Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mermaid Tail Blanket

Have you tried the trend that is all over the crocheting groups and message boards right now . . . I am talking about Mermaid Tail blankets!  If you do not know what a mermaid tail blanket is, check out the one that I recently made.


It is basically a cocoon style blanket with a fin shape on the end of it.  Instead of covering yourself with a flat blanket, and tucking the sides around you to keep you cozy, with this style blanket you actually put your legs inside of the cocoon . . . similar to crawling into a sleeping bag.  You can make them so that they just cover your legs or you could make them longer to come all the way up your body.


I found the pattern for this blanket https://yarnutopia.com/2015/04/29/how-to-crochet-video-tutorial-mermaid-tail-afghan-pattern-3-sizes-small-child-medium-teen-large-adult/

The pattern called for changing yarn colors every row, but I found this beautiful yarn with shades of blue and green in it and thought that it was perfect for a mermaid tail, so I decided to go with that instead of changing yarns.  The yarn is a color called Pond from the Deborah Norville Everyday yarn line from Premier Yarns.


Here is a close up of the shell stitch.  I love the way the colors of this yarn transition with this stitch.


The pattern for this blanket has directions for different sizes, but basically each size is adjusting for the length you want the blanket to be.  I did alter the pattern slightly for mine towards the bottom of the blanket . . . when it started to decrease the stitches to close up the bottom of the blanket.  I alternated a row that decreased with a regular stitched row so that it was a slower decrease and slightly longer blanket than what the pattern called for.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Uploading Images to Design Space - Peeking Minnie and Mickey Mouse

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

I finally had time to play with my Cricut Explore a little more, and I wanted to try uploading a image I found on the internet and converting it to a cutting file.



I found an image of Minnie and Mickey Mouse that looked like they were peeking over the edge of a window.



I thought this would look really cute in the window panes of a cabinet in my kitchen.  I had some Cricut window cling material I wanted to test out also, so this project is really about trying my hand at two things . . . using the Cricut Design Space™ software to convert an image, and using a product I have never used before.

First, find the image you want to use on the internet and save it to your computer.  Next, log into the Cricut Design Space™ and you will see a button on the left hand side that says Upload Images.  I did a screen shot below . . . it is the button that the pink arrow is pointing to.


Once you click on this, you will be asked to upload the image.  Just navigate to the folder where you saved the image and click on it to upload it to Design Space.

Cricut Design Space™ will then ask you how complex your image is . . . is it a basic black and white coloring book style image, or does it have lots of layers and shading?  Select the complexity that matches your image.  In my case, with this image, I selected simple.

Click continue in the lower right corner of the Design Space screen.

Now you will be on the Select and Erase screen of Cricut Design Space™, which is the image in the screen shot below.  In this step, you are removing the negative space from the image so that you leave only the lines that you want to cut.  First I clicked on the background . . . .


When Cricut Design Space™ changes the white background to a checkerboard pattern when I click on it, telling me that it will not cut this portion of the image.
Use the zoom buttons in the upper right hand corner of the Cricut Design Space™ screen to zoom in and select smaller areas of the image, suck as the white of the eyes and the small spaces between Minnie's eyelashes.  Once you feel like you have clicked on all of the negative spaces that you do not want cut out, click on the Continue button in the lower right hand side of the Cricut Design Space™ screen.

The next screen you will see is the Save and Name screen.  Since the Explore can not just cut, but can also do a Print and Cut, in this step you will tell Design Space if you are saving this image as a cut file or a print/cut file.  As you can see from the screen shot below, I selected the cut file.  Off to the right hand side is a space where you can give this file a name and add tags to the image to allow you to more easily find it and search for it.




Now, how do you put that image on the cutting mat so you can actually cut it?  I had a hard time finding where the Design Space software save the image, until I remembered there is a sort/filter option.

When you are in Cricut Design Space™ looking for an image, look over in the upper right hand corner and you will see a "funnel" icon.  I have it shown in the screen shot below just under the pink arrow.  If you click on this you can select specific groups of images.  I selected the category Uploaded to see just images that I have uploaded on my own . . . .



Since I have only uploaded one image so far, it was very easy to find the Mickey and Minnie image I wanted to select  (see screen shot blow)


Next, click the Insert Image button in the lower right hand corner of the Design Space screen and it will move this image onto the cutting mat screen in Cricut Design Space™.

Now you can change the size of the image to match the project you are working on, or mirror the image if you wanted to reverse the way Minnie and Mickey are looking.  Once you have the image adjusted to the size you want, simply cut away!  

I actually cut this image from cardstock and also cut it out of Cricut Window Cling material.  Here is how it looked from cut from black cardstock.


And here is how it looks cut from the white Cricut Window Cling material, and placed on the window pane in my kitchen cabinets.


I applied the images cut from Cricut Window Cling material to the window panes on some cabinets I have in my kitchen.  Now it looks like Minnie and Mickey are peeking over the bottom window pane.


When I first applied Minnie and Mickey they did not stick very well, so I asked in a Cricut Facebook group I am in if anyone else has had problems with this product sticking to glass.  One person suggested I add a little water . . . so I cleaned the glass so that it would be slightly damp and tried applying the Cricut Window Cling image again . . . it worked like a charm!  PERFECT!!!!


 



Upload Your Own Artwork Free

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cricut Anniversary Sale

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

Come celebrate the Cricut Anniversary Sale with 30% off Materials, Mats and Blades!  If you have been waiting to stock up on some of these every day supplies now is the time to make sure you have everything for your spring and summer crafting projects.

