Thursday, October 22, 2009

Provo Craft Sweethearts Cartridge - Review and Card

Greetings Everyone and WELCOME to my Little Creation Corner … This is ♥Carol♥ … and today I'd like to share my personal review of the new Cricut Sweethearts Cartridge and a card I made with it too!

(NOTE:  Click on any image to see full size and detail)

I originally ordered this cartridge because there were a few images that I really wanted to have … the bicycle built for two, the couple sitting at a cafĂ© table, the adorable little cupid, and several others. However, my excitement over this cartridge increased ten-fold when my girlfriend asked me if I would mind cutting a few images and sending them to her. The list of images she wanted cut ended up being at least two dozen … which gave me the chance to really work with this cartridge and check everything out closely right away. OH MY … This cartridge is loaded with so many wonderful images, and each one was so easy to cut. In fact, I found it was much easier to work with than many others. My mind is swimming with all the creative possibilities.

First, let’s talk about what’s on this cartridge … A wide selection of images, perfect for weddings, engagements, lovers/sweethearts, dating, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day … couples in various poses, hearts, gifts, bouquet, cupid and bow and arrow, shoes, gown and tuxedo, umbrella, bicycle built for two, cake, his and her towels, frog, cat, puppy, man proposing, ring and ring in box, envelope image, bells, church, birds in a nest, champagne glasses, scrolly pieces and design cuts, locks and keys, etc, plus word sentiments like love, sweetheart, bride, groom, I Do, puppy love, smitten kitten, kiss me, you’re invited, bridal shower, happy anniversary … and much more. BTW, you will also find shadow/blackout options, as well as layering features for most of the images. In addition, this cart also has a nice selection of cards, envelopes and tags.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the images on the Sweethearts cartridge …

Following is a glimpse of the other goodies with the special features options …

Keypad with Main Images

(Remember to click on images for full detail)







Now that we know what’s on this cartridge … what can we do with it? How about some of the following for a starter …. scrapbook layouts for your wedding, anniversary, bridal shower, reception, first date, or even your first kiss, Valentine’s Day, etc. Perhaps etching a picture as a gift for a special couple or etching glasses or candle holders, making T-Shirts, pillow cases, quilts, or even a table cloth and napkin set for a shower … how about making table decorations or centerpieces … and, let’s not forget the creative card making possibilities … WOW, the creative opportunities on this cartridge are endless! In fact, I’ve made a card for you to show one sample of what you can create …

Both the card and envelope were made using the Design Studio Program … the card was cut at 4.5 inches and the envelope was made at 7 inches.

(one more reminder to click on any image to see full detail and size)

I mated the envelope cut with red card stock.
(Note the little star above the jewel ... I use that cut out on the inside of the card)

For the shaped card, I used two images of the ring in the shadow feature, flipped one, added a rectangle (size .5”x2”) between the two to use as a connector piece, which were over lapped very closely together and then welded. This gave me the base shape of the card which I scored in the center. Next, I cut the box shape out in red and ran it thru my Cuttlebug. I cut the ring shape out using a silver metallic paper, and cut the jewel out using a silver hologram origami paper … the hologram paper gives the illusion of an actual sparkling diamond … the effect in real life is truly dazzling!

For the inside of the card, on the left side, I cut “save the date” out of the silver foil paper and backed it with a red shadow at a 2” size. For the right side, I added the red ring in the box, cut at 4.5” and layered the box in solid white to allow room for writing … I also added the white star to the jewel which was actually taken from the cutout on the envelope.

HELPFUL HINT: This "HINT" applies to those using the Design Studio Program. Unfortunately, there was a glitch of some type when this cartridge was added to the cartridge library … when you open it up, the function keys do not appear. There are only empty spaces where the function keys should be.  HOWEVER, when you click on the space where the function keys should be, the function options will appear on the keypad  ...  or select the "features" option in the top menu to see all the available functions.

Please Note: all function keys appear correctly on the actual keypad overlay that comes with your cartridge. Also, for those with the Gypsy, all function keys appear normally.

