My blog is going into the 5th grade. It's practically a tween. And I couldn't be prouder.
My first post on this blog was on August 1, 2007. It was a very different time than today, when "blog" was not a well known word at all. Basically, within a month or two of starting a blog I had probably "networked" with every single other food blogger out there. I may be exaggerating a bit, but compared to today, it was a very small world.
I am thankful that I started my blog when I did.
This is partially because if I started it today, I am not sure if I would stand out. This isn't because I don't think I'm special, it's just that there are so MANY blogs now, and all of them are so beautiful. I mean, it's like flipping through an Anthropologie catalog when you visit some of the food blogs out there! It's inspiring, but as a newbie, I think I might have found it intimidating, as well.
When I started CakeSpy, what set my blog apart was two things.
First, I was very laissez-faire about baking (I had actually just started baking in earnest, since I'd just gotten a stand mixer as a wedding present) and loved doing all sorts of kooky experiments like "how NOT to ship a cupcake" and "cereal treat wars" and "Little Debbie death match". Funny stuff.
Second, my artwork. Not many other bloggers were also illustrators, so to feature my L'il Cuppie character (now just Cuppie) was something really different.
Within a year of starting my blog, Cuppie was kind of an internet celebrity. I did all sorts of paintings of him (yes him) and sold them on Etsy, which was also new around that time. I did a lot of paintings for people--Cuppie all over the world, Cuppie in custom scenes requested by people, Cuppie with people's dogs, etc, etc.
Among my favorite requests ever? A painting featuring (I kid you not) two cupcakes in their underwear, eating soup and watching Dawson's Creek, "with a cat playing with some yarn nearby".
More than one reader even got a tattoo:
Now, I don't know if it is quite possible to explain how it feels, as an artist, to see your work / character have such an impact. It's humbling. It's unbelievable. It's incredible. I appreciate every single thing that people made, every single painting that I was commissioned to do, and everyone who loved and loves Cuppie.
In less than 2 years of starting my blog, I was able to quit my job working for a refrigerator magnet company to do this full time.
Over the years, CakeSpy has changed a lot.
My photography has gotten better, my illustration style has changed a bit, and I have gained more prowess in baking, though I still feel in many ways like a beginner.
I've had so many amazing experiences and opportunities through this blog. I've had art shows. I've had travel opportunities. I've developed recipes for major companies. I've met Ben of Ben and Jerry, Martha Stewart, Jay and Silent Bob...
the Pillsbury Dough boy (yes, I got into trouble for hugging him "too hard" here):
and more. I've written books! I've been on the cover of magazines! My artwork has been in movies! My first book was featured on the Today Show! For a few years, I even owned a retail gallery in Seattle!
Things have changed personally, too. When I started out my blog, I lived in Seattle. Since then I have lived in Philadelphia, Santa Fe, Asheville NC, and am now about to move back to Philadelphia. Whew!
My blog outlasted my marriage, which is kind of funny and in other ways heartbreakingly sad. I have "come out" as a disordered eater, and share my recovery struggles here. I've had bangs, I've grown out my hair, I've had favorite outfits come and go.
I don't know if I have quite enough words to thank everyone who has played a part in the wonderful unfolding process that is CakeSpy. Because more than just about anything else, the best part of this site has been the people. The people who read the site, the other bloggers I've met, the companies I've worked with. The people have been like the salt in baked goods: that thing that transforms it from a good thing into pure magic.
I still don't know where the journey will lead, but I am so happy to still be on it after all these years.
August is a pretty special month for me: it's the blog's anniversary on the first, and my own birthay on the 26th, so I basically feel like it's MY month. Please, come back often this month as I repost some of the best posts from over the years and tell you all about what I decide to bake for my birthday!
OH! And don't forget to pre-order The Cupcake Coloring Book, my latest coloring book volume which features Cuppie the Cupcake!