General Opinions Please-

Decorating By schustc Updated 23 Mar 2011 , 4:49pm by cake_architect

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schustc Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 4:10pm
post #1 of 19

Good afternoon everyone. I finished my 3D armature cake and the party was this weekend. Had some issues with the fondant - I didn't realize how hard it would be to cover such a big structure - and- some other things that were flawed that need some work. This thing was 3 feet tall. It was only my 2nd real cake that would be considered custom. Anything prior to this, was the basic duncan hines mix with canned frosting. I did a elmo for my daughter's 2nd birthday last year, and this was her 3rd bday cake. I know it's not perfect (far from it) but I am trying to decide if I should keep going at it. i.e., if I have potential to move into this more seriously. I have a lot to learn, and need some better equipment I think - but - I just thought I'd ask for some honest feedback on the cake. I know it's amatureish - and I know there are problems with it - but do you think it's good enough for a beginner that I should keep working at it? or is it way to horrible and should I give up now.. .. Lol... thank you. Tina (I can't link to it as I am at work and can't pull it up, but it's in my photos - I only have 2).

18 replies
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foxymomma521 Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 4:25pm
post #2 of 19

I'm shocked to hear that this is only your second cake! You can't give up, you show far too much promise to become an excellent cake decorator!

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Unlimited Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 4:25pm
post #3 of 19

Wow! I'm impressed! I think it's really cute. If you could use a sharp knife (like X-acto) to trim up sharper lines on the number "3" and the lighter colored belly, it would be perfect. Congrats on a great cake!

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lissacarol Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 4:27pm
post #4 of 19

I definitely think you have the potential to move "seriously". Keep going and never give up! The more you do it the better you will become and the more confident you will become. Remember that your customer's opinions of your work is all that matters. We are all hardest on ourselves. I am my worst critic. Everyone also has their own style and their own techniques and to me there is no right or wrong way it is just "your way" and whatever works for you. Good luck!!

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all4cake Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 4:29pm
post #5 of 19

I think you did a great job on it...and I ain't just sayin' that to be nice.

Even if I weren't able to see it, I'd say you had potential to keep going because you recognize what you could've done to make the last one better and you being a member here shows you know where to go should you need help and after seeing it I can see you don't shy away from a challenge...

I have no doubt that each of your nexts will continue to get better.

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schustc Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 4:50pm
post #6 of 19

thank you everyone! as for the belly - oh I agree icon_sad.gif I ran OUT of green fondant, so had to make the yellow much bigger than I had planned. and the arms I thought looked great - until I put them on the cake and realized how BADLY i estimated the scale.. yuck! oh and issues with the weight of the RKT on the legs pulling the thighs down left little room for the feet - oh man. so much i messed up on this - but it was a great learning experience.

I'm not sure next time if I'd do rkt on the legs or head - might do styrofoam. truth is, the RKT had to set so long to harden so it wouldn't fall apart, it wasn't really edible anyhow so I don't see the advantage to using RKT. plus, for this size structure, I had to go through like 10 boxes of Rice Krispies and then the marshmallows - it wasn't cheap.

the head i think was the best feature - sigh - it still wasn't perfect but... ok.. truth is my daughter loved it, and the family thought it was great. but you know family - they will be nice so I wanted to get some real opinions from those in the 'know' so thank you so much again. I never knew how hard it was to do this sort of thing. I know NOW... icon_smile.gif

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jones5cm Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 4:59pm
post #7 of 19

I agree with all comments here; if you have the passion for caking, you will be successful at it and will continue to learn and get better with EVERY project! Happy cakin!!

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Marianna46 Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 5:22pm
post #8 of 19

By all means, keep on with this! I made cakes for the family for years and finally took the Wilton courses (helpful, but not totally necessary) and a few other courses, plus I found Cake Central, where I learned a ton of stuff (and still do every day!) and I've started looking all over the internet for tutorials on different things. Just keep at it, don't be afraid to experiment, take every cake as a learning experience and, above all, HAVE FUN WITH IT! You have a great future as a cake decorator!

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sweetcakesbyjen Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 5:30pm
post #9 of 19

Holy Moly!!!!!!!! lol... Definitely keep at it!

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sweetcakesbyjen Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 5:31pm
post #10 of 19

Holy Moly!!!!!!!! lol... Definitely keep at it!

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cakedout Posted 21 Mar 2011 , 5:45pm
post #11 of 19

icon_eek.gif There was NO way on God's green earth that I would have EVER considered doing something like this for only my 2nd cake!!!

You go girl!! thumbs_up.gif As everyone has said, please continue with this-you obviously have some natural talent in those hands! icon_lol.gif Please consider taking cake classes, if you haven't already. If Wilton is the only thing available *sigh* then take those, but I would recommend finding some more professional classes as well. this site is a wonderful place to learn, and if possible- join a local cake club, or your state's ICES chapter. The Days of Sharing and conventions are another wonderful place to rub shoulders with other decorators and learn from the best of them!

