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Author Archive | Anam Stubbington

Edible Embossing

Reported by Anam Stubbington

All to often, craft supplies get relegated to the particular craft they are labelled for in the shop, but there are so many cross-over opportunities, not just in the paper craft work. We have yarn and paper crafts mixing with crocheted flowers on scrapbook layouts; oil pastels and watercolors for making your own paper backgrounds for cards; and fabrics used for texture in clay work.

Today I decided to use my ProvoCraft Cuttlebug Embossing folders for something new. I use and abuse my folders because they are just so versatile and easily cleaned – a big bonus in my book.

We have all done the inking trick with the embossing folders, used them on velvet to extend their usability and used them on fimo and clay to make jewelry pieces. I had made the traditional clay ornaments with them – perfect for the Christmas season – I gave them as party favours using handmade air drying clay to match the invites I made also using the embossing folders.

(don’t know why the purple one looks dirty but in real life its got a gold and silver sheen)

In making these, I thought that I would try and see if I could continue the theme onto the cupcakes using icing and chocolate. I have the basic standard embossing folders so all I added was a rolling pin.

Turns out the embossing folders are awesome for making edible decorations – and I cleaned mine by sticking them in the dishwasher afterwards.
I started with Ready-to-roll icing because I will admit that I suck at baking. It was super easy – decide what folder you want and if you want the image in relief or embossed into the icing – remember with text plates, the relief version is in reverse when you place it down on the icing.

If you have a steady hand, you could even color the embossed images with food coloring. Food coloring though does not stick to the folders so you cannot coat the folder and then emboss like you would with an inkpad (which admittedly was a disappointment for me).

Then cut out your shapes either by hand or use cookie cutters to make awesome cake toppers.


Imagine the fun you could have with the whole image embossing plates for the tops of cakes or as frame bases for cake flowers.

I then tried chocolate to see how much fun I could have with the folders. I tried a few ways to do it and found these two worked best.

  • Firstly melt your chocolate to a runny dough consistency – I would suggest you buy proper cake chocolate so the chocolate stays harder longer once it is solid as my very yummy milk chocolate melted in my regular kitchen temperatures.
  • Add a little oil or cake release to your folders – I used olive oil and no-one mentioned any taste issues.
  • Put the folders on a flat tray with some greaseproof paper underneath them.

Option 1 is to pour the melted chocolate on top of your folder and allow to harder. once hard you turn the folder over and peel the plate off the chocolate – it should come over very easily. You can then use a cookie cutter to cut out the shapes you want – I found it worked better with a metal cutter that was heated in some hot water first.

Option 2 is good when you only want a specific part of an embossing folder. Place your cookie cutter (slightly oiled) on the area you want as your image. Pour the chocolate into the cookie cutter and allow to harden. Once hard, you can remove the plate and then pop the chocolate shape out – this way seemed to give me thicker shapes.

I left them in the fridge for a few hours and then added them to the cupcakes just before I served them. That said, some of my guests decided they would have happily eaten the chocolate toppers on their own so maybe make them with dark chocolate and serve with coffee for adults?

Remember to leave the cut shapes for a little while to dry out if you want them to be used flat or standing. Making cupcake toppers with the folders was so easy and would be a great addition to anyone’s DIY arsenal of tricks for wedding or party cakes.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Lots of designs available
  • Easy to clean afterwards

Cons:

  • Not all designs work well
  • Have to work in small batches due to size of folder
  • Lots of chocolate left that needs to be eaten

I hope you also find uses for those crafting supplies in the kitchen!

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Celebrating Movember

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of mustaches on thousands of mens faces around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for mens health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

You can sponsor the growing of said facial hair of friends and family and be part of a fun event to make a difference as 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

In honor of this being the month of Movember, I thought it would be a good time to introduce our readers to some of my favourite Male Crafters.

Fabrizio Martellucci


1. What do you enjoy about being creative?
I enjoy the distraction of it, I can lose myself for hours paper crafting and when I look at the clock I realise that I spent a whole afternoon crafting. It’s healing for me as I would just sulk otherwise because I’m indoors all the time due to agoraphobia and other issues.

2. What is the most frustrating thing about being creative?
Not being able to create what you have brewing in your head. I might have an idea that sits there for weeks then when I’m finally ready to create, it doesn’t come to fruition; I usually get totally disheartened but sometimes out of that original idea something completely different might come up and that surprises me.
3. Where do you look for inspiration?
I’m an avid blog hopper for my own linking website papermood.com as I’m always on the lookout for that ‘wow’ handmade greeting card, I also like to read paper crafting magazines: especially the card making ones. Funnily enough my best ‘lightbulb’ moments came using sketches/pagemaps I really dig how you can apply any sort of papers, embellishments and ribbons, using various layouts, which seems to have taken the guessing work, out of the equation. Sketches are real time savers. 


4. What do you love about your favourite pieces of artwork?
It’s something I like to share with other crafters like myself, in a way it’s a bit of a legacy on my best work (I’m really a hit and miss so I’m not proud of all my stuff lol); I always hope that someone who’s sitting on the fence about paper crafting might decide to start crafting because they see my creations and that would be really cool to think that I’ve inspired someone else.

5. Do you find any differences being male in your creative field?
I think male crafters are still standing out like sore thumbs because there aren’t that many of us. Mind you, I can see more men cardmakers popping up everywhere now than it used to be only a few years ago. I do like the attention I get being male as with my foreign name, it makes me stand out from the rest.

