I don't Tracy. You might have to fight me over that first book! I would LOVE to see a new, fresh look at cookies that I think SweetDreams could bring to the table. It's exciting just thinking about it!
As my "real" job hangs in the balance due to the recession, I might have to take a serious look at other job opportunities. Maybe I could find a job working for a caterer who wants fancy cookies and cakes. I know positively that as much as I would love to, owning my own cookie business will have to stay a dream. Reality bites, sometimes!
Good luck to everyone who is trying to juggle their cookie life with their personal life. I think SweetDreams made a difficult but important decision, and I wish her all the best.
CeRae...follow your heart and you will never be wrong! Family is the most important thing in life. Cookie orders will come and go, but your children and husband will always be there for you. When the time is right, you will break out the dough and we will all enjoy seeing your amazing creations. I wish you nothing but the best in life.
Okay, so I just re-read my earlier post, and realized it doesn't say what I wanted it to say. I wanted to say how wonderful a book by SweetDreams would be, agreeing with Tracy, and that Tracy would have to fight me over that first book. I didn't want it to sound like I was in any way making a negative comment about Tracy's comments. Sorry. I'll be better about proofing what I post before I hit the submit button.
Thanks, Gemini! I was just worried I myself had come across not supporting SweetDreams. I may not have had the fortune to meet any of the handful of cookie friends I have made here, but I would be aghast had I not come across supporting them, so thanks for your message.
Along other lines, I have been thinking a lot about this post.. a lot. Last night something came to me that I wanted to share. Although it appears that some of us are stopping short of our dream to take our cookies to the level of getting legal or are pulling back on orders/stopping taking orders, etc., I wanted to add a thought along these lines (if anyone is even seeing this ).
Raising our children is temporary. Of course, they will always need us (or so I like to think), but our time will free up later in life. Taking orders, getting legal and all that goes along with that in most states, may not be something that works now in some of our lives, but the key is that we all do not know what is around the corner. Dont give up on your dream, but realize it is temporarily on hold and look to what will be, whether it be a book in the future, someday getting legal, being a cookie designer for a shop or perhaps even owning a little cookie store or whatever you dream of.
This is personal, but I am putting it out there in case it helps someone else. I have been dealing with two things that have brought about a great deal of angst for me. The first thing is finding a balance. Someone read this posting and PMed me asking if I was stopping cookie-ing all together. The answer is no, as my issue is that I need to find a balance, not stop all together. If I did, I think I would shrivel up and that would be no good to myself or my family and I have a feeling there are others who may feel this way to. I need my niche, but I personally need to balance it, which is not what I myself was doing. This posting reaffirmed what was right in front of my eyes that I needed to say No, I am sorry. I cant do that vice running on the continual hamster wheel of cookie-ing. I also see that I need to step back from the vision I had for the level I could take this to and re-evaluate and bring it down to a level that worked with the family. Seeing this posting and what others are doing has helped me to do that. It is like when you see a couple and you think they have the perfect marriage and then one confides in you that it actually isnt all peaches and cream. I remember the first time I came across decorated cookies. It was on Kneadacookies website. I thought, Wow! Look what she is doing! I have always looked to her as someone who really has it going great. Now I see that she is like me, struggling to juggle it all and I see others are feeling the same. Seeing what everyone has written has helped me not be so hard on myself.
The second issue is I may lose my little dream owning my own business. We find out in Sept. if we are moving and realistically, that would kill that dream. I do not do quantity cookies and therefore cannot justify renting kitchen space and most places we would move to do not allow for home based bakeries. Admittedly, that really affected me. My niche poof gone and all that was wrapped up in that for my sense of self (I told you I was putting myself on the line here).
But, once I pulled myself out of my wallowing, I decided that if this is the case and we do move, it will only be for two years and then we may well be back. I plan to take that time to develop my cookie portfolio more and expand my designs. Okay, the overly time-intensive tropical fish cookie I just posted was fun, but really, who needs that? I need to design cookies that would be more realistic for selling. So that is my plan. Or if we dont come back, maybe I will design cookies for a bakery, like Gemini's great idea (which I could completely see her doing!). I dont know what path I will take, but I know that it would not be good for me to shelve the whole idea.
