The New Cricut Maker Machine… Easy Press and more!

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Well Cricut sure have been busy… and so have we.  Summer vacations (I wish), getting ready for back to school and all those fun summer weddings and get togethers.  As most of you know  my son is  going to be homeschooled, so crafting is a huge part of our life.

No one said education had to be boring… right LOL

Even though he isn’t technically starting homeschooling till next year, we still do a lot of fun projects designed to help him learn and have fun and be creative all at the same time. Part of that is our abandoned art projects, which is so much fun to do with kids and teaches them to give freely and enjoy it.

Now I wish we had this new Cricut Maker, have you seen this beauty yet? It’s due for release TODAY !!!!. I checked out the video and almost  died when I saw that not only will it cut fabrics, but it’s also  cutting wood  as well as all the stuff we usually do on our Cricuts like paper and vinyl.

Interchangeable cutting heads and the separate pen holders too. I used to own a scroll saw many years ago and this looks like it’s going to do the same kind of fret work that I did back then…..  VERY cool.  Can’t wait to see this one roll out… !!! woohoo.  I think my stepdaughter in Australia  might like this one, she’s a big sewer.

Shop new arrivals from Cricut!

and then of course there is the recent arrival of the light box... I know  that would be really useful for  us, specially me with my aging eyes.

Shop the Cricut BrightPad today!

…and then they up the ante with the new Cricut Easypress..  think of all the fun shirts you can create for back to school.  Kids just love getting a new school wardrobe every year… and the money you can save and being unique… what kid doesn’t want to have something cool and unique.  I hate ironing, but this… I have to confess I think I’d use for every day ironing too lol.  I know this is something one of my DT girls would love, she’s big on HTV projects… I am so sorry Donna lol.  Hopefully you already saw that and won’t blame me haha.  It looks so cool though doesn’t it.

Shop new arrivals from Cricut!Cricut sure are trying to  get us set up for winter with some fab new toys to keep us busy once the summer is over and we get done with back to school, wedding and summer projects. Then the weather starts to cool and we have more time indoors.  It’s right on target for when most of us start thinking about the fall holidays and Christmas gift projects we have to  get stuck into over the coming months.

 

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 Cricut EasyPress: Get professional iron-on results in 60 seconds or less. Coming Soon!

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The elusive search for a good paper cutter….

Well ..I finally decided it was time to find myself a  new cutter.. no one ever seems to find that ULTIMATE crafters paper cutter  lol.  I haven’t dumped my current cutters.. but they are now relegated to just being used for specific things.

So now I think I got it all covered… will be testing this baby out to see just how accurate it is  later tonight.  But for anyone interested, this is what I got.  It’s not something I have seen in my local Walmart, but we stopped by one the other day on the way home from being out of town.. I was looking at this online a few days before, so grabbed it when I saw it  🙂 Mine is blue, not green though… Swingline ClassicCut LITE Guilotine

My biggest problem is trimming up the edges of cards after all the layers are on if they didn’t line up perfectly, or I change my mind at the last minute about something and want to trim it up…. usually that means multiple layers which are a pain to cut with a rotary style… sooo.. I grabbed a Guillotine.  It’s nothing fancy, it’s far from expensive.. but  it’s big enough for almost all of the things I cut and  from the quick test play I had.. it works pretty damned good. There is no real guard on these so beware of little fingers, and your own as the blade is underneath and you should be careful when picking it up too. My son is under strict instructions that it is something he NEVER touches unless he is with me and I say it is ok for him to hold the handle… but I still put it away out of reach when it’s not in use.

My Fellows is fab for wavy scallop cuts and perforations, but the laser is dead and it just doesn’t seem to cut as well as it used to.. after about 6 years, I’m really not complaining 🙂 It’s not the blade per se more it doesn’t seem to cut as straight as it used to..or maybe ..it’s me LOL



My Recollections signature Paper Trimmer, that poor baby has taken some abuse lol…. it’s still a  great cutter for  foam and scoring..and funnily enough the thing that makes it not good for paper cutting.. makes it fabulous for my shabby edge cuts.

It’s one of those trimmers with a channel and not a cutting strip..so if you don’t put a piece of scrap underneath it to cut, it  gets filled up with crap gives you a shabby edge, or pushed the cut into the groove …. but I love the shabby look it gives, it’s not as pronounced as tearing….which I suck at lol, but it’s still rough enough to give interest.


