Here are some more of the cakes I've made and lessons I've learned from them.
This one was one of my first and turned out pretty awful. First of all the cake was so moist and I put the top layer upside down instead of rounded side up. It split down the middle after I frosted it. I tried to frost it white with blue lettering saying congratulations, but I ran out of room! So I had to scratch that blue off and that's how you end up with the tye-dye look there. It was still yummy though.
Another one that didn't turn out as well as I'd like was a 35th Anniversary cake for my in-laws. I tried adding pudding to the icing because it made for a yummy filling in the middle. Unfortunately it just kind of melted onto the cake. It was good, but looked pretty goofy.
Next off was the 2 year old birthday and it was Elmo since A was nuts for Elmo at the time. I bought a cake pan (anyone need an Elmo cake pan?) and it worked out perfectly. I highly recommend them because the contouring is just right. I learned how to pipe stars and though it takes a longer time than slapping the icing on with a knife the result is a great look that is pretty easy to achieve.
With such an easy shape like Hello Kitty I didn't need a cake pan and I learned how to cut cake into shapes. I made a 9x13 cake and cut it into an oval and used the leftover parts for ears. I didn't have anything long and black except pipe cleaners. They worked out okay but I still the black fuzz on the cake. Yummy.
That's it so far for my cake decorating. I do like doing it and seeing the smiles the kids get when they eat the 'eye' of whatever character. I love planning their parties, they have a homemade feeling about them. Not just the cakes but the whole party just feels simple, fun and well, doesn't cost a whole lot. I know for some parents having a birthday party can be a real drain on the budget because it costs X amount per child at the bowling alley or wherever. Hopefully our kids will enjoy the homemade efforts by their mom.