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How does the Cricut machine work?

August 19, 2017


How does the Cricut machine work? The basic steps the Cricut Explore Air 2 machine takes is the same for over 100 different materials. Simply put, it is a cutting machine. Most Cricut users are crafters. Circut has taken industrial machine technology and simplified it’s size and use for crafters, making it an affordable machine to use.


The Cricut cutting vinyl


The Cricut machines are not laser cutters but they provide similar results. The Cricut machines use a small cutting blade to cut out a shape instead of a laser.



The Cricut using a Cricut marker.

The Cricut is not a printer, but with the use of a marker, it can write. One color at a time. [Cricut markers]



The Cricut with the Cricut Scoring Tool.

The Cricut is not a folding machine, but with the use of a scoring tool, it can mark the surface making it easier to fold paper or cardstock. [Cricut Scoring Stylus]


Working with a Cricut machine is easy, with a few steps you will have your results.


Starting from scratch with a new machine, follow the tutorial and make the initial sample project. This will give you the experience needed that will apply to all other projects.


After your machine is set up and you have downloaded the necessary Design Space software, you are ready to create.


The Cricut machine working on a project.



Here are the steps the Cricut takes:

  • choose a design in Design Space
  • determine the size of the image
  • turn on the Cricut machine if you haven’t already
  • choose the material setting on the dial
  • load your cutting mat with the material
  • place the cutting mat into the machine using the arrow button
  • send the file to the Cricut
  • press the Go button
  • when the cut is finished, press the flashing arrow button to unload the cutting mat
  • remove the material from the cutting mat surface

This post contains affiliate links.

Spiral Apple Card with Glue Dots

August 18, 2017

Visit the Glue Dots site to see how I made this Spiral Apple Card.

Do you need a decorative way to send a note of thanks or give encouragement to a teacher? This is a great way to do just that. Create a spiral apple card. Make a few and keep them on hand so you have them at the ready. 

Grab the free SVG file here [SVG file]

This is a featured post

Pinterest Worthy: Roundup of The Best Crafts For Fall

August 17, 2017

When you’re someone that likes crafts and DIY, Pinterest is a fantastic resource. Always brimming with ideas, it’s somewhere you can always go for new and exciting inspiration for your own work. Whether you’re following a tutorial or looking to create something from scratch, it’s always worth having a scroll through. Autumn will be upon us in the next month, and so if you’re looking to get crafty and create some awesome fall- inspired pieces, here’s a roundup of some of the best crafts currently on Pinterest!


Autumn Wreaths

Wreaths don’t have to just be for Christmas! Pinterest has tonnes of tutorials for fantastic creative wreaths that you can use to bring a bit of autumn festivity to the home. If you start with a polystyrene wreath base you could decorate it in any way you like. You could cut out paper or felt leaves and stick them on using pins, cordless hot melt glue guns are also useful for this. You could even go on a woodland walk and collect real fallen autumn leaves. You could decorate with pine cones, dried fruit and nuts or use twine and twigs. Depending on the materials you’ve used you could hang this out on your front door at the start of the season, or if it’s not waterproof use it as decor in the home. If you were doing these, you could even wrap it in LED fairy lights!


Sourced from


Candle Holders

Another creative way to use autumn leaves is to turn them into candle holders! You can use a clear glass jar, and then mod podge leaves to the inside to create a stunning autumnal looking candle holder. Best of all, when you pop a small candle or tealight inside, it will glow the colour of autumn. Imagine being sat watching them flicker away while you enjoy a hot chocolate when the weather cools down- bliss! You can also stick twigs to the outside of glass candle holders then wrap with twine for a cute, rustic effect, or even use dried orange slices and cinnamon to create a table centrepiece! One creative Pinterest tutorial hollowed out a log, placing pine cones and candles along the centre which looks really effective. Perfect if you’re planning on hosting a dinner party or get together over the autumn months.



