Craft stores are simply incredible. I'm not even all that crafty (arts-and-crafty that is. I have been known to be connivingly crafty however!) compared to my super-creative-and (arst-and-crafty)crafty friends. But I love walking through the aisles and looking at the different hobbies that people are into- jewelry making, scrapbooking, etc etc. One thing that caught my eye a long time ago was the cake decorating aisle, and a sign that said 'cake decorating classes'. Sometime in June, Chris and I talked about how I needed to do something by myself to stay sane. And I remembered the sign I saw many years ago, and checked it out online. And sure enough, every Michaels, Joanns, and Hobhy Lobby offers cake decorating classes throughout the year. Amazing! I found out that the Michael's near my house was offering Course 1 (of 4) on Tuesday nights, and my small group was taking all of July off, so it was perfect! (cause Barb and Jerry watch my kids every Tuesday night anyway.)
So let me break this down for you, timewise. There are 4 courses available, but they say you need to complete course 1 in order to do any of the other courses, cause it teaches you the basics of using different icings, and tips, etc. Each course is made up of 4 classes that are 2 hours long. When you consider the time it takes you to bake, and prepare icing and stuff, you are looking at spending a good 3-4 hours a week on this class.
Now, let me break this all down for you, financially. Each course is about $45, depending on where you take it, and when. I was fortunate enough to take the class in July, when they had a 50% deal on the class, and they also gave me an additional $10 off. So I paid about $12 for the course. Then you have to buy a student kit. That's about $25. And some additional decorating items, which will set you back about $25 (and that's with using coupons). Then you need the actual baking and icing items, which will cost you another $5-$20 (coupons and sales are my beat friends). So even if you are a diligent sale-monger, you are still looking at spending about $50-$75.
There were plenty of times when the class was very frustrating. Like trying to ice my cake before my class without picking up crumbs, with my crazy kids trying to 'help' (ie. eat the cake). Or even trying to make the right consistency of icing for the first time was time consuming and draining. Everyone in my class walked into our first real lesson pissed off at icing and baking. But during our two hour classes, everyone was content to be doing something creative, that ended up being relaxing, especially cause there were no kids around. And that time alone as a mom (which 90% of the women in my class were) is always priceless.
(Imagine a picture of a cake here, with pink roses, and just a tiny bit of crumbs exposed in the VERY THICK layer of homemade buttercream icing. I still have no properly functioning digital camera. boo...)