Wednesday, 28 May 2014

More 'Exploring'...

I love you as big as NYC
Hey!

I'm back today, as promised, to share with you a couple of projects created using the Cricut Explore. This machine is available in the USA and hits the UK market on 1st June. For more deets on it, check out my review post here. 

As I mentioned in my review post, this machine has had me 'exploring' on crafty adventures that I'd never imagined myself going on. Heck, this machine achieved the impossible and had me enjoying ironing LOL! But for today's post I've reverted back to my comfort zone a little with this card. I immediately fell for this speech-bubble image in the Cricut Design Space and just knew I had to use it on a card.

The image was so easy to customise: I simply loaded it up, changed the size, and cut it on some textured black card that came with the machine. After that, it was simply a matter of impressing a Memory Box skyline die across the bottom of a card base; attaching the speech-bubble sentiment; and sprinkling a few star. Finished!

In addition to playing a part in my papercrafting and my laundry room, this machine has also explored our kitchen. Our chalkboard to be precise:

chalkboard

This was created using a banner image and a chalkboard font on the Cricut Design Space and was cut from Cricut Vinyl. The joy of using vinyl is that it's repositionable and I can remove it easily if I need to; I think this vinyl could be staying put though. :)

tips and tricks
  • You can customise the speech-bubble design further by deleting the text and adding your own sentiment. If you love the font originally used (as I do!) then try these free fonts, Helveticamazing or KG Bless Your Heart.
  • To impress my die on to the card rather than cut it, I simply followed an embossing sandwhich on my Cuttlebug along with an embossing mat. Mmmmm embossing sandwich - sounds yummy LOL!
  • The Cricut Vinyl I used to create the chalkboard stickers was originally silver as I didn't have any white. Too impatient was I, that I went ahead and cut the design from the silver vinyl and applied a layer of white acrylic paint over it. Worked a treat and any brush strokes are in keeping with the chalkboard theme anyway - bonus! :D
I have yet more 'exploring' to do with this machine and more projects to share with you. I wonder what room of our place we can invade explore next....?

Thanks so much for visiting today. I hope you have a super duper day!

Signature2


Products Used
N.B I've listed products that are available here as well as across the pond in the USA via Amazon. They appear below as multiples of the same product - just click on the one based on your location. :)

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Jigsaw Die Cuts...

HB2U
Hey!

Gosh, those bank holiday weekends just zoom by so fast - I hope you had a nice one.  I'm lucky to have this week off (yay for half term!) but my week is already chock-full of things I need to get done!

Still, I'm finding a few moments to pop by with a quick heads up that I'm over on the Top Dog Dies blog today with this card. I'm talking about how I've been playing with dies like jigsaws - fitting the negative pieces from one die cut into another. Such a simple technique! Check it out if you're interested.

This card also features some ancient alpha/number stickers from S.E.I. I can't even tell you how long I've had 'em but I'm glad I rooted them out. See, it totally pays to hoard....sometimes! ;)

OK. I really am keeping this super-short and sweet today. I'm back tomorrow with a scheduled post that features some more 'exploring'...!

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Products Used
N.B Some products are listed twice to show availability in the UK and USA.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Exploring...

Hey!

Happy weekend! I'm here today to share a product review that has revolutionised my crafty world and has even had me ironing in the name of craft! If you don't know me already, getting me anywhere near an iron is a pretty big deal LOL.

Yup, I'm talking about the newest electrical cutting machine to hit the market: the Cricut Explore.
55770_Explore_Closed_01
This baby is already available in the USA and hits the UK market 1st June 2014 (it's currently only available through the shopping channel, Create and Craft.) I was invited to an event in London in April to take a closer look at and to speak with the people from Cricut and fellow crafty peeps. It was a fabulous event - a perfect day out with my friends Caryn, Michelle, and Stephanie - and I left inspired. Totally inspired.


 Back: Mandi - Vintage Revivals, Me, Caryn - Glitter Me Silly, Kim - The Tom Kat Studio and Kristy (from Cricut)
Front: Michelle - The Card Grotto, Stephanie - Clearly Besotted Stamps

You can even check out my views of the product at the event on a video Cricut EU shared on their Facebook page recently (I'm on from 2.24 mins in if you want to skip to it or skip over it!).

I've been lucky enough to have some one-on-one time with this machine over the last month to get acquainted. It's love. Before I go on further, I'd like to make it clear with you that I was indeed sent this machine for free to play with. Even so, my review remains honest and my own opinion. If I don't like something, don't worry, I'll let you know! :)

This sleek looking machine has been a long time in the making, but boy is worth the wait. I think just about every detail has been thought of. Even the most novice of crafters can be creating with this machine (and a computer) in a matter of minutes.

