Friday, 28 April 2017

Going Small

What can I make for fashion dolls with my Cricut?
Cards, Invitations, Envelopes, Books, Shopping Bags, Signs, Labels, Boxes, Holiday Decorations.
Then something more interesting.... Fretwork frames and panels, Doors, Shelves.
Plus, logo's on fabrics like bags, tops cushions and detailing on fabric's. 
I'm sure there will be other things as I go along.... 
I have been collecting a few items to use with my Cricut over the last few months.
These items are made by the Cricut company but do work out more expensive than generic items that I'm sure would be just as good.
 Look out for deals on the Cricut website or on Amazon.
Card of all colours and thickness
 Sticky back plastic
 Foam both normal and sticky back and glitter
 Coloured film, plastic, Perspex, Plexiglas  
 Glitter and patterned card 
 Mirror paper and textured card
 Wrapping paper
 Tissue paper
 Wood effect sticky back plastic
 Patterned paper
 More patterned paper

The Cricut will also cut most fabrics and leather but I don't have enough room to show all of these LOL

I've stuck with using plain paper and card for now to save money and the last two days have been a mix of fun and frustration.
Finding things to make small was easy but not always workable. Some were just to small when cut to make and another issue was how to fit things together once cut. I contacted Cricut about the later and apparently there is a web page with the details of most of the items. Making things small and using computer paper was not always the way to go either as once you pealed it from the low tac mat it rolled up.
But these items came out OK, and with a few small adjustments will most certainly work.
 Drinks carrier. The cut outs I can use as lids. A Chinese take-out carton. I tried a more fancy one but it was a disaster but I might try it again in a larger size. I think the card was maybe a little think and not so easy to manipulate as a thinner card? 
 A couple of small boxes could work well as mini doll boxes?
 Next up some sort of wedding invitation set. I thought they would be to small but actually worked.

 Lastly a couple of box files with 'TOP SECRET' on them, this worked out very well.

What did not work was putting more than one print/cut item on a page at once. Just worked out a hot mess!

Next I wanted to try something of my own. Under the 'Insert Image' is the 'upload image' button and you can use this to upload a picture/design of your own or one from the net (copyright permitting). Then it all went wrong! The Adobe shockwave plugin kept crashing. I tried re-booting and all that stuff but nope! I use Chrome and found that Chrome is not compatible as it has it's own shockwave? So removed it, added it, re-booted it, changed it and no idea what else I tried??? Anyway the end result is I have NO shockwave and it won't up/down load until I turn of Chrome??? How the heck do you do THAT??? Soooo I will have to see if I can install Cricut on my ipad instead of using it on my computer until I can find someone to sort it all out! 
Must add here that this is NOT down to the Cricut but my stupidity and lack of computer knowledge. 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

After a break I'm back with the Cricut

At first I was oh, *dang* it still wont work!!! But I had given the next week over to making ....something so I carried on! Bloody CRICUT it hates me I mumbled. First it said I needed to update my Acrobat I did. Then I needed to re-boot I did. Then it said I needed to update Acrobat I used rude words. They worked and I was allowed in. 
Next I went to the design centre and looked for something to cut out,  found something and tried to cut it out but it said I needed to pay for it! It had the green (a) meaning it was free with a years subscription... I had the subscription! THEN I realised I had not logged in! Oops!!! That would explain a lot, so I went back to the main page and logged in.
So back to the design centre and watch the wheel go round.. and round...and round???? WTF?
OK, try again...same???
Click on something and get a 'updating/downloading message'?
Make a cup of tea and still the wheel is turning!
Try again...same! Log out ...Log in....same!
Log out try again design centre opens but I can't use it as I'm not logged in!!!WTF?
So then I notice you can log in once you are in the design centre by using the drop down box on the left IT WORKED!

ow back to the Cricut machine...
Found  pattern AND CUT IT OUT!

Repeat just to be sure AND IT WORKED

So now it's time to go small and work out how to make this stuff work in my doll world

Next I decided to have a look at all the items available to subscribers all 33072 of them. Of course you can design your own as well. 
After an hour my eyes started to boggle and that's when I decided to write this an go back to the Cricut page later. 

Things are just not working out!

