Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cricut Expression 2 Video Series PART 2… FINALLY!

Wow! You may recall that a while back I FINALLY was able to get my iMac working. I spent several days on the phone with Apple Support and was able to fix a lot of issues I had been having. There were multiple issues but basically the thing just wasn't working right. With issue after issue I just walked away from it and stopped using it. It was the computer I used for my blog and for editing videos… so after that my ability was limited. As far as videos were concerned… I was done. I had no way of uploading and editing videos. I had actually already made a video on the Cricut Expression 2. I absolutely love Cricut Craft Room, but I also realize that not everyone has access to a computer or even wants to work that way. I made a video and divided it up into three parts. I was able to successfully upload the first one. However… thats as far as I got. At least… till I got my iMac working. While sorting through the files and deleting junk… I found the other videos.

If you watch my CCR videos… You'll notice that they are somewhat outdated. I taped them when there was a previous version of the software. The E2 video doesn't rely on any software on the computer so it is still very relevant.

So here it is… FINALLY!!!!

Cricut Expression 2 Video Series - #2 The Basics (Part 2)

I hope it's helpful. I appreciate your patience. :)

Part 3 will be uploaded soon. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Free Images - CCR Exclusives, 3D Lanterns

Wow! Happy November! Can you believe that October is over? It flew by. I don't know where you guys are but we had our first glimpse of snow here in Southern Indiana. Halloween we had a mix of sleet and hail and then later had flakes. They didn't do much. But still… scary sight. I don't like the cold and the stuff that comes with it. LOL

So this weeks Free Images is another one that I'm not super excited about. I knew two things… I didn't have a lot of time this week… and that since I wasn't super excited about the 3D Lanterns that I probably wouldn't be making one.

But I still want to share the possibilities with you. Because although my initial response was… eh… it's mainly because there doesn't appear to be many options with this one. Maybe how you display them is where some creativity can play in. And maybe you will love it. So lets at least look at some of what is out there.

This is the first image that I came across that really caught my eye. This is by Beth Denton. I found this on Pinterest. She doesn't have a blog but she has a Cricut board and some others that I am now following. Check her out.

Here's another by Beth. She's using tracing paper. 

There weren't very many. But here is another that I found. She used black card stock and vellum. These are by Golden Leaf Scrapbook. Check out her blog. Or click on the images below to go straight to her 3D Lanterns post.  

That's pretty much all you get on a quick search. Of course here is what the images actually look like although both of the above projects I found they used all the images. 

Hope you all enjoy this weeks free images. I'm ready to look into some new Cricut Craft Room videos. Maybe even play with Design Space a little more… except that will just increase my desire to buy the Cricut Explore… I WANT ONE!!!! LOL

If you come up with something cool with the 3D Lanterns let me know. I'd love to see some interesting takes on this one. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Recap: Cricut Craft Room Video Series

So I was looking over some of my past videos to remind myself what I have done and what I could do. Man... Cricut Craft Room has changed so much. It's fun to look back to where it started and how far it's come. The videos are still useful... but it's time to do a total update. So many things have changed. It's hard to believe that I have 11 videos on CCR. Here is a link to my YouTube channel and the Playlist for this video series. 

I actually covered quite a few topics. Here are the topics

If you have any questions on any of these videos feel free to comment here or on the video. I FINALLY was able to get my iMac up and running again. So now I have the ability to start making videos again. I'm hoping that all the issues I was having with iMovie were fixed with the fixes the wonderful Apple tech Andrew helped me with. Over 6 hours of tech support with Andrew. He was amazing and his dedication to helping me get my iMac working has renewed my belief in Apple products. (LOL... sorry... random insert about Apple)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This Weeks Free Cut - Zombie Cartridge

Well... last week I shared the FREE CUT of the week with you and the sign that I made using it. I had planned on making something each week and sharing it with you. So when Wednesday came I was excited to see what the free images were this week. Well... It's now Tuesday and I still have't done anything with it. The truth is... I'm just not overly fond of the images. So I haven't been able to come up with any ideas.

First of all... Here are the images. Click on the pic to take you to the digital handbook

About the closest thing I could come up with was using the last symbol to make napkin rings for a zombie party. LOL. 

