Overwhelmed Beginner

Decorating By leeann34 Updated 21 Jul 2014 , 2:16pm by johnson6ofus

leeann34 Posted 12 Jul 2014 , 12:07am
post #1 of 25

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I finally got into decorating from a birthday present I got that I had always wanted (the big wilton set!) ..so I thought this would be easy. Boy was I wrong it is SOOO much harder than I dreamed. I posted my first cake and the one today on a dummy I got to save money (I've baked for years I don't need practice on that) ...but the cake dummy seriously has driven me half mad. I put press and seal on it cause I read a post on here to do that but I used a new frosting recipe that turned out too thin and wouldn't crust. So I put the dummy in freezer for a half hour and didn't realize the press and seal would unseal. I tried to make the top layer have lots of ruffles all around it because that's one of the techniques I just learned and then I wanted to make daisy like flowers on the bottom with just round beads of frosting. Total fail! So then I thought I'd practice blending colors on top amd piping lines on bottom and then I just got so frustrated I quit. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself but this is way harder than I thought. Does it get easier and how long? I'm so overwhelmed I haven't even learned gumpaste yet. There is just so much! Maybe I should not have started this and I am missing the gene for it or something. ..

24 replies
savannahquinn Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 2:54pm
post #2 of 25

I think your buttercream needs to be thicker for some of the flowers. I think your borders look good and I love the fleur de lis you did.  Why not take the Michael's classes you could use the coupon and get a % off.  I think they are great for a beginner.  And most of all, just keep practicing...my piping skills are not so good, but I just kept making cakes and learning and found the areas I do better in (definitely not buttercream!)  There are also tons of tutorials on how to get your buttercream smooth...Don't give up -you'll see that you'll get better with practice! :lol:

johnson6ofus Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 10:10pm
post #3 of 25

I agree... Wilton classes, live, in a classroom with a live teacher is a great starting point. You have the tools now, just learn to use them. Yes, you will waste a lot of icing, but that is all part of the learning. It is fun, you just need a little help getting going. :)

MBalaska Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 10:34pm
post #4 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by leeann34 
 "......this is way harder than I thought. Does it get easier and how long?...."

 

Yes it is way harder than most people think.   If you have spectacular tasting pastries, then just simply decorations may be all that's necessary for your needs.

Some things get easier, some things I just give up and never attempt again as they are way out of my skill level.  Which is why I can be so appreciative of the talents and skills of the cc decorators.

bubs1stbirthday Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 12:00am
post #5 of 25

Don't be discouraged, I decided to make my little girls first birthday cake and that is how I got into cake decorating when she was a few months old, she is now 16 months old and I look back at the first cake I ever decorated (for my Husband) - of which I am super embarrassed by lol

 

 

 

and then compare it to the most recent one that I have made (for my Grandma) which I was quite pleased with

 

IMG_1783.JPG

 

 

and even though I only make a cake every couple of months on average I can see the difference in my work and know the knowledge that I have gained with each cake that I have made is invaluable.

 

I think that if you 'have it in you' then it does make it easier but I also think that with enough dedication and the desire to do well almost anyone can do anything.

 

Good Luck and make sure to research, research, research. The more you do that the more you will learn. Pop back and post un updated photo soon :-)

MBalaska Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 12:10am
post #6 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by bubs1stbirthday 
 

Don't be discouraged,the first cake I ever decorated...........

 

 

 

 

IMG_1783.JPG

 

 

and look what you are doing now!  You've come a long way baby (as they say) ;-D

DeniseNH Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 2:04am
post #7 of 25

Most of us wouldn't have the guts to show you our first cake.  Yours is a lot better than my first and you nailed the fleur delis.  With each cake you get batter and better and gain more and more knowledge.  Baby steps and pretty soon you'll be running.  Don't give up.  If you do, then cake decorating isn't for you.  And you're right, each time it's hard, but that's where the challenge is. 

DeniseNH Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 2:04am
post #8 of 25

Most of us wouldn't have the guts to show you our first cake.  Yours is a lot better than my first and you nailed the fleur delis.  With each cake you get batter and better and gain more and more knowledge.  Baby steps and pretty soon you'll be running.  Don't give up.  If you do, then cake decorating isn't for you.  And you're right, each time it's hard, but that's where the challenge is. 

DeniseNH Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 2:04am
post #9 of 25

Most of us wouldn't have the guts to show you our first cake.  Yours is a lot better than my first and you nailed the fleur delis.  With each cake you get batter and better and gain more and more knowledge.  Baby steps and pretty soon you'll be running.  Don't give up.  If you do, then cake decorating isn't for you.  And you're right, each time it's hard, but that's where the challenge is. 

