I've had the most wonderful weekend! It started on Friday night with my co-worker and friend Laurie, her sister and I attending a craft show and shopping until we almost dropped. We originally planned to go on Saturday until about two weeks ago, when Laurie made a trip to the Michael's store in North York. The next morning, Laurie gasped and said "You're not going to believe this - Duff is making an appearance at the Michael's in North York!"
Now, Duff had just been at the Cdn National Exhibition on September 3rd, but I didn't attend because it was horribly hot and very crowded. I ended up calling the store *three* times to confirm this information, since it wasn't advertised on their store's events page, or on Charm City Cakes' events page or anywhere in the media in Toronto. The third call on Wed. last week was the best - Duff was going to be signing his signature black aprons and they would be given to attendees for free! Duff now has an extensive like of baking products and tools that are only sold directly by Michael's and the apron sells for $25.
Here I am with Duff, grinning my head off! I tried to crop it, but seeing the security guy on the left and the pile of aprons on the right appeals to me. :) The tubs on display are different flavours and colours of fondant icing.
Laurie and I are veterans of many, many scifi conventions and waiting for hours is the norm, so we decided to get there by 10:30 am - Duff was signing from 2 to 4 pm. No kidding, we really did get there that early. We also had Michael's coupons to use on even more craft supplies (Friday night is another story all together!), so we were able to kill some time. This area of the store was only being set up when we arrived and they finally set up the waiting line by 11 am, when one couple was waiting. I became the 5th person in line at 11:30 to hold our three spots, when the ladies offered to get us some food and drinks.
Both Laurie and I have the "Ace of Cakes" book, which is not a cookbook, but all about how the show came to be, Duff's path to becoming a successful cake designer (although he is also a trained chef) and bios of all the staff at the bakery. It's also full of gorgeous photos of the cakes they've made. We were told very specifically that Duff would "only sign ONE item - either a book or an apron." We would still get an apron, signed or not, after meeting him. I was the first in line who with his book and he was pretty pleased "You've got the book!" I told him I'd had it for 2 years and he said he was thinking of writing another one. Of course I told him he should. I also told Duff that now I had his and Ina's autographs (his comment "She's sweet!") and said that Ina taught me not to be afraid to bake and that Duff is inspiring to be more creative. He said, "aww, baking's not scary!" and thanked me. Of course, I was so excited I didn't let the Sharpie ink dry properly, so it's smooshed a little, but I don't care!
I really didn't know what to do next, since the apron was also part of the meet and greet. so I asked one of the assistants about it. Duff had a stack of aprons in front of him (see above), and said "Here - let me sign one for you." I couldn't believe it after the lecture we got before the event began. I squeeed as I walked away!
I like the heart in front of "Duff" and his little happy face. We also got a little sample of Duff's fondant - I think I'll have to try it out on some cupcakes...