Thursday, January 5, 2017

Cricut Explore

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase from clicking on one of these links, I will make a small commission.  Thanks!***

Earlier this week I posted about how I received a Cricut Explore One™ for Christmas, and I will finally be looking at learning the Cricut Design Space™ software and how to use SVG files.  For all of you that have been worried about making this same jump into the world of the Explore machine and Design Space, let's learn the ropes together!

mamawcindy posted this question in relationship to my earlier post about the Cricut Explore . . .
I still use my Cricut Expression and the Gypsy and love them both.Several months ago I downloaded Cricutcraftroom and have used it a few times. I received the Explore for Christmas (2) years ago. Afraid to use It. Could you tell me If I am to Download Design Space first before I get the explore out of the box or do I hook up the explore and then get design space?
Great question!

I personally have already downloaded Cricut Design Space™, but I have not taken the Explore out of the box.  I am waiting to register it to my Cricut account until I know I will have PLENTY of time to craft, because as I understand it once you register your Explore you get a free 2 week trial to the Cricut Access.  I would hate to hook up my new machine, have it all registered and then not have time to play with the images on Cricut Access!

Also, since I have a Gypsy and I have cartridges linked to that, I wanted to be able to use those in Design Space.  I did some research and found that I needed to link the Gypsy to the Cricut Craft Room first, and then when I opened Cricut Design Space I would have access to all of those same cartridges.

Also, once you have downloaded the Cricut Design Space™ there is an option to click to register your machine so to me it makes more sense to get Design Space set up and loaded on your computer first.

Sign up for Cricut Access™ and get 10% off all orders on Cricut.com and in Cricut Design Space™

List Yourself on Blog Directories

One way to get your blog in front of more people is to list yourself on Blog Directories.  One of the ones that I am listed on is the Cricut Top 40.

One thing that is really fun about this directory is that when you list your blog you get a button to display on your blog.  There is special HTML coding inside of that button, so as your traffic goes up you can see your ranking on the Top 40 list as compared to other blogs that are listed.  If you are in the top 40, your current ranking number shows up inside the circle on the button . . . if you are not in the top 40 for the day, the circle disappears from the button.

Normally if I have a fun new project on my blog, or some event I am promoting, I see my ranking numbers rise through the day.  But imagine my surprise when I came to my blog this morning to see this . . .

That's right . . . I am #1 on the Cricut Top 40 currently!  How the heck did THAT happen!?!?!?  I have not even posted a new project for a while!

So I took a look at my traffic and stats for the day . . . and I can clearly see I am getting a HUGE amount of traffic from a FaveCrafts.com link.  This is another place that I have my blog and projects listed.



I am so glad I have made the connections with companies like FaveCrafts.com and had the opportunity to share my crafts with so many people.  Hopefully 2017 will be more of the same!

If you want to follow me on Facebook so that you can see all of my crafting adventures make sure to click HERE.  You can also follow me on Pinterest by clicking HERE.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Moving from the Cricut Expression to the Explore

Well, tonight I made the first step towards using my new Cricut Explore machine.  I have had the Cricut Expression for YEARS, and then I added a Gypsy to my Cricut collection.  I liked that the Gypsy allowed me to alter some of the images I already owned.

So, I had MOST of my Cricut cartridges linked to my Gypsy.  With the Explore I will have to use the Cricut Design Space software to layout, adjust or alter any of my images.  So first I had to download the Cricut Craft Room software and once I logged into that software with my Cricut account there was an option to link my Gypsy to the Cricut Craft Room.  I thought it would take a while to do, but it was done in less than 2 minutes.  Easy!

Then I logged into Cricut Design Space, and at first I did not see my cartridges so I contacted the Cricut help desk and they recommended I log out of my account and then log back in.  I was happy to see that once I did that, I could see all of my cartridges that were linked to my Gypsy on my account.

SUCCESS!

If you cannot see your linked cartridges, go File > New and you will open up a virtual mat.
Click on Insert Image.
Then click on the funnel shape on the upper right side of the screen . . . I circled it in red in the image below.











Once you click on this, you can choose from just images on Cricut Access, My Images (which shows images you have purchased, are linked to your account or free images you can use) or you can choose to view images you have uploaded.

So now I can see all of the images that are on the cartridges that I have linked to my Gypsy in Design Space.  Now I can start to design with those, and cut them with my Explore.

I really thought the process of transferring all of those cartridges over so that I could use them in Design Space would take a long time, but I think it took longer to type up this blog post than it did to transfer the images.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Out with the old . . .

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase from clicking on one of these links, I will make a small commission.  Thanks!***

It is the end of the year.  Time to start to think about new and exciting adventures in the new year.  What new adventures do I have planned?  Glad you asked.  I am going to finally learn to use the Cricut Explore machine, and the Cricut Design Space software.

