Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sweet Treats Thursday - Review, Cricut Cartridge PAGODA

Greetings Everyone … this is ♥Carol♥ … Welcome to My Little Creation Corner.

As a Design Team Member on the the Cuttlebug Challenge Blog, Sweet Treats Thursday Team, I was asked to do a review of the new Cricut Cartridges, PAGODA.  (Please visit the Cuttlebug Challenge blog to see the initial review).  I'd like to share a more detailed review of that cartridge for you here as well.

(NOTE:  Please click on this, and all images, to see in their FULL size)

This cart is filled with a wonderful selection of images, with the key features on the cartridge being as follows...

Base Feature Images (characters like lanterns, dolls, kites, dragons, birds, trees, dragon flies, fish, flowers bridges, fans, umbrellas, teapot and cup, chopsticks, kimonos, and much more)

Base Shift Feature (layering pieces for the base images)

Kanji Feature (images of each of the Kanji characters)
Kanji Shift Feature (shadows for the Kanji characters)

Kanji Tag Feature (the Kanji character in various tag shapes)
Kanji Tag Shift Feature (which are the backgrounds for the Kanji Tags)

Kanji Word  Feature (which is the English translation of the respective Kanji character on it’s respective key in a rectangular tag style)
Kanji Word Shift Feature (which is the respective Kanji character that will fit nicely in the word tag)

Kanji Tag Feature (which are the various images in a variety of tag shapes)
Kanji Tag Shift (background pieces for the tags)

Card Feature (rectangular shaped cards with the images in them)
Card Shift Feature (circular cards with the images in them)

Shadow Feature (shadows for the images)
Shadow Shift Feature (shadows for the Kanji characters, this shadows the shadow of the Kanji Character Shift shadow – virtually a 2nd shadow for the Kanji characters).

Before I started writing this review, I wanted to identify exactly what a Kanji was, and which Asian culture it represented, so I called Provo Craft directly and asked the question. I was told that this cartridge is Chinese, however, it is also part Japanese. Are you as confused by that explanation as much as I was?  Well, I couldn’t stop with that, so I looked it up on line at Wakipedea, and this is the definition I found …

Kanji (help•info) (漢字?) are the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system along with hiragana (ひらがな, 平仮名), katakana (カタカナ, 片仮名), Indo Arabic numerals, and the occasional use of the Latin alphabet (also known as Rōmaji). The Japanese term kanji (漢字) literally means "Han characters".

Still confused, I looked it up in the dictionary, and this is the definition I found …

“a Japanese system of writing that utilizes characters borrowed or adapted from Chinese writing, a single character in the kanji system”

Now this I could understand! *grin* But the really important thing to say is the images are absolutely adorable. I love that you can use the images, the Kanji character, and the English translation all together.

One thing I will note is that trying to figure out the meaning of each Kanji character is, was a bit of a challenge. I discovered that they are actually all in the cartridge handbook.  To see the English translation, look on the Kanji Word Feature Key. But, just a warning, the image in your handbook is extremely small … so pull out your glasses, or your bi-focals, you just might need them. If you have a Gypsy or the Design Studio program, you can enlarge this image so that you can read it easier.

I really do like the wonderful options on this cart … it offers a delight blend of whimsical images mixed with delicate intricately detailed images as well. Combined with the Kanji characters and the English translations, you have an opportunity for endless creative possibilities to make a wide variety of crafts.

Here’s a sample I made this morning that mixes the Kanji character for “friend” and the English translation … I teamed it together with one of the Cuttlebug embossing folders from the new Asian line to make this greeting card …

another view

To make this card, I used the following supplies ...

Cricut Cartridge Pagoda
Cricut Cartridge George Basics Shapes
Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (from the new Asian set)
Cricut Design Studio Program
Ribbon (Offray, pink flora)
Prima Fabric Fancies Flowers
Core'dinations Chocolate Box card stock
S.E.I. Patterned Paper from the Chocolat Paper Stack
Pink card stock
Small Bronze Brads
Sanding block
Pop Dots
Glue Glider Adhesive
Zig 2-way fine tip Glue Pen

This card is similar to a Joy Fold card and to make it, I followed these steps.

1)  Cut Patterned paper to size 8.5x11 and fold in half for card base.
2)  Emboss the Asian Lady on Coredinations Chocolate Box card stock, then sand lightly to bring out the pink background color.
3)  Trim around the embossed image and mat onto pink card stock and trim around the image again.
4)  Using Design Studio, place the "friend" Kanji word (from Pagoda) on the mat using a 2x3 inch size, add the Kanji character (size 1.5") inside the rectangle then welded a rectangle (from George) to the right side of the tag and stretched it so that it extended another 3 inches.

5)  Scor the tag at 2 inches and adhere the right 3 inches of the tag backwards to the inside right edge of the card.  Fold the remaining 2 inches over the front face of the card.
6)  Adhere ribbon vertically along the left side of card and attach brads to flowers and adhere top of ribbon.
7)  Adhere the Asian Lady, using pop dots, over the ribbon.

Although there is not an image of the inside of the card, the right side of the card is matted with the brown card stock, the pink tag "friends" tag opens up to a pink color to add the sentiment, and I added a pink shadow to the brown Kanji "friend" symbol that was cutout from the front tag and placed it next to the inside sentiment.

I hope you found this review both helpful and informative. Please feel free to leave a comment, I'd love to hear your thoughts. I hope you’ll take a moment and stop by and visit the Cuttlebug Challenge Blog to see this review in it's condensed form as well as all the other wonderful creations to be found there.

As always, thanks for stopping by and visiting me here at my Little Creation Corner.

Happy Crafting Everyone!



Dallas Freyer said...

This is a wonderful review. I wish I could find something like this for other ones. Thanks for sharing, Dallas.

Ladybug said...

Beautiful card, Carol! Wow! That was totally befuddling how Kanji is both Chinese and Japanese. Who would've known! Thanks for the info! :-)

Enfys said...

Very informative Carol, I had no idea that the english language words were on the cart. I have a feeling I will be using these more than the Kanji :)
En xx

~BridgetL~ said...

Thank you for showing us what is on this cart. I knew I wanted it, but now I really have to have it. :)

Debz said...

I just got my cart today and at first look I was disapointed because I didn't see the translation to any of the Kanji. I googled and came apon your site and you answered all my questions! Thanks so much, the is going to be favorite I think! We just adopted a little girl from China so I'll be using this for her scrapbook of our journey!

Nita's World Handmade said...

Carol, I'm passing a "Beautiful Bloggers" award to you for the wonderful work you do and the amazing card creations you make!
Please stop by my blog and pick up the bloggers award.

Marcia said...

What a awesome review!! I am thrilled to know we have the definitions of these symbols. Beautiful card too!

Freight Broker Motivation said...

Personally made for Japanese characters. This could help me learn more about Japanese language and writings, the hiragana, katakana and kanji.