When You Really Challenge Yourself

Decorating By Mickey17 Updated 1 Aug 2009 , 2:18pm by JoJo0855

Mickey17 Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 11:07pm
post #1 of 27

I can't decide if I am trying to talk myself into or out of a REALLY REALLY hard cake. So tell me about a time when you saw a cake you were sure was going to be super tough for you and decided to try. Did it suck? Was it better than you imagined? Did you make it half way and decide you couldn't continue?

26 replies
Mickey17 Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 11:18pm
post #2 of 27

Also, anyone else crazy enough to want to try something insane they saw on a TV show?

-K8memphis Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 11:21pm
post #3 of 27

Well I can honestly say that this certification process I am currently in has been like this. I taught myself how to do sugar work because I had enough time and I was willing to practice. That's how I've always done it.

You make an investment in yourself when you take on a new project. Where we go wrong is where we don't allow enough time and money for practice.

We can do what we want to do.

Jumping off the cliff thoughts for you.

Rylan Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 11:38pm
post #4 of 27

Since I have only been decorating for 4 months, I always make sure I try something new every time I make a cake because if I don't then I won't be happy. I feel like I always have to challenge myself--sometimes it doesn't turn out as what as I expected but I have to deal with it.

cakequeen50 Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 11:53pm
post #5 of 27

I am proud of myself for always taking on a task that I am not sure of. I take a leap along with a big leap of faith and go for it. I am the kind that tells a client, "sure, I can do that" and then go home and say,"OMG , how am I going to do that?"
It has taken me in many directions and I get alot of experience from it. I will say that one and only cake i turned down because I thought it was impossible was many years ago,...the client wanted a bird on a perch...I said no way. Still don't think I would want to tackle that one.

Mickey17 Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 3:06pm
post #6 of 27

Because I haven't been doing this long, I do usually try something new every time. But, this time I am thinking about taking on a project that just screams "OMG what the HELL am I doing" in my brain.

I really fell in love with the Elmo on the Sesame Street Food Network challange and I want to do a standing character holding my daughters B-day cake.

If it was just the figure, I would be a little freaked but go for it. Adding it holding another cake has me spinning around and around in my head about how crazy I am. But I have almost 2 months to figure this out......so maybe it will be ok.

LaBellaFlor Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 4:05pm
post #7 of 27

I agree with K8. You just got to do. I feel what has always helped me is if you can read & follow directions, then you can do it. I BELIEVE this to be true. So when I did my first fondant covered cake 17 years ago ( had it really been that long?!?!? shhh.gif ) I was like no proble & it came out ok. The biggest problem I had was working fast, cause it was chocolate fondant & the heat in the house wa getting to it. Just do it! You will be able to work out the mistakes as you go. And yes, I'm more them willing to try something crazy on t.v., if I got the right equipment & someone is paying me! thumbs_up.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 4:05pm
post #8 of 27

I agree with K8. You just got to do. I feel what has always helped me is if you can read & follow directions, then you can do it. I BELIEVE this to be true. So when I did my first fondant covered cake 17 years ago ( had it really been that long?!?!? shhh.gif ) I was like no proble & it came out ok. The biggest problem I had was working fast, cause it was chocolate fondant & the heat in the house wa getting to it. Just do it! You will be able to work out the mistakes as you go. And yes, I'm more them willing to try something crazy on t.v., if I got the right equipment & someone is paying me! thumbs_up.gif

cindy1176 Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 4:42pm
post #9 of 27

I am also one who says "sure I can do that" and I have never done it before. But I research, practice and usually pull it off. I learn by trial and error the best. But Like LaBellaFlor said, it helps to read and follow directions, lol! I have not had a single cake yet that didn't absolutely please the client (knock on wood).

Shirlcantuck Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 4:52pm
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by RylanTy

Since I have only been decorating for 4 months, I always make sure I try something new every time I make a cake because if I don't then I won't be happy. I feel like I always have to challenge myself--sometimes it doesn't turn out as what as I expected but I have to deal with it.




I am so jealous of you. How can you have only been doing this 4 months and produced such beautiful cakes. I love everything you have done.

