And Then The Arms Fell Off... (Long)

Decorating By HeatherWantsCake Updated 10 Sep 2009 , 12:42am by HeatherWantsCake

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HeatherWantsCake Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 12:43am
post #1 of 31

Hi! Is it okay if I just whine for a minute or two? icon_sad.gif I'm slowly losing my mind and wrecking my cake and I figured if there's anywhere I'll find people who understand...

Anyway, weeks ago I agreed to do a cake for a friend/co-worker. It's the most lead-time I've had on any of the cakes I've done and I've spent hours dreaming up design elements, figures and decorative touches for this cake. Dreaming them up, yes.. actually working on them? Not so much.

So, now the cake is due on Friday. I have a day job and just started working on the figures for this cake Monday evening. They turned out pretty well, but I couldn't figure out how to do hair. (I did ask my coworker if her and the family might consider all shaving their heads bald before Saturday .. no dice. icon_wink.gif ) Tonight I was going to work on the log cabin. I've got about 5 different ideas in my head on how I might be able to do that .. none of which I'm entirely sure how to execute. I eventually decided I'd worry about the cabin tomorrow and give my people some hair. After more or less figuring out how to do hair, ready to attach it, I picked up one figure and an arm broke off. Then the other arm. Then both legs. Oy. Two out of my four figures are now quadrouple amputees with somewhat messy graft reattachments and kind of unfortunate hair.

ANd I still have no cabin. And tomorrow I have to bake the cakes and make my bc. After weeks of dreaming of this cake, I'm now dreading it.

And I'm doing it for free. icon_cry.gif

30 replies
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panipuri Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 12:58am
post #2 of 31

I find a quick and pretty fail proof "glue" is melted candy melts - it helps to hold the pieces together for a few minutes till it glues together.
You are not alone in dreaming of elements but not getting down to execution. You might want to use pirouettes stuck together with candy melts for a quick log cabin.
If you need to trim them, use a serrated knife slowly.
Hope that helps some.

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CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 12:59am
post #3 of 31

Had a bit of a chuckle as I was reading ... could picture the arms and legs falling off, the bald family. icon_lol.gif

Are you using any kind of anchor for the limbs? Sometimes you need to stick little bits of toothpick into them so they stay put.

For the log cabin, I would make it out of either all gum paste or a 50/50 with fondant. Roll out the pieces, let them dry a bit, then stack using dowels. You may have to put the holes thru first, before the drying starts.

HTH. And good luck.

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HeatherWantsCake Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 1:11am
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Thanks for the suggestions, and for the shoulders to whine on.

I hadn't anchored my limbs. I've never needed to before, but I've only made one, and I did him all in one shot and as he was intentionally bald, I didn't have to come back after and try to add hair (while extremely frustrated and more than a little tired). Note to self: Be gentle with the poor bald marshmallow people. icon_redface.gif

I've been trying to avoid making the cabin out of gumpaste because it seemed like a kind of monumental undertaking.. I'm realizing it probably will wind up being the easiest way to go. Panipuri, what's a pirouette? (Other than a pretty ballet twirl, none of which this cake is inspiring me to perform icon_lol.gif ) Maybe I could use those thick pretzel sticks with candy melts... hm.. (See? Really trying to avoid the gumpaste. LOL)

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ebear Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 1:17am
post #5 of 31

Hi there..Have you seen the Oreo sipper cookies? The pirouttes kind of look like that. Does that help? Maybe if you do a piroutte dance you'll get more inspiration.. icon_lol.gif


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HeatherWantsCake Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 9:14pm
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Just wanted to say thanks again for the suggestions and for listening yesterday.

Went to work this morning and told the coworker, who the cake is for, all about snapping the arms off "her" and her gumpaste children while affixing their hair and she thought it was hilarious. (Started to type "she laughed her head off" but don't want to jinx her gumpaste counterpart even more! LOL)

I failed to mention, in my whine last night, that I also made a bear. It's a hunting and fishing camp and her son just "got" his bear for the season, so I figured I'd make the bear .. well .. uh.. dead. So, my little gumpaste bear is laying on his back, all four legs straight up in the air, little pink tongue lolling out the side of his mouth, white gp eyes with little black exes painted on .. sort of cute, actually. Also, unfortunately, sort of looks like a big dog. A black lab, maybe. A dead one. Yikes. Told my coworker/customer about that, too. She howled some more and said "That's okay, we don't have any black labs at camp. It'll be great."