So I decided to see if I could find anything on other blogs to share with you. Wow... there are very few. Here's what I found.

I thought this card was cute. I found it on Pinterest but the blog it was linked to no longer exists. I can tell you that they used the Zombie cartridge and My Pink Stamper stamp set. 

Here's a cute idea... skull streamers. And you could do this with the heart and the other symbol (what is that called anyways? LOL). Cute idea.. again... no blog linked. But if you click on the pic it will take you to the pinterest pinner where I found it. 

This is super cute! Never thought to use a zombie cartridge for Valentines Day. But it's cute. LOL.. and I actually found a link to a blog. Click on the pic to see the post of the card She has some other really cute stuff. Visit her site at Sara W Andrews

And one more.. You'll find this one at Project Center. There are step by step instructions on how to make it. It's actually pretty cute too. Maybe I'll make it just for fun. 

Well... that's all I got for you today. Not every cartridge speaks to us. This one wasn't quite my style. But I did find some cute things it could be used for. Tomorrow is another Wednesday... new images to choose from. Can't wait to see what they are.

Still wanting to find out how to do a linking party. I want to see what others are making.
Happy Crafting!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Craft Room Transformation (Part 2)

Happy Sunday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. I've been sick for several days but have been fighting it off. Today it has me whipped. So I am in bed. I thought I would share this quick post with you today.

Remember this pic I showed you in Part 1?

One of the things I love about woodworking (there are MANY)... is that I can use my love for woodworking to help make useful organizing tools for my craft room. See the cut little pink shelf that I have my glitter glue and inks on? Guess who made that? Yep... I did! This was a quite simple project. Took no time at all. Used scrap wood and I have found it very useful.

I have these little baskets that I've been using and they sit in one of the shelves on my cubes. As you can see, they aren't very effective. And since they sit in a cubby hold I never can see what I have.

Another issue with storing them in this basket is... out of sight, out of mind. I'm one of those that forgets what all I have. And I commonly forget about these guys. 

It was quite simple to make. I measured the height of the items that I wanted to store and the number of shelves and that gave me my dimensions. I had scraps of 1x2's so I just used what I had on hand. I LOVE creating things without having to go buy materials. 

I added a little glue to each end, clamped them together and then used a nail gun to secure them. There's not a lot of weight on this shelf so this is more than sufficient. 

As far as the finish... this poor guy actually seen many stages. This part of the process took more time than anything. I stained it and decided that I didn't want that. Then I thought I'd do that distressed look. So I painted it black and then pink over that and hand sanded the edges and a few other spots. It turned out kinda cool actually. Made it look aged. But it wasn't the look I was looking for either. So in the end I just added another coat of pink paint. I love this color and you will be seeing it again and again as I make more pieces. Only thing I don't like about it is that it is a gloss finish. I prefer satin. But they didn't have this color in satin. 

I can't wait to share more with you as I complete my craft room. I recently decided to make a big change from what I have now. So I am excited to get those changes made and share them with you. 

Thanks for stopping by. As always I appreciate your feedback and comments. Would love to hear from you about storage solutions you have come up with. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

New Halloween Sign with this weeks Free Images

So… I've finally got my computer set up and my Expression 2 up to date and working. It's so nice to have it connected to a computer again. I am so totally lost without Cricut Craft Room. I love that program so much.

So here is this weeks project I made using the Free Images. I'd like to try and make a new project every week with the Free Cuts. It's really a nice program that Cricut offers and lets you try out cartridges without having to buy them.

I took this little frame that I got from Goodwill for $1 to make a cute little Halloween frame. I took the glass out because I couldn't get a decent pic without all the glare. And again… still using my phone camera. It's hard to get really good pics.

This weeks Free Images are from the cartridge Classroom: October & November. I was so surprised that when I did a google search and a search on Pinterest and even on Cricuts projects page that there really weren't any projects. I need to find out how to do a link party going so that I can see what everyone else can do with this free cut.

Click on the first image to take you to the Free Images page and click on the second pic to take you to this cartridges Digital Handbook. I will try to find out tonight how to do the link party. Maybe we can see some of your  projects.

