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How do you keep from going crazy??

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I love making and decorating cakes, but when I HAVE to do it, I get so stressed and I feel like I am going crazy. I am trying to get started selling some cakes, but sometimes just the thought of it makes me so stressed I don't even want to do it anymore.

I made a pretty big cake Friday, for a luau party we were having Sat. (I will post pics when I get them developed!) It served about 80-90. It turned out really good, but it took me ALL DAY, and my kitchen was a disaster, I was tearing my hair out, I couldn't even stand for anyone to talk to me 'cause I was so intensely focused on decorating, then it got messed up driving to the party, I had to get dh to go home and get me some more icing and extra MMF pieces to replace ones that broke. It was awful!

I'm just worried that if I start doing this for a business, I will end up hating it! Do you all get like this too?

Melissa icon_surprised.gif
post #2 of 24
I understand exactly what you are feeling. I worry about "burn out"! I love cake decorating but I'm afraid that if I did it for a full time job, I'm afraid I would get burned out real quick! I too can't stand it when my kitchen gets a mess. It drives me nuts but it happens when you're decorating a cake. When I start doing a cake, I'm all excited but when it takes me into extra hours to get it completed I start getting P O'd and want to quit. So you are definately not the only one who feels this way. My biggest reward is the finished product and the final review by the customer!!!


Amy
post #3 of 24
Hi Melissa,
Decorating cakes can be very stressful for me because if the attention to detail I put into my projects. It's a one woman show as far as I'm concerned. By that I mean I want to be alone when I work. I want quiet, some music is fine sometimes, sometimes not. Doing cakes is very time consuming. Most non-decorators don't realize this. I get so focused when I work I forget to eat or drink. I've gotten my system worked out to where I have a minimal mess in my kitchen which cuts down on the stress because I hate the mess. For my big projects I break it up into days. Bake one day, make all icings the next and then ice and decorate the day before the event. Other times I'll make icings while cakes bake and set aside in tubs. I don't use butter or milk in my icing most of the time so I can let the tubs set out on the counter. It's just too nerve wracking for me to try and do everything in a day, and I'm usually uplate in the night working on things as it is. This works best for me. Everyone needs to work out a system that works for them. Doing cakes isn't the "piece of cake" many think. I love doing this but I want to keep it enjoyable for me while I make a pleasing product for my clients. When it stops being any fun I'll quit.

Do you use boxes to transport your cakes? I use cake boxes when I can, and get most of mine back, and have some nice strudy cake carriers from Wal Mart that lock shut and have good handles. I haven't has any mishaps when transporting but stuck my finger in the side of my firsy wedding cake while setting it up. UGH! It was easliy patched then concealed with the flowers, thank goodness. Yu just have to make sure you take along stuff to do the on the spot repairs that might come up. I haul along a lot of stuff to try and have about anything covered that might come along. It's sure worth lugging the stuff along. I hope this help some. At least you know you're not the only one wanting to pull your hair out. LOL
Take care and stick with it!!
"Life's tough, pilgrim. It's even tougher if you're stupid!" John Wayne
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"Life's tough, pilgrim. It's even tougher if you're stupid!" John Wayne
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post #4 of 24
Yes, definately stretch it over a few days if you don't already. I really would go insane if I did everything in one day. I have done that before, but don't recommend it!!! We'll be your lifeline if you've gone bezerk and numb while decorating!!! icon_biggrin.gif


Amy
post #5 of 24
Hi Melissa...as you can tell, you're not alone. It still takes me quite a while to decorate too but you get faster and faster with each cake. If you think about being a cake decorator as a profession (like at a good bakery), large cakes are usually completed in steps by more than one person. I think if you take each step as an individual project, it won't feel so stressful.
Birthdays are just nature's way of telling us to eat more cake.
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Birthdays are just nature's way of telling us to eat more cake.
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post #6 of 24
I just wish I had more cakes to do, so maybe that stressing out thing stops...it happens to me alot, but I figure its because I dont do enough of them!
post #7 of 24
hehe I've learned that stretching cake projects out into several days is the way to go! Seriously. I think of the baking and icing mixing as the "work" and the day I actually get to decorate is the fun part. And if that's all you have to worry about for the day, it's not so bad. Sure it gets stressfull, especially if you're trying something you've never done before, but if you reduce what you have to do on that day, you'll be in much better shape icon_smile.gif

