Friday, April 16, 2010

My attempts to be crafty with my Cricut

So, I have a Cricut machine. For those of you not in the know, it's a pretty bad-a paper cutting machine that came out a few years ago (although I have the newer, fancier Expressions version) - VERY popular in the scrapbooking world. You plug in a font 'cartridge', type the letters or words you want, select what size of letters you want, stick in the paper, and press 'cut'. It quickly makes the cuts and you have little (or big) paper letter/shapes to adorn whatever project you're working on.

My wonderfully generous parents-in-law bought it for me for Christmas a year and a half ago, and to be perfectly honest it sat unopened for almost a year. My scrapbooking table had turned into my school table and my free time was spent on homework. (This would explain why our family scrapbook records end with Clyde's birth - that's how far behind I am!) Plus I was seriously intimidated by the Cricut - so many exciting buttons and features that I felt sure I would never push the right ones!

Randomly (a few months ago) I mentioned this possession to a couple friends, and they insisted I start using it. So, last December I got it all set up (well, Chuck did) and started to play. I had my sister-in-law Aleesha in Chuck's family's sibling Christmas gift exchange, and I had a most excellent idea - customized picture frames. My side hobby of facebook stalking came in handy as I remembered a really sweet movie quote she wrote to her husband Lee a while back: "Take love, multiply it by infinity and take it to the depths of forever and you still have only a glimpse of how I feel for you."

It took some pretty serious trial and error to figure out how big I wanted the letters, how to space them, and how to attach them to the picture mat (I went with a good ol' glue stick. It was painstakingly slow but worth it).

Here are the 'finished products' ready to wrap. Chuck helped choose the 'squiggle' for the bottom - he was pretty proud of himself :).

And here they are (complete with pictures!) displayed at Lee and Aleesha's vow renewal in January. I was SO thrilled that Aleesha liked them enough to use them at such a special event.

Also for Christmas, I decided to try my hand at a customized frame for Sam and Terri. They had just found out for sure that they were expecting a girl and selected the cutest name: Bailey Hiroko. I went with a very simple look - here's the finished product:

Unfortunately, there's not a cute baby girl picture in the frame yet since Bailey isn't due for a couple of more weeks. We can't wait to see her!

Since then, I've been able to use the Cricut for some random projects:

An alphabet poster for Clyde's preschool group,

'name plates' for each li'l preschooler to practice spelling his/her name,

and posters for Cub Scouts. Please appreciate how not straight all of the letters on these posters are. I could blame my sweet little 8-year-old Wolves, since they did help me lay out all of the letters BUT ultimately I was the gluer. Who was too lazy to use a ruler/pencil combo to get them on there straight. However, I do think it can be used as a lesson in Cub Scouts - the motto is to 'do your best', so I was obviously just trying to show the boys that it's okay not to be perfect. I know, I'm an excellent leader.

I also made some letters to decorate at Terri's recent baby shower:

Finally, I've had this next idea for a while now and figured Easter was a good occasion to finally put them together and give them to the little boys:

The pictures themselves are 5x7 and the frames are 8x10. And the letters are definitely not perfectly straight on these either, but luckily Clyde and Will are both very forgiving of their mom's faults :). Chuck's to-do list for this weekend includes hanging them in the boys' room.

Align CenterHere they are set out Easter morning. I'm not super into the Easter Bunny (I've had a lifelong fear of rabbits, I kid you not) but luckily the boys were happy with the pictures and sidewalk chalk. And don't worry, Gloria and Heidi put on an EPIC Easter Egg Hunt, so there was plenty of candy as well (more to come on our fun, fun, fun visit with the Smiths!!).

And thus ends the photographic evidence that I take the occasional whack at being crafty. In the meantime, I'll just continue to blog-stalk y'all and be amazed at your sewing/quilting/scrapbooking/decorating/furniture refinishing/hair accessory creating/etc.


Just Jaime! said...

Loving the craftiness!

You MUST get this for attaching letters:


It's amazing.

Emily and Owen Johnston said...

I'm impressed! To be honest, I didn't even know what a cricut was until last month! I know, I'm so out of the loop! Anyway, this thing is awesome and you look like you are having lots of fun with it! You are very creative, keep it up!

Connie and Brandon said...

Hey! Nice job on all those letters and being crafty. They turned out cute!

mama izatt said...

I LOVE those pictures! I may have to steal that idea for my nursery kids.

jen said...

Great job! I'm impressed :)

Leslie said...

Love the idea of bling-ing up photo mats. I may have to steal that one!

Sam and Terri said...

Love all the craftiness. And my picture frame. Maybe one of these days this little baby will join us in this world so I can actually properly use your gift.

Sherry Bobbins said...

I love this! Why have I never heard of it? Brilliant idea!

Cameron Family said...

Wow! So crafty Jana. Love those picture frames. All of them. Seriously. You can't say you aren't crafty. These are all perfect.