Sunday, January 31, 2010

A TreatHeart for a Sweetheart

You all probably thought I had forgotten about my promise to post a new Valentine's Day project today.  Well, I didn't forget...just got very distracted with the video tutorial I posted earlier (see the post below this one).  I had hoped to have this posted earlier, but better late than never, right?

How To Create Watermarks
My First Video Tutorial!

Well, you asked for it, and here it is.  It only took me two takes to get it recorded, but getting it edited and online was another story!  It never occurred to me that there was a limit on length of videos on You Tube, so I spent quite a while breaking it up into parts, but I think it looks pretty good for my first attempt.

I hope you will find it somewhat helpful.  Keep in mind that this is only one of very many ways to make watermarks, but I've had so many inquiries about my "fancy" one that I thought some of you might find it useful.

Go to my new Tutorials Page to view it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sharing my COPYRIGHT NOTICE with other designers, fixing some gypsy files, and other stuff I thought about when I couldn't sleep last night

I stayed up late last night, waiting for the snow storm that was supposed to begin around midnight.  By 2:00 AM, it still hadn't started, so I finally went to bed.  As you can see, it finally did come, and it's supposed to snow all day!

While I was up, I did a lot of thinking about the situation with my files being "borrowed" by another blogger (she did apologize, and I respect her for that), about some of my gyspy files that people have had problems with (mystery solved by TheBugBytes and Makeupgirl217 - THANK YOU LADIES!), and about some of the new projects running around in my brain. 

I'm going to be working to fix my gypsy files and uploading them again, so if you have one that isn't working properly, give me a few days and try to download it again.  It will note that it's the updated version of the file.

Now, you all know about the events of the last few days, and many of you have been involved in the discussion about protecting your own designs.  I have done a lot of thinking since Wednesday about how I want to handle sharing my files now, and I have come to the conclusion that I won't let this incident stop me from creating and sharing as I always have.  I really never considered that as an option. It's a very positive thing in my life, and it gives me great joy.  You're stuck with me for a loooong time!

That doesn't mean that I'm not going to do more to protect my work.  I have taken several measures to do so in the last couple of days.  I have signed up with two services, thanks to the advice of some other very helpful and generous designers, and I recommend that any of you who share your designs do the same. If you're just getting started, do it now so you won't have to spend the HOURS going back to do it that I'm now going to have to do.  PLEASE, don't let what happened to me stop you from taking part in this amazing community, but do take some precautions.

The two services are:
My Free Copyright 
Copy Gator

I've also written up a Notice of Copyright that I will include with all files that I share from now on.  Over the next week, I'll be working to replace all of my files with zip files that include the cut file, photos, tutorials and my copyright notice, and that notice states that my files are to be given to others only in the format of the original zip file so that the copyright information will be passed along as well.  I have uploaded a copy of my notice, and you are welcome to download it and use it as a model for your own.  This is the one time that you CAN copy it (link is above, in the first sentence of this paragraph) for your own use - changing the personal information to your own, of course.  It's in a pdf, so you won't be able to copy and paste unless you have a full version of Adobe Reader, but you can copy the wording.  Use any program you have to type it up, then go to cutepdf.com for a freeware version of a pdf writer to convert it to a pdf.  If you download my copyright notice, PLEASE leave me a comment here. I would love to know how many people it helps!

Finally for the good news, I have TONS of new projects on the drawing table!  There is one coming tomorrow, so check back for it!  And, I just have to spill the beans...there's BLOG CANDY coming very soon!  Anybody ready for EASTER projects???


Cricut Kisses and Crafty Wishes!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Purses, Chocolate and Gift Cards....Oh My!

OOPS! Design Studio LINK FIXED!
My friends all know that I have an addiction to purses.  It's so bad that DH outfitted the hall closet with shelves just for my purse collection.  To make matters worse, my daughter works for Coach (my FAVORITE brand of purses), and had an internship at Coach headquarters in Manhattan over the summer.  I was insanely jealous!  The little enabler even sent me "secret" pictures all summer long of new designs that hadn't even hit the market yet.  But I digress...

