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Cricut Cuttlebug - First Time Use

July 17, 2017


I’ve never owned a Cuttlebug, so I was excited to be able to review one. A Cuttlebug is a manual die cutting and embossing machine made by Cricut. My primary interest in a Cuttlebug is for embossing because I own a Cricut Explore Air 2 for cutting.


The fact that the Cuttlebug is a manual machine makes it very portable. Although, additional accessories are needed in the form of dies and embossing folders. There are a variety of storage devices for the dies and embossing folders. Over time, you will acquire quite a library of shapes and patterns. It can be quite addicting.


Contents of box

What comes in the box?

cutting with a die
Using a cutting die (not much to see)


To cut using the Cuttlebug, you will need a die shape. There are a variety of different dies ready to buy. A sample die is included with your Cuttlebug. 


cutting die package
A cutting die package

Dies are thin metal shapes that are used to cut through a variety of materials. 


finish cut image
finished cut image with die


You can cut a variety of different materials. What you choose should not exceed 1/8”. 

A few ideas of materials to cut:

  • paper
  • cardstock
  • chip board
  • tissue paper
  • washi tape
  • craft foam
  • card board
  • felt
  • fabric
  • metal (aluminum)
  • thin wood (balsa)

using machine



Embossing is the process that adds a raised image to your surface. This is typically done on paper or card-stock. In order for the Cuttlebug to create a raised image, you will need an embossing folder for the design you desire. There are a variety of different folders available, one is included with your Cuttlebug.   


an embossing folder package
an embossing folder package


Trying the machine out for the first time, I had my 11 year old daughter with me. She is always interested in what I am crafting. She was excited to unbox the machine and help turn the handle. Afterwards, she asked if she could use it without having to ask permission. She loved the idea that it didn’t take technology to work. She quickly went to grab more paper to emboss and cut. 


embossed paper
close-up of embossing folder and embossed paper





cuttlebug box
Cuttlebug box


* The Cricut Cuttlebug machine is compatible with most leading brands of dies and embossing folders. You may need additional plates or spacers for it to work. 



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

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Chick-fil-a Cow Appreciation Day 2017

July 10, 2017

Chick-fil-A’s annual Cow Appreciation Day is Tuesday, July 11, 2017 from restaurant opening until 7 p.m. anyone wearing any sort of cow apparel will receive one free entrée and kids dressed like a cow may select a free Kid's Meal. For all the details and FAQs, check out the link.

If you need a costume, you might just like this free print and cut out cow mask.    [cow mask]


Quick and Easy Stuffed Cat

July 10, 2017


This is a super easy to make stuffed cat. My daughter is away at summer camp this week. She loves cats and stuffed animals, so I made this little guy to send to her at camp. I hope he keeps her company! The pattern, if you can call it that, is easily adjusted to change up his shape. You can make yours short, or fat, small or big. I used scrap fabric we had, I didn't need to buy anything for this project. 

Here is a pattern you can work from. I took a scrap piece of paper and just drew my pattern. When I went to cut it out, I folded the shape in half so each side of the cat matched. I hope that makes sense, but if not, just use the pattern. 

Click on the image above to access the free PDF file.


  • Fabric - 2 colors
  • Iron on adhesive
  • 2 buttons
  • Embroidery floss
  • thread
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • needle
  • pins
  • fluff filling


Pin the pattern to the fabric. Cut two of the cat body and one of the bottom shape. 
Buttons are in place to show how it will look

Cut out the triangle shape from the alternate fabric.
Using the iron on adhesive, adhere the nose to the front of the cat.

Pin the bottom piece to the front of the cat, right sides together.
Sew these two pieces together.

back piece
Pin the back to the front and bottom pieces.
Notice on the body I have two pins near each other.
This is where I will start and stop sewing, leaving an opening to turn the cat inside out.
Sew around this shape.

The ears are a sharp point, leave the needle down on the machine, then raise the foot.
Rotate the point, and begin to sew again.

inside out
Using the opening in the side, turn the fabric right side out.

Fill with fluff.
Sew the side closed.

Sew on the buttons for eyes.
Using the embroidery thread, add whiskers and other stitches as desired.

This is mine finished. If you make one, I would love to see it.




July Projects from Tape Technologies Design Team

July 6, 2017

July is the first month for the Tape Technologies Design Team to show off their stuff. Each member featured one of the Ultra Metallic Vinyl colors. Take a few moments to visit each blog post for a tutorial on their projects.

The Flamingo Chronicals :: Not all those who Wander are Lost Frame


Mimi’s Crafty Abyss - How to Make Vinyl Gift Canvas


Scrap-aholic :: How to Upscale a Clock With a Sports Theme


Mimi’s Crafty Abyss :: Where is your LIFE???


Try it - Like it :: DIY Picture Frame


Marilyn Gossett Designs :: A Patriotic Up-Cycle with Tape


Emmanade Crafts :: Beautiful Bathroom Set






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DIY Picture Frame with Tape Technologies

July 2, 2017

I love pictures but hate spending money of picture frames. I usually wait for a sale. But I can also make, well decorate my own. My eldest daughter took a great photo of her younger sister on vacation in California and I knew it needed its own unique picture frame. I already had the picture frame waiting for inspiration. Our first call from being on the Design Team at Tape Technologies asked us to use their Ultra Metallics vinyl. It all came together in my mind, so here is the tutorial. 



cutting vinyl
For the first step, I cut the vinyl on my
Cricut Explore Air 2. The Ultra Metallic cut easily on a regular vinyl setting.

sanding block
After opening up the frame, I used a sanding block to go over the wood to make sure it was smooth.
It was actually better than I thought so it was more of a precaution.

