Friday, January 29, 2016

What's wrong with me?

Oh my word!  It's been a year since I last posted.  This last year has been filled with challenges and changes and SO MANY projects and cards done with the Explore.  Projects and cards that went out the door so fast I didn't even take pictures.  So ....  stay tuned while I catch up!  In the meantime, here's one of the first t-shirts I did with HTV.  I think this could easily become an addiction!  The design is done with all Cricut images and was done by a member of a FaceBook group I'm on.  I sure wish I could remember her name because I LOVE how this turned out.  I made it for my hubby and he loves it, too!

Friday, January 2, 2015

How to cut out your photos and save ink in Design Space

There was a video recently done by the talented Melody Lane and it showed how to cut shapes out of your photos in Design Space.  It was a brilliant idea and I kept thinking that surely there was a way to do this but print out only the shape you want cut in order to save ink.  After lots of trial and error, I FOUND IT!  It does take quite a few steps so some may not want to bother with the extra steps but I am on a self-imposed crafting budget and this will help save on toner on my laser printer. Please be patient with my explanations as I am definitely no teacher but here goes:

Upload your picture using the basic upload feature of DS.  Select a shape from the cartridge library that will fit just a bit over your picture and in the layers panel make the color of it white.  I used a rectangle-the first one that showed up in images that I had.  Select a shape from the cartridge library that you want cut out of the photo and in the layers panel make it white.  I used a heart from Seasonal Soirees. Place your image to be sliced (heart) on top of the basic shape (rectangle) Slice your image (heart) from the basic shape (rectangle) and move the heart to the side.  Position the basic shape (rectangle) over the picture so that the cut out shape is where you want it on the photo (your white basic shape needs to be on top).  Be sure that your basic shape covers the entire photo --I did that before I sliced the heart out.  Using your mouse, drag the blue box around the picture with the sliced white rectangle on top and click attach.  Take your sliced image (heart) and using the corner dots resize it just a fraction smaller--I had to do this because I had difficulty getting it EXACTLY in the same spot it was sliced from.  It's strange to  note that even though I used the corner resizing dot, the heart did not resize uniformly but it wasn't off enough to bother me.  Make sure the sliced image (heart) is on the scissors in the layers panel.  Then, for now, click the eye on the sliced image (heart) to hide it. At this point there were times when my layers panel showed it had two photos (same pic) to print but ignore that...only one will print)

Click the "GO" spot at the top and print the image (which will be the picture with the basic shape on top--the white rectangle which will show as print in the layers panel).  The photo image will have the sliced image (white heart) cut out. In other words all that will print is your cut out image (the heart).

After it prints, you will then be on the Cut Preview Screen.  X out of that and you will be back at the main cut screen.  Click the "eye" on the sliced image (white heart) and it will appear.  Bring it to the front of the images using the "arrange" icon at the top and position it in the spot where it was cut from. You should see a white rectangle, a sliver of the printed image and the white heart.  Using your mouse, draw the blue box around the images and click attach.   At this point, click on the eye of the photo in the layers panel to hide it (saves on processing time).  In the layers panel BE SURE THE HEART IS ON THE SCISSORS NOT THE PRINT  ( think it automatically reverts back to print during the attach process).   You will then see a white rectangle (print) a sliver of background mat and the white heart with a black outline (meaning cut).  Click the green go button.  On the Mat Preview page, click on the print and continue.

When your printer pulls up the page, click "Cancel" instead of print (my printer screen showed a blank..strange).

You will then be on the cut preview screen (only the heart with black outline and the rectangle will show).

Place your previously printed heart picture on your mat and load it into the machine.  Hit the cut button on the Explore.  First the heart will cut and then the rectangle.  There may be a way to not cut the rectangle but honestly at this point I couldn't figure out how and I was happy with the process as
is. It's just a little bit of paper waste but I recycle all my trash paper.  Once during this experiment, it did a double cut on the heart.  Not sure how I did that but it worked and I was happy. make a very long story can be done.  Just takes some time so everybody needs to decide what's most valuable to them...time or ink/toner.  Once I do this process a few more times, I'll probably like it more and more.  I did get a lot of shockwave/plug in errors which I just "x" out of and eventually the screens move.  I think it's because of the limitations of my laptop.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Trying to catch up

Life has been so crazy busy since Halloween!  I will be trying to catch up on posting some of the stuff I've been doing but some of the things I've done with the Cricut Explore have been flying out the door so fast that I didn't even take pictures!  Here's an addition to the Thankful list I did for my grankids.  Since I have a laser printer, I can't use printable magnet paper that I had in my stash so I did a print and cut of these two little figures from a teacher's website that offers free images.  I then did a fast outline upload of the image, ran the magnet material through the Explore, then glued the printed and cut images on top of the cut magnet material and VIOLA!!  Custom Magnet!!  I originally got the images from a teacher's website for free clip art but now cannot find that link.  However, the bear pilgrim and turkey are can be found at and the kids at the table at

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cherry Good Wishes Card got top 5 !!

