Things I've Learned The Hard Way!

Decorating By marknrox Updated 5 Aug 2005 , 4:17am by tcturtleshell

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marknrox Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 1:56am
post #1 of 25

I posted my picture of the 50th Anniversary cake I made for my in-laws I think Sunday...I said I'd tell my story when I got somewhat rested. Im sorry this is so long, but so much went wrong with it that I just need to share.

I had been thinking about this cake for almost a year and was going to do a version of the purple heart cake in the 2005 yearbook that has the brushed embroidery on it, but decided I wanted to try my hand at fondant flowers instead. I also wanted to put a pretty fondant lace scallop border around the bottom as well. I saw a beautiful cake that magentaa23 had done and ordered the cutters. However, I ordered the wrong was too big. Same thing with the bead makers...ordered the first one too big. So I had to re-order the smaller ones. I bought the Wilton floating tiers cake stand for ease and quickness of set-up.

About three weeks before the big day (June 25th) I started making the roses. They came out surprisingly well for it being my first time. thumbs_up.gif I decided I'd make some calla lilies too. I figured I could incorporate the roses and callas into a pretty arrangement to put on the cake. I learned that the 24 gauge wire is really not stiff enough for them. 22 gauge works much better.

I took 3 days off from work to work on more flowers and wrap the wires, arrange the flowers into toppers, cut the borders and make the pearls. Then everything went to heck in a hand basket from there. icon_evil.gif

With my inexperience (Ive only been decorating for about 1 ½ years), I didnt realize that the bead cutters didnt cut individual beads. So I had to hand make them all, which really wasnt a big deal--only took me a couple of hours. I wanted them to be gold. Bought the gold luster dust it didnt stick to them. So I had some silver highlighter dust that I used for my tool belt cake and my husband suggested I try a little of that. I did and they turned gray. I tried to put more gold dust on them and it still didnt stick. So we tried to mist them with some water. What a mess. The whole sticky gray blob went into the trash. The border didnt come out like I had wanted either. I wanted to do a staggered 2-layer fondant lace border like magenta did. But the top layer took on the shape of the bottom layer and looked terrible. So it only had one layer of scallops with no beads. It still looked okay though. icon_redface.gif

The day Im baking the cakes, my Mom and I are trying to finish wrapping the flowers and they are like mush. The callas and the large roses are too soft and are smushing between our fingers. In a panic, I called my Wilton instructor to ask what I can do to get the flowers to dry. She said that in south Louisiana you cant use fondant for 3D decorations. You have to use gumpaste. Well.I hadnt taken that class yet. She said I could put them under a ceiling fan on high until the last minute and then wrap them, but that I needed a back up plan. icon_twisted.gif So off to Michaels I went to buy SILK flowers! I used my small roses and incorporated them into the silk ones and they turned out pretty. I ended up using the large roses and callas in the ivy & tulle surrounding the cake.

All was acceptable and could be dealt with. Saturday morning, my husband and I carefully loaded the car with the cakes and set off on the hour long drive to the hall. I dont know if any of you have been to Louisiana before, but our roads are HORRIBLE!!! We also had to go over several railroad tracks. icon_mad.gif I told my husband that the worst that could happen is the cake could crack down the middle and I probably could fix that. icon_cool.gif After all I had brought my supplies and some extra icing to do repairs if necessary. We got to the hall and unloaded the car. When I opened the box to the two smaller layers, they looked great for the most part-just a couple of small cracks. But when I opened the box to the 14 layer!!!!!!!!!!!!---the whole side of the icing had slid off and landed in a heap at the bottom. icon_evil.gif The next day I saw a thread that someone had started with the EXACT same problem due to railroad tracks. I guarantee you my repair job didnt look as good as hers! I had left my smoothing tools in my dishwasher. So that side became the back. The only other thing was the stand. It made my cake look like it was sagging and lopsided.

In the end, the flowers hid a lot of the imperfections and I survived. Im sorry this is so long, but I really needed to talk about it and hopefully, some one can learn from my mistakes.icon_redface.gif

24 replies
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unforgetable2u Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 2:12am
post #2 of 25

i am sooo sorry you had such a bad time with your cake BUT i do have to tell you i think it turned out beautiful and you should be very proud of yourself! GREAT JOB!!!!!! thumbs_up.gif

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KATE39 Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 2:13am
post #3 of 25


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edcjenv Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 2:19am
post #4 of 25

Just look at it this way, if your cakes are that beautiful after all that trauma and ruckus, what are you capable of without all of those pesky obstacles! You did an awesome job. I think you should get a pat on the back just for getting them to the party!

