Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Rockin' the Cake Decoratin'!

Today was stressful for me, for reasons no one else is likely to understand.  I was required to be creative AND domestic...two skill sets I certainly don't have.  As the evening approached, I found myself more and more uncomfortable, for tonight was "Final Project" night for our cake decorating class.

Go ahead, laugh all you want.

You know, it is not that I can't do this stuff, I guess, if I really wanted to. I just find it extremely difficult to think creatively when it comes to visual things.  Truly, I have an appreciation for those who can pull color, shape and form together in ways that seem simple as pie.  For me, it is seriously hard.  I can't put colors together, I can not for the life of me see natural layouts or balance, etc.  I know I could be taught some basic ideas about it, but I'd never in a million years be comfortable with it.  It is something that many people take for granted but that is so hard for me it is almost painful.

Music, now there I have a modicum of talent.  I played clarinet from 4th grade through graduation and even made honor band for our very large school district a couple times in high school.  Here's a trivia fact:  I did extremely well on my ASVAB tests (at the time we were all required to take the military standard testing in high school) and I was recruited fairly heavily for the Air Force Marching Band. I actually gave it some thought, as I LOVE the military bands I have heard.  Ultimately though, I realized I was way too headstrong to ever have anyone tell me what to do for 4 or 6 years.

Olesya and I spent much of the day making frosting, baking cakes, struggling with consistency, and cleaning up while all the rest of the kids spent most of the day reading and begged for more time.  I mean 5+ hours of reading for everyone else but Josh, who decided to check out the new science book I bought at the homeschool show and do some cool "I Dare You" experiments.  Matthew has suddenly and quite surprisingly become addicted to Harry Potter, even he is shocked that he likes the books!  Kenny and Angela are both reading books that are really stretching them and Kenny always laughs out loud when he gets to any funny parts, it is really pretty cute.

As we left for class tonight with our bare bones cakes, everyone was quite interested to see what we'd come up with.  Olesya had done her homework and had her drawing laid out.  Me?  Uh...that whole "idea" thing just wasn't happening for me, so I was going unprepared to a certain degree.  The flowers I showed from last night's blog post fell apart and changed color overnight as they dried, so that was out.  I had no idea when I left the house what I was going to do.

In class we have a really, really talented teacher and one other adult student who I am thoroughly enjoying being around who is stunningly talented at this.  No kidding, her cake tonight was the most beautiful thing I have seen.  Olesya struggled with getting a decent coat of frosting on hers, spreading it too thin and having to go back over it a few times.  She eventually got that worked out and then put a cute teddy bear on the top of her cake.  The shell design she did at the bottom was quite good for only her second attempt!  I decided to go with the typical Walmart-ish roses and vine.  Of COURSE they were yellow, my favorite cheery color.

When we arrived home, it was so cute as everyone came running to the car to greet us and see what we had created.  It was worth a million bucks for me to see and hear their reactions! Haha!  They were SO surprised that it actually looked like something normal!  They all knew Olesya's would turn out well, as she has practiced a lot and taken it very seriously.  Me, on the other hand, well, maybe not so seriously and I've had little time to practice.  The genuine astonishment and praise from everyone was really pretty wonderful.  Even we moms need to learn something new now and then, and be made to feel good about it!

So here are our final projects!

The Unveiling

 Olesya's cake above was such a terrific first effort!  She wanted to put several things on it that she had learned in class so she was intentionally more concerned about including those skills than layout.  Here she practiced leaves, roses, borders, tracing with gel, filling in, etc.  I think that for her second cake, she did an outstanding job!

The writing stinks, and as I expected that would prove to be one of the harder parts for me, as I can't keep straight lines nor keep sizes of letters similar.  Olesya and I decided to make it a 13th birthday cake for Matt and her combined since they are two months apart and his is coming up in 6 days, even though he's already had his party.  We were going to surprise a VERY crafty friend and make it for her belated birthday, but timing didn't work out (sorry Jane...the thought was there!).

So, I now have officially tried a hobby!  Yodeling is still not out of the question, stained glass is something I have always wanted to try, and writing might one day be something for me to do aside from cheesy blogs about my family.  However, I fully accept my hobbyless state, in fact I embrace it!  Maybe I am too much like my own kids...give me a good book, and I'll curl up asking not to be disturbed.  That may just be my only "real" hobby, the one about which I am passionate.  But at least I can make a little nicer birthday cake now!  More importantly, Olesya and I have something to do together and talk about.  That's really what it's all about, not about me becoming my own "Ace of Cakes"!!


Barbara said...

I am right there with you Cindy my domestic/artistic talents are nowhere to be found but then I have this husband who decorates great cakes and a son who bakes like crazy and neither has taken a class in their life. Go Figure!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I never knew you had been recruited for the Air Force to be in the marching band. Dominick must have had some powerful charisma to keep you from that (not to mention your independent streak). When do we get a concert, and can we expect you to play the clarinet at the next jazz Sunday.

You also have a beautiful voice and can sing alto. I have a voice that stops the shower water if I try to sing there, and although a natural alto, I could never follow anything other than the main melody of a song. We have divergent talents. Keep up the writing. You have excellent talent there.

A challenge a year--that was once my goal--to step out of my comfort zone, to grow a little. You do it consistently, growing, changing, challenging yourself and the family in creative ways I would never think of. So you have to consult a color chart to know what goes together (your cake is an excellent choice of colors) and baking is not a skill set you have wanted to attain; you did it! Congratulations! Way to go! (That's enough exclamation points for this paragraph.)

Love for the "Ace of Cakes" and her mother,

Anonymous said...

Wow! They both look great!! Too bad you all have to enjoy eating them LOL
Teresa F.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful how God blesses each one of us with unique gifts? Give me a garden to work in, and I am happy, happy, happy.... Interior decorating? Cooking? forget about it!!! How wonderful that you stretched outside your comfort zone to connect with your daughter.

Much love,

Peggy in Virginia

Carrie DeLille said...

Cindy's just always trying to make me feel bad about myself :o) Just messin' with ya! It's AWESOME!!