Sunday, September 13, 2009

Music ATCs

I finally have the new computer in approximately the same working order as my old laptop (which will be heading to Texas for repairs tomorrow). My brother in law even helped me get my Firefox bookmarks back (it was a bit complicated but he is a computer genius!). I have a lot of email and comments to catch up on and I am a bit behind schedule on Design Team work to submit to some of the sites I design for. I hope to be all caught up before we leave on vacation at the end of the week.

By some lucky twist of fate, both of my ATC swap groups had the theme "music" this month. I meant to do two entirely different cards, however, with so much time unexpectedly consumed with computer issues, I decided to make similar ATCs for both groups.

I wanted to use the Hannah Montana cartridge and to test out the way the Music feature works in Design Studio.

If you look at the virtual keypad in the music feature it is nearly impossible to tell what many of the keys are. It is very helpful to have your handbook available when you are working with this feature. The important thing to remember is that this feature is created to "weld" the letters on the music staff when you are using the Cricut machine without the software so you can nudge the items into position but do NOT use kerning or check "weld" - the file will corrupt.

In the screen shot above, the black rectangle represents the size of an ATC (3.5 x 2.5 inches). At the bottom of the page you can see the staff ends around the word "music" as they were entered on the mat. By using the nudge key, I was able to move the letters much closer together, as you can see in the center image.

I resized the word to 2 x 3 inches so it would fit on an ATC comfortably and prepared a mat full of these words to cut. This detailed cutting of so many images takes quite a while to finish.

When you preview these cuts they look rather peculiar - above is the full sheet of words viewed on the cutting page and below you can see how this looks on the preview page.

Don't be alarmed at the preview - the words will cut correctly.

I did have a bit of trouble with two of the corners having cuts that were not quite complete but they were easy to pop out or trim with tiny scissors.

The bottom cut is the one I used for the ATCs. As you can see, the top cut, which was done by the machine freestanding, is the same height but much wider and would never fit on an ATC.

It took a while to check the cuts and remove the inner pieces. I then chose background papers for each group, adhered the cuts using a wide Zig glue pen and set them up on my island to add the stickles accents on the hearts and the dot of the "i" - in gold for the red cards and in red for the green cards.

Here is a closer view of one of the red cards

The second group was small this month and I only needed to make five.

I usually design the backs of the ATCs in my CM StoryBook software and print them, but for the small group I punched a few notes and wrote all of the details by hand. The two notes at the bottom are punched through the backing cardstock and the note at the top is applied to the card.

Here is the larger group ready to send.

I had to reinstall driver software for my printer to get the backs to print. I must have changed a setting in the print menu because the first group printed quickly and lighter in color (less ink applied) than the second group.

I chose the papers and cardstock because they were bright and happy. I like the confetti effect on both the front and the back since music is often associated with celebrations of all sorts.

The cuts are fairly smooth but there were some ragged bits - at larger sizes they will cut more smoothly.

I took one of my cuts and imported a photo of it into my Creative Memories StoryBook digital scrapbooking program and turned it into an embellishment for a digital page. The background paper you see here is digital paper from CM - from the Disney Hannah Montana collection - a perfect fit!

I'll be doing a few more things with the Hannah Montana cartridge and sharing them soon. This cartridge has a lot to offer with really interesting fonts and great music images, guitars, hearts and butterflies. There is really very little that is strictly Hannah Montana so I'd recommend the cartridge for anyone with music and theatre events to scrapbook.


  1. Wow Diane, you have the patience of a saint.. these are so intricate and I think I would have gone crazy trying to get those pulled off the mat!

  2. Hi Amber,

    The designs actually lifted very easily - there were just a few places where the cuts were not quite complete - maybe due to the feature I used - so I had to finish the cuts with little scissor snips.

    The designs were fiddly to stick down on the ATCs but it all worked out in the end. I do like the digital version - quicker and easier after you make it once!


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