Let me start by saying that this post is not for pity or compliments. I am asking for serious responses and/or advice.
I have lost all confidence in my decorating. The last few cakes that I have decorated have been disasters from start to finish. I was so unhappy with the outcome that I didn't even take pictures of them. My decorating has reverted back to the skill of a beginner and I've been at this for almost 10 years.
I love decorating and I don't know what I need to do. Maybe take time off or take another course. I'm just not sure, but I am very discouraged.
Has this happened to you and how did you overcome?
without seeing the 'disasters', i can't offer much constructive help, but sometimes we just hit a span of burnout and need to take a break. If you have anything stressful going on in your life (which could be something as simple as just everyday life!), it can throw a person into a "I dont' really care!" funk .... so naturally anything you do isn't going to be your best.
Your pics show a wonderful talent in this field and I'd hate to see you drop out completely.
I agree... your photos show beautiful work. What happened to the cakes you didn't like? I think we're naturally harder on ourselves and see imperfections where customers don't. It helps to take a big step back (time off) in order to get a better perspective. I know I've made cakes I wasn't happy with at all but the customers loved them. I learn cake by cake.
I agree with indydebi. TAKE A BREAK!
I love to bake cakes too! But, I've stopped doing cakes for anyone but those at the church, because it can get out of control fast. I don't want to do this as a business, I just want to do it as a hobby. With my personality I have found that I stress too much when I work for "real people" and that takes all the fun out of it. Whereas, when I feel like I can bless someone with something I've done...I feel good!
But, everyone needs a break sometime. So take one. Don't do cakes for ANYONE (including family) for a while. Put the pans away; put the books away; DO NOT take another course. Just CHILL OUT! See if that helps.
My brother calls this "A Sweet Sabbatical"!
Beth in KY
This exact thing happened to me a couple weeks ago - I made 3 crappy cakes in a row! I thought - what the heck happened, I used to be pretty good at this!! I didn't take any pics of my cake disasters either!
I took a good week off and then got back to work and with the "snoopy" cake in my pics all confidence returned - maybe a little too much when I took on "my friends tigger and pooh" - at least that was just for my own child and not someone else's party!!
Take a short breather and then make a no stress cake - just decorate something for you - a style that you like and then eat it or donate it or whatever, but decorate for yourself and not for someone else- it just takes one great cake to feel better about yourself!!
hang in there!
This has happened to me as well. I had a major cake disaster last year. The cake burnt, the icing was full of crumbs, the edible image ripped and to top it off it end up falling to the floor from the kitchen counter. Thankfully this cake I was not getting paid to do and I ended up picking one up from the local grocery store.
Knowing how much love to decorate and the love and the care I put into everything I do I couldn't believe what happened. Looking bad I do remember that I was dreading it, I was feeling very tired, burned out and stressed and this probably resulted on that cake mess.
Are you stressed or feeling burned out?
I've been in a cake "slump", if you could even call it that, for more than a year. When my cake buddy and her little girl were killed in a head on I lost all interest in doing anything cake related, well except eating it. Then finally my interest started to return but not my confidence. I spent all last winter experimenting with new cake and icing recipes and working up the list of flavors I wanted to offer if/when I get started doing cakes again. It can be hard getting back to something when you've been away from it and hard too to get yourself re-motivated when your confidence takes a hit. That's pretty much where I am now. I want to do it but almost scared someone will ask me to. I'd say take a break if you feel you need to. You do very pretty work! If you made those big red roses you can haul on over and teach me how, you know, just to build up your confidence a little. I have the stuff to make them but there again I haven't gotten myself sat down to begin learning.
If this does nothing else at least I can tell you are not alone.
P.S. I don't take pictures of the cakes I don't reealy like.
CarolAnn, I was thinking about your friend and her little girl the other day. I remember your post last year. I was wondering how her family and friends were? We still pray for them. Kristen
I agree with the others that maybe it is stress and burn-out. For myself, when I am stressed, sometimes I forget to do some basic things that I normally do and things don't turn out the same. Or maybe I think it's time to tweak this or that or change a recipe and then it just doesn't turn out. I find that I have to focus and go back step by step to the way it was working well. Sometimes I have to say to myself- why did I do that and wonder what was I thinking? Hmm, is this making sense at all????!!!!
Thanks to everyone for the return posts, advice and encouragement. I have one more cake to do this week, my son's birthday cake. After that, I think I am going to take some time off.
You guys are just one more reason that I could not live without Cake Central!!
I find sometimes its a momentum thing. Sometimes I have a bad weekend...and ALL the cakes go bad! And other times, I feel pretty good about my weekend. For some reason, its often "all or none". I've been decorating 10 years too, and sometimes I, too, feel like "Man, I've just lost it." But just take a deep breath, take a short break, and dig in again. Often "it" will come back!
I agree with everyone else, your cake a wonderful. I understand the lost of confidence. Mine seems to be on a roller coaster some days. I do find I have more trouble in Aug. ( and this year Sept.) because of the heat and southern humidity. Of course it takes me 3/4's of the way through Aug. to discover it is not all me.
Do you think that as you have gotten better at cake decorating you have set the bar higher? Sometimes I think we only see the flaws and forget to look at the whole cake.
Good luck and hang in there.