DeniseNH Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 2:04am
post #10 of 25

Most of us wouldn't have the guts to show you our first cake.  Yours is a lot better than my first and you nailed the fleur delis.  With each cake you get batter and better and gain more and more knowledge.  Baby steps and pretty soon you'll be running.  Don't give up.  If you do, then cake decorating isn't for you.  And you're right, each time it's hard, but that's where the challenge is. 

simplyme4469 Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 2:11am
post #11 of 25

AI practiced making cakes for family birthdays. Then I've had friends let me practice making them cakes (they Covered the costs and I donated my time to practice.... which usually took hours). I've spent hours watching YouTube and other helpful videos. As long as you have passion and patience... you just need the time and practice. I don't think you should give up :) I personally only have practiced on real cakes. .. even my not so perfect beginner cakes impressed people. (Or maybe they are too nice lol) My piping skills were never very good.... I still avoid piping if I can lol. Something I still need to work on! I am a hobby decorator.... but I think even the most skilled decorators will always have a new challenge. That's how we learn :)

Apti Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 2:50am
post #12 of 25

leeann34~~Welcome to the forum!    The execution of both of your cakes above show great promise.  Be proud of your first work and save those pictures.   Think of cake decorating as a skill that comes with time and practice and knowledge, just like oil painting. 

 

Did you think you could get a set of $100 paintbrushes and paint at a craft store, watch a few videos and then create a fabulous oil painting that had depth and perspective and glorious perfection?  Nope.  Most people would never create those ultra-high expectations for perfection straight out of the gate; they know it will take dogged persistence and practice with many different classes and materials before quality results can be achieved.

 

New cake decorators (especially with buttercream and piping) are in for a big surprise.  Cake decorating is  much harder than it looks because it takes repeated actions and practice to achieve the correct pressures and angles to achieve success.  Cake decorating takes MUCH longer than anyone can anticipate when they are in the beginning stages and costs MUCH more.

 

Like any hobby, you may be satisfied with cakes that are "good enough" or you may be driven to create eventual perfection--BOTH of these routes are ok!  Do not compare your beginning work to the CakeCentral galleries.  (Would a new painter compare to museum paintings?)

 

Underneath this post is a hyperlink to my shutterfly account where I have stored my cake photos.  I began this hobby in a Wilton class in a craft store in early 2010.  I encourage you to visit and see the progress from my first cake to my cakes and chocolates 4 years later.

 

Good luck and hang in there!

cazza1 Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 2:51am
post #13 of 25

I think it is much harder covering a dummy with fondant than an actual cake.

Lagasse Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 3:19am
post #14 of 25

ATry not to learn everything all at once. I think you are feeling overwhelmed because you bit off a little more then you could chew. The cakes do look very good though. For a starter cake you did very well. I can tell you one thing, when i first started my piping skills were not as good as that. Possibly still aren't. Hahaha

mcaulir Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 8:43am
post #15 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by leeann34 


I finally got into decorating from a birthday present I got that I had always wanted (the big wilton set!) ..so I thought this would be easy. ............
 
I'm so overwhelmed I haven't even learned gumpaste yet. There is just so much! Maybe I should not have started this and I am missing the gene for it or something. ..

 

Were you really expecting to produce something amazing on your first try? That's certainly never happened to me!

 

 

And I had to have a giggle about the second part. 'Learned gumpaste'. Honestly, it takes years and hundreds of cakes to come close to something like the beautiful things you see here.

mcaulir Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 8:43am
post #16 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by leeann34 


I finally got into decorating from a birthday present I got that I had always wanted (the big wilton set!) ..so I thought this would be easy. ............
 
I'm so overwhelmed I haven't even learned gumpaste yet. There is just so much! Maybe I should not have started this and I am missing the gene for it or something. ..

 

Were you really expecting to produce something amazing on your first try? That's certainly never happened to me!

 

 

And I had to have a giggle about the second part. 'Learned gumpaste'. Honestly, it takes years and hundreds of cakes to come close to something like the beautiful things you see here.

mcaulir Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 8:44am
post #17 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by leeann34 


I finally got into decorating from a birthday present I got that I had always wanted (the big wilton set!) ..so I thought this would be easy. ............
 
I'm so overwhelmed I haven't even learned gumpaste yet. There is just so much! Maybe I should not have started this and I am missing the gene for it or something. ..

 

Were you really expecting to produce something amazing on your first try? That's certainly never happened to me!