Just click HERE to see all of the great deals!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Designer Profile on FaveCrafts.com

Having your projects featured on other blogs and websites is a great way to get in front of a larger audience and increase the traffic to your blog.  I have done this by connecting and networking with other blogs and websites.

I really love the family of sites operated by Prime Publishing.  One of those sites is FaveCrafts.com.  You can submit your projects to FaveCrafts.com, and I did a blog post specifically about how to do that on the FaveCrafts.com site that you can read by clicking HERE.  If your project is added to the site, you will get an email notification.

FaveCrafts.com will find projects on their site with a similar theme, such as wine bottle crafts, and they will share those in newsletters or on social media.  They will also host contests, and one of your projects could get listed in those also.  I have done several posts about the variety of ways that your projects could get featured or shared on FaveCrafts.com . . . just click HERE to read them all.

They also have Designer Profile pages, and you can click HERE to see mine.  This is a great way for other crafters to find your information.  If they see one of your projects on FaveCrafts.com, they can easily go to your Designer Profile page to see other projects you have created.  There are also links to your blog and social media pages if they would like to follow you.  They also have buttons that you can add to your blog to let others know you are featured on their site.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March 2017 Cuttlebug Mystery Box

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


Cricut is going to have several Mystery Boxes coming out this month, and TODAY is the first day that the Cuttlebug Mystery Box is available.  Get yours now by clicking on the images in this post.  Supplies are limited!




Also, get Free shipping at Cricut with code MYSTERYMARCH

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Prairie Sunset Crocheted Blanket

***This post contains affiliate links.  I make a small commission when you click on these links.  Thanks!***

I have really started to get into crocheting recently. One reason I really love it is that it is an activity I can do while my husband and I are sitting on the couch watching a movie. Also, since I have been having some problems sleeping recently, I have found that if I am crocheting I will not fall asleep on the couch only to wake up and not be able to fall asleep in bed.

Another great thing about crocheting is that I am able to make blankets for people I love.  I made one recently for my daughter in her school colors.  (click HERE to see that post)  Now I have started to make blankets for all of my nieces and nephews.

For this blanket I used a stitch from the LeisureArts.com book called Blankets for Toddlers, and the pattern I used is called Cloud Soft. This book contains several different patterns that you can try out for a variety of different blankets.


I love the raised stitch of this blanket.  Here is a close up.  In the book, this pattern was done all in white yarn and the raised stitch looks like little "poofs" in a cloud.  Since my niece loves bright colors I decided to personalize this pattern by using the Color Waves Yarn in the Prairie Sunset color by Lion Brand Yarns.


The Prairie Sunset variegated yarn combines pink, light blue, lavender, purple and peach to allow you to easily create a beautiful multi color project like this blanket.  I used a deep purple yarn which perfectly picks up the purple accent in the variegated yarn, and sort of made up my own pattern of alternating between sections of variegated and solid colored yarn.

Here is a picture of this pattern from the LeisureArts.com book, done all in white.


You can see how easy it was to alter the overall look of this pattern and make it more personal just by changing out the colors.  I hope that this has inspired you to try a new pattern, or personalize one you already have.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Disney Mickey and Friends Love at First Sight Cricut Cartridge

***This post contains affiliate links.  I make a small commission when you click on these links.  Thanks!***

If you are a Disney fan, and you have the Cricut Explore machine then you will be happy to find out there is a brand new digital Cricut cartridge Disney Mickey and Friends Love at First Sight,

This will be perfect for your Valentine's Day projects!


This cartridge includes adorable images of Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Daisy, Pluto and Goofy.  

Click HERE to purchase your digital copy of this brand new cartridge and the check out some of the projects you can create!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Crocheted Snowman Gift Bag

Before Christmas I saw another person post an ADORABLE crocheted snowman gift bag on a crocheting Facebook group I am in.  They had found the pattern at RepeatCrafterMe.com . . . you can click HERE to find that pattern.

Well, I had some white yarn in my stash, so I grabbed it and started to crochet.  I had no idea what sort of gift I was going to use the bag for . . . I just started to crochet.  As I was going along, I happened to look over at a past wine bottle Christmas project I had created and I thought "This could be a cute gift bag for a bottle of wine, if I made it taller than the pattern calls for."  So I just kept crocheting until I used up the ball of white yarn that I had.


Then I found this aqua blue yarn in my stash, left over from a baby blanket I made, and I thought it would make a nice bright accent color for this project.  I am not sure if it was lack of sleep, or pre-holiday stress, but I just could not get the bottom of the hat to look the same as the pattern, so I just did a double crochet and then did a long chain-type stitch layered over the top of that for the bottom part of the hat.


Then I had to do another alteration . . . I did not have any orange yarn to do the nose on the snowman, so I decided to use embroidery floss and kind of "cross stitch" a nose on the snowman.  Then, since I was doing the nose with embroidery floss I just decided to do the whole face that way.


This was a great way to use up some scraps in my yarn stash.  And snowmen don't need to be just for Christmas.  If someone was having a birthday in the next couple of months I could still use this for their gift.  

January 2017 Cricut Mystery Box

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

If you are looking for a GREAT DEAL on some products from Cricut for your crafting this year, you should check out the January 2017 Cricut Mystery Box.


For just $39.99 you will get a box with rolls of vinyl, a roll of adhesive foil, two pens and THREE Cricut cartridges including Chalkboard Fonts, Outdoor Man and Disney Mickey and Friends.

Supplies are limited, so click HERE to order yours now!



The Best Machine for DIY Projects

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.