Another idea would be to get a job in a bakery (once you've got a few more cakes under your belt). You'll learn lots of quick tips and speed! ("Time is Money") From there you can move on to your own business- in home, perhaps. We're all here to help you thru the process of becoming a legal home kitchen! icon_smile.gif

Best of luck to you!

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schustc Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 11:52am
post #12 of 19

Thank you all!! I would love to do this MORE - i am limited on time however. My husband was laid off 3 yrs ago (almost) and he is home with our daughter. I work full time as a Database Developer so am the sole source of income. If I were a SAHM, I'd be reallllly into this more... as it is, it's rough when I get home as my little girl wants to spend time with me, so time is tight..

One day, either I will have more time to invest, or as my Daughter get's older I will have more time. I am sure I'm not alone in this!! With all the great people on here, I'm sure many of you have similar situations - t'aint easy!

thanks again to all of you - it's inspiring to know that people in the 'know' aren't telling me to pack my bags and hit the road... icon_smile.gif

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Christy0722 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 12:33pm
post #13 of 19

I have to agree with the others. I think you did a wonderful job and to take on a structure like that for your 2nd cake?!? WOW...I'm impressed!! icon_eek.gificon_biggrin.gificon_eek.gif

I have a friend who just started caking a few months ago and has fallen in love with it!! I keep reminding her of this......Everyone has to START somewhere...where you END UP is your decision!!

As long as you enjoy doing it and you're having fun.....Keep Caking!!!!! thumbs_up.gif

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schustc Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 4:27pm
post #14 of 19

Thanks again icon_smile.gif

I am curious about something. Assuming the cake was of better quality - (didn't have all the flaws) - a 3ft armature cake like this - does anyone have a CLUE what a retail value would be? Family and friends have given widely ranging numbers - and I've no idea. just curious. icon_smile.gif

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Marianna46 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 5:14pm
post #15 of 19

For a cake like this you would first have to take into account the number of people it would serve (there are charts like the one at that will tell you that). Most people have a per-serving price ($2.50-$4.00, say, depending on where you are). But then, for a cake like this, you would want to charge extra for all the construction work that went into it. It would be a bundle, believe me! Welcome to the legions of cake decorators who work at nights and on the weekends! I, thankfully, have just retired from my regular job so I can do this full time (that, plus my children have children of their own now!), but I know where you're coming from! Just do as much as you can for now. Things will change later on!

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cakeninja82 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 5:53pm
post #16 of 19

I think you did a great job for only your second cake.
I can offer some pointers for covering large 3-D cakes with fondant.
-It doesn't have to be all one piece or covered at the same time.
-Cover sections at a time and chill in between to cut down on finger prints,dents and smudges.
-If you need to cover up a seam use a bit of water and smooth the 2 pieces of fondant together,just like you would for clay.
-Your butterceam doesn't have to be perfect underneath but it does help to have smooth buttercream.
-It also helps to chill the cake prior to applying fondant. A nice cold and firm cake is easier to work with then a soft warm one, in my opinion.

Here is a slide show of a large cake I did, if you fast forward to 2:45 it shows the covering in multiple sections, it might be some help.

3-D cakes are generally priced higher then stacked cakes,mine start at $200 per cake and are priced individually according to detail.
For something that size I would probably charge close to $900.00
Hope that helps a bit.

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schustc Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 2:26am
post #17 of 19

oh wow!! that was AWESOME! where did you learn the painting technique? Is it just food coloring?

I am also curious about the pvc pipe in the cake - i did use it, but have been worried about the contact with the cake - varying opinions on it. I didn' tworry about it much in my cake as most of the pvc was covered with RKT that wouldn't be eaten (we only had 15 people at the party! this thing if all edible would have been a TON of cake/RKT) the center pipes I covered with plastic wrap before adding the cake. Also, I know people use styrofoam discs to sub for layers - I did 2 of those in the middle, and covered with freezer paper, taped on the bottom (not near the edible cake).. I had no idea what I was doing and was winging it most of the way..

oh and i LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea for the cake clay!! LOVE! I actually botched one of my cake layers, and ended up smooshing it and another into a larger pan to 'form' a layer. I thought it was unconventional, but it gave me the right shape and size, if a little more dense, and I didn't have to waste a layer. Then i saw this and was likle AH HA!!! ohh! this is all so exciting icon_smile.gif and funicon_smile.gif

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Marianna46 Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 4:27pm
post #18 of 19

Cool video, cakeninja! I learned a few new techniques and I love your slideshow presentation - terrific captions and music that makes you want to get up and decorate a cake! Thanks for posting it.

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cake_architect Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 4:49pm
post #19 of 19

cakeninja82- i love your cake! i saw it on the entries for threadcakes and it was my fav icon_biggrin.gif thanks a ton for sharing your painting technique, i'm super excited to try it!

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