Do you make your own gumpaste flowers or buy them?

Another question for you.  Do you make your own gumpaste flowers or buy them.  I (up until this time) had made my own gumpaste flowers.  It is very time consuming, but they turn out beautifully.  But, a couple weeks ago I was watching some YouTube videos by famous cake decorators that we have all seen on TV and a bunch of them mentioned that they buy their gumpaste flowers, unless they are putting them in a competition. So I looked up one of the companies that they had mentioned Caljava Online (Caljava didn't ask me to make a review or compensate me at all) .  I love the Anemone flower and wanted to put it on my birthday cake so I thought that I would order some.  They are a great price especially for all the time it would take to make them, but there were a couple things I didn't like. So there is a good and a bad to buying your own flowers, especially if you are a perfectionist like me. 

1. As you can see they packed them extremely well.  This is a box that is covered in padding as well as padding weaving around each petal!  I was very impressed.  

2.  After taking off the padding it looks kind of funky, but since each petal is wired you can then move the petals to where they should be.

3.  Make sure the flower you are buying is exactly what you are looking for.  I saw a picture of the flower before I bought it, but I didn't think to count the petals or about the center and things like that. It is a beautiful flower, but there were a few things that I didn't like( but it is totally my fault if I had looked at the picture more carefully).  If you look at a real Anemone they have more than 9 petals.  And no matter which way I arranged the petals it always looked a little off like a couple were missing (see how there is an open gap in this picture).  Also the threads that are supposed to be the stamens were all glued together at the ends.  When I tried to get the glue off some ripped out.  I also couldn't get them to be around the center they kind of stayed clumped.  And I needed to dye them black for my flower and I was really worried about that because I didn't want to get any on the petals.

In the end I took off the threads and just dyed the center black and called it a fantasy flower instead of an Anemone.  

So here is my final thoughts on the subject.  Many of the flowers on Caljava's site are absolutely beautiful and exactly like they should be.  So if you are going to order a specific flower for a client and they want it to look exactly like the real flower then check and double check with the online picture before ordering it that it is really what you want.  Or, just make some of your own. It just depends on how exact you want to be.  Would I order gumpaste flowers in the future?  Possibly.  If I had a cake that needed a ton of flowers, and I didn't have any spare time, and they either looked correct or the person the cake was for wasn't super specific on the exact flowers then yes I would.  But, I enjoy making gumpaste flowers even though they are time consuming, and you can always make them ahead of time.  

What do you think?  Do you make them or buy them?

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