Thursday, August 28, 2014

Some Favorite Cricut Cartridges - all on sale now!


Labor Day is this weekend and holiday sales are everywhere.  Cricut cartridges (physical and/or digital) are available on the Cricut website at prices from $9.99 to $19.99.  I remember when I got my first Cricut in 2007, the regular price of most cartridges was $89 and we were thrilled to find them for $50 or (if you were really lucky) $40.

If you have a Cricut Image Library Subscription for Design Space and the Cricut Craftroom you already have access to over 25,000 images and projects.  The subscription does not include cartridges that have licensed content such as Disney, Sesame Street, Anna Griffin, etc.  Most of these are available in the sale so this is a good time to pick up any that you want at the special prices. 

The clickable images and red links are affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you purchase something after clicking the link.  Your price stays the same. I appreciate it very much when you use my links to shop.  You can always click on the Cricut image in the side column to start shopping.  Thanks for your support of my blog!

I was surprised to find out that quite a few of the older cartridges that I have purchased over the years are not part of the subscription.  With this sale, you can fill in your collection with some of these favorites at the sale prices.  Some of these cartridges are hard to find since it has been quite a while since they first came out.

One of my favorites that isn't included in the subscription is Lyrical Letters.  In addition to a nice variety of fonts (seven in all) there are some great images and word art that I have enjoyed using.  I made these cards back in 2010 - you can find the blog post about them HERE.
Lyrical Letters Word Art

These cuts are great for cards or scrapbook pages.

This title for a Halloween Page was made with branches from the Gypsy Wanderings cartridge (you could substitute other  branches if you don't have the Gypsy) and the spiders and phrase from Lyrical Letters.  You can read more about how it was made in the blog post HERE.

Here is yet another great image from the Lyrical Letters cartridge - a sort of Celtic Christmas tree.

I did some experimenting with some of the overlay shapes and sized them for pocket pages (3 x 4 inches).  Some of these include two images flipped and welded for a new design.  Wouldn't these make great accents for your pages?

I went through the list of cartridges and checked on a lot of my old favorites.  I thought it might be helpful to post a list of the ones that are not part of the subscription (it would be nice if there was a symbol listed with each cartridge description to show whether or not they are part of the subscription - I think I'll suggest that!).  You can get a list of the cartridges and image sets included in the subscription by clicking the link in the product details HERE.

Here are some of the "oldies" that are not part of the subscription and are available on the Cricut shopping page.  Most are available as both digital and physical cartridges, the ones with a * are digital only (as of the time I made this list).  There may be more cartridges that aren't in the subscription - these are just some of my old favorites.

*Animal Kingdom
*Beyond Birthdays
Calligraphy Collection
*Christmas Cheer
Cursive 101
*Fabulous Finds,
*George and Basic Shapes
Graphically Speaking
Life is a Beach
Lyrical Letters
My Community
*My World
*New Arrival
*Opposites Attract
*Plantin Schoolbook
Paper Doll Dress Up
Paper Pups
*Printing 101
*Printing Press
Stretch Your Imagination
*Tags, Bags, Boxes & More
Walk in My Garden
Wild Card

You can check on the availability of any cartridge by typing the name in the search bar at the top of the Shopping page.  If you are looking for older cartridges, you can arrange the list  sorted by "release date" in "ascending order."  Be sure to choose "display all" so you don't miss the ones that don't make it to the first page of the results when searching.

Supplies including Paper, Vinyl and Iron-On are also on sale for 35% off - click HERE to shop for them.

The free shapes to cut this week are the Teresa Collins Basics.  This intricate doily is one of the cuts that really impressed me when I first got my Cricut Explore.  The machine cuts it beautifully (see the post HERE for more details).  The Explore machine alone is now priced at $249.99 and there are some nice machine bundles to choose from - you can see them HERE.

These are the five images in the set - basic but beautiful!

If your order of physical products is $35 or more, remember to use the code FREESHIP35 for free standard shipping within the continental US.

I hope you have some nice plans for the holiday weekend - we expect to get together with family and do a few house projects...

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to School time - Free Mini-Classes at Craftsy

Summer is nearly over and most of the kids have gone back to school or will next week.  It might be a good time to brush up on some skills by taking some classes yourself.  Craftsy offers online classes on a wide variety of crafty topics including sewing, knitting, crocheting, quilting, cake decorating, photography, jewelry, painting and more.

It's been a while since I checked out the offerings on Craftsy.  I took a look the other day and found that they have added lots of new classes.

