Be Beautiful – layered card with watercolor effect

This is my latest project and features  an image by Cute As A Button “Wedding Day” and a bunch of  things from my latest craft hauls.  This is my December Inspirational Project  and also  my No. 3 Sketch with extra credits for the Message Board Sketch Challenge.   Some of the ladies and I are old friends from the Cricut Message Board days and this is a continuation of an old challenge on there. It’s a just for fun  monthly sketch challenge and all are welcome to come hang out and play.

I wanted to try something I’d been playing with the other week, the watercoloring with printer ink.. but expanded on the idea by including some of the new Zig Kuretake Manga ink I just got.  I picked  this particular ink for the fact it was water based, so I knew it would dilute and work with this technique.  It is a fast drying ink that becomes waterproof once dry and  smudge free with Alcohol markers.  Exactly what I need!  I also picked up a Fine H2o brush in this packet…  I have tried cheap versions of these which work.. ok.. but this one is definitely a much higher quality.
caab_b_beautiful_closeup_wmded
I gave the image a color wash with just water and the printer ink, then I slowly layered in a diluted ink to add in more depth and shadow.   It has a very subtle color because I  diluted it and then absorbed the excess as I worked,  but straight out of the bottle.. this is black as black can be. If you let it soak in instead of absorbing  it … the colors are also more pronounced.

The reason I picked up this ink is because  Artists all have their own style of drawing, some use thinner lines than others and that effects the amount of ink you have to pull from the printed image.  I have a gorgeous set of  Gansai Tambi watercolor paints I could have used..BUT  I wanted to experiment… PLUS these inks are waterproof once dried AND I can use the ink with various writing/drawing tools.

k let’s face it.. I just wanted to play with something new lol.  Wait till you get to see the other bottle of ink I picked up….

I added in some really subtle color on the image using my Chameleon Pens
NU00, BL2, BG1 & GR1.

This image was printed on  a Canson Mixed Media sheet  through the Epson Eco Tank.

ok.. now onto  the card itself.  I am not really  a fussy card maker..  but I do like to play around with ideas and try new things out, so now and then I’ll get a bit “fluffy”.

I had some fab new dies from Gina Marie designs I wanted to try out and so I mixed it up with some of those, some GM’s from a previous order, a die from my latest Blitsy order and some  Cheapie imports from Ebay.  And then I  had a play with my Martha Stewart punches….  for good measure.

Starting at the back and working forward..

Silver Glitter card stock,  local dollar store
Blue Recollections Card Stock  with  Martha Steward border punch set. If you want a continuous border, these punches all come with cutting instructions and sizes so you can get perfect  borders.  For this project I  wanted to play with an off cut pattern, just to add a little interest to the background.
White 110lb index Card
Blue Recollections Card Stock
Image is popped on a layer of Darice Foam
Image is die cut with the new Mini Hearts Square set from Gina Marie Designs

On top of that are 3 cuts from the Gina Marie Flower Branch Die.. 2 were inked with a blue pad..one darker than the other for  some contrast and pearl cabochons were popped in the smaller centers for some subtle bling.

The butterfly and beautiful  cuts are from Gina Marie
The “Be” sentiment is from Blitsy
….and finally the small leafy sprigs came from Ebay.

I used  a mix of glues and tapes… details and links for the products used can be found below for anyone interested.

caab_b_beautiful_wmded

And now for the details:

Image  –  Cute As A Button “Wedding Day”

Recollections 65lb card from Michaels
Lawn Fawn Scripty”Be”sentiment Die Blitsy

Gina Marie Designs “Beautiful” sentiment  & Butterfly Set Scrapbook Warehouse
Gina Marie Designs Mini Hearts Square set Scrapbook Warehouse
Gina Marie Designs Flower Branch Scrapbook Warehouse


Leafy sprigs My regular Ebay Seller
Martha Stewart Border & Corner Punch Set ….Michaels  used to have them or you can get them on Ebay


Chameleon Pens  - ChameleonPens.com
Glitter Card Stock  - Local $ store , 3 sheets for $1.99 silver, gold & green
Recollections card - Michaels

Fine tip H2o Brush CraftingAbility.com
Manga Ink CraftingAbility.com
Photo Tape CraftingAbility.com
2 Way glue Crafting Ability.com

Neenah White  110lb card stock -Amazon
Canson Mixed Media 7x10 pad Amazon
Pearl Cabochons Amazon
Darice Adhesive foam


Card Challenges entered:

I will be compensated for purchases made through affiliate links on this page

Bugaboo “Autumn Kidz” Velvet over the edge card

Some of you caught a WIP look at this on Facebook, but here she is.. all finished up and matted, popped on foam and overhanging the stitched frame.

