Friday, January 08, 2010

Writer's Alcove: Saucy's Sprinkles

Sasha Libby

Today we have Sasha from Saucy's Sprinkles. She's someone who can come up with any excuse to make cupcakes, loves all things vintage, and is a devoted mother and wife. Go check out her blog to learn more about her daughter. Yes, the creative bug has bitten her too!

1. Where did you get your creative gene?

I most definitely get that from my father, who goes by the code name “The Secret Weapon” on my blog. He is an artist, a craftsman, a photographer, designer, woodworker and above all, a world famous printmaker. When I was growing up I spent countless hours in his studio with him working on all sorts of projects. All of the children in the family (I have two brothers) learned to be productive from an early age. Allowing kids to be creative also helps them learn to be problem solvers. They learn how to look at things differently – that’s why I think fine arts programs in schools are so important. It doesn’t matter if it’s music, visual art or writing, being creative is part genetic, but also I believe it is a learned behaviour. You can hone your creativity by using it often. Like my Dad, I think I get more creative as I get older.

2. Out of all of the things that you could have named your blog, how did you decide on Saucy’s Sprinkles?

Actually, a reader came up with the name! I was at a bit of a crossroads, I was bored with the original name I chose when I started the blog (bloggedy blog blog), I think it was an impulsive decision and I’d sort of always regretted it. Plus, I had the worst URL in the world so when the time came to switch to my own domain, it was convenient to change the name then. I was sort of struggling with the direction that my blog was taking at the time, I felt that it had no particular focus. That’s how it had started, I intended it to be a live journal of whatever I was doing at the time. I started examining other blogs and I thought they were very decisive, very focused on one topic like baking or mothering, and mine wasn’t. I didn’t so much ask readers to give me new names, but when I mentioned that I might change it, one of my regular readers left a comment that said, “You should call your blog Saucy’s Sprinkles, because what we like about it is that it’s a little of this, and a little of that, you never know what’s going to be on it, sort of like the assorted sprinkles on a cupcake!” and that was that. I sent her a little gift for making the suggestion to show her my appreciation. I’m glad that even though I don’t have a narrow focus, readers log on to see what I’m up to.

3. Tell us about the first thing you ever remember creating?

My Dad has one of the first things I ever created – sort of a decorated rock that I turned into a mouse. The rock is sort of shaped like a mouse, and I glued ears and googly craft eyes onto it and yarn for a tail. I don’t remember making it but he still keeps it in a cabinet. The first thing I really remember making for someone else is a funny story. I was a Girl Guide and our troop was sponsoring the New Year’s Baby that was born in our town. Everyone had to make or bring a gift for the baby. I remember spending an entire Saturday over Christmas break cutting out felt letters and also a yellow felt elephant that I copied from an Avon brooch – you’re too young to remember these but some of your readers will know what I’m talking about - the brooch opened up and inside was some hideous solid perfume that I fancied. I was about twelve, so my taste was questionable. Anyway, I used the felt letters and the elephant to make a banner for the baby’s room that said “shhhh… baby is sleeping” and I was pretty proud of myself. The elephant had black button eyes and I’d lined his ears with orange felt. The day we all gathered to take our gifts to the New Year’s Baby in January, the other girls accused me of cheating. “Your DAD made that!” they squealed at me, “there’s no way YOU made that by yourself!” Now, at this point, I remember thinking that I could either be crushed that they would accuse me of such a thing or, I could decide that it must have been pretty nice or they wouldn’t have even thought to say such a thing, and even if my Dad did help, what did that matter? From that moment on, I knew I had the skill to make things nicely and I could use it to my advantage.

4. Describe your life in 5 pictures.

Picture 1: I am on the front lawn of my parent’s house, I am about six years old. I am playing dress-up, wearing a huge sunhat and holding a dolly that I’m about to put in a doll carriage. My Dad still has that photo.

Picture 2: I am a high school cheerleader, with big hair (hey, it was the 80’s). The entire team is posing for a photo in front of the school just before graduation. That was 25 years ago, and we are all still friends.

