Cricut Everywhere::The Big Finish

IMG_2571This week has been full of inspiration and creation …oh and more importantly – great prizes! Let’s give a quick congrats to this week’s winners:Winners

And you’ll be happy to know that there are another chance for you win big! Join me tonight in a twitter chat at 4pm MST, where one participant will win a new Explore One and Bluetooth Adapter. Be sure you are following Cricut and Damask Love on Twitter and show up today at 4pm MST to talk with me all things crafty!

So until then, I leave you with this…

From Inspiration to Creation

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Markus and I have a new game that we play. It’s called “magazines.” We love to play magazines. The game goes a little like this: I hold him in my lap and hold a magazine in my hands. He grabs, rips and crumples up the pages. Riveting stuff people. He loves it so bad. The game will go on for as long as I let it. Magazines is the awesomest. There is just one rule. We do not play magazines with momma’s free catalogs. You know? Those catalogs that show up in the mail for absolutely no reason, because you haven’t bought anything at that store in years…and there are some places you’ve never shopped at in your life. Well, I love those catalogs. They are the best. First, they are free and free is my favorite. Next, they are full of inspiration, cool color combinations, great home decor ideas. And did I mention they are free? We don’t play magazine with those treasures. We mostly play magazine with GQ and ESPN. Those are daddy’s magazines. He won’t miss em.

Free catalogs aren’t my only source of inspiration but instead of telling you, just watch…

Well, I guess I have a thing for being inspired by food because I created a really cute iron-on backpack inspired by Ms. Bunnie Cakes, a vegan cupcake shop just minutes from my house. The side of their shop has a huge cupcake mural…so this is what I came up with:

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ClickHEreI’m not sure there could be a better proof of how easy “inspiration to creation” really is. I literally pulled up the cupcake image while I was looking at the mural. Love that!

I’d love to hear about where you find your creative inspiration…and then head over HERE to enter today’s contest where the prize in an iPad mini! What?! What?! I told you that the prizes were major. Today’s contest will open at noon MST and end tomorrow, Friday, April 24 at noon MST.

The Cricut Explore Family Explained

IMG_2472So much time, so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. One million cool points if you know that reference.

First on the agenda – one minute and seventeen seconds of pontification about one of the most pressing issues in our community. Color combinations. Watch, listen and then head over HERE to answer today’s contest question for your chance you win your very own Cricut Explore Air. Enjoy. Or don’t enjoy – but lie to me and say you did.

Now another hot topic: What’s the deal with all these Cricut Explores,anyway? It’s a question I’ve gotten from a fair number of you crafty ladies. So lend me your ear (or eyeballs, actually) and let me break it down like Britney Spears.
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There’s this weird thing that goes down in the crafting community. I like to call it “Gimme-All-The-Things-itis.” We like to have all the things. Whenever there is a new thing – we want the new thing. If it’s a new color – we want it. If it comes in a slightly different package. Yeah. Gimme one of those, too. Even if we don’t need it. What can I say – we want the things. All of them. I think that’s what is a little confusing about the growing family of Cricut Explore machines. We want ’em all and we can’t figure out why they are offering so many. Why or why are there so many? Here’s how I look at it…
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It’s basically like toasters. There’s that single slice toaster that I had in my college dorm room. Yeah. Probably shouldn’t have had that in there. So grateful that the place didn’t go up in a fiery inferno of term papers and cheap tube tops from Wet Seal. Then there is the two slice toaster. The one that most of us have. And last up is the toaster that takes six slices of bread at a time. Perfect if you have a big family. Or if you are running a commercial diner out of your kitchen. Or if you, like me,  are in a Facebook official relationship with carbs. Thing is – they all toast bread. You don’t need each model. They all do the same thing. Some faster than others and some with a few extra bells and whistles. But in the end, you’ve got toast. And hopefully some Irish butter and homemade peach preserves.

That’s what is going down in Cricutland. Each of the Explore machines gives you access to the same image library and allows you to create top notch projects. It’s just a matter of what works best for you. The original Cricut Explore is the one that I use. It has two carriages in it that allow me to cut and score or cut and write all in one step. It has a Bluetooth portal which can be used with the Bluetooth adapter – which let’s me send projects through space (yeah, that’s the technical description) to my machine.

