My Labor Of Love And An "it Figures" Moment W/link

Decorating By Bellatheball Updated 26 Jul 2009 , 7:45pm by flourpowerMN

Bellatheball Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 4:38pm
post #1 of 19

http://forum.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1420530 (Couldn't get the photo to attach! Sorry!)

I made this cake for my son's first birthday. I found really cute invitations a few months ago and decided I'd use them for my cake inspiration (how very HGTV and FoodTV of me).

So the process started. I made sketch after sketch. There's never paper when I need it so all the random post it notes, pieces of punched out construction paper, and mail fliers had to do. I'd draw each one and look at it critically. Each time I'd ask my husband what he thought. I wanted detailed criticism. Actually, if he was willing to write out a "pro and con list" for each sketch, I might have made more "laundry time" for him. There was no list so "the laundry" had to wait. After the 10th or 54th sketch (I can't really remember), he finally announced that he had a favorite. I was excited and was sure he'd pick #9. He says, "They all look exactly the same." After a scowl and a lecture, he chose #9. Smart man.

Next was figuring out the exact color scheme. I have a color wheel but that's mostly for appearances since I have no idea how to use it. I've read every good cake decorator needs one so mine sits in the drawer next to the $5 rubber bands that Wilton tries to pass off as high tech devices to stop the icing from squirting out of the bag. I knew I wanted blue, green and orange but realized it could look hideous. Then one day it happened. I was changing my son and looked down at the jammies he was wearning. Delpenimum blue, sage green, chocolate brown and orange! That's it! I was torn between excitment at finding my color scheme and worry that I see life in shades of Wilton color pastes. Still...Woohoo!

Weeks pass. There are more identical sketches, dreams about structure, questions to random passer-bys about theme, and countless construction paper book marks in my cake books. I'm finally ready to start.

The bow comes first. The loops weren't too hard. It was mostly tedious work. I could watch Two and a Half Men reruns while working. That's always my benchmark for tedium. The loops don't look jazzy enough so I decide to pep them up with tiny polka dots. I remembered seeing them in my Confetti Cakes book. She used fondant for polka dots. So I punch out 360 dots with a #3 tip. I then put six on each and every bow. Three hundred and sixty dots. 3-6-0. icon_confused.gif After hours I stand back and look at the loops. They're so cute! My husband walks up and says, wow, they look great! I like those little royal icing dots. icon_surprised.gificon_mad.gif Royal icing? ROYAL *$&!@#! ICING? I didn't think of royal icing. I consider a letter to Elisa Strauss but I've used all my bits of construction paper on sketches. ARGH!

The lid comes next followed by polka dots for the lid. I start mixing all of the colors. My son's jammies (clean!) are sitting on the counter for reference. My husband walks by, looks at the jammies, looks at me, looks at the 30 bottles of color sitting in front of me and decides to go work in the basement. The colors actually work and making the lid goes smoothly. I feel a (false) sense of confidence.

At this point I realize I haven't made the cakes. It's midnight and I need them done and iced by the next night. By 3am I finish the baking and all the icings. Did I mention I work full time? Sigh.

The bear comes next. The body was fine. I'm cheap so rather than use all fondant for the arms and legs, I go the RKT route and then cover them with fondant. They're lumpy so I cover them with two more layers of fondant to get a smooth look. My husband hears this and thinks it's a good idea to mention I've probably just used the same amount of fondant I would have in the first place. He realizes the "laundry" is going to wait again so he goes back down to work on the basement.

Finally I get to the bear's face. At first I do the regular old smile but he looks a bit devious. I become certain I'll give one of the kids a life long fear of teddy bears and I'll forever be known as that crazy cake chick who likes to freak kids out. The face comes off. I play around with a few other ideas. Then I realize I can make it look like he's blowing out the candles on a birthday cupcake. Fun! I work on the face and stand back admiring him. My husband comes up, looks at the cake and asks, "Why is the bear being goosed?" What? He's supposed to be blowing out the candle! He asks, what candle? I tell him, "The one on the cupcake!" He asks, "What cupcake?" Pig on a stick! I've forgotten the cupcake. I make one out of cake scrapes and smother it in buttercream. He still looks like he's being goosed.

