Feeling Like A Seesaw

Decorating By flayvurdfun Updated 6 Mar 2005 , 4:09pm by m0use

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flayvurdfun Posted 3 Mar 2005 , 8:28am
post #1 of 15

Today I must say I feel like a seesaw with my decorating! icon_razz.gif One minute I am saying oh yeah I can do these cake decorating thing, and then the next cake I see I am saying to myself I am out of their league! I know the solution to do this.... keep on trying! So I will!

14 replies
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tcturtleshell Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 12:10am
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I love decorating cakes!! I just love it!!!

The hard part for me is baking a really nice cake & leveling it even on all sides! Now I have wanted to say forget it & have wanted to go out & get a undecorated cake from Walmart & decorate it. The baking is the hardest part. It mainly has to do w/ my oven! I have a small oven & the temp is always messed up on it! One day I'll bake a cake for exactly 30 min. then the next time I am baking it an hour on the same temp as the day before! !! Go figure!!

As for the decorating I will never get bored w/ it!!!! I love doing that part the best!!!! I've not had a hobby other then gardening so this is so fun for me!!!!! It's March & I haven't even started on my garden because I'm so busy w/ cakes!! I'm not even worried about it!!

Cakes will be with me for a long, long time!!!!

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suzyqqq27 Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 5:09am
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It's March & I haven't even started on my garden because I'm so busy w/ cakes!! I'm not even worried about it!!

This made me laugh so much. I had to look at your location and then I understood. I live in Canada and we're still buried under 3 feet of snow and it's below freezing outside and you're talking about gardening...like March is the time to start.

Too funny,
Suzanne M.

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flayvurdfun Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 5:56am
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I think that is the only part I dislike about it too... baking on.... the oven here is just like tc cant regulate it.... I was told I have a problem with it because I clean it too much... and the fact that it is an american style oven running in europe.... it has german plug 220 v, but american style heating........ either way thats the thing I think.... other then not wanting to have to eat so much cake. Dont know enough people to give it to them...

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diane Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 10:33am
post #5 of 15

i wanted to quit when i first started, and i still say that every time a cake doesn't come out right, but when i do a really good job and it comes out great, it makes me want to bake, bake, bake!!!

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Tuggy Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 11:42am
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I really thinking about to quit, when I´m really satisfied with the cake and the customers start arguing about the color (which might be a little bit to dark, to pale etc.) or that the bride on top hadn´t just the right hair-style ... And than comes a day when the cake is just 80 % that good and the couple praise it like a masterpice icon_confused.gif
So my family just motivates me to go on and start showing me cakes I did 10 years ago, so I can see how I have developed myself and then I`m back thinking that cake decorating is the best job ever icon_biggrin.gif

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briansbaker Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 12:53pm
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You know I have the same problem. I have family members that seem to find every flaw in my cakes. Rather it be the taste or the design. But I look at it like this If they could have done better well dang it then do it! icon_mad.gif I do my best and that is all I can do. I am never satisfied with anything I finish. I guess I am looking for something perfect every time. Just think like this. If you look at it and think I would be glad to get a cake of this size decorated with my likings and at no extra charge I would be very happy. I have been looking at cakes shops here around me. I believe that I am undercharging everyone. I use my 11*3 rectangle pan or my 14*3 round pan. I do any character they desire (even exact character from invitations on Frozen transfers) and I only charge 25-30 bucks. I just started charging people. My cakes use to be the donated ones. I don't charge that much because I am not a bakery. So I don't want to charge a bakery price. Hmmm I think I went off the subject here.. icon_redface.gif Sorry, But my answer is NO I never want to give up. (maybe throw the cake to the wall, but never give up) I get nervous at times, but every cake I make I have enjoyed baking even though sometimes I am not satisfied with them. I know I did my best!

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MomofThree Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 2:20pm
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I'm just getting started, but I do know how I feel. I will spend some time practicing flowers or do a cake an think, oh yeah I'm getting the hang of it. Then another time things won't turn out the way I like - I see every flaw! Or the finished design doesn't look like what I visualized and I think "What am I doing? Am I wasting my time here?"

I have been very fortunate in that most of my cakes so far have been for family and they are all very supportive and encouraging. My first wedding cake is coming up - my younger sister's! I wouldn't have even invested the in expanding this hobby if she didn't have faith in me.

Now, a note for those who said they are having trouble regulating the temperature in their ovens. When an oven has uneven temperature I have heard that you can take a rectangular pizza stone and set it directly on the element on the bottom of the oven and it will even out the temperature in the oven.

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stuttgartkim Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 2:21pm
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There are times when I feel very frustrated (read my post "Awful Customer") with the customers, as well as the cakes. When I started, oh so many years ago, I tended to only see the FLAWS. A border that wasn't perfectly straight or maybe had a shell or two that weren't pefect. I noticed every air bubble in the top, every rose that wasn't picture perfect.. and I DO mean PERFECT. In fact, I stopped decorating altogether for a few years because I couldn't stand the negative feelings I was generating. Everyone raved, but of course, I thought they were just being polite. What helped me was working in a bakery (I've worked in 3). I didn't have time to worry about PERFECT because I had 20 - 30 cakes to get out everyday. Don't get me wrong, I do the absolute best that I can on every cake, but there has to be an acceptable level of made-by-hand imperfection. I guess that the best way to put it is that I learned to see the forest as a whole and to not inspect the bark and leaves on every tree. Relax, give yourself a break and enjoy yourself!!
- Kim

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CarolAnn Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 2:45pm
post #10 of 15

Okay, it sounds like to me like we need to invest a little bit of $ in oven thermometers and cake levelers. And unless you are scrubbing the heck out of the heating element itself I don't see how cleaning it often should be affecting how your oven heats. I buy only cake pans with straight sides, and use baking strips around the sides on the big ones. I've bought some and also made my own from an old towel. That strips make them bake straight up and not dome so much. Using the right amount of batter or a tad more fills out the pan better and then I use my leveler and walla, nice and flat on top. And darn... the part I take off the top is the really moist part I really like.

