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How do I not become discouraged with my skill level.

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I have great desire to become an excellent decorator. I'm fairly new to caking (wilton 1 class was in July) and have progressed decently. However, I now find cakes I would have thought were FABULOUS 3 months ago are dissapointing. This is primarily because I desire perfectly straight sides, sharp corners, and flawless fondant. Am I expecting too much of myself? I don't expect myself to be perfect but am disenheartened that every step I take up the ladder, I realize there are ten million more I didn't see before. I did only take Wilton 1 then took Wilton fondant and gumpaste...but found them only to be fair. The instructors were ok...not great. I watched Sugarshack's dvds and was overwhelmed because I primarily disagree with fashion over flavor. I hate, HATE shortening based icing. Is there anyway to have both a generously iced cake, beautiful fondant and AMAZING flavor? Sorry for the rant. By the way, I'd love some pointers on how I could improve. So if you wanna look at my profile and give me tips, I'd be grateful. Thanks a million!!!
post #2 of 32
I don't know what it is that you don't think is up to par. You have a cake that has 79 favorites for goodness sake. Snap out of it and see that you are doing a great job. It has only been three months since you took your Wilton class. The more you practice, the better you'll get. Chin up.....
post #3 of 32
Everyone who just starts is always going to want to do better. You've got the normal thoughts of anyone believe me. I've been doing cakes for the past year and still pick at the littlest things...that could be better, I hate the way that looks, why did I do it that way???? Your off to a good start and its good you took the classes. I'd reccommend taking the other ones. I still refer to the books for pointers. Don't get yourself down. Everyone starts somewhere...just practice practice practice. Get yourself some cake dummies if you don't have any already. I bought mine from candylandcrafts website, decent prices and super fast shipping. Hang in there!
Jen

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.
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Jen

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.
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post #4 of 32
*Laughing* So if you are needing a confidence boost just go look at my photos! HA! I only have completed Wilton 1 and trust me, you are WAY better than I am!!! But for me, I am not down about that others are lots better. It is motivation! I want to do this, I am addicted to cake decorating and I am determined to get better! Don't get discouraged - you are doing great!
"Kitchen-ista and Ranch-wife-extraordinaire" (It's all in a day's work!)
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"Kitchen-ista and Ranch-wife-extraordinaire" (It's all in a day's work!)
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post #5 of 32
Look .... I had been doing cakes for 25 years when I found CC. I thought I was pretty good at it.

Then I start going thru the photos on this site. Talk about a reality check! I'm thinking, "Geesh, Debi, you have some NERVE calling yourself a decorator!" compared to the talent I was being exposed to for the very first time on here!

The positive spin on this is that you've come to the right place to be inspired and motivated.

Heck, I've even added fondant to my cakes .... something I swore I'd NEVER do!! But the folks on here have a way of nudging you outside your comfort zone and making you feel confident enough to do it, all at the same time! They're like the mama birds pushing us out of the nest! Next thing you know, we're flying!! thumbs_up.gif
post #6 of 32
forthwife, from looking at your pictures I think you are doing an amazing job on your cakes!!!
post #7 of 32
As one big name in the biz once told me, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!! I have many cool ideas in my head and my skills are not up to making those a reality yet, but I have to sit down and practice and eventually you will get better. Now there are some things I cannot do to save my life (like piping) but again, practice!! (And piping is my LEAST favorite thing to practice, let me tell you!!) Also, there was one cake pix on here not long ago (can't remember the cake or the artist) but I remember her comment which was that she is new to decorating and she saw a Ron Ben-Israel cake that she wanted to try, so she got the dummies out and low and behold, she made a beautiful cake. She said it was challenging and quite a learning experience but that's how you get from good to better to excellent. Strive to emmulate the best and you will find your own skills creeping up there too. Cheer up! Your pix show great potential! icon_biggrin.gif
To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
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To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
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post #8 of 32
I think that when doing cakes and decorating them, it is important to believe in yourself and know that you can do it. Even if you are not perfect, with time you will get there. I still get discouraged, but I just have to tell myself that I can do it. Hang in there, we are all learning together.
post #9 of 32
Practice, Practice, Practice and keep taking classes.. I took my first class after 22 years of cake decorating I was self taught.. I bought a wilton book and set of tips and just decorated the heck out of a fliped over cake pan.. I swore I would never do fondant either but now I am hooked.. pretty much all of my cakes now have fondant accents. But when I took a class (not wilton) I took a class from Earlene Moore WOW what a difference! I was doing everything the hard way... when you have the right tools and the knowledge to do it the right wayt its sooo much easier... Hang in there if you really have the desire you will get there... Its called the school of hard Knocks YOU LEARN FROM EVERY HARD KNOCK
It would be nice to just snap our fingers and be perfect. But thats not how it works. Relax, experiment, Heck I got uptight just reading your post.. Cake decorating is FUN!! Your cakes are ver nice... When working with the fondant Work from the top of the cake down..the sides.. and just keep easing fondant away from the side of the cake until you reach the bottom.. your almost there.... HAVE FUN! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif
Seven days without laughter makes one weak!