 

 

And I had to have a giggle about the second part. 'Learned gumpaste'. Honestly, it takes years and hundreds of cakes to come close to something like the beautiful things you see here.

mcaulir Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 8:45am
post #18 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by leeann34 


I finally got into decorating from a birthday present I got that I had always wanted (the big wilton set!) ..so I thought this would be easy. ............
 
I'm so overwhelmed I haven't even learned gumpaste yet. There is just so much! Maybe I should not have started this and I am missing the gene for it or something. ..

 

Were you really expecting to produce something amazing on your first try? That's certainly never happened to me!

 

 

And I had to have a giggle about the second part. 'Learned gumpaste'. Honestly, it takes years and hundreds of cakes to come close to something like the beautiful things you see here.

mcaulir Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 8:45am
post #19 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by leeann34 


I finally got into decorating from a birthday present I got that I had always wanted (the big wilton set!) ..so I thought this would be easy. ............
 
I'm so overwhelmed I haven't even learned gumpaste yet. There is just so much! Maybe I should not have started this and I am missing the gene for it or something. ..

 

Were you really expecting to produce something amazing on your first try? That's certainly never happened to me!

 

 

And I had to have a giggle about the second part. 'Learned gumpaste'. Honestly, it takes years and hundreds of cakes to come close to something like the beautiful things you see here.

mcaulir Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 8:47am
post #20 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by leeann34 


I finally got into decorating from a birthday present I got that I had always wanted (the big wilton set!) ..so I thought this would be easy. ............
 
I'm so overwhelmed I haven't even learned gumpaste yet. There is just so much! Maybe I should not have started this and I am missing the gene for it or something. ..

 

Were you really expecting to produce something amazing on your first try? That's certainly never happened to me!

 

 

And I had to have a giggle about the second part. 'Learned gumpaste'. Honestly, it takes years and hundreds of cakes to come close to something like the beautiful things you see here.

mcaulir Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 8:47am
post #21 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by leeann34 


I finally got into decorating from a birthday present I got that I had always wanted (the big wilton set!) ..so I thought this would be easy. ............
 
I'm so overwhelmed I haven't even learned gumpaste yet. There is just so much! Maybe I should not have started this and I am missing the gene for it or something. ..

 

Were you really expecting to produce something amazing on your first try? That's certainly never happened to me!

 

 

And I had to have a giggle about the second part. 'Learned gumpaste'. Honestly, it takes years and hundreds of cakes to come close to something like the beautiful things you see here.

mcaulir Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 8:47am
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeann34 


I finally got into decorating from a birthday present I got that I had always wanted (the big wilton set!) ..so I thought this would be easy. ............
 
I'm so overwhelmed I haven't even learned gumpaste yet. There is just so much! Maybe I should not have started this and I am missing the gene for it or something. ..

 

Were you really expecting to produce something amazing on your first try? That's certainly never happened to me!

 

 

And I had to have a giggle about the second part. 'Learned gumpaste'. Honestly, it takes years and hundreds of cakes to come close to something like the beautiful things you see here.

maisie73 Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 9:35am
post #23 of 25

AHi Leeann, I'm a very inexperienced decorator, I started about 14 months ago and I've made about 25 cakes since then. This is a cake I made for my son last year. (About my 6th cake). [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3266149/width/200/height/400[/IMG] This is the one I just finished for his birthday yesterday. [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3266150/width/200/height/400[/IMG]

Clearly I'm still very amateur but I can also look back and see how far I've come.

Keep going, keep practising and be patient :-)

maisie73 Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 9:38am
post #24 of 25

ABubs1stbirthday, "quite pleased" with your grandmas cake?! It's brilliant, I'd be delighted if I could make something like that!

johnson6ofus Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 2:16pm
post #25 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Apti 

 

Did you think you could get a set of $100 paintbrushes and paint at a craft store, watch a few videos and then create a fabulous oil painting that had depth and perspective and glorious perfection?  Nope. 

 

As a newbie myself I never really understood the ART that a great cake was--- time and practice. Some pick up (art) faster than others... look at Bub's cakes. Wow! 16 months? She has a lot of art talent and skill. Me? "Into" it about 3-4 years... and still suck. lol

 

The stethoscope does not make the doctor, the paint brush does not make the painter, and a box of piping tips doesn't make a cake artist. (I still have tips I have no clue on..lol). 

 

But we all here appreciate the time and talents of many cake artists. Ask for help, ask for honest criticism, and practice. We all love cake and whether hobbyists or pros, we all welcome you to our "addiction". 

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