6. What would be your favourite words of creative wisdom to others?
Don’t buy everything you see as we only use 20% we own to produce 80% of our output (using the Pareto principle here), I believe that some of us have hoarding tendencies and that can be a problem if space is at a premium in your own dwelling. My best tip is also to give your creations only to people who will appreciate them, don’t spend time trying to convert the ‘only shop bought’ cards brigade: you’re only wasting your time. 🙂

You can see more of Fab’s work at his site: http://www.kimtag.com/fabrizio

Aaron Morris
1. What do you enjoy about being creative?
I enjoy being able to channel the creativity that I have inside me into things that make me and the ones I love happy.

2. What is the most frustrating thing about being creative?
I always find it frustrating when I lose my mojo. I hate having the desire to be creative, but having trouble creating something that I am happy with. Sometimes, I get frustrated when I have too much inspiration, knowing that I will likely not get to everything I want to do.

3. Where do you look for inspiration?
I find inspiration all around me. In a store, in nature, looking at other layouts (both paper and digi). I mostly get inspired to create things by my family and the memories we create – when I have memories to scrap or great photos I get inspired to create.

4. What do you love about your favourite pieces of artwork?
As I’ve spent time scrapbooking, my style has changed. I am most happy with my style as it is now. I love layering and clustering elements, and I love adding surprising elements to my pages. I also love having layouts that I can share with my family.

5. Do you find any differences being male in your creative field?
Not usually. Some people are surprised when they “find out” about me, but people are usually great about it and love having a man that shares their hobby.

6. What would be your favourite words of creative wisdom to others?
I think I would love to remind people that there is no “wrong answer” in creativity. Often we get caught up in what is trendy and what others will like and forget that creativity is supposed to be something that is original to each individual. My best work comes from the times that I forget what I think is the “right thing” to do, and do what I feel works the best.

You can see more of Aaron’s work at his site: http://www.sirscrapalot.com/

Andy Skinner
1. What do you enjoy about being creative?
Finding out new techniques, experimenting with new mediums and loosing myself for a few hours!

2. What is the most frustrating thing about being creative?
Never being totally happy with the artwork I create. Unfortunately we are all our own worst critics.

3. Where do you look for inspiration?
In absolutely everything including my dreams! I take a camera with me wherever I go and take pictures constantly for reference.

4. What do you love about your favourite pieces of artwork?
This is different for so many pieces as I dabble in many techniques, styles and media. I think, however,  for my Steampunk and assemblage items, it is the ability to produce realistic faux metal, rust and aged effects to fool the viewer. It’s so funny that my father spent most of his spare time restoring old items to make them look new, I on the other hand do the complete opposite, it’s much more fun that way!
5. Do you find any differences being male in your creative field?
Not really, I do sometimes feel a little out numbered as men are definitely the minority in this field it has to be said, but I have always got on far better with women having grown up in a female- dominated house and having all daughters.

6. What would be your favourite words of creative wisdom to others?
This one is simple for me, its from Albert Einstein “Imagination is more important than knowledge”

You can see more of Andy’s work at his site: http://andyskinner.org


I hope you have enjoyed this little introduction to some awesome crafters and that you will support Movember’s quest!

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Trends | Burlap

Burlap is what used to be called sackcloth; it was used for storage for everything as it was easy to make, breathable and moisture resistant. Even since it was used by the Haute Couture fashion houses a few years ago, burlap has been gaining strength. This seems to be the year where burlap comes into its own as a fully-functioning decorative fabric, being used in everything from wedding decorations to wall paper to the red carpet.

4. Bottega Veneta 2011 dress and Emma Watson wearing the dress to the Harry Potter Premier this summer.

It has a big place in the Eco-friendly world as it is bio-degradable, reusable, and durable. It can be dressed up or broken down, and yet still retains that rustic uniqueness all of its own. It can be used instead of canvas and paper to beautiful effect.

Burlap comes in ribbon rolls, in yards and in sheets and can be sewn, rolled, frayed, gathered, bunched, and looped, as well as used straight off the roll, or made into flowers.

You can sew it, color it with dye and paint, stamp and print on it, make it into furniture and clothes, toys and rugs. but most of all it is a fun and inexpensive way of being contemporary.

Burlap looks so pretty mixed with other fabrics such as silk, linen, and lace – a touch of elegance – the rough with the smooth.

And it’s perfect for those seasonal Christmas decorations.

6. Star

And the perfect gift maybe?

Burlap is so versatile, making it a perfect foil for both adults and kids alike, especially when it is used with this year’s perfect frame – the embroidery hoop!

And for those crafters and scrapbookers, there is a wide range of products that fit the burlap theme.

1. Tim Holtz Embossing folder

2. Nikki Sivils Buttons

3. My Minds Eye Trim

4. Weeds & Wildflowers Digital Elements

5. Ranger Tim Holtz distress inkpad

6. Canvas Corp Banner

7. Jillibean soup alpha stickers

8. Prima Marketing flowers

Also Hot off the Press do a burlap textured paper 🙂

I totally expect Burlap to stay as strong as it has for the last year, with more and more uses coming as it is a really interesting product.

I hope you enjoyed and are inspired by this little post on the wonders of burlap.

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