The Gift That Almost Never Was

My experience of making a Spotify frame on my Cricut Maker, as a Valentine’s Day gift.

My beginner’s luck has run out. Or maybe I was getting a bit too confident and big for my boots with the Cricut project I chose to do next. I’ve been seeing a lot of Spotify frames around and I really wanted to try out my newly found Cricut skills to make one for The Hubs as a Valentine’s Day gift.

I must stress, this was made as a gift, I’ve no intentions to sell it, or make any to sell. Not least because it was so difficult to complete this project (more on this point later) but I don’t want to be guilty of copyright infringement, or any such thing. There are lots of tutorials on how to make this and there are also lots of sellers online making this for a profit, so if you want to make or buy one, the opportunity is there.

The weeding for this project was an absolute nightmare. I only heard of reverse weeding (placing transfer tape on top of the vinyl BEFORE weeding, placing it on the object and carefully peeling away the excess material, leaving your design in place and intact) once I’d finished the project.

The Hub’s Valentine’s Day gift

You may have noticed with my crafting posts that there are no progress photos, only finished results. This is because, for the most part, I’m winging it and my sewing room just looks like utter chaos!

I’ve used two different colours of card stock for the background (black and dark grey). The image of myself and my husband was created using the print and cut option and printable vinyl. Each and every letter and shape was painstakingly applied individually. Not something I’d recommend! There are small parts that are slightly wonky but overall I’m thrilled with the finish, all things considered.

The Hubs was given the honour of scanning the Spotify code (the wave pattern) and much to his excitement, and my bewilderment, the correct song started to play. For that alone, I’d say that the project was a win! It’s no coincidence that I’ve not touched my Cricut Maker since. I haven’t got any further projects in mind but I know it’ll be sewing related. I just need to find the right one to try. Any suggestions?

Greetings in Card Form

Making greetings cards using my Cricut Maker.

Not too long ago, I revamped my sewing machine case with a giraffe mandala. I also briefly mentioned my desire to create some greeting cards using my Cricut Maker. In the spirit of being held accountable, I am pleased to report that I achieved this goal, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

I ordered a pack of card stock, chose my design and let the Cricut Maker do the work. I even gave the fine tipped pen a whirl, and it did the writing for me inside of the card. So impressive! I don’t have the scoring tool, to I folded the card myself, which wasn’t too much hassle. I was very worried about wasting card stock and making a mess of the project, but I took extra care, re-read the instructions on Design Space multiple times and things turned out ok.

A card for The Hubs (left) and my babies (right)

There are so many designs to choose from on Cricut Design Space. I currently have a subscription for it, while I navigate my way around the world of Cricut. This does mean that I have access to a lot of projects but there are also a lot of great designs, fonts and projects available on Design Space for free. I do hope to learn how to make my own designs in Design Space, then I can be less reliant on a subscription.

The cards were well received by their recipients and I even used the cuttings from the designs as table confetti at lunch time. My daughter also had a lot of fun playing with them afterwards. Waste not, want not! A very straight-forward project with good results. I feel ready to take on something more complicated.

Crafting Over Quilting

Revamping my sewing machine case with a giraffe mandala.

Quilting has taken a back seat. Just this once! The Hubs purchased a Cricut bundle, which means the machine came with a ton of vinyl, and other materials and tools, to get me well on the way!

Some of the Cricut crafting materials from the bundle

Since my ‘Cricut Crafter’ post, where I completed my first ever Cricut project, I’ve joined more Facebook groups than I care to count and watched countless YouTube videos from all manner of Cricut crafters. My go-to sources for advice and tutorials are Jennifer Maker and Makers Gonna Learn.

In a large proportion of the Cricut crafting groups recently, members have been posting photos of their mandalas. These designs are intricate, with all of the symbols interconnecting, creating beautiful patterns within a larger image. The process of weeding (removing the excess materials in a design that you do not need) the mandalas appeared to me to be a delicate, yet therapeutic exercise and I wanted in!

Weeding my giraffe mandala

I dislike doing a project just for the sake of it. Whenever I do this, I end up making mistakes because I don’t have the focus or willingness to properly apply myself. I really had to think hard about what I wanted to create. Then I got an idea to jazz up my sewing machine case. I decided on a giraffe mandala and set to work weeding the image.

It was certainly therapeutic and much more complex than I imagined. Vinyl is just so sticky and strong. Great care is required when weeding because it’s not always easy to rectify mistakes. Vinyl is an unforgiving material!