My love of purses was my inspiration for this little lovely.  I wanted something pretty and unique that I could use to present giftcards to my friends and nieces of all ages.  I feel like giving just a gift card is a bit boring, so I try to always give a little something else, too.  What's better than chocolate??  I think no matter what age a girl is, she loves purses, chocolate and shopping, so I made a purse to hold a Ghirardelli candy bar with a pocket on the front for the gift card.  If you need an more inexpensive little gift, just include the candy bar and use the pouch for a handwritten note.  I've included a little note card within the .cut file.  

What I really love about this project is that it can be made cute for a little girl or sophisticated for an adult.  It would also make a great Valentine for someone special!

The only cartridge needed for this project is George and Basic Shapes.

Candy Bar Purse files for Design Studio
Candy Bar Purse files for Gypsy

Cricut Kisses and Crafty Wishes!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm sad to have to write this post...

but something happened to me last night that I feel I need to address - and to share some advice with other bloggers and designers. 

As my followers know, I love to share my Cricut and other designs with all of you, and I never sell them.  They are free for the taking - with limits.  They are MY creations, and they are MY property.  They are protected as such by copyright laws.  I have a disclaimer right here on the main page of my blog stating the conditions under which you may use them.

Unfortunately, as I was blog hopping last night, I stumbled upon a blog where the owner had taken a number of things from my site and used them on hers, including ALL of my Design Studio files.  To her credit, she did leave the file names intact, and they include my full name; however, she had stored them in her own library at box.net and linked directly to them from her blog.  When you went to that library, it said it was created by her, making it appear to some that it was her stuff.  "The Legal Stuff" statement on my blog specifically states, "If you post information about my files to any blog, web site, message board, mail group or other public forum, please direct users to this blog rather than attaching the file itself or emailing it."  Ironically, she had also taken my "legal stuff," containing this wording, and posted it on her site.  She had changed a few words here and there, but it was so close to mine - including my phrasing and punctuation - that it was what grabbed my attention and made me dig deeper into her site whereupon I found my files.  She even used the button that I created on my site to link people to her library.

Now, I know when I post files here and make them free, that I take a certain amount of risk. That being said, my designs are legally protected, as are any designs from any other site that you might download things from.  It is up to me to grant permission for use as I see fit.  The first thing you should do when downlaoding a file is ALWAYS read the designer's/author's terms for how their files can be used.

You might be asking yourself why I care so much that someone is offering my files on her site if I'm giving them away free anyway.  Well, here's why:  Crafting is relaxing, therapeutic and fun for me.  It's my ME time.  Because I work full-time, I don't craft to make money.  I share my work with others for free because it makes me happy to see my work enjoyed and put to good use.  I LOVE to get photos from people who have made my projects.  I get ideas from YOU about how to dress them up.  I get inpiration when you contact me.  Does it make me mad when someone takes that project and tries to make it look like it's theirs, even if it's in a passive way?  You bet it does!  It's just not the right thing to do to someone.  A person who tries to pass my work off as their own isn't taking money out of my pocket, because I don't do it to make money.  They're taking my JOY!

From a more practical point of view, it needs to be said that, many of my designs have taken hours to design, test, tweak, test again, cut and embellish, take photos, write the tutorial and post to my blog. For example, I spent an entire Sunday completing the one that I'm unveiling tomorrow. My file hosting site shows me statistics so that I know how many times a specific file is downloaded.  It gives me an idea of what all of you like.  It inspires me to create more projects to share based on what kinds of projects seem to be used the most.  If people are getting them somewhere else, I have no way of tracking that.

I think 99% of people who use files from other designers appreciate what goes into them and do the right thing.  I choose to believe so, anyway.  So how do I prevent my work from being used improperly? How do you?  It's simply not possible to completely guard against that, but it is possible to educate others about the proper etiquette and the legal issues.  I truly believe that many, if not most incidents of "stolen" items are innocent mistakes. 

Protect your work.  It's worth taking the time to protect your photos by watermarking them.  Make sure you post copyright notices on any written tutorials you create.  If it's a video tutorial, add a copyright statement to the video itself.  When you share your files, put your name in the file name itself. For example, I use this format when naming my files:  test_file_CINDY_MCVEY.cut.  Sure, someone can change a file name, but it's one more step they have to take to use your projects, and in my recent case, she didn't even bother to do so.  It would have been very time consuming since she took about 50 of them!  If you're not comfortable using your real name, use your message board name or email identity - something that will be your file  "watermark."

