Saturday, November 6, 2010

Making Gum Paste

I learned how to make gum paste years ago. I tried several recipes but the one I liked best was Rosemary Watsons. I learned alot of my basic flower making from her and have tweaked her recipe to work for me. When I first developed the cutting gum paste with electronic cutters method, my recipe worked the best. I have shared this recipe with many people and several are sharing it as their own. This is what I teach in class and use for my own cake decorating projects.

Gum Paste

½ cup cold water

2 tablespoons Knox gelatin

1/3 cup white corn syrup

2 tablespoons shortening

2 lbs powdered sugar

2-3 tablespoons Tylose

Small sauce pan ½ full of water, put on medium heat

½ metal measuring cup with water, pour into a 2 cup glass measuring cup with open handle

Add 2 tablespoons Knox gelatin and stir until well mixed

Set timer for 5 minutes-no longer then 15 minutes

Melt at least 2 tablespoons shortening into a glass measuring cup

1/3 cup of white corn syrup

Put gelatin into sauce pan-cook until melted and you see swirls

Add corn syrup and cook until no longer stringy

Add 2 tablespoons of shortening-stir

Pour into bowl, add 2 pounds of powdered sugar

Mix with bread dough hooks until well mixed

Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of tylose powder into mixture, mix for another 2-3 minutes. Scrape into a plastic bag coated with shortening, let rest overnight

When you are finished making your gum paste it is best to let it rest over night. It can be left out for several days, but if it is not going to be used right away, you can store it in the freezer or refrigerator.

When you are ready to use the gum paste you will notice that it is very firm. You will need to use a sharp knife to cut off a section of the gum paste. Put it in the microwave for a few seconds, usually 5-10 seconds is long enough to warm it up enough to soften it. It should be the consistency of a marshmallow.

You need to condition the gum paste. Work in a small amount of shortening into the gum paste and work it in your hands. Pull it and stretch it out. Run it through the pasta machine and wad it back up again. If it feels too soft add a little bit of corn starch. If the gum paste firms up while conditioning it you can put it back in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it up. When you feel like the gum paste has been conditioned enough then you are ready to roll it out.

You really need a pasta machine for the best results. Most pasta machines will roll out a piece of gum paste 6” wide and as long as you need it to be. If you have a fondant sheeter you can roll your gum paste wider than 6”, but you really don’t need it to be wider than 12”.

Most issues with my method are gum paste issues. You need a firm gum paste to start with. It needs to be well conditioned and for best results it needs to be rolled out with a pasta machine. I really like my kitchen aid mixer with the pasta attachment. I find I get the best cutting results when I roll out the gum paste to a #6 or #7. This is something you will practice with and you will determine what works best for you. Before you put the gum paste through the pasta machine you need to take your softened, conditioned piece of gum paste and roll it out using a rolling pin the desired width and thin enough to put through the pasta machine. With a little practice you will be able to roll a 6” wide pieces of gum paste as long as you need it.

When the gum paste is as thin as you need it to be, put it on a plastic mat and trim it to about 12” in length. As you fill your mats with your rolled out gum paste stack them on top of each other. When you have rolled out as many as you need, store the mats in a 2 ½ gallon baggie. For the best cutting results, let your gum paste rest over night. In fact, you can let your baggies sit out for several days before you use the gum paste. Keep the baggies sealed so the gum paste doesn’t dry out. You can even store your gum paste sheets in the freezer until you are ready for them. I can’t stress enough to not rush this part of the process. The gum paste needs to firm up, but not dry out.

The hard part of this process is over! When you are ready to cut out your design all you need to do is apply the gum paste to the mat. If you are having problems with your gum paste sliding around the mat when you are cutting out your design, it could be that the mat is too slick. I have found that my older, well used mats work the best. If I have a new mat I will scratch up the surface with some sand paper. This will give the mat some “tooth” and the gum paste will stick to the mat better.

You need to apply a thin coat of shortening to the mat. A pastry brush works well for this process. You can use a paper towel with shortening on it if you don’t have a pastry brush. You only need a light coat of shortening. Too much and the gum paste may just slide around the mat during cutting. Don’t put the gum paste too close to the sides of the mat. Watch where the roller will go and don’t get the gum paste in that area. Use a soft paper towel to smooth the gum paste onto the mat. If there is any shortening on the gum paste then you can work it into the surface of the gum paste. The paper towel will help to polish the surface of the gum paste.