Gotta love it.

After a little lunch time Bulk Barn shopping spree, I'm armed with pretzel logs, candy melts and a renewed sense of fun, and am off to build a cabin. thumbs_up.gif

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dorie67 Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 9:35pm
post #7 of 31

No better way to re-group then to have a good laugh, do a little shopping and get right back to it! icon_smile.gif I'm sure it is going to turn out great, can't wait to see the picture. princess.gif

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Cake_Karen Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 9:50pm
post #8 of 31

I always use small pieces of spaghetti to attach any limbs as it is edible. I also use Gum Arabic for my glue.

GL and post a picture once its done I would love to see the end result.

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krissycupcakes Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 10:02pm
post #9 of 31

atleast your at the point of laughing!!!!! remember its all good fun till someone looses an eye (no one has lost an eye yet? right? ) hahahahahaha i had to !!! but im sure it will turn out great cant wait to see what you make!!

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LaBellaFlor Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 10:18pm
post #10 of 31

I so want to see the dog, I mean bear.

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HeatherWantsCake Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 10:58pm
post #11 of 31
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

I so want to see the dog, I mean bear.

Just for you.. let's call him Fred. Poor, dead Fred. icon_biggrin.gif


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Jayde Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 11:33pm
post #12 of 31

If you go to youtube and do a search for Aine2 she has lots of figure tutorials that break down the steps of figure making.

I use Tylose powder and water to make a "glue" that holds figure pieces together, but I always stick a toothpick or a piece of dried spaghetti in the body to securely attach the head to the body. I have never had troubles with arms and legs falling off yet.

As for your log cabin, you can use any type of straw-like shaped cookie like a pirouette or any of those breakfast cereal flavored straws, covered with melted chocolate and stacked would give you a nice log cabin effect. Also brown fondant (add tylose powder to give you extra drying power) roughly rolled into a sausage like shape, stacked (with that same 'glue') and left to dry would give you a similar result.

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LaBellaFlor Posted 2 Sep 2009 , 11:33pm
post #13 of 31


I love it! I think it looks like a bear & it look so funny that its cute! That is just so aweful! LOL!

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xstitcher Posted 3 Sep 2009 , 12:00am
post #14 of 31

The tongue's just perfect!!!!! It looks like he's playing dead icon_lol.gif

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HeatherWantsCake Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 12:53am
post #15 of 31

Here's the finished cake. I'm basically happy with it.. happy it's DONE, that's for sure. icon_biggrin.gif There are more pictures in my album. I kind of love the expression on the "live" bear's face!

The log cabin is kind of a mess and it feels like there's something missing from the "beach" area, but.. whatever. It's done and I know they'll love it.


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glendaleAZ Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 1:11am
post #16 of 31

Your story was so funny. Thanks for the laugh.

For my figures, I use MMF with gum paste powder added. I glue them together with Royal Icing. But, Iâve also used just water and MMF watered down to make a paste. Royal Icing works best for me.

I think you did a great job on the cake, and the story behind it added to the enjoyment of viewing it.

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kel58 Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 1:18am
post #17 of 31

Thanks you for giving me a good laugh today! Your posts were hilarious. The first time i tried firgures i didnt know you were supposed to hold them together. Well I picked them up the next day and all the animals limbs fell off. I didn't have as much of a sense of humour about it as you do. Great job on the cake, im sure your co-worker will love it.

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antonia74 Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 1:28am
post #18 of 31

What an awesome cake! thumbs_up.gif

Love the "oh crap!" expression on the living bear's face. (I think he's ready to run home, pack up all his hunny pots and boot it out of town.)

What's with the numbered flags? (Kinda reminds me of a crime scene on an episode of CSI. Does it have something to do with the recent take-down of the bear? icon_lol.gif Evidence? Blood-spatter? DNA? I'm confused, but I likey.)

