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!