My Turn To Vent....grrrrr

Decorating By catlharper Updated 15 Jul 2010 , 4:30pm by sillymoo84

catlharper Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 12:47am
post #1 of 94

Why do people think they can learn to do overnight what I've spent the past 22 years learning and the past 2 years doing professionally? Somehow they not only think its cheap but easy!

A friend of my daughters (my daughter is a caker too but not as experienced or as varied as I am) has decided she wants to make a cake for her daughter's first birthday. So she shows her the cake...2 tier stacked cake, fondant lines and embellishements, shooting stars on wires with a pastiage crown decorated with sugar gems. She asks my daughter for her MMF recipe which she emails to her and then goes on to ask her questions about which box mix to use and what canned frosting is the best since she's NEVER done this before? Really?!? Never made a cake before and you think you can do what I do professionally??? Really??

I feel like Lucy from Peanuts..."I know when I've been insulted! I know when I've been insulted!" UGH

Cat

93 replies
Melvira Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 12:54am
post #2 of 94

On the plus side, she will have a new appreciation for what you do. But I hear ya girl... I hear ya. Make yourself a cocktail, sit back, and watch the show. icon_lol.gif

SweetResults Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 12:57am
post #3 of 94

LOL! What "canned frosting" is best??? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Good luck putting MMF on top of THAT!

christeena Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:10am
post #4 of 94

. . . AND that's if she manages to get a batch of MMF made correctly, rolled out and on the cake!! Cake muggles - they are always good for a laugh!!!

Melvira Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:11am
post #5 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetResults

LOL! What "canned frosting" is best??? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Good luck putting MMF on top of THAT!




Right!?! I'm dying. A lady at my church was ooohing over some of my cupcakes one time and she said she can never get them to look like that. She said she used canned frosting and a piping bag/tip and wondered how you make them look like that. I smiled and said, "You don't use canned frosting."

tinygoose Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:15am
post #6 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

On the plus side, she will have a new appreciation for what you do. But I hear ya girl... I hear ya. Make yourself a cocktail, sit back, and watch the show. icon_lol.gif




I agree. I have friends who call for cake advise & recipes, decorating ideas. Sure, here's my red velvet, cream cheese icing, SMBC..... have at it. For Thomas the train get this pan, these colors, that bucket of fondant.....etc. I don't mind giving it to them.

Cake is a lot of work, it's expensive, and it really gives them a new appreciation for what I do. They don't refer to cakes as simple or "just cake" anymore, and better yet, they tell their friends how hard and how expensive it is to make their own.

preciouspjs Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:15am
post #7 of 94

muah hahahahahahahaha to all of that.. i wouldn't even be upset.. i would just giggle to myself when I see the disaster.. I have tried and failed at MMF many times.. never mind her getting it right on the first shot.. putting it on a cake with canned frosting. teeheehee. post pics if you see it!!

mamawrobin Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:25am
post #8 of 94

I do hope that she sends you or your daughter a photo of that cake icon_lol.gif
Canned frosting? icon_rolleyes.gif I have made MMF several times (more than 10) and I've yet to make a batch that I could use to cover a cake with. icon_lol.gif
I just can't get it right for some reason. I honestly doubt that his woman, who has NEVER made a cake icon_eek.gif is going to pull this off. Hey, she may surprise us all, but I have serious doubts that will be the case.

Cat..I do get where you're coming from though. It is insulting when someone that "has never made a cake" just assumes that they can make a fondant covered cake with all the trimmings simply by asking for a few tips.
But like Melvira said she'll have "a new appreciation for what you do". thumbs_up.gif

laneysmom Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:25am
post #9 of 94

Everybody has to start somewhere. Frankly, I give her credit for wanting to make the effort.

Karen421 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:28am
post #10 of 94

Yeah - I bet your poor daughter will end up on the wrong side of that one!!! But if you could be a fly on the wall - that could really be fun!

cheriej Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:28am
post #11 of 94

Hehehehehehehehehehehe!!! Canned frosting!!! I love that!

Just reminds me of a friend of mine. Wants a highly decorated cake for her daughter's birthday - goes to CC to find a design! Then goes to a local grocery store to ask them to do that design - oh and yes, she wants their special price of $20 for a full sheet cake!!! She gets the cake, and then tells me how she complained to the grocery store because "the cake was dry and fell apart". They actually gave her $10 back!

