Monday, 26 September 2011

Playing in the Cricut Craft Room

A very long time ago - Provocraft announced that they were due to release a new (free!) web based design tool for Cricut machines.  They originally (and with hindsight - optimistically) said it would be released in April 2011 -- but as often happens with software the first rounds of beta testing highlighted some pretty serious issues.  Here we are in late September and the software is still in 'beta' - but Provocraft are allowing most (if not all) registered  users to login to the Craft Room.

On Thursday I took the plunge and updated my Imagine to the latest release (a painless process which took about 15 to 20 minutes) and fired up the Craft Room.


It's still got bugs, and I've been kicked out a few times with a 'bridge' error, but I've also designed some cool stuff and had a lot of fun.  The system seems to auto save your project about every 30 seconds or so, so even when I was kicked out I didn't lose any work.  That eases the pain of the shutdowns somewhat.

The Craft Room gives you all the functionality of the Gypsy (on a much easier to use screen) plus a whole lot more. Particularly if you are an Imagine user.

Welding shapes and text together is so straightforward - making shaped cards is a couple of clicks.  You can arrange  your images exactly where you want them to be on your mat - which is great for cards with custom apertures, and making sure you use up every bit of your card!

Using a simple small border pattern I made this sweet frame - perfect for a photo on a scrapbook page.

A lace block pattern is welded together four times to make this square -- you could continue the pattern for a full 12x12 paper!

Working with the Imagine patterns and colours is easy and you get a lot of new options when filling shapes:-  you can scale the patterns up or down, and you can move the pattern around to get exactly what you want in the shape.

These two name plates were designed in the Craft Room and print and cut from white card on my Imagine.  (Naturally I inked them up a bit afteward for that extra bit of shabby vintagey feel!)

Delightful Dylann (niece and god daughter) celebrated her birthday recently and I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't get a card out in time. To make up for it I've made her two matched cards which I hope she'll like.

The card bases were made in the Craft Room welding the letters on to rectangle shapes.  I kept the rest of the cards simple with some embossed vellum (Cuttlebug!) and some simple images.  Here again the Craft Room came in handy as I used scraps for these shapes so precise placement of the shapes on the mat was important.

(I chose the tea set because on her last visit to London I took Dyl out for tea at Brown's and it was a real highlight of the trip.  I'm working on luring her back!)

This thank you card is for delightful Dylann's sister scrumptious Sarah.  For this one I flood filled the card base with a pattern from Best Friends (in the Craft Room) and print and cut it on the Imagine.  I then added a couple of Spellbinders frames and finished it off with the cute little dog - also print and cut from Best Friends on the Imagine.

I'll be very very happy when  you can link your cartridges with your account (for now you have to physically load them into the machine) and  even more so when a few bugs are ironed out.

But even as it is - buggy and a wee bit unpredictable - I love it.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Thanks Tags

I recently did some fundraising on my knitting blog - and in return for donations to Parkinson's research I said I'd give people a pair of the yarn-y earrings I took to making a couple of weeks ago.

The fundraising is over and now I'm busy packing up the earrings to send out to the very generous donors.  Here are the first 6 pairs...another 15 to go!

My Martha Stewear 'thanks' punch is getting  a real workout!  And the Black Magic Coredinations is perfect - I've teamed each pair of earrings with a card with a matching 'core' colour.

I think they look quite sweet and I hope the recipients agree!