Tag: cricut explore

Personalising my iPad with Cricut Explore

I have a long list of things I want to do, make and create, but making time for them is tough. So, while we were in between guests last weekend, my OH popped out to the garden centre and I sat down with my (c/o) Cricut Explore, in a bid to personalise my iPad a bit. I had no excuses – the house was clean, the washing was done, food was in, Poppy was walked. I had an idea about what I wanted, well, a few actually. As time was of the essence, I went with the quick and easy option of using some of the images from the Cricut Design Room. I knew I wanted to cover the edge a bit and have some kind of repeating pattern on the back. Plus, I’d never cut the vinyl before, so it was a little bit of a test all round. I settled on a basic border and a rain cloud.

Rain Cloud ipad vinylIn the design room, you can set your canvas, but unfortunately, they don’t have the iPad Mini, which meant I had to set my own measurements (always a risk!) So the border isn’t perfect. What I’d really like is a border set in the design room, which includes the buttons and camera and cuts them out to. Mine didn’t and I didn’t have time to figure it out (so if you know how, please let me know!) so I just went with this. I love the cloud shape and raindrops – it’s very simple, which is fine for a first attempt. And the beauty of the vinyl is that it can be removed very easily and changed for something else when you fancy a change.

ipad vinyl with cricut exploreUsing the vinyl was surprisingly easy. As I didn’t have a lot of time before our guests arrived, I used the same colour throughout but there are a number of colours available. Now I actually have something on my iPad, giving it a bit of protection, I want to work on something a bit more personal, maybe even designed by me!

Another thing I had on my list, was making some wall art, in the way of a slogan to go in my my office. I’ve been wracking my brains, trying to think of a quote or a slogan that isn’t too cheesy or too long, that will inspire me when I’m lacking in confidence. I’ve yet to find one! However, I did just want to have something small and quick on my computer – after all, I face it every day. This is what I went with:

Cricut Explore SloganHey, I never said I was Shakespeare! (And yes, I realise it’s not straight!) But sometimes I just need a reminder not to give up, no matter how frustrated I am or lacking in self-confidence. It’ll do for now. If you’ve got any suggestions of quotes, phrases or slogans, then let me know!

Disclosure: I was sent the Cricut Explore to review, but as usual, all opinions are my own.

Home Made Cards using the Cricut Explore

So I’m not very good with remembering to buy cards for people. Their birthdays are in my Filofax and on my Google calendar, but that’s no guarantee. In theory, I’d either buy them online from an independent maker on Folksy or Etsy or I’d be organised enough to have a card making session, sourcing beautiful card and vintage paper, and have a supply of cards suitable for any occasion. However, neither of these have happened yet and recently, I’ve needed a couple of cards in a pinch. Fortunately, I have a wonderful (c/o) Cricut Explore to hand and this makes cardmaking super quick. Thank goodness!

I needed three cards: A birthday card for my sister (who should’ve been in Canada but came home early), a new baby card (for an early arrival) and a belated thank you card. I always have a supply of cards and various papers, and I saw this post over on A Beautiful Mess and thought it was such a great idea, it could easily work with cards.

Happy Birthday card

New Baby card

Thank You card

The birthday card was for my sister has spent most of the last year in Canada. I printed off a map of Banff National Park, where she was throughout winter and trimmed it to size. I hopped onto the Cricut Design Room and typed up the words that I wanted cut. I love how easy the design room is to navigate and that you can save everything for future use. It was a little bit fiddly, but to be honest, I was in my element, cutting and sticking the old fashioned way!

I never know what to buy for a new baby. I’m not a fan of the stereotypical blue for boys and pink for girls, especially as my favourite colour is blue! So I reused this lovely yellow paper bag as the background and cut out New Baby on the Cricut Explore. For the Thank You card, I was also testing the Explore as I wanted to use this very delicate wrapping paper. It cut it really well and it didn’t rip, which I was really pleased with. Then I used washi tape to make sure that the letters were straight when I stuck them on. Next time I make some cards, I’m going to add some embellishments and jazz them up a bit more. I think I need to look on Pinterest a bit for some ideas. And plan in advance. That would most definitely help!

I know these are just basic projects and that the Cricut Explore has way more possibilities – I’m just trying to pin down some ideas in my head before I test them out! And I could do with a week of just crafting and nothing else! How about you? What have you made lately?

Disclosure: I was sent the Cricut Explore to review, but all views are my own, honest opinions. For more information, see my Disclosure page.

