Why Do I Suck So Bad??? Vent

Decorating By Niquie Updated 22 Apr 2009 , 5:37pm by lostincake

Niquie Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 11:47am
post #1 of 37

Sorry all, but I just needed to get some things off my chest. I just feel like the harder I try to get my cakes right, the worse they get. I have been doing this too long to feel like crying almost everytime I make a cake. I even mess up the simple ones, I am starting to think that eventhough this is a passion for me, I am just never going to be as good at it as I would like to be, so I might as well quit. I have done like 4 cakes since my last pic was posted, and I haven't posted the pictures because the cakes were so awful. I know no one else feels this way, so I won't ask for any advice on how to get through it, but man am I down about this whole thing. I am at the point where I am feeling so bad about it, I don't even want to attempt any cakes right now for fear of them looking like crap.

Ok, just needed to get that out!!! Thanks for reading! I guess I'll go cry now and get ready for my next cake. icon_cry.gif

Ashley

36 replies
janelwaters Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 12:11pm
post #2 of 37

I think this happens a lot more than you would think! There was a stretch were every cake I did was embarrassing!!

I got a new cake book and got excited again - I made a really great cake and I've been doing good since then. I was really scared that I had lost my cake Mojo!

I suggest getting some of Sharon's Sugarshack's DVDs - they are amazing, full of instruction and ideas and will definately get you excited about cake in a positive way again.

After my disasters I just kept thinking that I didn't want to do another cake because it would suck - these videos will change that opinion and outlook.

Good luck!!!

JenniferMI Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 12:28pm
post #3 of 37

You need some good, quality classes. Not all classes are quality classes.

DVDs are also a WONDERFUL class on disk. They are reasonable, too.
They also are nice because you can watch them over and over again.

I'm happy to try and help you.... if you want advice, please e-mail me. Sometimes.... it's little things that can help us improve. And remember, we are our own WORST critic. But, that can be a good thing... then we strive to keep improving. You never stop learning at this art. Hang in there, you are not the only one that has felt this way, I'm sure.



Jennifer icon_smile.gif

KKC Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 12:52pm
post #4 of 37

I've felt like that a time or 2 so you're not alone...cheer up because it will get better. Maybe you just have to push yourself a little harder than usual. Before I start a cake...I ask God to anoint my hands and bless the cake that I am making and I listen to gospel music and trust me when I say it works for me. There are times when I forgot to say that before I made a cake and my cakes looked like crap.

clovely Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 1:28pm
post #5 of 37

I know exactly what you're saying. About a year ago I took all my supplies and piled them in the back bedroom waiting for the next yard sale. Swore I was done! Eventually, something sparked my attention and I tried something new and it turned out nice and I was inspired again!

I do get very frustrated with some of the things I see and think I'll never be able to do that! Fondant is my nemesis! I do not know how in the world anyone can roll it out and get that to cover a cake the way they do!! I said this past weekend to my dh "why can everyone on the world do this but me?!?!?" That's how it feels. I do think I've finally found a couple decent recipes and if I practice with those - using fondant to accent and decorate with for now, I'll get more comfortable and MAYBE someday will actually be able to cover a whole cake. For now, I can't even figure out how someone can cover a Barbie's dress in one piece - took me like 6 pieces!

We'll get there. We all (or at least you and I) get frustrated and lose the "mojo" as someone said above. Hang in there. It's certainly not just you.

JenniferMI Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 1:47pm
post #6 of 37

clovely -

Fondant is NOT difficult.... I think most people's problems stem from the type of fondant they are using. Just a SIMPLE technique in shaping should yeild perfect results. Chocolate fondant ALL the way for this chick. I would never use anything else.

If you need help, yell!

Jen icon_smile.gif

Niquie Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 1:49pm
post #7 of 37

Thank you for all the positive responses. They really are making me feel better. Everytime I say that I'm going to keep going, and not give up, I do another crappy cake and I want to quit all over again. I guess I'll have to look into getting some of Sharon's DVD's since they get such rave reviews. I'll probably have all of them by the end of the month with the way I am feeling, LOL!!!