Now that the gum paste is on the mat you are ready to cut out your designs. With experience you will learn how to tell if the gum paste is ready to be cut. If it is too soft it will just drag around the mat and tear. If the gum paste is too dry then it will crack. Your goal is to get clean, precise cuts. If you have followed my suggestions and allowed the gum paste to firm up at least over night, you are on the way to successful cuts. Use the deep cut blade for the Cricut and set the blade pressure to #5. Set the pressure on the machine to 3 bars or medium pressure.

You can apply your decorations to your cake as soon as you cut them out. You may have enough shortening on the back of the decoration to stick it onto your cake. If it doesn’t stick then you can apply some more shortening with a small paint brush.

You can make your decorations ahead of time and store them in the large baggie on a cake board. They will be fine for a couple of days left out but if you want to store them longer then put them in the freezer. When you take the decorations out of the freezer they will get soft as they come to room temperature. Let the decorations firm up some before trying to put them on the cake. I have had good luck with spraying the backside of the decoration with vegetable spray. All you need is a very light spray and the decoration will stay in place. Use a soft brush to lightly brush the top of the decoration. This will help the decoration stick to the cake and help clean up any shortening on or around the decoration.

For more information and a great video tutorial view these youtube videos. They are found under “working with gum paste”.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Perfect Cut

In the DVD "Creative Designs: Silhouette" that comes with the Silhouette Cake machine, I show how to make the perfect gum paste, roll it out, store it and then get a very nice cut. Some people still have a difficult time getting a clean, smooth cut. Also, getting a soft, fresh gum paste to cut cleanly. Here are a few more tips to help cut your designs successfully.

First of all, the knife you use only needs to extend out the end of the  blade housing unit the depth of the gum paste. The replacement blades that fit the Silhouette housing unit are the Cricut Cake Blades or the deep cut blade. Notice that the Cricut Cake blade is slightly longer then the deep cut blade. If you need more of the knife blade to stick out then try the Cricut Cake blade.

The blade only needs to extend out of the housing the depth of the gum paste. This is true for any brand of cutter you use. You want to just cut the gum paste, not make deep cuts into the mat. This comes with some practice. Work with some gum paste rolled out the depth you would normally use and try different depth settings on the blade housing. You may also need to adjust the pressure setting. This can be a little tricky with the Silhouette. It was made to cut paper, not gum paste, so use some common sense for the settings. In the controller window I usually select a thick medium, such as card stock. I also usually select a heavy pressure. Again, getting the correct setting takes a few practice cuts. Once you feel you have the correct setting, make a note of it for future projects.

This blade holder is set to cut a frosting sheet. The knife is barely sticking out of the end of the housing.

This blade holder is set to cut a thicker piece of gum paste. You can see the knife sticking out of the end of the housing. Again, the depth of the knife would be adjusted to the depth of the gum paste. This knife is the Cricut Cake knife, and because it is slightly longer, it can extend a bit farther. Notice that this blade holder has a second O ring. I found that I needed to raise the blade holder up a bit in the machine when using the Cricut Cake knife.

Traditionally I roll my gum paste to a #7 or 8 with my Kitchen Aid pasta roller. I apply shortening to my mat and then put my gum paste on the mat. I use a paper towel to wipe away any excess shortening, smooth out any air pockets on the gum paste and polish the top of the gum paste. I don't want to rub the gum past so hard that it tears, but with enough pressure to help it stick to the mat. If you find that your gum paste is sliding around on the mat when you are cutting out designs you may want to try adding some "tooth" or scratch marks to the mat. Gum paste tends to slide around on a smooth mat. An older, well used mat works the best because of all the cut marks in it. These cut marks give the gum paste something to grab onto. You can achieve the same results with a new mat by scratching the surface with some 80 grit sandpaper. By lightly scratching the surface of the cutting mat you are taking away the smooth surface and the gum paste has something to hold onto and not move around.