Well, the Cherry Good Wishes card I posted for the challenge #231  at FCCB won top 5 !!  WAHOO!  Thank you to Custom Crops and the designer who did the cut file for this card.  I only know her first name is Susan and since Custom Crops is out of business and their website is no longer functional, I cannot give her proper credit.  Thanks FCCB !!

Great blog... Wine and Glue

I am a follower of a great blog at  and they always have these luscious recipes along with really neat decorating tips and crafting projects and some humorous and thought-provoking posts.  This one I really did like and have printed it for my two youngest grankids.   I am so looking forward to their sharing each day of what they are thankful for.  It really hit home with me because in a recent Bible Study (about the life of Moses), we discussed how the Israelites grumbled about their trials rather than celebrate in their freedom from the Egyptians and going to the Lord in prayer.  I am thinking this might be a good thing for adults to do also!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Haunted Cabin

I did this Haunted Cabin from the Haunted Forest kit by and I LOVE IT!  I wasn't sure about my choice of papers but they ended up being musty and dark and spooky.  I used the Print to Cut function on the Explore and the Happy Hauntings cartridge to do the bats (which are just glued to thin strips cut from the clamshell of a Cricut cartridge), the headless horseman, the owl in the tree, Frank and Mrs. Frank, the pumpkins on the porch and the mummy.  The ghosts, raven on the roof and spider hanging from the side window are punches that a friend was working on while I was doing my house and she wanted me to use them.  They fit in SO well!!  I am thinking of doing one with a Christmas motif next.

Then tonight I put two small tealights in it to take "dark" pictures but while they worked great, I decided to put in a  6" battery operated pillar candle and it was FANTASTIC.  And I noticed something....not sure it was intentional but the window above the peak of the front porch roof looks like a scary face staring back at you.  HOW KOOL AND SPOOKY IS THAT????

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Birthday Card for Challenge

The Cherry Good Wishes card I did for the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge!  WAHOO!!  Thanks to the cut file from Custom Crops

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bus Box Card by Omar

I am constantly amazed at technology.  The Cricut Explore has been so much fun and yet the technology continues to surprise and keep me jumping to learn all the ins and outs.  Not only do I think the new Print to Cut technology is just beyond words, to sit and watch this machine draw and then cut is just a work of art.  Omar at has some incredible free creations on his website and one of my favorites is this bus box card.  I sat in amazement and watched the kids on the bus be drawn and then cut and I just shake my head in wonder.  Here's the link to his great card and below is the card I made using his wonderful file.  The kids were colored with prismacolor pencils

Friday, October 10, 2014

Birthday Card for Challenge

The Fantabulous Cricut Challenge blog is having a challenge for birthday cards at and this is my submission.  So head on over to look at all the great entries and submit one yourself!

This card is a Design Studio cut file from Custom Crops and is by Susan.  I have tried in numerous ways to find the link but Custom Crops is now out of business and must have closed out their website.  They had a lot of GREAT cut files to use in the old Cricut Design Studio program and it's sad to think there's no way I can share a link and I do not have any authority to share the cut file.  And yes, even though I have the fabulous Explore, I do still occasionally use an Expression and Design Studio, especially since I have so many great cut files there.

It uses Plantin Schoolbook and Lyrical Letters.  It's numerous layers and pop dots for dimension with a white gel pen for the dots and I just loved the way it turned out.  The cherries would really "pop" with some glossy accents over them.  The cherry paper is old Stampin Up and the other papers were just from my stash.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Stamp A-Faire* 2014 Time Traveler - Afternoon Challenges

The 1920s......The afternoon challenges were fun and inspiring and frustrating and made me stretch!  The first afternoon challenge was the 1920's and I LOVED learning to use the dies as templates to embellish with rhinestones and glitter.  I will absolutely definitely do this in the future.  It's a fun technique that can be sophisticated and whimsical and even applicable to holiday cards and scrapbook pages

The 1940's ....  I LOVED this challenge also.  The colors and stamps and flowers were just perfect.  I had never used a stamp/stamps for backgrounds before and learned a lot doing this one.  I need to work on my stem wrapping for the small bouquets but they are so versabile and would be useful for so many occasions!

The 1960's....I have to be honest and let you know that I struggled with this one.  I did manage to do this card which I feel fits with the theme:

And lastly...the 1980's.  I just enjoyed this theme so much!!  It reminded me so much of my daughter and I know she will love this when I give it to her for her next birthday.  She loved the rainbows and unicorns which were so popular during this era.  I also wanted to do the folding technique but probably won't get to it before the deadline for the challenges.