Saturday, February 13, 2016

Snowflake Variation (new file to share)


I hope you all are having a good weekend.  It is incredibly cold here in New Hampshire thanks to the Polar Vortex.  Fortunately, it looks like things will warm up again by Tuesday - the overnight low here is supposed to be 9 degrees below zero!

Thanks to everyone who let me know that the file for the first snowflake image that I shared in was opening as an empty file (the file name is there but no image appears on the mat). I am still trying to figure out what causes this problem and I will let you know if I find an answer.


I made a new file that is nearly the same as the first design.  I created it using slightly different steps to see if that would make a difference.  I did a test cut of this image and it cut cleanly just like the original file.


A few people asked about the settings for cutting this image.  Of course, it depends on the material you are cutting.  I would recommend using cardstock that is hard or crisp - not highly textured or fibrous since there are so many tiny areas to cut.


For the first snowflake I used Core'dinations Core Couture glittered cardstock.  This pink test cut was done on The Paper Company cardstock by Colorbok.  This is an inexpensive cardstock and sometimes the less pricey cardstocks actually cut more smoothly.


You should also try using the custom setting for cardstock, intricate cuts.  This will cut each part of the design twice.  Just turn the dial on the machine to the "Custom" position (the arrow pointing to the left) and then scroll through the options listed on the screen. If you haven't used the Custom Settings before you might be surprised to see how many options exist. 

You can find the new Design Space file for this design HERE.
Please let me know if these tips helped if you try cutting the file.


Now that we are getting settled in the new house we decided it was time to replace some of our "well-in-use" furniture.  So we've been doing some shopping for sofas and chairs.  After much consideration, these are the fabrics we settled on - what do you think?


While we were at the store finalizing our order I saw this amazing mirror.  I love it, but there really isn't a good spot for it in this house so I had to leave it in the store.  I snapped this quick photo so I could remember it for inspiration.  Maybe I will come up with a paper cutting variation!

Our nephew is here to stay with us for a few days while his sister is looking at one of her college options in Wisconsin.  I guess he is too old now to call it "Aunt Diane" camp when he visits, but we might get into a crafty project or two.

Tomorrow our plan is to stay inside to avoid frostbite! It is certainly not the best weather for Valentine's Day - there may be some frozen floral deliveries!
 

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Sparkly Snowflake Valentine


If you have followed my blog for a long time, you know that I am fascinated by snowflakes.  I enjoy designing all sorts of snowflake variations.  I also like to try non-traditional color combinations for holidays.

I designed this snowflake using the word "love" from the Paper Pups cartridge.  This cartridge was bundled with my first Cricut Expression machine (purchased in 2007) and is not included in the  Cricut Access due to licensing restrictions. (the red links are affiliate links).


There was a great deal of slicing, flipping, mirroring, and welding required to create this design.  The original image was the word "love" inside a circle so I had to slice the center section from the circle frame to get my starting image. I was working with the iPhone app when I designed this and the center was made solid by using the contour option on the iPhone app.


Unfortunately, the lines that I can hide in the app do not stay hidden in the computer version of Design Space.  I suspect this is due to the fact that the snowflake shape has become extremely complex with all of the flipping and welding.  I would like to share the file but I should let you know that when I tried to check on it before uploading a link, the image kept disappearing.  I will try to get this resolved or get more information from the folks at Cricut as soon as I can.


I cut the delicate snowflake design from glitter cardstock (Core'dinations Core Couture) and used another sparkly glitter cardstock for the top card mat layer.


I added a center snowflake gem and more gems and pearls to dress up the cut to suit the sparkle of the card.


I even added bling on top of bling - a pink pearl on the center of the snowflake.


I cut the snowflake at about 4.5 inches tall which makes the width about 5 inches.  The card is silver metallic cardstock cut at 12 x 6 inches for a folded 6 x6 card, the white mat is cut at 5 5/8 x 5 5/8 inches and the sparkly top mat is cut at 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches.  I rounded all of the corners with a corner rounder punch.

