Thursday, December 11, 2234

Great christmas special

Christmas is almost here and we all know that the Close To My Heart cartridges are on everyones list.      How you would like a special to go along with that great cartridge you want.  Well here you go.

I am hosting a mystery hostess gathering.  Top prize, a free cricut cartridge.  Yes, you read that right, a free Close To My Heart cartridge.  Other prizes will include, $25 in hostess rewards, 50% off one item, free paper pack, free d size stamp and other prizes. Everyone who places an order will get a prize.

 How do you get these great prizes?  For every $50 you spend, you will get one entry.  Ordering a cricut cartridge , you will get 3 entries. Referring a friend who places an order, you will get one entry.  Joining my  {Facebook} group, you will get one entry.   You must make a $50 purchase to qualify for the extra entries.

Place your order at from now to December  30th to enter.  You will be notified on December 31 on what your prize will be.  This offer is only available through myself, Nikka Geers, and not a special from Close To My Heart.

Check out artwork using our newest cartridge, Artfully Sent {here}

Thursday, December 11, 2200

Cricut Explore Design Space Tutorials

Design Space may look a little difficult and overwhelming but it is quite simple when you know what to do.  I have been doing tutorials to show you how simple it truly is. So check out these tutorials and play with your Explore today

{Basics of Design Space part 1}
{Basics of Design Space part 2}
{How to use slice with Artfully Sent}
{How to make a 3D snowflake and how to add score lines}
{How to use codes in Design Space}
{How to Contour in Design Space}
{How to use custom setting in Design Space}
{How to use text in Design Space}

There will be more to come.  Is there a tutorial you would like to see, let me know in the comments below

I have started a{Facebook} group to keep you updated on new artwork, tutorials and specials. Would love to see you there.

I have also added a pin button on all of my posts so you can easily add artwork to you pinterest account

Don't forget about the christmas special. Details can be found {here}

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cricut Explore - Text Tutorial

Hello again.  I have a new tutorial for you.  This is how to do text in Design Space.  This is going to be a long tutorial, since there is a lot to text.  But once you get it, it is very easy to do.

So lets get started.

 You can download fonts and use them in Design Space.  Will want to make sure they are TrueType fonts.  The other kinds will not work well in Design Space.  Choose the you would like, and download them.  This is from  In Chrome, the download will show up at the bottom of the screen.  Click to upload to the computer.

It will pull up this screen.  This does not mean it is download.  You must install. Choose the font file. Once it pulls up, there will be a install button. Once you do this, it is now installed to your computer and can be used.

In Design Space, click on the text button on the left of the screen.  This will open a text box.  You must type something in to choose the font and other edits. Fonts can only be accessed from here.  When you go from insert image, it will not show up under the cartridge.

At the top, you can choose font options.  All fonts will pull up every font from Cricut and the computer. System fonts are all the fonts that are downloaded to you computer. Cricut fonts are all the fonts that Cricut offers.  This will include ones you do not own.  Single layer will exclude any font with a shadow.  Has a writing style is what you would like to write without an outline.  Not all fonts have this option. 

 If you do not own a font, there will be a price next to it. They are from $4.99 to $6.99.  Once you buy a font, it is yours. Some of the fonts are included in the subscription.

You can easily find a font by typing it in the search bar right under the fonts name. You do not have to type in the whole thing, it will start pulling up names that fit, like shown above.

When you switch to write, the font will write the same way its cuts. This means it will write with an outline. Now once you choose has a writing style, it will write with a single stroke. Not all fonts have a writing style. You can see the difference between the two,
I forgot the do an arrow, but right below the name, you can choose regular, bold, bold italic, and if it is a writing style, writing and writing italic.
When you change to writing style, it will automatically change to write.

You can change the size by point, just like if you were changing font size in word.  This comes in handy when trying to write in a card or on an envelope.
Or you can change the size by inches below letter spacing.
If you are doing words like above, you can change the justification to left, center or right.

Below the justification, is how the letters are grouped. You can do a word together or individual letters.

Once you chose to have the letters separate, you can move them, change theirs size, even mirror them.  You can use the layers button to change the colors or switch to cut, ect.

