I am about to get started on a baby cake due saturday! I was wondering how far in advance do you all make your people, babies, flowers, bows, bears, rattles, pacifiers, and so on and so forth?
I have been at this for almost 2 years and still feel like some of my stuff just doesn't want to stay in place! I finally learned how to make gumpaste correctly, and used it for the first time on my last cake (ill upload it, its the elmo cake #2... the yellow pieces at the top where hes popping out of the cake, those are 50/50) However, even when I delivered the cake the pieces still looked like they were about to wilt.... SO WHAT AM I DOIND WRONG?
Please anything will help at this point.
I'm not an expert. Do you dry your figures on foam? I was told that you need to get a piece of foam and dry the pieces - gumpaste dries heaps faster than fondant or a 50/50 mix so you would have to allow quite a bit of time for the drying if you aren't using gumpaste (but still use the foam no matter what you use). Also, make sure you have something holding its shape while it dries if it's likely to droop. My sister made some building accents for a cake and she made them about 2 1/2 weeks before she needed them and they worked really well.
I'm no expert either but I usually make my figures at least 5 days ahead and let them dry with proper support to hold the shape. I just use regular MMF without gumpaste and find generally 5 days is more than enough but you must make sure to have good support.
For bow loops, I make them 3 days ahead. When it's time to make the bow, I attach it all using fresh MMF and let dry for another 2 days.
For toppers that I want to stand up on their own base (so the recipient can save them as momentos) I make the number and a base plaque and let dry separately for at least 5 days then use fresh MMF to "glue" them together and place flowers & fillers around the bottom, then let the whole thing dry another 5 days.
Here are some examples:
Pinocchio 5 days ahead - torso was done 1st day, then head and limbs were attached on 3rd day and details were added last day - http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1336318
Gordon Train 5 days ahead - shaped the body of the train on 1st day then added wheels and red trim on 3rd day, then overlayed details on the last day - http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1348704
Example of a numbered topper 10 days ahead - http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1359022