Inspiring Creative Women #2: Lizy B Bakes


Elizabeth B is the heart and hands behind Lizy B Bakes. Always the girl with too many hobbies {can any of us relate?!}, she says, "You name it, I've probably tried it...except wood-burning." Trained as an interior designer, Elizabeth has spent most of her crafting time with embroidery. But if you've ever seen her amazing confectionary creations, no doubt you've been delighted by her talent with royal icing. Simply put: Lizy B Bakes extraordinary cookies! Here's a peek inside her creative life: 

The Inspiring Creative Women series is dedicated to
in-depth interviews designed to bring the
creative process into sharper focus.
*Learn more here.*


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{Christina} Lizy B, I'm thrilled to have you here. Tell us about yourself.
{Lizy B} I have two amazing sons. Ethan is 11, Jack is 5. They are somehow both such 'boys,' rough and tumble and trying to be big men, but at the same time sweet and appreciative and remarkably loving. They LOVE reading about themselves on the blog.  My husband Joe and I have been married 15 years. We met in collage and have been best friends ever since. I am constantly humbled by his love and commitment to his family and I am eternally grateful that he is the example of what a man should be for my two boys. Love all three of them something awful!
{Christina} That is a powerful testament to love! You've had a 'crush' of another kind, too: you've loved baking since you were 11. How and when did you start designing cookies? What drew you to cookies in particular?
{Lizy B} What a great way to put that. It kind of does feel like it's been a 'crush.' For the longest time I would pour over cake decorating books and pictures of wedding cakes and be amazed. But it all seemed very unattainable. My mom and I made sugar cookies at Christmas every year, but they were simple. It wasn't until I was planning my wedding that I was brave enough to try royal icing. My mom and I made monogrammed hearts for our rehearsal dinner. Luckily there aren't an pictures or I may have never tried again!
After Ethan was born, I made cookies every few years for different occasions. Each time they became more detailed and the practice certainly helped! At some point, I started giving 'fancy cookies' as Christmas gifts. I noticed how much I missed it when the holidays were over. So two Christmas's ago...I just never put the supplies away and kept on baking!


{Christina} Sounds like a lesson in following one's passion! Does your training as an interior designer help when it comes to designing your cookies?
{Lizy B} Definitely, but maybe not how you would think. Clearly, all the design training is beneficial: color theory, art history, composition...all necessary. But when you take interior design classes you spend a crazy amount of time putting together design boards. Picking out materials, arranging them neatly, filling in the empty space...sounds a bit like a cookie platter, doesn't it!


{Christina} So in picking your themes and materials, what inspires you? Where do you go for inspiration?
{Lizy B} I'm usually inspired by an event or personal story. For holidays, I'm always googling clip art and scrapbooking sites. If I'm truly stuck, I'll go wander the stationery or craft store.


{Christina} You mentioned you're the girl with 'too many hobbies.'  What's important to you about the creative process? What impact does it have on your quality of life?
{Lizy B} For me, there is a definite impact on my life if I don't have some sort of creative outlet. I can get a bit sullen and mopey. When I'm working on a project, most of my ideas are formulated while I'm doing something else. Rarely am I sitting down to purposefully create. It's the time between the work...driving the kids to school, folding laundry. When my mind is occupied enough and my hands are busy, that the creative part of me can have time to finish a thought without being interrupted...and then there it is! Some new idea! The snowball just gets bigger and bigger. By the time I get around to sketching out a cookie the image is fully formed and just the technicalities need to be worked out.
Source: Lizy B Bakes! Please pin from the original source. Thank you.
{Christina} I can really relate to that, and I'm sure our readers will, too. How does blogging fit into the mix? What prompted you to start your blog and what role does it play in the creative process?
{Lizy B} Blogging was absolutely an accident. I decided to send my best girlfriend funny emails every day to make her laugh during a summer school class she was teaching. We both started reading various blogs and she was incredibly encouraging (she insisted!), saying I should early start my own. But I had no idea what I would say! Then I started baking more cookies and taking pictures. I realized that a blog would give me the opportunity to say more wonderful things about the people I was making cookies for. I wanted my blog to be a place to be thankful for the people in my life. 
Source: Lizy B Bakes! Please pin from the original source. Thank you.
{Christina} Gratitude is a powerful force! In the creative realm, who encourages you and whom do you admire?
{Lizy B} This is such a huge question! This might take awhile! Close to home, I'd say my mother. She's an amazingly talented artist and works in many mediums: watercolor, acrylic, oil, ink...I could go on and on.  In a very broad sense, Martha Stewart has had a huge impact on the craft world in general. She made it okay to be crafty. She made it 'cool' and elevated crafting to a place where it can be respected as an art form. 
     In the blogging and cookie world, the first blogs i read were The Pioneer Woman and Bakerella. They opened a whole new world for me that I never knew existed. When it comes to cookies, I would never want to leave anyone out: Sweet Sugarbelle is an amazing teacher. Lilaloa makes me laugh every time she posts. Bakingdom!! I love Darla ~ she loves Harry Potter and all geekery as much as I ddo. Arty McGoo taught me you can paint on a cookie! That opened up a whole new world. SweetAmbs and her tutorials. I could go on all day and I am hugely thankful to all of them.