If you are still having a difficult time getting the perfect cut, then you may want to try the paper method. I attach my gum paste or frosting sheet to card stock paper of the print and cut method. I get great results with my cut images and it just seemed logical that I would get the same great results cutting gum paste designs with the gum paste attached to paper.

First, the paper must be a heavy weight paper, such as card stock. I also use legal size manila folders and cut them to fit my machine. This is an area that as a cake decorator we use common sense. The majority of our food comes to use in some kind of paper container. Be sure you use clean paper, especially paper that does not have writing on it.

The gum paste is attached to the paper the same way you would apply it to your cutting mat. You need to apply the shortening to the paper in the area the gum paste will be put. Another method is to apply the shortening to the backside of the gum paste. I like this method because I am know that I am covering all of the gum paste surface.

I treat frosting sheets and gum paste the same way. The only difference is the depth of the blade. The knife only needs to stick out far enough to cut through the gum paste or frosting sheet. With this technique the goal is to cut my design but not cut through the paper. Practice to get the blade depth setting that gives you the correct cut.

Here are 2 frosting sheets that have a design printed on them. Use a printer with edible coloring. I have found that the Canon printer works the best with my method. When you apply a frosting sheet or gum paste to a piece of paper and try to run it through an Epson printer, the Epson sees it as a paper jam. My larger Epson photo printer works, but the smaller Epson does not. You can print just a frosting sheet, but not a frosting sheet attached to a piece of card stock.

The supplies you need are 1) soft bristle brush, 2 )shortening, 3) card stock or heavy paper, and a soft paper towel to smooth and attach the gum paste or frosting sheet.

The frosting sheet or gum paste attached to the paper.

The paper is placed under the rollers.

When you apply the gum paste or frosting sheet to the card stock, make sure it will clear the rollers.

Cut out the design and remove the excess gum paste. You can save the design on the card stock until you need to put it on the cake. I will cut out all my designs leaving them on the card stock, stack them on top of each other and store them in the freezer. When I need them, I take them out of the freezer and in a few minutes they are ready to apply to a cake. My gum paste recipe is very firm, so the designs are easy to handle. I have found with this technique I can use a softer gum paste and get the same great results.

A frosting sheet that has a design printed onto it. I treat the frosting sheets the same way I treat a piece of gum paste. When the design is cut out, I store it on the card stock until I need to use it.

Using the paper method has several advantages. First, you will get very clean cuts. You will be able to cut very intricate designs. You can store your designs on the card stock. This is handy because you do not need to remove the designs from a cutting mat and put them on another mat. Because you are using the paper as your carrier sheet, you do not need to worry with cutting mats.

If you are using a Cricut Create, trim the paper to the same width of the cutting mat. Be sure that the gum paste is applied to the mat so the rollers will not roll over the gum paste. If you are using a bigger Cricut machine, you can tape the paper with the gum paste attached to a carrier mat. Make practice cuts to get the best results. In my class the students use the Cricut create machine. I have found that if the pressure is set on medium and the blade housing is set on 4 we get the best results. The same applies to the other Cricut machines.

If you are using the Silhouette Cake machine and the Make the Cut program a few settings in the print preference window need to be changed.

In the Specify user Size window, select the length at 10.75 and do not check the carrier sheet. Whatever paper size you use, make sure you select a size just a bit shorter then the actual size of the paper. The paper is acting as your carrier sheet.

Practice with this technique. Your goal is to set the knife depth to just cut through the gum paste and not the paper. You will be able to cut very intricate designs in any size with this technique.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Silhouette Earns Top Honors

The Silhouette Cake machine has earned top honors for electronic cutters used in cake decorating. The machine was awarded a first place ribbon, trophy and gold medal. In a competition with the other electronic cutting machine, the Silhouette Cake machine consistently placed first in every category.

Size: The Silhouette is light weight and takes up very little work space, the competitor is big and bulky.

Ease of use: The Silhouette only has 3 buttons, the competitor has several and can be very confusing trying to figure out what each one does.

Cost effective: The Silhouette was the favorite in this category. The only thing required for designs is a computer. The competitor requires costly cartridges with most of the designs not what the cake decorator needed.

Print and Cut feature: The Silhouette was alone in this category. In fact, this is the category that put the Silhouette ahead of the competitor. The print and cut feature allows the decorator to print any design on to gum paste or a frosting sheet and the Silhouette will cut the design outline.

