Here's to starting fresh...please allow me to re-introduce myself! My name is Kelsea Piquette and I currently live in Rhode Island where I was born and raised. I love summers here but can't wait to get away from our winters and take any opportunity to be in warmth and sunshine that I can. And now, a little more about me and how I got here, writing to my computer hoping someone other than my Dad will read this (Hi Dad!).
For about the past, I dunno, 8-10 years or so I have been trying (as most young adults do) to figure out what I want to do with my life and how to incorporate all of the different activities I enjoy into the money making side of life. Currently, I am the Factory Floor Manager at Kiel James Patrick -- a jewelry and apparel company inspired by classic preppy American style. I love my coworkers and the time I spend there and am very grateful to have worked for such an inspiring pair entrepreneurs, Kiel & Sarah, for the past few years. From the start they have encouraged me and given me so many opportunities inside and outside of my job at the company.
Before I took on my current role at the factory I used to bake treats every Friday for everyone working. You may have seen the cake I created to look like a stack of folded polo shirts floating around on the internet somewhere. It's only been liked and shared a few thousand times across social media...
I might be a little proud of that one, it's definitely my most unforgettable cake so far. Prior to and during this time I was also baking on the side for friends and clients who had heard about my baking one way or another. I competed in a few bake-offs and won 2nd place in a local cookie competition for my cookie dough stuffed brownie cookie sandwiches. I was floored...not only was I a home-baker with absolutely no schooling in pastry arts, I had only been baking my own recipes for about a year or so and people LOVED them! So, I spent more time baking for clients and trying to give baking my all while still working a 9-5. Eventually I started to get worn out, I felt like I was back working as a production assistant at LaSalle Bakery, making things that didn't require my full creativity to satisfy the customer's needs and not necessarily just my desire to bake something tasty and beautiful. But I kept at it because seeing people enjoy my food as much as they do NEVER gets old.
Then one fateful weekend in January I took a trip that ended up encouraging me to change my whole plan for BIB. It was just over 1 year ago now, my husband Chris and I decided to book a weekend of snowboarding in New Hampshire. I have been snowboarding since I was in high school with my younger brother, but I've never really been very good. I'm not terrible -- I can make it down simple black diamond trails alive, but I've definitely never been graceful at it. I should also note that I had broken both of my wrists, on two separate occasions, while snowboarding in my high school years. So maybe I was kind of terrible, but I also have genetically brittle bones so the odds were not in my favor to begin with. Regardless of all this however, I had continued to snowboard into my early 20's with nothing but quite a few bruises, until this trip.
We booked two days of snowboarding, the first was one of the smallest "mountains" either of us had ever ridden on, something to ease us into another season of snowboarding. The second day we booked at a mountain that was honestly a little daunting to me, but I was excited to try it because I had only ever ridden on one other mountain as large as that one was. We rented a hotel in between the two and were looking forward to an exciting weekend together. So we got up to the little bunny hill of a mountain and rode for about an hour or two before, you guessed it, I broke my wrist again. It happened in the lamest possible way...I was coming to a stop near the ski lift at the bottom of the mountain and about to take my boot out of my binding when I slipped a little and fell backwards onto my hands. Big mistake...as soon as my hand hit the ground I knew. The familiar yet still terrifying crunch and flash of white lightning shooting through my arm was defeating. Chris who had been watching the whole thing didn't think anything that bad could have possibly happened. I fell so slowly that when he came over he was expecting to be laughing with me about how clumsy I am. Instead I whimpered to him that I had broken my wrist and we needed to get ski patrol. I don't know if it was shock or what but I wasn't crying yet at this point and I had these massive gloves on so the ski patrol looked at me pretty skeptically at first. I don't think anyone had ever broken a bone on their tiny little hill. As he slid my glove off my trembling hand a golf ball popped up where my wrist should have been. I had been fingers crossed up until this point that maybe possibly by some miracle my wrist would not be broken but as soon as I saw the lump I knew for sure. THEN I started to cry, not because I finally felt the pain, but because I realized that the rest of our weekend was ruined.