Yes I know it would cut better if I cleaned out all of the crap from the adhesive foam lol…



…and then I picked up a We R Memory Keepers Cutter one day, just because it looked interesting… sadly  that is still sitting on the side of my file cabinet till I figure out exactly what to do with it and how it works.. it’s like a long magnetic ruler with multiple cutting sliders…. but..alas, my desk is NOT magnetic lol… but I will figure that one out.

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Day 10 of Cricut.com 12 Days of Christmas deals

If you need spare blades.. grab them quick ..the Day 10 deal is discounts on the bulk supplies..and the 10 pack of German Carbide premium blades is already out of stock.. but they still have a 5 pack of German Carbide for $26.99 instead of $64.95

cricblades

Gold Dust Glitter Iron on Vinyl…..usually $94.67 .. now $26.99

Lots of vinyl deals available for you ladies who like to do  Home Decor and fabric designs.
cricutglitterAnd look at the crazy price on bulk mats..don’t think you can use that many? really?? lol   Well how about buying a pack between you and a group of friends.  That is what we do when we want to save on shipping costs etc with various products.

$194.85  $89.99

CRICUT® 12X12 STANDARDGRIP ADHESIVE CUTTING MATS – BULK, 30-PACKcricutmats

Extra 10% off everything (excluding Cricut Access and Explore 2) + free standard shipping with code 12DAYS

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Comb Bound Notepad with die cut floral cover

I was playing with one of my new CUP (CraftsUPrint) cut files I picked up with my Crafty Bob Crazy 5 minute Game winnings and decided to make another notepad.  This one will join my growing Abandoned Art project bucket.  I love the contrasting colors on this one, it’s very cheery and reminds me of Texas blue skies and the beautiful wild Sunflowers that are blooming all around us.

The covers are Recollections card stock, as are the two layers of cut out design. It has approx. 40 pages and is bound with a plastic comb binding.

The design is Floral Background Stencil with Mats and is available in various cutting machine formats.  Such a fun cheery cut design and suitable for all sorts of projects, lantern panels, card backgrounds,  decorative boxes.. so many options.

CUP_topper_wmd

cup_topper_kit

 

Challenges

achelois.co

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Michaels Customer Service …..big thumbs up

I have no problem at all giving credit where credit is due on big companies with great customer service. I have posted in the past about Cricut and Sizzix customer service… and today I have to give credit to Michaels.

michaelscutter


I have a Recollections cutter….it’s nothing spectacular as cutters go, basic cut and score…. no fancy blades…. less than $20 in store..even less with coupons.

BUT….

I love this cutter for my thicker materials, I find it handles them really well and I LOVE the extending ruler….  it is a lifesaver for some of my oversized card projects.  Anywho the blade rail snapped at one end and I figured I would just ask if they did a replacement part I could get, rather than go buy a brand new one. So I sent them a message .. wasn’t really expecting them to say yes, but you don’t know if you don’t ask..and when finances are tight.. why throw away more money if you don’t need to right.

So I get the response..sorry, no replacement parts…. but the team would like to send you a replacement. WHOA..wasn’t expecting that.

As it happens I live close to Micheals HQ here in Texas, I almost applied for a job there when I first moved to Texas lol.  So I arrange to drop by and pick it up rather than have it mailed.

The lady I had spoken to was awesome.. we chatted for a few minutes about my son and his love of crafting too. Not only did she hook me up with a new cutter THANKYOU!!! she also mentioned that she previously worked on the website doing projects and reviews etc. and she has stamps she doesn’t use anymore… so she is going to have a look and hook my lil man up with some of her old stamps. How frickin cool is that.

We are homeschooling so I am building up a stamp collection for him to use with that too, so any stamps are good no matter what the subject, as it’s something new to learn about.

No one said education had to be boring.. right LOL

THAT is Customer Service above and beyond… they didn’t even need to replace my cutter, it’s not exactly a big ticket item… but to offer my lil man items from her personal stash… Beyond cool.

Ms N. thank you soooooo much, you truly are a credit to your company and an awesome person 🙂

 


CLICK.BUY. CREATE. Shop Michaels.com today!

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Club KennyK Challenge – Humorous Birthday Card

This is my entry  for the current Club KennyK Challenge using “Da Bomb”.  I’ve been in the mood for fun cards this past week.. my terrible sense of humor strikes again!

