My best friend’s youngest daughter is about to turn ONE! I love creating designs for her girls’ birthdays. This year the theme was rainbow because she’s going to try her hand at creating one of those cool rainbow layer cakes. I got an idea pretty quickly and decided I wanted colored dots – like confetti to adorn the invite and ultimately create a fun shape.

Stage 1: Getting the shape filled with all the dots. Right now just one color so I can focus on form.

Stage 2: Here I'm shaping a "1" out of the dots since this is her first birthday!

Stage 3: A vibrant happy color palette is selected and I set about making sense out of all the colors, paying attention to the hue value as well as the size of the dots.

Stage 4: After many color studies, the final creation take shape - a fun happy butterfly with a numeral one for it's little body.

I think part of the inspiration for this creation came from this awesome sony bravia commercial shot in San Francisco many years ago.

I chose the butterfly because it seemed to fit so perfectly for something so colorful and happy and it also echoes her daughter’s birth announcements which also featured butterflies.

Hope you enjoyed a little work in progress!




Hey everyone!

I’m starting a new series here on creative entrepreneurs. I’ll feature one each month. This month is Kelley Kakes. Kelley is wonderfully talented and makes some of the most deliciously edible creations! I originally met Kelley a few years back when my husband and I were searching for someone to make our wedding cake. This is one of those areas I didn’t expect my soon-to-be husband to have an opinion about, boy was I wrong! He put Kelley through the wringer, making it abundantly clear that wedding cake to him was all white cake with white filling (the outside however could be any color). Kelley came through creating a white chocolate cake with mousse filling and coconut for our top tier. She fashioned the exterior in pale pink ruffles to match the silk of my wedding dress.

Kelley was kind enough to share her insights on being a creative entrepreneur that I’ll share with you now.

How long have you had your business?
I started it up in Sept. 2001

How do you get out of your creative ruts?
Long walks:)  Seriously, I go for a hike.  It clears my head.

How do you stay on track?
I plan out each week down to how long I know errands for supplies will take.  I use Monday as my planning day and have a very thorough schedule, including anything personal that takes places during that week.  This keeps me from over-lapping or stressing out at 3am.

How do you nurture discovery? or a sense of play admist the day to day needs of the business?
This is an area I’ve never really struggled with, honestly.  I think in this line of work one must have started off as the type who is never done learning, and wants to keep discovering new things, in order to be successful.  Amidst the paperwork, I’ll stop for a few minutes and peruse cakes and artwork done by people I admire and make notes of things I like.  It’s a great little break from the mundane and gets the creative juices flowing.

What do you enjoy most about running your own creative business? What’s the most difficult thing?
I love the challenge and the rewards of being to stand back and look at a cake I just finished and exclaim loudly, “I did that!”  most difficult thing… All-nighters during the busy season and those can be physically and mentally draining.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?
Don’t be afraid to

I love Kelley’s answer to the last question – ‘Don’t be afraid to!’ That’s some good advice for those of us setting out to make a living from our creative talents.

As Kelley celebrates her 10th year in business, I wish her continued growth and success and hope she gets to keep making scrumptious, beautiful cakes for people celebrating the joyous occasions in their lives.

You can find Kelley at:
her website
her blog:
or her facebook page:

Thanks Kelley!