didn't even start this blog. I actually barely even knew what one was! But in 2009 my lovely husband brought the idea up...and continued urging and encouraging me to start one and document the sweet treats I was always making friends and family...until I finally caved agreed in 2010.

Haha. Here we are! 2 years later. Gosh we've come so far.

So like I was saying, the other day I had to find something in an album titled "2010" and low and behold some of the funniest pictures were in there! Like a train wreck I couldn't stop staring at what I had actually photographed, NOT EDITED or barely edited and put up on my blog for THE WORLD TO SEE.

I was in desperate need of Photoshop help. I needed some sort of editing skills! Any of the sort!

Now, by no means am I saying I am some professional photographer or picture taker these days....but I KNOW for a fact I am A LOT (like not even in the same ballpark) better than I was. It's sadistically amusing. I look, laugh at myself, and get this sort of kick out of it. Hahaha.

Feel free to giggle too. Maybe you remember some of these blogs??? If you've been around since day one, you sure do!

I will say one thing. I learned pretty quick that my little "point and shoot" wasn't cutting it. I knew I needed a professional camera. I also knew another dreadful thing: I needed to learn Photoshop. Stat. Ugh. Two things I didn't want to do. Exactly why I didn't want to start a blog. I'm such a pessimist.

My first Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe cake!

A dear friend of mine saw that I was making sweet things, writing about them, and taking this blogging thing seriously, so she asked if I would make her son's birthday cake- in the theme of Toy Story. LITTLE DID I KNOW this little cake would pretty much change Sweet Lavender forever. Well this cake and my Hello Kitty decs...more about later.

I made this cake for her and had such a blast doing it! I now had the opportunity to play around with gum paste- which I had been wanting to do for a while. Those little stars and clouds were the first decorations I ever made... *tear*

Now fast forward 2 years and our Toy Story inspired decorations are not only ONE of our biggest sellers to date- but have also inspired our latest Toy Story Name Plaques, as well as our many different customized name plaques. They've become so popular that we have our own section on Etsy just for them. Funny how one little cake you make for a friend can turn into something like this :)

Besides the Toy Story decorations, these Hello Kitty decs rank on the very tip top of our most popular item we sell on Etsy. Their story is the same as the Toy Story ones. I wanted to play more and more with gum paste- so I decided to bake a friend of mine cupcakes for her birthday. I knew she loved Hello Kitty, so I took that opportunity to see if I could make cuties that looked just like her (Hello Kitty that is).

They were the second edible decoration I ever made. I had NO idea how popular they'd be.

Gosh, looking at those first little ladies...phew have we improved! And THAT EDITING?! Who did I think I was??!? What did I think I was going for!? Ahhhh! I know, let's do white on white with big cracked out eyeballs on Miss Kitty. Got it? Perfect!!!

Want to see my silly post about it? Click here :)

I feel I need to back step a second. When I made all these decorations I was only making them to top desserts I was baking for loved ones. There was no Etsy. In fact, I knew very little about Etsy. I knew it existed...had been to the site a few times...but that was it. I kind of saw it as a place to sell homemade soaps...or socks or something. 

Insert another friend of mine. A very very good friend of mine ;) Seeing how much fun I was having with these gum paste decorations, she suggested I sell them on Etsy so "mom's and dad's could purchase them and put them on their homemade birthday cakes for their kids". I kind of did an "Ehhh...yeah I'll think about it"... and left it at that. But as I got more and more obsessed with creating these guys...I started to really contemplate the idea.

Within a couple of months of starting my Etsy shop..with three little listings: Edible Clouds, Edible Stars, and Edible Hello Kitty Toppers I had my first sale. I celebrate Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe's birthday the month I opened my Etsy shop. Not the month I started my blog. To me, Etsy is what made us who we are today. The rest is history.

Again, please giggle only slightly- but here's my post about that first sale :)

Then there's things like this pie. Oh my oh my this pie! I guess back then (and a MUCH better professional camera donation later "THANKS DAD!") I figured good pictures meant going into SCREAMING HOT sun and getting like...the most sunlight and shadows possible. Ay y y. Yes Christina, natural light is good...but sheesh! Get it out of direct sunlight! If you are a lover of shadows, you'll love that edited lovely pie photo.

And yeah...I kind of thought my photography skills were like...the bomb...or something ridiculous, so I posted about it here.

I actually have nothing bad to say about our first ever mustaches. In fact I still love the picture. I mean, there's things I would do differently today, but eh- it's got a good memory. This is when things were getting really busy for us, and I was completely head over heels in love with making decorations (not that I'm not now!)

Silly little back story: at this point, mustache EVERYTHING was becoming VERY popular. I mean...straws, backpacks, wallets, necklaces, sticks, shirts...some how mustaches were like the IT thing to top everything. Why? I have no clue. If up to me, they would have stayed in a dark closet where they belong. I hate mustaches. Haha. They're tickly and rough to kiss! Bill, loves them. So we try to find easy compromises, haha.