Da_bomb

Card details:

  • Image KennyK stamps “Da Bomb” colored with Chameleon pens, and distress pens and a partial digital color.  Printed on Georgia Pacific 110lb card stock on an Epson Eco Tank, ET-2550.
  • Sentiment  designed and printed with image in Jasc Paint Shop Pro V7
  • Edge cut with wavy blade on a Fellowes Paper cutter and inked with Craft Smart red dye ink and popped on Darice foam pad.
  • Background stamped with red Craft Smart Dye ink and a  50 cent stamp I picked up for the little guy at a consignment store. Rubber stamp bears the mark..”Rubber Stamps of America”
  • Inside created and colored in Jasc Paint Shop Pro V7

dabomb_birthday

The March Cricut Mystery Box & Trade in Deals

Here it is …. the March Mystery Box, grab yours while supplies last.

If you think this is all that Cricut have to offer for March.. think again… there are more great deals coming up later in the month..  TWO.. yes I said 2 more mystery boxes are planned for release this month   Releases are planned for March 2nd, 9th and the 16th…so be sure to check back for new posts, or subscribe to the blog to make sure you get the post updates 🙂

According to the guys at Crafts by 2 Crafts By Two,  their March mystery box 1 contained the following:

  • Cricut 12×12 LightGrip Adhesive Cutting Mat
  • Cricut Faux Leather, Boxwood
  • Cricut Faux Leather, Charcoal
  • Cricut Faux Leather, Espresso
  • Cricut Faux Leather, Walnut
  • Cricut Replacement Blades
  • Cricut Transfer Tape
  • Cricut Vinyl, Blush
  • Cricut Vinyl, Pebble
  • Cricut Window Cling, Purple
  • Cricut Tools, Weeder
  • Cricut Balloons!

Don’t forget there are coupons for Free Shipping and a 10% off  purchases too.

  • Get free shipping with no minimum purchase at Cricut.com  code MARCHMADNESS
  • 10% off Cricut.com purchases + free standard shipping (some exclusions) code HAPPYCRAFTING Ends 03/02/2013
  • Get 10% off your Cricut.com purchase, plus free Fed-Ex home delivery code CRAZY10 begins 03/03/0216

Can your old Cricut do THIS ….?

Cricut Gives Your Ultimate Cutting Precision

 

TRADE IN –  Cricut also have a trade in deal which starts today… trade in your old Cricut machines and get a new one.  Trade in offer begins 03/02/2016  ends 03/23/2016

 

 

 

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Home made Vintage Union Jack stamp.. oh yeah

vintage_union_jack_stamp_wmd


I have been wanting a union Jack flag for ages… but always seemed to find tiny ones online. Then I remembered the rubber sheets I bought last year that were for an experiment with making my own stamps, that didn’t work out so well for fine detailing stuff….. BUT, perfect for this project.  If I recall correctly this did cut on the Cricut using the thinner sheets… and I have another rubber sheet that also cuts in the Cricut… but that is black and bought in bulk… so not practical if  you just want to make one or two sheets.

 

Woo hooo… I Now have an almost 4×6 unique Union Jack Flag rubber stamp.. for less than $2… I rock lol. It still needs a bit more roughing up for that “Vin TAJ” look.. but I am super happy. I have been wanting one for ages for a card project..and now I have one LOL.

You too can make your own…vintage flag stamps.   Gotta love HOME DEPOT  and LOWES. This is actually something they sell in the plumbing department….It’s called Rubber packing Sheet on the label and it’s used by plumbers who need to cut their own rubber washers.

It comes in a 6″x6″ sheet… there are two thickness’ available usually and it costs less than $1 a sheet, depending on where you go …and who you know *grin. I just marked the design on the top sheet using a ruler and a pen, glued two sheets together with rubber cement and before it dried I  cut the design out and removed the recess pieces.

Cheap, unique and very quick project if you are just making simple designs.

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Cricut Explore – Loose pen housing and registration mark issues.. FIXED !!!

OMG I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am right now..and it’s all thanks to my message board lady Ms NanaDonna.

A few months back I had mentioned having problems with my Cricut Explore not cutting fine cuts at all and that I had a problem with my Explore, in that it suddenly wouldn’t read registration marks.  NanaDonna bless her heart, mentioned that she had  had a problem with her cuts too and had found help on the old Cricut Forum. The ladies on there cut the exact same file as her and theirs were perfect, so she had contacted support and they told her that they had a problem with some of the blade housings being loose, so they sent her
a new one.  Admittedly her machine had other issues and was actually replaced altogether.

crciut_housingWell I contacted them, explained the problem and I too got a new housing and carbide blade in the mail. For whatever reason, I was not expecting that the replacement “housing” was the same thing you can pick up in stores…. I was expecting the main housing mechanism that held the “blade housing” DOH.
Now I have to be fair here and mention; that before it arrived, I actually resolved my own cutting issue simply by accident.  I decided to try out an old legacy blade that I had from my original Cricut Expression and threw that in my deep blade housing….and it worked.  But I did switch it out for the new set when they arrived and they too, worked perfectly.

