Thursday, May 4, 2017

Groot Birthday Card

***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 am having fun learning to use the Cricut Design Space™ software. I have to admit, I was nervous about learning this tool . . . I was not sure if I was going to be able to figure it out. I am in no way an expert, but I am starting to learn a few tricks and I am happy to share them with all of you who might also be nervous about trying to learn something new.

With the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming out, we are starting to see the little baby Groot showing up in ads and commercials.  Well why not in a birthday card too!


I made this little guy by finding an image online, cleaning it up in Photoshop, uploading it to Design Space to turn it into a cutting file (click HERE for a post about that process) and then creating layers for each of the different colors in the image (click HERE for a post about that process)

Since I wanted Groot to be the main focus of the card, I kept the background pretty simple.  I used a kraft paper card base, and then layered a blue dot patterned paper and a soft grid patterned paper over the top of that.


Next I figured out how big I was going to cut Groot, and then separated all of his layers in Cricut Design Space™     One tip I learned, while you are still in Design Space, after you separate the layers and space them out around the mat, select ALL of them at once and go to the lower right hand corner of the Design Space screen and click on the Attach button.  This attaches the layers to the location that you have them placed on the mat.  All of the images might change to the same color, but don't let that worry you . . . you will see why this is helpful in the next step.

Then I placed pieces of paper for the colors I wanted to use for each layer in the same manner that I had separated the layers in Design Space.  This allows me to just load my mat one time and cut ALL of the layers out.  If I did not do this, I would have had to load/unload the mat 6 times for this one image.  


See . . . THIS is why you wanted to use the Attach button!  If you would not have done that the Cricut would have asked you to load and unload the mat for each and every color, and it would have always started that cut in the top left corner of your mat.

Once all of the layers are cut out I can just take what I need off the mat and place it direction on the base cut to start to build Groot.  This is really nice because sometimes when you take those little pieces off the mat, if you go back to cut another piece somehow a little piece will get lost . . . it falls off the table or sticks to the bottom of your mat . . . you don't know how many times I have lost an eyeball piece over the years!  Now I just leave it on the mat until I am ready to stick it on the base.


I also like to add little touches with marker or ink.  For Groot I went around the edges of his face, and then placed some random lines on his face to make his face look more like tree bark.


I have to admit, all of those small pieces on his arms and body were kind of a pain to place correctly.  If I make him again, I might make the tree bark colored paper one large cut, and the layer the black outline over the top of that.  That way I would not have to place all of those individual pieces!


Another tip for those little pieces, like the eyes . . . I use a straight pin to help pick them up and place them.  I slightly "poke" the piece with the pin to lift it, move it and position it more easily.

So, for this card my ORIGINAL plan was to cut the words "I AM GROOT" out and place those letters inside the card.  Well, as I was placing them I found it really had to keep them in a straight line and due to the font that I used you can see in the image below that for some letters (the G, O and T) there are two parts to the letter . . . so that made it even HARDER to line things up.

To save this, what I ended up doing was using the negative space instead of the letters that were cut out.  I just backed the piece with the same blue dot paper that I used on the front of the card.


So the inside did not turn out like I planned, but I think that unless you KNEW I was planning to use the individual letters you would never know that the inside was born from a mistake.


Overall, for still feeling like a newbie to the Cricut Design Space™ software and tool, I think this card turned out pretty cute.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Layered Image in Cricut Design Space

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

A couple of weeks ago I shared a post showing how uploaded an image I found on the internet and turned it into a single layer image I could cut with my Cricut using the Cricut Design Space™ software. If you missed that post and would like to read it, just click HERE.

Today I am going to show you how I took that same image and cut it with two layers.  Below is a photo of the finished project . . . Mickey and Minnie Mouse decals for my laptop.  Minnie Mouse is wearing an adorable pink glitter bow.


To start, I am using the exact same image I used for my past post, which was a Mickey and Minnie window cling for the cabinets in my kitchen.  For the directions on how to upload an image and clean it up for cutting, please check out that post by clicking HERE.

