It happened … That ‘one cake’. The one you absolutely HATE working on. Before agreeing to make this cake I should have asked the theme. Sure enough – when I heard, there was an internal groaning noise that reverberated down to my very core.
I procrastinated … and procrastinated. Then procrastinated some more! I thought if I worked on some of the small fondant elements maybe I’d get enthused. But enthusiasm did not ensue. Thought it would happen when painting the decorations. But nope … not even a glimmer of excitement.
Surely it would happen when I was baking the layers. But nope … nothing. I’ve dreaded this cake every step of the way. I’ve not been this way with any others. Even when wrought with difficulties … those I swore at like a drunken pirate (I’m guessing drunk pirates swear – tho I have no practical experience). Even when doing more difficult cakes - I enjoyed learning new things and finding solutions to problems I was encountering.
But these cakes (birthday & smash cake) have felt like a chore from day one. Tonight is torting, filling / frosting, and final decorating. I can hardly wait to box them up and get them out of my sight.
So how many others experience these episodes? And has anyone ever just said “Nope … can’t do that cake … it bores me and a I hate the theme.” Perhaps a bit more tactfully than that. Maybe a nice “I don’t think I’m the best person to create that and I wouldn’t want you to be disappointed on your special day.” (better?)
I say, That doesn't sound like something I would want to do! Just be honest. I have told people, No, I don't want to sculpt your motor scooter. No, I don't want to make a dart board. Life is too short to make an ugly, boring, cake. I like to make pretty, artsy cakes. Period!
You know we gotta know what you hate so much!
CindiM ... I really must try that approach from now on!
ElizabethsCakeCreations ... I'm a little ashamed to admit it .................. Butterflies. YES ... I really dislike BUTTERFLIES... There - I've said it. They creep me out. I don't find them pretty ... I don't find them whimsical ... I just find them strange and buglike - Even in fondant form. ICK!!! Gosh I hate this cake project. lol
Too bad, but luckily they aren't in that many cakes. You can probably easily avoid them in the future. Can't wait to see the cake!
You always have the right of refusal, but is this a job or a favor? If it's a job just make sure you're getting paid enough to make it worth your time to do it. Business is about providing a service and getting paid, you don't have to love it. If it's a favor it's completely up to you. If you have that big of an aversion to the subject matter you can honestly tell them, "I don't really like butterflies so I don't feel like I could do a good job for you."
Pastrybaglady - Oh I could never do this as a job ... It's strictly a hobby. I only do this as favors for close friends. If it were strictly a business (and profitable), I'd crank out creepy butterfly cakes all day long.
On a bright note, the thing is finished and out of my hands. I was not happy with it, but the recipient is thrilled, so I guess that is all that counts. Now time to do a FUN CAKE!!! I feel that something with a 'steampunk' look will be fun to practice different techniques on. :-)
I refuse cakes I have no "feeling" for, or sense a big possible problem with. I also have some personal reservations about doing "disgusting" looks, or anything live-person body-part (boobs, sleeping babies, bellies, and such). And very much I try to avoid time constraints, and insist on ample time (3+ weeks) before committing to a project, politely explaining why I can't take on a cake request a week before the party. I mean, politely, I try to explain that some things take a lot longer to design, make supports for, sculpt, etc. People simply do not know sometimes, what is involved, or how expensive something cake-y can be. If I indeed have some time, but not plenty, I suggest a simpler design, or to look for another area baker than maybe able to fill a short-notice need for more elaborate cakes. I just tell the person that I appreciate their interest, but I do not wish to produce an unsatisfactory (to my taste, and to their disappointment) cake just because I will be working under serious time constraints, or plainly with absolute lack of enthusiasm for a requested design. Usually, people understand, sometimes I get a "you're crazy", but it does not bother me any more.
Okay, I will admit it. I've been decorating cakes since '91, and over time there were a couple of occasions when at the time of committing to the cake I was all in and had wonderful ideas. Then the inspiration faded and I became uninspired, unmotivated, and had to really force myself to keep the commitment. I was faced with the "fake it 'till you make it" mode and forced myself to get started and pushed myself to complete the cake. So, take comfort in knowing you are not alone. I think a couple of cakes over 15 years is a pretty good record.