You should be able to find the file in Design Space HEREIt is possible that the link will not work - I will follow up to see if I can get the file to open consistently.

If the file does open with the image, the center will not be solid.  If you use the iPhone or iPad App you can try opening the file in the app and using the contour feature to hide all of the tiny cuts in the center of the snowflake.  Another option is to add a circle or another shape to the mat and size it to cover any of the small cuts in the center - then weld the shape with the snowflake.

Please let me know if the image appears when you try to open the file in Design Space - thanks!


I decided to try remaking the snowflake and this time I used the "love" image with the heart and did not do any slicing to get the starting shape.  I haven't tried cutting the file but HERE is the Design Space link - if you try it I'd love to hear and see how it turned out!

We are expecting super cold weather this weekend. Please stay safe and warm if you are also in the path of this Polar Vortex!


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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cricut Lace Frame Valentine (Print Then Cut project)


One of the things that I like to do with Cricut Design Space is to take images from several cartridges or image sets and put them together in a new way to create a unique design. 


This card uses a frame from the "Frame of Mind" cartridge (included in  Cricut Access).


I ungrouped the two layers of the frame, added a square to each frame, resized the suqares to fill the center openings and welded the shapes together.


The words in the center of the top layer are from the Word Collage cartridge which is also included in the  Cricut Access.  I sized the image to fit the center rectangle, changed the color to red and then flattened the words and the lace top layer together to create a Print Then Cut project.


I cut two different version of the card toppers.  The first one was sized to fit an A2 card.  The cut worked but I thought it just seemed too small and busy.  Then I resized the image to fit on a card base for a 6 x 7 card.  This is not a standard size but it kept the proportions closer to the original frame design.


I thought about using a pale pink behind the lace frame but in the end I wanted the drama of the startk contrast between the white frame and the black second layer.


I also considered just using the top layer for the Print Then Cut and applying it directly to the card base (but I also rejected this idea!).


The tiny details of this frame cut well on the intricate cut card stock setting but it does take a long time to cut completely (so you can work on something else while waiting for it to finish).


I didn't add any additional embellishments to the card. I did think about getting out my Stickles glitter glue but the design is so frilly I think it works with no added bling.  You could also size this image to fit a standard frame and use it for a Valentine's Day decoration.

If you would like to make this card you can find the Design Space file HERE.

The red rectangle in the file is used for sizing purposes.  I cut the card base with a trimmer by cutting a 7 inch strip of cardstock from a 12 x 12 sheet and folding it in half.

Do you have some special plans for Valentine's Day?  It is supposed to be extremely cold here and our nephew is coming to stay with us for a few days so I think we will have a simple dinner at home.


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. 

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"Love You" Heart with Gradient Color (free image to share)


This card was made with the second version of the heart I designed to share with you all.  I changed the words to white and made the background a gradient of shades of pink.  The image can be used for a print then cut project in Design Space for the Cricut Explore.


If you missed the card I made with the light pink heart, you can find the post and the link for the file download HERE.

I love traditional red and white Valentine cards but I decided to try some different colors for this card.


Here are the pieces of this card.  I cut a card base of 5 1/2 x 11 inches from a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock for a 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 folded card.  The brown layer is 5 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches and the coral glitter cardstock layer is 5 x 5 inches.


In this closer view you can see the difference in texture and shine in the three card layers.


I cut a piece of ribbon in half lengthwise and removed the wire from the edge of the ribbon.  I get these big spools of ribbon from Costco at a great price - usually about $8 for 50 yards of ribbon.


I used the same technique of applying ScorTape to the edges of the back of the cut and then carefully adding the ribbon to fit the curves of the heart shape.  You need to overlap the ribbon a bit but the middle section is very thin and sheer so it is easy to shape the ribbon to fit. 


If you would like to see how the tape is used you can click HERE to see the post for the other variation of this image.


