Nearly everyday for 20 years my mother walked in the doors of Gary’s (fifteen minutes early of course) and sold beautiful clothing and accessories to the men and women of Bellingham. She would happily dress those who were not quite as fashionably savvy as she was and she took so much joy seeing how her clients faces would change as they slipped into something that made them feel beautiful. My mother would purposefully see an item and have a specific person in mind. She made many lifelong friendships in her position and already is greatly missed as last month she closed that chapter of her life and is excitedly awaiting to see what life has planned for her now.


She is such a talent with an eye for beauty that is unlike anything I have seen. Through the midst of rubble and what others would consider “junk” she sees class, beauty and an opportunity. Her life is filled with beautiful objects that were once nothing but a dusty or slightly damaged oversight. Through these things she is reborn and alive. Seeing her creator in the everyday beauty, it is her form of worship and her joy in life to share and inspire those around her to do the same.


As a tribute to my mother I created this Handbag cake for her final day at Garys’. The interior was a dense and moist dark chocolate cake brushed with apricot marmalade and layered in between chocolate buttercream.

Congratulations Mom!


13 Responses to “A classy farewell to a classy lady”

  1. gilly

    Hi Ashley – Wow, such intricate work! It’s absolutely gorgeous and so realistic! Congratulations to your mom – I bet she savoured your creation!

  2. gbaron

    Ashley, that is too wonderful for words. Wonderful enough for tears. Thank you so much for your words, thoughts and incredible work on love in your cake.

  3. Jason

    Sorry if this is the wrong forum for such a question, but I was wondering what your opinion is on what type of education/training is suitable for someone starting their own bakery/pastry business.

    Thanks for the inspiring photos!

  4. artisansweets

    Jason – I would suggest you find a business that is similar to the one you hope to open – one that you really admire.. and work there. Offer to work for free. Spend every moment you can working, observing, learning and figuring out if this is something you really want to do. Be honest about your intentions… you will find that people in this industry are so kind and very willing to share information.

  5. Jason

    Thank you for the advice, I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.

  6. Mary Gene Atwood

    WOW! What a wonderful purse cake!! I barely got a kick in the butt when I quit work….good for you….now that I’m not working, and once my immediate travels are taken care of, I’d love to come up your way and get a Baron fix!


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