The one with a breakdown

28 09 2013

Hi readers,

I usually make my excuses about my lack of posting at this point and this post will not be any different I’m afraid. However this time my reasons were a little harder to endure. I’m not going to go into an insane amount of detail but basically I had pushed myself so far that I had a total breakdown at the start of June. It was like a dam had broken & there was no way to plug the leak. After quick action by my doctor, my family, wife & her family & my work I was on medication & seeing a counsellor very quickly. It took at least a month before I was even functioning on a basic level but things have improved a lot since then. It’s still an uphill struggle but I know the warning signs & that the amazing support is there for me which is a great start to the battle!

I suspected that I wouldn’t be able to make the cakes that I had booked in but I was able to push myself through it and to be honest I’ve been extremely happy with the cakes I’ve produced. Since the breakdown I haven’t taken on any new orders and I’m sticking to that because I need the time to heal mentally & physically. I have a few months coming up when I have literally no cakes and the prospect excites me more than I thought it would. I want to spend quality time with my wife, family & friends & enjoy some hobbies that don’t become as time consuming/stressful.

So it’s time to show you what you’re really here for….the cakes!

I’m starting with one of my most recent because I think it’s possibly one of the best I’ve ever made. I’m honoured to have made all of Riley’s birthday cakes so far. My friend Clare just tells me the theme/character & I make the design up. I had no idea if Woody would turn out at all but I’m so pleased with him & the clean look of the whole cake.

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Next up is my 2nd ever Barbie doll cake. A real Barbie with a chocolate cake & fondant dress. While these cakes aren’t to my taste I like the combination of various shades of pink & glitter.

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This was for my cousin’s 18th. She has been involved in drama groups since she was 3, sings, dances & plays guitar so I knew I’d have to incorporate all of those elements in one design. She is a huge fan of musical theatre so I ran with that theme then included a model of her guitar & some dancing shoes.

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And in the same week as my cousin turned 18, her sister turned 1! That was a crazy cake week. Thankfully her’s was a little easier as it was 2D. The Minnie turned out really well so it’s something I’ll definitely do again.

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My friend from Accounting College (who has just passed her full accountancy!) was getting married this summer and I made her cake. She wanted the blue to match her bridesmaids colours. I had never piped royal icing like this so it was a very steep learning curve but thankfully she loved it. And I’m pleased to say her guests adored it too & even asked for seconds once the cake had been cut. I love hearing how my cakes have been enjoyed!

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Next up is a Hello Kitty that my cousin ordered for her niece. The birthday girl asked that she have sunglasses & a pink dress with red hearts. I happily stuck to her brief and I’m pleased with how it turned out. Bizarrely I find these 2D cakes almost more difficult in certain ways than a 3D topper on a simple round or square cake.

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Next up is another wedding cake but its the most unusual one I’ve done so far. My mums friend asked if I would make her daughters cake. She wanted 70 cupcakes & a cutting cake but she was determined not to have a traditional cupcake tower. She commissioned these 2 trees with mini platforms for the cupcakes & for the cutting cake she wanted a model of the house where they were getting married on top. The topper is rice crispy treats covered in fondant and I made every leaf on the cupcakes and cake by hand using cutters & a variety of petal dusts.

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Next up is a 50th cake for a lifelong family friend. Her party was a surprise so her sister asked me to have her relaxing with chocolate & wine while her grandson & nephew played beside her. I decided to have her lounge in a hot tub to give the cake an overall theme. The children are playing in the water.

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And finally is another of my favourite ever cakes. It had to be a 3D Mickey holding a present cake. The present & Mickey’s body are all chocolate cake & his head is a polystyrene ball. All the decoration is fondant. It was very well received & I loved how it came out as I’ve never done a cake like this before!

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Thanks for sticking with me until the end of this lengthy post! I hope to be back soon to update on more cakes then I’ll be having a break for a few months to recharge!!