I chose to have the fold at the top of the card.  Here is a close up side view showing the layers again.


I used the Print Then Cut option in Design Space to cut the hearts.  I rotated one heart and attached the two images to make them fit on one piece of cardstock for printing.


When you upload the PNG file for this image to Design Space, you need to be sure to check "complex image" to preserve all of the colors in the gradient effect.


If you choose "Simple image" the colors will be reduced and you will see this "bulls-eye" in the middle of the heart.


You also need to be sure that you save as a Print Then Cut image.  You can always change the shape to a plain cut using the options in the layers panel.

You can download the PNG file for the heart image HERE.  If you do download and use this image, I'd love to see what you make.

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=593159&b=567915&m=51766&afftrack=&urllink=https%3A%2F%2Fshop%2Ecricut%2Ecom%2Fen%5Fus%2F

There are all kinds of sales on Cricut.com this week.  Thanks for using my links to shop - your purchases help to support my blog.

The codes to use are:

Extra 30% off Digital - DIGITAL30
30$ off Non-bulk Supplies - STOCKUP30
$5 off the Mystery Box - HIGH5
$10 off Cricut Explore One bundles - BUNDLE10

Here are all of the details - you need to choose which promotion you want to use:

Enjoy free shipping on orders of $50+ with the code LOVESHIP. Offer applies to the FedEx Home Delivery and Economy options only. Orders must be shipped to a location in the continental US. Offers are valid on Cricut.com and are not applicable in Design Space® or on third party or partner websites. To prevent fraud or abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify these offers or cancel any order.
Pick Your Own Promo: Enjoy added savings with your choice of 4 different promotion offers. Only one offer can be used per user account. Enter the promo code at checkout to apply discount. All offers are valid only while supplies last.
 
http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=593159&b=567915&m=51766&afftrack=&urllink=https%3A%2F%2Fshop%2Ecricut%2Ecom%2Fen%5Fus%2Fsale%2Fmystery%2Dbox%2Ffebruary%2Dmystery%2Dbox%2Ehtml
 
The Mystery Box is full of Cuttlebug folders this month - I already have most of the folders that are included and I think it is a great deal is you are just getting started with embossing.

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=593159&b=567915&m=51766&afftrack=&urllink=https%3A%2F%2Fshop%2Ecricut%2Ecom%2Fen%5Fus%2F

Finally, the free image set available to use this week is the Simple Pop-Up Cards cartridge.  This is a part of the Cricut Access so if you don't need to rush if you have already signed up for Cricut Access.  If you don't have  Cricut Access you can make any or all of these cards this week for free!

I hope you are having a crafty day!

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. 

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Just for fun - some snowy faces


Yes - it snowed again...so much for the groundhog and his promise of an early spring! I thought the snow on these silly tree faces might make you smile.


We removed a lot of the garden ornaments that were left behind by the sellers of our new house but I've gotten sort of fond of these crazy trees.


The snow that clings to them changes their expressions and makes them look a little sleepy.


Have you seen this type of decoration where you live?  I don't know if they are widely used or just an odd thing that our sellers put up.  Thumbs up or down for keeping them on our trees?

Our little granddaughter is two months old already!  So of course I have to share a couple more photos in celebration of her special day.


It's amazing how fast new babies grow.  She is definitely filling in and looking more round and cuddly.


This was one of her one month photos - just before we had to leave California to come home.


She had her first round of shots and had a great checkup.  We are so happy that she is doing so well despite her surprise arrival a month before her due date.

Something got mixed up with the timing of my blog post yesterday and I just figured it out - so if you are a newsletter subscriber you will probably receive a few posts very close together.  I have some more valentines to share on Wednesday - and I will post the link for the other version of the "love you" heart I designed.

Thanks for the notes and comments about the tutorial on using the Hide Contour option in Design Space that I shared on Sunday.  I will try to do some more of this type of tutorial.  They actually can take longer to do than making a video so it's good to know that many of you find them helpful.


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. 

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