Saturday, 3 March 2012

Guest Blog - Interview with Nadine Snijders

I'm not sure when I became aware of Nadine's blog, but from the moment I first laid eyes on her stunning creations I was hooked! She has such a beautiful, feminine style executed with such amazing precision, I challenge anyone not to be bowled over by her work.

I mean, just how stunning is this?!?!

I decided to chance my luck and approached her to see if she would guest here on my little blog and I was over the moon to find that she really liked the idea!! In the end we settled on doing an interview as this would give you all an opportunity to get to know her as well as appreciate her amazing creations. So here goes...

Hi Nadine, a very big welcome to Sarah's Cake Blog!

Thank you so much for being my guest today.

So let's jump straight in - When did you first start decorating cakes? Is it something that you have always loved or is it a more recent thing?

Before I started making cakes, I made cupcakes. In March 2009 I made my first cupcakes, for my own birthday, just for fun. I then began looking on the internet for inspiration and products.
After a while I started thinking about making cakes, but I found it hard as I had never had any lessons and didn’t know where to start. Again, I used the internet to find all the "how to’s" and I made two cakes for my sister‘s birthday in May 2010. She loved them and didn’t want to cut them... seeing her reaction made me happy and was the best reward.

How did this develop into making cakes for other people?

The perfectionist in me wants everything to be, almost, perfect. The details have to be right and I think people notice that. More and more people asked me to make them a cake and that’s how it started...

How do you juggle the demands of everyday working and such a time consuming pastime as cake decorating?

Until recently, I was living with my parents, so I could make time for cakes next to my full time job. Now, I’m living in my own house and next to my job, there is the housework.
After moving in, I wanted to take a break, making time for my house. Now, after a few months, there’s some time for cakes, but I can’t make as many as I did before.

As with anything else, cakes are subject to the influence of fashion and trends. From trawling the internet it is also obvious that styles of cake differ from country to country. Would you say that your classical style is typical of the Netherlands?

I would like to say that I have my own style, as do many people. Of course there are differences, such as colours (red-white-blue are often used in the Netherlands), use of piping royal icing etc., but the internet allows us to see cakes from all over the World and people inspire each other. So, I wouldn’t say there’s a typical Dutch style.

You describe your style as being inspired from the Victorian/Marie Antoinette periods; what is it that captures your imagination so much?

The gorgeous dresses, the soft colours and the use of lace and pearls. Which woman wouldn‘t be inspired?

What do you find most challenging about decorating cakes, and also what is the most enjoyable?

The design of the cake is always a challenge. I never have, and would never, make the same design twice.
In the beginning I had so many problems with getting the fondant smooth and without cracks on the sides. After trying out different fondants, I’m now very happy with the Satin Ice fondant I started using recently. In the Netherlands you couldn’t buy it until a few months ago.
The thing that’s the most enjoyable, is the decoration part, working on a smooth base and finishing it with the right decorations.

What interesting projects do you have in the pipeline?

I still have so many cake designs/elements that I want to use…
Next week it’s my birthday and I will have a high tea for my closest girlfriends, so I‘m making two mini cakes. In May there’s my third birthday cake for my sister and in June I will be making a wedding cake.

What would your dream cake look like?

Oh my, I think there a several dream cakes…
I love white on white, the combination of pastel blue and white, pastel pink with white and gold…. Things that are often recurring themes are pearls and lace, so my dream cake would have to contain these two.

How has using social media (such as your blog and facebook) helped you, both in terms of exposure for your cakes and inspiration for making them in the first place?

The internet is great! At first, I placed my pictures on Hyves (a Dutch version of Facebook) and a Dutch cake forum. People seemed to love my cakes and gave lovely comments. From then on unknown people started to ask me to make cakes.
I also placed the pictures on Flickr and enjoyed it when foreign people commented on my cakes. I started using Facebook and more people added me on Facebook - a lot from outside the Netherlands.
I met a close friend of mine, Tessa (of Cakes By Tess), on the Dutch forum. We have the same style and love the same colours and decoration. People on the forum noticed this and mentioned us in topics.
We thought it would be fun to have a Facebook page together. Now, after almost a year, we nearly have 1670 members and we still find it hard to believe that so many people like our cakes. Knowning that every cake we make will be seen by so many people is such a delight!

Thanks so much Nadine for being my guest today and sharing with us the photos of your beautiful creations!

If you would like to see more of Nadine's beautiful work then check out her blog Nadine's Cakes & My Little White Home. She has decorated her home just as exquisitely as she decorates her cakes! You can also follow her on the Facebook page which she shares with her equally talented friend Tess at Tess' & Nadine's Cakes.