Thanks again for the encouragement, it means a lot to be able to vent and actually have someone listen and care about this art. I vent to the hubby, but he doesn't get it, so sometimes I feel like I'm venting to myself outloud, LOL!!!

Ashley

Niquie Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 1:53pm
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenniferMI

clovely -

Fondant is NOT difficult.... I think most people's problems stem from the type of fondant they are using. Just a SIMPLE technique in shaping should yeild perfect results. Chocolate fondant ALL the way for this chick. I would never use anything else.

If you need help, yell!

Jen icon_smile.gif




Hey Jen, I could def. use a lesson in fondant myself, if you want to share a recipe, or some tips and tricks, please, please, please, please send them my way and how in the world do you guys get such smooth butter cream and sharp edges on anything from butter cream to fondant. I can't even get my bc smooth, I know I'll probably never get the fondant right!!!

Ashley

janelwaters Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:04pm
post #9 of 37

Ok - go to Sharon's site and order Buttercream and Fondant DVDs - they are AMAZING!!! They will help with both that PERFECT buttercream and how to cover a cake with Fondant - seriously worth the money!!

Just keep practicing!! Never quit, Never say Die and whatever else they say in a pep rally!! hahaha!!!

margaretb Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:07pm
post #10 of 37

Plus you probably find that you have an idea of how the cake will look in your head, and then the actual cake doesn't quite look like that, so you think it's terrible just because is doesn't match what's in your head. That happens to me ALL the time, but objectively speaking, the cakes are okay -- just not as great as I had envisioned.

Niquie Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:19pm
post #11 of 37

Yeah, I think I will purchase some of Sharon's DVD's as well as Jennifer's. I just visited her site, and I can't wait to get some extra money (LOL) so I can order those fondant DVD's.

Ok, I guess I'm getting excited again, but I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing!!!

Oh and I think you may be right margaretb, I do get super upset when my cakes look nothing like the design I had in mind, which they really never do. What do you do to keep yourself moving when that happens?

Ashley

julzs71 Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:23pm
post #12 of 37

Edna has some really nice classes online for some of the things you ask. Find a good teacher in the area you are at, DVD's. As much as I know, I know there are tons to learn. Cake decorating isn't natural for everyone. Those of us that aren't naturals have to learn to perfect.

kjt Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:24pm
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by margaretb

Plus you probably find that you have an idea of how the cake will look in your head, and then the actual cake doesn't quite look like that, so you think it's terrible just because is doesn't match what's in your head. That happens to me ALL the time, but objectively speaking, the cakes are okay -- just not as great as I had envisioned.




EXACTLY thumbs_up.gif

I once said "This doesn't look like I had it in my head" and one of my DDs overheard me, she said, "Well, Mother none of us can really see what's inside your head, so it looks great to us!" Gotta love those little truths icon_rolleyes.gif

I just got my Sugarshack's Perfecting The Art Of Buttercream yesteday. I have been decorating lots longer than you, and for the LIFE of me am unable to get consistently smooth bc...every once in a while it looks great, but oh well...
Chin up...deep breath, and more practice-I know-but it'll get easier!

sugarshack Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:25pm
post #14 of 37

I can sympathize. I still go thru periods where I feel I had a bad cake run and I can't do anything right. Just hang tight and keep practicing!

This is not an easy skill to learn and it takes a lot of determination and practice, practice, prctice, and then more practice.

And even after you master a skill, you will have times u can't seemt to do it right. Just ride it out and it will pass. We all have bad cakes, bad cake stretches...

and

and

and

DON'T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF!!

