All Content, Blog, Competition

The time has come…

Yup, it’s time to announce the winner of my exciting competition, with Natalie Porter of Immaculate Confections!

If you can remember right back at the start of June, reintroduced you to Natalie in the latest interview to be added to Mr Baker’s Blog. In that interview, I explained that in some rather exciting news, Natalie had kindly agreed to offer the readers of Mr Baker’s Blog the chance to get their hands on a very special signed FREE copy of her new publication, Book One: Sugar Flowers!

To be in with a chance at winning, you simply had to make sure you had subscribed to Mr Baker’s Blog (using the sign up box in the sidebar on the right or at the bottom of the page, if on mobile), share the link to this interview on your favourite social media platform, letting me know which project you were most looking forward to getting stuck into: Pretty Pastels, Sunny Blues or Tropical Delight and making sure you tagged both Mr Baker’s Cakes and Immaculate Confections, of course.

Well, lots of you got involved (thank you!), but unfortunately only one could win and I am delighted to announce that the winner is…

Huge congratulations to Rebecca Claessens on her win! Please get in touch via one of my usual channels and I’ll arrange to get your prize sent out to you! You can reach me through my Facebook page, the dedicated Cake Chums – with Mr Baker’s Blog Facebook group, by emailing me directly or, if you’d prefer, you can drop me a line at:

Mr Baker’s Blog
PO Box 752
FAREHAM
PO14 9RZ

 

While you’re here, I’ve had a few people mention recently that I don’t seem to be as active on the blog at the moment.

They’re not wrong.

Unfortunately, the last little bit of the summer term at school tends to be ridiculously busy with copious amounts of meetings, report writing, assessment, transition conversations with colleagues and so on. And that’s before you add in the whole ‘I’m moving schools’ thing to the equation.

Rest assured, I am still here and, as I have already mentioned a few times now, once school breaks up next month, I plan to devote a lot more time and energy to the blog and to my YouTube channel.

And come September of course, I will be working part time, meaning that I will be able to dedicate plenty of extra time to developing fabulous content on both platforms.

In the meantime, stay tuned to my social media channels (you can find me on Facebook hereTwitter here and Instagram here) because I am still posting and it will keep you up-to-date with what’s going on here at Mr Baker‘s Cakes HQ.

Which, incidentally, is currently very heavily studio themed… #exciting

Oh, if you haven’t already checked out the ‘What have Whedon?’ collaboration from The Cake Collective that posted last week, make sure you hit this link to see our celebration of all things Joss Whedon in honour of his 55th birthday. As a massive fan of his work, I was delighted to contribute a piece to the collection and loved how my Dark Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out.

The main image was hand drawn with Fractal Colors’ Calligra Brush Pens on Renshaw Flower and Modelling Paste, before being airbrushed and splattered using Fractal Colors’ FlowAir colours.

The magics were created by colouring Squires Kitchen Isomalt and pouring it over ice. I also tried to use isomalt to fill Willow’s embossed catchphrase – which was REALLY hard! 🙈😂

And finally, I was also thrilled to be interviewed by Kimberly Chapman’s Eat the Evidence podcast a couple of weeks ago – the result of which was released this week. If you have yet to bite the podcast bullet and discover them in all of their easy-listening wonderfulness, then Kimberly’s is a great place to start.

You can find Issue 43, featuring my interview – where I discuss everything from my journey into this crazy world of cake to how you could be making your social media work better for you – right here… don’t forget to subscribe!

Thanks so much for taking the time to catch up with what’s going on with me at the moment and until next time… happy caking!

All Content, Blog

I have a rather exciting announcement…

Hey Cake Chums and welcome back to Mr Baker’s Blog…

As you guys know, the last few months have been fairly crazy here at Mr Baker‘s Blog HQ, with lots of travel, a healthy sprinkling of cake shows, plenty of cake projects and a lot more besides.

However, in addition to all of the crazy cake adventures I have been going on, there have been a few other fairly big developments that I have been waiting to share with you.

As many of you may know, for the last five years, Mr Baker’s Cakes and Mr Baker‘s Blog have very much just been side-gigs to a very demanding full-time job as a primary school teacher and head of KS1. If I’m honest, I’ve spent years deflecting comments such as, ‘You should give up teaching and make cakes full time!’ and the always popular question, ‘Why are you still teaching?’

Long story short, I love teaching and I love working with children. It has never even entered my mind to take my hobby and make it a full-time gig and, having seen firsthand the emotional rollercoaster that full-time cake making takes you on, I definitely don’t think it’s for me.

However, clearly something has had to give or I run the risk of burning myself out!

With that in mind, over the last few months, I’ve been trying to figure out how I can make these two huge passions coexist alongside each other. And I have some news…

I have a new job!

Yes, from September I will be working in a new school – and a very lovely school, I must say – and I will be working PART TIME!

In a most uncharacteristic move for me, I will be taking that blind leap of faith and finding out if this whole cake-blogging and YouTubing gig is something that can be sustainable while still keeping that link to teaching.

This hopefully means that I will have all the time I need to create amazing content – both through the written word and on video – as well as still maintaining a wonderful career in education.

