About the Cover Photographer

Slava and Sara Slavik are originally from Brno, in the Czech Republic. They have been happily married for 14 years and have two children, Katie and John. In May of 2004, they moved their family to Paulding County wanting new challenges and better opportunities for their children. It was here that Slava and Sara realized their dream by opening their own family and wedding portrait studio - Slava Slavik Photography.

Prior to discovering his passion for photography, Slava was the CEO for a digital photography software company in Central Europe. Sara worked in the graphic design industry creating cards and brochures, doing magazine and book layout, and creative ad design. Together, they began doing wedding portraits for family and friends. It brought them great joy and it was then they discovered their desire to have their own studio.

After coming to the United States, Slava was able to work with some of the finest photographers in Georgia. He developed great technical skills, and along with his own personal warmth and creative eye, he is able to capture people in unique and creative ways.

Today, Slava Slavik Photography is dedicated to giving you beautiful portraits and a memorable experience. They specialize in romantic wedding photography and contemporary indoor and outdoor portraits of engaged couples, families, children newborns and executives. Slava and Sara draw on their European heritage to offer their clients a different approach that combines a clean fresh look with traditional Southern attitude.

To see their work, visit their website www.slava-slavik.com or contact them at 404-323-1153.

On the Cover

Katharina Craine

Katharina CraineKatharina Craine is a rising star. At only 23, she is fast becoming Paulding County’s own “Ace” no, “Queen of Cakes.”

Katharina grew up in a small German village. Her fondest memories include assisting her Grandmother in her baking. Little did she know, those special moments would lead her to her future career. Katharina and her mom, Christine, moved to Dallas in the late 90s. Her mother worked two jobs and studied to become a massage therapist. Katharina home schooled herself online through James Madison High School, but the lessons she learned from her Grandmother held fast.

Katharina became passionate about her baking and decorating. For fun, she began baking and decorating cakes for friends and family. She read everything she could and taught herself the very high end decorating methods of using fondant and making flowers from gum paste and sugar. To understand more about the requirements of a pastry career, Katharina contacted top cake decorator, Chef Browen Weber of the Frosted Art Bakery in Dallas, Texas. “Chef Weber gave me advice, and told me how much hard work it would be to attain success in the Pastry/Cake world” Katharina says, “but she believed in my abilities and told me to go for it.”

Katharina began working in the Publix bakery on East Paulding Drive and enrolled in the world renowned Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. The Le Cordon Bleu program is highly paced, and includes teaching an extensive range of techniques, ranging from traditional and classic baking and pastry, to the newest innovations in the field. The program allows students to cultivate their skills in order to meet the high demand in the competitive food-service industry. Part of the final stages of her studies included an externship. Katharina was fortunate enough to head from Dallas, Georgia to Dallas, Texas to work with Chef Weber.

Katharina graduated from Le Cordon Bleu with Summa Cum Laude honors. She was also recognized for perfect attendance. “I sat down before I started and wrote down the goals I wanted to attain. I wanted to graduate with a 4.0 average and never miss a minute of any class. Through a lot of hard work, my amazing mother’s help and the grace of God, I achieved them.” Katharina returned home and has since honed her skills as a pastry professional.

In August of 2011, Katharina won FIRST place in the Pastry LIVE ‘Art of Cake’ competition in Atlanta. The theme for the competition was "Artists and Periods of Art,” which called for competitors to show off their skills by sculpting cake into creations inspired by an artist or art period of their choice. Her inspiration for her entry was from one of her favorite artists, Alphonse Mucha and his use of spring and harvest-inspired pieces.

Her winning cake is a beautiful piece of art and design. ‘Pastry Live’ describes her win: “Katharina’s tasting cake followed through with her overall design theme, as the lychee mousse cake layered with grapefruit pâte de fruit and white chocolate feuilletine, reflected light, summary and floral flavors. Through her workmanship and artistic skills, Katharina presented a beautiful display cake which expressed her talents to the judges and earned her first place in the competition”.

Katharina gets most of her creative inspiration from collaborating with her clients, although she always sees potential cake designs everywhere….on fabrics, ceramics, wallpaper, and paintings. One particular cake she is hoping to create is that of a barn owl. That may sound unusual, but Katharina is amazed at the intricate patterns in a barn owl’s wings.

Because all the cakes Katharina has designed and created are unique and have a story of their own, they all mean something to her. She loves when people get excited when they see their cake, and some of her favorite designs are the ones that have received the biggest reactions. Katharina says, “If I make a bride so happy that she cries, or if I make a child jump up and down with excitement, that's a home run for me. There are so many great moments”.

Katharina’s ultimate goal is to continue to improve her skills. She is working on opening her own shop here in Paulding, beginning with a Kickstarter campaign she plans to launch early this year. She also enjoys teaching the art of pastry and eventually wants to teach classes as well.

Christine and step-father Bill Slaughter are very proud of Katharina’s accomplishments. She has their undying love and full support. In addition to being a cake artist, Katharina is very talented at being a caricature artist. She also loves to research and learn new things. If she wasn’t a “cake girl”, she would be studying language or library science.

We are honored to have Katharina on our first cover of the New Year! If you would like Katharina to create a work of art in cake for your special occasion, email her at katharina.craine@gmail.com.

*Special thanks to Christina Dunlap of LaBella Day Spa of Dallas for Katharina’s hair and make up. Also, we express our sincere appreciation to our friend, Pat McLeroy of Maximum One Realty and Cathy Peppers of Traton Homes. They made is possible to shoot in the model home at Rosewood Park subdivision. A beautiful home; perfect for photographing a beautifully talented girl.

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Our Town Magazine
Hiram • Dallas • Cedarcrest • New Hope GA

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