This is why I never offer her any advice, or tell her about how to do something because she might ask me to do it and she would be complaining about it on and on and on. Maybe I should suggest canned frosting next time. Still laughing. icon_lol.gif

bmoser24 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:35am
post #12 of 94

OR, you take it as a compliment! She really must admire what you do. It's all how you look at it. I would feel blessed and ask her if she would like any help. Mentoring is soooo rewarding, I run a pregnancy center, and I teach....never thought of cake as another venue to touch someone! Thanks for sharing. Hope your ego isn't too easily bruised.

carmijok Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:46am
post #13 of 94

awwwww, be nice. She's just wanting to do something special for her daughter's 1st birthday. I have a picture of me (many many moons ago) with the cake I made for my daughter's 1st. My plans were big, but my abilities did not match. It's a pitiful chocolate cake with some of that canned 'write-able' frosting in pink with a few blobs of chocolate frosting around the top. There was no such thing as cakecentral then and no cake shows on TV...only magazines & articles and commercials on TV that showed how easy it was to make a perfect cake. Yeah, right. Wasn't until I worked at a bakery almost two years ago that I saw what I was doing wrong. But I tried! And my daughter, who promptly put her fist in the middle of the cake, had just as big a smile on her face as if I'd sculpted a 3D Barbie.
I guarantee this girl will gain respect for your abilities...and who knows...maybe this will ignite a spark in her to start caking on her own!

NerdyGirl Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:46am
post #14 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by laneysmom

Everybody has to start somewhere. Frankly, I give her credit for wanting to make the effort.




It's so nice to see statements like this. Everyone DOES have to start somewhere.

preciouspjs Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 2:00am
post #15 of 94

true that.. never thought of it that way.. I guess my glass was half empty this time

Vkandis Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 2:02am
post #16 of 94

So I just took a decorating class last week and the nerve of this woman to think that just because she knows something, she knows how to teach. I mean how dare she think that just because she knows how to decorate she can do what I have been studying and doing professionally for the past 15 years. Sorry but just because you know something does not mean you can teach.

From a pedagogical perspective it was terrible--she read the materials we were given (I could have read them on my own) and as result had little engagement with the class. It amounted to a lecture for 90 mins of the two hour class--just bad all around. And yet she clearly had things to share--a knowledge that was useful. It was not about me or my profession it was about her desire to share what she knew. Could it have been better? Should it have been better? Was she a bad instructor? Yes, yes and yes, and yet I still got something out it.

Rather than assuming that this is about you, how about looking at it as a mother who wants to do something special for her daughter? Look at it as someone who does not have understanding of your profession, and whose ambition, while presumptuous, is nonetheless not ill intentioned. But hey it is about you right? Easier to take it as an insult and laugh at her ambition--to chortle now about her inevitable failure and long for a picture so folks can laugh about it again.

NerdyGirl Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 2:04am
post #17 of 94

Sometimes you have to think back to when you started. What inspired you? Who inspired you? Why did you start in the first place? It takes GUTS to try new things. Either she'll live up to the challenge, or she'll quit. But either way, she tried.

thatslifeca Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 2:09am
post #18 of 94

I've been doing this for 20 some yrs and I still hate fondant. I always have to call my old business partner to help me out. You should have seen his face when I showed him Edna's cake that we are going to do for a wedding in Dec. icon_biggrin.gif . I love this look icon_eek.gif , kinda reminds me of him. I'm sure she just wants to do something nice for her daughter, and it will give her a new found respect for your art.....yes I said art. Cake is art to me, and everyone on CC is an ARTIST! icon_biggrin.gif

aprilblack Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 2:10am
post #19 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by laneysmom

Everybody has to start somewhere. Frankly, I give her credit for wanting to make the effort.




I agree 100%.. nothing wrong with wanting to try.

Melvira Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 2:15am
post #20 of 94

Just so we're clear... people DO understand what 'vent' means, right? I'm just curious because every time someone starts a vent thread, a lot of people start to make them feel like they're a bad person for having those feelings. You know what, sometimes it's ok to have a feeling like that, and to voice it somewhere like here where people will understand and commiserate with you, and then you can go back to being the sunny personality you always are to the people around you.