I should have posted this way back at the beginning of March but was having a bit of a melt down with this dang machine so I decided to leave it for a while.
Going back to 02.03.2017
So I thought I would have another go at finding my purchase on my Cricut machine... still nothing? Then I thought I would join the Design Access thing, you get the first two weeks free and then it's a monthly or annual fee...NOPE it would not work? Is it my card or Cricut? No idea, so I e.mailed them and received my automated reply...WTF??? 5-7 WORKING DAYS???? I did try the robot helper but that was no help. I could phone them but the cost from UK to USA I'm guessing it's not a free service?


Thank you for emailing Cricut Customer Care. Your email is important to us. Due to the high volume of emails we are receiving, please allow up to 5-7 business days for a response.
For quicker assistance, please contact our 24-hour chat (Mon. 5 am - Sat. 5 am EST) and 11 am - 8 pm EST on Sat. and Sun. Here are a few links to additional support resources:
? Help Center -
? Cricut YouTube channel -

Thank you,
Cricut Customer Care
Monday- Friday 9am-8pm EST


So I'm stuck for now! Oh, I messaged them on Facebook as well. I still think if you are in USA these issues would not come up and it is somehow something to do with the company being in USA... but then why the UK website and the prices in sterling (£)????

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Making my Cricut work...maybe?

The set up is pretty easy

1. Plug it in to the power socket

2. Open the machine (button on the left)

3. Plug in to the computer (if your not using bluetooth)

4. Turn on the power

It's all in the iOS device setup, there is another leaflet for Windows and Mac... both have photos and very easy instructions.

Now things get more interesting

You get a third leaflet with photo's and information on the machine itself along with www.cricut/support (does not work), (does work but gets you onto the help section) and's (Again gets you into the help section?)
Along with contact phone numbers no idea if they work as I have not tried them.

So if you live in USA THIS is the website
Instructions and videos are

It is worth spending some time watching the videos and looking at all the links ...there are quite a few. 

At the bottom of the page if you scroll down there is a link to the 

UK website

Canada website

You will find that some of the links within these sites do not work but you can soon work it out as the site has been designed to be easy to use.

So once you have everything set up and have found the right country you are ready to start.
As part of the set up you are shown how to make a simple card.

Everything you need to make the card is included in the items supplied with the machine. I should add here that I have the Explore Air and it might be a little different with the other machines. 

I then went back to the website and found a couple of free ideas you can make. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. 

 I made these two boxes on my first go with my machine and as I did not at the time have a scoring stylus I used a pen.

I did set up an account and brought me first design but not without a lot of confusion. 
The order bit was easy but paying was a whole other matter. In in Uk and was on the UK website the sale was in GB pounds (actually it was 69pence) anyway after four attempts I still could not pay and then the phone rang as my bank thought a fraud was being attempted so the robot and I had a little chat and I thought things had been sorted but still my card would not work? So I used another card and this one did work. This is not a Cricut issue but if you are outside of USA just worth remembering.
I then received a notice that  it had been paid for and a reference number so I thought I would have a go at using it... trouble is I can't find it? I tried support and this is where I think Cricut need to make some improvements. The robot gave me what I can guess is the usual blurb.. trouble is I had no idea what it was saying and although I tried to follow the instructions I still could not find my purchase. 
It's now the next day and still I can't find my purchase? I feel that until I do find it I can't buy anything else so will start looking with the help of good old google for some free template's. 

There are 1000's of things you can make with the Cricut and this is only the third time of me playing with the machine so I'm hoping it will get easier as I go. 
I made this box today.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