I placed the frame in a shoe box so that I could spray paint it.

 I loved using the shoe box because it had a hinged top and

I could close it to dry the paint without getting any lint or bugs in the paint. 

After the first coat of paint, I sanded the frame again, cleaned off the dust and spray painted it again.

add vinyl
I peeled the vinyl from its backing and applied it similar to a sticker. I didn't use a transfer sheet.


Thanks to Tape Technologies for providing the vinyl I used for this project. I am a member of their design team.

CCBG July Craft Challenge

July 1, 2017

This month Creative Craft Bloggers Group challenged each other to create something red, white, or blue.
You can visit each blog for a tutorial of their submission.

Home Crafts by Ali    Easy Red, White, and Blue Bracelets For Tweens

Life Beyond the Kitchen    Red and White Paper Stars for a Patriotic Display   

Al Things Beautiful    Patriotic Crafts for the Fourth of July 

2 Dishing Divas    Patriotic Butter Slime

Try it - Like it    USA t-shirt




My Favorite Places to Score Free Fonts

June 24, 2017

I love typography. That’s not hard to understand if you know I studied and worked as a Graphic Designer. While Graphic Design is the combination of type and image, it was the type that I connected with. 


For years, I was a font snob. Don’t adjust type, don’t mess with a font. I was a purest and I only liked historical well know named fonts. Can I say I have changed my ways. I really enjoy all that is being done with type. 


I have a few go to sites that I love to check their free fonts each week. I think you are going to like them too!


Font Bundles

Font Bundles offers a free font each week. Sign up for their email list and get notified each week. Visit their site section of Free Fonts for even more offerings. The also offer paid versions of fonts. And if you are looking for Design resources, check out their sister site, Design Bundles




Hungry Jpeg

The Hungry Jpeg offers a freebie each week. It isn’t always a font. They only have one freebie a week, so don’t miss it, you will not be able to get it again for free. Sign up for their newsletter and notifications. 


Creative Market

The Creative Market offers a variety of goods, fonts being one of them. Check out the freebies. 

You will also find photos, graphics, templates, and themes.


Mighty Deals

Mighty Deals offers deals for Web Professions but you can find free and priced fonts. And if you are looking for the ever popular Samantha font, they have it for $17.


Deal Jumbo

Deal Jumbo offers discounted design bundles. There is a freebies section on their site, it contains fonts as well as other designer goods. Yes, they have free font bundles!


The best way to utilize these sites is to sign up for their email list so that you are notified of the deals and free fonts. Make sure to download the fonts right away, even if you don’t install them right away. They are only available for a limited time. 


Some links are affiliate links.







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What can you cut with the Cricut Explore Air 2?

June 19, 2017


You may be surprised to find that you can cut over 100 different materials with a Cricut Explore Air 2. I bet there are some materials on the list that you never even considered. I know I have just scratched the surface with the different materials I have tried. Cricut has an extensive list on their website that you can access:  Material List


Here are the things I have tried:
















Freezer Paper





Adhesive Foil




window cling

Window Cling





Magnet, Shrink Art, and Leather (no pictures yet)


Materials I want to try soon:


This post contains affiliate links

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Thanks Dad!

June 17, 2017

Need a fun Father's Day card? It's cute, it's fun, and it's free. What could be better? The link below will access a free PDF file. Just print, cut, and fold. The card is a standard A2 size. I hope you enjoy.  [free pdf card]

If you need another idea you might like these:

Free printable gift cards

Make your own stress ball

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Star Spangled Lantern with Cricut and is it worth the expense?

June 14, 2017

You can make this Star Spangled Lantern for next to nothing if you have a Cricut Machine. I am often asked if buying a Cricut is worth the cost. I don't make items to sell, but that is definitely doable. I also am not big into scrapbooking. You might ask, "So why did you get a Cricut?" And I would tell you I am working with my third Cricut, so obviously it was worth it to me. 

My initial interest was to help make crafts projects for a girls club and Sunday School classes. From there I have made personalized gifts, home decor, greeting cards, paper crafts, and more. I have even been asked by friends to help them with cutting material. I imagine if you are like me, once you have a Cricut, you will find more and more things you can accomplish easier by using a Cricut.  There are so many materials you can cut with a Cricut, the projects are only limited by your imagination. If you want to know more about the different materials you can cut with a Cricut, visit their help section for a list of materials. [list of materials]

On to making the Star Spangled Lantern



* The image used from Cricut was Star #M454A6 Cricut Alphabet


The video below will demonstrate how to take a file from Cricut and alter the layers to get different shapes to cut. I wanted a star and an outline of a star. There wasn't one available with my subscription, so I altered an existing file to create the outline I wanted. 


cut stars
cut stars from adhesive foil

apply stars to glass jar in random pattern

cut candle
cut twine and tie it around the neck of the jar, create a handle
cut a candle to fit into the glass jar

candle inside
melt some wax into the jar to hold the candle in place

finished lantern
Don't you love the star reflections?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

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