Sunday, October 19, 2014

Muses of a Fontaholic...in Design Space.

Most of my friends know that I am truly a "Fontaholic." The writing feature of Cricut Design Space is really no help...it has become my quest to find those fonts that may work well in that feature. Guess what? I have found several, complements of Fontspace.com. Best part....they are free!


Just so you know, the fonts are not single line fonts. They may look like it, but they are not. The lines are so close that the appearance is of a single line. When the Explore is tracing the font it will seem to retrace its steps---but the positive is that the end result is a little darker than a single line writing font from Design Space. 

Here's a short video showing how I found and started using these fonts: 

Enjoy your fonts! Until next time....





Friday, October 17, 2014

Mojo Monday, MyMemories and Cricut Explore Print Then Cut

Hi all!

I have been loving my Cricut Explore and the newest capabilities of Print Then Cut. I have had this feature on my Cameo for a long time, but the Explore does it so very well! And of course, with the SVG import---the sky is the limit!

It is the time of year when I think about cards....cards and more cards! My favorite go to place for ideas is Mojo Monday. The blog is chock full of ideas and there are sketches! Today's design is made from Sketch 353:
Remember, I said, "SVG Files?" Well, have I got news for you! Michelle My Belle has converted this great sketches into SVG Files! Just bring into your software and size! 

Download the SVG File 

Something else that I have realized is that my stash of usable images is huge! I was looking through my digital scrapbooking files and found sooooo many great graphic embellishments and matching papers. I absolutely love the My Memories "It's Snow Time"  by Connie PrinceAnd it is perfect for this project!

Cricut Design Studio makes file sharing so simple. I am using a 4.25 x 5.5" card for the base of this project. If you are a CDS user, you can download the basic 4.25 x 5.5" card for Design Studio here.

On to my card.....


First, I created my papers from digital files in preview. It won't be long before this feature comes to design studio, but for now here is my work around. I use a MacBook; I know Windows has a similar feature, but cannot remember what it is! In preview, I sized the papers to 50%. This created a block about 6" square. 


Here they are! Okay, I forgot to size the blue one.....


Time for fun! I love the ice skates with this MM digital package! So, I selected New File and UPLOAD image. (Remember UPLOAD means it comes from YOUR stash. INSERT means it comes from CRICUT!)


Follow the online directions. SELECT : Continue to step one. 


Choose SELECT. This will take you to your hard drive and all of your files. 


Choose the file desired. Like I said, the skates appealed to me. 


My selected file shows in the preview window. This is a graphic and I want to Print Then Cut this file; I have had the greatest success with selecting COMPLEX IMAGES. Then select: CONTINUE TO STEP 2. 


The graphic image appears in it's own window. This image is a PNG file and has no background. If it were a JPG and I wanted to delete the white background I would choose the indicated tool. This tool would let me select and delete the background, leaving only the image. 

Finally, SELECT : Continue to step 3. 


This is when it gets exciting. Note the red line.....that is where the machine cuts. I usually add tags that indicate which digital collection I used. 


Now to bring in Michelle's card file!


Select VECTOR UPLOAD.  Navigate to the file you desire and select it. 


The files will appear in the lower part of this window. To open them in the same design space, click on the image. When a green corner with a check mark appears the items are selected. They also appear in a small line next to the green button. Click on INSERT IMAGES.


Once the images appear on the screen, select the card. 
Ungroup the selected items. I deleted the parts of the SVG file that I did not want to use. 
I stacked the remaining parts to look like the sketch and recolored to more closely resemble the papers for my card.


I then grabbed the corner square of the selected card and sized as indicated. Notice the gray square.....
It will be the sizing guide for my skates.

I moved the gray square to the side, selected the skates and sized to fit on top of the square.

Replace the square with the skates and voila! Cricut Explore makes it so easy from this point! 

Use your printed digital papers when the software asks for the closest color. Embellish as desired! So easy and so precise! And this card will make someone else's memories last for a long time! 

Until nest time! 






Saturday, September 27, 2014

Print then Cut with Lettering Delights....WOW!

This week the "new" Cricut released Print Then Cut (PTC) technology! All I can say is WOW! Put a fantastic machine with a much loved (on my part) technology, life cannot get much better! 
And then....add Lettering Delights, svgs and papers....it is only WOW!


