Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cricut Search - We are back in business!

I think we have the issue worked out and the site is back up and running.  Thank you everyone for putting up with the site being down for most of the day, and an extra big thank you to everyone that contacted us to bring it to our attention.  What would I do without you!

Also, a big thanks to my IT department . . . also know as my husband, Jeff.  You are the best dear!

Cricut Search - site down right now - please read

Figured that this is the fastest way to let everyone know . . . the site is down right now . . . they are switching us to a faster/better server and something got messed up in the move.

I am sorry for any inconveniences this causes.  I have our IT department (aka my husband Jeff) working on it right now.

Archiver's coupon

I just got this in my email . . . 30% off any one item now through October 6th at Archiver's.

I feel a shopping trip in my future!

Also, starting October 1st Archiver's will be having their Create-a-Calendar workshops.  This is a great time to make those personalized calendars for next year, or to give a Christmas gifts.  (Christmas is only a few months away)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Troubleshooting for CricutSearch.com

Here is a list of some of the common "bugs" we have found with the new site, along with how to resolve the issue.

Q:    I typed in a word, hit search and nothing happened?  What’s wrong?
A:   We have found that some internet browser versions do not work as well with our site.  We recommend that you go to Google and search Google Chrome, download that, and then use Google Chrome to navigate to our site.  In most cases, this resolves the issues.
Other things to check, if Google Chrome does not resolve the issue, are your Firewall setting and deleting cookies.

Q:   I typed in the word dogs, and I did not get any search results.  I am using Google Chrome, as suggested above.  What is the problem?
A:   Keywords are entered in singular form, so you should search dog, and not dogs.  The ‘s’ on the end is what is causing no search results.

Q:   I was looking for an image of a monkey, and one of the handbook pages from Locker Talk came up in the search.  I believe that this is an error since there is no monkey in the Locker Talk cartridge.
A:  Actually, this is not a mistake.  The page that comes up from Locker Talk has the image of playground equipment, including monkey bars, and the word monkey is in the two word phrase monkey bars.

Q:   I found an image that think you might have missed.  Can you update your database?
A:  Yes, we can update our database, so if you find something that you think we missed please let us know and we will review the search words for that cartridge.  Remember, what we called a suitcase you could be calling luggage, and that could also be the reason for the results you are getting, but we will look into the issue once you bring it to our attention.

Q:   I am looking for one of the Lite cartridges, and I was looking at the alphabetical listing and I do not see it.  Did you not include the Lites?
A:   We did include all of the Lites, but they were named with the word Lite in front of them to make them stand out from the rest of the cartridge list. 
  
Q:   What about the Imagine cartridges?  Where are they?
A:  The Imagine cartridges will be added as soon as handbooks are available for us to index.  They will follow the same naming convention as the Lites, with the word Imagine before the name of the cartridge to keep them all together and help them stand out from the rest of the cartridges.

Q:   I used the search and found the image that I want, but the handbook page number does not match the page that image is on in my handbook.  Why is that?
A:  We used the most current handbooks that we could find.  That being said, if some handbooks were re-printed and there were multiple versions of those handbooks made, this could explain the discrepancy that we have found in a small number of handbooks.

Q:   Many people have asked on message boards for a Religious cartridge.  Do you have anything that can help us with our search for religious images?
A:   Yes.  We saw these same requests on the message boards, and while assigning search terms to cartridges, we did include the term religious to cartridges that had images of a church, bible, cross, Buddha, Menorah and many other religious items.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Baby Bear

When I first saw this baby bear I did a double take . . . I thought that the person in the picture was holding a real animal.


This miniature bear is 4 inches tall, and if you ask me SO CUTE!  Is is an example of the final product from a patten that someone created that you can purchase.

She has other animals also . . . bunnies, panda bears, mice . . . and they are all so cute!


Fabric.com...Up to 70% off Retail

Monday, September 27, 2010

Baby shower layout

I am finally getting caught up on my scrapbooking.  Here is a layout from my sister-in-law's baby shower.
















I used the diaper pins from the Cricut Cartridge Simply Sweet, and the baby onesie from Doodlecharms.  Pink and green were the colors that my sister-in-law used in the baby's nursery, so I used those a lot in these pages.  I also found some paper that said Mom in different ways and in different languages on it.





















I am so happy to actually have time to be crafting again!

20% Off Most Scrapbooking Products at ScrapbookingAlley.com

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cute as a button!

