Monday, January 10, 2011

If the Crown Fits layout

Here is my little princess. 

The top is computer generated and says, "I didn't ask to be a Princess, but hey..."  If the Crown Fits was cut from Cricut's Birthday Cakes cartridge and the crown is from Gypsy Wanderings.  This was my first Black and White layout and I love the way it turned out.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cricut Cake Mini- full review

Right out of the box, this machine is a beauty!  The Cricut Cake Mini is the same size and has the same capabilities as the Cricut Create (which is a Cricut Expression in a smaller size).  I bought a gum paste mix from Wilton and followed the instructions on the can and had no problems, except for adding the coloring in without gloves and turning my hands red.

I added my tropical colored (supposed to be pink) gum paste to my lightly greased 6x12 mat

I cut out a flower at various sizes from the Cake Basics cartridge and the machine cut like butter.  Notice how much gum paste I had left over on my mat.  If the images are properly thought out, you can really get a lot of cuts from one 6x12 mat.

I also made green gum paste and cut out swirls at various sizes; however, I did not get pictures of that step.  The machine comes with a brush to clean the rollers and a basket that holds the blade in the dishwasher.  Everything cleaned up really nice and I do not have one bad thing to say about this machine.

Here is where my frustration hit all time highs, the cake baking and the rolling of the fondant.  I started with Duff's cake mix.

Followed the instructions on the box and the whole cake just crumbled into pieces, it was horrible.  Needless to say, I had to start my whole baking process over.  Next, I used Duff's pre colored fondant

This was my first time ever using fondant to cover a cake, so I did not know what to expect.  That fondant was a solid rock when I took it out of the container.  I put it in the microwave for 30 seconds in hopes of making it more flexible.  I kneaded and kneaded and rolled and rolled for a half hour until I had no strength left in my arms. 

Here is how the cake turned out, my Cricut cuts hid the imperfections in my fondant :)

Over the past year, I have watched several You Tube videos of people using their "big" Cricut Cake machines and nobody used their whole mat to make their cuts.  Along with the wasted mat space, the size of the machine, and the price of the machine, it was not worth the purchase.

Provocraft did a good job with the Cricut Cake Mini.  I talked about this machine before I even purchased it and everyone knew that was my only reason to stand in line on that cold Black Friday morning, and I am glad I did.  The Cake Basics cartridge alone is great.  I will use that for both paper crafting and cake decorating.  Did I mention this machine is a beauty?  It looks great on my counter top.

I recently watched a video of Tammy Skinner using her Cricut Cake Mini to make star shaped tortilla chips, I can't wait to try that one.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 2011

2010 was a year with its ups and downs...

We had more car troubles in 2010 than we ever had before.  The Altima is now sportin' a brand new fuel pump, fuel filter, air conditioning hose, radiator, and head gaskets!  The Ford was in a world of hurt, so we donated it to Cars for Causes and purchased a used 2008 Sentra.

I started 2010 horribly overweight.  Following The Belly Fat Cure I was able to lose 45 pounds and have kept it off.  According to the Wii, my "ideal" weight is 20 pounds lighter, so 2011 will be dedicated to losing that last 20 pounds.  Physically, I feel so much better.

We moved out of our apartment in August and into a house in Menifee.  Connor loved the pool during the summer and he loves having a backyard to run around.  Kayla loves the backyard, but wasn't too sure about the pool.  Our summer highlights were swimming and roasting marshmallows for smores.

Connor started 1st Grade this year and is growing up so fast.  Connor is a math wiz and rose to the top of his math curriculum within weeks of starting school, his challenge is writing; however, he has improved leaps and bounds since our first parent/teacher conference.  I love this little guy!

Kayla is way too wise for her age.  That girl can memorize songs, nursery rhymes, and doesn't forget a thing...especially if it involves treats or trips to the park.  We often hear, "but Mom, you promised that we could go to the park today."  or " You said after I took a nap, I could have a cookie...and I am done with my sleep time now."  This smile could light up any room...and with the exception of nighttime, she is such a sweet and loving little girl who brings such joy to our lives...

John is still working for Ryder and loves it.  John also continues his work with Spirit West Coast and his web design projects, he is currently creating a web site for a general contractor.  He also has fun with his camera and seems interested in taking a digital photography class at the college.  Since we were in a house this year, John was able to put up Christmas Lights.  He was not having fun, this was a fake smile, seriously!

My year at work was great!  I still continue to love my Cricut and enjoy making cards and scrapbook pages.  In February, I will be taking a 4 week scrapbook class at Joann's and am so excited to get started.  It wasn't funny then, but I find it hilarious now... My former boss used to tell me that my job wasn't important and I was just a paper pusher...and now I have a huge love for paper, the scrapbook kind :)

I am looking forward to a great 2011.