Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why having a birthday on Black Friday is awesome

***NOTE: I realize this post is from over a month ago - I just didn't get around to it yet! I'm working my way through all the blogs I missed over holiday craziness!***

It's pretty much the opposite of those poor people who have a birthday right around Christmas. November is late enough in the year people start getting into buying gifts, but far enough away from Christmas, they don't try to combine them. Plus, since everything is on sale that day, my gifts are bigger than they probably should be. If you can't tell, I love presents. I spent the first 10 years of my life as a spoiled brat only child. Apparently, that's something I'm not going to outgrow. I've decided to accept that.

So, this year for my birthday I scored an awesome cake-related present - a Cricut Cake!! I actually opted for the mini even though the Martha Stewart edition was on super sale on Amazon. You know I love Martha. Seriously, I do. But, I read reviews and they were pretty mixed about this thing. Some people think it's "too perfect" (as if there is such a thing!!) and some people called it a waste of money. I thought with the mini I wasn't wasting too much (of someone elses's) money and it takes up about half the space which I really love since I get anxious around too much clutter.

So, after reading tons of reviews and suggestions and message boards, I felt pretty ready to try it out. Look how cute this thing is straight out of the box! (I put my hand in for size reference but keep in mind I kind of have man-hands!)

 It came with lots of information which I didn't really read. There was a DVD which I watched. After that 10 minutes or so, I felt very informed and prepared! The machine came with a "Cake Basics" cartridge and I bought "Holiday Cakes" at the same time so that I could make fun Christmas cakes.

Because I like to live in a constant state of stress, I had agreed to make a 25th anniversary cake 3 days after I received the machine in the mail. Nothing like a timeline to help you learn! Anyway, I dove right in using mm fondant to cut out a "Happy Anniversary". I immediately learned 2 important lessons: First, make sure you check the pressure because mine was set all the way on high and now I will forever have this design in my mat! Secondly, the message boards were right about warm, soft fondant. It will not work, it will just turn to mush like mine did.

So this was my first rushed attempt to make the Cricut work. I promise it will get better. After this attempt, I rolled my fondant out very thin and put it in the freezer. I found a good way of doing this was to roll it on the Cricut mat, then put it to a flat surface (I had a plastic cutting board) and separate the layers by saran wrap. I then kept them stored in my freezer so they are ready to pull out and play with when I have time. Next blog I will show you how it worked after freezing and more of the Cricut Cake learning curve.

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