Here's a cake I made this summer for my granddaughter's first birthday party. The theme was multi-colored polka dots and she's always dressed frilly and wearing big bows with those fuzzy little feather things in them. So I combined the two and came up with this design.
Typically, the dots would be made of fondant, but I was especially busy at that time so I purchased a bucket of foam shapes at Michael's with all different shapes and sizes in every color! It saved me a huge amount of time and nobody cared that it wasn't all edible. I just took the non-edible decorations off as I served it.
Just another example of how you can save a little time without compromising visual appeal!