Letter spacing will allow you to move letters together or apart. You can do vertically and horizontally.

You can rotate the letters by degree.

You can mirror left to right and up and down.

You can move on a x y axis.  This will make it easy to line up words. Have the letter on the same y plane. This is 2.74. If you do not attach, this will not come up once you go to cut.

Some fonts have two layers, a shadow. You will need to ungroup to separate them.

Use flatten to print. Weld to change the text into one cut.

This is a welded word.  I switched to outline so you could see that they are attached. The letters must be overlapping to able to weld.

Difference between write, cut and print,You can change these under the layers box.  The only time it will change to write automatically when you choose writing style. Any other will have to be changed  manually. If you have writing style, it can not be changed to cut or print, but can be scored.

If you want to write inside an image, you must attach to keep the writing inside.  If you do not, they will show up on different mats. or next to each other.

This is what it should look like in the mat preview. If it does not, go back and attach.

It does not matter what setting you have it on, it will always write with the same pressure.
You can have it write with different colors on the same mat. It will prompt you to switch the color of the pens.

Place the pen in the pen holder, on the left of the housing. Go until it clicks. The pen should not be touching the mat at this time. If you are using a pen that is not Cricut brand, you can place a Popsicle stick and use that as a guide of placement for the pen. It must touch the Popsicle stick. 

Here are two different type of pens, The first is the Cricut pen that came with the Explore. The bottom is the V5 pen, which is a super fine pen. There are more pens and markers that fit in the machine. 
American Craft chalk markers (not bold)
American Crafts Galaxy markers (medium)
American Crafts Slick writer (fine or medium)
American Crafts Precisions pens (fine)
American Crafts Metallic marker (fine or medium)
Amy Tangerine Slick writer (fine)
Bic Round Stic ballpoint 
Crayola Fine Line (not washable)
Marvy LePlume II 
Pilot Precise V5 pens (.5mm) (clicker kind will not work)
Project Life pens
Recollections (fine and medium)
Recollections Photo markers (fine and medium)
  There are more, I just haven't found a list for them.

The biggest question is if markers like Bic and Sharpie works with the Explore. It does not.  But there is an adapter that can be used to use different pens and markers that cannot fit. I have no used them but have seen videos on them.  You can find it {}.

Now you can write on everything, bags and envelopes and make your own tags and cards. 

Join me for more tutorials. They can be found on my {tutorial page}

To get updates on new tutorials and artwork, join my {Facebook Group}.

My Christmas special is still running, Check out the details {here}

Thank you for coming.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cricut Explore Tutorial - Basics part 2

Hello Again.  This is part 2 of the tutorial on the basics of Design Space.  If you have not seen teh first tutorial, go {here}.  This tutorial will go over text, the top of the screen, and the cut screens.

Click the text button to start a text box. You will need to type something in before you can edit. Here you can narrow down your fonts by all fonts, Cricut fonts, system fonts (which are fonts from your computer, single layer and has a writing style. Writing style is what you want to write with with a single stroke.  All the other fonts will write with an outline, just like if it was to cut it out. You can change your font, by scrolling down. You can make this quicker by typing in which font you would like, if you know the name. In this box, you can also make bold or italic, change size, move letters independently , move the letters together or apart, rotate and mirror.  I will be doing a tutorial on text soon.

This is the edit for an image.  You have the choice to change size, rotate or mirror and move the position.  This come in hand if you want to line images up.  You have either the x or y on the same spot, depending if you want horizontal or vertical.

This is the edit box.  It is the same for an image or a font.  If an image comes together, like the one shown, you will need to ungroup at the bottom of the box.  If the image has a score line or text and you want the separate, choose detach where it say attach at the moment.
The eye will hide an image.  If you hide the image, you will not see it and it will not cut.
Slice is a feature to cut images from each other.  Visit my {slice tutorial}.
Weld will merge to images together.  Use when you want to attach letters together.
Flatten when you want to smoosh all the images into one layer for print then cut.
Attach will group everything together, but will still be separate.  When you want something to cut just the way you have it set, use attach.  Also when you want you text to be attached to the image, or score.
Contour is to remove parts of an image. Visit my {contour tutorial}

  Once you click on the image, this will pull up.  Here you change from the 4 options: cut, write, score and print.  You can also choose your colors.  You can use colors as a referance to no what paper you would like.  The only time colors really matter is with print then cut.  It will print whatever color you set it as.  If you want multiple images to cut  on the same mat, change to the same color.  IF you know html code colors, you can enter it here.