The Cricut Explore Air is a newer member of the fam and offers all the same features as the original with the addition of wireless capabilities. This means you can hook this bad boy up to your wireless signal. Since wireless signals are typically more far reaching than Bluetooth, you can send projects to the Explore Air from a greater distance. For example, I usually have to be within 10-15 feet of my Bluetooth adapter in order for it to pick up a signal from my laptop or iPad. With the wireless signal, I can send a project to the Explore Air from my bedroom across the house. Don’t worry, I’m working on my first book entitled The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Crafting: How to Create Beautiful Things Without Ever Peeling Your Butt Out of Bed. On shelves this summer. 

Last up is the newbie: the Explore One. This machine has a lower price point than the others and offers one carriage, where the others offer two. It will be available to purchase in May 2015.  With the Explore One, you’ll need an adapter if you want to cut and score or cut and write in one pass, but this model is great for crafter who don’t need all the extras. Perfect for all those creative folks who want to get dip their toes into this whole Cricut Explore thing that is going on – with the option to make a slight upgrade later with the adapter. They want to create simple projects that are impressive. They want to be able to use all the images available in the Design Space library. And they want all of this with a little extra money left over buy two (or twenty) bottles of Two Buck Chuck. I ain’t mad at you. Crafting supplies and wine bottles are positively splendid ways to spend your shekels.

So there it is. The Unofficial Damask Love breakdown of the Cricut Explore Family. The price points differ by about $50 from one machine to the next, so take a look and decide which is best for you just. Just know this: they all make toast. Really good toast.

DIY Anchor Tote Bag

IMG_4996We live next to the Miami River. The view is great most days because there are usually two massive yachts parked on one of the docks. And I mean massive. Like, bigger than most houses. I look at them all the time curious about what kind of wealth it requires to own something like that. I can’t wrap my head around it. Like do those people even use the 40% off coupon when they shop at Michael’s? What the hell am I saying. Obviously they have someone who does their Michael’s shopping for them. And I can only assume that there is a craftroom on that yacht. Like a crazy-top-of-the-line-decked-out-to-the-nines-craftroom. Obvi.

Maybe one day, I’ll step on that yacht. Maybe, I’ll be friends with those people…but rest assured, I will forever and always use my 40% off coupon at Michael’s. Always. In the meantime, while I enjoy the view of their Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous digs, I’ll take the opportunity to design a little something nautical. Something simple, on trend and somewhere that I can stash all my Michael’s coupons.

IMG_2718I literally came up with this tote idea as I was on the pool deck over looking those yachts. I grabbed my tablet and found an anchor image in Cricut Design Space. It’s crazy where inspiration can strike, right? I get really excited when I can turn my idea into something real, even when the inspiration is the most random thing ever…like shoes. Yep. Shoes. Wonder what the heck I’m talking about? Here – check this out.

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  1. Canvas tote bag. I swear by these. I use them for all of my DIY tote bag projects.
  2. Fabric Medium – this is great for turning any acrylic crafting paint into a flexible, washable fabric paint.
  3. Iron on vinyl – I used the Cricut Cyan iron on for this project
  4. Acrylic paint in your choice of color
  5. Painter’s tape
  6. Foam Pouncer. I love these.
  7. Extra-large eyelet kit
  8. Seam ripper
  9. Cotton upholstery cording. You can pick this up at most fabric stores. I purchased this one from JoAnn’s

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  1. Mix the paint and fabric medium according to the instructions. Tape off the bottom of the bag and use the foam pouncer to apply paint below the tape
  2. Cut the anchor image from the vinyl then place onto the bag. Cover with fabric…
  3. Apply heat with a hot, dry iron (no steam) until the iron on is securely adhered into place.
  4. Use a seam ripper to remove the handles of the canvas tote
  5. Place the eyelets onto the bag in the same location as where the straps were previously attached. Follow the instructions on the packaging of the eyelet kit to do this. Next thread the cording through the eyelet and tie with a knot. Tip: Use craft glue on the end of the cording to prevent it from unraveling.

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Today

 

  • Starting today, Tuesday, April 21st at noon, MST (2pm EST) you can enter HERE to win a full year subscription to Design Space or Cricut Craft Room. Coming from someone who has a full subscription, this prize is fabulous. You have access to almost every image and can create any damn thing you want! Even if you don’t own a Cricut machine yet, you should throw your name into this giveaway! It’s a great excuse to start playing around with all the options and with so many Print Then Cut project, there are even a few things you could probably make without even owning a machine. Today’s giveaway will be open until tomorrow, Wednesday, April 22nd at noon MST.
  • Umm…did you know that there are videos? Yes – you heard me. Videos. Of me rambling about crafty things. Check out this one on what inspires me…and stay tuned for more to roll out as the week continues.