The paper crafting offerings are growing and there are two free paper crafting mini-classes available for you to try out their class system.  The classes do not expire so you can go back to watch them as many times as you want to.  I have already watched most of the stamping class (taught by Joy Macdonell) and have picked up a few tips.

You can see all of the free mini-classes available (about 35 of them!) by clicking HERE.  If you are not a member will need to join Craftsy by registering - it's free to register.

Today is the last day to order from my friend Joy's CTMH site and get this stamp set for free.  Don't add the set to your order - Joy will mail it directly to you.

The free Scrapinar presented by Lain Ehmann at Layout A Day featuring Becki Adams is tonight!  There is still time to register to learn some great tips for using embossing folders.  If you can't attend live tonight, be sure to register and you will receive an email with a link to watch the scrapinar (it will be good for just a short time).  Click HERE to register.  I hope to "see" you there tonight - these are always lots of fun.

The Digi Scrap Parade for August is almost over.  You can start anywhere along the list of blogs and facebook pages and collect some lovely free digital papers and elements.  The theme this time is "Authentic" and the colors based on the fall palette you can see above in the logo.  Click HERE to see the list of participating designers.  You click from site to site using the arrows but you can always come back to the list in that post if you get lost along the way due to a broken link.

Finally,  Lettering Delights has brought back some products that were discontinued at a great price.  Sets are 50 cents each on sale.  You can find these sets HERE

I bought a lot of these sets a long time ago.  They are graphics sets and alphabets, not cutting sets, however, you can use them for digital projects and also for print and cut.  I particularly like the sets for each state that include tags and corners - these would be fun for a pocket page travel book for a summer road trip.

If you buy $10 or more you can use the code "SoCool" to save 30%.  If you buy $15 or more you can use the code "TreatYourself" to take 50% off making these sets just 25 cents each! 

There are also two bundles of 50 sets (one with graphics and one with alphabets) that are $18 - with the coupon code they are $9 or just 18 cents a set!  You can find them HERE.

The  Lettering Delights special offer for August is the "Out of This World" bundle.  If you spend a total of $15 or more (after coupons have been applied) between August 1 and 31, 2014, these items will be automatically added to your library.  You can see more about the items included HERE.

If you are curious about the image at the top of this post you can read about how I made it HERE.  It all started with this one photo...

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Bright and Cheerful Thinking of You Card


Today I have a card to share that can be made quickly with a little planning.  This card features the "A Blossom" stamp set from Close to My Heart.

My friend Joy Tracey at Obsessed With Scrapbooking is offering a special sale until next Tuesday, August 26th at 11:59 p.m.  If you place any order on her CTMH site HERE she will send you this set as a thank you gift for your order.  Do not put the set in your shopping cart - Joy will send it to you separately.
This stamp set coordinates with cuts from the CTMH Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge.  The shapes for the two flowers are on the cartridge so you can cut out stamp mats for each flower.  The correct size to cut the mats is printed directly on the storage sheet.  For the later CTMH Cricut cartridges, the handbook page number for the shape is usually printed on this sheet as well.

It took me a little while to find the correct shapes in Design Space.  The CTMH cartridges are all very full sets of images and there are a lot to scroll through once you select the cartridge.

Narelle at The Non-Crafty Crafter has gone through all three CTMH booklets and added the image codes that you can use to find the images quickly.  You can download these annotated handbooks on her blog HERE.  In addition to the three CTMH cartridges, she also has annotated handbooks for When I was a Child and The First Few Years.  The annotations for those cartridges were done by Margo Jacobson.  This makes it much easier to put together the layouts from those cartridges.

Please be sure to say "thanks!" to Narelle (and Margo) in a comment if you go to her blog to download these booklets.

After you add thee two shapes to the mat, you need to resize them to the size printed on the stamp sheet.  Each of these shapes has two parts so first you will "ungroup" the shapes and deleted the pieces you don't need.

The rounded flower should be 1 3/4 inches.  Use the edit tab to change the size of the shape - just leave the ratio lock on and type the new height in the box, then click "Enter" to apply the change.

The smaller pointy flower is sized at 1 1/4 inches.

I moved the shapes close together and then "attached" them so I could cut a single sheet including some of each shape.

I changed the quantity to twelve and the shapes fit nicely into an area the size of my 8 1/2  x 11 white cardstock placed horizontally on the mat.