I help everyone. People ask me questions, I answer them. People need help, I help them. I don't think a day goes by that I am not answering a PM with caking information because I LOVE to help people that trust me enough to listen to me. But you know what, every once in a while I get annoyed with someone in 'the real world' and this is where I come to discuss it a LOT of the time.

Now, I completely understand everyone's right to their opinion whether I agree with it or not, and if they think I'm a big fat meanie because I wanted to vent, that is their prerogative. But I just want to make it known that having these feelings doesn't make you a bad person. I taught cake classes, I shared my 'gift', but that doesn't mean I'm not insulted when someone acts like what I do is 'nothing special'. Or can be learned in 15 minutes.

PLEASE don't think I'm being snarky or yelling or any such thing as that, I'm just tired of people expecting everyone to be little Mary Sunshine 24-7. Honey, I got hormones. I'm 100% woman, and that includes all those awesome unpredictable mood shifts.

And one important note, having these feelings doesn't make you a bad person, and many successful shows are BASED on those feelings. Have you ever laughed at a crotch shot on America's Funniest Home Videos? If you're the one taking a pool ball to the groin, I'm guessing it's not all that funny, but there are hundreds of thousands of people laughing their un-bruised 'goods' off at your expense.

nvangel Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 2:21am
post #21 of 94

This is a new hobby for me and hopefully one day professionally. That's how I started in March...I wanted to make my daughters 3rd birthday cake. I surprised myself and made her a Tinkerbell cake, tree and all. I turned heads and it was the best feeling. Everyone does have to start somewhere and who knows maybe she'll surprise everyone.

About a week ago, I had a coworker ask me to bake a cake for his daughter. He asked for "the chocolate icing from the store". My first thought was "are you kidding??". It must be the cake decorator in me now cause that was just insane. It took everyone in me not to laugh.

kimbordeaux Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 2:22am
post #22 of 94

I have had three friends of one of my close friends call me about cakes. I live in a small town in SC where no one has even seen the types of cakes I make any where before (really small town, they don't even know who the Cake Boss or Ace of Cakes are).

Anyway, they called acting as if they wanted to buy a cake. Made order and told me they would bring money. During phone conversations they would be all interested and ask what type of frosting I used to get cakes so smooth, what brand cake I used... they didn't even know what fondant was.

When they found out Wal-mart sold Wilton fondant they dropped their orders. My friend told me that they dropped their orders because they found they could make the cakes themselves for much less because they found fondant at Wal-mart.

I smiled and told friend to tell me how the cakes turn out. I'm friends with the 3 on Facebook and got a giggle when they posted the pics of the cakes they made, which my friend says the cakes tasted okay but the fondant was nasty.

What got me a little mad about the whole situation, on 3 different occasions, is that these girls knew that this is how I make a living and tried to act like my best friend to get info from me and then cut me out in a way. Again, live in a small town where everything is like a soap opera.

NerdyGirl Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 2:35am
post #23 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

Just so we're clear... people DO understand what 'vent' means, right? I'm just curious because every time someone starts a vent thread, a lot of people start to make them feel like they're a bad person for having those feelings. You know what, sometimes it's ok to have a feeling like that, and to voice it somewhere like here where people will understand and commiserate with you, and then you can go back to being the sunny personality you always are to the people around you.

I help everyone. People ask me questions, I answer them. People need help, I help them. I don't think a day goes by that I am not answering a PM with caking information because I LOVE to help people that trust me enough to listen to me. But you know what, every once in a while I get annoyed with someone in 'the real world' and this is where I come to discuss it a LOT of the time.

Now, I completely understand everyone's right to their opinion whether I agree with it or not, and if they think I'm a big fat meanie because I wanted to vent, that is their prerogative. But I just want to make it known that having these feelings doesn't make you a bad person. I taught cake classes, I shared my 'gift', but that doesn't mean I'm not insulted when someone acts like what I do is 'nothing special'. Or can be learned in 15 minutes.

PLEASE don't think I'm being snarky or yelling or any such thing as that, I'm just tired of people expecting everyone to be little Mary Sunshine 24-7. Honey, I got hormones. I'm 100% woman, and that includes all those awesome unpredictable mood shifts.

And one important note, having these feelings doesn't make you a bad person, and many successful shows are BASED on those feelings. Have you ever laughed at a crotch shot on America's Funniest Home Videos? If you're the one taking a pool ball to the groin, I'm guessing it's not all that funny, but there are hundreds of thousands of people laughing their un-bruised 'goods' off at your expense.