This is an easy way to change all the colors to the same.  Just click and drag to the color you would like.

Top of the screen. At the top left of the mat, there is a button where you can turn on the grid lines.
File contains projects, where you can go back to the make it now projects. Open new file. Open saved files. and Save as.  You have the save option, undo and redo, cut, copy, paste and select all.  Arrange will allow you to move to back, keep in back, move to front and keep in front.
Once you are ready, click go.  This will not have you cut immediately.  There are more screens after this before you actually cut.

Preview Mat.  From here you will see all the images and what mats they are on.  If you see anything you do not like, Just close it out and it will bring you back to the design mat.
It will show you if it going to cut, score, write or print.  You can have multiple options on one mat, except print.
You can change quantity.  There is no fill option.  If you choose more images than can fit on a mat, it will just place it on another mat. It will be every image on the mat, not just one.
You can't switch which mat goes when, but black will always cut first.
You can change the size of the mat.  You have the option of 12 x 12 or 12 x 24.  Design Space will automatically change the mat size if it will not fit on a 12 x 12.  At the moment, you can't change the mat size for print then cut.  It will only be at 8.5 x 11.  Sometime next year they will have more options.
You can mirror the images here.  It will mirror everything on the mat you have selected.
On the bottom, it will show you if you have to pay for any image.  If it say $0.00, you will not have to pay for anything.  It will bring you to another screen to pay, it will not automatically charge you if you click go.
When you are ready, click go.  There is one more screen to go to before you can cut. Or two if you have to pay for an image.

This is the payment screen.  You can change you payment info here or under account details when you click on the green box on the design mat. It will show you which images you have chosen and the price for each one.  It also gives you the option to sign up for the subscription. Once you confirm purchase, you will be charged.  If you change your mine, just exit out and you will be charged.

This is the final screen. You will be asked to load. Once you do that, you will see what setting you have it set at.  Visit my {custom setting tutorial}.
once it is ready to go, the button on you machine will light up.  Press that and it will start cutting.  Once it is done. the green button on the bottom will say done and click it.  It will bring you  right back to the design mat.

Hope you enjoyed this very long tutorial.  As you saw, i have detailed tutorials on some of the options, and more will be coming soon.  To see all of the tutorials I have, visit my {tutorial page}.

Join my {Facebook page} to get updates on new tutorials and artwork.

Don't forget my christmas special.  Details can be found {here}

Cricut Explore Tutorial - Basics part 1

Hello.  Back again with some more Design Space tutorials.  I am going back to the basics.  There is a lot of info so I will be doing 2 parts.  This is part 1. This will include the left side of the screen and how to upload images.  Part 2 will include text, top of the screen, and what to do when you are ready to cut. There is a lot of info so lets get started.

 This is the screen when you open a new canvas.  There is an option before this to do a make it now project, which will pull everything that is needed to make that file.

At the top of the screen is the green square needed to sign in and other settings.
on this side, you will choose if you want to insert a Cricut image, upload your own image, and text. Set canvas will let you chose a canvas shape. This is for designing purposes only and will not cut out the image.

Once you select to insert image, this is the screen that will pull up. From here you can choose your images.  When you hover over the image, the image box will pull up with the following info. name of image. price of image (if you do not own or is part of subscription if you choose so). image code (tutorial can be found {here}). and what cartridge it is from.  If you click the cartridge name, it will pull up all of the images from that cartridge.