For this project I want to cut layers two layers, one out of black vinyl and a second one of just Minnie Mouse's bow in glitter vinyl.  I am going to want to place the glitter vinyl bow right on the black piece, so first I want to adjust the image below so that the bow cuts out in black to make things easier for layering.


When I select the image the Cricut Design Space gives me some options to edit or alter this image.  For this project I want to use the Contour tool found in the lower right corner of the screen, indicated by a pink arrow in the image below.


Once I click on Contour, the window below shows up.  This window will allow me to select areas of the image I want hidden.  I can do this by clicking on the pieces in the main Mickey and Minnie image . . . in this case I want to click on the three parts of Minnie's bow . . . the left side, right side and the small knot piece of the bow in the center.  

The other way to select pieces to hide them is to scroll through the images on the right, under the LARGE pink arrow.  These shapes represent the individual pieces of the image.  For some shapes it is hard to tell what piece of the puzzle of the overall Mickey or Minnie image the piece represents so it might be easier to just click on the pieces from the overall image.


Once I finish clicking on the three pieces of Minnie's bow to hide those from the cut the image looks like the one in the image below.  You can see that Minnie's bow is now black, and will cut out attached to the same piece that her ears are cut on.



So how do I get it to cut JUST the bow?  Easy!  I made a copy of the Mickey and Minnie image I already had and used the Contour option that I just showed to to hide everything EXCEPT for Minnie's bow!  Now I have a bow I can cut from a different color that will layer on top of the Minnie cut perfectly!





First I wanted to cut the Mickey and Minnie out of black vinyl, so I went to the layer controls in the upper right hand corner of Design Space and I clicked on the little eye icon (shown under the pick arrow in the image below)  This will hide this item from cutting.


Then I load my black vinyl into my Cricut and cut.  I remove the outer vinyl from the shape and weed out the small pieces inside the image (the face, eyes and gloves) and when I am all done this is what the image looks like . . . 


Now I go back to the layer controls in Design Space and click on the eye icons again to unhide the bow and hide the Mickey and Minnie image.  I load some pink glitter vinyl into my Cricut and cut . . 


Now I just layer that pink bow on top of the Minnie Mouse image . . . and since the glitter vinyl has an adhesive backing it sticks perfectly to the black vinyl.


Now I just have to move this entire vinyl decal to my laptop.  Since I want to make sure that the inner pieces like the eyes and nose stay in the exact same position/location that they currently are inside the main image I am going to have to move this all together.  You can use transfer tape to do this, and I have also heard of some people using Glad Press and Seal . . . I did not have either one of those on hand, so I decided to use blue painters tape.


I placed several strips of blue painters tape over the top of this image and then I rubbed over it with my hand to be sure that the tape was sticking to the vinyl.  I then slowly pulled the tape back, and if the vinyl was not sticking to the tape I just put it back down and rubbed some more.

Once I got the entire piece to come off of the backing it looked like this . . .


Now I go to my laptop and place this sticky side down exactly where I want it.  Now this time I peel back the painters tape one strip at a time.  This allows me to be more careful and to rub the vinyl down to the laptop as I go along and make sure the whole image is really sticking to the laptop.

Below is an image when I was almost half way done peeling off the painters tape.


And here is Mickey on my laptop!


Then I just did the same thing on the other side to place Minnie.  Not sure if you can tell, but I did not line things up as straight on the bottom with Minnie, but I could not really see that until I removed the last piece of painters tape.  If I wanted to be a perfectionist I would have tried to put the painters tape back over this, pull Minnie up and try to place her again, but for me she looked good enough.


I hope you like my Mickey and Minnie Mouse laptop decals, and that I was able to show you how easy it is to add layers to images you upload to Cricut Design Space™.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cricut Mystery Box - MARVEL Digital Images

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

Are you a Marvel fan?  There is a NEW Digital Mystery Box from Cricut that has Marvel images.  Just click on the image below to purchase this digital image pack.




Or you can order the new Spring Mystery Box from Cricut.  This includes $100 worth of products for only $39.99


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

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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

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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.