While I had everything set up, I cut several sheets of cardstock so I would have lots of margin for error as I stamped the flowers!  I still find it more difficult to stamp on a cut piece than to stamp on a full sheet and use a punch or a die to cut out the stamped shape.

With some practice, you can get results like the flower on the left with a nice even margin of white.  More of mine looked "whimsical" like the flower on the right with the stamping a little (or a lot) off center.  If you look at these two images, the ink on the left flower seems very blotchy.  Don't worry, it will become much smoother when it is dry like the flower on the right side.

Cutting lots of the plain white cardstock shapes gives you the freedom to try out various colors of ink and work on your technique for centering the stamps.  I find that if you can look down from directly above the stamp it is a little easier to get the placement right.

I ended up using Cotton Candy, Crystal Blue and Sunset inks for the flowers on my card.  You can find the inks on Joy's CTMH website HERE.

The glittery striped background paper is from an old DCWV stack called "Citrus."  I arranged the flowers in a group and used thin foam dots to adhere the small blue flowers and larger, thicker foam squares for the three pink flowers. 

The sentiment is stamped with the Sunset ink on a strip of green cardstock from the coordinating DCWV Citrus Cardstock stack.  The strip is centered between two of the blue glitter lines on the card.  I trimmed the ends and curled them up a bit to make a flag.

I thought the card needed more sparkle so I pulled out some tiny gems in blue, clear and pale orange and added them to the flower centers and along the sentiment strip.  I originally planned to put just three gems on the sentiment strip buy sometimes "more is more!"

The different heights of the flowers and the bling give the card a lot more personality.

This card is so bright and full of sparkle that I think it should cheer anyone up!

Whenever I cut coordinating shapes for the CTMH stamp sets I cut a lot and keep the blank shapes stored in the stamp set envelope.  Then if I want to make a card in a hurry I can just get right to stamping and assembling the card.  If there are shapes that you use often you can keep a list and then cut lots of them in one sitting every so often.

There is a new CTMH Cricut cartridge called "Artfully Sent" that is expected to be available next month.  It is a cartridge full of cards and I can't wait to try it out!  Be sure to watch Joy's blog for an announcement when it is available to order.

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Free Scrapinar for August

The free Scrapinar for August, presented by Lain Ehmann of Layout A Day, is all about embossing folders.  The expert this month is Becki Adams and she will share her tips for getting more mileage out of these craft room staples.  Scrapinars are live, online events that you can enjoy from the comfort of home - don't you just love the internet?!

The Scrapinar will be held on August 26, 2014 (next Tuesday).  These events are always fun - there is a bit of introductory chat, a video presentation by the expert and then plenty of time for questions and answers.  If the time of the presentation doesn't fit your schedule, no worries - you will be able to access a recording for a few days after the event.  However, you must register HERE to receive the follow up email with the link to the recording.

Here is a card that I made quite a while ago which uses two different folders on three layers (you can see more details about this card in THIS POST).   I am hopelessly addicted to embossing folders and my collection of folders is starting to spill out of the bins that I keep them in.

I am looking forward to this session and expect to be inspired to make better use of what I have.  I hope to "see" some of you in  the virtual classroom next week!  Click HERE to register and mark your calendar for next Tuesday (local times for the continental US time zones are shown on the registration page).

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Win a Cricut Explore machine!

(sponsored post)

If you have been reading about my experiences with the Cricut Explore that I bought in February and thinking about all of the things you could cut (and those perfect circles and scallops!) you won't want to miss this chance to win a Cricut Explore.

All you need to do is to sign up for the Cricut Newsletter by August 19th (next Tuesday) and you will be automatically entered into a drawing to win an Explore.  Use your email or login with Facebook and you will automatically be subscribed to the newsletter and be entered for the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The free images to cut this week are the subjects from Locker Talk  - these would be handy for decorating school folders as the kids are getting back to school.  You will find the free images available for you to use in the Cricut Craftroom or Design Space when you log in to your account.  They are free for just a week -next week something new will be available so be sure to get those projects done now!

There is also a sale on over 100 of the most popular image sets and cartridges.  You can find them HERE

Mats and blades are on sale for 30% off this week - click HERE to find them.  I haven't changed the blade on my Explore yet - the new German Carbide Premium Blades are amazingly durable!

If you shop on the Cricut site this week, you can get free standard shipping on all orders in the continental US by using the code SCHOOLSHIP! (all capitals and don't forget the exclamation point!).

Birthday week is continuing at our house - I'll have some more cards to share soon since I don't like to post them on the blog until they are received! 
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This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation.