Apr 17, 2015

My Glory and other stuff

My daughter was visiting recently, and she saw some of the spring cards I had been making using my computer software (MS Digital Image) and cutting out the card fronts and embellishments with my Cricut Explore machine.  She said I needed to place them out on display so I could appreciate "My Glory".  That is a term she used often when the grandkids made things, she'd say to them "It's your Glory" :)  .  So I thought I'd post some of my glory here on my blog, which doesn't see much action or posts during the year. I am using these photos as an excuse to "post something"!  

Image credits: the Books with teacup on top by Rebecca Carter, and all the images with Bunnies (except for the 2 bunnies with the watering can), or Bear, and the Cat with the beehive, those also are by Rebecca Carter from collections once upon a time sold at pccrafter. Those collections are no longer available online for sale.  The 2 bunnies with the watering can, is by the late Sandi Gore Evans, from a collection that was once sold at daisiecompany.com (but is no longer available for sale online). The violets in a pot card is artwork by Cathi Freund, that was also once upon a time sold at daisiecompany.com, but is no longer available for sale. 

 I have such a huge collection of wonderful clip art that I have been buying over the past 15+ years, and now with the Cricut Explore, and its Print then Cut feature, I have really begun to re-visit the many folders full of wonderful images, that now I can easily "cut" with the Cricut Explore and bypass scissors.  For some of these card fronts, I used my photo/graphic editing programs to remove a specific image from a background, so that I could use it as a standalone image to apply to the card front with pop-dots and provide a 3d effect on the card front. And some images were standalone in the collections, and so I didn't have to prepare them.  Once I have my 5x7 or 5x5 card front created and or got my standalone image prepared - I just upload those images to the online program that Explore owners must use > Cricut Design Space, and then size them for printing out on my printer, and then place the printed images on the cutting mat of the Cricut Explore, and let it "cut it all out".  Then I apply the card front to a blank card, and next I put the glue-dots on and place on top of the card front. ( I made a webpage that shows a bit about how I put these cards together > see: http://sippingtea.com/tuts/cardscutwithcricutexplore.html  ) 
taaa-daaa!  Here is My Glory!










And some other stuff, I've been up to lately, these are photos are of a snowy egret out back of my home on a branch in the wee pond...He/She is preening & scratching and the wind caught its head feathers, that just made me smile as I took the photos.













And then this past weekend I went to The Tilted Tea Cup in Brooksville, FL, with my daughter and granddaughter, along with 2 of my daughters friends. It was such a relaxing and an enjoyable afternoon. The food was delicious and we visited a couple of Brooksville shops before returning home.  Great Day, Wonderful Company.




That's All Folks!


Jan 30, 2015

Better late than never

Happy New Year - even if the 1st month is over.  Seems like the older I get, the months just fly by faster and faster.

I had a wonderful Christmas - spent Christmas week in Orlando (and yes, went to Disney World).
 Our tree (we brought one of my 4ft trees from home) in the Marriott timeshare condo we stayed in.,
 We visited the Movie Studios park at Disney, all the houses were aglow with lights, this is the house with the 101 Dalmations, with just a few of them outside.


I made a few resolutions on New Years Eve, none of which I have kept. 

In the first week of Jan, I went to visit my Dad (93) on the other side of the state, I went to say goodbye, as he was in his final days of life here on earth.  He wasn't responsive to my visit, but hopefully the words I spoke to him, made it through to him- letting him know how very much I loved him.  He passed away on the 24th, and I am happy he is at Peace and Enjoying his eternal life. His only sister (95), passed away on the 8th, and our family is sure she helped her brother on his flight to Heaven.

I'm still liking cutting out stuff with my Cricut Explore, I had mentioned in my last post in November, that I made a web page showing my experience with the Print then Cut option of the Explore, cutting out stuff from my vast clip art stash. I added 2 more webpages, showing more examples of my fun times.  I'm hoping to expand my projects, and do other things with the Explore, such as cut and assemble 3d objects.  There are sooooooo many talented crafters showing wonderful projects using their Explore that they post on Facebook.  I've watched video's, bought some SVG files, downloaded several that are FREE. But still am a bit intimidated to try making things.  And I haven't done much with vinyl crafting..again, just feeling a bit overwhelmed.  But cutting out Clip Art - I got this!!


here's links to the 2 additional pages I made about my experience with the Print then Cut feature of the Cricut Explore
http://sippingtea.com/tuts/cricutexploreprintncut2.html
and
http://sippingtea.com/tuts/cricutexploreprintncut3.html

Exciting news...former pccrafter and Daisie Company artist "Shelly Comiskey" is now back at DaisieCompany, she'd been out of the selling her clip art and printables kits online for a couple of years, so its wonderful to see her jump back in the game.  Hoping that in the coming months there will be new art sets offered, currently I have most of what's available at DAISIE now.(not everything that she has sold in the past is back up at DAISIE, but I'm sure she'll be adding stuff back over the coming months)
Check out her portion of the store: 
http://www.daisiecompany.com/shelly-comiskey-c483.php
 and don't forget to see all the wonderful kits and clip art available at DAISIE Company
http://www.daisiecompany.com/index.php


Just in case I go another couple months without posting...Happy Valentines Day, Happy St. Patricks Day and Happy Easter, & Happy Spring.

Oct 19, 2014

Cutting it Up with my new Cricut Explore



It's been almost a year since I have written a new blog post.  I haven't really taken the time to talk about what's been happening in my life (I do post more often on Facebook, so close friends and family, know what I'm up to). 

The year has been good so far. My granddaughter was absolutely beautiful for her Senior Prom in April.  She graduated High School at the end of May, and is now attending a local Community College. She bought a used car, paid for with her own money!!  I am so proud of her.
My grandson, switched to a new school for his junior year, one that is more science and engineering based.  

My younger daughter came from Indianapolis for a week in June. Then I went to Indianapolis in August, to go with my daughter - to the NFL Hall of Fame weekend in Canton, Ohio. Andre Reed, a former wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills, was inducted to the HOF.  And the Bills played the Giants in the annual HOF game.  We had a wonderful time. 

My sister came from Jacksonville to visit in August, and then I went to visit her for a few days.  Did some other stuff, but those are the highlights.

But this post is really about my newest toy - the new Cricut Explore cutting machine.

A few years ago, I bought my Florida daughter, a Cricut Expression, its a machine that is totally "Cartridge" based. She has quite a few cartridges and has completed several projects with it. My granddaughter also uses it often.  At the time I bought it for her, there was a software product out > Sure Cuts A Lot. With that software program, you were supposed to be able to Cut your own Images. That program along with another Make The Cut, were advertising that you could use a Cricut without needing Cartridges (you did need at least one cartridge, to get the machine to work properly, but you weren't cutting images from that cartridge, you were cutting your own clip art or designs and files like SVGs) 
She at that time bought the Sure Cuts A Lot software, but never could get it to work right. Eventually Sure Cuts a Lot and Make the Cut, were sued by Cricut, for infringing on their Intellectual Property or something along those lines. Both manufacturers agreed to take out that feature in their software and those programs will not work with any new Cricut Expressions. Note: Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL) and Make The Cut (MTC) programs are still made and sold and they continue to work with other Cutting Machines on the market.

Well I like many others, wanted a simple machine to cut out our own stash. I have hundreds of images alone from pcCrafter collections, that I had bought from that site, before it closed down in 2012.  

And there were machines available on the market, The Silhouette SD, and the newer model Silhouette Cameo, The Klik-n-Kut, The Gazelle, etc. etc.  For what ever reason I always felt those machines to have more of a learning curve for me, and/or price tags, that I couldn't justify paying. There are lots of YouTube videos, and tutorials for those machines. Their cutting ability is excellent. Crafter's who mastered those machines, created some wonderful projects, and they could Cut out their own Clip Art images.

In March of this year (2014) I watched on HSN.com the launch of the newest Cricut > The Cricut Explore.  The machine seemed like an interesting development in Cricut's history of cutting machines. This machine would use an online site > The Cricut Design Space. On that website you would create your projects online, and cut from there on the Explore. You hook the Cricut Explore to your computer via a USB cord. 
There's a bunch of projects to choose from on the Design Space. And you can buy images, and you can utilize any Cartridges you may own. On the Cricut Explore there is a place to put your Cartridge, and the images on it are linked to the Cricut Design Space online, so that you can access them when needed for a project. (I don't have any Cartridges of my own, so haven't done anything with that feature)  
On HSN at that time they talked about the new Print and Cut option and how you would be able to upload your own images/clip art from your computer and Print them and then use the Explore machine to cut them.  But - that feature wouldn't be available until the Fall.

So I waited, and in early October the machine was back on HSN, and now the Print and Cut feature was available.  It was offered at a good price > and with extras, that I couldn't get on other sites that sell the Explore.  Plus I have until Jan 31, 2015 to return the machine.

I made a web page showing how I cut out some of my Clip Art stash using the machine. It was fairly painless to set up the machine. So far the only thing I have done with it - is cut out clip art. The cutting precision is amazing to this ole gal - I'd never be able to make the small cuts that some of these images require if you really want to cut out nooks and crannies.

Cricut Explore FAQs http://www.hallmarkscrapbook.com/cricut-explore-faqs/
(*note: these FAQs were written "before" the Print & Cut feature was made available - if you buy a machine now - this option should be available as it is for me and my Oct 2014 purchase of the Explore - and if you bought one earlier, you can update your machine to make this feature work)  

Here is a link to a review of the Cricut Explore, written by someone who seems to know her way around a Cutting machine or two or more > http://joyslife.com/cricut-explore-machine-review/  .  My own personal experience with the Explore is very new and limited. Please do your own research online, or ask crafty friends for advice before buying ANY expensive cutting machine.  Don't let your purchase of any cutting machine, become an expensive door stop.



You are welcome to visit my web page at > Cricut Explore ~ Print and Cut and see how I cut stuff out. The page has links to YouTube videos, and informational sites for the Cricut Explore. I've included links to sites that compare the Silhouette Cameo with the Explore. The Silhouette Cameo is popular and has a large following.  So if you are already a Silhouette owner, you most likely wouldn't be interested in the Explore.

That's my story and I'm stickin to it!



Jan 18, 2014

Activating the pcCrafter Deluxe Hugbug Browser & other pcc stuff ;)

First off...Happy New Year :)

I know I haven't been writing much on my blog lately, but tonight for some reason, I was going over some older posts. And on one where I talked about pccrafter closing down back in 2012 - I read some of the "comments" posted in 2013 (Sorry about not reading through my blogs comments more often - last yr was a really busy one for me). Most of the comments had to do with either gals who had lost everything and hadn't had their clip art collections backed up and those who now were unable to "activate" their Deluxe Hugbug Browser.

I can't help anyone who lost all of their clip art, but I did write a post last year, giving anyone the codes now needed for activation of the Browser
http://chocolateonthekeyboard.blogspot.com/2013/04/just-more-info-for-former-pccrafter.html
Please note: I have installed and activated the Deluxe Browser on computers running Windows 7 and Windows 8 with no problems.

And here is the >>  post << where I provided links to a spreadsheet or word document with a listing of pccrafter creatables, scrapables, and cardables and the artists that created them.

I also updated a March 2013 post about former pccrafter artists who continue to sell downloadable clip art collections online:  http://chocolateonthekeyboard.blogspot.com/2013/03/former-pccrafter-artists-still-selling.html  -

artists that previously had been selling on DAISIE : Shelly Comiskey, Carolee Jones & Marie Cole are NOT currently selling Clip art online.

Joy Hall who had been selling clip art sets on Aimee Asher, is  NOT currently selling Clip art.

If at some point I find information about any of these artists or other past pccrafter artists, that they have resumed selling their wonderful clip art collections, I will be sure to let my readers know.

Other than those updates and information, Life for *me* is good.

Wishing you all a peaceful, memorable year ahead.