Bringing some new decor pieces into the home and switching things up can be a good way to celebrate the season. Even something as simple as replacing cushion covers can switch up the look of the room, and there’s no need to run out and buy expensive ready made ones. Find some beautiful, autumn inspired fabric (warm colours or leaf prints work well) from your craft store. Using a simple cushion template, you can sew the edges either with a machine or even by hand and either go with a zip, button or simple envelope fastening at the back. Once they’re no longer appropriate for the season, you could fold them away and pop them in the attic to be used for next year too!


Pot Pourri

Even if you’re not particularly good at crafts and don’t like projects that are too fiddly, you can easily make Pot Pourri. Dry out some slices of lemon, orange and apple along with some petals in the oven on a very low heat. Put these into a big bowl along with some whole spices- cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves and star anise work well. You could add a couple of pine cones too if you manage to find any while you’re out walking! Add some drops of your favourite essential oil to give it fragrance- you can buy all kinds of scents and combinations online these days. Ideal for crafts, and great in things like wax burners and sprayed onto lights and radiators too to make your home smell lovely. Pot Pourri is gorgeous to look at, gives your home a festive fall look and smells nice too. What more could you need? You could put a bowl on your bedside table, a big bowl on your coffee table and even fill up glasses and use as decoration on your dining table at parties.


Pine Cone Garland

Collecting pine cones is a fun family activity during the autumn months, but if you’ve collected tonnes of them and aren’t sure what to do with them, you’re in luck. Pine cone garlands look really effective, they could be used for things like parties to decorate or just as autumnal decor in your home. You need a long piece of twine, and simply wrap this around the bottom part of the pine cone, so the string is hidden by the ridges. This is a piece of decor that will look fantastic through the autumn, right through to Christmas. You could spray it with glitter and team it up with a fir garland and fairy lights for the ultimate Christmassy look.


Sourced from


Bird Feeders

During the colder months, birds rely on humans for food since their natural food sources dry up. So putting out nuts, seeds, suet balls and other tasty treats can allow them to survive the winter. If you want to teach children about this and show them the joy that can come from feeding and watching birds, why not get involved in a simple DIY? This project found on Pinterest mixes bird seed with gelatine and cutting out shapes using cookie cutters. These can then be strung up on trees for birds to come and nibble on. Easy, inexpensive and a great way to get children involved.


So get stocking up on craft supplies and get your ideas jotted down ready for the month ahead! You could revamp your home with some cute accessories and have fun in the process. Whether you want to enjoy a creative hobby, make products to sell online or have fun with your kids, crafting is a great way to go!

What are your favourite seasonal crafts? Will you be attempting any of these Pinterest DIYs this year?

This is a submitted post. 

Homemade Sticky Note Holder Tutorial with Glue Dots

August 15, 2017

Do you want to learn how to make this sticky note holder? Head over to the Glue Dots blog to see my post. [glue dots post]

A sticky note holder is a great back to school DIY project. Great for your kids, great for your desk, and a great teacher’s gift. It is quick and easy to make with minimal materials. 

What different kinds of DIY projects can I make with the Cricut?

August 12, 2017


What different kinds of DIY projects can I make with the Cricut? I think the real question should be what can’t I make with the Cricut? Both questions are equally difficult to answer. We tend to work in niches as crafters, we don’t explore all the possibilities. Making these questions difficult to answer.


While many people see the Cricut Machines as card making or scrapbook machines, these are actually two areas of crafting I tend not to delve into much. I have made an occasional card, and I would like to do a bit more with card making. I find scrapbooking and the variety of materials used intriguing, but it is something I have never been excited about.


I am going to share a few examples of projects I have created using my Cricut Explore Air 2.


Home Decor



Paper crafts






Gift Giving



















And a few projects I have on my to do list:

Kitchen Canisters


Labeling for school

Craft sale items

Paper flowers

Nail Art


What would you like to make with a Cricut?


This post contains affiliate links.

Tape Technologies Design Team - August Projects

August 5, 2017

Top Row:

Janet Trieschman - Try it - Like it - Make Your Own High Contrast Pop Art


Marilyn Gossett - Marilyn Gossett Designs - Vinyl Hippie Flower Coasters and Flower


Penny Arnold - Scrap-aholic - How to Decorate An Outside Birdhouse



Bottom Row:

Emma Ivemey - Emmanade Crafts - We Love the Eighties


Anita Scroggins - The Flamingo Chronicals - Hunting For Dinosaur Eggs


LeeAnn Mckinney - Mimi’s Crafty Abyss - Baby J On Her Toes


Larissa Pittman - Muffins and Lace - Girls Just Wanna Wine




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Make Your own High Contrast Pop Art

August 4, 2017

This month, Tape Technologies Inc. Design Team was asked to create with their Fluorescent Craft Vinyl. Fluorescents remind me of the Pop Art movement and Andy Warhol's work. Being an illustrator, Warhol became famous by working with high contrast images of famous people. So as an homage to Warhol and the Pop Art movement, I made this high contrast image of our cat Sunshine. 

Using a photograph of our cat in Photoshop I adjust the image to black and white and continued to adjust the brightness and contrast levels until I got a truly black and white image. Then the image was uploaded into Design Space and the white spaces were removed.


  • Orange Media Paint from DecoArt
  • paint brush
  • canvas
  • Fluorescent Craft Vinyl Pink F-01 from Tape Technologies
  • Personal cutting machine (I used a Cricut Explore Air 2)
  • Cricut Transfer material
  • Cricut weeding tool and burnishing tool


paint canvas
I began by painting the canvas orange. I used Media paint from DecoArt.

push pins tip
I wanted the sides of the canvas painted as well so here is a little tip.
I used push pins in all four corners.
When I painted the canvas it was slightly lifted from the table surface and I was able to paint all the sides and the top surface at the same time.


cutting vinyl
Cut the vinyl.


reverse weeding
This image is very detailed and tricky to work with.
I used the reverse weeding technique.
I attached the entire vinyl sheet to the transfer film and then weeded out the pieces not needed.


burnish vinyl
Placing the vinyl on the dry painted canvas, I burnished down the vinyl. 


remove transfer film
Removing the transfer film takes patience.
I found that if I folded the transfer film onto its self so no stickiness was available from the removed film, I could stop and return to the project without lifting any vinyl. 

This is a post collaboration with Tape Technologies Inc. I am a part of their Design Team and I was provided vinyl to create this post.
Post contains affiliate links.

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What is a 3Doodler Pen Party with Tryazon like?

August 1, 2017


We had a group of friends over for a Tryazon Party featuring the new 3Doodler Pen. Two pens and a variety of filament in different colors were provided so everyone could give it a try. 

My family was familiar with 3D pens, we have an older and chunkier version. The new 3Doodler Pen is sleek and offers two-speed controls. My favorite feature of the pen was that once the on button was pushed, I didn't have to hold to down for the pen to work. Just one more click and the pen turns off. Two clicks and the filament is backed out of the pen. 


Adults and children attended. The adults gave the pen a try but it was the kids that really got into the creating. I printed out a few designs for them to trace. Everyone said having a shape to trace was a lot easier than doing it freehand. The 3Doodler Pad was a very helpful surface to work upon. The 3Doodler Pad was a very helpful surface to work upon. 

Once working with the pen for awhile, I wished I had control of the size of the filament being released. It seems the nozzle set would be a great option and something I would like to try in the future. 


family   theo

We worked in shifts since there were only two pens to use. The kids wanted another try after they got used to the pen. The 3Doodler really held their attention and the creativity just flowed. Our party lasted about four hours but could have easily gone longer based on the kid's interest and use. 


The creations from the party.