She’s colored with Chameleon Pens and a touch of Zig Kurecolor and Marvy Detailer. sections of the image were cut in to overlap the frame while the main image remained behind the frame.  I am sure it has some fancy technical name, but heck if I know what to call it haha…I just know it’s cool. A couple of the smaller detached details were fussy cut and added to the frame where they should be in the original.

Both layers are foam padded for depth and the image is printed on Velvet Paper…. combined it gives the  card a lush soft feel.

Links and supplies listed below for anyone interested.

First off a close up through my Magnifier light to show off that lush velvet texture. Traditional blending styles will not work with this…. so if you are the type who has to blend to perfection, this is not the paper for you.  It works great with pencils too, but it does have a soft grainy effect look to it….so it may not suite everyone.  Me….I LOVE this paper… it suits my style and tastes perfectly.

bugaboo_velvet_autumn_wmd

..and here is the finished card, Very CAS ( clean and simple ). I don’t like to add sentiments to cards till I plan to use them; unless I already know who the recipient is, or the occasion. Quite often I just want to  use it as a note card, so I  keep them sentiment free.  I’m sure you have probably noticed that I am not a big fan of making overly fussy cards either and prefer to highlight the image and  in some cases humorous text.  It’s just my style….

bugaboo_autumn_card_wmd..anywho .. there she is… my Autumn Kidz.  I love these muted colors which is funny because hubby and I have argued color schemes and furniture since the day he moved in.  He is all about the browns… and I am all about the black furniture lol.

He must be rubbing off on me  LOL

Supplies

bugautkidz001th_thumbnail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lil’Inkers dual stitch frame

Something I never mention, my scissors.  LOL I confess I do not own any “craft” scissors except the little pair that came with my Cricut tool kit.  I actually do most of my intricate cutting with.. erm.. hair dressers scissors lol.

I have an old pair of Triumph Mastercolor scissors from back in my UK days… these must be at least 20 years old and have NEVER ever been sharpened lol.  LOVE these scissors.  I have another set I use too… but I’d have to dig them out to figure out what they are lol.

I will be compensated for purchases made through affiliate links on this page

challenges:

corrosivechallengesbyjanet.blogspot

lilpatchofcraftyfriends.blogspot

abitmoretimetocraft

animalfriendschallenge

http://cardmaniachallenges.blogspot.com/

sasayakiglitter.blogspotl

http://avenue613.blogspot.com/

livelaughstamp.blogspot

http://die-cut-divas.blogspot.com

digistamps4joy

deliciousdoodleschallenge

Oversized East Wind Humorous Birthday Card…

I went trolling through Etsy’s Digi Artists the other night in search of something “new” and different.  I needed to get back to my roots a bit and stray off the “cutesie” path for a bit. AND….I came across a couple of Artists, one of which I had heard of, but never colored…..and one I hadn’t heard of. Both of which had Images that instantly appealed to me, so I grabbed one from each to see if they worked with my grungier style… Here is the East Wind image “Aurora Warrior”.

What can I say… I am a bit of a tomboy and have always loved the “tank girl” tom boy thing.  You don’t have to be a Barbie, to be Sexah!
ew_oldage_wmded
This is an oversized card… I love making these 6 x12 inch cards..so much room to play and perfect for those  employee Birthdays where half the office have to sign it.  Anywho, there she is in all her glory.

I colored  the image with Chameleon Pens, Zig Kurecolor, Ranger Distress Pens and a touch of Marvy Detailer…. on a sheet of Canson Mix Media.