Here are some pictures of my friend's baby.  I wanted to use soft baby colors, and the phrase worked perfectly with the paper, since there are buttons in the lines.



I know . . . I need to perfect my skills of taking pictures of my scrapbook layouts.  Any tips are welcome.

Save up to 70% off closeout craft supplies at the CreateForLess Clearance Sale. Quantities are limited - shop today!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Seeing dots!

I am one of those people that save all of my little scraps.  When I cut something, if there is a circle that comes out of the center of it, like a zero or the letter O, I save that middle circle and I keep them all in one container.


I am seeing dots!!!!
So, I had some random pictures of my kids with one of their cousins, and I thought I could combine some of my random photos with my random dots/circles, and this is what I came up with.
















I thought it turned out cute!

20% Off Most Scrapbooking Products at ScrapbookingAlley.com

Friday, September 24, 2010

Easy party favors

Are you looking for a quick and easy party favor?  Just purchase some candy bars and then make some custom wrappers from them with clip art.

I used this idea for a baby shower that I threw for my sister-in-law.  Here is the wrapper that inspired me.











I measured it out, and I was able to get two wrappers out of one sheet of paper, so this is how I set up the layout for mine.  I included a "Thank you for coming to the party" sentiment to mine so that when it was wrapped around the candy bar, the thank you would be on the back side.













I did some with a pink border and some with a yellow border . . . pink was Hershey's with Almonds and yellow was wrapped around the plain Hershey's bars.  The I placed them all into a cute photo box with some tissue paper and I had party favors for everyone to take when they left.

















My sister-in-law was also able to take the box home with her to use for baby photos or for storing other special items.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Scrap 'N Tote - Crafting to go!

I know that a lot of people LOVE to attend the group scrapbooking events.  What could be more fun that a bunch of women who all love scrapbooking getting together to create and share ideas!

If you are like me, when you started off the rolling tote scrapbooking bag worked fine, but as your collection grew, so did the bag.  Then add your Cricut into the mix and you could have a whole bag that is just filled with boxes of cartridges!  Or, you could use Scrap 'N Tote.




















One Scrap 'N Tote  holds 36 cartridges, the handbooks and overlays all in a binder style case with handles.  It even has space for your 12x12 cutting mat!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Go Bananas ~ It's your Birthday!

I wanted to share the birthday card that I made for my nephew, who loves monkeys.





















Here is the inside of the card.





















The best part about this card . . . I was able to use CricutSearch.com to find the PERFECT image for the front.  I knew that the Animal Kingdom cartridge had an image of a monkey, but what I did not know was if there were any OTHER cartridges that might have a monkey that I liked better.  So I went to CricutSearch.com, typed in monkey and 16 different pages came up!  WOW! That is a lot of monkeys!!!!

As I started paging through the previews, I noticed that one of the images that came up was from the Locker Talk cartridge, and I thought that was strange . . . why would there be a monkey in Locker Talk?  Then I looked at the image . . . it is of playground equipment and there are Monkey Bars in the image . . . since the word monkey is in the two word phrase monkey bar that is why it came up in the search.

After looking at all of the images, I decided to use the one from Animal Kingdom, but it was nice to be able quickly and easily preview all of the other monkeys so that I knew I had the perfect one for the card.

I hope that all of you also find CricutSearch.com useful for your crafting needs!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Getting started

I used to have such a hard time getting started on a new scrapbook.  I always feel like I need a great Title Page to start off the book.  One year I was working on a book and since I could not think of a good way to start it off I left it blank and moved on to the two page layouts for the different events for that year and just knew I would need to come back to it as some point.

At one point I noticed that I had a few random pictures that did not really fit in with others, or that I had a double of a picture, so I would set those aside.  Then it came to me . . . use those random and double pictures to start off the book.

















To bring some focus and attention to my two kids, I placed their school pictures for that year in the center of the zeros of the year.

20% Off Most Scrapbooking Products at ScrapbookingAlley.com

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Many thanks!

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that has helped us to spread the word about our new site CricutSearch.com, put our button on their site, used the site, contacted us to let us know how much they liked it and provided feedback and suggestions for future features.  My whole family is so happy that all of you like the site so much.



To everyone who has asked how long it took to do this: 
We started in May 2010, and we were working on it until the launch date of September 12, 2010.  Both my husband and I had day jobs, so after dinner we would work on the site for a couple of hours each night.  The weekends were when we really got some serious work done.  It almost became a game to see if we could "top" the number of cartridges that we cataloged the weekend before.

