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Getting Started with my Cricut Air 2

February 21, 2017


Setting up a Cricut Explore Air 2
I have had other Cricut machines so I am familiar with how they work and how to set them up. I am going to take you through the steps I took to get my new Cricut Explore Air™ 2 machine working with my mac computer and the first project I made with my new machine.


The Mat
One mat comes with your new machine. Over time you will want more, but to get started, this will suit you well. I heard a tip online about labeling the clear cover. I have found this very handy and will show you in the video below.

Basic Tool Set
This set does not come with your machine but you may find it useful. All 5 tool can be stored on board your Cricut Explore Air™ 2 machine. One tool not included but you will want to purchase right away is the scoring tool.

scoring tool
scoring tool

Power Cords
There are two cords that come with your machine. You don't need both if you are working with blue tooth but I wouldn't discard it either. You never know when you may want it. The following video explains the difference between the two cords.

Starting up your machine
It is as easy as pushing a button. The machine makes a few noises while it adjusts its self but it doesn't take long at all to get started. Don't worry about the noise, it is normal. While doing so, take a look at the housing inside the machine. There is a section labeled A and B. B contains the cutting blade and it is already in place. Section A is where you will place pens for writing or the scoring tool. Both sides operate the same way with a lever that flips away from the center of the device.


Connecting Bluetooth
There is usually more than one way to get a job done and I found it here. I went ahead and connected Bluetooth through the setting on my computer instead of following the tutorial on the Cricut site. Thankfully both ways work and get the same end results. Watch both videos to see the difference.


Cutting and Scoring a Project
There are many files available through Cricut Access. Once you become familiar with working on your machine, you may branch out and find files on the internet that you are interested in making too. I tend to make my own files and the one I am working with today is one I made. It is a winter themed lantern.

Finishing up the Project

After the machine is finished, the arrow (load) button will flash. Push that button to remove the mat. Lift the paper from the mat. There are a variety of different ways to do this, I begin with the large unused paper. I then remove the project piece gently with patients. Once that is done, the remaining scraps can be easily removed with a scraper tool.

For this specific project, I need to fold on the score lines, attach a piece of tissue paper and glue the lantern together. You can get a basic grasp of this process in the video below and the finished photos.

finished lantern finished lantern

Here are two pictures of different sides of the finished lantern. The battery operated flicker light is inside the lantern lighting up and through the tissue paper allowing the cut cardstock to appear as a silhouette.

I am happy to have worked with Cricut on this project.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.



Colors For Spring 2017

February 13, 2017

Pantone has released their colors for spring. If you are not familiar with Pantone, they are the standard when it comes to color. Pantone charts, chips, books, and standards manuals are used in different industries to identify a color to make sure everyone involved creates in that same color swatch. As a graphic designer we used Pantone as a way to choose and communicate colors to printers. The only time we didn't use Pantone was when we were working with full color or as we refered to it, CMYK. Pantone can be communicated in numbers and names. It is mostly standard to use the numbers. 

From the Pantone Website:

The top colors for Spring 2017 fashion are:

PANTONE 17-4123 Niagara

Comfortable and dependable, Niagara leads the PANTONE Fashion Color Report as the most prevalent color for spring 2017. Niagara is a classic denim-like blue that speaks to our desire for ease and relaxation.

PANTONE 13-0755 Primrose Yellow

By contrast, Primrose Yellow sparkles with heat and vitality. Inviting us into its instant warmth, this joyful yellow shade takes us to a destination marked by enthusiasm, good cheer and sunny days.

PANTONE 19-4045 Lapis Blue

Conveying even more energy is Lapis Blue. Strong and confident, this intense blue shade is imbued with an inner radiance.

PANTONE 17-1462 Flame

A red-based orange, Flame, is gregarious and fun loving. Flamboyant and vivacious, this wonderfully theatrical shade adds fiery heat to the spring 2017 palette.

PANTONE 14-4620 Island Paradise

Island Paradise is a refreshing aqua that calls to mind a change of scenery. A cool blue green shade that speaks to our dream of the great escape, Island Paradise is emblematic of tropical settings and our desire to unwind.