List of items the Cricut can cut

Acetate 3mm
Acetate 5mm*
Aluminum Foil
Aluminum Metal
Art Board Matt Frame*
Cardstock Solid Core 
Cardstock White Core
Cardstock Adhesive Backed  
Cardstock Glitter*
Cardstock Craft
Cereal Box
Chipboard Heavy 0.7mm*
Chipboard Light 0.55mm
Cork-board Adhesive Backed*
Cutting Mat Protector 
Duct tape
Fabric Bonded
Fabric Bonded Light Weight
Fabric Bonded Heavy Weight
Fabric Burlap Bonded
Fabric Cotton Bonded
Fabric Denim Bonded 
Fabric Duck Cloth
Fabric Flannel
Fabric Linen Bonded
Fabric Oil Cloth Bonded
Fabric Polyester Bonded
Fabric Printable
Fabric Light Woven Burlap Bonded
Felt Glitter Bonded*
Felt Stiffend Bonded*
Felt Wool
Foam Craft*
Foam Craft Glitter*
Foam Distressed 2.3mm
Foam Plush 2.2mm
Foil Adhesive backed
Freezer Paper
Grocery Bag Paper
Iron-on Flocked
Iron-on Glitter
Iron-on Lite
Iron-on Printable
Leather Faux
Leather Heavy*
Leather Light 1.4mm*
Leather Medium 1.8mm*
Leather Shimmer*
Magnet Sheet Printable*
Magnetic Sheet*
Paper Construction
Paper Copy
Paper Flocked
Paper Glitter Epoxy Printed
Paper Glitter Lightweight
Paper Handmade
Paper Heavy Office 20lb
Paper Heavy Watercolour 140lb
Paper Kraft
Paper Mulberry Foil
Paper Notebook
Paper Parchment
Paper Pearl
Paper Photo
Paper Printed
Paper Printed Lightweight
Paper Sticker
Paper Tissue
Plastic Prepackaging
Post It Notes
Poster Board
Poster Board Metallic
Rice Paper
Soda Can
Tattoo Paper Temporary 
Vellum Metallic
Vinyl Chalkboard
Vinyl Dry Erase
Vinyl Glitter
Vinyl Metallic
Vinyl Premium Outdoor
Vinyl Printable
Vinyl Stencil
Washi Sheets
Washi Tape
Wax Paper
Window Cling
Wood Veneer
Wood Adhesive Backed*
Wood Balsa*
Wood Birch*
Wrapping Paper

That's 101!

*requires Cricut Explore® Deep Cut Blade

What is a Cricut?

In short it's a cutting machine. A friend of mine brought one just after Christmas and is using hers to create the most fabulous dresses for fashion dolls. 
I'm mostly into 1/6 scale fashion dolls (Barbie, Fashion Royalty) but it would be easy enough to make designs bigger.
I love to make dioramas for my dolls, that's my 'thing' although I have been known to try other doll related projects. Most of the time though I'm happy to find an expert in what ever I want and let them make it.
So back to the Cricut machine. From what I can find there are three main types of Cricut.

Cricut Explore One
Precise cutting, writing, and scoring technology
Cuts 100+ materials
Easily design your project on PC, tablet, or smartphone
60,000+ project and design ideas to kick-start any project

Cricut Explore Air

As above plus
Double tool holder for one-click cutting and writing
Works wirelessly via Bluetooth

Cricut Explore Air 2 

As above but Cut and write up to 2x faster.

Now these machines are not cheap Explore One is about £160 ($199) the Air and Air 2 £260 in UK while in US the Air is $249 and Air 2 $299? 

Look out for deals in store or on line that come with free bundles.

Once you have purchased your chosen machine there is a Cricut website that has so far been pretty helpful.

Not sure what the links are for other countries but I'm sure they have them?

Check out the webpages for loads of 'how too' videos. Also Youtube and once you have your machine look on Pintrest  for a ton of interesting ideas. If you are good at art the world is your Lobster as you can design on your computer or ipad and the machine will make it for you. BUT if you are like me a design it yourself challenged then you can find lots of pre-designed items to make (many are free) on the Cricut webpage or google it.

Now so far all I have done with my machine is get it out of the box and check it works. I then made a couple of the free designs shown on the webpage.

There is a step by step video that shows you how all this stuff works and well... I did manage to use it without blowing up the machine or my home so that all positive!

So ready to set things up I first need to remove my 'assistant' 

Once she has taken a hike I'm ready to roll

On the left is a button that opens up the machine, a little oblong shaped 'lid' that I will go into later and a section for keeping your pens in.
On the right are the 'workings' At the top the on/off button
In the middle the dial...this determines the cut depending on what you are cutting.
At the front from left to right...The arrow button for feeding the cutting mat in and out.
Centre is a C for cut.
On the right the II for pause.

I brought my machine with a 'bundle' and this is what I received...

A 12x12 cutting mat (medium) a scrapper and spatula 

A box with a mini books plug in thing (more on this later) 
A roll of iron on silver glitter 
A roll of chalk board vinyl
A silver pen and a pack of pens  

Plus, some basic instructions a website details.

Now it was evident that I would need some more basic items

A pack of three cutting mats Light, Medium and Heavy 
A heavy duty cutting tool

A scoring stylus 

I then decided as I was most likely going to be making items longer than 12" that I would need a large cutting mat
So that's the basics now to start using the thing!