I have always been a doodler…notes taken in school, sermon notes, notebooks, sketch pads, scrap paper, etc. If it had a margin, that just meant that space was meant to be filled with some sort of drawing. It might be my learning style, that I have to stay active to stay focused. It might be boredom. It might be art that just flows out of my brain. Or…it might just be exactly what it is…doodling. I just like to make things look “pretty”. Somehow, my doodling always turns into swirls, curves, and curls. It is amazing how you can make swirls into just about anything. Swirls can be the vines coming out of a pumpkin. They can be the wind blowing snowflakes through the air. They can be that added magic to a picture of fairies. Let your imagination run free….
Our family recently had a friend pass away. Her name was Marianne Roth. She was a person full of laughter and life. She had a great sense of humor. One of my favorite memories was when we were at a stamping party. What can I say, we have gone from one craft to another. Anyway, there were these stamps that had swirls all over them. My mother, Marianne, and I were sitting there, all looking at them and saying how pretty they were. All of the sudden, Marianne burst out with, “Swirls are our friends.” It was so random and really inconsequential, and yet hilarious. It seemed to become the running theme for the rest of the evening. For years after we would laugh about how “swirls are our friends.”
Little did I know that my love of doodling and swirls would translate into cake decorating. I would always look at these detailed cakes and think, “Wow, I wish I could do that.” Then I realized that piping swirls on a cake isn’t that much different than doodling in the margin. I started the way that any person would. I made buttercream icing. I put it in a piping bag. I stuck on any old Wilton cake decorating tip, and thought I was set. Let’s compare it to my doodling. At this stage my plain, old buttercream and random Wilton tip was like my doodling with a ball-point pen in the margin of my class notes. It was fine. It was ok. Oh, how naive I was.
Then I was introduced to this wonderful thing called Royal Icing. It was like handing a doodler a canvas and paints. It made my love of doodling and swirls all the greater. It opened the flood gates, and now I will pipe icing on just about anything I can get my hands on. At this point, it wouldn’t be at all surprising for me to pull a bag of icing out of my purse, or to come up with a cake idea just so that I can “doodle” on a cake.
All that to say that you never know how you can use the little things that you love to do….Oh, and…..”Swirls are our friends.”