Customer service: The Silhouette service is outstanding, from the the company that sell the Silhouette Cake
to the Silhouette corporate headquarters.

Jessica said "I love my Silhouette. It cuts great and I can make amazing cakes using the print and cut feature."

Jeni said "I love not having to spend all my money on expensive cartridges. I use my Silhouette for cake decorating and scrap booking."

There you have it. An award winning machine with all the features to help you make amazing cakes.

Linda McClure, the inventor of the cricut cake machine and developer of the Silhouette Cake machine said, "I am so happy for the Silhouette Cake machine. This award means so much to me. Our goal is to share this great technique with the cake decorating world. The Silhouette Cake machine will change the way we decorate cakes in the future."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Changes with the Make the Cut program

If you have taken a class with me you know that I use the Make the Cut program. I have used another program, but I decided to go with Make the Cut. It works great with all the electronic cutters. I teach you how to create your own designs for your cakes using Make the Cut. This is great because you never need to buy cartridges for designs. You create your own unique designs for each cake you make.
Recently, the Make the Program was updated. It is still very easy to use, but a few of the icons were moved. I am putting a link to a page to show the old program and the changes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Teaching a class for Spanish speaking ladies

One of the best experiences I had was the opportunity to teach a class for a group of Spanish speaking ladies. I do not speak Spanish so this was going to be a challenge. Maria Kovacs was the transulator and she did a fantastic job. A couple of times she would start speaking English to the group and turn to me and speak Spanish!
The ninas ( that is girl in Spanish) did very well and we were able to cover a lot of information. They were very motivated to learn this new method and are excited to be some of the first people to be using it in their Latin American countries.

ICES 2010 Convention

Linda, Dee, Suzie and Jeff st the ICES banquet

I know that the serious cake people know what ICES is. It is an international organization for professional and non-professional cake decorators and lovers of all things cake. I have been a member for many years and actually got my start in cake decorating because of ICES. Jeff and I were able to go to San Diego, Ca. this year for the convention. We had a vendor's booth and I did a demo.

The area where all the vendors were was great. Everything you would want as a cake decorator was there. Not only were the products we love and use all the time present, but there were some great new products on display. I have met several of the vendors at previous cake shows so it was great to see these friends again. I wish them all great success with their businesses.
One of my more interesting experiences was the demo I gave. I was told that I could not say the word Cricut. This was going to be a challenge because I invented my method using a Cricut. It seems the cricut folks were unhappy with the competition.

Speaking of Cricut's competition, we had a great time telling people about the Silhouette. This machine can do things the Cricut will never be able to do. I only had an hour for my demo, but I was able to show some of the great things you can do with it. The print and cut feature of the Silhouette is great.

Several of the Louisiana ICES members were able to attend the convention. There was a lovely banquet Saturday evening. I was amazed at how well the waiters were able to get food to almost 2000 people! It was a fun evening and we enjoyed the company of the people who sat at our table.

Friday, August 20, 2010

One Year Anniversary!

The July ICES meeting was the one year anniversary of the first public demonstration of the Cricut Expression cutting gum paste. I first presented this new technique to the Louisiana ICES in July 2009. Everyone was amazed and excited with the new cake decorating possibilities. We had just started selling the first Creative Designs DVD and at the time had no idea that this technique would soon go global.

In the October 2009 issue of the ICES magazine the first printed article was published about the Cricut. At the end of October the first demonstration of using the Cricut for cake decorating was presented to Provo Craft. The people attending were amazed at what I was able to do with sugar and a Cricut.

At this years July ICES meeting I was able to give a Cricut Cake machine to Ms Lillie. Tickets were passed out and she had the winning number. Congratulations Ms Lillie, I hope you enjoy your new toy!


Considering all that I have been through with Provo Craft, I still tell people that the Cricut is a great machine. Any one of the Cricuts will do a great job cutting gum paste if you use my method. I use the Cricut Create in the classes I teach, but any electronic cutter with a mat and blade will work.

