One week ago today, I experienced a full circle moment at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. In between conference sessions, a library colleague and I met THE CAKESPY for a sweet treat break (evidence: hot pink nails in the last photo). CakeSpy is an internet celeb. to me, and it is against the shy part of my nature to flat-out email someone that I do not know. But when I read from her website that she had relocated to Philadelphia for an artistic project, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I was going to be in her city for a professional library conference, and my first thought was, “book signing, maybe she will be doing a book signing at the conference, I have to ask!”
She wasn’t doing a signing at the conference, but I was thrilled to receive her response that we could meet at the Reading Terminal Market (do you see how awesome this place is: bakeries, barrel-cured kraut, breakfast diner, and oyster bar ALL under one roof?!). CakeSpy is the real deal: the kindest, most studious sweets seraph you will ever meet. She brought us gifts of baked goods, bookmarks and postcards. Conversation included her sincere interest in our experiences with sugar cream pie and other regional specialties (she’s working on her second book of that nature, and you can purchase her first book at her site or find it at your local library).
The thing is, CakeSpy has unknowingly been part of my entry into the library profession. When I was in library school, I was obsessed with the chockylit site, and at every stress-relieving moment I could, I would try and/or modify these creations and take down baking notes in my Hello Kitty notebook. It was around then that I discovered CakeSpy’s articles and artwork. Cupcakes and libraries were two main characters in my life at the time, and I envisioned an art library filled with sweet treats. Back then, her rainbow candy coated illustrations were available on etsy at an insanely modest price. Once I saved up enough money, I messaged her and asked if she could put Cuppie in an art library. She said YES and even asked me for fav. book titles to include.
Fast forward five years, the framed illustration is sitting on my desk, next to business cards with my name on them that say Gallery Librarian: Art, Music & Media. My library sends me to a professional conference in Philadelphia and I meet CakeSpy. Who knew. It’s fun to look back and think about my spiral-bound library school and cupcake notebooks. I just wanted to secure a job and bake treats in the off-time, because there’s not so much baking and painting time when you work 4 part-time jobs.
It occurs to me as I write that my first blog post was about an Amish-inspired hand pie, which is a version of the treat I picked out to eat that day at the market. Thank you, Jessie for the sweet inspiration through the years. It was truly a treat to meet you!