This card just makes me smile. It is so very happy! The cuts are from LD's Bo Ho Ho collection, as are the papers. I played with the features of the Cricut Design Space to be able to pop the centers of the ornaments. But, the best part....the papers! 

To date, PTC does not allow fill. It will. But, there are always work arounds. For the square shapes I simply selected 
Upload Image: Basic
Browse: Find the file for the paper desired
Select simple.
Note: I have my papers reduced to 300 x 300 in Photoshop Elements. 
The paper, because it is square comes in as a square item. 
I then sent followed the simple directions in Design Space (oh so user friendly!)
This is what I printed:


I put the whole thing together on a basic 4.25" square card. If you would like this file for your DS cards, here you go!

I added glitter and ribbon. Wow. That is all I can say....WOW! 

Thank you LD and Cricut for being my partners for a great crafting experience! 

Until next time....


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cricut Design Space and DingBats

Cricut Design Space is amazing! Not only is cloud based (so I do not totally overwhelm my computer), but it has the ability to use fonts installed on the computer. Yes, you read correctly....that means there is a whole new set of shapes waiting for us. That would be the

Dingbat!

I am a font-a-holic for sure. And Da Font does so much to fire my habit! The selection is great and the best part---the glyphs are free! 

I went "shopping" there today and found this gorgeous set of glyphs (characters), "Damask Dings 1".
(click on the image to go there!)

I loaded the font to my system. How you do this will vary with your computer. On my Mac I simply drag and drop the .TTF into my Font Book. Because this is considered a "font" by your computer, the shapes are entered by typing certain letters. Never fear---there will be a character map of the glyphs. I do a screen shot and send it to my iPad so that I will not have to worry as to which keyboard letter corresponds to which shape.

At this point it is easy! 

Open Cricut Design space and select a "new" file. Be sure you are logged in (do you see your name in the green square?)

Select the Text icon from the left dark margin. The default alpha is the "Cricut Alphabet". Type the corresponding letters for the shapes you desire. Ahhh! The character map!


The layers menu will open. Select X to close it for now. 


Click on the screen on the screen space to turn off the text box. Click on the typed letters. If necessary open the edit menu.


Scroll until you see the font. It will show the characters, not the name. But!!!! It will be in alphabetical order by name.  When you double click on the "font" to select it, the letters become the shapes. 


The possibilities are endless! Run, do not walk to this new source of designs for Cricut Design Space!

Until next time!




Sunday, August 3, 2014

Exploring with my Explore---It's almost fall y'all!

Have I said that I LOVE my Explore? Still doing a great job on the Cricut cuts. So, I decided to explore one of the new features---importing SVG shapes into the Design Space. I had a charger plate screaming that I should go "fall". So I did...



The leaf and wheat shapes are from Lettering Delights' Bountiful collection. They imported beautifully into Design Space and were treated as tho they were native to the space. The DS sorted the files based upon my color (or layer) designation. When I sent the shapes to the machine they cut like butter! 

The word, "Fall" is one of the Cricut fonts, Country Life (I believe. I typed the word in the font (could have used any fonts from my computer as well). I then ungrouped the image and started playing with sizing, position, etc. Satisfied, I cut. 

Pasting the shapes was much harder than anything else. That sheath of wheat has some really tiny parts! They cut perfectly, however, so it was left up to me to keep them such. Plus, I had some new glue (that shall remain nameless) that I really, really do not like. I threw in some florist wire curled---and this decoration is done! 

Gotta run and get crafting. After all---it is almost Fall! 

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

True Confessions....

Hi, all!

Been really busy sewing clothing, of all things! But, in the interim I was looking back at some of my back blogs. I really loved playing with paper scraps. I don't know what happened to that mojo, but it just wasn't there. Yet.

I was wandering through JoAnn's with my hubs and he saw the Cricut Explore. He was intrigued; asked me if I was interested. Feigning disinterest I, I waved him off. Truth told; he tweaked a nerve.

Here is my confession....I loved being a part of the Cricut Community when I started playing with paper. It was probably my most creative paper time. And then things got bad....really bad. Like many others I turned my back. But I was unwilling to get rid of anything PC. And then I began to read about the "new" PC. More and more....more positive comments about what had changed. Major changes! Then, I found several videos on the Explore. Okay I was hooked! Plus I could use my cartridges (which I loved!) And then the last Joann's flier came....the Explore was on sale!

Sunday came. I actually went to Joann's to purchase elastic and thread to finish a garment and look what followed me home.....

