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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cricut Tuesdays with The McSmitty Girl

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

This week I had the intention to show you a project created from using plastic sheets. But over time and after a significant amount of attempts; my initial project did not come to fruition. Feeling frustrated I was thinking how I can salvage my creation. Then this is what occurred to me.

My initial project was to cut out the phrases 'inspire', 'create' and 'simplify' using the Cricut solution cartridges Home Decor and Home Accents. My finish product was to have a dimensional effect by layering a shadow creative feature over the usual cut image found on each of the respective cartridges. What happened???

Using my Cricut Expression machine, I chose a Fit to Length mode to cut each image out at 11". As a result, Cricut measured the cuts to be at 3-1/2" in height (and I just love how the Cricut Expression just calculates that for you).

Next I chose the Multi-cut setting to be on set that at 2. Because I had to no test material (aka. scrap); it was all or nothing.

Then I pressed 'cut' and watched in amazement my Cricut cutting through the material or so I thought. Attempt #1 didn't work. So I increased the pressure and depth even the multi-cut setting as well. Nothing. I still had more sheets to try with so I switched my regular housing blade to the deep cut blade assembly. I had to change up my settings again.

No luck at all. It was then midnight and I had nothing after 2 hours of work. Can you see my frustration here? Now I have all these images etched out (beautiful as they are) but no cut images in my hands.

All of sudden, it clicked! I have etched phrases I can use as signs (like a license plate) to hang in my scrap space. My walls are painted a darker hue therefore the etching shows up and it is not distracting.

In fact because I had made multiples of these signs, my friend adored them so she took one set and a family member took my other set (I made 3 sets while trying to figure things out). You can say I am lucky to have mine.

Very recently I challenged myself to create 5 layouts in 4 days! This is a crazy attempt on my part because it usually takes me one week to complete 1 layout (and a card 2-3 days dependent on how elaborate it is). But I did it and although I will not showcase all 5 layouts in this week's post; they will be shown over the next few weeks. So here are the first 2 I'd like to tell you about.

'the giggles' is a layout already posted in the Posh Designs' Gallery located in the Interactive Community Site. The layout was based on Posh Designs' Challenge #3 where the original sketch can be found at the above site. Faced with not crafting with many circular shapes; I'd jumped right in to do a layout about my Son's laugh.

Here are the instructions:

Using the George and Basic Shapes cartridge, I chose the circle image to cut at Fit to Page mode and centred that onto the cardstock base (which is from American Crafts Summer pack). Next using the Colozzule circle and nested oval cutting templates; I created my circular photos and mats. The title was created from the Cuttin' Up cartridge using the 'Holy Cow' creative feature. 'the giggles' was cut at 1-1/2" and the subtitles 'your smile' and 'that laugh' was cut at 1".

I stamped the word giggle for emphasis. For embellishments on this layout, I used Basic Grey buttons from various collections and layered some of them for interest. For the journalling mats, I used the Prima Journalling Notes - Boy. And if you can't tell... I actually stitched along the large circle shape using the Bazzill Paper Piercing Tool and Floss in Sunbeam. Lastly I added some other finishing touches to make this layout complete.

The 2nd layout is another Holiday layout but with a fun spin. This layout is about my son attending his first Ornament Exchange Party.

Here are the instructions:

First I trimmed all my patterned papers ready for placement and layering. Then I inked the edges of all those papers for added color but also emphasis before adhering them onto the cardstock base (from the American Crafts Winter pack) which the corners were cut using a paper punch.

Next the pictures were cut at the same shape size expect for the basket of goodies (aka. the ornaments) then aligned to tell my captions. I actually left my Cricut cutting until the end. Why you may ask? I actually wanted to make that my journalling, highlights and embellishments fit the space I was going to allot them in. That was for me using a different approach to my creative process. Once that was completed, the Cricut came out to play!

For the title I used the All Mixed Up cartridge setting the cuts to be at 1". For a playful feel, I used up various scrap pieces of cardstock for the word 'ornament' because ornaments can be so colorful while keeping the word 'exchange' in one color. This was created to avoid making the title washed out amongst all my other elements on the page. Next, I used the Tags, Bags, Boxes and More cartridge to create tags that my highlights would be written on.

The image I chose was the 'lgrnd4' using the window creative feature which was cut out at 1". This image was cut twice so that I could use the base for the writing and the frame was used to highlight the basket. The journalling mats and frame were adhered to the layout with various brads before adding a magnetic clip at the top.

*A quick tip when using this particular cartridge: If you choose the 'window' creative feature from any shape, try to see if you can use the base shape as part of your journalling or as an embellishment without having to make another cut. If not, save the piece for another project ~ you'll have an instant journalling spot ready to go! This will save you time and energy.

That's it! The Cricut has been so indispensable for me. Not just from the projects I've created but also in breadth of fonts available. Don't forget there are 3 more layouts to be featured in future Cricut Tuesdays blog posts. You will see the variety of fonts and combinations I've used. So stay tuned... Until next week, Happy Crafting!


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