Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Melissa's Family Album - Part 1

My friend Melissa created a family album. She must've done around 50 pages in all. Here are some of them.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cricut Cartridges $38.99 at www.customcrops.com

Custom Crops has a huge sale until 7/29th. Check out their website: http://www.customcrops.com/index.php

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cricut Cartridges 50% off at ACMoore

This week, ACMoore has the Cricut Cartridges and accessories (not including the machines) at 50% off (no coupon needed). I think it's a good opportunity to get replacement blades, cutting mats, paper and cartridges (also www.customcrops.com has always good deals on cartridges and machines).

Here's this weeks specials.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Fonts and Shapes for your Cricut Machine

I recently installed the software "Sure Cuts a Lot" by Craft Edge on my computer. It works with the Cricut machine in a similar way than the Cricut Design Studio does. The difference is that you don't need to buy cartridges to cut shapes or fonts when using Sure Cuts a Lot (SCAL). The software lets you cut any True Type Font font available on your computer.

Also any shape available in Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format can be cut.
I've been using it for two days and so far, I'm very pleased with the results.

The software costs $75, which may sound like a lot of money, but considering that, out of the box I had 75+ different fonts to choose from, that's about $1/font (compared to $50 or more for a cartridge), the cost of the software seems like a bargain.
Besides, there are hundreds of free fonts available online to expand your collection.

What about the shapes?

a) You can use some of the shapes that people share on the Craft Edge's message board.

b) You can try some free SVG's available online:

They claim to have over 3100 images submitted by over 200 artists from around the world (although not all are suitable for cutting in the cricut unless you edit them).

c) You can also create your own designs. I tried using InkScape (free software) and it worked perfectly. I draw a dump truck that I copied from a pre-made page and considering that I’ve never used the software before and I’m not at all a graphics artist, the results were awesome. I’ll be adding this layout later and you will see for yourself.

I have to tell you that InkScape was a little intimidating at first but I found two tutorials available online that took me step by step into making my first creation.

Is there a trial version of Sure Cuts a Lot?

Yes, you can use a trial version of SCAL. The downside is, that it cuts a few straight lines across the design as a "watermark" before and after your design is cut. Some people have found a way around it by setting the blade on the Cricut machine to depth 1 when it stats cutting because the straight line is cut first and at the end too. I tried it and although it is possible to get your design without the watermark, it's a bit of a hassle.

In a nutshell, these are the steps to get everything installed on you computer:

1) Install Cricut Desing Studio (CDS)

- Download and install a free trial version of the Cricut Design Studio available at
- Follow the install guide.
- Once the installation is complete, open the Design Studio and follow the instructions to "Update Firmware"

- That's all you need to do with the CDS, of course you can also use it to cut shapes included in the cartridge that came with the machine (George Basic Shapes if you have the Cricut and Accent Essentials and Planting Schoolbook if you have the Cricut Expressions)

2) Install SCAL
- Download a trial version of SCAL from the Craft Edge website:

- Install the software
- Create your first design and Cut!

I’ll be adding a How To guide with images later on. Thanks for looking!