I only write this to encourage all of us to remember that we all dont know what opportunities are around the corner. Many times you read of people who just kind of fell into something that they did not expect at all. Keep designing, photograph your work and dont lose sight of your talent. I will never write a book, but I tell you I would buy one from SweetDreams and Bakinccc in a heartbeat. I don't think that was in their original plan, but I could completely see that coming to pass in the future. The bottom line is to hold tight to your talent and even if it isn't working out as you may have envisioned right now, none of us really know what our future holds and I tell you, there is an incredible amount of talent here. Just don't lose sight of it.
Tracy...Thanks SO much for expressing your feelings to all of us. It meant a lot to me when you said, "none of us really know what our future holds" How true that is! We all need to hold tight to our dreams, whatever they might be.
You continue to be a wonderful friend and a fabulous cookie decorator with exceptional talent. Where ever your family winds up I know you will make your dreams come true as well.
Thanks, Joanne! You are a perfect example of someone who has put cookie-ing (among other things) on hold to focus on other matters, but through it all, continues on in doing what needs to be done and with a fantastic, inspiring attitude to boot! Who knows what the future holds for either of us - maybe someday we can have a pic of the two of us on the front porch of our own little shop like we mused about a while ago. Now that would be fun!!
Something else to consider is teaching. You can work it into your schedule whenever it's best for you. Check into your local community college...many are looking for qualified instructors. I know I'd jump at the chance to take a class from any number of decorators on this site, and to heck with the expense! You have a definite skill, and there are always going to be people willing to pay to learn from you. Just a thought.
Awe, i'm sorry to hear that. BUT, i once was where you are now! I did cakes a long time ago, when my girls were 4 or 5 yrs.old. i stopped because i always felt like i was missing out on their adventures and trials!
NOW, i'm back and i am LOVING it more than ever! They are 21 and 22 now, and i find i have time to do the things i love while they do their own thing! They even help me decorate cookies if i ask!
Your time will come again! Just keep up the hobby! It's like riding a bike, you won't forget how!
Enjoy those little heaven sent gifts while you can, sweetie, because it is true what people say, "They grow up so fast!" it will feel like you blinked an eye, and they are grown ups!!
Good luck with everything! I think you should write a book as well! As everyone else has said, your cookies are beautiful!
I agree 100%!!!
Man, i had no idea there were so many out there! "Cookie-lady"'s with a dream to do your own thing!!
when i say i dream, i mean i REALLY DREAM about having a little store in a popular section of town and people are dropping in for that "irresistible" tea cake, or that "no-one makes them like you do!" cookie!
Ladies, we are legends to lots of people out there, who already think we are Superwoman, juggling our lives, kids, jobs, husbands, houses AND baking!
The talent seen on this site is mind boggling! Way to dream, ladies! Keep up the great work!!
I am exactly where many of you with young children are. But i never got as far as really selling my cookies. I just find that cookie decorating takes so much time and there isn't enough of it with the kids needing me so much. I'm not able to bake a ton of cookies and have them sitting around waiting to decorate or drying. I have to clean everything up before the kids get home from school and preschool.
While i do not work, i find that by the time i finish up the daily household chores, i really don't have the time for the cookies.
For the meantime, i'm gaining experience while making cookies for friends and family. I come here for ideas and inspiration so that one day when i decide it's time to venture forward, i will be ready.
Cupcakelady64, I just had to let you know how hilarious I think your tag line is! (If that's the word for it). So...are you a great mom that turns the beaters off first? The images running thru my mind are priceless!
well...you know...after that first little mishap...
yes, i am!
(my daughter bought me a mother's day card that said that, and i just loved it! i think it's hilarious!)
well...you know...after that first little mishap...
Oh, you are funny!!! Love your tagline as well! I saw that on a card when looking for one for my mother and about laughed my head off. Perfect choice for a tagline!
