Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cricut-Palooza! (Or, My first week of having a new toy.)

 Last week, My Cricut Explore Air arrived and I was very excited.

Since then, I have been playing with it and learning how to use it. I've made lots of random things so far and am getting the hang of it. This is my very first cutting machine, so I knew I would have a learning curve butI gotta say, I am hooked. :)

Reading instructions and learning how to use it.

Pushing the "go" button for the first time! How exciting!
 Here are things I've made with it so far:

Whee! Look at the machine go!

 The pride of the first project.
This was the card that came as a "starter" project with the machine. The software walked me through the whole process to make the card and what to do. I like that it was so easy to get it set up and running.

 I chose a snowflake to test the intricacy of how it can cut. Shaun and I were very impressed with it. This whole snowflake is only 2 inches square or so, as you can see by the measurement lines on the mat under it.  I used the pen to show size comparison, too. Of course, it snowed the next day, and we hate snow, so I joked that since the Cricut controls weather, I guess I'll make a thermometer showing 70 degrees...

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 With this, I wasn't sure what I wanted to make, but I wanted to see different sized objects, so I just stuck with a simple heart. I love that I can basically make things as big or small as I could possibly need!

 This is actually a mistake. I was trying to make simple card I designed. I thought by selecting "write"  for a certain layer and "cut" for a different part of it, it would cut out the black IN BETWEEN the silver writing so that it was both. I am still not sure how to do that part, but I know the option exists. Oh well, that's what experimentation is for, and I can always use the letters by themselves to make something.

 Here is a card I designed using a  blank pre-set card option that had the notches in the side, and used the write option to do the Thank You.

What thrills me is that you can use your own "system fonts" of fonts from your computer or that you download. I love that! I already used my fonts creatively by printing them, but now I can put it right on something with my Cricut, that is even more awesome!

 Some little speech bubbles I made with some shapes and some of my own fonts. I like that I can use the cut sentiments or the letters by themselves if I wanted.

 I had to test the "poster board" option. I cut some cereal box cardboard and just made whatever I had on the screen. This took me a few tries to get right, but once I did I was SOOO excited. I told my husband "see, I knew I was justified in keeping a bunch of random cardboard!"

Since I was getting used to the design software, and it's January and didn't have anything to decorate my desk with (I like to change the decorations every month), I wanted to make something fun for my desk. Here's the banner I designed in the software.

And I quickly learned how to place things so I can cut them all on one mat, instead of having to take everything off and replace it between cuts.  I was glad I could make that trick work. It's a big time saver when working with smaller items.

The finished banner. Not a great picture, but at least you can see the final thing.

 A card I made.  While at work, I randomly had the idea that it would be fun to make a card that says "you rock my socks" either as a Thank You card or just a greeting. So I uploaded a simple clip art image of socks and designed the card layer to be cut. I put some striped paper behind the socks, which, I have to say, works perfectly and looks like socks I would actually have. I put some other paper behind the cut out words, which I liked when I put it there, but now I think would look better if it were another shade of blue or maybe white since the rest of the card is blue. And I added the ribbon later. I was about to throw it out because it was just a scrap from the banner, but thought it would look cute, so just added it on. I like it.

And finally, something I was playing with today. I wanted to see how small I could make something. The smallest hearts are 1/4 inch each, and the bigger ones are 1/2 inch. I love that it can cut something that tiny. Which means, if I wanted/needed, I could technically make custom confetti. How fun!

I can't wait to try even more things! Those are the things I made just in my first week, I can just see how useful this will be to my crafting.  I am very excited.