Wednesday 28 May 2014

More 'Exploring'...

I love you as big as NYC

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:


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!


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...


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'...!


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

Sunday 25 May 2014



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.
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.

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

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

 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!


Monday 19 May 2014

A genius octopus...


Happy Monday! It's the final week before the half term so it's countdown time to yet another bank holiday - hooray for May, the bringer of bank holidays galore! :)

May is also the time of year where we get stuck into the exam season. No doubt there are a few nervous students cramming for their final exams right now. I'm planning ahead with today's project and celebrating exam success with the help of a Top Dog Dies glasses die.

I used the glasses from the Top Dog Dies Photo Props Die Set to make this cute octopus from Clearly Besotted Stamps look intelligent. So simple to do! The hastag die from Top Dog Dies Camera Finishers Die Set adds that trendy, youthful vibe to the sentiment - well it's as trendy as this gal can be anyway LOL!

I created a quick video to show how I created the tag which involves a masking technique with Distress Inks galore but I'm having a few technical issues with it. I'll have it uploaded here as soon as I can get my resident geek on it!

tips and tricks
  • I'm not even sure that orange octopus/octupi exist! However, I opted for orange as it's a complimentary colour to blue. Check out colour theory for the thinking behind colour combinations. 
  • Hashtags can make give any sentiment a modern, trendy vibe. Perfect for the younger generation!
  • Don't limit yourself to these glasses and an octopus. The Top Dog Dies Photo Props Die Set comes with a variety of props so experiment to see how you can dress up your character stamps with them! 
Here's hoping that this octopus will be swimming its way to a student after exam results. Until then, it's back to the books and back to the revision classes! :)

Thank you so much for stopping by here today!


Products Used
N.B I've listed some 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. :)

Apologies that the 'genius' stamp was from a Sweet Stamp Shop set that has since been retired. 


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.