I have been papercrafting for a really long time. I started out scrapbooking, as so many people did years ago. Nowadays my “scrapbooks” come from Shutterfly, but that’s beside the point. Eventually I drifted more into stamping and cardmaking, growing my collection of supplies and such that I have cabinets full of materials to use. Point being, though, I’ve been doing this for many years. And in all that time, I’ve never once owned or used any sort of die cutting machine. Have I been tempted every single Black Friday when they go on sale? Yes, but I always talked myself out of it. “How much will I really use it?” “Do I have space to store it?” “I don’t want to have to buy a ton of cartridges for stuff I’ll never use enough to justify the money for them.” Etc, etc.
However, my mom purchased a Cricut Explore One recently in the hopes of using it to cut fabric for her sewing and embroidery business. (check out her etsy store here) She sent it home with me last week to figure out how to use it with the hopes that I could teach her and it would be easier/faster. Eventually, though, we decided it would be more prudent to learn it together. So I watched several Youtube videos and she came over on Thursday to play with her new toy.
We got the machine hooked up to her laptop and it connected beautifully. We played around in the design program for a while, and did the practice project that came with the machine. She tried to cut out a piece of fabric, but that didn’t work so well. So as she was watching other videos to figure out how to make that work, I was playing on my own computer in the design program to pick something to cut out myself. I got a design created and was all excited to cut it out. Then, we attempted to hook the cutter up to my computer. And, *pause for dramatic effect*, my computer couldn’t find the machine.
Long story short, between redownloading programs and plugins multiple times, using links to rewrite code, and many searches on Google to try to figure out what was wrong, it took us close to two hours to get the machine finally hooked up to my computer! At one point, I was ready to just send the dumb thing home with mom and say “screw it,” but my mom isn’t one to give up. We finally got it working and managed to cut out the design I made. And the culmination of those two hours of frustration?
Two little cardstock windows. Worth it, right? 😀
Actually, yes it was worth it. I’ve been wanting to find some embellishments designed like this for quite a while, but I don’t think they exist pre-made. I figured I’d eventually have to just figure out how to cut them out by hand sometime, but this saved me from having to do that. So, I made my cards this week using these little windows.
Pretty cute, huh?
For the top card, I used watercolor pencils and a blending pen to make the blue sky and green grass. The sun and tree were stickers I’ve had for ages, as are the flowers and bird from the bottom card. For that one, though, I used a grass stamp and a cloud stamp for the background. I mounted everything with foam so it would have a slight 3D effect, and I love how the windows create a small shadow on the background.
I’ve got another project that I’m planning on working on tomorrow during the Super Bowl that I need to cut some more stuff out for, so here’s hoping that my computer will still find the machine when I try again later this afternoon! Happy Saturday!
Stamps used: cloud stamp by A Stamp in The Hand Co., grass stamp by Posh Impressions, word stamps from Stampin’ Up set Small Script