What is new? By chance I discovered one of the other electronic cutters. Last year someone emailed me and asked if the Silhouette would work. I told them I thought so, but decided to try it for myself. I ordered one from ebay and was able to cut some designs using the Make the Cut program. I emailed the person and told her that yes, the Silhouette would work. I put the Silhouette aside and continued to use my Cricut and also the Gazelle.

In the meantime, I had discovered how to use my printer to print on gum paste. I was able to print gum paste sheets just like I would a frosting sheet. Now I can cut out designs with printed images. I began watching youtube videos to learn more about the different electronic cutting machines and found a video about the print and cut feature of the Silhouette. This sparked my interest, so I got the Silhouette and began experimenting. It didn't take long to figure out how to cut out gum paste images with the Silhouette. This was great! I could scan any image, print it on gum paste and the Silhouette would cut it out.

I now had a new respect for the Silhouette. I also discovered that it did a great job cutting out my regular decorations. I was delighted to find that I had a machine that performed as well or even better then the Cricut and it was able to do something that the Cricut cannot do. I knew the print and cut feature would be something that cake decorators would love.

I worked with the Silhouette, found a cutting blade that worked great and decided to contact the Silhouette people to show them what I was doing with their machine. I was careful to not let what happened with Provo Craft happen again. I am protected legally because this method is patent pending. I met with the folks from Silhouette and they were interested in what I was doing. Silhouette is a great company and I hope we will be able to work together to come out with great new products that cake decorators really want and will use.

At the July ICES meeting we also had a drawing for a Silhouette. The winning ticket belonged to Ms Geneva. Congratulations! I hope you love using the Silhouette as much as I do.

In the mean time, I have a blade, an instructional DVD and can sell the machines. Jeff will be putting this on web site.

So, Out with the old Cricut and in with the new Silhouette!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Quite a few people have asked me how I came up with the idea to use an electronic cutter to cut decorations for cake. This is where Ethan comes in. Almost 2 years ago, Jessie, my oldest daughter was expecting her third child. I had been with her with the first two, so I planned on being with her for number three. Her husband had been transferred to Omaha with his job, so Jeff and I had to make a two day trip from Louisiana to be with her when the baby arrived.

When we stopped the first night Jeff took Molly, our yellow lab puppy, out for a little walk. I turned on the TV to see if there was anything interesting to watch. The TV turned on to a station that was playing an infomercial. I had no interest in what was being advertised so I started to change the channel. I couldn't get the remote to change the channel, but while I was punching the different buttons, I started watching the show that was on. The ladies were cutting out some paper decorations with a machine called a Cricut. I knew Jessie had one of those machines and creates beautiful scrapbook albums. When the design was finished cutting, the lady removed it from the mat and showed a beautiful scroll design. As a cake decorator, my first thought was "Wouldn't that be beautiful on a wedding cake?" Now my full attention was on the TV show. I tried to see how the machine was cutting out the paper and wondered if it could cut gum paste.

The next morning I called Jessie and asked her if she thought her Cricut would cut gum paste. She said she did not think it would. I told her that I wanted to try with her small Cricut and if I ruined her machine I would buy her the new Expression. She readily agreed, thinking she was going to get a new machine out of the deal.

When we arrived at her house I gave her a hug, patted her belly and told Ethan we would see him in a few days and then asked her where her Cricut was. She had some powdered gum paste mix, so we made it and then began our first trial cut. It wasn't very successful, but I saw the potential. With a little bit more trial and error I got some letters to cut out and they looked pretty good.

Ethan was born and we spent Thanksgiving with Jessie and her family. I bought an Expression at Wal Mart for $188.00 and a couple of cartridges that looked like they had designs I could use on cakes. I had several wedding cakes coming up so I was able to really put this new technique to the test. The cakes I made were beautiful and I knew this was going to change the way cakes would be decorated in the future.

So if it were not for traveling to welcome Ethan into the world, I would not have seen the infomercial that sparked my interest in the Cricut. Thank you Ethan.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"The Real Story" behind the Cricut Cake machine

Welcome to all my friends who have followed me through all the drama associated with inventing and developing the Creative Designs method of cake decorating. As you know, I presented my method to Provo Craft and they pirated the idea, developed the Cricut Cake machine and gave me no credit. Other then a few minor changes, the Cricut Cake and the Expressions are the SAME machine.

If you would like to read the story you can read it below.

