I will admit that I only started making progress in May (couldn't smooth a cake until then, really couldn't make my own icing) -- but I bake so often (1-2 times a week) that I feel I should be making more progress than I am (I feel like I'm making none).
I look at my pictures and then see everyone else's on here, and it just makes me realize I'm so amateur and my cakes really are that awful, and I just get a sinking feeling. I enjoy decorating so much, but am just so discouraged.
I'm not an artistic person, so everything is that much more difficult for me. I took the Wilton course 1 and it did help me improve on some areas (haven't had slumping sides since, and some of my boarders have gotten better) -- and I'm starting Course 2 Monday (though with how I feel now, I'm ready to cancel and give up).
I did a golf cake for my step-dad's birthday (for today), and it's just been nothing but disaster after disaster.
Both layers of my chocolate cake ended up with big chunks missing because of sticking to the pan (which has never been an issue for me). Seeing I was about to freak out, my boyfriend's mom, thankfully, helped me remedy the situation by sticking the chunks back in (and thankfully the cake was salvageable even though it was still on the brink of breaking apart -- it still worked which was the only good thing to have come out of this).
Both layers of my carrot cake wouldn't even come out of the pan. It took 4 of us to get them out. Those were re-baked (which my boyfriend's mom did for me while I was at work to save me the time).
I made all of my icing/fillings. For the first time, I think my SMBC came out (at least, I think that's how it's supposed to come out...).
But when it came to decorating... and smoothing. The carrot cake's icing crusted beautifully (different BC than the chocolate) - though didn't taste as I expected it would.
Even though I made the BC for the chocolate cake the same that I do every time (without issue), it barely crusted. When I tried to smooth (via Viva -- the SMBC was a filling, not the icing), the icing just kept coming off. I made it the same way as I always do, yet, nothing worked. I don't get it. I even put it in the fridge to help get the icing firm enough to smooth, but it just still was not good enough. The Viva method is all I know right now. So now I have a cake that is not smooth at all -- I gave up because I figured it was better that way than ending up taking off the icing and have my cake fall apart on me (as a portion of it is already delicate).
After even putting on the remaining piping/decorations, it just looks awful. I don't even want to take a picture of it because I'm too embarrassed by it and disappointed in it. Actually I got the idea off another cake here and was very inspired and excited to do this one... but mine doesn't even make the cut. I was so upset by it last night that I just sat there crying as I decorated.
My boyfriend kept telling me it was the heat -- but I've worked in higher temps before and did not have this much issue with my BC (or baking -- though I think it was more humidity than heat as the humidity was beyond awful). And it wasn't even that (though it certainly did make it worse), but every cake I do is just awful, and it's very discouraging. Last nights cake just made me want to quit.
At what point do you decide that decorating is not your forte or keep practicing and hopefully something will click?