I also hate to clean (especially those tips...ACK!) so I usually set aside some batter for a mini-cake and convince someone to do the cleaning for me in exchange for a yummy treat. Works like a charm icon_smile.gif
post #8 of 24
OH yeah to keep myself sane... I come on here!!!
post #9 of 24
Who said I was sane to begin with??? icon_lol.gif
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tabs

I think of the baking and icing mixing as the "work" and the day I actually get to decorate is the fun part. And if that's all you have to worry about for the day, it's not so bad. Sure it gets stressfull, especially if you're trying something you've never done before, but if you reduce what you have to do on that day, you'll be in much better shape icon_smile.gif

I also hate to clean (especially those tips...ACK!) so I usually set aside some batter for a mini-cake and convince someone to do the cleaning for me in exchange for a yummy treat. Works like a charm icon_smile.gif



I've always wanted to work in a bakery where someone else does the "work" and I get to do all the fun!
Birthdays are just nature's way of telling us to eat more cake.
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Birthdays are just nature's way of telling us to eat more cake.
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post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa

I've always wanted to work in a bakery where someone else does the "work" and I get to do all the fun!



I know right! Doing everything is a lot of hard work! I have to put my life on hold just to make someone a cake :p
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
I didn't use a cake box, and I KNOW I should have, but I just didn't take the time to get one. I also forgot to attach my cake boards to the large cake board the whole thing was resting on, so it was sliding all around. It was my worst transporting experience ever! From now on I will always use a cake box!

I guess once I start making more cakes I will have a 'system' and it won't be so stressful. I am still a beginner and still trying to find my groove! lol.

Melissa icon_smile.gif

BTW, I can't wait to post pics of my pig cake! I was really happy with it, even after I had to fix it, it came out great, and everyone complimented it. At church yesterday morning our pastor even mentioned it from the pulpit, about how neat it was and he'd never seen anything like it. Hee hee. (The party I took it to was one I was in charge of for our church)
post #13 of 24
Oh, one more thing about transporting cakes. The rubber mesh matting you can get for lining shelves and drawers etc, come in a roll, is wonderful to put under your cake boxes, containers, whatever to prevent them from slididng. You can place your cakes in the best containers but if they can slide around at all during transport you can still have a disaster. I have an Expedition so there's lots of room to slide back there. Nothing moves an inch when set on the matt. I also use a small piece in my cake box when the cake small enough to move in there. Just put it in and the cake plate on top and it's secure against shifting. I love the stuff and it's cheap.
"Life's tough, pilgrim. It's even tougher if you're stupid!" John Wayne
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"Life's tough, pilgrim. It's even tougher if you're stupid!" John Wayne
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post #14 of 24
I love it too! It works!
Last week Friday I brought some donation cakes into work for a donation sale that a lady was going to bring them to for me. I don't have official cake boxes, but I knew that I had to put the three 6" cakes into something to make it easier for her. This is what I did
I took an empty computer paper box and put some rubber matting liner stuff in the bottom of it. I then took another box and cut it down to fit over the top of one of the 6" cakes. Now I had to cover the cut down box with slippery clear packing tape to keep the box together. So to keep the cake that would be on the top of the cut down box from sliding I also put some shelf lining on the top of the cut down box. My cake never moved once!
"To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask? ~ John Rohn"
"Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso"
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"To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask? ~ John Rohn"
"Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso"
Reply
post #15 of 24
Stress is the name of the game for me. I always stress out worrying about how the cakes are going to turn out or be accepted by the client. That's part of being a perfectionist. I want everything to be just right. I consider myself a cake hobbyist and only make cakes for friends, family and word-of-mouth clients. I'm not sure I could handle it as a business. Then it would stop being fun for me. If I have a cake order for Friday, I bake on Wednesday night. Decorate Thursday and deliver on Friday. I usually keep royal icing flowers on hand. When I don't have cakes to make, I may make a batch of royal icing and do nothing but flowers. Then I store them in ziploc bags and in rubbermaid containers. If I have to make buttercream roses, I do them the night I bake the cake and put them in the freezer. Everything is done in steps, so you don't freak out at the last minute. Learn to pace yourself -- it helps. I also think it comes with experience. The more cakes you do, the easier the routine becomes.
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