Yes, I have returned to the NEW Provo Craft fold. And I am so happy that I have. I have always believed in cautious optimism. I have always believed that people and companies can change. I honestly believe this is a new company! So why do I love this machine so far (keep in mind I have had it two days!)

1. It is quiet. So quiet. It simply sings to me!
2. It is powerful. 
3. It takes the guess work out of blade depth and speed. 
4. It is incredibly accurate. 
5. I can use the all of my PC carts! (Yeah!)
6. It interfaced seamlessly with my MAC.
7. It was super easy to set-up.
8. The machine automatically moves between pen and blade. No more stopping for this girl!
9. I can upload my own images and SVG files. (Yup! you heard right!)
10. The support that I have received (and I needed some for my previously linked carts....) has been amazing! 

There is so much more! But here are pics of a few likes....

Accurate.....Look how cute these little circles are! They are from a perfectly cut mat.....

Again, accurate. This bird is only 1 inch high. The leaves and vines are perfectly cut! Amazing.

The pen feature is wayyyyy cool! Here is a little card that I made for hubby's airline crew. The sentiment is written with a marker in the pen tool. This marker is a Crayola marker (hint, hint! School supplies are out---they are cheap!) 

Take another look at the snow in the photo above. Sorry the photo is bad, but the snow looks raised. It is cut from glitter card stock, more like glitter chipboard. But, there's a setting for that! I turned the setting dial and it cut like butter! And soooo very accurate. Take a gander at those curves and turns. Keep in mind the card is 3" square! Each one is perfect! 

Finally, I did a lift from the Cricut Magazine 5 year Anniversary edition. I used free shapes, the weld feature, the contour and pen features. This was so much fun! I am totally happy with this little guy!


Finally, the Explore was just so efficient that I managed to make the 13 final version cards for DH's crew at Christmas. 

I absolutely love this machine. No buyer's remorse here. And....best of all...it feels so good to be back with friends! 

Until next time, there's so much more to Explore!




Sunday, July 13, 2014

Every artist signs her work.....

Yup, that is what my art teacher in high school, Mrs. Geatches, used to say! And after the label police in my quilt guild have called me on that same issue---I am a believer!

My sweet friend, Josie Janome (15000) actually has a way to help me do this with very little work. And, the best part--it is MY signature.

First, let's head to the Horizon Link Suite playground. Select Stitch Composer:


We're not going to stop at the first screen. Instead, we're headed to the "View". Select it from the indicated tab.

Now, choose an image that has minimal detail. For this tut I am using a basic star shape. (To digitize your signature, write it, scan or photograph it and import as the graphic.)

Now, the fun. 
  1. First, size the graphic using the black box handles. The corner handles will size it proportionally. The boxes centered on the gray line will size in one direction only. Remember, the max size is 9mm; it is still pretty small!
  2. Position the graphic where you want it to stitch in the 9mm field. 
  3. Select the option on the menu bar to "Lock" the graphic in place. (You'll love this feature!) 

Return to the first screen by selecting the "Home" tab

Start adding "points" around the graphic. It is suggested that your points be no closer than 1 mm. Okay, I hear you, "What?!?!?" One millimeter is the size of the square you see. The points in fairly straight areas are easy. To keep rounded areas smooth, insert about 1/2 mm distance from each other. This takes practice and stitch-outs to get right!


Got the points where you think they are amazing? If you need to adjust look to the left of the "Finish" button. Select that, click on the points that need to be moved and do the clean up. When finished click on that same button to turn this feature off. 

Select finish. This will add your beginning, ending and loop stitches. I have tried to use the little buttons on my own with only disaster. This is so much easier!

It is time to send to the USB and on to the machine! Yeah! Rename if you choose. Send it to the ORD file folder on the USB. If you open the ORD file and see another folder, ORDF, do not worry. You do not need to use this second folder. 

Save your work. I always name my first effort with a 1 in the name (ex: jeannie1). Always save where you will remember.....


Walk, don't run to your machine! Stitch your beauty out. How does it look? My first efforts were pretty bad. This is when the reality of 9mm comes home. :-( 

You can open your design in the software in order to move stitches around. Simply click on the flower in the upper left corner and select open. Select the saved design you just stitched. You can now move your stitches around so that they are more pleasing. When finished simply write to your USB or save. 

There you have it! Now a signature for everything! Enjoy claiming your work!