My friend Trish posted an interesting quote on Facebook this week. It said, "The easiest way to be creative: try something different, even if you don't think it will work." I took that advice a couple of times this week, and I'm glad I did!
Wednesday, April 24th was the Scoop-A-Thon at the Gelato Fiasco to benefit the Brunswick Teen Center. As I mentioned in my most recent blog post, I was asked to do face painting for preschoolers between 11 am and noon; I said "yes," even though I had no experience. The face paint, brushes, and various other supplies were being provided for me by People Plus (which is where the teen center is located). I was hoping to get my hands on those supplies a few days beforehand so I could sneak in a little practice time and then take some photos (so kids could get a sense of what things would look like). Unfortunately, that didn't happen, and needless to say, I was a bit nervous Wednesday morning. Shortly before I left the house, I figured I ought to sketch out a few simple designs. If I didn't have actual photos, at least I could give the kids (and myself) something to work with. I filled a piece of paper with things I thought might make good face painting options: a flower, a peace sign, a seahorse, a rainbow, a spider hanging off a web, etc. I grabbed my paper and headed over to Gelato Fiasco a few minutes before 11, hoping I wouldn't be eaten alive. Well, not only was I not eaten alive, but the hour went by very quickly, and the kids seemed to enjoy themselves. No one minded that I had no previous face painting experience, and everyone was happy with the wearable art they walked out with. It was a fun time for me, and I never would have experienced it if I hadn't decided to try something totally new and different.
The other new and different experience I had this week was at home. My husband Terry's 45th birthday was on Thursday, April 25th. Anyone who knows Terry knows what a huge music fan he is. I thought it would be fun to make him a birthday cake that looked like a 45 record, complete with the yellow plastic adaptor in the middle. I wasn't sure how to make this happen, so I went over to Pinterest and did some investigating. One person suggested using a paper cutout on top of the cake, but that didn't feel right. I called my friend Tim, and thankfully he's had some cake-decorating experience. He said, "You're an artist- you can do this!" He instructed me to start from the center and work my way out: a small circle of dark frosting for where the adaptor would be, colored frosting around that for the label, then more dark frosting for the vinyl. He made it sound simple, so I decided to go for it. The next step was figuring out what I would do for a cake. Terry loves chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, so I knew that had to be what I would make. That being said, Terry lost almost 60 pounds a little over a year ago. He still likes sweets, but now he enjoys them in moderation. Baking him an entire cake seemed a bit cruel and not very supportive...kind of the opposite of what I was going for. It was back to Pinterest with me, and this time, I was looking for healthy cake and healthy frosting recipes. Not only was this my first time making a cake on my own completely from scratch, but it was my first attempt at making a healthy cake. Would it work? Would it taste good? Would the frosting design come out the way I was hoping it would? Well, I am very happy to say that the answer to all of those questions is the same: YES. He was completely surprised (and quite tickled) by the cake's appearance, he loved the taste, and he was able to enjoy it guilt-free (only 100 calories per slice, not including the frosting). Once again, trying something completely new and different ended in a positive way, and I have a feeling that cake will be making another appearance before either one of us has our next birthday!