Venting is fine, great and normal. However, and unfortunately I'll probably be hated for this, but I've noticed that quite often some of the more experienced are condescending to those who are new, interested and far less experienced. My question is...why? Everyone's got experience that others don't have. Doesn't make people any better or worse than anyone else.

Karen421 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 3:31am
post #24 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimbordeaux

I have had three friends of one of my close friends call me about cakes. I live in a small town in SC where no one has even seen the types of cakes I make any where before (really small town, they don't even know who the or Ace of Cakes are). Anyway, they called acting as if they wanted to buy a cake. Made order and told me they would bring money. During phone conversations they would be all interested and ask what type of frosting I used to get cakes so smooth, what brand cake I used... they didn't even know what fondant was. When they found out Wal-mart sold Wilton fondant they dropped their orders. My friend told me that they dropped their orders because they found they could make the cakes themselves for much less because they found fondant at Wal-mart. I smiled and told friend to tell me how the cakes turn out. I'm friends with the 3 on Facebook and got a giggle when they posted the pics of the cakes they made, which my friend says the cakes tasted okay but the fondant was nasty. What got me a little mad about the whole situation, on 3 different occasions, is that these girls knew that this is how I make a living and tried to act like my best friend to get info from me and then cut me out in a way. Again, live in a small town where everything is like a soap opera.





I hear you!! Talk about small town, my town is a whopping 687 people!!
But it sure can be interesting!

adventuregal Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 4:59am
post #25 of 94

I have to laugh at this thread because I too am getting sooo tired of the condescending attitude of some cake artists. It's like once someone learns how to fondant a cake, make a class A BC, and pipe quickly they scoff at anyone thats new. I mean seriously? We were ALL there once. I think people that scoff should remember when they were asking someone for advice because at one point or another we all did that-isn't that why we discovered CC? seriously...

On the other hand...we are all human AND I understand the total human response that the o.p had. She works hard to do what she does and wants people to know the hard work and time that she's invested. Just remember not to take the feelings anywhere past the initial moment they popped into your thoughts. Don't lose sleep. She's just like you were at one point-totally interested in doing something she thinks could be amazing. I would be flattered she asked you for your advice; and I feel a little bad that she got scoffed at so badly.

Paige_Pittman86 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 5:18am
post #26 of 94

I don't understand why everybody gets offended about somebody trying to make their own cake. Hey you gotta start somewhere. My very first cake I ever done may not be the best in the world but it was my first cake ( lingerie cake) and I did it at home. It shouldn't matter if somebody wants to try it vs buy it atleast they would know what actual work went into it and why it cost so much money.

catlharper Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 5:27am
post #27 of 94

Ok, first of all, Melvira, I love you...secondly, I wasn't being condensending at all. My daughter was all for helping this girl make her first cake, helping her thru the steps to get a beautiful cake for her daughter. I was very happy to squeeze this cake into my already overpacked summer schedule so she'd have the cake she really wants. But she doesn't want to pay for it...even severely discounted.

And when I started out 22 years ago it was with a simple sheet cake with shell border and a figurine in the middle and a piped Happy Birthday. That WAS being ambitious for me. I never would have thought to just jump right in when I hadn't even ever opened a box of mix before to make something that, even now at my level, would be serious work.

My daughter and I have been trying to encourage her to bring it down to a manageable level. For instance, she's only having 20 people over for this cake and she's making enough for 40... 5 of the 20 are age 1 or under. So we've been trying to get her to make this one tier and to make it out of buttercream (love to pass on the Viva method whenever we can<G>icon_wink.gif and maybe BUY a tiara to put as a topper.

Teach her how to use two tips for the decorating so she gets the same flavor as the fancy fondant stacked one she's talking about....still making it herself for her daughter. But, nope, she's convinced that it's so simple she can do it herself with the only help being recipe help....and that recipe being MMF...the rest box or canned.

So I'm all for learning but take baby steps. she's on a very limited budget and without ANY tools she'll have to buy all the pans/spatulas/piping materials plus all the ingrediants to make this cake.and she seems to think that's super cheap.

One of the reasons I'm here every day is to learn...to take baby steps and learn new techniques as I go. But I don't think I can just jump off the high dive with no training or anything and think I can do it flawlessly for a big event.