PANTONE 13-1404 Pale Dogwood

Continuing the tranquil mood, Pale Dogwood is a quiet and peaceful pink shade that engenders an aura of innocence and purity. The unobtrusive Pale Dogwood is a subtle pink whose soft touch infuses a healthy glow.

PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery

Bringing forth a refreshing take, Greenery is a tangy yellow-green that speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent. Illustrative of flourishing foliage, the fertile attributes of Greenery signals one to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

PANTONE 17-2034 Pink Yarrow

Tropical and festive, Pink Yarrow is a whimsical, unignorable hue that tempts and tantalizes. Bold, attention getting and tempestuous, the lively Pink Yarrow is a captivating and stimulating color that lifts spirits and gets the adrenaline going.

PANTONE 18-0107 Kale

Evocative of the great outdoors and a healthy lifestyle, Kale is another foliage-based green that conjures up our desire to connect to nature, similar to the more vivacious Greenery. And, just as we see in nature, this lush and fertile natural green shade provides the perfect complementary background to the more vibrant tones in the palette.

PANTONE 14-1315 Hazelnut

Rounding out the spring 2017 colors is Hazelnut, a key neutral for spring. This shade brings to mind a natural earthiness. Unpretentious and with an inherent warmth, Hazelnut is a transitional color that effortlessly connects the seasons.

And the Color of 2017

PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery


Heart Origami Valentine Banner

February 1, 2017

heart origami

Folding Origami is fun and calming. These cute hearts are made from and standard 8.5" x 11" piece of paper. Fold a bunch of them and string them up to make a Heart Origami Valentine Banner. Show the kids how to fold them, let them decorate the hearts, and then you will have a good amount to string up to add a little love to your decor!



  • 8.5" x 11" copy weight paper in your choice of colors
  • bakers twine
  • Glue Dots (optional)


I bet you have all these materials or similar on hand. It really couldn't be any easier. Below is a video how-to fold the Origami Hearts.


The start of the month means another fun #CCBG craft challenge is here! This month our theme for creating a new project was Paper Valentine. We wanted to use paper in different ways to create a Valentine project to share with you!

Visit all these wonderfully creative projects by visiting the links below.
Try It Like It - Heart Origami Valentine Banner
Life Beyond the Kitchen - Paper Reed Heart
Al Things Beautiful - DIY Valentine's Day Ornament

DIY Spinning Hearts

January 31, 2017

These fun colorful hearts spin adding movement to your decor. The spinning hearts are two sided, one is a bright pink and the other is a heathered purple. They are so pretty together but they sure are hard to photograph. The beautiful purple wants to turn brown in the pictures so just keep that in mind as you continue through this tutorial. 


  • 2 complimentary colors of lightweight cardstock
  • bakers twine
  • Glue Dots
  • free SVG file to use with your personal cutting machine
  • scissors


Cut the heart shapes from the 2 colors of light cardstock using the free SVG file. [SVG file]


Lay out the pieces of the hearts you want to work with. I chose four that had good spacing between them so they will spin.

Set aside one color of hearts and add Glue Dots to the heart shapes left. Make sure to place a Glue Dot on each point of the heart in the centers. 

I found lining up the hearts on one of the grid lines on my cutting mat helps align everything. Then I took the bakers twine and place it down the middle making sure to hit the Glue Dots with the twine. Leave enough twine at the top and bottom of the hearts. 

Now place the other colored hearts on top of the coordinating hearts. The Glue Dots will hold them in place. Give a little additional pressure over the twine areas.

Trim the twine from the bottom of the hearts and now it is ready to hang up. Below is a video of the hearts spinning. 

This post is a part of the SNAP Valentine's Blog Hop. You can see a variety of projects by following the Inlinkz link below. Take a moment to visit the other participants, pin the projects you like and leaving a comment would be much appreciated.

An InLinkz Link-up


I'm a Cricut Blogger

January 27, 2017


I am so excited to be chosen as a Cricut Blogger. Have you ever wondered what that means? I have been invited to post on their different social media channels. I have been asked to create three different Cricut focused blog posts. And, I have been invited to apply for additional posts. One of the first steps to this program is a wonderful box of supplies from Cricut.
​Watch the video below to see my unboxing of all the goodies. 