Here are a ten of my favourite things about it:

1. The ability to cut a wide range of materials with the simply twist of the switch. No more experimenting with blade pressure and speeds, wasting material and time like the electronic cutting machines of the past; nope, this thing calculates all of this for you.
55770_Explore_Dial_01

2. Detailed precision cutting with Cut Smart technology down to the smallest of images!
55770_Explore_Open_blade_cutting_01

3. The ability to score and cut or draw and cut in one go! Oh hello, boxes galore! :)
55770_Explore_Open_marker_01


 4. Its hidden compartments that store all of your tools that belong with the machine. Everything stays together neatly and compactly. 

5. Now I think this is my most favourite of them all. The ability to create from scratch. I'm serious! It feels like the only limit is your imagination with this machine. It allows you to use and cut/draw all fonts on your computer, png files and svg files for FREE! This awesome for those of us who like to design.

6. The Cricut Design Space with a library of over 50,000 images makes creating projects easy peasy. You can start with a project already designed and cut and go, or customise a project for your own needs. Even if you don't own an image already, the software will let you play with it to make that final choice whether to purchase it or not.

7. And speaking of purchasing, Cricut have finally seen the light with their new CEO and now the pricing strategy over here in the UK is now in line with the US pricing. Single images can be purchased at 79p each ($0.99 in the US) or there's a no-commitment monthly subscription with access to over 50,000 images at £7.49 or an annual subscription at £79.99. 

8. Existing Cricut users can use their existing cartridges with the new Cricut Design Space.

9. It can so many different materials including leather!

10. It has allowed my crafting hobby to venture outside of card making and into other areas of the home without fear! 

11. Did I say 10 favourite things? Ooops! I've got 11! Cricut are soon to release the ability to sync and cut project using wireless technology. Yay!

I honestly thought this machine was going to cost £500+ given the quality of it and what it's capable of. It's a considered purchase of course, but at £249.99 you're certainly getting your penny's worth.

I honestly can't wait to share the projects I've created with this machine. Let me just say that nothing in our place is now safe from being 'explored!' Ha!

Nope. I can't do it. In going to have to share at least one project with you:

hello tote bag

Papa's Aimes' got a brand new bag! A simple project that was created with an existing image in the Cricut Design Space cut from black glitter iron-on material. It's the most fun I've ever had ironing!

I promise to share more projects very soon! But until then, I recommend you take a peek at this machine. It's certainly got me excited! :)

I hope you all have a wonderful day and extended weekend if you're lucky enough to have one (hooray for bank holidays!). As always, thanks for stopping by today!

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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Totally. Inspired.

for you
Hey!

Pheweeee what a busy week! I can't believe it's Friday-Eve already and only one more day before the bank holiday weekend. Can't come soon enough LOL!

Busy or not, I'm still - somehow - finding time to pop by with a card for this week's CASE Study. Why not join in with us this week? All you have to do is be inspired by this gorgeous card from our muse, Wida Miller and share your creative journey with us:


Check out the original post of this card here.

Oh Wida, Wida, Wida. I do love it when you freestyle collage. It makes my heart pitter-patter and my creative heart long to join you! :)

I took a few elements of Wida's card and although I feel she totally nails this style and it takes much longer for me to try and rustle something up worthy of standing next to this card, it was fun experimenting. That's the joy of CASE Study, friends, it takes you in directions your brain wouldn't alone. :)

So the elements that you'll find on my card that are inspired by Wida's card are:
  • The layout
  • The ink splatters (hard to see, but trust me when I say they're there!)
  • The arrow embellishment
  • The gold glitter material
  • The vellum butterflies
  • The hearts
See? It's like I took nearly every detail of that card! So inspired! :)

for you close up

I'm also going to enter this card into the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Simon Says Vacation/Travel. I'm hoping my subtly stamped bicycle in the background will count for the travel element! ;)

tips and tricks
  • The frame is actually a scribble flower from the new Simon Says Stamp set - Scribble Flowers. I like how it doubles as a doodle-style frame. 
  • The sentiment is a partially inked sentiment from the Simon Says Stamp set - Summer Garden. To mask a section of a sentiment I simply mask parts of the stamp I don't require with washi tape, ink it up, remove the washi tape and then stamp. So easy. 
  • If, like me, you struggle sometimes to adopt a collage style then it helps to go through your scraps. You never know what little treasures you may find to add to your design... :)
Now it's your turn! I'd love to see your creations based on Wida's card this week. Be sure to check out the full deets of the challenge and see what the rest of the CASE Study DT whipped up over at CASE Study HQ. 

That's all from me today. I must dash, this week is going to end before I can end the things I need to get done LOL!

As always, thank you so much for visiting!

Signature2


Products Used
N.B I've listed products that are available here as well as across the pond in the USA via Amazon. They appear below as multiples of the same product - just click on the one based on your location. :)

Copyright/Disclosure

I am on various design teams and receive free product to use and promote. I geniunely love the products of the companies and all opinons are honest and my own.

I'm flattered if I've inspired you and you want to CASE anything of mine, but please don't enter it for commercial publications or competitions.
Thank You!
All designs, text, and photographs on Crafting Confessions are ©2009-2016 to Amy Gray unless stated otherwise.