Our son, who has been drawing for years and actually wants to go into some sort of computer animation/graphic design/video game development major drew the black and white sketch for the bug in the logo in a very short time.  It just comes so easy to him.  Then we got him started on doing the colors in PhotoShop.

I have to give a BIG shout out to my daughter, who captured the images for the previews.  The handbooks are in pdf files with all of the pages in one big file, and we need each page to be a separate file for this to work, and she did 78 of the over 170 cartridges that are on the site!  She even trained her brother in on how to do it, and was there to "double check" things for me . . . making sure I did not miss any.

And of course, none of this could have been possible without my husband.  He was the one that saw the problem and SAW the solution.  Now if we could just get the same sort of system to help me find the paper I am looking for. (I know I have a paper with clouds on it somewhere in here . . . )  We often call my husband "the problem solver" of the family, and now all of you can enjoy his problem solving skills also.

We will keep you updated both here, and on the Facebook Fan Page for CricutSearch.om of new features and ideas we have.

Now let's get back to crafting!

JoAnn Coupons

It's Coupon Commotion at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts!  They have SEVERAL coupons for 40% off

Click HERE to print them off

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Search for cuts with shadows

When we were creating the CricutSearch.com website, I knew it would be a helpful search tool, but I did not even know that we were going to be able to do what this video shows.  It was well into the process of creating, building and cataloging all of the handbooks that I wondered if this would work if I searched it correctly, and I was happily surprised to see that it DID work, just like I wanted it to.  So, we had to create a video to show all of you about how you can search for cuts that have shadows.

Friday, September 17, 2010

CricutSearch.com - Search by Handbook

Here is another one of the videos that we did for CricutSearch.com that show a search tip on how to search by the name of a Cricut Cartridge.



CricutSearch.com - The crafting tool that gives you time to craft.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Archiver's coupon

Save 30% off any one item at Archiver's now through September 22nd

For anyone heading over to ScrapFest at the Mall of America this weekend, print this coupon out and be sure to bring it with!

CricutSearch vs. Design Studio

Before we created CricutSearch.com we did some looking on the internet to see how people currently organize and search for images.

Some people just sit down and look through the handbooks of the cartridges that they currently own.  If you only have one or two cartridges, this would not take long, but once your collection gets to be in the double digits, looking through all of the handbooks can take a long time.

Some people use cheat sheets, which do help to give you a better idea of what images are on a cartridge, but you STILL need to page through all of those cheat sheets to find what you are looking for.

Some people will post a message on a scrapbooking message board, asking other Cricut owners if they know of a cartridge that contains a specific image.  This could be hit or miss since you need to rely on the searching ability of others, and you don't know how long it will take for them to get back to you.

There are search features built into the Design Studio Software and the Gypsy, both products by Provo Craft, but if you do not own these then you are back to the other options.  And, even if you DO own these products, you might not always get the same results as you do with CricutSearch.com, which is what we demonstrate in the video below.

NOTE: I just spoke to a fellow crafter last night who showed me that I was not really using Design Studio to it's true potential in this video.  She uses Design Studio, and I have only previewed the trial version.  That being said, I may have to update this video to show how Design Studio works for those that KNOW how to use it, but we do still stand by the fact that CricutSearch.com gives you a more complete search result.



If you have Design Studio, or even a Gypsy, feel free to test out the search results for a keyword of your choice and compare it to the search results from CricutSearch.com and let us know what you find.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

About CricutSearch.com

Let me tell you about CricutSearch.com by sharing the story we have on the About Us Page of our site.

The Mom, is like many of you . . . loves to spend time crafting, but because of her busy life often finds that she does not have as much time to spend on her projects as she would like to.  Once she caught the Cricut bug, she started collecting more and more cartridges.  Friends and family would give them to her as gifts, or give her gift cards that she would save up to purchase cartridges.  After a while, she started to find that she could not keep track of her collection any more.  Have you ever had that feeling that you KNOW you have something, but you just cannot remember where?  That was exactly what was happening to her.  She would often find herself saying "I know I have a cartridge with a picture of . . . " and then she would spend more time flipping through the Cricut Cartridge handbooks to try and find that image, rather than spending that time enjoying her crafting.