There are still some practical issues to consider – including how I will make up the income shortfall – and as such, Mr Baker’s Blog is now officially open for business (let me know if you think I should have a proper launch party, by the way)! To that end, I am starting to consider some of the requests that I have had to write for other websites and publications, to teach cake-decorating classes and so on – hopefully there are a few irons in the fire there.

My new studio kitchen is also FINALLY starting to come together – the electricians were in this week installing the new lighting (and the new fuse board which was a delightfully unexpected additional expense!) and up next is the plasterer so hopefully there isn’t much longer to wait before I can start shooting ‘proper’ videos, rather than just ‘out and about’ vlogs.

Check out my studio teaser video from back in February…

One way that you can help is to make sure that you have subscribed to my online channels – both here on the blog and over on YouTube. The more tangible subscribers I have, the closer I can get to monetising those platforms – boring yes, but hopefully a small-but-handy source of regular income to fund future cake adventures and projects.

To subscribe here, you can find the sign up box over in the toolbar on the right if on desktop or at the bottom of the page if on mobile. You simply need to pop in your email address and then hit confirm in the confirmation email that will be sent to you. To subscribe to my YouTube channel, click on the graphic below and then hit the big red subscribe button. 🙂

Oh, and while you’re here, I also pledged that May would hopefully be the month when I relaunched my weekly round up of the latest news in cake.

*looks at calendar guiltily*

Unfortunately, it looks like I’m going to slightly miss the deadline on that one, but the plan is still very much to bring it back – but, I also need your help there. As it stands, one issue of Something Sweet can take anywhere up to 15-18 hours to compile, with all of the content sourcing, research, writing, editing and so on. With that in mind, when I relaunch, I am going to need to be a lot stricter with only featuring submitted news – I simply won’t have the time to always go hunting for it. So if you haven’t already joined my dedicated Facebook group, Cake Chums – with Mr Baker’s Blog – head over there and request to join, then make sure you are sharing your latest news, cake projects, collaborations and so on… let’s make it the community resource I really want it to become!

So yeah, that is what is going on with me at the moment – scary times, but also very exciting too!

I must say a huge thank you for your ongoing support – it is thanks to all of you that I finally feel ready to make this leap into the unknown and I look forward to bringing you guys with me on this next exciting stage of my cake adventures.

But until next time, happy caking! x

 

PS. If you are a brand or organisation and would like to work with me, you can reach me through my Facebook page, the dedicated Cake Chums – with Mr Baker’s Blog Facebook group, by emailing me directly or why not drop me a line at:

Mr Baker’s Blog
PO Box 752
FAREHAM
PO14 9RZ

All Content, Blog

If not now, when?

Hey cake chums and welcome back to Mr Baker’s Blog!

As you may have gathered from my recent blogs, videos and social media posts, it really is all going on over at Mr Baker’s Blog HQ at the moment.

In addition to my full-time teaching commitments, I’m currently working on my new studio, I have three cake collaboration projects that are all due within the next two weeks, a whole host of events and suchlike that are going on during March, April and May, and, if I’m honest, it’s all getting to be a little bit too much (ignores all the cries of ‘I told you so!’).

Much as I would like to think that I can do it all single-handedly, it is starting to prove a little tricky. As such, I have made the tough decision that I need to prioritise a little bit…

It won’t necessarily be a popular decision, but I think that until my studio is finished and these busy few months are out of the way, I need to focus on the studio and the cake projects that I have already committed to – meaning that the blog and my regular posting schedule are going to have to take a bit of a break.

This doesn’t mean that I am going to disappear entirely – I still plan to upload as and when I can – but for now, it may be a little more sporadic. And yes, this does include the weekly issues of my online magazine, Something Sweet. I am truly grateful for the support you have all shown the magazine over the last year – and you can rest assured that it will be back as a weekly publication – but as it takes up almost a whole Saturday each weekend, time which I really should be spending helping with the studio (rather than leaving it all to my other half and my father-in-law), it will also be taking a little bit of a hiatus. I will, however, be finishing and uploading last week’s issue, so don’t worry if I have already accepted your contributions and submissions – they will have their moment to shine!

Looking ahead to the future, I am planning on making a few changes to my working week, which will allow me to better balance all of my interests, and hopefully mean that I will have much more time to bring you guys the sort of content that I know you enjoy. But we are very much in the negotiation stage on that, so I’ll let you know more when I do.

In the meantime, I will have my next video up over on YouTube on Thursday as usual and will be trying to keep to a one video a week schedule over there (where possible) – simply because that is one of the least time-consuming types of content I am creating (who knew?!) and I will be continuing to share them here for you too. If you haven’t already subscribed to my YouTube channel yet, you can find it here.

I do hope you understand the need for a bit of a break – self care is so important after all – and that you will continue to support the temporarily-reduced output from Mr Baker’s Blog for the next few months.

I am already looking forward to being able to relaunch and resume my full weekly posting schedule with great excitement and I am particularly eager to get cracking on some of the plans that I already have in place for new content too – so do stay tuned! And keep those content submissions coming in too – I’ll still be sharing as many of them as I can – as and when I have time!

Thank you again for all your support and understanding, my lovely cake chums and I’ll see you all on Thursday for my next video!

Until then, happy caking! xx