She is bordered with a dual stitched rectangular frame by Lil’Inkers on Recollections black card and the image was partially fussy cut to bring elements up and over the frame.  The main image lays behind the frame.  I love doing these up and overs..<< None technical term.  I must do a quick tutorial showing how I do them one day.

The green striped paper is one I made in PSP and printed out on a white 110lb card stock and added a thin black frame for contrast.

The sentiment is one straight from my own warped mind and inspired by the image. As regular visitors know, I like to have fun with my cards. The letters are cut on 110lb white card using a Bottle Cap Alphabet Die by MFT ( My Favorite Things) on my Sizzix Bigshot.

..AND NOW….

I want to give a big shout out to fellow card maker and blogger Shannon Abblitt  who has constantly amazed and inspired me with her fabulous cards… and who exposed me to so many Cool East Wind images, that I just had to give them a try.  Thanks Shannon 🙂

You should check out Shannon’s creations if you haven’t already seen them. Here are links to her blog and also to her creations available for purchase.

shannon_blog
shannon-custom

And you can also find Shannon’s work in the Crafting Circle Craft n Chill Zone Facebook Group.
craftnchill

Supplies:

I will be compensated for purchases made through affiliate links on this page

Challenges:

corrosivechallengesbyjanet.blogspot

http://cardmaniachallenges.blogspot.com/

http://avenue613.blogspot.com/

livelaughstamp.blogspot

craftyhazelnutspatternedpaper

dreamindarkness.blogspot.com

Anyone for Crochet?… crafter humor framed artwork

Once again my  project was directed by the image and sense of humor…  I love it when an image speaks to my inner clown and they get along perfectly  LOL.  Sometimes an image just clicks in your brain and other times you have to sit and stare at it and wait for the ideas to come… This will be a fun one to add to my abandoned Art bucket … maybe.

This is one of the new Releases from Cute As A Button .. this is “Harley”
She is colored with Zig Kurecolor, Chameleon  Pens and a touch of Marvy Detailer, Ranger Distress Pens  and Zig Memory System writer pens.

The edges were inked up using crafts smart ink pads and then she was mounted on  some striped paper “Recollections – Red Denim” from Michaels using Zig Photo Tape.  I just mounted her in an old frame I had laying around.

For anyone struggling to read..it says

“They said I was Anti-Social”

“So I answered an ad on Craigslist, It said ‘WANTED, ladies with killer crochet skills”

It’s a crafters joke and a play on words…  croquet/crochet  for those that ‘don’t get it’caab_nr_halequin_wmd
You can find her in the Cute As A Button store, along with the other New Releases for September.

caab_newr_sept

 

Supplies:

Challenges:

angiesdigitalstamps

classicdesignteamchallenge

livelaughstamp.blogspot

craftyhazelnutspatternedpaper

dreamindarkness.blogspot.com

letscreatechallenges.blogspot.co.uk

Humorous 3 Column Stepper card

Oh what fun I had with this one…. another one of the fun cut files I picked up with my CraftsUPrint winnings  🙂

This card design has so many possibilities; I kept this one pretty “PC”  but the potential for sarcastic humor …. limited only by your own imagination.  The base card itself is so versatile for any occasions… cute, sweet, sassy and downright naughty…. and suitable for any occasion.  I can see me using this design in future projects.

The images, as I am sure most of you are already aware of ….Bugaboo Stamps.  How could I not include good ol’ Stella in a card like this.  These were colored with Zig Kurecolor and Chameleon markers and a touch of Marvy detailer & Wink of Stella.  I then scanned and reprinted them with the border at the size I needed for the columns. I left the space below the images blank specifically for  adding in other  less PC humor,  but of course that is entirely optional.

The CraftsUPrint cut file  by Rae Carr was cut on the Cricut Explore, on an 11×17 sheet of Neenah 110lb card stock to create an oversized card.

The title was designed in PSP and printed  then layered on.

The speedometer features a moving needle for that personal touch..with a cute inlaid pearl heart brad .. to soften the blow LOL.