JenWhitlock Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:32pm
post #15 of 37

I was right there with you a few months ago, and again about a year before that. (still wish my cakes were better icon_rolleyes.gif )
each time, I went 'back to basics'
I know that you said that you tried this, and a DVD should help, it can be the smallest tip that can help, even one that you already learned and have since forgotten (this happened to me a couple times)

my other problem is that I know all the little steps that I need to do to acomplish a good cake, but sometimes I skimp and then I kick myself.

couple examples,
just for practice I made some mini round cakes, I know that I have to fill 'n stack, crumb coat, and CHILL the cakes, then come back and frost them. I didn't. I thought that I could just frost them at the start - NOPE they are so small that I just kept pushing the filling and cake around and it became a big blob of poo, did I mention it was chocolate frosting? yep, they really looked like little blobs of poo.

another one that I do ALL the TIME even though I know better, is that I try to skimp on BC and fondant (I'm really cheap and lazy). I know that I need to have a lot extra - it makes it SO MUCH easier to smooth in both cases if you over do it and pull it back. but no I always try to frost the cake with too little and don't get my corners right and then over work it (you need to really load it up then you can get that perfect scrape). same with the fondant you really need to roll out a bigger piece than the cake otherwise it's really tricky to keep the wrinkles out, but I always cheap out and regret it.

go back to what you think works for you, and try to perfect each step.
in engineering we call it a build up of tolerences - all the little errors can add up to a big one.
{hugs}
get back on the horse! I think you'll love it again!
Happy Baking!

(oh, yeah and keep a positive additude that can make all the difference - even with the screw ups - trust me!)

Peridot Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:37pm
post #16 of 37

I know what you are saying about how you have the cake all decorated in your head and then what is reality is a whole different thing. I too did cakes as a hobby many years ago and got sick of being disappointed in what I did and packed everything away. I started getting interested in it again about 6 months ago and have done much better this time. I ordered DVD's since there are no classes available in my state or town other than Wilton. No one likes Wisconsin. I have learned so much from the DVD's!

What you all need to do is get JenniferMI's DVD's. She has two of them "The Easy & Tasty Way to Perfect Fondant" and "Fun With Fondant Frills". A wise investment and you will learn alot!!! Jennifer's fondant is terrific, great tasting and very easy to work with. (Sugar Delites - Jennifer Dontz)

I made my first fondant cake with MMF and it was not that great. I did my second fondant cake with Jennifer's fondant and it was a success! She gives you the recipe on her DVD. I was VERY HAPPY with the way my cake turned out in fact I was amazed!

SugarShacks DVD "Perfecting the Art of Buttercream" is excellent if you want to learn how to do flawless BC with sharp edges. I have all of her DVD's. (Sugar Ed Prodcutions - Sharon Zambito)

I have two pictures of my cakes on CC. The Power Ranger one is made with BC with Sharon's techniques and my BC is almost flawless and the birthday cake with the roses is covered with Jennifer's fondant and turned out wonderful!

DVD's are the way to go and as JenniferMI said - you can review it again and again - money well spent!! Check out Jennifer's cakes on CC - WOW - beautiful- pefection!!

Niquie Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 2:51pm
post #17 of 37

Ok, so DVD's it is then!!!

I am feeling much better now, eventhough my cakes still suck LOL!!! I at least don't feel like crying myself to sleep anymore!!! Thanks so much for all the advice and words of wisdom. Everyone who has posted does amazing work, and I really do hope that I can be at your level someday. I know it won't be soon, but at least someday hopefully I'll be the one with the gorgeous cakes giving other newbies advice. Thanks again, and I will certainly be purchasing some DVD's!!!

Please forgive me if I don't respond anymore after this post, I am a bit on the tired side and I have a new baby (2 months and breastfed) so I have to sleep when I can, LOL!!!


Ashley

jammjenks Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 3:04pm
post #18 of 37

You know what, Ashley, it would be difficult for anyone to do cakes with a newborn baby and another young child. Lack of sleep is surely in there somewhere.

I think you are doing better than what you think. Don't you have a neighbor that can decorate cakes? Is she someone you can learn some techniques from? I just remember a post some time ago where she helped you with one you were struggling with.

The DVDs others have suggested are great learning tools. If you can't get them shipped to you (not sure since you're overseas), let me know and I will get them and stick them in the mail. Could it be the ingredients that you are able to get over there? Not sure if you can get the same things we can get here.