I created this project in Cricut Craft Room but it would be very simple to do straight from your Cricut. My frame is 8x10. One tip I'll give is that I used the ghosts from the Project tab and cut them apart for the Happy Halloween title. This way I could make them a separate color.

Can't wait to make my next project. May be making some more signs. Not sure yet. What would you guys like to see?

I've had fun the last two days making these projects. So glad to have my room set up! :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Are there any Imagine users out there?

Just a quick post today. While getting my new craft room sorted I paused for a while last night to do some quick projects. I also had some company over and I was showing them Cricut Craft Room and how it worked. I noticed something odd. While I haven't hooked my Imagine up and updated it yet I noticed some cartridges that weren't familiar to me in my "My Cartridges" filter. I thought it was interesting and noticed another but figured they were part of the free images of the week.

So today… I get on and I do more of a search. There are SEVENTEEN cartridges in "My Cartridges" that I've never linked. What's up with that? Where did they come from? I wondered if they were free because they've discontinued it but not all the cartridges are there. Does anyone have any info about this?

Oh… and here are the signs I made last night. Bad lighting. Used my phone. But I love how they turned out. Will be doing a tutorial on them soon.

I just love how these guys turned out.

Please let me know if you have any info on those cartridges. I LOVE some of them. A few are ones I would  have loved to have bought. If they are a limited time I want to get some things made. :)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Cricut Closet Craft Room Transformation! (Part 1)

Hello crafters! I am so very excited today to be sharing with you. When I started this blog I was in a small room… lets face it… a closet. Hence… the name. And trust me, I couldn't  have been more excited about that closet. It was MY space. And in a home that (at the time) had seven children and two adults anyone having their own space was rare. But over time the space became very cramped. And then the heating/cooling didn't quite work. So sometimes it was just too hot or too cold to work in there. So I spent less and less time in there. But… now things are different.

So here's a little throwback to those days.

 Yep…that was it. I wish I  had some pics of what it turned into next. I can't seem to find any.
But so many things have changed since then. And my crafting, as well as my life, has taken new directions. I won't bore you with the details of how life has changed but I will say that there are now three children and one adult living in this house. And just his past summer my oldest son graduated and moved out. So… his room was up for grabs. My two youngest boys had shared a room for a long time and when given the options… they chose to stay together. (very strange. I'm still not sure how that worked out). So there has been a big shuffling of rooms. My daughter was no longer sharing the largest room in the house with her step sisters and there was my oldest sons room up for grabs.

Ooohhhhhh….. now I remember how we got to the point! This four bedroom house has only ONE bathroom. It's insane, I know! There is a house that we visited that is the exact same house. In their house, there is a bathroom where My Cricut Closet was. I told the boys they had a choice… they could move into their sisters old room (the largest room in the house, and it's upstairs) or they could each have their own room. There was only one catch… if they moved into their sisters old room we would make my craft room into a second bath. They jumped at the idea. So in the end they traded rooms with their sister and my oldest sons room would get made into my craft room. The original intention was also to leave a bed in their so my son could have a place to sleep when he visits. However… I don't see that happening. LOL!

I had several different ideas in my head as we attempted the move. First… we got everything out and put into the  new room. I just stacked as much stuff as I could in the corner. I have lots of plastics totes, drawers and bins. LOL

Deciding how to set it up was going to be hard for me. I had been so used to a very small space that I had too much room to work with. LOL… have you ever heard a crafter say that? I doubt it. Trust me… I don't have too much room. I could use a lot more. 
So I focused on where to put my desk. I picked up the nice huge corner desk/table from BigLots. It had a chip somewhere (I can't honestly tell you where) and it was the last one. It is massively heave and I got it for $17 and change. Crazy huh! It works perfectly for my Cricuts. It's very deep. So I as you can see I can put my Cricut in the corner and while you may think that's wasted space behind it, there's just enough room for the 12x12 mat to do it's thing. When I use my 12x24 mat I just pull it out. Makes it so much easier. 

I also have about 11 of those storage cubes from Hobby Lobby. I had bought them while they were on sale 50% off. The first six I actually got even cheaper because I had a 25% off your entire purchase including sale items. Then I added the others as I could. I'd still like to have lots more. But I'm thinking I will be making those. (More on that later!)

