Sunday, February 27, 2011

Should've Done Sunday: Girly and Garish

I have a real debacle for this week's Should've Done Sunday. Let's go back in time 12, maybe 13 years. I was desperate to practice all the techniques I learned taking the Wilton courses, but I didn't have that many reasons to make cakes. I also wanted to build up a portfolio of cakes I had decorated to show people what I could do, but at that time I only had maybe six pictures. I knew that professionals sometimes used styrofoam as dummy cakes to decorate, so I scrounged around the house looking for some and manage to fashion what resembled a three tier cake with some careful trimming and glue.

I remember wanting to make an ivory wedding cake, but I didn't have any ivory icing color. For some inexplicable reason, I thought that just adding half a drop of pink would do the trick. Well, it didn't. Half a drop of pink makes... pink. What was I thinking? I'm not a fan of pink, as anyone who knows me will attest. But yet, here I was with however many recipes of icing colored pastel pink, so I had to go with it. Check out this monstrosity.
There are so many things wrong with this cake that I'm not even sure where to begin, but I'll point out the positives real quick so you guys don't think I'm just an over-critical control freak who can only focus on the negative aspects of any given situation. Even though it's true.

  • The roses are decent, and I like the pink and white combination. They could've been better arranged on the top, but for the most part I'm happy with them. 
  • I did a great job on the stringwork. I enjoy doing stringwork for some reason, I just don't get the chance to do it very often. Even the zigzag swags are adequate, and the drop strings are okay.
  • The icing, for the most, part is smooth. This is no small feat considering that proper cake dummies are made to be smooth, but I CUT this styrofoam to size, so the edges and sides were all jaggy with little styrofoam pellets sticking out and falling off. 
Okay, now for all the the things I should've done differently.

  • Even though this is styrofoam and very light, I should've put it on a proper board, covered in freezer paper or something, not a flimsy piece of whatever-that-is wrapped in aluminum foil. Ugh.
  • About the color. I should've added half-a-drop of pink to a small amount of icing rather than the entire batch. I would have realized then that my grand notion of making ivory from pink wasn't going to work and could have used plain white. Or, I should've gone the traditional route and just bought some ivory icing color.
  • I hate the top border on the bottom tier. It looks like I was going for an e motion border with a round tip, but I think it looks out of place when all the other borders are made with star tips.
  • The shells suck. Why are they going different directions? Not quite sure why or what was wrong with me that day, but I should've made them better or used a simple bead border instead.
  • My basketweave work on the top tier also sucks. Big time. This is what happens when you don't take the time to properly divide your cake or use spacer dots when making basketweave.
  • I think the sweet peas hanging over the edge of the top tier are supposed to help cover up the shoddy basketweave, but they're not all that well done either, so they look dreadful. The whole cake would look a lot better without the top tier, actually.
  • I'm not convinced about the my choice of green for the leaves. On the one hand, it is a nice contrast, but I really think it's too dark and I should've used a lighter shade.
  • I'm also on the fence when it comes to the mini drop flowers I used with the stringwork. There needed to be something there to hide where the strings meet, but now I'm thinking some drop beads or something a little more elegant would look better. Especially if I had used a simple bead border instead of those irregular and unsightly shells. 
Okay, your turn! What did I miss? Please feel free to be brutally honest here, as I truly hate this cake. I almost didn't even use it because I'm that embarrassed by it, so you don't have to worry about hurting my feelings. What else is wrong with this debacle of a design?

No comments: