Saturday, June 14, 2014

Another reason to love Cricut Explore!

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I'm already in love with the Cricut Explore and I don't even have one yet. Every time I look more into the Explore I want it even more. Cricut and Provo Craft have really outdone themselves on this. And no... I don't get anything for saying that (I wish I did though LOL).

So as I'm looking into the Explore I found that they have the Make It Now app for the iPad released.

Image from

Click on the pic above to read more about it. I've downloaded the app on my iPad and I'm loving it. I can see that this will be a very useful app when I get my Explore. You can browse all the Make It Now projects that Cricut Design Space offers including the FREE projects. It shows you what files you need and allows you to purchase them from the app. You can also connect to your Explore wirelessly and and cut straight from the app. And I LOVE that it shows you your mats and will allow you to move the cuts around on your mat so that you can cut just where you want... exclude cuts you don't want... change your material size... and select a mirror image if you are doing an iron on. It has the project to allow you to cut, draw or score.

Well... I'm off to play around with Cricut Design Space. I'm gearing up to make some videos. I'm hoping to get my Explore in the next few weeks. I can't wait. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

What do you think about the new Cricut Explore?

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So... the new Cricut has been out for a while now. I'd love to hear from those that have the machine. I remember thinking that I wouldn't need the Expression when it first came out. Then I didn't need the E2 when it came out... and of course...It took me forever to finally get the Imagine thinking... I didn't need it.

So of course... when I saw the Cricut Explore I figured I wouldn't need it either. But after checking it out... I'm LOVING the Cricut Design Space... therefore I HAVE to have the Explore. The software looks so easy to use and has soooo many more uses than Cricut Craft Room. Don't get me wrong. I love CCR. It's been great. I'm just looking at CDS and it looks amazing.

I'd love to hear more from any of you that have the Explore. Also... if you have any experience with Cricut Design Space I'd like to hear some feedback from that.

 Check out the Cricut Explore here!

If you haven't checked out the Explore or Cricut Design Space... GO NOW!!! I think you will love it. 

Can't wait to hear from you. I will be providing a YouTube video for CDS soon. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

More Signs With Cricut and Vinyl

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Lately I've been using my Cricut Expression 2 and Cricut Craft Room to make custom signs and frames. Here is a collection of just a few that I've made. 

I've used a couple different methods to make my creations. The large "Welcome" frame is a 10x20 frame that I upcycled. It was a frame I picked up free that was getting thrown out. I simply painted it black and took everything out but the glass. I used Cricut Craft Room to create it and cut it out in black vinyl. Using the transfer paper made placement on the glass much easier. 

For most of the signs I simply used the same method above. But on the small black signs I tried something different. I used the vinyl to cut out the words. Then I used the negative from that on boards as a stencil and painted them using craft paint.

Watch for a video tutorial on how to do this technique to make your own signs. And if you are lucky enough to have the new Cricut Explore... the font options are ENDLESS. I can't wait to get mine!!!

Until next time... Happy Crafting!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Introducing Cricut Explore!

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So I am a fan of everything Cricut. And when I saw that Cricut had come out with a new machine, I said the exact same thing I did when the Cricut Imagine came out... "I won't want that". Yeah... right! Have you seen this machine yet??? It's wonderful!!!

I really did think that this machine would not do anything more than what I could already do with my Cricut Expression 2 and Cricut Craft Room. But... this machine is pretty impressive. 

Personally... I haven't been lucky enough to get one of these bad boys. But I've been doing a lot of research online about them. Here are just two of the great new features of the Explore. You can not only cut with the Explore... you can also write and score. That really opens things up more than I thought possible. 

Here's another amazing feature... there is a custom dial with preloaded settings for the materials you cut most often. This makes setting up your machine for the best cut super easy. Just turn the dial to your material and the machine already has the ideal settings preloaded. Doesn't get much simpler than that. 

There is also a handy little storage tray to keep all your tools in one place. And a place on top of the machine to hold your markers/pens. The tools are sold separately. 

While you can't find this beauty at your local store... you can order yours online. HSN had a presale of these and they SOLD OUT. But... you can pre order one now at JoAnn's or Wal-Mart. All three ship out March 15th with Free Shipping for $299. I'm not exactly sure... but on one of the sites the price of $349 is slashed. So I'm wondering if the price in store will be that.

Click below to order yours NOW! 

It's also pretty awesome that they give you this great carrying bag to go with the machine. 

Also comes with the following. 

- 12"x12" Cutting Mat
 - drawing/writing pen
- black & jade Cricut Cardstock
- Silver Cricut Vinyl
- White Cricut Iron-on
- Duck tape sheets
- Storage bag
- USB cord

Not enough to win you over? Here's another great feature... Cricut Design Space. While I will always love Cricut Craft Room... this new design software is pretty amazing itself. 

Cricut Design Space is CCR on steroids. It is incredible. They have really outdone themselves with this software. It was released this past Thursday and I am in love with it. Of course I will be doing a video soon. I will be doing another post going into more detail about Cricut Design Space in the next couple of days so I won't go into it right now. But... I will say this... one of the upcoming features is that you will be able to use your iPad with it. LOVE IT!!! Can't wait!!

Come back soon for more details and a video tutorial. 

Happy Crafting!!! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fun Projects with Cricut Craft Room and Vinyl

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Yesterday I posted about this week's Free Cut in Cricut Craft Room. You know how much I love CCR. I wanted to share some signs I made not too long ago. I made quite a few for Christmas gifts. I love making them. I get to use my Cricut, CCR and play in my wood shop. Can't go wrong there! :)

So here are a few that I did.

Along with My Cricut Closet I also do woodworking. It's something that I've always dreamed of doing and just been able to accomplish over the last year. It's a lot of fun... and even more fun when I get to use my Cricut on my wood projects.

To start I had a 1x3 poplar board that someone gave me for FREE. (Gotta love that!). I cut several pieces down to a size that looked appealing to me. No special measurements. Plus I had a few scraps laying around that I also used. I spray painted them all black. The larger pic "something good's...." was an old cabinet door that I trimmed down.

(I shared this pic in a previous post... but I hadn't completed all the signs)

I used Cricut Craft Room to type up the words I wanted to use. I have a video on using text in CCR. While this video was made a while ago and some features have been updated in CCR... the basics are still the same. Here's a link.

So using CCR I added my text and welded the letters together for the cursive words... Faith, Hope, Love, Joy. I used Gypsy Font for those. For PRAY and FAMILY I used Close to My Heart - Art Philosophy. That is truly one of my favorite cartridges. LOVE IT! I also used Art Philosophy for the longer saying. I used CCR to place my text on the mat the way I wanted it to look on the board. 

Ok. So you may be wondering what I did here. This was a special order for a Christmas present for one of my friends. She called me up and asked me if I could make a sign saying this. It was something special to her and her mom. Her grandpa used to sing it to her mom and to her. I created a new file and started by using Cricut Craft Room Basics. She had given me an idea of how big she wanted the sign. So I added a square at the dimensions she requested and colored that Layer black. I then added  a second layer with my text and colored it white. I did this so I could see what it would look like. 
Next I played with it. Originally I just added the whole saying as one text block. Then I started over and added each word as it's own text block and moved them around resizing them till I had what I wanted. 

Next step... after getting all the text the way I wanted them... I cut them using my Cricut Expression 2 and some Vinyl. They came out just as I wanted them to. 

So all the white lettered signs were done with the Vinyl. I applied the vinyl and then used some Mod Podge to seal it so that they would not come off down the road. I used the transfer sheets to get them aligned. Also... when I couldn't find my transfer paper I had a roll of clear contact paper that worked just as well. 

The red words were done differently. I love the look of the vinyl but I also wanted to try something else as well. After removing the letters I kept the negative and I used these as stencils to paint on the other blocks. Worked great. Now you could certainly do some sanding and make them look distressed, but I chose to leave them as they were. The painting took a little longer but it was still super easy. 

The "Family" sign I added an extra step. After painting it black I used some red spray paint and painted it a deep red over the black and then lightly sanded it randomly and added black vinyl letters. I like the way it turned out. Here is a closer shot of it, as well as some more pics. 

Just one last note. I mentioned which fonts I used for each of these. If you look at them and think that they don't really look like those fonts... I squished and stretched and manipulated the text in CCR. So they may look a bit different. Just another feature about CCR that I love. You can manipulate images and text until you get the look that you want. :)

Hope you enjoyed these and that it inspired you to make some vinyl signs of your own. As always.. I'd love for you to share your creations with me. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bless This Home is the Free Cut this week!

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Last week I tried hard to post the Free Cut of the week. But as hard as I tried I couldn't get excited about it so every time I tried to blog about it... nothing came out.

Not a problem this week. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this week's cut. 

I can't wait to make one of these. While I love my Cricut and all things to do with paper crafting... I am also very passionate about woodworking. So I always love projects that allow me to combine my two loves. Watch for a post this week where I show you how to make this. But there is a tutorial on the Cricut site on how to make this project as well. Click below. 

When you go into Cricut CraftRoom and just add these words to your mat... they will all come out the same size. If you click on the tutorial you will find a Cricut cut file with the dimensions you see above. 

There are NOT a lot of projects out there in the cyber world using this cut. I was only able to find one. But I wanted to share it with you. 

I think that you can find these wood blocks already made at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. But I though this was cute as well. 

I had the idea of getting a frame from Goodwill or the ReStore and frame this cut. I couldn't find a great example of what I had in mind... but this is pretty close. And of course.. you could use one of the other great fonts to make one of this for your family. But I want to do one with the Bless This Home cut. 

And don't limit yourself. You don't need to scrounge around for some lumber to try this cut. This is a great file. You could cut this out and put it directly on your wall... on a mirror... anything. 

Oooohhhh..... here is another great idea that I thought of. Again... these are examples of what you could do with this cut. Pick up a tile at your local hardware store or the ReStore and add your vinyl cut to the tile and put it on a stand. I actually really like this idea. 

I would link these projects to their creators but I pulled them from Pinterest and when I clicked on them they did not take me to any blogs. So please forgive me for not giving credit for them. 

Since there are not a lot of projects using this cut I encourage you to make something this week and share it. I can't wait to see what you make!!! 

AND... how awesome is this.... You can cut it free this week... but if you love it as much as I do you can purchase it digitally for only $1.99. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

This Weeks Free Cut - Winter Lace

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I know there are places all over that have had a lot more snow than we did here in Southern Indiana. But it's actually been a LONG time since we've had this much. My kids missed a week of school. And looks like we will get another round next week. Here's a pic of just a taste of what we have going on. And the day after I cleared that path to my workshop... it was covered completely again., as if I had never cleared it in the first place. 

So for me... this weeks Free Cut is very appropriate... Winter Lace!

Now, this is a cartridge that I do own. It was given to me by a dear friend. But I've not ever used it. So this week I thought I'd do something different. 

Here is the cover for the Winter Lace Seasonal Cartridge. It has 20 2D snowflakes and 10 3D snowflakes. For the next week you can design some projects using this great cartridge in Cricut Craft Room AND cut them for FREE. If you like the cartridge... you can purchase it digitally right from Provo Craft for $14.99. Just click on the pic below. 

So I decided to search for some inspiration for a project using this cartridge. Here's what I came up with. 

The first thing I did was Google it and this wreath jumped out at me immediately. It's actually uses Winter Is In the Air and Winter Lace. But you could easily just use Winter Lace. The link took me to the blog My Paper Crafting. com. There are several other projects with snowflakes, many using Winter Lace. 

And then of course I went to the place where I KNEW I'd be on overload with ideas... Pinterest. The link took me to a site called Scrapping Mommy. The link didn't work but you can still click on the pic and go to the site. Love this snowflake card. Looks like it's a Christmas card. But since that's gone... I'd maybe send it as a "thinking of you" card or "thank you". The options are limited by your imagination. What got my attention with this card was more about the great snowlfakes. 

Then I fell in love with this card. I'm thinking about making it and framing it as a gift. While it also uses Witner Wonderland and the swirl is from Ashlyns Alphabet. I'm sure I can find something to replace it. That's one of the great things about Cricut. There are so many different images to choose from. Go over to Popsicle Toes to check her blog out. 

I found that there are not a lot of pins for this cartridge. So I encourage you to add some of your own. And check out my Pinterest board. I've created a board for Winter Lace and will be creating one for each new Free Cut of the week. Check it out here! Check out my other boards for Cricut while you are there :)

Well... there are a lot of options out there for Winter Lace. Don't forget those Christmas pics and other winter pics for your scrapbook. So here's one last pic. Uses multiple other cartridges as well. Check it out at Scrap This Save That. 

I would love for you guys to share the pins you've found as well and to hear any feedback. Hope you guys have a great weekend!