I look forward to sharing more Cricut themed posts in the future and invite you to keep your eyes open for them. 

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DIY Technology Coop

January 24, 2017

Are you familiar with Chick-fil-A's Family Challenge Cell Phone Coops? They were created to make mealtime more memorable, they’re great at getting families engaged during dinner. Cell Phone Coops are the perfect place to hold your phone while you eat. As a member of the Chick-fil-A Mom Panel, we were challenged to make our own coop. I made a Technology Coop because my family often comes to the dinner table with tablets as well as phones. We needed something a little bigger to fit them all in!



  • Plastic box
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Scissors
  • Scrap paper and pencil
  • Sentiment sticker


shaded paper

Using the scrap paper and pencil, place them on the top of the box and rub the paper with the pencil to find the design. This will be your pattern.


Cut out the design and make sure it fits the box.

cut paper

Using the template pieces, use them to cut out the shapes from your Scrapbooking designed papers. I started with a variety of patterns that coordinated but in the end chose to use just one piece of Scrapbooking paper for the box. Once again, make sure these pieces fit your box. 

mod podge

Using Mod Podge, apply it to the surface of the box, place your piece of paper on top and then cover it with  Mod Podge too. Pay special attention to the edges of the paper so that they are sealed. I use my finger to apply the Mod Podge, but a paint brush would work just as well. (I don't mind getting messy!)

glued pieces

Once all the pieces of your design are applied, allow the Mod Podge to dry completely. At this point, you can use a wet paper towel to clean up any Mod Podge that got on the box where it isn't needed. 


I had these sentiment stickers from Heidi Swapp sitting on my work table. I found this hello sticker to be a little tongue in cheek since the reason for the Technology Coop was to get the family talking. 

paint pen

I was done with the project, but I saw my gold Painters pen and thought, hey! why not paint the edge of the box. So I did. 


Two phones and a tablet with room for more. I call that a success! 

Where you can get similar materials:

This post contains affiliate links. 

School Photo Display

January 16, 2017

We recently got our school photos returned. This School Photo Display was created from items on hand. I joined the January Craft Room Destash Challenge. The rules were to use craft items you had hoarded and spend less than $10 if necessary. No problem, right? I think I am like most crafters and I hoard EVERYTHING related to crafting. I didn't need to buy a thing.

I created the above School Photo Display from items I got at a past SNAP conference. 



  • Elmer's Paint Pen (Gold)
  • Large Clothespin (Heidi Swapp)
  • Gold Glitter Words (Heidi Swapp)


Unwrap all items. Start with the large clip.

remove clip
Disassemble the clip.


paint clip
Using the gold paint pen, paint the spring part of the clip.


place sticker
While the clip is apart, place the chosen stickers on the wood.


replace clip
Once the paint is dry, put the clip back together.


I originally designed this project to stand on end as pictured above. And it works that way. While taking pictures, I was having trouble getting it all in frame and started fumbling around with it.


I ended up with the clip on its side and actually like it displayed this way much better. Here's to happy accidents!

If you would like to see all the other projects submitted to the challenge, click on the link below.

If you would like to buy any products used in this tutorial. Here are links to similar Amazon products. (affiliate links) 


Make A Simple Soft Fox Toy - A Tutorial

January 9, 2017

If you have gotten through most of the Christmas crafts, you may be looking for something different to try.  Why not have a go at soft toys? They are a popular thing to craft. They can be simple and quick or more elaborate and take a fair while to create. When starting off it is better to begin with, something relatively easy, and then work your way up to some of the more elaborate patterns. In fact, you can create a simple toy following the instructions below. Read on to find out more.


Safety is a number one issue when creating toys because they are often given to children to play with. Look up the Code of Federal Practice guidelines to help you with this or be sure to state that the item is for decorative purposes only, and not to be played with.