Originally I thought about making a sort of "wall" out of them and this is where I put them. But I quickly changed my mind.

I have the basic layout done right now. Now I have to get everything organized and in it's place. Remember how I said that my crafting has taken a new direction? I still do, and always will LOVE my Cricut machines. I couldn't imagine not having them. But I've also added a a new sort of "crafting". I have also been doing woodworking for the last year or two. It's amazing! I love it. And I also love how I can incorporate my love of my Cricut with my crafting. I used my Cricut to make these signs. I blogged about it a while back. 

I used vinyl on all of these. Some I put the vinyl directly to the wood and others I used the negative as a stencil and painted them. I really love mixing my woodworking with my Cricuts. 

And those are some of the frames I made. The first ones I ever made. I kinda like them just sitting there like that with no glass or anything.

So this is Part 1 in this series. As I spend my time in here organizing my plan is to make this room very user friendly so I can find what I need and when I need it and to make it easy to have guests over to play in my room with me. :)

Here's a small sneak peak of what it looks like so far. This is just a glimpse. More of a tease. LOL

It's not exactly the greatest picture. But I took it last night with my phone. Gotta get my good Canon serviced and a new charger for it. But for now…. here is my workspace. You'll notice I have a favorite color. Can you guess what it is? LOL. 

This is also a good example of what I mean when I love how my two crafts, woodworking and paper crafting, are coming together nicely. The shelf you see in the background with the glitter glues and ink on it is a shelf I made specifically for those. I'm  not sure that's where it will stay but its there for now. Also in front of it you see a shiny pink stand. Made this stand as well for my iPhone to sit on. I also plan on making one for my iPad. 

I've got so many ideas rattling around in my head. So many things that I'd like to make. Both on my Cricut and in my wood show for storage. I can't wait to share them with you as I go along. 

Please post any comments, suggestions or ideas. I'd love to hear from you. 
And yes… this means I will be able to make Cricut Craft Room videos VERY soon! 

I have also joined Bloglovin. I'm still very new to it so bare with me. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Another reason to love Cricut Explore!

I'm already in love with the Cricut Explore and I don't even have one yet. Every time I look more into the Explore I want it even more. Cricut and Provo Craft have really outdone themselves on this. And no... I don't get anything for saying that (I wish I did though LOL).

So as I'm looking into the Explore I found that they have the Make It Now app for the iPad released.

Image from

Click on the pic above to read more about it. I've downloaded the app on my iPad and I'm loving it. I can see that this will be a very useful app when I get my Explore. You can browse all the Make It Now projects that Cricut Design Space offers including the FREE projects. It shows you what files you need and allows you to purchase them from the app. You can also connect to your Explore wirelessly and and cut straight from the app. And I LOVE that it shows you your mats and will allow you to move the cuts around on your mat so that you can cut just where you want... exclude cuts you don't want... change your material size... and select a mirror image if you are doing an iron on. It has the project to allow you to cut, draw or score.

Well... I'm off to play around with Cricut Design Space. I'm gearing up to make some videos. I'm hoping to get my Explore in the next few weeks. I can't wait. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

What do you think about the new Cricut Explore?

So... the new Cricut has been out for a while now. I'd love to hear from those that have the machine. I remember thinking that I wouldn't need the Expression when it first came out. Then I didn't need the E2 when it came out... and of course...It took me forever to finally get the Imagine thinking... I didn't need it.

So of course... when I saw the Cricut Explore I figured I wouldn't need it either. But after checking it out... I'm LOVING the Cricut Design Space... therefore I HAVE to have the Explore. The software looks so easy to use and has soooo many more uses than Cricut Craft Room. Don't get me wrong. I love CCR. It's been great. I'm just looking at CDS and it looks amazing.

I'd love to hear more from any of you that have the Explore. Also... if you have any experience with Cricut Design Space I'd like to hear some feedback from that.

 Check out the Cricut Explore here!

If you haven't checked out the Explore or Cricut Design Space... GO NOW!!! I think you will love it. 

Can't wait to hear from you. I will be providing a YouTube video for CDS soon. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

More Signs With Cricut and Vinyl

Lately I've been using my Cricut Expression 2 and Cricut Craft Room to make custom signs and frames. Here is a collection of just a few that I've made. 