Esalota Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 5:03pm
post #11 of 27

yep, doesn't matter, baking, cooking. i have it in my mind i can do anything.

i stopped decorating back in the 80s. divorce the whole change of life thing. my son asked me to make him a transformer cake for his 30th birthday, he was having an 80's party and a friend of his was having a birthday too, so they decided to do the party together.

i duplicated the transformer cake i made him in the 80's and for his friend lori, i duplicated the rainbow brite cake i made for my daughter. since then it seems there isnt a weekend i don't have something to bake for someone.

i never worked in fondant before, hated the taste, but decided to try the mmf recipe, and then decided to make a lightening mcqueen cake. not knowing what i was doing i did ok, and the guys at work didn't want to cut it because he looked so cool.

the hardest thing i have done is a dobos torte. hungarian tort, from a recipe out of an old hungarian cook book i had to have translated. but my mom in law says it tasted better than the ones she gets when she goes home to visit hungary.

never say never and practice practice practice. you can do anything you put your mind to.

cindy1176 Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 5:07pm
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esalota

never say never and practice practice practice. you can do anything you put your mind to.




Thats how I look at it!

aquamom Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 5:40pm
post #13 of 27

Giggle--my daughter wanted a cake with Lorikeets on it for her birthday. Hmmm I had some ideas but I was running out of time. They were at the park location saving a spot and I was trying to figure out how to put Lorikeets on a cake. I can't draw a square but it was for my daughter's birthday and I had do something .

Well I did it! I ended up doing a gel transfer and I was so proud of those Lorikeets(small parrots). Unfortunately my cake board wasn't very strong and the icing cracked big time ( that's why the pix isnt' posted). I didn't have time to make a border. But the Lorikeets looked good and my daughter was thrilled. And her friends knew they were Lorikeets and the parents knew they were Lorikeets and then I knew I was onto something.


Yes, you can tell from my pictures--I need practice but it feels so good to challenge myself. I will take me years to get to be like the rest of you but for me it's time well invested because it's a lovely road to be on.

Thanks to all CCers for helping me along the way!!!

Bellatheball Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 5:58pm
post #14 of 27

Once I get an idea in my head, it's hard not to follow through and make the cake. That said, for trickier stuff, I need to let it swirl in my head for awhile. I'm not selling cakes so I have the luxury of thinking over different techniques for a month or more before the cake is made.

diane Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 6:04pm
post #15 of 27

go for it! that is how you learn...matter fact, that is how I got started in cake decorating. a friend of mine asked me to do a certain cake for her when I had never done such a cake. but i did it and i continue to challenge myself. i have never had any classes, but through books, videos, trial and error, i continue to amaze myself. icon_rolleyes.gif

don't ever be afraid of trying something new. the only bad thing, (which really is a good thing), that can happen is...you make a mistake. mistakes are a part of us...we're human. icon_cool.gif learn from the mistake and continue on. go for it!!! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

SJ169 Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 6:08pm
post #16 of 27

I have a whole bunch of dummies so if I see a cake I love, I will try to re-create it...lol and if i fail then o well! no one will know but me icon_smile.gif

cutthecake Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 6:18pm
post #17 of 27

Bellatheball said "I need to let it swirl in my head for awhile. "
How true!
Sometimes a cake idea swirls around in my head for weeks, all by itself.
And if you're worried about dementia, etc., the experts say teaching yourself new things can help delay or prevent it.
So, yes, challenge yourself!

Lil_Belle Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 7:42pm
post #18 of 27

my biggest challenge was my pillow wedding cake. I was so scared to do it that two nights before it was due I freaked out and told my mom I would just her money back and tell her I couldn't. Well after calming down and taking it apart, it wasn't anything I hadn't done before. I have baked a cake before, frosted, and covered with fondant. The only difference was this one had slanty edges and I had to cover two sides. If you take apart the cake (in theory) and think about each step then it will be much easier and you can do it, thinking about just the end product will set you up for stress and most likely failure.