I have never been able to cut such fine detail  until I switched out my blade housing…fine_cutCUP files bear arches_trellis_wm footie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Problem solved… NEXT

Ok so  by this point I had also noticed an issue with my Explore reading registration marks…. suddenly it couldn’t seem to read a dang thing.   After trying all of the usual suggestions you find around the web…. too much light, not enough light, shiny paper etc. none of which helped.  I discovered that my machine could read the registration marks perfectly,  ONLY if I wasn’t printing at the maximum allowed height and width.  My machine could handle a max of 5×7 and that was it….  so I learnt to live with slightly smaller print and cuts.  The Lady at Cricut email support who fixed my cutting problem, told me to call it in…. Heh….I got busy, what can I say, it worked…. it wasn’t a huge priority for me.  I now had a machine that cut fine cuts like a dream and could print and cut…. on a slightly smaller scale.  Callibration….yeah well that had to be done manually…. but I could live with that  LOL

Ok….so we move on a week or two and suddenly, my Cricut can’t read registration marks worth a damned again…. it would start reading in totally the wrong place…. offset in from the left and top anywhere from a 1/4 inch, to about 1 inch.  So I learnt to run it through and watch to see where it started, and when it failed….I removed the material and re positioned it to match.
So… frustrating, but once again…. problem solved. Fast forward to about a week ago and my print and cut is  now reading from the correct start position every time.  I am pretty sure this machine is not possessed… but anything is possible.

Ok….so last night I am working on a card…. the scoring tool is in and it’s all working perfectly.  I go to bed, wake up this am and do a write and cut…. nothing fancy, just a speech bubble.

And ….NO…. not happening.  It looks like a 95 year old lady tried to write this…. ( no offense to you ladies of advanced years with great handwriting and no shakes… ) something is seriously not right here.

HousingSo I  check my pen and pen adapter (…. Yes as you can see by the  pictures, I do not use the standard Cricut Adapter, this is an Amy Chomas Pen Adapter) and notice that the actual housing ….NOT the pen holder, but the actual mechanism pen housing is moving left to right …. not just up and down.  It’s  shaking around so much, you could make a martini on this thing.

 

So.. I do my usual google thing…. nothing there, just posts about changing out the pen holder if broken….which is not my problem.  So I go to my email and email back the lady at email support and tell her I have a new problem.  In the meantime, I hopped on over to our message board and posted a message to my ladies asking if anyone had any ideas.

NanaDonna,  who originally told me about the blade housing problem…. damned if she didn’t chirp up with an answer within minutes.  She emailed me a PDF which by the way was given to her as a link by Cricut themselves….with instructions on how to tighten up the  pen housing unit.  This PDF was originally from CricutLoversGuide by Jan Krummrey.  THANK YOU JAN !!!!  The link on Cricut’s site didn’t work for me so here it is..and be sure to say thanks to Cricut LoversGuide and Jan if you go visit.

UPDATE: Cricut Support sent me this PDF via email this am….so I guess they have their own documentation now.

There is a small brass ring that slips out sometimes and that is the reason the housing moves around too much.  The hardest part of this process for me was …. finding a dang screw driver to fit in behind the unit to remove the cover  and the two screws top and bottom of the housing.  My toddler loves Handy Manny and so I have to hide all my micro drivers etc.,  or he will disassemble the whole house one day LOL

Ok so I followed the PDF instructions…. and voila…. no more wobbily pen holder.  Ran a test write and it was great,  EXCEPT my cut was now off *rolleyes.

Now bear in mind for months my registration marks won’t read at full size…. and of course that means the calibration sheet won’t read either….so I see another fun manual calibration in my future.  But I decide to run a calibration sheet through my printer anyway so I can mark down my manual settings for reference in case I need them again later.
I figured what the hell…. might as well see if it will read them while I am tinkering around.. and Damned if my Explore didn’t read those dang marks like a pro….and cut the calibration sheet perfectly too.

So now I am running a test on the original image I was trying to write and cut … fingers crossed !!!!

BINGO !!!  as of this point … all of my issues are now resolved simply with a new blade housing and tightening up the pen holder housing.

One extremely happy Cricut Explore owner here  🙂