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


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. of 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! 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Playing in the MBX Playground---Part III

It is so good to be back with you! Let's make play with some new toys, what do you say? I hope you are remember our last two playdates! We had so much fun playing with some of the toys in MBX. Today, we're going to do more with less, I promise!

First, you are going to need the finished shape from last week, in the .JAN format:

Open it in MBX. Oh yeah! Don't forget the dongle!!!!!! Once open, select the entire design. You can double click on it, CTRL A or use click on the star (pictured below). This is similar to the digitizing (inserting a LMC) that we played with in part I.

Let's change this baby's size! Remember the biggest swing is not necessarily the best swing for certain adventures---same with digitizing. 
Remember the file formats? We can size this designs in all sorts of ways because it is a .JAN file.

1. Select : Object Details
2. Select : Dimensions
3. Under Dimensions change the Width and Height to 6
4. Select "OK" 
The designs should change sizes immediately. 

Now, let's go on treasure hunt inside one of the 'digitizing caves.' Do you see the filled circle? In the lower right corner of the icon box is a TINY arrow. Click on that. 
Hidden treasure!

Select the digitizing tool at the end of the row: Parallel Stipple Fill Circle. (Hover the mouse on the tool to see the pop-up explanation. )

This tool creates an automatic circle by doing this:
Click in the hoop and hold the Left Mouse button down. 
Release the mouse button. 

That was easy! Right? 

Position the circle, centered over the first design. DO NOT worry about covering the first design with stippling. We will take care of that. 

Let's make sure the stippling is not too dense (this could have been done earlier, oh well!) 
Select : Object Details. 
Select tab: Fill Stitch. 
Look at Stipple Values. Be sure the numbers are as indicated in the picture below. 

While in Object Details.....
Select tab: Dimensions.
Under Dimensions change the Width and Height to 8.

Let's play with one more toy, okay? Let's change this circle to a rounded frame...

Select: Cut Hole (as indicated above). 

Bring out those Digitizing skills (you know you have them!) Follow the arrows above: 
left mouse click at the blue arrow;
Go clock wise, placing 3 right mouse clicks, one at each of the red arrows. (Trust me, it does not take many clicks!) 
Select : Enter (to close the circle)
Select : Enter (to cut the hole

Beautiful! The black lines will not stitch, they are simply outlines in the graphic representation. Save this image (JAN file). If you would like to stitch this design, locate these tools from your menu: 

The first icon will send the design directly to your machine. The second will send the design to the Horizon Link. I usually use the third, to the USB stick. Ask the machine to play......

I love this! Hmmm, now to make the quilt to go with this motif. Until next time!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Sorry about the missed post. It is ready, I just forgot to schedule it! Will do as soon as possible.

Nonna's Scraps
Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Playing in the MBX Playground (Part II)

Yeah! Josie finally invited me, Nonna, to come and play!

If you have not started this project, please refer this post: Playing in the MBX Playground -- Part I

(I am going to apologize that this video is not perfect...haven't done one in equipment and it shows! Please bear with me for now!)

Go to your MBX playground and open last week's shape. Let's play!


I hope that you've had as much fun as I have! Same time next weeK? See you then!