The story could end here--I could add in my x-rays and be done with it, but then I'd be leaving out possibly the most hilarious (hilarious now, not as much then) part of the whole adventure. Chris and I drove our early 2000's Sherrod conversion van up to New Hampshire because it was the easiest to fit all our gear and change in. It was definitely not the smoothest ride but that wasn't what we were considering when we made the trip up. So Chris went to back the van up to the ski patrol hut and accidentally backed over a big orange traffic cone. Ski patrol told us that we should get to the hospital ASAP because if I started to loose feeling in my arm it could mean much worse things than just a broken bone. Ambulances were at least 45 minutes out and we didn't want to risk that so Chris wrestled with trying to get the cone out for a couple of minutes but ski patrol urged us onward, saying that the cone would probably fall out when we hit a bump. So we started our journey down the darkest most bumpy and winding mountain road that we've probably ever been on towards the hospital. If you've ever had a broken bone and had to move at all before being sedated, you know IT FUCKING HURTS! And even if you haven't, you can imagine being jostled while in such pain is not terribly enjoyable. We were around 15-20 mins into our drive when some good samaritan comes up behind us and starts flashing his high beams. Assuming he has seen the cone lodged beneath our van, we continue on for a minute and ignore his flashing. Then he started to honk so we pulled over, the man told us he thought he saw sparks coming out from where the cone was stuck and suggested we get it out before driving further for fear of conflagration. Chris told him that I had a broken wrist and that we were in a rush so the man wished us luck but reiterated that he thought we shouldn't move until the cone was out. I was in a LOT of pain at this point but I agreed that the cone should come out, so Chris got on the ground and kicked and pushed and pulled and screamed and swore a lot and then finally the cone came free! We were both in such states of shock/adrenaline pumping that we started cracking up under tears as we started to drive again.
I ended up having to get a plate with 8 screws surgically implanted in my wrist when we got back to RI. I had two weeks of recovery after the surgery where I wore a morphine pump on my hip and only existed in a zombie-like state for most of hours of the day. Then I had 4 months of physical therapy to get my strength back up. For that whole 5 month period I don't think I cooked or baked more than once, but I found that I didn't miss it terribly. I missed having my sweets around all the time, seeing happy faces when clients received cakes, and the little bit of extra money that I would make (I hadn't broken my wrist as an adult so I was SHOCKED by the cost of the whole thing (sorry to my parents for those other two times)) but I didn't miss having to create things with particular customer's specifications/deadlines/etc. in mind. As enjoyable as it can be to try new designs and create custom artwork for clients, it can be equally as exhausting. Satisfaction for the customer and also my desire to create don't always align so I found I often wound up sacrificing some my own fun to reach the end goal. My creative spirit is best fueled by creating something just because, no guidelines, no restrictions, just expressing my art in tangible form. So in order to fuel this spirit, I came here!
I have been following cake creatives and amazing artists on social media for quite some time now who have inspired me to take my journey in another direction. I would love to share with you all how I create each one of my pastries along with any steps I take afterwards to photograph and share them. I have had SO many people ask me to teach them how to bake/create all sorts of items that at first I thought I'd offer some classes. Then I thought about it some more and all the logistics of starting that and decided that it is something that I will scale up to. However if anyone is interested in a private lesson, I would be more than happy to oblige. EVERY SINGLE time I make my "cupcocks" someone asks me if I could teach them how to make them. One or two of them have even gone as far as to set a day but no one has ever followed through. So why not just put the information right in front of you all digitally and make it easier on both of us? If you've ever wanted to expertly craft marshmallow fondant genitalia or some adorable succulents to place atop your cupcakes, my blog will be the place to come! I will also be sharing some of my other photography and adventures on here so keep an eye out for those as well!
I look forward to sharing my creations with you! Please feel free to leave a comment of anything that you'd like to see me post about! Thanks for following along :)