I don't know why it took me two months to get around to writing up this blog (yes I do; I'm a procrastinator), but here I am, so let's indulge in a little #flashbackfriday, shall we?
My fourth cake decorating competition was probably my most stressful one yet, which is kind of funny, because I say that about all of them (and honestly the three foot monstrosity I made for the Orlando Cake Fair last year was waaaaaayyyyyy more stressful than all of them combined) but I think the stress-inducing factors for this cake were more about what was going on in my personal life than anything else.
But regardless of whatever stress I was dealing with, my goal to make "just a small cake, nothing too crazy" did not exactly go as planned. The more I worked on the cake, the more I hated the design on the 7" tier (because I kept changing my mind, and because all my design ideas were too complicated and I didn't have enough time to finish), so I ended up redoing some designs right up until the last minute.
And by last minute, I do mean last minute. It was about a 3 hour drive to Miami and we needed to leave around 12 to get there on time. I finished up around 11:45!
I'm really proud of how the flamingos and palm trees turned out. I wanted something Art Deco/Miami inspired, because the theme was "South Florida." And of course, when you think of South Florida, you think of the Everglades, right? (Probably not. Apparently I was the only one with that idea!) And the flowers on the cake are butterfly orchids, which are native to the everglades.
The drop stringwork on the top tier and the oriental stringwork on the bottom tier are probably my favorite elements. I finally figured out on this cake how to get the stringwork to WORK, instead of fighting with it like I've done on the last three competition cakes. I was just never patient enough and kept breaking strings! Not this time, though. I'm still pretty obsessed with oriental stringwork, so don't be surprised if you see it on my next cake too!
And when I got to the competition, I immediately felt like I was out of my league. I spent the whole weekend miserable (that's a lie. I was in Miami. For a cake show. And I had guava pastries and mojitos everyday and got to walk around a giant showroom floor and buy all the cake decorating supplies my wallet could afford. I had a blast!) Ok so I wasn't miserable but I was definitely having one of those artist moments where I wanted to throw it all out and start over (artists are crazy, man). But of course it was my own fault for wanting to do a "small, not too crazy" cake that I absolutely procrastinated on. But then, even though I didn't win anything (which duh, the winners were absolutely phenomenal. They all brought it) I actually received quite a few compliments on the cake, and from really talented decorators, so that was a huge boost of confidence and inspired me to try again with the next competition.
And really, I think that's what it's all about. Pushing yourself to try harder and do better. I've grown so much as a decorator and an artist since I started entering competitions last year, and I can't wait to see how my skills keep growing the more I practice and put myself out there!