I say make an attack plan and go for it! Doing the same thing all the time is great because it's safe and you know it. but by doing something new you'll learn heaps of new tricks and find out that there's nothing you can't do!

wow I shouldn't answer threads like this while at work XD, the disney of it all gets to you icon_smile.gif

Lil_Belle Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 7:44pm
post #19 of 27

my biggest challenge was my pillow wedding cake. I was so scared to do it that two nights before it was due I freaked out and told my mom I would just her money back and tell her I couldn't. Well after calming down and taking it apart, it wasn't anything I hadn't done before. I have baked a cake before, frosted, and covered with fondant. The only difference was this one had slanty edges and I had to cover two sides. If you take apart the cake (in theory) and think about each step then it will be much easier and you can do it, thinking about just the end product will set you up for stress and most likely failure.

I say make an attack plan and go for it! Doing the same thing all the time is great because it's safe and you know it. but by doing something new you'll learn heaps of new tricks and find out that there's nothing you can't do!

wow I shouldn't answer threads like this while at work XD, the disney of it all gets to you icon_smile.gif

christinapp Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 9:22pm
post #20 of 27

Thank you so much ladies for this forum. You have just given the push out of "procrastination mode" that I needed. Right now I have lots of time on my hand, which makes it a good time to try new things, but somehow I just keep putting it off. My biggest challenge is trying out the cakes that I have sketched out myself. They are beautifull on paper but seem intimidating, when I think of the creating process.

diane Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 9:51pm
post #21 of 27

actually...doing it on paper first might be a good idea. that's what i did when i made my daughter's graduation cake. thumbs_up.gif

diane Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 9:52pm
post #22 of 27

actually...doing it on paper first might be a good idea. that's what i did when i made my daughter's graduation cake. thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 12:46am
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakequeen50

I am the kind that tells a client, "sure, I can do that" and then go home and say,"OMG , how am I going to do that?"



Heck yeah, I'm with ya there!

Did that on my City Skyline cake (hand cut the city skyline out of melted (then hardened of course!) chocolate; my Wedding Gown Cake; my first 3-tier cake that was fully covered in choc ganache; and I'm sure there were others.

I also do that when I overbook myself. But even tho' I Stress-Deluxe when I book 3 caterings/cakes on the same day, it's a GREAT feeling when they're done and all went fine! Of course while I'm running around all crazy-lady-like, I'm wondering "who the hell booked all of these things?! Oh wait ... that would be me!" But now I know I CAN do it! thumbs_up.gif

Quote:
Quote:

I feel what has always helped me is if you can read & follow directions, then you can do it. I BELIEVE this to be true.


My kids have been taught this from the day they picked up their first book: If you can read, you can do ANYTHING.

Cake_Bliss Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 12:56am
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey17

Because I haven't been doing this long, I do usually try something new every time. But, this time I am thinking about taking on a project that just screams "OMG what the HELL am I doing" in my brain.

I really fell in love with the Elmo on the Sesame Street Food Network challange and I want to do a standing character holding my daughters B-day cake.

If it was just the figure, I would be a little freaked but go for it. Adding it holding another cake has me spinning around and around in my head about how crazy I am. But I have almost 2 months to figure this out......so maybe it will be ok.




That was an incredible cake! I watched in awe of it!! I think that would be an amazing challenge to take on. Good luckicon_smile.gif

lthiele Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 12:57pm
post #25 of 27

A standing Elmo holding a cake does sound like a huge challenge - how will you balance the weight? I'm guessing though that if it's an Elmo cake your daughter is young and will scream with excitement no matter what!

I just attempted my first buttercream transfer for a friends daughter's 3rd birthday, she just had to have Ariel. It was really far from perfect - but I learnt SOOOOO much from doing this first one that I will definitly attempt it again!

Good luck - post some pics when you finish!

-K8memphis Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 1:32pm
post #26 of 27

Bella had another great point along with 'swirl in the head' there is a luxury to not doing this as a business. You have the luxury of time.

JoJo0855 Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 2:18pm
post #27 of 27

I'm just starting out with this hobby and hope to start selling my wares in the near future. My time now is being spent experimenting and practicing (and taking lots of photographs). Building up confidence is critical to cake decorating success and unless you try a new technique, you'll never know if you can accomplish it or not.


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I have a whole bunch of dummies so if I see a cake I love



I don't have the luxury of space to store dummies (have trouble enough finding space to put all my decorating stuff as it is!) This is not a problem though, my husband has an overactive "sweet tooth" and my friends and neighbours are always willing to sample my extras.

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