Have Your Cake and Ice It, Too

So what is this new cake decorating machine? That’s what everyone wants to know. So, as promised, here are photos showing Cricut’s new Cake machine (which cuts decorative pieces from sheets of icing). Here is the machine itself:

And here are some of the yummy designs shown at the release party at CHA:

Remeber — this is for food, so you can’t use it for paper or other things. (Who wants paper scraps in their fondant?)

Come back for more peeks at the latest crafting stuff. And if you were at the show, feel free to share your thoughts or photos about what was hot, what was not.

Posting from CHA

Excitement abounds here at CHA — the big  Craft andHobby Association trade show. There are many things to buzz about — from new stamps to cool paper to the newest in die cutters.

I will post photos when I return, but in the meantime, here are a few things folks are buzzing about:

Technology is rampant. There are new machines that help you do everything from punch shapes to add icing to a cake.

So… the Cricut die cutter is pretty cool. But the new Cricut Cake is really the icing. Literally. The Cricket Cake lets you use die cut technology on fondant frosting to make amazing baked decorations. I hate to cook, but this is so cool I want to bake a four-tiered wedding cake! (Or maybe just decorate a pre-baked one…)

Some other cool tools include Spellbinder’s Presto Punch, an electronic gizmo that punches and embosses; new cutting and embossing folders from Cuttlebug, including a quilling die (who likes to cut all those strips?);  and Xyron’s exciting Creatopia, which has components that let you laminate, cut decorative edges, cut shapes and emboss — either full sheets or borders. If you sew, there’s a new machine that makes seam binding, and there’s even a mechanical distresser (which I have not yet checked out).

I’ll have more on all these products when I return.

I also had a chance to chat with the beautiful and charming Kathy Ireland, former model turned businesswoman. Watch for that article in an upcoming issue of Crafts ‘n things Magazine.

A few more quick peeks: I found some great new cardstock designed specifically for use with Copic markers (no bleed through!), scissors that cut a fringe (from Fiskars), and a scrapbook application for the iPhone! (from Die Cuts With a View.) And some news stamps.

Well, it’s back to the show floor for me….

Sneak Peek from CHA — Technique Tuesday

I’m heading off to the Craft and Hobby Show this weekend, hunting down all the latest stamps, papers and cool accessories. I’ll be scouting for new products to feature in Crafts ‘n things, as well as on my blog. (OK, and maybe to add to my birthday wish list.)

 I’m very excited to have my first Sneak Peek! It’s from Technique Tuesday, which always comes up with great stamp images and nifty stuff to go with those images. If you are a fan of Ali Edwards, you’ll be glad to know she is behind many of the new designs.

Check out these cute birdhouses:

These regal crowns:

And these delightful life savers:

check them out at www.techniquetuesday.com

Friday Fiddling — With More Scraps

I bought a new Sizzix die shape a few weeks ago and never unwrapped it. Since I am on a crusade to use up scraps, this was the perfect time to bring out the die.

The die has four sizes of flowers. I punched one set in yellow, then stamped up a scrap piece of blue and cut another set. I distressed the edges, added a clear gem to the center, and attached the flower to the top of this tall card (by Making Memories). Again, this was a card set I’ve had for more than a year and never used!

Here is the entire card:

The happy birthday sentiment is from American Art Stamps, the flourish from Hero Arts. I added some Ice Stickles by Ranger to the flourish.

So why do I still have so many scraps left?

Use Those Scraps!

In my effort to clean off my desk, I seem to be making a bigger mess. This week I decided to get rid of all those teensy scraps by punching shapes from them. I just punched and punched and punched and stashed them in small baggies — flowers, butterflies, circles, etc.

Take a look:

And just when I was wondering what to do with these shapes, I received a nice gift from Hero Arts — the darling new bicycle stamp. Of course I had to stamp it immediately! With the addition of a few circles punches from brown scraps, I made this:

So simple, but I liked it, so I think I’m going to make a gift set for a friend. (The lines linking the circles are drawn using an extra fine tip black Sharpie.)

I wanted to use up these other circles, too. I ran a card through my Dotted Swiss Cuttlebug embossing folder, and added some circles:

(The stamp is a VERY old Hero Arts.)

Well, I’m off to clean some more… and will post more on Friday.

Still cleaning!

In my last post, I talked about my resolution to clean some of the scraps from my desk.

Here is another card using the iris (OnyxXpressions) and scraps:

The blue iris (stamped in VersaFine) went well with the blue heavy mulberry paper, so I glued that down.  But what to put it on? A little digging turned up this card that had been languishing — all dressed up with origami paper and no where to go.

Ok, they would work…. but it needs something more….. some gold butterflies?