3Doodler on Amazon:


We were provided a 3Doodler party pack to host a party and introduce the 3Doodler to friends and family. It was fun!
This post contains affiliate links.

How-to Make An Antique Pressed-Flower Arrangement

August 1, 2017

I don't know much about the history of pressed flower arranging. I know the craft is old. My mom taught me how to do it years ago. I still have all her old pressed flowers. They are now very aged, actually antiques. I used them for this tutorial. 

The origin of this post is due to being challenged by the Creative Craft Bloggers Group. Each month we pick a theme for the challenge. For August, the theme was to create a craft from thrift shopping find. In this case, the frame was the find.


  • picture frame
  • pressed flowers
  • silk fabric
  • batting or felt


front of frame   back of frame
The frame was found in Crawfordsville, IN at a church thrift store. It was a name place holder, probably for a wedding.
I bought it for 50 cents!

frame apart
1. Take the frame apart. 

cut fabric
2. Cut the silk fabric and the batting just a bit smaller than the backing board from the frame.

3. Layer the backing board, then the batting, then the silk fabric.

4. Using the pressed flowers arrange them as you desire. Begin with the background and the greens, and then build to the top layer. 

5. Place the glass over the arrangement. 
Pressure is the only thing that holds the arrangement in place.

finished arrangement

To Press the Flowers:

pressing the flowers
collect small pieces of blooms and green
place them between tissue
place the tissue between the pages of a very heavy book (phone book)
let them press for at least 2 weeks

once the flowers have dried, you can arrange them by color

stocking boxes
Do you know what these are? Silk Stocking boxes. I told you they were very old.

The stockings came in a shallow box with paper dividers. This is how my mom's pressed flowers are arranged and stored. The colors, of course, are fading, but I like the antique look they give. I also have new pressed flowers that I have collected. 

Take a moment to visit all the other bloggers who participated in the monthly challenge.

2dishingdivas    Chalkboard [Back-to School Upcycled Find]

Life Beyond the Kitchen    Shadowbox Display for Former Treasures

Al Things Beautiful    A Fun CD Craft Idea

Try it - Like it    How-to Make An Antique Pressed-Flower Arrangement    



How to Make a Double-sided Crochet Facecloth

July 24, 2017


I really like to crochet, it has been my go to craft for years. When I travel I usually take a ball of yarn and a hook with me. I like simple projects the best because I am not the best at following directions, actually I often change them as I go.

I found a pattern for a double sided hot pad and had to give it a try. I changed it up a bit and actually made it easier in my opinion. After making a few, I found the pattern could be used for different things. Take the original but size it down. Instead of a hot pad, you now have coaster sized. Being that they are double sided, they are absorbent as well. Then I thought what if I sized it down again and made a pad for cleaning your face? I found it to be the perfect size to fit in my hand. I use mine to wash and rinse my face at night.


  • cotton yarn (I like the Lily Brand)
  • crochet hook size 6.0 mm
  • scissors


Chain a length of 16

Single crochet into each chain skipping the first chain.

When you get to the end chain, single crochet twice in that chain.

round the end
rounding the end

other side
working back into the chain on the opposite side

Now you are going to round the end and work back into the other side of the chain. Single crochet in each chain.

When you get to the end, single crochet twice into the last chain.

Continue to work in the round. Single crochet into each stitch.
Do not chain stitch to go up a row, just keep working around.

sides fold in
sides begin to fold in

The ends will begin to fold into themselves. This is how the double sides are created.

Work until the two sides meet. If you are keeping track, this should be 14 rows.

slip stitch
slip stitch the sides together

Slip stitch the two sides together. End the crochet and weave in the ends.

sides meet

3 sizes
three different sizes

To make a coaster, you would do the same thing just start with more chain stitches in the beginning. I used 22 chain stitches.

To make the hot pad, 30.

• The length you chain to begin with (minus 2 chains) is the diagonal length of the square you will crochet.

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