Monday, 2 June 2014

You know what they say about hell and good intentions?

Irony is an amazing thing in life. Especially when it comes to living on a farm.

It all started with a church sale. You know, the one where people donate things that get sold for proceeds going to the church?

Yep. So weeks ago, they were asking for those donations and me and my mother (Anna-marie, who incidentally writes most of the posts on this blog) said that we'd use the cake decorating skills we'd learned so far (we're doing a course, in case you missed my telling you) and donate the cakes we make to the cake table for the sale.

Then, as things go on Rooshoek, we got so busy with a million things that it was the week before the sale was on (this past Saturday) that we remembered that we even wanted to do those cakes. But Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was so crazy with getting things for picking, packing and transporting our flowers to the market that by Wednesday night, it was the unspoken consensus that the cakes would have to be donated next year.

But Wednesday night I went to the small group I belong to, and the lady in charge of the cake table asked if we couldn't possibly help by donating cakes.

And of course, I get guilted into saying yes to two.

On Thursday, my mother and I got to work on making the decorations. I did royal icing butterflies and my mother made plastic icing roses.

And this is where the woes started. See... it was raining. And this meant that my mother's roses didn't dry fast enough. On top of that, my icing just wouldn't work like it was supposed to to make the textured yet smooth look I was going for. In the end, these took six hours.

But hey, I figured that the worst would be over. I already learned how to cover cakes with plastic icing and it was easy. So as soon as my mother and I had time to work on the cakes together, we'd get it done, stick the decorations on and voila.

Eh... no.

We only found time to get started at 7 pm. (Anyone who knows cake decorating will groan here, since there's no way of really judging the smoothness of the icing unless you can look at it in natural light.)

And... you guessed it. It was raining. So the plastic icing was even softer than before. No problem though, since we'd just knead some icing sugar into the plastic icing until it's the right consistency.

Eh... good in theory. Except when we bought said icing sugar, we bought bulk. And where every single time before, the bulk icing was one brand, the shop we buy at had switched brands on us. And... we didn't know.

Which resulted in incredibly brittle royal icing butterflies and even worse, terrible, terrible plastic icing to cover cakes with. I mean, it tore for no reason whatsoever. 

Result: 4 more hours of work to get the cakes to look right, only six workable roses, six rose buds, and one butterfly. But, we made do with what we had. (We had to. No chance of getting better icing etc. on a farm at 10pm)

And this is what the cakes looked like (plus some of the mess that came from making them happen):

My mother's


They got lots of love at the cake sale (thank heavens), although we don't know what they sold for. We're just glad we managed to get them done in time, and that hopefully we'll never repeat the awful, awful experience with inferior icing ever again. 

Anyone else have crafty horror stories to share? 


  1. They are still beautiful!!! Wow! I'm pretty terrible with most crafts so I don't usually volunteer myself for anything like that . . . well, except for a few origami disasters. And that time when my best friend decided to teach me to sew by making me sew a bridesmaid dress for her wedding . . . hahah, my husband actually finished that one at midnight the night before.

  2. Thanks Tyrean! Hehehe you're lucky to have a husband skilled in the sewing arts. :-D

  3. I think they're beautiful, I wouldn't be able to tackle anything like that. You did a great job!

  4. Oh! You'd never know from the results all the trouble you had. Those cakes are almost too beautiful to eat!