The butterflies seemed lost on the busy background, so I thought maybe a white punched strip might work:

Nope, too stark.

Rummage, rummage, rummage some more….

Gold? Maybe! And I could use my new Martha Stewart punch! So I punched and I trimmed and I glued. (Tip: The gold paper was a little too soft and flimsy for the punch, so I put plain copy paper under it to give it more stability when I punched. I learned the hard way, of course.)

 I was determined to use at least one of those darn butterflies!

And there we go. (Pearls were added to the butterfly.) Whew, I am exhausted! That’s enough cleaning for one day!

Clean Your Desk Day!

My desk has been a mess since New Year’s Day, so I proclaimed today Clean Your Desk Day! My goal was to use up some of the scraps that were in a not-so-neat pile.

First, I picked up a stack of images (OnyxXpressions) I had stamped eons ago:

When I first got this stamp, I wanted to play around with it and see how it performed with various inks and papers. I had no plan. Some came out better than others. The inks I really liked included Colorbox Chalk, VersaFine, Tsukineko Memento and Brilliance. The paper was all scrap — the backside of old greeting cards, junk mail, etc.

I spread the images on my desk, along with some scrap papers from my scrap basket and just moved them around  until something caught my eye. (The goal was to use what was on my desk!)

I liked the copper iris (stamped with Brilliance) and this copper-y colored heavy mulberry paper. The blues also seemed a good match. (I think the blue was stamped with VersaFine. But more on the blue later.)

The mulberry paper paper fit perfectly over a card front that I had smudged, so I just covered the whole card face. There was a hole in the top of the mulberry paper, so I needed to place the iris there to cover it.

The iris was lonely, stuck up there in the corner, by itself. And there was a label on the bottom of the mulberry paper, which needed to be covered, so I stamped the flower grid (Hero Arts) in Brilliance copper and cut out a strip (thus violating my own rule to ONLY use scraps I had on hand. Sigh. But I stamped it on white scrap paper, so I guess that counts for something.) I glued down the flower grid scrap, covering the label, and glued the iris on top to cover the hole.

But I still wasn’t happy. So reached over to my random embellishment box and pulled out a felt piece.

That seemed to pull the elements together. I am thinking of adding some pearls, but decided to leave well enough alone (at least for now!) I may add a greeting. Or not.

Friday I will post another sample made from my desk mess.

What’s on YOUR desk?

Friday Fiddlings — Wining Away

My friend Sarah works in a wine store and has been begging me for months to make her some wine-related cards. So when I found this new set from Hero Arts, I had to have it!

Here are a few cards I made for Sarah:

Not complicated, but I needed them fast! Stamped in black and colored with watercolor crayons.

And a sample of some tags:

The card on the left uses a punch for the edge. The card on the right was run through a Cuttlebug machine for texture. You probably can’t see it, but there is a bit of glitter on the label and the glass. The set is called Artistic Grapes CL 405.

Thanks for stopping by!

Playing Around

Finally got my hands on some new Hero Arts stamps and had to play immediately! Here’s a quick one made for a friend’s son:

The background paper is from Hot Off The Press. The monsters (Hero Arts CL391) are stamped on scrap paper, colored a bit (I used a white Ranger pen for the eyes and teeth to make them pop), cut out and glued down. Hello (Hero Arts) was stamped on white scrap, punched with a McGill punch and affixed using foam tape. The dots were added with Ranger Dimensional Pearls Stream.

Friday Offerings — Desk Items

Happy New Year everyone! Let me raise an inkpad in celebration of the new year, with good wishes for health and happiness in 2010.

To start the year, I wanted to share some gift items I made for the holidays. The wooden letter trays are decorated with clip art — some are color photocopied from a Design Originals ephemera booklet, some are printed from a CD that came with a Dover clip art book. 

After sanding the wooden tray (bought at a local craft store) I painted a gold acrylic base coat. When that dried, I added a layer of crackle medium, let that dry, then painted with white acrylic. The images were then glued on the tray using a varnish medium (I don’t remember exactly what I used — it could have been Mod Podge or Liquid Laminate — I use both of those a lot.) I let that dry thoroughly (it’s very important to let each layer dry completely) and gave it another coat. For feet, I used double dice (found in a cheapie game set), gluing them with E6000.

Here’s another version. I don’t like this one as much (maybe it’s the darker color?). The base was painted a brownish color, then zapped with Krylon gold webbing.

Last, this desk top caddy (found at JoAnn’s)  is made of craft board.  

I painted the caddy with ivory acrylic paint, let it dry, then sponged with gold paint. I used real postage stamps as decorations, gluing and sealing with Modge Podge.

Have a wonderful new year!

Come back next week — my happy holidays gifts includes some nifty new Hero Arts stamps and I am anxious to play with them!