Saturday, June 18, 2011

I Resign

I had the worst cake disaster in all my cake making history today. Simple enough. Make a Spiderman cake for his son's 3rd birthday. I sent out pictures. They picked out one that they liked and we talked to discuss flavors and adjustments.

I was nervous because Spiderman is, for lack of a better description; SPIDERMAN. He has a very distinct look. You can't fuck him up or he looks TOTALLY fucked up. Josh suggested I try the grid method of drawing him. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I am not an artist. I cannot draw. I cannot sculpt. I can try to replicate, but my skills are limited, at best.

I thought I started this cake early enough, but I ran out of time again. I blew up a giant pic of the Spiderman, laminatd with clear packing tape, and cut out the board and cake in the shape of the stencil. The hard part would be filling it in.

As the delivery time drew near, I knew this cake was going to be a huge problem. My skyline on the base cake was coming out horrendous because of the humidity and my uncooperative frosting. The colors were running, the icing was drooping, and it was not looking anything like the awsome skyline I had done in the past. When I plopped down the base frosted Spidey on top of the wonky skyline, his arm cracked off. I tried to fix, but it was clear this was going no where. The more I tried to make him look the Spiderman, the more horrendous the cake was turning out.

My customers kept calling. The party was fixing to end and I was not there with the cake. I conceded. I called them up, explained the problem, and then into Stop n Shop in my frosting stained wife beater and leggings to buy a Spiderman candle topper.

As I carried this cake to the very BACK of the New Hyde Park farm near my house, I could see all eyes on me. There was a wedding going on in the front. There was another child's party in the middle with a NICE looking farm themed cake. And all the way in the back was my party full of many angry guests, waiting to leave. Powder sugar, cannoli filling, and vanilla frosting covered my clothes and were in my hair. A farmhand felt terrible for me carrying this huge base cake that he gave me a lift to the party.

I have no words. I apologized till I ran out of anything else to say in the English language. I tried to offer anything to make it up to them, but how do you fix a ruined party for  3 year old. They tried to be kind and understanding, but anyone could see how disappointed they were.

Another fail....this time, it was for someone I've known since 1st grade, and it's bad.

I don't think I'm really cut out for this. I have terrible time management. I get distracted so easily. I can't draw. I can't sculpt. I can barely paint. Maybe my dreams of cake decorating super-stardom is just another arrogant goal that I have no means of reaching.

I think I'm better suited frosting cupcakes at someone elses shop, earning minimum wage. After today's failure, it's clear I don't have what it takes to be successful with this.

I don't cry in front of my mom. She see's it as a sign of weakness, and we are not tight enough to know how to comfort one another. So, we just don't break down like that. Driving back from the farm, I broke out in tears and I coudn't stop. My mom was beside herself, not knowing what to do or say. The truck didn't even finish pulling into the driveway when I jumped out. I ran to my room and finished my Pity Party.

I just realized today that I'm not as good as I thought I've been. As a matter of fact- I SUCK. I suck at planning. I suck at communicating. I suck at problem solving. I suck at timing. And I suck at cake art. I can't run this business anymore if I know I am not capable of  doing the best possible work. I can't do it. I can't have any more cake wrecks. The look on those people's faces today made me feel like the scum of the earth.

I think it's time I put down my offset spatula. There's no room in this business for mediocre.

Now, if you'll excuse me. I have a Dungeon to clean, a shower to take, and a giant bottle of Jameson's waiting for me to drown in. I don't condone wallowing in self pity, but my dream just died today. I think a little mourning is appropriate.

Thank you for all your support these past months or years or whatever. I have very supportive friends around me, but I don't want to fool myself anymore. I don't want to lie to myself for the sake of my ego. I can't do this.

And with that realization, I am without a purpose again. Just fucking useless.


  1. I call bullshit.

    I understand the pain of not living up to what you want to be and letting people down, and it sucks getting an order wrong especially when there's kids involved, but you cannot give up because of one cake.

    I've seen you making various baked goods for months now, making people happy, making great beautiful cakes, having a booming business and paying off your credit cards with the spoils of cake war. Look at all your previous posts. You just got a cool-ass gecko and chocolate from a kid last week!! You cannot give up after one bad cake. That is bullshit.

    If this were a TV show about a baker and she wanted to quit after one cake(totally probable, they love dramatic stuff), you would be screaming at the TV, "What the hell girl?! I've seen you make cakes for 13 episodes and you're giving up after one shitty cake? Who does that?!" If I made one shitty drawing(and oh man, I make a lot of shitty drawings, you don't even know), and I decided to give up on being an artist, what would you say? THAT IS SOME STRAIGHT UP BULLSHIT JOSH.

    Making one bad cake is the same as making a bad drawing or getting out of a bad relationship. You feel bad, you wallow for a week, you learn what you did wrong, and you get back on the horse. We learn from our mistakes, we don't let them ingulf us. If you don't feel like your artistry skills are as good as you'd like them to be, practice and get better.

    Sorry for the long post. If you want to get better at art, I can help. Wallow for a week, and then get back up.

  2. Ok, I deserved that. And I know it looks like I'm just being really melodramatic, but I've never EVER had a cake fall apart in my hands right as I'm about to deliver. And for a CHILD, no less.

    I know things won't go according to plan 100% of the time, but I've never had anything go SO wrong so fast and become so unfixable. The look on their faces was devastating, and I've never let any of my customers down on this scale before.

    It seriously rocked my confidence and made me question whether or not I'm even talented enough to agree to these types of parties. That's probably why I've been so hesitant to take on a full-tiered wedding cake.

    What if I fail? Those people will never get these moments back. I don't know if I can take another wreck like this again. It was absolutely heartbreaking, and I can't stop crying about it. Maybe I'm pms-ing. I don't know. It's a horrible feeling.

  3. So you should practice making cakes in your off time(you know, the off time you don't have lol). Practice practice practice. I did some really bad final drawings in college, I tried things and I failed. I've done some bad stuff, just look at this from 2 years ago:

    No background, not inked, I have no idea what's going on with the head, I didn't even scan it in correctly. I'm always improving my skills, you have to push yourself and find that breaking point or you'll never get any better. We all get those days where we make a bad piece and we hate it and we suck and we don't wanna do it anymore, we just have to keep pushing.

    So this happened. Now you know you're breaking point. I'm sure you've gone over it in your head and you can see what you did wrong and what you can do next time to optimize it.

    Don't cry Kat :)

  4. I know what you mean. I've come a long way since my first lop-sided, droopy-frosted cakes. And I've done things I never thought I was capable of. I know I'm getting better with each cake and with every new challenge.

    I was just so sure this cake was going to be fabulous, but I knew my lack of drawing skills would be problematic. I didn't realize I wouldn't be able to pull it off. Then, the whole thing fell apart and that meant I did something wrong in the baking process...So it was a double-fail.

    Practice makes perfect. My friend (the father of the boy whose party I ruined) just left me a vm to give him a call to talk about what happened. never ends!

  5. ^^^standing ovation goes to NOir dude!^^^

    Man, I'm glad I'm not the only one telling her this! If her friends spent more time being honest with her instead of trying to get in her bed, she'd have a clearer perception of reality.

  6. Ha! TWO whole comments from you tonight. I never see you on at this hour. The only reason everyone is trying to get in my bed is because it's comfy. =) It's the best bed in the whole world.