More details and supply links below.
cup_bugaboo_speedo_wmded

Card Stock:   Neenah 11×17  bought on Ebay

Card Base:
cup694557_1415

 

 

 

“A pair of step cards”  by Rae Carr

 

 

 

 

 

Images:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colored with: Chameleon  Markers, Zig Kurecolor, Maryv Detailer and Wink of Stella

Miscellaneous: 

Heart shaped Recollections brad with inlaid pearl hear from Michaels
Zig Photo Tape

 

I will be compensated for purchased made through affiliate links on this page

 

Challenges:

corrosivechallengesbyjanet.blogspot

livelaughstamp.blogspot

Fort Worth Stockyards, TX – Art Abandonment Project

Well int that some $%#$%#$

I have lived in Texas just down the road from the Fort Worth Stockyards for 10 years now..and I have STILL never visited. It’s one of those places I always plan to visit, but just haven’t got round to…. but that will change.  The little guy is old enough to enjoy it now and  we have friends out that way…. and now I have the perfect excuse for a family outing to the Stockyards.  I just made a super simple picture frame,  which I hope one of the tourists decides they would love to put one of their photos from a visit in. It’s a  quick and easy project you can do with the kids and relatively cheap .. but still a cool find  for someone.

4219aaa

lil’

Img_8085bb - Copy

Man

Img_8411bb - Copy

Cowpokey

If you haven’t heard of the FW Stockyards.. check it out.  They have a twice daily cattle drive which apparently is a lot of fun… and of course some great photo ops for my lil CowPokey 🙂 Those are old pictures.. time for some new ones  🙂


fort_worth_Abandoned_Art

Planned drop- Fort Worth Stockyards – Summer 2016

 

Be sure to check out the Art Abandonment Facebook Group and see all the fun things that are being abandoned ALL over the world. It’s a fabulous group and it’s for all types and levels of crafters and artist. A lot of us do this with our kids and grand kids, come on over and join in the fun. If you are lucky enough to find a piece, be sure to let the gifter know you found their artwork. Most pieces will have contact details for the group, or a private email you can use 🙂

AA_logo

Description
Art Abandonment is a group designed to encourage random acts of art, left in various locations around the globe. The idea is that folks can make something and leave it for a lucky unsuspecting person to find. Artists can then post locations and photos of abandoned goodies…and finders can let everyone know that they are the lucky finder! O’ sweet abandon!”

Spotlight Series Day 3 – KennyK Stamps

Who are you ?

kennyk_stamps.shop.logo.rightside_1447814264__23855We are wife-and-husband team of Elena and Kenny Kiernan. I am the stamp designer for KennyK Stamps and KennyK is a professional Illustrator, together we are have lots of creative chemistry!

Store: kennykstamps

Facebook Group: Club KennyK

Blog: KennyK Stamps Blog

 

 

Where are you ?

We are currently in Northeastern Pennsylvania and came here to be close to family, although we are both NY’ers and love going back to our old stomping grounds every chance we get!

 

When did you first start drawing/designing seriously?

Kenny has been drawing since he could hold a crayon, he was born with a natural artistic talent, although he didn’t take it seriously as a profession until after graduate school. I myself was a professional Event Planner when I married The Man, and we always wanted to collaborate and jam our creativeness together. With the help of Donna Smith, we discovered the world of digi stamps, the rest is history!

 

What was the first product you ever had for sale?

The first digi product we offered for sale was a collection of sassy girl characters we called “Glam Gang”. We stopped using collection titles, but these girls made a huge impact on the paper crafting world! Here are just a few from the original Glam Gang collection –

All_That_digi_stamp_KennyK_Stamps.preview2__76789.1440008445.400.450

All That

Breast_Cancer_Fighter_digi_stamp_KennyK_Stamps.preview__52808.1443470707.400.450

Breast Cancer Fighter

Download_Diva_digi_stamp_KennyK_Stamps.preview__00853.1449012294.400.450

Download Diva

Brooklyn_Babe_digi_stamp_KennyK_Stamps.preview__69784.1443645830.400.450

Brooklyn Babe

Troublemaker_paper_crafts_card_making_digi_stamp_from_KennyK_Stamps.preview__49208.1449859651.400.450

Troublemaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name your favorite cartoon?