I've used a couple different methods to make my creations. The large "Welcome" frame is a 10x20 frame that I upcycled. It was a frame I picked up free that was getting thrown out. I simply painted it black and took everything out but the glass. I used Cricut Craft Room to create it and cut it out in black vinyl. Using the transfer paper made placement on the glass much easier. 

For most of the signs I simply used the same method above. But on the small black signs I tried something different. I used the vinyl to cut out the words. Then I used the negative from that on boards as a stencil and painted them using craft paint.

Watch for a video tutorial on how to do this technique to make your own signs. And if you are lucky enough to have the new Cricut Explore... the font options are ENDLESS. I can't wait to get mine!!!

Until next time... Happy Crafting!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Introducing Cricut Explore!

So I am a fan of everything Cricut. And when I saw that Cricut had come out with a new machine, I said the exact same thing I did when the Cricut Imagine came out... "I won't want that". Yeah... right! Have you seen this machine yet??? It's wonderful!!!

I really did think that this machine would not do anything more than what I could already do with my Cricut Expression 2 and Cricut Craft Room. But... this machine is pretty impressive. 

Personally... I haven't been lucky enough to get one of these bad boys. But I've been doing a lot of research online about them. Here are just two of the great new features of the Explore. You can not only cut with the Explore... you can also write and score. That really opens things up more than I thought possible. 

Here's another amazing feature... there is a custom dial with preloaded settings for the materials you cut most often. This makes setting up your machine for the best cut super easy. Just turn the dial to your material and the machine already has the ideal settings preloaded. Doesn't get much simpler than that. 

There is also a handy little storage tray to keep all your tools in one place. And a place on top of the machine to hold your markers/pens. The tools are sold separately. 

While you can't find this beauty at your local store... you can order yours online. HSN had a presale of these and they SOLD OUT. But... you can pre order one now at JoAnn's or Wal-Mart. All three ship out March 15th with Free Shipping for $299. I'm not exactly sure... but on one of the sites the price of $349 is slashed. So I'm wondering if the price in store will be that.

Click below to order yours NOW! 

It's also pretty awesome that they give you this great carrying bag to go with the machine. 

Also comes with the following. 

- 12"x12" Cutting Mat
 - drawing/writing pen
- black & jade Cricut Cardstock
- Silver Cricut Vinyl
- White Cricut Iron-on
- Duck tape sheets
- Storage bag
- USB cord

Not enough to win you over? Here's another great feature... Cricut Design Space. While I will always love Cricut Craft Room... this new design software is pretty amazing itself. 

Cricut Design Space is CCR on steroids. It is incredible. They have really outdone themselves with this software. It was released this past Thursday and I am in love with it. Of course I will be doing a video soon. I will be doing another post going into more detail about Cricut Design Space in the next couple of days so I won't go into it right now. But... I will say this... one of the upcoming features is that you will be able to use your iPad with it. LOVE IT!!! Can't wait!!

Come back soon for more details and a video tutorial. 

Happy Crafting!!! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fun Projects with Cricut Craft Room and Vinyl

Yesterday I posted about this week's Free Cut in Cricut Craft Room. You know how much I love CCR. I wanted to share some signs I made not too long ago. I made quite a few for Christmas gifts. I love making them. I get to use my Cricut, CCR and play in my wood shop. Can't go wrong there! :)

So here are a few that I did.

Along with My Cricut Closet I also do woodworking. It's something that I've always dreamed of doing and just been able to accomplish over the last year. It's a lot of fun... and even more fun when I get to use my Cricut on my wood projects.

To start I had a 1x3 poplar board that someone gave me for FREE. (Gotta love that!). I cut several pieces down to a size that looked appealing to me. No special measurements. Plus I had a few scraps laying around that I also used. I spray painted them all black. The larger pic "something good's...." was an old cabinet door that I trimmed down.

(I shared this pic in a previous post... but I hadn't completed all the signs)

I used Cricut Craft Room to type up the words I wanted to use. I have a video on using text in CCR. While this video was made a while ago and some features have been updated in CCR... the basics are still the same. Here's a link.