I am having such fun working with the Sweethearts cartridge ... with the great selection of adorable images and sentiments that have such wonderful detail (yet are very easy to cut), plus layering pieces, shadows, blackouts, cards, envelopes and tags ... this cartridge offers endless creative possibilities. Even with the function key glitch in the Design Studio Program, it's so easy to work around it (as noted in the "Helpful Hint" above), that I don't see it as being a problem at all. Whether you are creating layouts, cards, home decor items, or a number of other crafts ... I am sure you will enjoy this cartridge as much as I do. Oh, and by the way, my girlfriend liked the cuts I sent her so much, that she couldn't resisit it ... she now owns the Sweethearts cartridge herself!

I hope you will take the time to leave a comment and let me know how useful this review was for you and if you'd like me to do other reviews of this type (I really enjoy your wonderful comments) ... I hope you'll join me as a follower of this blog too!

Thanx again for visiting my Little Creation Corner …. Happy Crafting everyone!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cutting Your Images Into Fun Shapes Using Your Cricut - Tutorial

Hiya Everyone! This is ♥Carol♥  hope you're all having a wonderful day!

Today I'd like to share a quick tutorial on Using Your Cricut to Cut Images into fun shapes. We all want our scrapbook pages, greeting cards and other crafts to be as unique as possible. We also want to use methods that won’t require hours and hours to complete. One way to achieve a unique look is to cut your images into delightful shapes using your Cricut. However, cutting your images so that they are perfectly centered within a shape cut can be a challenge, even for the most expert crafter.

If you are using the Cricut Expression or Cricut Create, and know the exact center point of your image, you can use the “center point” key by following these steps … 1) Place your image on the mat; 2) Load your mat in the Cricut; 3) Select your desired shape and Size; 4) Using the arrow keys, manually move the blade to the center of the image; and 4) Select the "Center Point" feature key; 5) Cut. I would definitely suggest FIRST trying this technique with a copy of the image you wish to use, as more often than not, finding the exact center is very difficult to do – but keep trying …. You will eventually have success. 

Now I’d like to share with you another way to do it.  There are few more steps involved, but they are easy, and it will cut the image into your desired shape perfectly every time without any waste.  By the way, you can use this technique on ANY Cricut machine, regardless of the machine size.  Simply follow these easy steps:

1)  Use a piece of scratch paper, any kind at all, it can be typing paper, a page from a magazine, old scrapbook paper … something that you don’t mind cutting up.  Place it on your mat and insert it into the machine.

2)  Select the shape and size you wish to cut

3)  Cut.

4)  Remove the mat … but do not remove the paper.

5)  Leaving the paper in place, remove only the cut out piece.

You now have a stencil-like cutout of your desired shape that looks something like this …

6)  Without removing the paper completely, lift up one side of the paper and slide your image behind the stencil and adjust it so that it is centered and showing only the part of the image you wish to cut.

7)  When it is positioned correctly, firmly press it down on the mat and remove your stencil paper.

8)  Re-insert the mat into the Cricut

9)  Re-cut your image using the same cut and size (Hint: use your “repeat last” button).

Your image will be cut perfectly into your desired shape.

If you would like to cut a mat for your image … increase the size of your desired shape and cut your matting paper. Repeat this same process for a double mat and again for a triple mat.

Your finished cut (with double mats) will look similar to this …

Just a few tips on cutting sizes ...

1)  To determine the initial size of your cut, measure your image at it’s widest or highest point (whichever is greater) and add not less than ¼ inch so that you have at least a little boarder all the way around. Be sure to take into account for odd sizes … for example, a heart shape has two humps on the top, is wide in the center section and narrows to a point at the bottom.

2)  Cutting your mat size ½ inch larger than your original cut will give you a ¼ inch boarder all the way around. Similarly, cutting your mat size 1 inch larger will give you a ½ inch boarder all the way around. Remember, if you are making a double or triple mat, each mat size must be cut increasingly larger.

Try it … I think you will be very pleased with the way this technique turns out and how easy it is to do.  Don't forget to leave me a note and let me know how this technique works for you ... I love hearing your success stories.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chicken Soup - Tri Fold Card - FROM MY KITCHEN

Special Note
 Imagine my surprise ... this card was highlighted
in the November 3, 2009 issue of the
Cricut CHIRP ...
you can see the entire newsletter here ...