One greatful thought raised to the heavens is the most perfect prayer.
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Seven days without laughter makes one weak!

One greatful thought raised to the heavens is the most perfect prayer.
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post #10 of 32
We all aspire to have those flawless finishes, perfect flowers, beautiful sharp edges, smooth as silk fondant and fabulous flavor, but you have to remember that many of the guys and gals making those gorgeous, perfect looking cakes have been doing so for YEARS. I've been doing this about two years and still feel that I'm not ready to actually charge for my cakes so I still do "practice" cakes all the time that end up at my husband's office. I learn something new - a technique, a little "tip", a new flavor combination, new icing, etc. - every time I work on a cake so you never stop learning. Keep practicing, read everything you can get your hands on, and don't give up! You have some nice work but don't beat yourself up if it's not perfect. You're new to this and it will take time to hone your skills. If you don't like the shortening based icings, try something like Swiss meringue buttercream or use butter or cream cheese instead of shortening. If your experience with shortening has been strictly using Crisco, try a high-ratio shortening such as Alpine Lace, Sweetex, Super Quik Blend, etc. Check your local bakeries to see if they'll sell you some high-ratio shortening or order it online if you dont' have a local source.

Remember - this should be FUN so don't take it so seriously that you stress yourself out of doing it if you really do enjoy it! I'd look for additional classes with a different instructor since you didn't care much for the one you had. I don't care for the Wilton projects, but I did learn a great deal from my instructor and I couldn't do what I do today without having learned from her. Don't give up...YOU CAN DO IT!!!
"Mmmmmmmmm donuts." - Homer Simpson
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"Mmmmmmmmm donuts." - Homer Simpson
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post #11 of 32
I call it the head and hand syndrome...your head says hell yeah i can do that but your hands are a bit less compliant icon_lol.gif This place is great for really encouraging you with skills and ideas. I am a hobby baker and I make it my mission to make each cake be a bit better and more difficult than the last, or at least practise a new skill. I've never taken any classes but you learn just by doing and asking the experts on here. Keep at it - i love looking back at my first cakes which at the time I thought were amazing and compare them to where I am now and I think oh goodness they were maybe not quite so great after all. If you are aiming to be Collette Peters in just a few months then yeah you will be disappointed - decorating is about fun and enjoyment and satisfaction when the cake is done ( not to mention the rude words used in the 'doing'). Cut yourself some slack and focus on some key skills rather than unrealistically trying to get everything perfect. Fun, Fun, Fun!
post #12 of 32
I find faults with every single cake I do. This or that isn't how I wanted it to be. There are always things I tell myself I could have done better, of course after the fact. That's how we learn. If we thought we were doing perfect cakes to begin with, I don't think we would ever strive to improve our skills. Which I hope someday soon I will!!
post #13 of 32
Next year, at about this time, go back and look at what you created over that period. You'll be amazed at where you've ventured! I started playing with sugar again just a little over a year ago after a 10 year lull in decorating --and even back then it was only after a Wilton I course and cakes for my kids as they went through the "character" stages. I can't believe how far I have progressed with the help of these wonderful people on CC, Food Network Challenges and the encouragement and support of my family! Your pictures show you already have the basics you need for success. Patience, practice and time will elevate your skill level. However, I caution, we are our own worst critics and I truly don't think we ever are completely satisfied with our skill level. After all, if we become complacent are we not just settling then and no longer striving, striving, striving?
1 Chronicles 23:29
They were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the flour for the grain offerings, the unleavened wafers, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size.
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1 Chronicles 23:29
They were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the flour for the grain offerings, the unleavened wafers, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size.
Reply
post #14 of 32
Ditto... What everyone else said!!

It's so true, we are are own worse critics, I have been cake decorating for over a decade and I am learning all the time. I think there will always be the " I should of" or the "I could have " done this or that but that is what makes us good at what we do. ( The everlasting wanting it to be perfect)

Of course I just recently found this very awesome ,addicting,inspiring site full of helpful, talented people that love to help .

Just keep on cake'n and your skill level will progress along with everyone else here. icon_biggrin.gif
There is no such thing as too much chocolate!
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There is no such thing as too much chocolate!
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post #15 of 32
I know how you feel. I am also new at decorating even though this is my second try. My first try was 22 yrs ago - took all the Wilton classes and couldn't consistently produce a pretty cake to save my life so I quit out of frustration. A few months back I found myself looking for a hobby since all my kids have flown the nest and decided to give cake decorating another try. I have again taken all the Wilton classes and I still have trouble getting decent cakes every time but they are better than 22 yrs ago!. This time I refuse to become frustrated when I mess up (an there are plenty of those). Instead of getting frustrated I try to pick out a couple of things I learn from each mistake I make and that has helped keep me from giving up. Finding this site was a great inspiration and support to me and I am truly addicted.

Your cakes are very pretty - better than mine are and I've gone through all 3 Wilton levels and am on Fondant and Gumpaste right now. Hang in there.
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