Get an oven thermometer and stick it in there to see how off your oven is and whether the temp varies during a normal baking period. Mine was off by 25 degrees for a while and I got a new thermometer to monitor it and then my hubby adjusted the thingy inside and it's cured. If you can't adjust it yourselves you ought to be able to adjust your control knob up or down to get the thermometer to read where you need it to bake. I did that for along time with my old stove and had to almost retrain myself to believe the temp reading when I got my new one.

As far as the critical ingrates are concered, boy, there just has to be one in the bunch, doesn't there? I am a perfectionist and my own worst critic. My family can't even see the flaws I worry about. LOL

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GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 7:46pm
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I still get frustrated But that's normal. I've always said cake decorating is just as much of an art form as painting oils or sculpting rocks. However, ours goes a bit further than that. We have to make other's happy with our art and it's instant gratification. Ours is made for a purpose and has to be used rather quickly. So we also have to "serve" customer's instant requests and responses. I understand painters do also.. but not in the same time frame we do.

So since we are also cs agents, we are perfectionist on top of being creative. Not always a good combination.

I have learned to look at a cake the way a customer would- not just through my eyes.

And never ever ever ever ever tell a customer (or family) member what it is you don't like about your cake first. Don't feed their thoughts. Just respond to what they offer... and never negatively by agreeing with them. Just say, "I'm getting so much better at that technique. I can't wait to make the next one." This way you're placing a positive thought in their mind, not confirming the negative. You are silently (and in a non-confrontation manner) telling them, "I know I'm not perfect... but I'm getting better every day!"

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CarolAnn Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 10:04pm
post #12 of 15

I agree Dawn, I never ever ever point out flaws to a customer. Most of the time it's me being too critical of my own work. I haven't had any complaints yet so I'm not worried. You meet all kinds of people in this world and when you have a product to sell you're bound to come accross some of the doozies. LOL My grown daughter and husband are the only ones who hear about my concerns. She is a constant encouragement and loves it when I practice because I always do it with real cakes and of course we always share. My oldest granddaughter Morgan (5 yrs old) doesn't like cake but when I make a decorated cake she tells me I make the best cakes in the whole world and eats as much as I'll let her have. With that kind of encouragement what more can I ask for??

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MrsMissey Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 10:38pm
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Originally Posted by flayvurdfun

Today I must say I feel like a seesaw with my decorating! icon_razz.gif One minute I am saying oh yeah I can do these cake decorating thing, and then the next cake I see I am saying to myself I am out of their league! I know the solution to do this.... keep on trying! So I will!

I think we all feel that way sometimes....but then we just get over it and move on! I also agree that we are our own worst critics! I have been fustrated at times but there are even more times when I am not...so I guess that's why I keep plugging along at this craft! All in all...I absolutely love doing this. I love trying new techniques, new recipes, new products...the list goes on! Don't get discouraged...every cake is just a new opportunity!

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tcturtleshell Posted 5 Mar 2005 , 5:07am
post #14 of 15

Your so funny Suzyqqq27!!! icon_lol.gif

Sorry your still having snow icon_wink.gif It is time to start gardens here. I usually have my garden planted by Good Friday. It comes very early this year so it won't hurt if I wait a little while longer to get the garden going.
We don't get the normal 4 seasons in Louisiana.... we get sun, humidity, rain & more humidity!! We do have cold weather but not much. Today the temp was in the high 60's & much sunshine! Very nice~ BUT I was inside baking cakes~

As for my oven..... I've tried changing the temp... tried a thermometer & the thermometer read 220*. It never got over that temp, so after 30 min. I gave up. I figured that one was bad.

Now I'm fixing to vent... please be patient w/ me this might be a little long............. icon_smile.gif Today I baked all day. I baked a 16" round cake. Used a flower tip in the middle of the cake & used the cake levelers. It took 1 hour & 45 min. to bake that cake!!!! I had 2 that size to make!! Next I baked a 14" & that took 1 hour & 30 min. That one started burning because I left the room. I was tired of watching my cakes bake! I had to sit down sometimes!! Then I baked another 16" that one came out perfect. It only took 1 hour & 10 min. to bake. Then I did another 14" & that came out perfect but took an hour. I had batter left over so I made a 10" square cake & that one burned a little on top..... Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! I started baking at noon today.......... I finally got everything done (leveling, wrapping up & freezing & cleaning, except never got around to sweeping) at 9PM!!!!!!!!!!! That was just plan exhausting!!!!!!!!!!! My husband & I have talked about getting a new stove. Tonight when he came home from FD training he was measuring the space where the stove would go. He said we ARE getting a new stove maybe by next week!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so happy!!!!!!! I am soooooooo happy!!!!!!!!! The cakes I baked today were for my practice wedding cake. I would love to have the new stove before I have to make the real one!!!!!! Ya'll keep your fingers crossed that I find one I like before then! Any suggestions on what type I should get. Let me know~

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m0use Posted 6 Mar 2005 , 4:09pm
post #15 of 15

Get one of those nice gas stoves that have 6 burners across the top.
Now personally I prefer cooking and baking with gas because the temp seems to stay more consistent. But there are people who prefer electric. I have an electric stove right now only because it came with the house that we rent.
Remember to make sure that you can fit your largest cake pan in the oven icon_wink.gif

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