For Kenny it is Popeye and I think mine is still old school Tom & Jerry!

 

Favorite quote?

Rock Your Crafts! Of course 🙂

 

ElenaK_digi_stamp_KennyK_Stamps.preview__87685.1443642260.400.450

ElenaK

 


What is your favorite piece in the whole store?

 

The ElenaK stamp of course! All kidding aside, this is a question I could never answer, they are all apart of us and so loved!

 

 

 

 

 

Who is your inspiration/muse?

Kenny is a huge comic book geek (a very sexy geek) and it’s our attitude, lifestyle and personalities that bring out creative inspirations.

 

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Hoarding crafts supplies that I never use. They are just so pretty to look at. Oh and Amazon Prime, there is always a package at our door.

 

What’s your favorite color?

Kenny’s is the blues and I am in the red and hot pinks.

 

If you were getting a tattoo… what would it be?

To everyone’s surprise Kenny has no tattoos and is not a fan. I have one and if he didn’t dislike them so much I would have more.

 

If you got offered a weekend in a haunted  house/castle etc.. would you say yes?

Heck no! And that is from both of us!

 

If you suddenly changed careers and went to work at Disney…what character would you want to be?

We would be The Incredibles!

 

What’s your favorite horror movie?

For me Halloween (kill, kill, kill, kill). Kenny has never seen it!!!!!! His is the Shining. Good one KennyK!

 

When no one is listening…. do you sing in the shower?

All the time!! Me, me, me, me ,meee!

 

What is your most popular item in the store/shop?

Bow_digi_stamp_KennyK_Stamps.preview__14790.1441751753.400.450

Bow

Bowadult_digi_stamp_KennyK_Stamps.Preview__35355.1441752734.400.450

Bow (Adult)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funny enough when I designed Bow, I hadn’t giving Kenny much reference to what she would be wearing, I was going to add that on once I saw the character drawn. Kenny is the one that made her with no clothes on! I said there was no way we could put that on our shop. We would shock everyone. So, for fun, we decided to sell both versions, Bow Adult (with no clothes) and Bow and see what happens. It turns out that Bow Adult is one of our top sellers!! Right then and there we really knew who are audience was!

 

Who was your first celebrity crush…and have you drawn them?

For Kenny it was Rachel Welch and for me it was Elvis! We have never drawn them.

 

If you weren’t doing what you are doing now…. what job would you have?

I would work in production for movie sets. Kenny would be a full time musician/rock star.

 

How long have you been in business?

EST. 2011

 

If you got locked in an elevator for 6 hours.. who would you most like to be locked in with ?

Kenny said: The beautiful and vivacious ElenaK (what a guy!) I say: Sexy KennyK! duh!

 

When you get the midnight munchies… what do you grab?

We love ice cream at night. When the kids are asleep, shhhhhh!

 

What’s your favorite event, or holiday of the year?

Halloween and St. Patricks day take the cake in our house.

 

Would you go cave diving with sharks?

Absolutely not and that is for both of us.

 

Which decade do you think had the best music?

The 70’s hands down

 

Have you ever been on a blind date…. and if so..  was it fun, or a nightmare?

Huh, I don’t know if Kenny has ever been on a blind date. I have and it was a nightmare. It was a blind date, but also a double date. A couple I knew wanted to set me up with this guy. He said hi, then never looked at me or spoke to me the rest of the night, called his friends during the date and left early. I feel terrible about it till this day. I mean talk about intimidation. Poor guy couldn’t handle all that is Elena. I hope I didn’t scar him for life.

 

What’s your favorite hobby when you want to relax?

Snuggling with our little bunnies <3

 

Do you secretly watch WWE wrestling when no one is around?

Haha, no, but I know it’s hugely popular

 

If you were offered a trip to the moon, would you go..and if so .. which of your images/products would leave on the moon??

Vikki_Lee_Vicious_paper_crafts_card_making_digi_stamp_from_KennyK_Stamps.preview__14068.1449877262.400.450

 

 

 

Fun Question!  Me: Absolutely!!! One of my dreams. Kenny: No.  I would leave Vikki Lee Vicious, so they (whoever they are) would know that strong badass women rule the earth!