Our wish is to never see her crash and burn...that would be heartbreaking for such a huge event to her but she won't really take any help and doesn't want to even consider that this is way out of her experience and ability. So that's the part that's heartbeaking.

The insulting part is how she makes it sound like if the two of us, my daughter and I, can do it, then surely she can just whip this cake out with no help, no training, not even youtube to find out how to do this. So what we work very hard at, what we have taken years to learn and practice, seems literally like a piece of cake to her.

And, yes, I know she'll learn how to respect what we do once she does it but at what expense to her...monetarily and to her ego. So after feeling insulted today I now just feel sad. I remember my first fondant outing and it wasn't pretty...I can't imagine having done it for any big event and have to serve it to everyone.

So now it's just sitting back and praying we'll be able to talk her down to that manageable level once she does her "dry run" this weekend and hope it doesn't squish any desire she does have to making cakes.

Cat

Melvira Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:30pm
post #28 of 94

But the thing to remember... for the most part, the person who is annoyed is not annoyed because someone wants to try something, they are annoyed because that person totally dissed them to their face. (Or worse, behind their back!)

I have NEVER sat here saying, "Hahahah, that MORON wants to make a cute cake for her only baby's first birthday, I hope she chokes on icing!!" Someone wanting to do something like that is precious and beautiful. And maybe it will spark the fire and that person will turn into an amazing cake maker. It's not what someone is doing, it's how badly they mistreat you when they do it. It's like all the 'helpful' bridal articles that say cake is cheap and easy to do, and we're just all criminals trying to get paid for it. When that person makes a crappy cake, it makes me smile. Because they smeared poo in my face and then it got smeared in theirs. It has nothing to do with the validity of their information.

I am not one of those high and mighty decorators that refuses to dirty my piping bag with a newbies questions, anyone who has asked me a question will tell you that. I am prompt, courteous, and overly helpful if anything.

kimbordeaux Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 3:02pm
post #29 of 94

Melvira,
You said correctly. I willing give advice and help others. Its when someone does trickery to derive info from me instead of just asking. When friends of friends call to make orders and act like we're BFFs from way back, telling me how great my work looks and taste. Then they act all amazed, "how do you get the icing so smooth?", "Fondant, whats that?", "you make your icing?", "you have to order your fondant?, "you buy it from around here?". That's when I say, "well I guess you could buy all the things needed from Wal-mart but it won't turn out the same". 2 weeks before their order is due I call to collect 1/2 and they don't need the cake anymore. The mutal friend tells me they have decided to make the cake themselves because they don't see why they should pay me $100 for a cake they can make themselves for around $30. I don't say anything because I know what they have taken on. I saw the pics of their cakes on Facebook so I don't feel bad. One of them even told me, "I don't know how you do it. It is a lot work and I don't have the patience for this". I enjoy helping others but don't like my job being taken lightly and in a way laughed about, "why pay her $100 when I can do it myself a lot cheaper". Go a head make it cheaper... now you see why I charged $100, which was an undercharge anyway because you gave me a sad story about your finances but, you still wanted a nice 16th bday party for your daughter.

Paige_Pittman86 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 3:16pm
post #30 of 94

I have a friend that makes cakes she might not be a pro but she still does an amazing job and when I told her I've always wanted to learn how to do it she told me that with a little practice and effort I could do it. Yes it is hard work well for me it is because I
am still new and it takes me hours and hours and I will destroy my entire kitchen in the process but I was very proud of my first cake. She could have scared me off by telling me how hard and time
consuming it was but instead she made me want to do it even more. And the thing about MMF if you look at my cakes there is a baby shower cake with butterflies on it that was my very first fondant cake I didn't know what I was doing I made I used it I loved it. It might not be the work of a pro but like I said I'm still new but I was still able to cover the cake and make the little baby on it with out any help. The more I practice I'm hoping the better I get. But I can understand what she was upset about people thinking it so easy if u can do it I can do it and I know first hand it's not as easy as it looks. Buttt I also don't like people thinking she is new she could never pull that off don't even try and MMF good luck with that. What's hard for one may not be hard for somebody else. With every cake I have made I always say after it's done I now no what not to do the next time this is what I'll do different. It's a learning process and I can't wait till I can create the beautiful cakes that I see on here everyday.

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