This is when the Dad suggested the idea of a searchable database of all of the images on all of the Cricut cartridges.  "Could we do that?" asked the Mom.  "It would take a lot of work." said the Dad, "but it could be done."  So, in May 2010 they began work on CricutSearch.com.


The oldest child in the family, a very artistic teenager, became interested in what Mom and Dad were doing.  Mom said "We are going to need a logo for our website.  Would you like to try to come up with something?"  So, with paper and pencil in hand, with the idea of creating a cute cricket image in mind, the son set off to start sketching.  In no time, he had the cute little bug you see on our website today.

The youngest child, an enthusiastic young girl who also enjoys scrapbooking, also wanted to be a part of the project.  She could not help out with the programming of the website . . . that was all up to Dad . . . but she became very helpful to Mom.  For CricutSearch.com to work the way we wanted it to, we needed separate images of each handbook page.  "I could do that!", said the daughter.  And with that, while Mom was working on organizing and adding search terms to the cartridges that were already uploaded to the website, the daughter sat in the office right by her side and began the task of capturing each individual page of those handbooks.

And that is the story of how CricutSearch.com was born.

We later changed the name of the site to MyCutSearch.com

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I just got a blog award

I just got a wonderful surprise . . . I was given a blog award from Mrs. Sassy Crafter



and here are the rules for this award:



1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are fabulous.
4. Contact the bloggers you chose and let them know about the award.

The seven things about myself are:
1. I love Mickey Mouse
2. I was a hockey cheerleader in high school and college
3. I am under 5'-0" tall
4. I just launched the website CricutSearch.com along with my husband
5. I also operate the website ScamVictimsUnited.com along with my husband
6. I love shoe shopping
7. My favorite flower is a rose

Here are the blogs that I am passing this award on to.  Not all of them are "newly" discovered, but they are all ones that wanted to share with you.

Embellished Bayou
Scrap 4 The Memories
ScrappyRN
Wigstadt Photography
Creations with Christina
Pink Cricut
Out of My Head
Cute Cricut Corner

Monday, September 13, 2010

Take a tour of CricutSearch.com

To help out all of out first time visitors, we put together this video that takes you on a tour of CricutSearch.com and shows you were the buttons and features are located.




CricutSearch.com - The crafting tool that gives you time to craft.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

At long last - CricutSearch.com

I have been waiting over 4 months to share this with all of you.  The big project that my family and I have been working on this summer is


CricutSearch.com


CricutSearch.com will save you time when working on your scrapbooking, card making or paper crafts.  You will no longer have to flip through all of your Cricut handbooks or cheat sheets to find the perfect image to complete your crafting project.  Just type it into the search box and we will show you all of the choices you have.


Here is a video showing you how to use the basic search function on CricutSearch.com


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cricut Cozy

All of you know, I love my Cricut, but here is something that even I had not thought of . . . a Cricut Cozy!














It is a great dust cover/protector for your Cricut, and you can have it match the colors of your crafting room.















These are the creation of Kathy, and you can see the variety of colors and patterns that she has on Etsy and on this blog.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mark your calendar

ScrapFest is coming!
September 17th -19th the Mall of America will be filled with ways to use your creativity.  Workshops, make and takes, demonstrations . . . you can get all of the details at http://www.scrapfest10.com/

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Photography

My daughter has taken a photography class the past few summers at the daycare that she goes to.  The director of the daycare loves photography and scrapbooking, and she even does portraits with her daughter.  You can see some of their wonderful work here.  

Back to my daughter . . . she is only 10 years old, but I think she really has an eye for photography.  Here are some of the photos she took this summer.








Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cricut on sale at Menards!

Mid-July Menards had the Cricut Expression on sale for $178 . . . yes, you saw that right . . . $178 for the BIG machine!  (this price is AFTER a rebate) I just found out that they are doing it again.
There are Cricut Cartridges on sale also, for only $22.50!  The cartridges are
Storybook
Sports Mania
Jasmine
Calligraphy Collections
Stretch Your Imagination

Looks like Labor Day weekend is a good time to go shopping and stock up on supplies!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Birthday

Here is a birthday card that I made for my brother-in-law's birthday.

















This one was harder for me . . . I have gotten used to using glitter paper or some sort of "bling" on my cards, but when making a card for a guy I had to steer clear of those things.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Archiver's coupon

Labor Day weekend . . . what are you going to be doing?  If you plans include getting caught up on some scrapbooking, then why not save money on your supplies with the following coupons.

30% off any one item
Free cardstock with cardstock purchase

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010