 

 

5 Reasons::Cricut Design Space App

IMG_2391Untitled-2If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times until I’m blue in the face. Tiffany Blue in the face. Because that’s prettier. I am the world’s biggest craft cynic. Kind of odd, considering my life is all about crafting and creating with the best tools out there. Whenever something new comes out, I am completely expecting that it will fall flat. It will probably suck. It will probably be a huge waste of my time. Good thing is this: if I’m here telling you about a particular product it’s because it passed muster. It passed the sniff test. It doesn’t suck.

The new Cricut Design Space App doesn’t suck. Actually, it’s awesome. Like “just-opened-the-freezer-and-found-that-box-of-girl-scout-cookies-that-I-stashed-away” awesome.

The Design Space app allows you to access all of the Make It Now projects as well as design your creations. You can access the entire image library from your iPad and you can also access all of the projects that you’ve designed on your computer. It’s all there. It’s sort of magical. If unicorns ever wanted to get into crafting, they would use the Design Space App.
Reason2When I tell you that I use my Cricut Explore everyday, I am not blowing smoke up your backside. I use it every. damn. day. No kidding. Just yesterday, I used it to cut out three hundred and thirty eight 3/4″ circles from gold cardstock. Today, I’m gonna be cutting some leather to make shoe clips. Tomorrow? Not sure what I’ll be cutting tomorrow, but rest asssured…I’ll be making something. If it’s a day that ends in “y” – I’m using my machine.

Now that I have the Design Space App, I find that I am way more willing to create a quick project. I don’t have to pull out my laptop or make space for it at the table. I just grab my iPad and get to it. You can use the Bluetooth connectivity of the original Explore or use the wireless technology of the Explore Air. Either way, you can design and send your project to the machine without any cords. You’ll just need to get up off your butt to press the “Cut” button. I know. If only Cricut would manufacture little crafting elves that could do all that laborious button pushing for us. En lieu of those elves, Cricut has made it super easy to track the progress of your project. The app has notifications that will pop up on your screen, letting you know when you are ready for the next step.IMG_4693

Reason3For the whopping price of zero dollars and no cents, you can give the Design Space App a whirl. Yeah. Beaucoup bucks. There’s really no excuse. This app was created with freegans in mind. Not really.

Reason4I am obsessive about straight lines. I will sit for hours making sure elements of a project are properly aligned. It’s really kind of crazy. First, because no one really gives a damn if two items are off by a couple of millimeters. Second, there is a dirty skillet from this morning’s breakfast that needs washing. Nope, I think I’ll just sit here and fuss with this project for a little longer. Yeah. That’s a good use of my life.

Something tells me that my hubs got on the horn with the people at Cricut as asked if they could make it easier for me to align the images in my projects – lest we all drown in a sea of dirty dishes. However it went down, my OCD prayers were answered. The new Cricut Design Space App snaps images so that you can see when they are centered and aligned perfectly. It’s the small things, people. The small things make all the difference.
Reason5This one time I had a baby and that baby loved to take naps…on my chest…and only on my chest. If I move he rustles. If I stand up, he opens his eyes. If I didn’t know better, I’d say this kid has some sort of altitude sensor that wakes him whenever the air pressure changes. As much as I love baby snuggles – and man, do I love baby snuggles – it can be a little tough when you are tethered to the couch. My tethered woes are no more, friends. I can design while this baby naps and he’s none the wiser. Matter of fact, this app let’s me make the most of any free minute – which can be few and far between. I’ve been known the design in the car, on the train, in the bed…and on the potty. Yes. On the potty. Is that TMI? Just keeping it real. When there is a baby in the mix, you gotta get in where you fit in.

IMG_0012If you aren’t sold on the Design Space app, stick with me and I’ll bring you into the inner circle! This week I’m bringing you all things Cricut as I join in on the #CricutEverywhere campaign! There will be tons of awesome content, so stay tuned. Oh – and there will also be prizes. Lots of them. And they are prizes that you actually want to win. Be sure you are following Damask Love on Facebook and Instagram as well as Cricut on Facebook and Instagram for all the deets on this week’s projects and contests.

ContestWin $500 in Cricut product by entering today’s Facebook contest that can be found here. Just answer today’s question and your response may be selected as the winner. Today’s contest opens at 2pm EST and closes tomorrow, Tuesday, April 21st at 2pm EST.