Friday, February 27, 2015

Cricut Explore Review 2

Hi all!

I am back with more thoughts on the Cricut Explore.  I learned a fantastic little tidbit after I cut my first layout.  Here is layout #2:

Funny thing about this layout - it is about the Cricut Cake machine hahhaha!

With my previous machine and Make the Cut I had to work on the cuts or images getting them layered and sized just right.  Then I had to go through and move all the pieces into color groups on my virtual mat and group them so they would cut close together and not waste paper and so all of each color group would cut at the same time.  This meant that if I resized anything I had to make sure I got ALL of the pieces for that particular cut and re-size them all at once.  In Design Space (keep in mind other cutters may be this way that I don't own) I just keep the pieces all layered together so I can see what they look like and resize all at once as needed and then just leave them layered and cut them all out!  Brilliant!  Let me show you:

These are my 3 die cut elements for my layout.  They are SVGs, mostly from Treasure Box Designs but the little cluster with the apron is mostly from Miss Kate Cuttables.  So all of the layers are on top of each other as they will appear when I am finished and I can just select the whole group and resize them all at once so nothing is out of proportion.  And from here I just hit the green C go button and I get all of my mats separated out by color all at once!  no more moving colored items together and then closing the little EYE icon to hide all but the ones I want to cut and going through that for each color.  Cricut Explore does that for me.  (Again this may be similar to other machine software that I haven't used but is not how my old one worked.)

 But now it even goes one step further - once in this cut mode I can go through each colored mat by clicking on it in the menu at the left and I can grab individual cuts and move them around to suit my paper - so for this color green I had a small piece only about 7" across.  So I rearranged them to the way you see below.

Perfect!  Even better, once done I hit the Go button at the bottom and then it just goes right through each color.  I had 3 mats going so I just loaded up the mats ahead of time and slid them right in when prompted for the next one!  LOVE it!  The whole thing cut out in a matter of minutes!  It was divine!

Time for some inking - I just love my Tsukineko Dew Drops!  I had to try out several greens on a scrap to pick which one was best.  Here sre some close ups of the finished cuts:

Again, hardly intricate but I am starting slow and frankly this is what I will be doing 90% of the time.

This did not come with a shadow - I made that in MTC which is something Design Space lacks.  Hopefully that will change soon.  (Dontcha love the 3 pink glittery skittles?  Still one of my MOST used embellies...)

I ran into a couple issues I wanted to touch on.  I was working on this layout putting the layers together in Design Space one evening and I went to bed without saving.  when I got up the next morning it wouldn't let me save or cut.  When saving I got an http error and when cutting I got an error saying the pieces weren't available for purchase.  Right away I suspected I had been signed out because I was away from the computer all night but I checked and it said my name in the upper left corner.  So I posted on FB and one of the always helpful girls there told me to just open a new tab, sign in, then go back to the original tab and try to save - worked like a charm!  Then today I went to cut everything and suddenly there were 2 of every piece. Whaaaa...??? Posted on Facebook and no one had ever seen that happen.  So I signed out, closed my browser, opened it back up went and signed in and it was normal again - who knows!

Next I am going to try putting the whole layout in to design from so I can size everything right on it and then cut it all out.  This is not new for most people but will be new for me!  Since I never had a Gypsy or used the other software much I am starting from scratch.

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