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marknrox Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 2:20am
post #5 of 25

Thank y'all soooo much. It really makes me feel better!

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beccal Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 2:21am
post #6 of 25

I would never be able to tell that you had a bad time with the cake and flowers if you hadn't told the story! It turned out beautiful, regardless of the problems you had. thumbs_up.gif

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beachcakes Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 2:28am
post #7 of 25

The cake is beautiful - you have great talent!

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momsandraven Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 3:32am
post #8 of 25

What a trooper you are!! Great job! So sorry you had to endure so much stress. I'm glad it's behind you now. icon_smile.gif

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traci Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 4:05am
post #9 of 25

The cake is gorgeous! I love the way you did the flowers! I bet nobody noticed anything....I think it looks great. Keep up the good work. thumbs_up.gif

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PolishMommy Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 1:45pm
post #10 of 25

The cake is beautiful! You really turned lemons into lemonade!!!

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AnnieT Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 2:14pm
post #11 of 25

In Jamaica we have a saying - "When trouble catch you, pickney shut fit you" Which means whenever you have real obstacles there is always a solution. Great job if you did not tell someone they would never know just looking. Keep up the good work.

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jscakes Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 5:32pm
post #12 of 25

No kidding great job!!! Looks great for what you described! The flowers turned out very pretty and look great on the cake!

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cakegal Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 5:43pm
post #13 of 25

Sorry to hear of your troubles...
Your cakes and flowers are "GORGEOUS"!!!!! And as far as the stand you used goes... they do lean down some...but that's the stand...NOT YOUR CAKES!!!
Beautiful outcome...I just love your flowers....WOW!!!
cakegal thumbs_up.gif

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KayDay Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 6:05pm
post #14 of 25 certainly stood the test of fire! I would say you are a pro now! After a bout like that and your cake looks simply can handle ANYTHING!

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Moviechick00 Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 6:15pm
post #15 of 25

WOW the cake turned out wonderful. You did a great job. Stress??? Whats that???? LOL I dont think anyone could tell that you had problems. Its a wonderful cake. Keep up the great work.

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marknrox Posted 2 Jul 2005 , 11:08pm
post #16 of 25

Wow! Thank you all for the nice complements. I really appreciate it!

icon_redface.gif <=blushing

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loree001 Posted 31 Jul 2005 , 7:49pm
post #17 of 25

Wow, looks great despite all your tribulation! I'm from southwest Louisiana, I had a wonderful 'dump truck cake' that I posted on the 3D area that was precious when left my house and melted when I got to the customers house. They loved it anyway and said it looked like I made it that way on purpose, but I could have cried. I notice someone said they use meringue powder to stabilize buttercream due to the heat, I think from now on I'll try this and I'll also remember to turn on my 'rear' air conditioner, as well as buying ice packs! Your cake was great!

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DesignsbyD Posted 31 Jul 2005 , 7:56pm
post #18 of 25

Sorry you went through so much....I have to say though you produced a gorgeous cake!

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gma1956 Posted 31 Jul 2005 , 8:01pm
post #19 of 25

The cake turned out great despite all your problems. Unfortunately, most of the time that is what we learn the most from. Keep up the good work.

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vitade Posted 1 Aug 2005 , 1:07pm
post #20 of 25

The cake is truly beautiful! I'm sure everyone there thought so to. I've come to learn that we put so much of ourselves into our work that sometimes it's physically and mentally exhausting. I probably would of had a meltdown faced with this many obstacles. You handled it great!


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ddog Posted 1 Aug 2005 , 6:28pm
post #21 of 25

this fellow louisiana girl can certainly sympathize... I think your cake was great....

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stephanie214 Posted 1 Aug 2005 , 7:04pm
post #22 of 25

Your cake is beautiful. Sorry that you went through so much.

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cakes_by_jess Posted 2 Aug 2005 , 1:59am
post #23 of 25

I think your cake look really good! Sorry for all your troubles but you did great!

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marv Posted 2 Aug 2005 , 2:05am
post #24 of 25

despite all the trouble, i think the cake is still beautiful! you did great!

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tcturtleshell Posted 5 Aug 2005 , 4:17am
post #25 of 25

Wow Roxanne! I just came across your story. You did go through a mess!! BUT you got through it & that's all that counts! The cake & flowers look great to me!! Your story sounds like what I go through when I'm baking. I really need more practice on that part of decorating!! I'm horrible at it! I'll have to post the cake I did today. It's definetly a disaster! That one is staying in the kitchen & not on the wedding cake table!!

Great Job ROXANNE!!!

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