 

 

 

 

 

Do you plan to grow old gracefully, or disgracefully?

We don’t mind growing old, cause we are young at heart. We have had loads and loads of fun using up our youth, now we are happy to living a family life. So, gracefully, I guess.

 

If you were a classic car…. what would you be?

We would both be classic American hot rod muscle cars! Hot and Fast! LOL!!

 

How long does the average design/art work take from concept to final product?

When we don’t have other deadline interruptions it can take about 2 or 3 days of edits before we settle on a final product.

 

When you are working, what is the view from your window like

I am so lucky.  My backyard is adjacent to the elementary school, so I see they playground just past my yard. At lunch time I open my window to hear the kids playing.  Kids having fun is really the best sound ever! Kenny sees rooftops and a view of the beautiful church steeple.

 

What’s the one song guaranteed to have you shaking your booty anytime, anyplace ..anywhere?

Any good classic rock

 

Who scared you most as a kid when you were being naughty.. your parents or the boogey man?

My mom! She can have an 8ft man shaking in his boots. She is powerful!!

 

What do you love most about all the people you meet through your work?

We love that we have built friendships with people all over the world that we never met in person, but they have become a real part of our KennyK Family.

 

Show me the drawing you think most closely resembles you physically or personality-wise

For me it’s Sexy Rocker. For Kenny it’s Superhero, a.k.a Captain Damntastic

Sexy-Rocker-clear-stamp_KennyK-Stamps.preview__82280.1463769351.400.450

Sexy Rocker

Superhero_paper_crafts_card_making_digi_stamp_from_KennyK_Stamps.preview__65770.1449803171.400.450

Superhero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which drawing/product are you the most proud of in your collection?

I am truly most proud of our Steampunk collection. It is not something we were very familiar with before hand, yet we were able to create a fantastic line of sassy, sexy, intricate ladies and they are still some of our best sellers. Now we are total Steampunk fans.

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Exclusive 30% Off coupon code

Coupon Code: 30OFFKENNYK  Expires June 10, 2016

“Vanity Curls Betty” from Simply B stamps

I have been wanting to grab some stamps from Simply B for ages and finally grabbed some late last night.

Betty_Hallow_Beautiful_you_wmd
Here is my “Vanity Curls Betty” card  .. she was a lot of fun to color.

 

I may be compensated for urchases made using the affiliate links in this post

1 Happy Crafter with new toys :)

Image courtesy- Epson.com

Image courtesy- Epson.com

I got my Epson Eco Tank Printer tonight… I have no idea why people complained it was hard and/or messy to fill the tanks.. it was easy, quick and clean.

I decided against the  more expensive models I had been looking at and  went for the ET-2550 instead. I already have a Workforce with Fax etc and have no need for that in this one.  This model has a decent resolution, more than good enough for printing out digital stamps and doing Print and Cut on my Cricut Explore… which was my main reason for buying a tank system.  I wanted something economical for  the “more than your average  homeuser bear” printing volume I expect to crank out.

So far I am happy with it, but I haven’t hooked it up to the WIFI yet. That could be a whole different story, trying to put in security keys on that screen with no keypad lol… we shall see.  Nor have I tried it on anything except basic white card stock, I’ll come back in a week or so with an update…  once I have had time to play with it properly.

5838473.01.prodAnd my other new toy….I finally grabbed a clip on desklamp….with built in magnifier and a daylight bulb.  So I am hoping that will help when coloring some of the more finer detailed images 🙂

again..we shall see…and updates will be had later in the week.

I had a bit of a sales/clearance/ coupons spree.. just a little one .. I’ll share those details later in the week too… along with ….HOPEFULLY… some new stitched dies and stamps I ordered last night.  So looking forward to those arriving 🙂

February, the month of love, romance and REFUNDS !!!  lol

It’s my anniversary this month too… “Happy anniversary darlin’ I got you a happy wife ..I hope you like it :)”

 

This post contains some affiliate links

 

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  🙂