Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My New Boyfriend, Cricut Explore & Our First Date - Page Pals

 As you know, I am in love.  Head over Heels.  In love.

I will admit, it wasn't love at first sight, but unlike my previous Cricuts, there was such a short "courting period", that within days I was caught in Explore's net...hook, line and sinker.

The Cricut Explore is so much easier to operate because of the preset blade settings, and Design Studio - which, um, has sort of revolutionized Cricut cutting for me.  I never realized it before, but the sizing and "which color for which layer?" and the keeping-track-of-where-you-are-in-your cutting-process gave me a lot of anxiety.  I didn't want to waste paper nor time and the extra brain power I had to strum up to actually focus hurt just a little bit.

That nonsense is now a thing of the past and I am a crafting maniac!  Not only has it reinvigorated my Cricuting mojo, it has got my creativity working on hyper-drive.  Yesterday I pulled out a canvas and my acrylic paints and painted all afternoon.  How about them apples?

So let me tell you about my first date with my Cricut Explore...

In my previous post, I showed you a few projects I made including some of these adorable bookmarks.  They can be found in the "Insert Image" area of Design Studio under Page Pals.  They are a CCR Exclusive set that is included with a Design Studio subscription for $9.99 per month.  Otherwise you can pay $4.99 to own them (available as a digital set only) to use in Cricut Craft Room or Design Studio.

I selected multiple bookmark projects in the Insert Image menu (on right 1/4 way down the page) and when they appeared on my mat, they came stacked on top of one another. I didn't change the size the images came in when Design Studio placed them on my mat.  They worked just fine in a 3.65" width (before folding the side flaps), however, I would recommend making them a little larger so you can really show off their adorableness!  Maybe take them up to 4.25"?

The first thing I did was move them around so I could see each bookmark.  If you want to resize the image, you can do it at this time by selecting "edit" (on the upper right side of the screen) and then  change the dimensions by adjusting the width. The hight will adjust accordingly.  The image is "grouped" and the height and width are locked so you can also increase the size by dragging the corner of the image on the mat.  If you have multiple Page Pals on your mat and wanted to change them all, you can hit "Select All" (center/ top of the mat) and then adjust by dragging the corner. To learn more about resizing an image click HERE.

Since I was cutting 4 different bookmarks, when I hit "Sync" (upper/ right), Design Space told me I needed a lot of different colored papers to do the job.  To simplify, I consolidated colors by dragging a few similar shaded layers into the rectangle of another. You can learn more about this feature by clicking HERE.

Now came the fun part! I hit "Go" and Design Studio sent me to "Mat Preview" where you can see all of the cuts on each colored paper mat.  Next you hit "Go" (on the lower right) and the screen guides you through the couple of steps it takes to cut each design.
Some of my papers were thinner scrapbook paper, and some were cardstock so I had remember to change the materials setting a couple of times, but other than that, all I did was insert the next mat and push cut. I used three different mats so my papers were "preloaded" and I spatula'ed off the layers and reloaded while my Explore was cutting.

I ran all the bits and pieces through my Xyron and was able to assemble these adorable bookmarks in about 15 minutes.  I made three sets of each - one set for each of my kids and one set for the librarian at St. Timothy's.  She was tickled pink.  So was I, because it was so darn FUN!

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking about doing these and you have inspired me to do it! And I love the header on your topic.... I TOTALLY understand!!