I love my Cricut Expression, and I have used it for so many projects.  I had told myself that there was no need to get a new Cricut machine until my current one did not work any more.  So that was my master plan . . . to keep using the Expression until it "died" and I was forced to upgrade to a new machine.  But then my husband saw a good deal on a Cricut bundle and got it for me for Christmas.  So I guess this means this old dog has to learn some new software.

I have to admit, I was and still kind of am worried . . . what if I cannot figure this new software out?  So if you are holding back on getting the Explore for the same reasons then you can follow me and I will HONESTLY tell you how hard or how easy this Design Space stuff is.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Minnie Mouse Gift Card Holder

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Today I want to share a Minnie Mouse inspired gift box with you.  This little box is the perfect size for a small gift or a gift card.


First I cut the box from some pink polka dot cardstock using the Sizzix Box with Scalloped Flap Die. 


Then I cut a piece of white cardstock out of just the front flap portion of this same shape.


I used my circle cutters to cut a black circle, and then I trimmed that down since I did not need the full circle . . . I really only needed about 3/4 of the circle.  In the image below you can see all of the separate pieces I needed for this project.


Then I just layered the pieces together.  First I glued the black circle to the white flap, and then I attached the white flap to the pink polka dot piece.  


Then I folded up the sides of the box and glued those together.  For the final touch I added a small pink bow to the top of the box.


I think this box turned out really cute!  This would be the perfect way to give a Disney gift card to someone you know.

Featured on FaveCrafts Pinterest Page

The other day I noticed that I was getting some traffic to my blog that was coming in through the FaveCrafts Pinterest page.  When I went over to check out their Pinterest boards for myself, I saw this



That is my wine bottle project in the small preview on their Wine Bottle Crafts board!  If you would like to see the full project tutorial for this project, you can go HERE to see the original post.

If you are a craft blogger and you do not already work with FaveCrafts.com you should start now.  Be sure to read my blog post on how to share your projects on FaveCrafts.com . . . just click HERE.  In case you did not know, FaveCrafts.com is run by Prime Publishing.  They actually have a whole family of websites.  I have projects listed on several of them, including

AllFreeHolidayCrafts.com

This is a great way to get your projects out to a much larger audience!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Disney Pixar Blog Hop - December 2016!

Welcome to the Disney Pixar Blog Hop!



Disney and crafting are a magical combination, and we are so happy you joined us to day for this blog hop.  Some of the crafters participating in this event have been doing this together since 2011!  Over the years the hop has grown but one thing has always stayed the same . . . amazing crafting projects that feature your favorite characters from Disney and Pixar movies.

For 2016 we are going to have a hop every other month for the entire year!  If you missed one of the hops we already had this year, you can still go back and see the projects.  For February click HERE, for April click HERE, for June click HERE, for August click HERE and for October click HERE.  If you are on Facebook you can like the group page so that you can be the first to learn about each upcoming event.  Just click HERE to go the the Facebook page.

For today's project, I created a Minnie Mouse banner.  I have a co-worker who's daughter wanted to have a Minnie Mouse birthday party, so I created this banner for her.  After the party is done, she can hang the banner in her room.


For the letters I used the Mickey Font Cricut cartridge.  


After I cut each letter out using the Mickey Mouse icon cut, I cut out a red circle just slightly smaller than the main part of the Mickey Mouse head.


I glued the red circles to the back of the Mickey Mouse shapes, so that the red color popped through the letter openings.


Here is how it looked from the front once the red circle was attached.


For the ends of the banner, I made two Minnie Mouse cuts at 10 3/4" each.  The one on the left is the normal cut, but the one on the right I made by using the FLIP function on the Cricut.  This cuts a mirror image of any cut, so it made it really easy for me to make a Minnie Mouse facing the opposite way for the right side of the banner.


On the face cut, I used a cotton ball and some light pink ink to add some blush to Minnie's cheeks.  Then I used a Q-tip and some light blue ink to add a little eye shadow to Minnie's eyelids.  I wanted to do this before I glued all of the layers together so that I only got the ink the face piece.


Once I glued the face piece on to the black base piece, you can see that the "make up" on Minnie is very subtle, but that was the way I wanted it.


I found a red polka dot paper in one of my paper stacks, and it was PERFECT for Minnie's dress and bow.  


When I was stringing the banner together, I did not like the way the red ribbon looked sitting on top of Minnie's hand, so after I secured the ribbon down to the hand, I cut a second hand/glove piece that I glued over the top.  Now the ribbon is sandwiched between two hand/glove pieces.


Then I added a cute little red bow at each end of the ribbon.  This adds some dimension to the banner also.


And here is the finished banner!



Before you go, make sure to enter to win our prize for this hop . . .



We have a prize from KatScrappiness.com!  This prize pack includes a die set and 5 packages of sequins of the winners choice!  Choices must be from the current inventory.  Winners must be in the continental United States.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Good luck, and enjoy the rest of the hop!

The full blog hop line up is below.  

Cathie (project post was not up at the time the hop started, so check back)