Greetings Everyone … This is ♥Carol♥ …

Today I’d like to share a card I made using the new Cricut Cartridge From My Kitchen. As you know, one of my passions, besides creating crafts with my Cricut, is writing poems and short verses … this has turned out to be a wonderful compliment to my greeting cards. Today’s card combines the two. It’s a simple little verse, but seems to fit perfectly for this card.

This is a tri-fold “Get Well” card. The base of the card was made with double-sided paper, which worked out really well when I folded up the two pocket flaps. BTW, I've also included a diagram with the measurements for making this card. (click on any image to see it larger). All cuts were made using the From My Kitchen Cricut cart. The print is computer generated onto card stock. I also added one wiggly eye and a ribbon for closure. A little hand doodling and the card was done.

Here is the face of the card ... 

(just a reminder ... click on any image to view it larger).

This is the card with the first flap open ...

Here is the card fully opened ...

Here is a diagram of the card showing the measurements and score lines ...

(Remember ... Click on any image to enlarge)

I hope you enjoy this card and will give it a try, it's really an easy card to make, and you're welcome to use the verse as well if you'd like.  Feel free to leave comments, I love seeing your thoughts!

Have a great day everyone ... and thanx for visiting my Little Creation Corner


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sharing More Cards

Hiya Everyone ...

I thought I'd take a moment and share some previously made cards ... these are so easy and fun to make.  Most use computer graphics combined with computer generated text ... plus a few cuts from my Cricut Expressions.  I've also added my own special little verses to many of them.  I especially like combining my two favorite hobbies together ... creative card making and poetry/verse writing.  I hope you enjoy them ...

NOTE:  Click on Images for a larger View

I hope you enjoy these simple little cards ... I'll be adding more soon.



Thursday, October 1, 2009


SPECIAL REMINDER ... If you haven't already done so... Be sure to enter the Gypsy Give-Away over at the Cutting Above Blog ... There are still 2 days left to enter ... see details below ... or better yet, go now to visit their blog and sign up to be a follower!  They have a wonderful selection of talented Design Team members that will be bringing bringing you all the latest industry news, reviews, information, tutorials, videos, project ideas, and much much more.  Be sure to visit them today! 

Cutting Above Gypsy Giveaway!!

Oh goodness.......have you heard the news????

Cutting Above is THE new place for industry news, review information, tutorials, videos and just about anything else related to scrapbooking and die cut machines!!


have you also heard that

Provo Craft is helping us celebrate! That's right. They have generously donated 2 Gypsies to be given away for our launch as well as to celebrate their Grand Opening on HSN!! Now that's exciting news!

Have you heard all about the Gypsy and what it can do? Wow . . what a kewl machine. If you haven't heard about it yet, let me run down just a few of the advantage to owning this fascinating tool:

Portability . . you can use it anywhere
Your cartridge library is now at your fingertips! This is great for scrapbook getaways and crops!
Hand held device is lightweight at 11 oz.
Ability to store up to 7000 cartridges!!
Comes with 2 full cartridges preloaded (sweeeeet!)
You can now view all your images without being tied to a manual or keypad
Perform a keyword search on all your cartridge images . . even for ones that you haven't uploaded. This is great for cartridge research and planning for that next purchase
Allows you to create templates when designing
Comes with a 12 month warranty from date of purchase
Ability to JAZ up your Gypsy with silicon skins, screen protectors and colored styluses

These are just some of the advantages of purchasing the Gypsy. To read more about this innovative new product and to even take the device for a test drive, visit the Provo Craft Gypsy web site.

BTW ... I already have the Gypsy ... and I have to say, this is one SWEET little gadget.  I love the portability and the ability to make creative designs for my Cricut at anytime ... anywhere!!! 

Don't forget to visit the Cutting Above Blog and check out all they have to offer, it really is a great place to visit.  And while you are there ... don't forget to sign up to become a follower too!

You won't want to miss out on your opportunity to win one of the two Gypsies being given away!!!