There are 4 options you can search under. All images will pull up every image that is in the Cricut library.  This excludes all of the Close To My Heart images since you are unable to purchase through Cricut, only through a ctmh consultant.  If you would like to purchase any of the 4 cartridges we offer, please follow the link at the bottom of the page.  I am unsure if any other licenced cartridges would not be accessible here as well.
All image sets will pull up the images by cartridge
My images will pull up any images you own, that are free, or if you have the subscription.
My image sets will pull up all the cartridge you own, that are free or are part of the subscription.
To select an image, click on it.  Once you do, there will be a green check mark and will show up at the bottom of the screen next to insert images. you can click on it again to remove the image. You can add all the images you will need, then click insert images.

Note: fonts that are part of a cartridge will not show up here.  They will show up you add text.

Design Space is free to use. The subscription is for the images.  You can choose to do a monthly subscription for $9.99 a month or a yearly for $99 a year.  Do note that not all images are part of the subscription.  If it is not, it will show a price.  The only way to get that image is to purchase the image itself, which will be from $0.99 to $4.99, which is mainly for fonts.  You can also purchase any image you choose as well, even if it is part of the subscription.  Once you purchase the image, it is yours to own forever.  The images you get with the subscription will not be available once you chose to end it.  You can also purchase the whole cartridge.

This is what it will look like if you pull up all image sets or my image sets.  It will show the cartridge, and if it is purchased, free or part of the subscription . You can search within any of the 4 categories.  I images, you can search for a specific image, in image sets, you can search for cartridges by name.
You can also filter the images, like printable of animal, ect.

This if you were to upload your own image, Use basic upload if the images are .jpg .gif .png or .bmp.  Use vector upload if you are using .svg or .dfx.

At the bottom of the screen will show you all the images you have uploaded.  You will choose the images you would like here and insert images when you are done.

Once you click basic upload, it will bring you to this screen. This screen explains the 3 steps to upload an image.  Yes, just 3 steps. So easy.

Step 1.  Browse to find you image.  Choose which version you would like to use.  Simple will be for an image that has basic colors and no detail.  Is great for black and white images. Moderately complex is will use for most images.  It will show detail, but all of it. Complex is what you should use for print then cut.  It will show all of the detail.

Once you select which option, it will go to the clean screen.  If you uploaded a .png file, it will be very simple to clean the image up.  Sometimes it won't even have a background.  Use the two tools to remove whatever you do not want to cut.  Any part that is shown will cut.  So if I had a square background on this, it would cut a square.  Use the wand to remove all the of the same color that is touching. So if it is a white background, one click will remove it all.  The second is the eraser and will do just that.

The two button on the right side are crop and the eye is to see the cut.  The image will disappear and it will show the red outline.  That is what it will cut.  If you are not happy with the cut, click the eye again to go back to do more cleanup.  If you make a mistake, there is an undo button.  There is also zoom to get the detailed parts. Continue to step 3 when you are ready.

This is the 3rd step.  It will show the image, and you can name a add tags to the image.  Adding tags will help you search for the image.

There is a button on the the bottom that asks you to preserve image.  This is used for print then cut.  If the is on, the whole image will show up, not just the cut line. And it will automatically set it up for print when you go to cut it.

 Once you unclick the button, you preview will change to just a red outline.  This will now cut the image.  Now if you think you will use the image for both print then cut and just cut, keep the preserve button click.  You can later switch it to cut.  If you do not choose this, and later would like to print, you will have to go through these step again.

Uploading a vector image is simple.  It will pull up the image and you will need to name and save.  svg files have done all the work for you, no clean up.  If you are making your own svg, you will do the clean up in whatever software you chose.

Okay, this is the end of the first tutorial.  I know that was a lot of info, but comes in handy.  So to continue this lesson, go to {Basic Tutorial part 2}

To see all the tutorials, visit my {tutorial page}.

Join my {Facebook group} to get updates on new tutorials and artwork.

To purchase any of the Close To My Heart cartridges, which are worth it.  They have over 700 images on each cartridge.  To see the digital handbook, go to {} and scroll to the bottom.  You can also order from there as well.

Don't forget about the christmas special going on. Details can be found {here}.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cricut Explore Tutorial - Custom Settings

Hello.  I am here again today for another quick tutorial.  This one is on how to choose custom setting in Design Space.

In Design Space, there are many options for cutting already done for us.  On the machine itself has the basic settings. Paper, Vinyl, ect.
But on the dial there is a custom setting all the way on the left, as shown on the picture below.