Look up tonedna1 on youtube. She has several very informative tutorials. I use her method of icing a cake.

jammjenks Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 3:14pm
post #19 of 37

I forgot to mention the youtube tutorials by serious cakes. A lot of people on CC have said that they are really good.

hensor Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 3:15pm
post #20 of 37

Keep your chin up.....Ashley. I actually thought I was the only one who felt like this at times. I make cakes as a hobby for my friends and family and occasionally make money on some. It always ends up harder or takes longer than I think it should. I don't even post pictures because they look too bad.

Congrats on your new little bundle of joy.

STRAWBERRY1390 Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 3:32pm
post #21 of 37

I am sorry you have feeling this way; but jeez am i glad i am not alone.

I get all bent out of shape cause it doesnt look like I want it too or at least what i think it should look like.

My friends and family always say they look good. But as one poster said we ARE our WORST CRITIC. I myself am going to invest in some more DVD's my most recent experience in an "ADVANCED" fondant course wasnt so "ADVANCED"..lol and I could have taught myself the techniques he showed me just by reading the directions that came with some of the tools. And i noticed that i was already doing what he showed me to do in the first place.... icon_mad.gif 300 bucks plus supplies which went well over 300 bucks( and thank goodness I already had major supplies or it would have cost me severly), any way sort of went off topic but thanks for the outlet.

And once again I hope everything gets better for ya! icon_biggrin.gif

tiggy2 Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 3:46pm
post #22 of 37

I have all of sugarshack's DVDs and 1 of Jennifermi's and I wouldn't take anything for them. They have made such a difference in the way I do things. It really is the best investment I have made in this craft.

Ironbaker Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 3:55pm
post #23 of 37

Oh, Niquie - just know you are not alone! Many have gone through the same, including myself. You can get burned out or just feel like everything is crap. I think it's OK and sometimes needed to just take a cake BREAK! Step away for awhile to let the bad vibes pass. Something will spark your interest and get you motivated again.

All of the previous posters tips and ideas are good. Another thing I'd like to recommend is checking your area for other cakers or cake groups. Where are you? There may be a chapter of ICES in your state/city or just a local group. The support helps tremendously!

tonedna Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 4:13pm
post #24 of 37

Don't put yourself down..Takes years of experience to feel comfortable enough.. There is so much to be learn in Cake decorating, is a never ending road. Sometimes you see someone that makes it look so easy, but you got to know that behind that there is a lot of perseverance and probably frustrations too that had to be overcomed to ger to that comfy place...

Keep trying and dont dispair..give yourself a year...I tell this to my students all the time.. Most of the people starting only make a cake a week.. Is not enough to get food fast. Is like writing. You need to practice, the more you do the better you get at it. The more you comprehend and undesrtand your mediums and consistencies, the easier it will become..

There are plenty of good teachers out there. The good thing is that the more you learn from different people, the more you will develop your own techniques an ideas.

Perseverance will get paid with beautiful work..
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

cakeandpartygirl Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 4:14pm
post #25 of 37

Ditto to what everyone else says!!!!icon_smile.gif Sometimes when we try new techniques they don't always come out perfect the first time. If they would we wouldn't be learning anything and we would loose our ability to go to the next level in cake decorating. I know this because I feel that my cakes aren't beautiful and they are aweful. Sometimes, no actually all of the time when we have small children we have to allow 3 times the amount of time that you think that you need to get a cake finished, to let the children do what they do best!!! Don't feel overwhelmed and take it step by step. I was reading another post earlier and she was talking about making a list and crossing it off when that step was accomplished. Maybe you could try that so that you feel a sense of accomplishment and don't worry you will do wonders and go far in caking. You should give yourself a large applause for your abilities in the amount of time in which you have been decorating. You should have seen what I was doing in year one and two. You have a great source of information on cc, so just keep up on the techniques that people post, make yourself a to try list and don't try to do it all now. Practice patience and it will come.

lomikesa Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 4:24pm
post #26 of 37

You are too hard on yourself, I just looked at all your pictures and your cakes look great. I notice on most you would put a negative comment about it and say something like "I never try that again", that is the wrong attituded! Never give up! Keep trying, practice, practice if it didn't come right the first time remember what you did wrong, and try again. This is how you learn, never point out the flaws to others you will be surprise, most people don't notice because they do not know about cake decorating (I learned that myself). Always be positive and proud of your work! You need to be your own public relation person and promote yourself.