Gemini - Teaching classes is a great idea! I just really think there is something of some sort that is out there for SweetDreams. Her talent is just so incredible. Once her kids are grown, I can totally see her having a little shop someday. She does absolutely adorable cupcakes too!
Too bad we can't all join forces in one area, combine our resources to get a shop and really do it up!
Lub2bake - You completely have the right idea! That is what I am talking about! Practicing, gaining experience, increasing your cookie design portfolio until the time is right. Best of luck to you!
Why, thank you ma'am...i try!
TracyLH, good idea on getting together to open up. i say we all meet in...oh, i don't know...southeast Texas?? Sounds great to me! Commuting might be a little rough on some of you, but, you know, "the sacrifices we make- because we bake!" lol
Thank you TracyLH!! I'm learning so much here and get to practice when a small event (birthday) or time of year (teacher appreciation) comes up.
Texas is cool! Bakinccc is already there!
Luv2bake - You got it - just keep practicing! I have so much more that I want to do/try/learn and I have been at it a while! Just remember to photograph it all. Each time I make a set of cookies, I make sure I have one extra to photograph the next day when things aren't so hectic with packaging, etc. It gives me time to play with lighting, background colors, etc. Then my kids can take it in to school or my DH takes it to work (or I munch on it myself ) Just a thought, but do remember to photograph your work. It is also fun to see how you progress over time.
I keep reading parts of this post over and over. I think I'm still surprised at how many of us feel the same!! We somehow need to clone ourselves so one of us can make cookies and the other can be the parent we need to be!!
Tracy - you said it good...take pics of everything you do so you can continue to build that portfolio for future endeavors. The bigger your portfolio the less likely someone will order something that you've never done before!! Then you'll have the advantage of "oh ya..done that" so you don't lament over the design process all the time. Just a little tweak of colors and you're good to go.
I wish everyone the best in whatever path you're taking and thanks to many for the kind words when my name is mentioned. You all mean more to me than you know...that sense of fulfillment Tracy talked about...well...you've all contributed greatly to mine. Once again, best wishes to you SweetDreamsAT!!!!
Count me in for the meeting in TEXAS! My sister lives in Dallas (I used to live there too) that would be AWESOME!
my brother lives at the bottom of OK. i guess i'll have to time that one
you gals have all said it much better than i can put it in to words. i miss being mom. i've been off from the bakery and cookies for a week with a rotator cuff injury. we went ot our cottage and spent the weekend. we played cards. we went fishing. i actually got a sunburn. it was so nice just to spend family time.
sweetdreams thank you for starting this post. it reminds me of a desperate housewives episode where one of the moms had a breakdown and everyone said we've all been there. then she says "why didn't someone tell me? why don't we talk about this?". when i first read that jennifer had put her cookies on hold, all i could think was "oh my gosh...you mean you can do that?". and now with sweetdreams, i think it just makes me think even more how tired i am and how much i miss my family. i feel like i need to reclaim my kids and my house. i'm surprised i haven't been condemned yet. i'll be moving my stuff out of my rental kitchen next month. thanks again!
Secretly, I felt like maybe I was being a slacker for not wanting to take my hobby into "real" job status. I cringed at the thought of the hassle to become legal, the long hours of decorating, the stress over money issues. This thread has been enlightening, to say the least! It reaffirms my belief that I LOVE this as a hobby, but not enough to open a business doing it fulltime. I'm still dreaming about being someone's employee, though!
Hope your shoulder is on the road to mending! Have you given up the commercial kitchen? I know it was quite a drive from your home. And will you just bake out of the kitchen where you work?
By the way, still using the bags I bought from you and I've even given a bunch to my daughter in Chicago that has begun baking cookies for clients at her P.R. firm. I guess she was genetically programed to make cookies
Dawn...WOW...moving out of your rental kitchen...will you still be selling cookies somehow?
Kudos on your decision to put cookies on the back burner for a while. Baking is a passion for us but being a mommy is the icing on the cookie!