Picture source


You will need two orange 10” squares of fabric. This can be cotton, toweling, felt or even fake fur. You will need on 10” of piece white fabric, and a 10’ piece of black fabric. You will also need some black embroidery thread.  Be careful though as fake sure is pretty difficult to work with and it gets everywhere!


You will also need thread, fabric glue, and scissors. As well as a sewing machine like the ones reviewed at Using a machine rather than hand sewing makes any project like this way faster and easier.


In addition to that material, you will need some cotton or polyester stuffing for the inside of the toy.


Basic shape


Using a simple shape and creating the details with additional pieces of fabric is a great way of keeping your project doable.


The first thing to do is to cut out the shape for the main body from the orange fabrics squares, making sure that both overalls match up. You can make this complicated and detailed or go for something super simple like an oval.


Then turn them inside out and use your sewing machine with a white, orange or invisible thread to sew up around the sides. Leave a small gap where you can add the stuffing.






Then turn the oval inside out, so the right side of the fabric is showing. You can then stuff the soft toy with filling.


Once this has been done, carefully sew up the remaining hole on the outer edge as neatly as possible. Now you have created your basic shape. Remember you can use this for a lot of different animals, not just a fox.


Adding Details


The next job is to start adding the details, so your oval looks more like a fox. Use The white fabric to add a stomach shape. Or cut out small triangles for the ears in white like the one at Then fix them near the top of the oval. You can add smaller triangles in black to give them some dimension.


As you are making a Fox, you can also add the puff of a white tail on the back, and larger white shape for the face. Fix these on either with fabric glue or hand stitching.




Image link


Then cut out some black circles for the eyes and attached them onto in the face triangles. You can add a smaller white dot of fabric, or embroidery thread to give it a cartoon like appearance.


After that choose to add accessories if you want. Like a little-knitted scarf or a cute hat. The choice is yours.

This is a sponsored post.



Valentine Friendship Bracelet

January 9, 2017

Make a fun and quick bracelet for Valentine's Day to wear or gift to a special friend. This project is great for kids but will need a little assistance from parents. You can change the colors of each part or keep it all one color as in the example above. 



  • Heart shaped paper clip
  • beads
  • ribbon
  • scissors
  • matches


Cut the ribbon into two pieces that when folded is long enough to wrap around your wrist with a bit extra. 

thread ribbon

Thread each ribbon through the sides of the paper clip heart.



Thread the bead onto one strand of the ribbon on each side. (sampled on the right side above) If your bead is large enough to take both ribbons, do so. Ours only would take one ribbon. Then tie a simple knot using both ribbons on each side. (sampled on left side above)



Unfinished ends of the ribbon



burning ends

**An Adult needs to do this step.**
If the ends of the ribbon will fray, you can stop that from happening if you singe the ends or seal the ends with heat from a match or candle. Do no actually light the ribbon on 



It's ready to wear or give as a gift. Wrap it around your wrist and tie a double knot.

I found the heart shaped paper clips at our local Office Depot. You can also find them online at Amazon. (affiliate link)

This project is a part of Valentine's Day Craft Lightning. Several times a year 30 Minute Crafts team up with other crafty bloggers to share themed crafts that can be done in 15 minutes or less! These are called “Craft Lightning”. 

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Top Craft Tutorials of 2016

January 1, 2017

Another year of blogging has passed and it is so fun to see what were the most visited posts from the year. This post recaps the top 5 most visited craft tutorials on Try it - Like it for 2016. They were diverse in mediums used, from paper to fabric and shrink plastic to yarn. Here is the countdown of the top 5.


#5 Spider Card

This one included free SVG files to create your own version of this card for Halloween. 


#4 Shrink Plastic Necklace

Recycle a plastic container into your own style of jewelry, making your own shrink plastic.


#3 K-Cup Wreath 

Wanting to find a craft to recycle k-cups and trying to come up with something new, I made this Christmas ornament wreath.


#2 Reversible Baby Shoes 

A fellow Creative Craft Blogger had a baby and we threw her a virtual baby shower. These cute reversible shoes were my gift to the precious little bundle.

#1 Fairy Lantern 

The most popular tutorial of the year was the Fairy Lantern post. Not a completely original idea but there were variations and free SVG files.




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