We are our own worse critics, yes, and sometimes, in my experience, this can get 'over the top'! I stress. I pick. I criticize my work until it's 5am and I've re-baked and re-decorated.
Just last week I let a BC cake go at a discount cuz I didn't have time to re-bake and just couldn't smooth it well etc. Her Hubby picked it up and when he got home she promptly paypaled me the amount I discounted since she felt it was perfect and I was clearly far too much of a perfectionist: what a doll! In the end she booked another cake as well as 2 of her friends....so I guess the cake that brought me to tears wasn't so bad...
How the heck do you not drive yourself mad?! Ack!
I'm the same way! I see things no one else can see, even if I point out the flaws!
I constantly have to remind myself that I am not a professional, I am a still learning amatuer. And that I have to stop comparing myslef to people who have beeen doing this for years.
It helps that my family and friends are super supportive. (they claim that it is not only because they keep getting to eat my efforts.)
It also helps to look back on the first cakes I ever did and see how far I have come and think how much better I'll be a couple years from now.
You have to remember, you are looking at a cake from mere inches away for hours if not days on end. OF COURSE you're going to see every flaw!!! At the venue, do the people do that?? NOOOOOOOO!! They look at it from a distance of a few feet for a few seconds. If you can get the overall excellence in the look, you've succeeded. I'll give you a little tip -- I talked to a big name in the biz once upon a time and they told me "there are NO perfect cakes, NO NOT ONE! The difference between the amateurs and the pros are the pros know how to cover the flaws."
Take a butterfly for example -- gorgeous little creatures, all fluttering about... BUT, you catch one and look at it under a microscope -- YUCK, YUCK, and MORE YUCK!!! You can see EVERY little thing about them and it's NOT pretty!
So lighten up already, do the best you can, learn from it, make notes and try again. YOU WILL GET THERE!!!!
Its hard to step back on some things. (geesh, look how long we spent on our hair in the morning and then slam down our brush and threaten to shave it all off, all the while hubby is exasperately saying "you look FINE! Let's GO already!" )
What helped me in this regard was the realization that no matter what I made on a cake, the people receiving it had NO CLUE how to do what I did. They didn't know how to make a cake flat on top ("You cut it off? That's IT?"), how to pipe a twisted rope border, how to make a buttercream rose or mold one out of tootsie rolls! No matter how bad *I* thought it looked , it was WAY better than anything they would have done. And that mental comparison made it all better for me!
An-n-n-n-n-dddddd, I have those one or two cakes of mine that turned out really bad and I think "well, it looks better than THAT one did!"
I always figure that anyone who is qualified to critique a cake I spent HOURS on, should have made it themselves rather than pay me to do it.
If you're actually looking for a technique to be less hard on yourself there are two things you can try:
1) Take a deep breath and step away from the cake. Go in another room, watch a little TV for 10 minutes. Call your mom...whatever. After a while I get sensory overload with my cakes and taking a break from them really gives you a better perspective.
2) Take a picture and look at it from the picture view. That is what was mentioned above when someone mentioned that people won't be inspecting the cake. They get a snapshot. I'm always amazed at how much better my cakes look in pics than in person but more than likely the pic is what everyone else sees.
I obsess but I DO NOT redecorate or rebake unless the issue is severe...like the cake split in half or something. It is costing you double the work and double the money every time you second guess yourself. Be strong and trust in your ability. And I did look at your photos and your work is really good. I bet the first version of all those cakes you rebaked were really good as well
I still remember how everyone just raved about this cake I did for a graduation party and let's just say the word I would use was "amaturish". It had a big bulge, cakes were not centered on each other, proportions were not quite right. To this day when I see the family it was for, they all still talk about it and all I think is "how embarassing".
I repeat....step away from the cake
Ack double post!
Hehe, you're all dolls.
I'm very very new (about 3 months in) but I try to act like I'm not and don't want my cakes to tell on me: lol!
Hopefully I'll relax with time.