Anywho, my cousin was having a birthday party, wanted neat cupcakes with mustaches on them, so viola! Mustache on top of cupcake! I hadn't seen it on a cupcake at that time, so I felt pretty proud of her idea and proud of our concoction!

Sure they're still the same today...("if it ain't broke") but they've inspired the newer and more Hipster-ish cupcake we now love. Thank you mustache decs for inspiring our little bow ties. Like cupcakes needed to be more anthropomorphic. 

...I seriously do love everything about these guys.

Shall I even touch on these blue flowers? Maybe just sort of poke them with a stick? I mean they could be rotting corpses for all I know. I ACTUALLY PUT THIS PICTURE UP ON ETSY TO SELL...??? I mean...holy bad flower and picture batman! Eeeeek. Ever hear of focus, Christina? Oh and the picture was indeed "edited". Yikes-a-roni.

My oh my have our flower decorations blossomed (sorry) into something truly beautiful.

AND THAT FROSTING!!! *Slaps self in head* I was definitely going for this look.

I think we're just progressively getting worse here. HAHAHAHA. I had such a good idea with this first cupcake- I wanted to be crazy and make a "Black and White Cupcake" with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting. In my head the idea worked. It really did.

So here comes Bill's birthday. Actually it was a triple birthday celebration with him and two other friends who all have birthdays within a week of each other. Lots of friends, lots of pressure. What do I show up with? These. -_-

They did taste good.

Again, first cupcake after officially becoming Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe and I show up with this. Like ANYONE would want to follow my blog. "Oh hey 34597 friends! You guys like this cupcake?? It's a DIRECT reflection on how my blog looks! You should follow it!"

I guess I should have started this story with, "Once upon a time I thought I knew what I was doing..."

Now I'm just not even trying. I didn't make these butterflies on the left. In fact I didn't even BUY them! Ahhh hahahahahaha. Like always, a friend was having a birthday and enlisted me to make her cupcakes. Ok ok, in my defense my stuff tasted really good! It just needed a little help, look-wise. Also my stuff needed a lot more editing before putting up on the blog. Which I did in fact learn ;)

So my friend loved my treats (thank you so much!!) and wanted me to make cupcakes- they were pumpkin spice :) They were YUMMY! They had a sweet cream frosting. Super good. But she wanted butterflies (and we didn't offer butterflies yet) so she went to her local craft store and bought some Martha Stewart stickers. YES stickers! 

BUT fast forward two years (gosh what a difference a few years does) and we not only offer butterflies, but they're also a top seller. :)

What would we do without friends, right??

Is everyone done picking their jaws and eyeballs up off the floor? I know I just went and got mine, and made sure they're nice and secured back in my unbelieving head.

No, in all seriousness, I'm extremely proud of how far we've come. Trial and error my friends. Everything starts with trial and error. You won't get anywhere without trying, learning, and re-doing. That's for sure. And not just with our edible cuties...but with our blog too! Our look has changed, twice...our logo went from a simple little sprig of lavender (drawn by Bill) to what it is now. And boy look at it now! All grown up and stuff. 
My blog started as a place to simply document my baking adventures, but has now transformed into a place to write recipes, share life stories, talk about Jesus, and low and behold MAKE NEW FRIENDS. I never in a million years thought I'd make friends. I actually love these girls I've met through blogging. I talk about them to my husband like I just went and had coffee with them! "Oh it was so funny ______ was talking about how ______..." fill in the blank.

So from the bottom of my heart I thank each and every one of you that has read a blog, liked a post, bought a decoration, pinned something, shared something, or mentioned our name. Thank you for letting us into your lives and into your homes in one way or another. You guys warm my heart and make me smile. GAW I'm actually tearing up. Stupid hormones. You guys rock. Fantasmagorically rock my flipping socks off. I am in awe that we are even still alive in this ever competitive blogging world. That you guys even look at my recipes, pin my stuff, or GEEZ pay money for an edible decoration!!!

So here's to two more years (let's not get TOO ahead of ourselves)...I am beyond excited to see what is in store. Thanks for coming along for the ride.


  1. You are such an inspiration!! Happy 2nd blogiversary and many many more! Can't wait to see what you have in store for us. ^_^

  2. YAY!! Happy blog birthday!! Whoop! I love this post - it REALLY shows your progress! So cool!

  3. Thank you so much ladies!!! xoxo

  4. Love it! Happy Birthday, girl! I love the progession of your blog and that I just recently stumbled upon it. What a find? Isn't funny, I started with the point and shoot camera too. Then I thought just buying a "professional" camera would make good yeah..NO...more classes to take! But now I'm making strides. :-)

  5. I'm so glad you started blogging! I love reading your blog! You brighten my day with your awesome pictures and your quirky sense of humor... and your kind spirit!
    Yay blog!


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