Picture 3: Buddy, Loopy and I are under the Christmas tree in 1995. Buddy is five years old and Loopy is a baby. Buddy is smiling and looking up at the tree and Loopy is drooling like all babies do. After the photo is taken, she opens her mouth a little bit to reveal a tiny teddy bear inside – one from my dollhouse. She has been sucking on it for about an hour and I am shocked she didn’t choke on it. Buddy yells “awww, gross!” and I realize I have just lost the Mother of the Year Award.

Picture 4: I am a cheerleading coach in 1997. My large varsity team has won every competition they entered. We are all gathered for a team photo and Loopy is being held by the team captains in the front row, wearing a tiny little uniform to look like the “big girls”. That was 13 years ago, and we are all still friends.

Picture 5: It is my wedding day to Veto and we are now a family. It sounds sappy, but it was the happiest day of my life.

5. What’s one of the funniest things your kids have done?

Loopy’s a funny girl. She’s always been pretty outspoken but the funniest thing she ever did was on about her seventh birthday. She blew out the candles on her cake but one was still lit. Her party guests squirmed with delight, “Sidney has a boyfriend!” but Loopy was unflappable. She leaned over and swiftly blew out the last candle and announced in a deadpan tone, “We just broke up.” The girls at the party didn’t really get it but the mothers all laughed hysterically.

6. Given the chance to create a custom sampler of cupcakes with unique names and flavors what would you choose and why?

The “Saucy Sampler” would have one cupcake named for each member of my family: Veto’s Lemon Love Cake, Buddy’s Red Velvet Symphony, Loopy’s Chocolate Chip Surprise, Duke’s Vanilla Little Cake (because dogs can’t have chocolate) and Saucy’s Dark Chocolate Indulgence. That way, everyone would be happy.

7. When making bracelets how do you put your stamp on each one?

If you look closely, each bracelet that I make has a tiny heart charm on the end that says “Made With Love,” they are one of my signature bits. I’d like to say that the vintage bottle cap charm was my idea, but I saw it on my friend Amy’s website a long time ago. I asked permission to use the idea and she and Melissa graciously said that I could. Generally, I gather the goodies for each bracelet that I make over a long period of time. It takes months to assemble all of the bits to complete a theme bracelet.

8. What has inspired your sense of style over the years?

Mostly I have been influenced by studying art history and reading. When you study art history, you learn about classic design influences in architecture and fashion, not just painting. When you read – especially books about history (I am especially fond of reading about Marie Antoinette and the Renaissance) – you learn to visualize how things might have looked. Reading is one of the best activities that you can do to spark your visual imagination. When I shop for new clothing or things for my home, I look for timeless pieces that will stand the test of time and then I add a few fun and funky things with a vintage twist. My house isn’t filled with antique furniture, but I love adding touches like old birdcages, vintage typewriters and crazy old jars filled with buttons and things like that.

9. What is a trip that you’ve always wanted to take?

Very much, I have always wanted to visit Paris. I want to wander the streets and shop the flea markets. More than anything I want to see Versailles and walk the steps that Marie Antoinette walked before the revolution. I would take with me a beautiful leather journal and make sketches of the scenery and the buildings and collect bits of paper and postcards along the way, scrapbooking the trip as I went. When the trip was over, the journal would be filled with French phrases, love notes to Veto, coffee stains from the bottom of my cup, and snapshots of the Eiffel Tower taken with one of my antique cameras, if I can find the right film for it.

10. What’s your favorite dessert (besides cupcakes of course)?

I just adore cheesecake… in fact, I used to make it all the time, the way I make cupcakes now. I worked my way through the Kraft Philadelphia Cheesecake Cookbook one year and made every single recipe. I wrote little notes in the margin about who I made the cake for and what occasion… I still do that. It’s amazing to see who I’ve shared my baking with over the years – and it helps me remember what everyone’s favourite dessert is!

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tam7777 said...

I love the name. I think it fits perfectly.