There are many tutorials out there about how to watermark a photo.  I can't give specific instructions here, because it all depends on what graphics program you use.  Do a google search for watermarks for your specific software, and you will find lots of info out there.  You might have to wade through them to find a good one, but they do exist.  People on the internet are very generous and willing to share their knowledge.  You might start with youtube.com if you're a visual learner. 

UPDATE: I now have video tutorials about 2 different methods of creating and using your own watermark. Click here to go to my tutorials page.

I'm fairly new to the Cricut blogging world, but I'm not new to the craft industry, and I'm very "old" at posting on the internet. I built a Disney website completely from scratch about 15 years ago that had a lot of copyrighted images on it that I created with Disney content.  I had permisson from Disney to use them, but they appeared all over the internet in a very short time on sites that lifted them from my site and did NOT have permission from me or Disney.  I also have some limited experience with copyright laws, as I was published in an international craft magazine many years ago, and I have a "real" copyright for that design, filed with the United States Copyright office in Washington, DC. 

"You do NOT have to have an actual piece of paper that says your design is copyrighted. Any original works from 2002 to the present are automatically copyright protected from the moment of their creation. You may still register a copyright in order to establish the date of copyright protection and provide better protection against copyright infringement, but it’s not necessary to register a copyright in order for a work to be protected."
This is important to designers like us, because most of us have no intention of going to the trouble and expense of actually filing a copyright application for every design.  I could do that, but it would cost me time and money, and that would mean that I couldn't share my projects as often or as quickly, and I'd have to charge for them to recoup my expenses.  I don't want to have to do that - and I don't have the time to!

Here is a link from the United States Patent and Trademark Office that explains copyright in pretty simple terms, if you're interested in reading more about it:
A Copyright Refresher

I didn't come into this blog naively thinking everything I posted was "safe."  That never makes it less disappointing and disheartening when it happens to you. So, what can you do with files and photos you get from my blog?  Here are my terms: (and you DO have my permission to use these DOs and DO NOTs)

DO use my files for personal projects
DO use my files to make gifts
DO post photos of your own projects made using my files , but give me credit and point people to my blog to get the file - and send me the photos!  I love to see your completed projects!
DO share my blog address with others so they can follow me, too!

DO NOT sell my files alone or in any package
DO NOT use my files in any class, tutorial or make-and-take without my prior written permission
DO NOT use my files to make projects for any contest
DO NOT use my files to make products intended to be sold without my prior written permission
DO NOT post my files in any public forum, web site or mail group
DO NOT email my files to others.  Sure, you can send it to your next door neighbor or the 3 ladies you scrap with on Thursday nights, but I'd rather that you introduce them to my blog so they can follow me, too!

Basically, if you know in your gut that you shouldn't do it, it's probably wrong - and illegal.  You should follow these guidelines for ANY project you get from another online source, even if it's not stated that it's copyrighted.  As I stated above, it's copyrighted automatically and the author is not required to state that in order to be protected.  Play it safe and ASK PERMISSION before you do anything that you wouldn't want done with YOUR hard work! You might be surprised at how generous the designer is!

If you've read this far, THANK YOU for "listening!"  I love my newfound Cricut friends and followers, and you can rest assured that this won't stop me from creating and sharing!

FOR OTHER BLOG OWNERS, feel free to link to this article from your blog to help educate your followers and maybe help other designers protect themselves.

UPDATE: The person in question has removed everything that she copied or took from my blog.  There are some things there that she apparently took from others, though. I DID receive a response from the blog owner.  Her email had gone into my spam folder.  I apologize to her for saying that she had not apologized to me.

UPDATE 2:  Thanks to HappyHappyJoyJoy from Holidays with the Cricut for this advice:  "Go to My Free Copyright and sign up right away. Then, put the info on your blog. What that does is put a digital time and date stamp on anything you post on the blog (within a POST, so be sure and introduce the files in a POST). Then, it shoots you an email about it with the time/date stamp. It's so you don't get into a contest over who posted something first.

Cricut Kisses and Crafty Wishes!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rate Me!