Don't give up!

Lomikesa

varika Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 4:34pm
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Quote:

Sorry all, but I just needed to get some things off my chest. I just feel like the harder I try to get my cakes right, the worse they get. I have been doing this too long to feel like crying almost everytime I make a cake. I even mess up the simple ones, I am starting to think that eventhough this is a passion for me, I am just never going to be as good at it as I would like to be, so I might as well quit. I have done like 4 cakes since my last pic was posted, and I haven't posted the pictures because the cakes were so awful. I know no one else feels this way, so I won't ask for any advice on how to get through it, but man am I down about this whole thing. I am at the point where I am feeling so bad about it, I don't even want to attempt any cakes right now for fear of them looking like crap.




Of course you'll never be "as good at it as you'd like to be," but you're probably "as good at it as you USED to want to be" right now. Your ideas about what you should be able to do with your art are constantly evolving.

I think one of the BEST things to do is keep a photo gallery of your work--whether it's online or just in private doesn't matter. Then, when you're looking at a cake you're working on and feeling like crying over it, you can go back to some of your earliest works and go, "This is so much better than where I WAS," and suddenly you feel better about it. It worked for me for drawing--STILL works for me for drawing--and it should work for cake decorating, too!

And try to remember, too, that you're the one who knows where every flaw is. You will NEVER be able to look at your own cakes and think that they are as beautiful as.....whatever lovely cake you're comparing it to. So you have to learn to go, "Is this objectively pleasing DESPITE the flaws?" ....I usually wind up saying, "Eh...it's not TERRIBLE."

Also, when you start feeling like everything is going wrong and you're ready to cry--or, as I feel, fling the darned thing into the wall--stop. Put your tools down, walk away. Go do something ENTIRELY unrelated to cake decorating. It does not matter if you leave the cake half-naked when you do. When you're that emotionally stressed, you're not going to be able to do your best work. It's much, much, much easier if you space it out, if you can. The latest project for me was a two-tier pillow cake with an edible crown on top. (I haven't got the pictures from my father's camera to put up yet.) It took me about a week to do--I made and colored the fondant on Monday. I made the tiara on Tuesday. The cakes I baked, carved, and crumb-coated on Wednesday. On Thursday, I put another coat of frosting on the cakes and covered them in fondant--the most frustrating part, for me, which involved putting the fondant aside MORE THAN ONCE. After they were covered, I did the last of my decorating, also on Thursday since I was going for pretty simple. And Friday was the delivery! It was much less stressful to do it that way than to start with baking the cake on Thursday morning and doing nothing but cake stuff until midnight.

And....your stress levels are clearly already really high, with a newborn in the house. Nobody would blame you in the least if you set the decorating aside until you've got less stress and more time to handle it.

Adria_NyxxTX Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 1:44am
post #28 of 37

Don't worry....some days I'll be decorating a cake and look at the decorator next to me at work and think 'boy my cake looks like crap compared to hers'. But then I do a pansy cake or a wildflower cake and the customers just oooooh and aaaaahhhh over it and it makes me happy again!

Niquie Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 10:21am
post #29 of 37

Thanks so much everyone for all the encouraging and kind words. No matter how bad I'm feeling, you guys always know how to make me feel better.

Ok, so I think I'm done with having my personal pitty party, time for me to get back on the wagon and try some of the stuff you guys mentioned, and I am so going to purchase DVD's as soon as possible and get to practicing, practicing, practicing!!! Thanks so much again you wonderful CCer's. I love you guys!!!! icon_lol.gif

Ashley

solascakes Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 10:38am
post #30 of 37

Niquie whatever you do please don't quit,it'll get better definitely.You already have a lot of talent now judging by your cakes, use them.Good luck.

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