Finally, it's done and it's time to move the cake to the dining room table. I can almost feel the lights dim and hear Keegan saying, "The thing is, it's heavier than it looks and, at this point, it could go either way. Will she make it there safely (his hands bobble up and down) or will she drop it? I don't know. Time will tell." My husbands tips the board a little too much and I have a panic moment that the gumpaste lid (and all three.hundred.and.sixty polka dots) are going to crash to the floor. It manages to stay put and I become more convinced than ever that Cake Boss is rigged.

It's done. It's midnight. I have to go to work at 8 am and I'll have 15 out of town guests at my door when I get home at 5:30. I realize I still have to clean the house. I'm too tired to think about my level of insanity but, apparently, my husband isn't. He detailed it for me as he helped clean up the toys.

The next morning, I take my little guy downstairs to proudly show him the cake. I expect his eyes to light up a bit. Maybe he'll even reach out and grab it thinking it's a real teddy bear. I become certain of that. That will make it all worthwhile. Ta da! I show him the cake. Apparently I forgot to move the pack of stickers sitting next to it though and he becomes infatuated with them. There the cake sat, forgotten. That's ok. He's one. My four year old will make up for his reaction. I wake her up and drag her downstairs thinking I'll buy her more legos after she tells me of its magnificance. I put her down. She looks at it for awhile and I ask her what she thinks. She pauses, looks at the cake and says, "Can I have the cupcake?"

18 replies
cylstrial Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 5:04pm
post #2 of 19

Oh my goodness! That is some story! I love the Keegan comment and how cake boss is rigged!

I'm sorry that they didn't appreciate all the time and hard work that you put into your cake. It's frustrating sometimes.

BUT...I think it turned out great! And I actually think it looks like the bear is blowing out the candle on the cupcake!!

Great job!

DefyGravity Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 5:27pm
post #3 of 19

LOL Gotta love kids! I think the cake is seriously amazing. He doesn't look like he's being goosed, its more of a "OH MY GOSH I WANT THAT CUPCAKE" look to me icon_smile.gif Very cute!!

indydebi Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 5:43pm
post #4 of 19

Why these people don't notice the cake first thing just totally puzzles us all!

Not just kids. Hubby did the same thing. I held up People magazine, open to the page where it showed Brea (the red head on Desperate Housewives) cutting her HUGE wedding cake. Showed it to hubby, and said, "Look at this!" He looks and says, "Yeah, she's hot!"

I said, "The CAKE, you idiot! I'm talking about the CAKE!"

Geesh! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

woodruffbn Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 5:58pm
post #5 of 19

you are a great story teller! And your cake is super cute! I cant wait to hear the tale about your next cake! and BTW, I was in awe of all the teeny little dots on the bow! icon_eek.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 6:47pm
post #6 of 19

LOL! That cake is so cute (LOVE the bow) & thanks for the great story!

Sox-n-Pats Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 7:40pm
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Quote:

I become certain I'll give one of the kids a life long fear of teddy bears and I'll forever be known as that crazy cake chick who likes to freak kids out. The face comes off. I play around with a few other ideas. Then I realize I can make it look like he's blowing out the candles on a birthday cupcake. Fun! I work on the face and stand back admiring him. My husband comes up, looks at the cake and asks, "Why is the bear being goosed?" What? He's supposed to be blowing out the candle! He asks, what candle? I tell him, "The one on the cupcake!" He asks, "What cupcake?" Pig on a stick! I've forgotten the cupcake. I make one out of cake scrapes and smother it in buttercream. He still looks like he's being goosed.




This just about made me pee my pants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great cake!! Just keep reminding yourself... they'll appreciate the photos when they're older.... they'll appreciate the photos when they're older.... thumbs_up.gif

Bellatheball Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 9:37pm
post #8 of 19

Thanks everyone. I appreciate it.

Gravity, LOL. I'm going to tell everyone that he's just surprised. icon_smile.gif

Debi, mine would say the exact same thing.

Wood, bless you for noticing them. I'm sure none of our families will. LOL

Sox, that's my recent mantra. icon_smile.gif

superstar Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 10:16pm
post #9 of 19

I will have a smile on my face for the rest of the day!! The cake is great, you did a wonderful job & thank you for the story. Now put your feet up, have a glass of wine & bask in the glory.

Doug Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 10:29pm
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Why these people don't notice the cake first thing just totally puzzles us all!

Not just kids. Hubby did the same thing. I held up People magazine, open to the page where it showed Brea (the red head on Desperate Housewives) cutting her HUGE wedding cake. Showed it to hubby, and said, "Look at this!" He looks and says, "Yeah, she's hot!"