Thankfully, it all went without a hitch. Beginner’s luck, I suspect. My sewing machine case received a revamp and I was thrilled with the results. A tip for attaching vinyl to a surface: clean it with alcohol wipes beforehand. The vinyl will stick and stay put like a dream!

Doesn’t this giraffe mandala look amazing?
From drab to fab: My revamped sewing machine case.

For those of you who fancy seeing the weeding process (sped up, of course), then here’s a short clip, especially for you. You’re welcome.

Music: ‘Carbonize’ by Wolves. (I do not own the rights to this song)

I’m feeling much more confident about my ability to learn how to use the Cricut Maker properly. This project has left me wanting to do more crafting. I’ve now got a few projects I’d really like to successfully complete. Some greeting cards and a Valentine’s Day gift for the Hubs.

I hope the beginner’s luck doesn’t run out!

Cricut Crafter

Completing my first Cricut project on the Cricket Maker.

I must admit, I felt completely daunted after turning on the Cricut Maker for the first time, yesterday. Then, I watched 6 YouTube videos in quick succession, got over the fear, and made myself a badge.

Badge components on Cricut Design Space
‘Cricut Crafter’ badge

That’s right. I make myself badges in my spare time! For this quick project, I watched a Paige Joanna YouTube tutorial, used the card stock I received with the Cricut Maker, and fabric from my scraps.

Feeling smug with my badge

Look at me…proper SMUGGINS! Also, check out the African Wax Print fabric from Dovetailed, for the ribbon.🎗Hopefully, I’ll learn how to make something useful to share with you, at a later date.

Unboxing the Cricut Maker

Unboxing the Cricut Maker for the first time.

Introduction

Hello there! I just received the Cricut Maker. It’s my birthday and my husband very kindly and lovingly purchased one for me. I thought that I would share my journey using the Cricut Maker as a complete novice with the machine, and just so I can look back and track my progress and see if I can go from complete beginner with no clue what to do, to having some idea and being able to make some really beautiful things using it.

Contents of the Box

So, here it is! The Cricut Maker fresh out of the box and here’s what it came with. Some cutting mats, the power adaptor, and in this box I imagine are the tools. I’m just opening it right now. Oh, look at this! “Materials for your first project.” Well, I never! Oooh, this is lovely. “Open me first.” The warranty…everybody needs a warranty in their lives. Ok, I imagine there are some tools underneath. Oooh, lovely! Well, you’re seeing this just as I’m seeing this. So, I’m going to have to open these lovely envelopes.

Goodness me, it just looks so beautiful. Right, let’s see, let’s open it up. Oh, wow! This is fantastic! It’s just so special. It just gives off the impression that it is a really, high quality product. I’m impressed. Here are the materials that were in that lovely envelope. Doesn’t it just feel as though you’re receiving an invitation to join a select club. It’s just amazing. Wonderful! “Get started in four steps.” Let’s see what they are. Unleash this beauty (giggles). Plug in and power on your fabulous new Cricut machine. Two, get connected. Three, make a little something, and four, bookmark the page. Well, I certainly will be on that page…a lot.

Tools

So, tools. I’ve got the rotary blade and then I’ve got the rotary blade cap. A fine point pen and some sort of extra connector. I’m unsure as to what it’s used for. Perhaps to connect your Cricut Maker to a computer or to the internet if you’re not wireless, or something of the sort? Not sure, I’ll have to check on that. I told you I was completely clueless.

Summary

Those are the contents of the box. The Cricut Maker itself, the rotary blade with extra accessories, and the power adaptor and a few cutting mats to get you started. There’s no physical booklet containing instructions. You have to visit the website in order to get it set up and from what I understand. you get given a project to start with, and that’s how you get to grips with the machine. So, my next thing is to go onto the Cricut website to set it up and start a project.

The Cricut Maker

Celebrating receiving the Cricut Maker for my birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! 🥳 Full credit goes to The Hubs for taking my (not so subtle) hints and getting me the Cricut Maker as my birthday present. 🎉 I deliberated long and hard as to which die cutting machine I would find the most useful and decided on the Cricut.

Not only is there a plethora of information on all things Cricut Maker, in the form of tutorials and support groups, it also cuts fabric using a rotary blade. This means that I can potentially cut out patterns using this beauty! How to do that is a worry for future Corrine! For now, I will celebrate with much singing and dancing (and a little bit of drinking). 💃🏽

The Cricut Maker and a little tipple for the birthday girl