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Archive | April 9, 2010

Provo Craft Issues Statement on Cricut Cake Controversy

The Cricut Cake machine that was unveiled at CHA Winter 2010 amid much buzz will be launched on HSN on April 14th. Unfortunately for Provo Craft, as that date approaches the machine’s origin has become surrounded in controversy.

The controversy has been fueled by custom cake designer Linda McClure of Vidalia, Louisiana, who has posted a lengthy statement on her website claiming to be the real inventor of the Cricut Cake machine’s concept. Her daughter has been posting on several prominent scrapbook message boards on her mother’s behalf, drawing attention to and defending her mother’s claims.

McClure filed an application on March 24th, 2010 for a patent related to the process used to cut gum paste with the Cricut machine. Whether the patent will be granted is yet to be determined in a lengthy and complex process. Approval is by no means certain.

After McClure’s allegations worked message boards into a frenzy over a few days, Provo Craft finally felt compelled to do something that is rare for them: issue a response to negative publicity. Among other things, Provo Craft claims they started development of the Cake machine in 2007:

In 2009, Linda McClure approached Provo Craft about a method of cutting gum paste, a method with which Provo Craft was already familiar and whose documented development dates as far back as 2007. We reached an informal agreement that provided for Ms. McClure to be compensated at fair market value for her time and consulting services as we prepared to launch Cricut Cake in 2010. She accepted, performed certain activities, and was compensated accordingly.

More recently, Provo Craft and Ms. McClure discussed the possibility of extending a formal consulting agreement. We believe that some of her requests, including both financial and non-financial terms, were unrealistic. Further, Linda was adamant that her requests were non-negotiable. As a result we chose not to enter a long term agreement with her, and unfortunately our relationship deteriorated.

Provo Craft’s initial research and development for Cricut Cake began in 2007. Since then, Provo Craft has conducted extensive market research and consulted with industry leaders, and both professional and aspiring cake decorators. We’re grateful for the valuable input and the enthusiastic support of these individuals, and we look forward to our continued relationship with them. We also hope you share our excitement for the fun possibilities that Cricut Cake will bring to creative kitchens everywhere.

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Review: Pink Paislee Artisan Elements

Not only is this new product something unique, but they are acid free and a lot of fun to play with, too. Pink Paislee has come out with a new product called Artisan Elements, and in its debut they released three different items: sets of swirls, frames, and an alphabet.

product images above from www.pinkpaislee.com

I don’t know what the material actually is. Somehow it’s not only soft and flexible, but also acid free. So many scrapbook embellishments these days do not state they are acid free, so to see Pink Paislee come out with something so unique that is archivally safe (and fairly flat) makes this scrapbooker super happy.

The possibilities, it would seem, are bound only by the imagination. I’ve tried inking, stamping, misting, painting, glittering, gluing, using marker pens, gold leafing pen, and even debossing the material with the GCD ChipArt tool I reviewed a few weeks ago. Everything I have tried to make stick to this material works.

Above is a piece I experimented on heavily. Some mediums take a while to dry, but everything I’ve tried does indeed dry and stick to the surface.

In the example above I used Smooch inks (that have a liquid eyeliner type consistency and applicator) to paint the design. It took a few minutes, but it was fun to do – I felt like a kid with a coloring book.

While coloring in detail was fun, I find myself leaning towards just picking one color to decorate the pieces. Below I’ve used Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Timeless Lilac to color the flourish. Rather than spritzing, I dipped a small paintbrush into the Glimmer Mist and let the mist soak into the cracks of the design creating deeper color in the lines, and a lighter color along the raised portion. This is both quick and simple.

While acrylic paints do work, I found that thinning them out into more of a glaze-like consistency helped me keep the intricate detail showing up better on the more detailed pieces.

Spraying or spritzing the pieces to give a more uneven look is a lot of fun too, as seen below with a frame.

The material is very soft and easy to cut if desired. Below you can see pieces from the alphabet set. The Q is spritzed, while the question mark has been drawn on with a metallic marker.

I have only two complaints about this product. First, I wish the alphabet had more than one of each letter. Second, I wish there were a lot more designs to choose from. I’d love to see more fonts, styles, and individual elements such as buttons, flowers, leaves, butterflies, and other shapes that would be both useful and fun to use. It is my hope that we’re going to see a lot more of this special material in the future from Pink Paislee.

Supplies: Pink Paislee patterned papers, Artisan Elements, and journaling paper; Making Memories small letter and number stickers; American Crafts Thickers; Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists; Tim Holtz Distress Tool.

On this page, I used pieces from each of the sheets of Artisan Elements. The brackets shown above were spritzed with Strawberry Shortcake Chalkboard Mist, then lightly glazed with Mermaid Glimmer Glam by Tattered Angels.

I cut this frame in half to make more of a bracket to hold the date for my layout.

Finally, I used a paintbrush and paints taken to a glaze-like consistency to quickly decorate this large corner accent.

I feel like I’m just scratching the surface with this new material, and knowing that it’s flexible I am currently pondering the possibilities for altered arts and other off-the-page crafting.

Pink Paislee Artisan Elements are in stores now, and available through online stores such as Scrapbook.com and Two Peas In A Bucket.

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