#BEDM – Gadgets

I’m not much of a gadget person. If something is going to come into my house, it needs to have a practical purpose or it can just jog on. (Our house is small and space is at a premium, so unless it benefits my day to day life on a regular basis, it’s got not place crossing the threshold.) That being said, there are a few gadgets that are worth mentioning.

smoothie

First up is the Magimix blender. Now, I know what you’re thinking. It’s just a blender. But it is brilliant. We had a blender that I’d inherited from a friend who no longer needed it. It sat at the back of a kitchen cupboard until I started the Feeling Fabulous course and my smoothie addiction was born. The old blender wasn’t watertight and every now and then would spray the wall with green smoothie mix. Not ideal. So we decided to splash out on a new blender as smoothies were going to be a daily occurrence in our house. We headed to the John Lewis site and picked the blender with the best reviews and wasn’t akin to a mortgage deposit. We opted for the Magimix Le Blender and it is A-mazing! I was so impressed with all the different options it has, much more than our old one. I love it and we do indeed use it daily. Money well spent. I got a little over excited a made a little video of me making a smoothie in it. Don’t feel like you have to watch it!

My new favourite gadget is something that has lots and lots of potential. It’s the new Cricut Explore that arrived last week. I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the possibilities, but I had so much fun playing around with it over the weekend. Every thing has been thought of, from getting the machine out of the box, to carrying it around (it comes with its own bag), storage, to ease of use. You basically: Plug it in > Switch it on > Go! Seriously. I hate it when making stuff is fiddly and time consuming. Just let me get my craft on, damn it! This is why I don’t sew very often. Is there anything more frustrating than unpacking your sewing machine, fabric all ready to go, cotton threaded through only to find your bobbin thread is just about to run out?! ARGH! Too faffy. This is not like that. It’s way easier. It took just a few minutes to set up, find a design I wanted to make and get cutting. Perfect!

cricut

cricut explore I didn’t have long to play with it on Monday but I did pick a ready made design from the Design Room. I wanted to make something that I could put up on my wall and chose arrow art.

arrows poster

What do you think? (Apologies for the shoddy iPhone photos! It was getting late and I was losing the light) It took less than thirty minutes from start to finish. Not bad at all! And that’s just the beginning!

My final gadget is my iPhone. It’s the first thing I pick up in the morning and the last thing I put down at night. Not only is it amazing design, but it is an amazing invention. Sure, you can use it for phone calls, you know, if you want to be old school about it. But for me, the thing that impresses me most is what it does to connect us beyond that. For example, my sister can post a picture of her tea cup from Canada and in an instant, I can see it on my phone through Instagram. Even though she’s on the other side of the world, I still feel connected to her. Things like that blow my mind!

Now, if someone could just great glasses lenses that don’t need cleaning every five seconds, I’d be mega impressed! How about you? What’s your number one gadget?

Disclaimer: I received the Cricut Explore to review. All opinions are my own.

#Exploretheseasons with the new Cricut Explore

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the day in a lovely part of London at the launch of the new Cricut Explore. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the walk from the tube was lovely and the view from the building was breathtaking.

The View

After a minute or two to catch my breath (I was late thanks to the Tube taking forever. Very glad my daily commute involves walking downstairs in my slippers!) it was on to the presentation. The CEO, Ashish Arora, spoke about the thinking behind the new Cricut Explore. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I want to make something but I’m not the neatest cutter, especially if something is a little fiddly. Well, the Cricut Explore will cut just about any material you’ll need, from tracing paper all the way through to denim and leather. These butterflies below show (and I couldn’t get them all in the picture) the huge range of materials you can cut with the new Explore.

Fabric Butterflies

Not only that, but it’s really simple to change the cut setting on the Explore. You simply turn a dial to choose your material, which is much easier than it’s been before. Not only that, but if you want to design your own project and cut it, you can with the new Design Room. You can save your project, just like all the other projects that are all there ready for you to make. There were lots of examples all around the room of the kind of things you could make, including a beautiful dress.

Tshirt Design

Party

Cricut Fox Cushion

By the beach

Butterfly Dress

After the presentation, which included unpacking the Explore (which was pretty exciting!), meeting American bloggers Vintage Revivals and The TomKat Studio and more inspiration from Ashish, we were able to have a go ourselves. I’ve only used a Cricut Mini before and it’s pretty safe to say that my mind exploded. We were given plain tote bags to jazz up however we wanted to. I wanted a lightening bolt type design and a quick search of images threw up a lovely cloud and lightning. I cut out two layers of glitter iron on transfer. It took less than 5 minutes to cut and about a similar amount of time to iron on.

Cloud Tote

I’m pretty impressed with it and am seriously thinking about a few t-shirt designs. There’s so much you can do with the Explore – the whole day, my mind was whirling with ideas. But there was more! Lots and lots of great food, including humungous cupcakes, and manicurists who gave my nails a lovely coat of bright red polish.

Giant Cupcakes

It was such a brilliant and inspirational day. I can’t wait to get my hands on the Explore and get my make on!

Huge thank you to everyone who made the day so much fun! I