My name is Linda McClure and I am a cake decorator. I am always looking for new techniques to add to my cake designs. I invented/developed a new technique using an electronic paper cutting machine to cut gum paste designs and my cakes were soon looking amazing. I was able to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind designs with very little effort. I figured out how to modify a Cricut machine to cut gum paste. At first I figured that someone else must have already figured this out so I did a very thorough, intense search on the internet looking for information. I found nothing, not even a picture of a cake that was made using the Cricut. I spent a lot of time working on this method, and soon had my technique perfected.

I began getting inquiries from different cake decorators who saw my cakes on my web site. They asked how I achieved the stunning results with my cakes. It would be too difficult to explain in an email and a friend suggested I make a video teaching this new technique. This was the beginning of the “Creative Designs” series.

I went to an ICES meeting in April 2009 in Louisiana. One of the demonstrators was not able to come so I filled in for her at the last minute. I did a very informative demonstration about cake boards. I brought along a dummy cake decorated using the Cricut and said I would reveal the technique at the next meeting in July. This would give me time to finish the video and put together a demonstration with the Cricut. At the time I did not realize the importance of this demonstration. To the best of my knowledge, this was the first time the Cricut was demonstrated in public cutting gum paste.

Early in 2009 we tried contacting Provo Craft (the company that made the Cricut) to tell them what we were doing. I thought they would be interested in this new technique and I had several ideas to market this concept to cake decorators. We called and emailed them. but never got any response. There are several other companies who make a similar machine, so I thought we might try to work with one of them. I spoke with an attorney about the video and asked if it would be a problem using the Cricut in the video. He said it was a tool, just like a screw driver and I was showing how to use a tool. He recommended that we patent the process. When I found out it would cost me at least $10,000, I decided that it was something that I would not be able to afford to do.

My next problem was how to market the DVDs. I needed to reach the cake decorating world. My son, Justin, was home from college for the summer and decided to market the DVDs for me. He went on several cake forums telling people about this cutting edge cake decorating technique and soon we were selling several DVDs everyday. We also started selling them in other countries. I got a call from a guy in Australia and he told me they used a system called Click and Cut. My technique worked perfectly and he was going to be teaching the people there how to use it.

The one cake forum that talked a lot about this was Cake Central. He went on as grandmacupcake09 and answered peoples questions. I guess he said something wrong and was barred from the web site. He told me that he had put a link to my web site so people would know where to go for more information. It wasn’t long before those who bought my DVD were freely sharing the information with everyone else. That was the end of grandmacupcake.

In July of 2009 I presented this new technique to the Louisiana ICES. I know that many of the members present realized that this was going to change the way we decorate cakes in the future.

I taught Becky and Martha (Sweet Southern Ladies) this technique and they were able to use it in their Ultimate Cake Challenge. I also taught Jennifer Atwood (from Atwood’s Bakery) and she used the technique in her Ultimate Cake Challenge. I even taught Carrie Biggers (Carries Cakes) and she was on the team with Norm Davis and used this method for their Ultimate Cake Challenge.

In late July McKay Brown from Provo Craft emailed me to tell me he had heard about what I was doing from someone at a craft show. He thought my cakes were amazing and ordered a DVD from me. I told him I would be interested in presenting this concept to Provo Craft, but did not get a response back. I did send him the DVD.

My attorney was able to contact some of the people in the marketing department and talk to them. They looked at my web site and saw what I was doing. I had also put a short video of some of the cake I had made using the Cricut. He arranged a conference call with the Provo Craft people, and I told them that if they noticed an increase in sells of the Cricut, it was because of me. They were very interested in what I had to say. I finally got their attention. I told them that my method was going to change the way we decorated cakes. They were very anxious to meet with me, and I scheduled a time that my attorney, husband and I could go to Provo. We asked for a non compete, non discloser agreement to be signed before I showed them everything I had developed. They agreed, so we went to Provo at the end of Oct 2009.

When we got there my attorney asked to meet with their legal guys to sign the non discloser agreement we had agreed on. He was told that we would sign the agreements in the afternoon. I am not sure if they did not have the agreements ready, but my attorney came with one ready to sign. We trusted the company to act ethically and believed we would sign the non compete/non discloser agreement that afternoon. So far, I had no reason to not trust Provo Craft.