I said, "The CAKE, you idiot! I'm talking about the CAKE!"

Geesh! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif




speaking as one...

remember....

he's a MAN

nuff said.

Doug Posted 24 Jul 2009 , 10:30pm
post #11 of 19

and...re the cake....

OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH

that is so precious CUTE!

YDG!!!! (ya dun gud -- real gud!)

Bellatheball Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 2:02pm
post #12 of 19

Thanks everyone. We just had 15 out of town family members come in for the party. None of them said a word about the cake. After about 2 hours I had to ask if they'd seen it and then they started saying they liked it. How sucky. So your comments are even better. icon_smile.gif Thanks!

Doug, many thanks and I must admit, my husband would never notice a cake over a beautiful woman.

Doug Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 2:15pm
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellatheball

Thanks everyone. We just had 15 out of town family members come in for the party. None of them said a word about the cake. After about 2 hours I had to ask if they'd seen it and then they started saying they liked it. How sucky. So your comments are even better. icon_smile.gif Thanks!

Doug, many thanks and I must admit, my husband would never notice a cake over a beautiful woman.




possibly a case of

if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything

and what they really wanted to say was all those green-eyed monster jealousy thoughts....

who does she think she is..little miss show-off!!!

no fair -- why didn't xxx get a cake like that.

oh sure, and if I ask her for one she's going to charge me (dang right!)

etc.

-----

graciousness seems to have died.

------

just remember -- it was a wonderfully executed labor of love

even if all the cake muggles didn't "get it".

---

so, what's your next cake? icon_wink.gif

cylstrial Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 6:39pm
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug



graciousness seems to have died.




It's sad, but very true.

People are just very inconsiderate now a days. I went to Wal-mart today (although I have a rule - no Wal-marts on Saturday). Anyway, people just block the aisle off. No one can come or go. So finally I just smushed myself in between two carts - bumped a lady and said, excuse me.

I'm sick of rude people. If people are going to be rude - I might just be rude myself.

This has nothing to do with anything in the forums or anything. I'm just sick of people in kroger or whatever store you're in. Just rude people.

Ok - now I need to pick myself back up and not be rude anymore. I'm generally not a stooper.

Deb_ Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 9:54pm
post #15 of 19

That is one of the most entertaining stories I've read in a long time!

The cake was so adorable, how can your guests not have made a big deal out of that? icon_confused.gif

OK I've got an idea, next birthday party invite all of us and NOT your family.......we're not afraid to tell each other how great our creations really are!

paula19 Posted 26 Jul 2009 , 10:25am
post #16 of 19

icon_surprised.gif I can't believe your guests! I agree, how could they not have made a big deal about the cake?! I would've been in awe and loved it. I wish I could make a cake as good as yours! Anyway, I still can't believe how your guests were. The cake was awesome! It's so cute and you can tell you put a lot of time into it. You did a GREAT job icon_biggrin.gif

gailsgoodies Posted 26 Jul 2009 , 2:24pm
post #17 of 19

Oh my GOSH!! Your story had me laughing so hard I was CRYING!!! I LOVE YOUR CAKE! Fantastic job!!

Thanks!
Gail

Bellatheball Posted 26 Jul 2009 , 7:11pm
post #18 of 19

I think you are all right.

My husband's grandma has always made wedding cakes and birthday cakes for everyone in their small town. She does everything in the Wilton style and has hundreds of those character pans. She uses the star technique and is great at little rose buds in buttercream. She's in her 80s now and her eyesight isn't great so she only make cakes for her grandchildren etc.

I've only been doing cakes for the last year and a half but she knows I want to make them for my kids' birthdays. She always offers to bring one as well which (we try) to graciously accept. I'm always bending over backwards to thank her. My intention is never to steal her thunder so I make a point of saying how delicious the cake is, how smooth the frosting is, or how great it looks etc etc. In the past, she has usually commented on mine. This time though no one said a word for the longest time. After the party my MIL said it was "so cute" but that was about it for my husband's family. They been here the entire weekend so they had plenty of chances. icon_smile.gif

A little girl at the party refused to believe mine was cake. That went a long way to making me feel it was all worthwhile. Anyway, thanks for listening to my vent. I needed to get that out to people who'd understand.

flourpowerMN Posted 26 Jul 2009 , 7:45pm
post #19 of 19

Thanks for posting the story Bella...glad to know that I'm not the only one that has moments like those. You are a great storyteller!

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