Oh, Dawn - Jaybug is right, but that was really hard to read. Really hard. I completely know why you are doing it, but that causes a pang in my heart. A big one. I support you though in whatever you do, but auughh, it is still really hard to read. I hope that you can still sell somehow. I don't want to see that door close. I am glad you had such a nice time with your family and that your shoulder recovers soon. (Just please don't hang up those pastry bags completely.)
Gemini - Oh, I fully understand where you are coming from with the whole 'feeling like a slacker'. For me, it is not having a 'title'. There is nothing like going to a cocktail party and having all these VP's ask me what I do and I funble for words and their eyes glaze over. All of my friends are professionals, so I feel the pressure, but like you, this thread has really helped me.
Here is something that really hit home for me - Bakinccc told me that she had stopped taking orders and now she was finding time to do other things - regularly excercising, now finding time to focus on other activities and doing cookies for fun. I read that and thought' "Wow! That is nice! I would love to do that!" and I immediately thought, "What am I doing?" and I envisioned how on earth I was going to do all of the things I promised my kids I would do with them this summer and do cookies. All the more backup I needed to keep balance. One design a week - that is it. All in moderation. (But I do think I will take a couple of weeks off at the end of summer. )
I will reaffirm what Bakincc said about how we all help fulfill one another. My fellow CC'ers believed in me before my DH did (and that took quite some time) and had it not been for all of you (most of you have been posting on this thread) I wouldn't have found my little niche, not matter how big or small I make this. Thankyou from the bottom of my heart.
And, Dawn, this is still really tugging at me. I hope you can continue to sell or at least find something closer to be able to make it all work. If not, we all go back to the idea that raising our kids is temporary and we don't let ourselves pack away the pastry bags. Bakinccc seems to be having fun with her break in order to focus on her boys, etc., and is still cookie-ing, except this time for the fun of it and there is a lot to be said for that.
((((((HUGS))))))) Remember that baking can always wait, and your children will only be little once! Being a mommy is a very good reason to put cookies on hold. Your family will grow and then you go back to cookies.
Just a thought....are you any less of a cookie artist if you do it just for the joy it brings you, rather than for cold hard cash? And Tracy, you DO have a title. You're a wife. You're a mom. You're a cookie artist extraordinaire (sorry about the spelling!).
You are right, Gemini. I am just surrounded by titles, but that is my issue. You are right though. Completely right.
You are right, Gemini. I am just surrounded by titles, but that is my issue. You are right though. Completely right.
I totally understand. Our society puts too much emphasis on titles, and jobs, and money. I loved the time I spent at home with my children. They're almost out the door now (seniors in college this fall), and I treasure each day with them. If I died tomorrow, who would miss me most? My co-workers would miss the goodies I bring in, but after a couple days, their lives would return to normal. My husband and kids...that would be a different story. Even all the wonderful people I've met here, I don't think it would be too far down the road when they'd be saying, "Gemini who?"
You are a tremendously gifted decorator. You are the heart and soul of your family. They love you and cherish you like no other. Don't get caught up in titles that will mean nothing when you are gone.
Ok, I don't normally do this, but in this situation is called for. I am going to offer, for a limited time only, to bestow upon you beautiful women, the titles I use. You have a choice. For this example I will use a 'fake' name, please feel free to insert yours to try it on and choose which one fits best. You can also experiment with adding or moving punctuation to make it most impressive to your circle of friends. Now... you do not require these titles to make you awesome, but sometimes it's just fun!
Jane Doe C.G. (Cake Goddess) or (Cookie Goddess)
Jane Doe WMMW (Wife, Mother, Miracle Worker)
Jane Doe E.T.E (Everything To Everyone)
Jane Doe DM (Domestic Maven)
I have several more that I often toss around, but these should get you started. When I first became a SAHM when I'd fill out paperwork for doctors, etc. I'd fill in the usual job description field with "Domestic Goddess" and I can't tell you how many smiles that got! I think the ladies behind the desk liked that a lot. One in particular, when I'd come in and she'd confirm verbally that nothing had changed, (phone, etc.) she'd say, "And you're certainly still a Goddess, correct?" and she'd smile really huge. It was really cute.