I brought everything with me and gave a very impressive demonstration, showing everything I had come up with. The people at Provo Craft were amazed, and had no idea that their machine could be used for cake decorating. There were at least 50 people in the room and everything I did was filmed and photographed. After lunch, I met with the product development people and told them everything about the modifications needed for the machine and gave suggestions for a few improvements. I explained about making the markers food safe and told them that new designs would be needed for cake decorators. I let them know that this was something I was to be a part of. If they did not want to work with me to develop a new product, then I could take my ideas somewhere else. My attorney tried his best to get their attorneys to sign the agreements. For some reason, Provo Craft’s attorneys were not to be found. After I gave them all the information I had, we were basically dismissed. We still had faith they would do the right thing, and I even got an email the next day from Jon Lee telling me it was a bit hit.

We headed back home and I started to get a little nervous about what had transpired. I paid my attorney a lot of money to come with us, to protect my interests. I trusted Provo Craft to do the right thing, but they proved to be untrustworthy. My attorney told me to have faith that things would work out. He did try to call and email them, but did not get any response to his inquiries.

After a few weeks of no response from Provo Craft I decided we would need to protect my invention with a patent. I contacted a patent attorney and showed her what I had developed. She was very positive about this being approved by the patent office, so I told we would go ahead with the patent. We are patent pending on the entire process. It will be awhile before we know the final out come.

Finally, I got a message from Provo Craft that they have come out with a new cricut Cake machine! They also have a new cake cartridge and sent me a sample of the designs to see. I was asked if I would come to Utah to film a short video about the new machine. I agreed to go. I wanted to see what they had come up with, and was still hoping they would do the right thing by me. We filmed at Carrie Biggers shop and it was a very interesting experience. Still no contract or mention of working with me. I am not given credit in the video for coming up with this idea. I still believed Provo Craft would do something to include me in the process. They are a scrapbook company and don’t know anything about cake decorating. They don’t understand the products we use or the designs we need.

A few weeks after the video was filmed I was asked if I would go to California to the CHA show 2010 for the big launch of the Cricut Cake. They would pay my expenses and pay me for my time. I decided that I would go and see for my self what was going on. I was to be demonstrating the new Cricut Cake machine, so I came prepared to do several demos. Their spokesperson began the introduction telling the people present that I had come to Provo Craft and asked them to make a machine that would cut gum paste! I know she was told what to say, but it was all I could do to tell the people at the demos that was not true. There were poster size pictures of my cakes all over the walls, taken from my web site without permission. That was fine to show my cakes, but not one word giving me credit for the work.

The evening of the 3rd day was a launch party. Jeff and I attended and there was a lot of people at the party. The video was shown and you can see the entire thing on youtube. The CEO of the company spoke and not once did he say anything about my contribution. If it were not for me Provo Craft would not have a new product to launch. It was my idea and it was obvious to me that they had no intension of ever giving me credit. I am personally responsible for the sale of hundreds of Cricut machines and now a new product line.

I decided that evening that I was done. They had flown in another cake decorator, so she could handle the rest of the demonstrations.

I spoke with Jon Lee and told him of my concerns. I had received a contract from Provo Crafty earlier in the week and told him I would not sign it. Basically, they wanted me to sign over all my rights to everything I had done including all my copy righted materials . They offered me $10,000 with a one year contract. They would pay me $1,000 a month to be their cake ambassador and travel to cake shows promoting the Cricut Cake. I offered a more reasonable contract, but they were not interested. I have a shop and can’t afford to give all my time to Provo Craft for so little compensation.

Provo Craft only has a machine to offer. I offer the method that can be used with several machines. There are a lot of people who are decorating cakes with this new method because of me. Several people are making a lot of money teaching classes because of me, and I personally taught many of them. I have come up with even more ideas we can use in the cake world. The latest is printing on gum paste.

The bottom line is this:
1) We presented this cake decorating technique to Provo Craft
2) We were promised a non compete, non discloser agreement
3) They did not give us the agreement we asked for
4) They took my ideas, and did not give me one penny for my invention

There's more at my old blog if you really want to read all the drama surrounding this.