Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Interlocking Octagons

I have been trying more Gypsy projects to find out how the updated Gypsy and the not-yet-fully-updated Design Studio compare.  For many months, I had been unable to see any great advantage (other than the grouping function) to using the Gypsy.  I was quite happy working on my laptop and did not need the ultra portability of the Gypsy.  I also was not particularly bothered by having to switch cartridges (I don't even have a jukebox).  I have to say that the additional capabilities added to the Gypsy along with the changes and improvement that have been made will mean that I'll be doing a lot more with the Gypsy.

There are still some things that I find easier to do in Design Studio either because of the larger screen or the use of the "handles" and quickly typing in the Shape Properties box instead of needing to scroll through several screens to enter the values I want.  The zoom on the Gypsy is fantastic and I do not have problems seeing the fine details but it is difficult to see a design that fills an entire 12 x 12 or 12 x 24 mat clearly.

I also miss having the ability to preview on a clean page so I can see only the actual cutting lines.  In a design like this one made up of repeated octagons it can be difficult to see the fine details on the Gypsy because the extra lines that won't cut are grayed out but still visible.

An advantage to using the Gypsy is that I can create a design like this one of repeated rows of octagons quickly and then duplicate, position and group all of the elements with a few taps.  Then I can fine tune the size to make a card topper for the card size I am working with.  I can create this particular design all in one selection box in Design Studio but it would take much longer with lots of nudging!  If I don't create the design all in one box I won't be able to resize or duplicate it easily.  In this example - to make a properly sized A2 card topper the octagon does not remain at the original one inch sizing - it is elongated to fit the size limitations of the card.

This simple card topper can be used vertically or horizontally.  For this test cut, I simply added some coordinating gems.

Adding large gems in the four corner octagons makes the card look more balanced.  The gems are from Creative Charms and I actually used two shades of pink though it is difficult to see in this photo.  The cardstock is navy blue.

There are many, many variations possible with this simple idea.  This particular topper would look very pretty with some vines and flowers interwoven through the lattice.

The file is quick and easy to make on the Gypsy - the silhouetted octagon is from the George cartridge.  Once the group is formed I just changed the values to 3.75 height and 5.0 width for an A2 card.  If you have trouble making the file on your own, please let me know and I will give more directions or post the file.

In case you haven't heard about it yet - there is another Cricut Ticket contest!  Scratch-off tickets are in the newest four cartridge boxes - Cindy Loo, Freshly Picked, Mini Monsters and Wall Decor & More.  You could win a fabulous Cricut Cruise and a chance to win $100,000.  Here is a LINK to the contest page on the Cricut.com site. (Be prepared - that page does have sound effects!).

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  1. Very nice, but what a lot of work :-)

  2. It really isn't a lot of work - just four rows of five hexagons arranged to overlap and then grouped and sized to fit the card. You can make this on the Gypsy in less than five minutes.

    To make it as an "adjustable" Design Studio file would be a lot of work but to make it as a set size is also very quick.

    Should I do a demo video?

  3. Hi Diane,
    I have been working with the gypsy and I've noticed the size you enter is not the size it cuts! Have you noticed that? each design has a little box around it and the measurements are the total with the box. For example, I sized a cut to be 12.25" to cut on the 12x24 mat and it didn't even cut 12". The box around the cut was 12.25" though. It actually cut about 1/2" to 1" short of the 12"! Have you noticed this issue?
    thanks for listening! Any advise would be helpful!

  4. I'd love to see a video and would love it if you would post the file so I could study and learn from it.

  5. I would also like to see a video. Just got my G & updated it, so any help is appreciated. I really like the look of the hexagons linked like that -- a great topper. Can't wait to try other shapes!

  6. Hi nanapuddin,

    The sizes of all Cricut cuts are based on a key height character for the cartridge. This means that they are sized to be in proportion to that character cut at the chosen size. If you use the "real size" button the item "should" be the correct size (the size you entered) but I have also noticed that this is not always true.

    You can use the grid on the mat to help you size the image correctly. You need to zoom in close to see if the size is correct. You can also use a shape that you know is the correct size as a guideline to check your image before cutting.

    It can be confusing - I wish I had a better answer...

  7. I would love to see a video. My gypsy scares me still. jeansaporito@yahoo.com

  8. This is fabulous looking yet quite a simple design when broken down. I don't have a gypsy but will have a go on design studio even if it does take longer as the effect is so stunning.
    Kim xXx

  9. hexagons are six-sided, and those are eight sided - octogons...

  10. I am always surprised to find comments on posts from long ago. Thanks - you are right, these are octagons. I've updated the post.


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