So using CCR I added my text and welded the letters together for the cursive words... Faith, Hope, Love, Joy. I used Gypsy Font for those. For PRAY and FAMILY I used Close to My Heart - Art Philosophy. That is truly one of my favorite cartridges. LOVE IT! I also used Art Philosophy for the longer saying. I used CCR to place my text on the mat the way I wanted it to look on the board. 

Ok. So you may be wondering what I did here. This was a special order for a Christmas present for one of my friends. She called me up and asked me if I could make a sign saying this. It was something special to her and her mom. Her grandpa used to sing it to her mom and to her. I created a new file and started by using Cricut Craft Room Basics. She had given me an idea of how big she wanted the sign. So I added a square at the dimensions she requested and colored that Layer black. I then added  a second layer with my text and colored it white. I did this so I could see what it would look like. 
Next I played with it. Originally I just added the whole saying as one text block. Then I started over and added each word as it's own text block and moved them around resizing them till I had what I wanted. 

Next step... after getting all the text the way I wanted them... I cut them using my Cricut Expression 2 and some Vinyl. They came out just as I wanted them to. 

So all the white lettered signs were done with the Vinyl. I applied the vinyl and then used some Mod Podge to seal it so that they would not come off down the road. I used the transfer sheets to get them aligned. Also... when I couldn't find my transfer paper I had a roll of clear contact paper that worked just as well. 

The red words were done differently. I love the look of the vinyl but I also wanted to try something else as well. After removing the letters I kept the negative and I used these as stencils to paint on the other blocks. Worked great. Now you could certainly do some sanding and make them look distressed, but I chose to leave them as they were. The painting took a little longer but it was still super easy. 

The "Family" sign I added an extra step. After painting it black I used some red spray paint and painted it a deep red over the black and then lightly sanded it randomly and added black vinyl letters. I like the way it turned out. Here is a closer shot of it, as well as some more pics. 

Just one last note. I mentioned which fonts I used for each of these. If you look at them and think that they don't really look like those fonts... I squished and stretched and manipulated the text in CCR. So they may look a bit different. Just another feature about CCR that I love. You can manipulate images and text until you get the look that you want. :)

Hope you enjoyed these and that it inspired you to make some vinyl signs of your own. As always.. I'd love for you to share your creations with me. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bless This Home is the Free Cut this week!

Last week I tried hard to post the Free Cut of the week. But as hard as I tried I couldn't get excited about it so every time I tried to blog about it... nothing came out.

Not a problem this week. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this week's cut. 

I can't wait to make one of these. While I love my Cricut and all things to do with paper crafting... I am also very passionate about woodworking. So I always love projects that allow me to combine my two loves. Watch for a post this week where I show you how to make this. But there is a tutorial on the Cricut site on how to make this project as well. Click below. 

When you go into Cricut CraftRoom and just add these words to your mat... they will all come out the same size. If you click on the tutorial you will find a Cricut cut file with the dimensions you see above. 

There are NOT a lot of projects out there in the cyber world using this cut. I was only able to find one. But I wanted to share it with you. 

I think that you can find these wood blocks already made at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. But I though this was cute as well. 

I had the idea of getting a frame from Goodwill or the ReStore and frame this cut. I couldn't find a great example of what I had in mind... but this is pretty close. And of course.. you could use one of the other great fonts to make one of this for your family. But I want to do one with the Bless This Home cut. 

And don't limit yourself. You don't need to scrounge around for some lumber to try this cut. This is a great file. You could cut this out and put it directly on your wall... on a mirror... anything. 

Oooohhhh..... here is another great idea that I thought of. Again... these are examples of what you could do with this cut. Pick up a tile at your local hardware store or the ReStore and add your vinyl cut to the tile and put it on a stand. I actually really like this idea. 

I would link these projects to their creators but I pulled them from Pinterest and when I clicked on them they did not take me to any blogs. So please forgive me for not giving credit for them. 

Since there are not a lot of projects using this cut I encourage you to make something this week and share it. I can't wait to see what you make!!! 

AND... how awesome is this.... You can cut it free this week... but if you love it as much as I do you can purchase it digitally for only $1.99.