{Christina} How do you balance your projects, blogging, family, work, etc.?
{Lizy B} My family is my heart and soul. One day, five or six years ago, I was having a conversation with my husband about what i would like to do once our kids were in school. I tried to conjure up the image of my dream job. "It wold be something at home, that didn't disrupt the schedule we have, I want to be be home when the kids come home. something crafty where I also get to play on the computer. I'd like to be my own boss, I don't want to work for someone else..." When I told that story to a friend, she just looked at me for a minute then said, "Girlfriend, you'd better be careful what you visualize in the future, 'cause apparently that works pretty darn well for you." So yes, this is my job. Wow. I'm not silly enough to pretend to know how to balance all of this. I'm just along for the ride.
{Christina} Wow! There's a lesson in that story. We are all "creators" on a level at which we're not always consciously aware! So...do you have any other sage tips you'd like to share?
{Lizy B} Be who you are, but also, keep in mind who you'd like to be. Don't get sidetracked by what you 'think you should do.' Do it your way. Don't take the shortcut. You'll learn more taking the longer road and probably enjoy it more. If you don't know how to do something, there's probably a book that can help you figure it out. Ask lots of questions. All the time. Ask them again. Say thank you, and give credit to the people who help you along the way. Always help someone when you can. Always share what you know.


{Christina} Those are great tips, Elizabeth. I'm really grateful to you for sharing about yourself and the creative process. I'm thrilled that you are part of this series!
One last question. What values do you hope to express through your work?
{Lizy B} I think, most of all, I'd like to be viewed as a person of integrity. I try to do my best work, always. I try to always be honest, probably to a fault. And I hope that what I do brings a smile and a little joy to other people. And I try to keep what I do in perspective...after all... they're just cookies. I'm not creating world peace, but it does make me happy.
I don't know about that, Lizy B... if Ghandi says "Be the change you wish to see in the world," and baking beautiful cookies makes you happy and makes us smile.... maybe you ARE creating world peace.



*Visit Lizy B Bakes here*


       


More Inspiring Creative Women *Here*


{I host a weekly linky party. Come find out more here!  I'm sharing this Inspiring Creative Women series with...Monday:  CraftomaniacMaking The World CuterProject QueenThe Gunny SackAlderberry HillA Round TuitSkip to My LouCherished BlissTuesday:  Not Just a Housewife, The DIY Dreamer, Tip JunkieToday's Creative BlogUncommon, Gingersnap CraftsThe NY Melrose Family; Wednesday:  The 36th Avenue, It's OverflowingNest of PosiesSavvy Southern StyleSomeday Crafts, The Trendy TreehouseVery Merry Vintage StyleWhat We Wore & MadeThursday:  Shabby NestFriday:  Anything Goes, Finding FabulousMy Simple Home LifeRomantic HomeFrench Country CottageTatertots and Jello, Thirty Handmade DaysFaith Trust & Pixie DustNaptime Crafters, Too Much Time on my Hands, Stuff & NonsenseSaturday:  Be Different Act NormalFunky Junk Interiors,  Sisters of the Wild West, Sew Country ChickSunday: Nifty Thrifty Things, DIY Project Parade, Under The Table and DreamingMy 1929 CharmerSew Darned Crafty}
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