You will need this dial to be set on custom to be able to access the custom setting.

Now once you are done choosing and editing your project, hit the go button on the top of the screen.

This is what it will bring up.  This is the cut mat.  Here you can see everything you will be cutting and how many mats it will be using.

On the top it will show how many mats, what color they are, and if they are cut, write, score or print.  Depending on if you attached, it may show multiple options.  Make sure this are the options you want.  Mainly double check to see if it is doing print when you don't want it to.

Now if it is coming up multiple mats when you only want to cut and write or score on one piece, go back and select all and attach.  If they are separate cuts but you still want them to cut on the same mat, go back and change the color of the images to the same color.  Tip I found out, black will always cut first.

On this mat, you can move where the image will cut.  Say if you have 3 images, and they are different colors but don't want to load the mat 3 times, you can move the images where ever you would like. So move each image in their own corners and place each paper on your mat in the same corners.

You can change the size of the mat you are using in the bottom left hand corner.  you have 12 x 12 and 12 x 24.  If you are using print then cut, at the moment is is only able to do 8.5 x 11 and you can not change the size.  There will be more sizes available next year some time

If you are doing iron on or for some other reason you need to have mirror image, make sure to click the button on the bottom of the screen.

In the lower right, it will show a shopping cart and if you need to purchase any images, it will show up there.

Once you are done and ready to cut, hit the go button.

This is the next screen to pull up.  Before anything, you will need to load the mat.  If you have loaded the mat before this, it will tell you that the Cricut is already in use.  Just unload and reload and it will work fine.

This is where you will choose you custom setting.  Where it says set is where whatever setting you chose will show up.  If you chose one of the preset ones, it will tell you right there.  Make sure to double check this. 

 If you chose custom, this is where you choose the setting.  There are a ton of options, I will not list them all.  Just go check them out yourself.  

 And on the bottom of this screen it will again show you whether you are cutting, writing, scoring or printing.  It will tell you to add score or pen if you have that option.

Now there is a way to set your own options.  I don;t know much about this, but I will show you where to find this.  It is on the bottom under material settings.

Here you can change the pressure , multicut and see if you need a regular or deep cut blade.  It shows all the options already preset.  So if you are not sure if what you are cutting needs a deep cut blade, this is the easiest way to find out.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Check out more tutorials {here}.  The images seen here are from the Artfully Sent cartridge which is available at {}

Don't forget about the christmas special going on now. Details can be found {here}

Join my {Facebook} group to get updates on new tutorials, artwork and specials.

Cricut Explore Tutorial - Contouring

This tutorial was requested and it is an easy one so you will have two tutorials today.

This post is on how to use contouring in design space.  Contouring is basically removing parts of the design.  It is different than slice.  Slice is basically like a cookie cutter.  It cuts on all the lines of both images.  Contour removes certain areas of the design, leaving the whole image except what you choose to remove attached.

 Open you image in ds.  I am unsure if you can use contour with svg's or just Cricut images.  Choose your image and upload.  Now some images are grouped and attached.  First make sure to ungroup the images.

Once ungrouped, make sure all images are detached.  Delete any images you will not be using.

 This image is from Artfully Sent.  It is meant for a christmas card, but you can remove all the christmas stuff and just make it a box.

Choose the contour button shown above.  It will make the image blue.  You have a choice to click on every part of the image.  Once you do, it will turn that part of the image teal.  Any part of the image that is teal will be removed.  Make sure to click the contour button again once you are done.

This is what you will end up with.  Just the box is left. Simple enough, right?  I thought it was going to be harder than that.  Didn't even have to google or youtube it.
So now edit your images to your hearts content.  I can now use this christmas image as a birthday card.  Or have a puppy coming out of it.  You can add a image and use slice to have it cut out, or just get a stamp and stamps right above it.  For my slice tutorial and any other tutorials I have, visit my {tutorial page}

And to get your own Artfully Sent cartridge, visit {}

Don't forget about the christmas special.  Details can be found {here}

Join my {Facebook} to get updates on when I do new tutorials and artwork.

Thank you and come back soon.