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.

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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.
 
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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.

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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.


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Monday, February 8, 2016

New Disney Princess Images for Cricut Explore


A new Disney Princess cartridges is available from Cricut.  The Disney cartridges are always popular and I know that many people will love the chance to craft with some of the newest Disney characters.  The cartridge is called "Disney Princesses - Believing in Dreams" and it features Merida from "Brave," Rapunzel from "Tangled," and Tiana from "The Princess and the Frog."


The three movies that are featured on this cartridge are Tangled, The Princess and the Frog and Brave.  There are a variety of images and characters from each movie that can be cut as layered designs or drawn with the Explore pens.

At this time, the content is exclusively available digitally through Design Space but there will be a physical cartridge coming out later this year.  Disney designs require a lengthy approval process and any changes to the images will be included in the digital set if you go ahead and buy it now.  If you have one of the older Cricut machines, you will need to wait for the physical cartridge since Design Space is used only with the Cricut Explore.  Due to Disney licensing restrictions, this digital set is only available to US buyers.

If you are a princess fan (or have some princess fans in your life) you will have fun with this cartridge!


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Sunday, February 7, 2016

How to use Contour in Cricut Design Space (inset design)


As promised, today I have a "words and pictures" tutorial on using "hide contour" to inset an intricate design for card front layers.  This is a great way to use a part of a design to create a new image or a different look.


A few days ago, I posted a couple of variations of a card I made using this image from the Victorian Romance cartridge (as you can see from the green "a" at the top left, this image is included in Cricut Access). 

Here are the steps you need to take to create the card topper in Design Space:

1.  Add the image to your project.  To find it quickly, search for image #M39F21.



2.  Click on the image to select it and then ungroup by clicking at the bottom of the layers panel or by right clicking with your mouse and choosing "ungroup" from the drop down menu). 


3.  Go ahead and delete the bottom layer - once again you can do this by selecting this layer and clicking Delete at the bottom of the panel or right clicking and choosing delete.


4.  Chose the top layer and click on "contour" or right click and choose "hide contour" in the drop down menu.  The image will appear grayed out but you can hover over it with the cursor and individual lines will turn bright blue to show that they are active.  Choose the outline of the heart to hide that cut line.


The heart will now appear as a series of shapes with no outline.


5.  Click on "insert shapes" in the left panel and choose a square to add it to the mat.


Then select the square and use the edit panel on the right to change the shape to a rectangle.  You need to click on the lock icon to allow the change in the aspect ratio to convert the square to a rectangle.  Make the rectangle 4.25 inches wide and 5.5. inches high.  This is the size of a standard A2 card and you will use this to help you visualize the design.  Go ahead and change the color to something prettier - I choose red for a Valentine card.


6.  Select the rectangle and duplicate it - change the second rectangle to 4 inches wide and 5.25 inches tall.


This second rectangle is the one that will be used to create the card topper.  I changed the color to white for my card.


6.  Select the heart image and move it to the front of  all of the layers using the arrange menu at the top of the screen.


7.  Then select the rectangle and the heart and align the two by choosing "center horizontally" from the align menu. 


After you center the heart image you can adjust the placement from the top.  The bounding box around the heart will help you visualize the placement.


8.  Select both the heart image and the rectangle and choose "Slice" from the top of the layers panel to cut the heart design into the white rectangle.


After you slice there will be three images in the layers panel - two hearts and the rectangle layer with the heart cut from it.


9.  Move the rectangle layer with the heart cut to the red rectangle that represents the card base and try various color combinations before cutting.

You can delete the two heart images now.  While the card topper is set up go ahead and choose and resize the sentiment for the card. 


For my final card design, I chose to use contour again to hide the center heart and then added a heart from the insert shapes menu and unlocked the ratio to adjust it to the right shape to fit over the solid heart center.


This was my final design, however, when I made the card, I changed the center heart to match the sentiment and I did not put the contrasting heart on the sentiment.  You can see the post with more details about the card in my blog post HERE.


I made the card in two color combinations and also shared a link to the Design Space file (in case you don't feel like going through these step by step directions!).

I hope that these directions are helpful for those of you who want to learn how to make some more personalized projects using the images in Design Space.  Please let me know if you want me to do more of these.  I can also do videos but many of you have asked for this type of tutorial so you can easily refer to the steps without having to play a video over and over.


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If you are looking for some classes to help you learn to use Design Space and your Cricut Explore, Lia Griffith has a new class series available at Craftsy.  Click HERE to find out more about the class and sign up.  I have not taken this class but I have taken other Craftsy classes and enjoyed them very much.  I am a Craftsy affiliate and if you use this link to purchase the class I will receive a commission.

Lia is an amazing designer who has designed many images and projects for the Cricut and one of the special edition machines at Michael's was bundled with her designs.  I am sure it will be a great class and it is on sale right now for just $19.99 for six lessons.

I hope you had a good weekend and that you enjoyed the Super Bowl if you are a football fan.  It was a small consolation that the team that beat our home team was the winner...

More snow is on the way tomorrow - I guess we are going to get a real winter after all!


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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sunny Snowy Saturday


After the big storm yesterday, we had a beautiful sunny Saturday and went for a walk in a winter wonderland this afternoon.  I thought I'd share some photos for those of you who live in non-snowy places.  You can be relieved that you don't live here or wish that you had snow too (or a little of both!).


When we bought our new house, we "inherited" quite a few garden ornaments. 


The faces on the trees are a bit silly but also fun - they make me think of the apple throwing trees in the Wizard of Oz movie.


We had worked hard to get the driveway clear Friday afternoon, but the wet heavy snow clings to the trees and then when the wind blows it falls right on the center section of the driveway.


There is a drainage easement across our land and we have a bridge halfway up the drive.  There usually is no water flowing but there was a bit of a creek today from melting snow.


Our Boston kids came out for a quick visit.  We all were bundled up for a walk but it was actually pretty warm this afternoon - well above freezing.


Here is the view looking back toward our house from the street side of the drive.  In the winter you can see the house but when the leaves come out in the Spring it will be much harder to find it!


We got all of the lights out of our trees but these ornaments are still hanging in the tree at the end of our drive.


We have had these for quite a few years now and the red ones are gradually turning gold while the blue ones are turning silver.  The sun seems to be making them fade.  In a year or two I will be able to call them "vintage!"


This sort of wet and heavy snow really clings to the trees.


The snow covered layers of the evergreens are perfect for Christmas card photos.


The snow also outlines the limbs of the maple and oak trees along the street.


Even though it looks pretty, the problem with wet heavy snow is that it bends the branches of the trees - sometimes so much that they break.  While we were walking we saw a big branch fall in a neighbor's yard.



The snow also clings to lamp posts and fence posts.  I think this one looks a lot like a Hershey kiss!


The snow was layered like thick frosting on the bridge and shrubs at another neighbor's house.


This is a tree with little clumps of snow clinging to the branches.  If you just glance at this photo doesn't it look like a flowering tree in the Spring?

I hope you are having a great weekend.  If you are a football fan have fun watching the Super Bowl tomorrow.  Our team didn't quite make it but we will enjoy the commercials!  I will probably do some crafting while watching...

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