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arnab Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 1:46am
post #19 of 31

I laugh so loud that my neighbors might think I am crazy. This story is hilarious, the way you tell it. Your cake is beautilfull, It came out great.

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HeatherWantsCake Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 1:50am
post #20 of 31

Thanks, gang. icon_biggrin.gif

The numbered flags - apparently they play something called "tennis golf" (Like frisbee golf but with a golf club and a tennis ball, they tell me. Yeah. That clears things right up. icon_rolleyes.gif ) and have little numbered signs like this on the grounds to indicate the "holes" for their golf game. I don't get it either, but apparently the people at the camp will.

Personally, I shall from here on out think of them as crime scene evidence markers. Good call, Antonia! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

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LaBellaFlor Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 2:05am
post #21 of 31

I think the cake came out cute and is hilarious!

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xstitcher Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 3:48am
post #22 of 31

I think they whole cake came out great. The beach looks great as is but maybe what your thinking of is a little sand (brown sugar mixed with white makes a nice combo or you could use graham crackers or whatever would work crumbled up to give you the colour your going for).


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just_for_fun Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 7:24pm
post #23 of 31

All body parts are attached, crime scene markers set up, expressions on all figures (human and animal) are adorable. Love the cake. The cabin looks so "cabin-y". I'm sure they'll love it, even if they would be paying for it! and I'm glad you were able to laugh at it during the stressful times.

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Sassy74 Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 7:41pm
post #24 of 31

What a great story! The finished product came out so cute that I'm sure your co-worker quickly forgave you for your experiments with her anatomy! Love the little "x's" on the dead bear's cute!

I recently did a cake with the figure of a friend, and he fell apart on me a few times WITH toothpicks in his limbs. I was just hoping he would survive the trip to the venue. Ahhh, the memories...

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HeatherWantsCake Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 10:08pm
post #25 of 31

My friend/customer and her kids just picked up the cake. They loved it. Despite my insistance that this was a no-charge/barter cake (we'd been out to the resort earlier in the summer and they wouldn't accept money for a boat rental), she slipped me a $50 Michael's gift card, saying she knew how much time and effort I put into the cake. Awwww!

I miss the cake now, though. D'you guys ever get that way? No matter how many times the cake drove me to 'fling-buttercream-against-the-wall' levels of insanity, I'm always kind of sad to part with them. And, if I'm there when it's being served? I can't cut it. I can't even watch. icon_redface.gif

I think I've got some kind of attachment disorder. icon_razz.gif (In fact, evidenced by the way cake seems to attach itself to my butt immediately upon ingestion and never ever leave, I'd say it's a sure thing. Sigh)


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mightydragon663 Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 10:38pm
post #26 of 31

I know exactly what you mean. I am taking a "Dumbo" cake to a friend tonight, and I have actually entertained the thought of taking Dumbo off and just giving her the cake without him. But, since the cake looks like C%#p, I guess I'll leave it. I am going to miss having him on the counter.
I loved reading about your cake adventure. It was a hoot! The cake is adorable too.

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mommyle Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 10:50pm
post #27 of 31

OMG!!! You are WAY too funny!!! I LOVE this cake! And your story is hysterical!!!

I have family in TBay. If I ever have occasion for a cake, can I contact you???? You do great work!

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HeatherWantsCake Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 11:05pm
post #28 of 31

Absolutely, Mommyle! icon_biggrin.gif And thanks!

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DuncanHinesgirl Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 11:35pm
post #29 of 31

The cake is totally cute! We are always so much more critical of our work than anyone else.

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CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 11:41pm
post #30 of 31

So totally cute! I love the dead bear. Much better than the teddy bear I tried to make for my great-niece's christening cake. It looked like an Ewok. icon_rolleyes.gif I ended up just using my mini animal cookie cutter and doing a 1D bear in the corner.

BTW: You can find pirouettes at the grocery store, WallyWorld (Walmart), Zellers. They're usually in a round tin can. Very good, esp. with tea and coffee. You can even use them to circle a cake ... or so I've heard. They don't last long enough in my house to find out!

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