Sunday, December 2, 2012

A New Blog Feature - Creative Bravehearts

Creative bravery started lingering in my brain after someone on Facebook posted a clip of Chuck Close's "note to self" from the CBS This Morning show. In Close's letter, he says, "Inspiration is for amateurs -- the rest of us just show up and get to work. Every great idea I've ever had grew out of work itself." I loved hearing this and found it incredibly encouraging. Inspiration is fleeting for me, work... I can do that.  But returning time and time again to the work, well... to me that takes some bravery.

Lately, I've been thinking about my great luck. No, I'm not talking about the lottery winning kind, I am talking about the luck of knowing so many creative people who are living their dreams and encouraging me to live mine. Having supportive artsy friends is priceless. Some of my artsy friends are local, giving me a chance to physically see and touch their greatness. Many of my new artsy friends are here in blogland. It gives me huge warm fuzzies to read blogs about all things creative, from a delicate art journal page to a gallery show or book deal. The point is... creative bravery is catchy. Every act encourages me to forge ahead. If you can do it, so can I.

Each month here on texterial, I am going to attempt to spread some creative bravery around by featuring some of the people who inspire me. I'm calling the feature "Creative Bravehearts."

My first Creative Braveheart is my friend, Crystal Slagely, of Crystal's Creative Cakes.

Crystal SlagleyCrystal and I go back. She and I met when we both worked at the local elementary school our children attended. I was a receptionist and she was the school nurse. We bonded over head lice checks and fussy parents. We also bonded over art supplies. I quickly learned I had a crafty friend in my midst.

A few years ago, Crystal decided to start a cake business. She took classes, she researched, she practiced, she just did it. In the words of Chuck Close, she showed up and got to work.

Crystal called me this week with an interesting request, "Can you help me move a cake out to the car?" I quickly agreed. When I got to her house and realized I would be moving a delicate gingerbread house for a cake contest, well... I started to sweat a bit. I removed my coat and all the jewelry on my hands and wrists. I then told her she could boss me around and I would not be offended. We were successful and I breathed a sigh of relief.

In true Creative Braveheart form, Crystal has turned her dining room into a cake studio. That dining room table makes a great work surface, and who doesn't like working under a chandelier?

Everything on the cake is edible, even the windows!
This delicate sugar work is amazing. I don't know how she does it. There would be lots of cussing and crying in my house if I tried doing something like this.
Here's Crystal's description:
This two story gingerbread house features two bay windows, a turret and a wrap-around porch. Please notice the amazing detail of this house, including the hand piped poinsettias, the delicate architectural details of the roof and sides of the house, as well as the impressive wrought iron fence. Note the gingerbread bicycle on the side of the house, abandoned in the snow, awaiting warmer weather.  The exquisite textured stain glass windows are handmade of gelatin and allow the luminous holiday lights to glisten through. The sparkling white snow and holiday decorations make this house look festive and elegant.  The only non-edible components are the base board and the lights inside the house. 

Later this week, Crystal and I are going to get together to brainstorm and encourage each other in our creative endeavors. I'm thrilled. I need all the brain she can storm and who doesn't need more encouragement?

If you have an idea for my Creative Braveheart feature, please leave me a comment or send me an email.


  1. This edible confection is stunning!!! I used to create some fancy cakes after taking classes some years ago but I rarely put my time into it anymore-especially now that our son is grown up. I know the TIME and patience it takes. I commend Crystal on her bravery and gorgeous cake art! Thanks for sharing.

  2. What an exquisite Gingerbread House!!!!! and YEAH for creative friends, be they in person or on line!

  3. I love having crafty friends!!! You are both amazing!!!

  4. That is the most beautiful gingerbread house I have ever seen. Take that from a woman who once judged a gingerbread house contest! :) Great idea for this series. I look forward to seeing it unfold.

  5. What a beautiful feature and a great way for you to honor the individuals who support you and nudge you along through this crazy creative world.

    And oh my goodness, that gingerbread house is stunning! the detail amazing! I love the bicycle. I am blown away by this. What a talented women.

  6. What a great idea and how wonderful for your friend Chrystal to work to make her dream come true, you too! xox

  7. I love the Creative Braveheart feature. Can't wait to read about the next brave soul.

  8. Great idea for your new feature. After making gingerbread houses with my nephews, I showed them the photos of this beautiful house on your blog. They were impressed too!