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 http://www.creativedesignscakes.com/ 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.