I want to know what you think of my blog in comparison to other Cricut-related sites on the web - how helpful, useful, informative and fun you find it.

I would love it if you would take just 10 seconds to rate me.  It's totally anonymous, and you can leave comments, if you wish.   Click here to hop on over and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gypsy Shoulder Bag Available For Separate Sale


There has been lots of chit chat on the Cricut message boards about the best bag for Gypsy.  I posted last week about the "official" Provo Craft clutch that looks like a Vera Bradley and gave links for purchasing it online.  Now I've learned that the black and pink one that was included in the HSN Gypsy bundle can be purchased separately.

I have this bag, and I love it!  It is large enough to hold the Gypsy with a silicone cover on it, the power cord, the car charger, the cartridge linking cable, the USB cord, and the cord that connects to the Cricut - with room to spare!  I keep a small notepad and pen in mine to jot down design ideas or make quick sketches when I'm on the run.  It has dividers with velcro so that you can configure it to suit your needs, and it has a zippered mesh pocket in the lid to hold an extra stylus or other small items.  The construction is excellent, and the fabric feels almost velvety.

This bag isn't one that you'll be able to slip into your purse for a run to the soccer game, but if you are looking for an overall storage solution for the Gypsy and all of its accessories, I highly recommend it.  I took mine on a recent plane trip to Florida, and I felt confident that my Gypsy was well protected.

Hallmark Scrapbook is currently selling the shoulder bag for $29.99 plus shipping on their web site.  I have never ordered from them myself, but I have heard good reviews about their service. Do be aware that they are not filling orders again until January 28, as they are all at CHA!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Design Studio Update Includes "Once Upon A Princess" and "Cake Basics

Provo Craft has just released a font pack update to include the new "Once Upon a Princess" and "Cake Basics" cartridges.  Click here to download it and play with some designs while you wait for the release of the cartridge, said to be in mid-February.

Be sure to scroll down to the second green button unless you also need the November update.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

CHARMing Favor Box For All Occasions



I've been a little absent from posting new projects lately.  Got sick, went on vacation, got sick again....well, you know how life happens and messes up your best-laid plans.  But all the interruptions didn't stop my brain from working on ideas, and I'm really happy to share this one with you  just in time for Valentine's Day....or St. Patrick's Day, or a baby shower, or any number of other occasions that you need a small favor for.  The takeout box that I posted before Christmas has been downloaded 1385 times -WOWIE!  I'm glad you all liked that one!  I think you might like this one just as much because it's SO versatile!

The "charm" of the box is in the 6 optional embellishments that you can easily attach to the box when you tie it closed.  Some of the charms are double-layered, so you can really get creative with your choice of papers, colors, and embellishments.  I used Stickles on a couple of mine to add some bling.  They're large enough to hold a large variety of treats and gifts, but small enough to set on a plate to add a nice touch to your table, the perfect size for a child to give as valentines, or a great little alternative to a card for tucking in a little cash.  I know all you creative ladies will find dozens of other uses for it!

I didn't make a tutorial for this one, because it's so quick and simple, but if you have any problems or questions, please email me.  The Design Studio file has 7 pages - 1 for the box and 1 each for the six optional charms.  For you Gypsy users with multi-page issues, I've made each page a separate file and zipped them up for one easy download.

Now, I have just one request for my followers who are downloading files.  I want to see pics of your projects!  I love seeing how other people interpret and jazz up my designs, so please email me your photos.  I get inspiration and ideas from all of YOU, too!

Cartridges needed are: George for the box, heart, star, & shamrock; Walk in My Garden for flower, Mickey & Friends for Mickey.
EDIT, Jan 25: You will need New Arrival for the onesie

As always, the only "payment" I ask for my files is a comment.  I love comments!  OK, that's two requests, but who's counting?

Cricut kisses!

CHARMing Box Files for Design Studio
CHARMing Box Files for Gypsy

Saturday, January 23, 2010

PC Announces New EMBOSS PLUS Plates at CHA

Thanks to Tammy over at Creative Critters for her awesome video about this new product, Cuttlebug folders that emboss and cut in one step! This is going to be a must-have for me!

Scroll down to the post below this one to see Tammy's video about the new Cricut Cake machine, too.

PC Announces the Cricut Cake at CHA

Thanks to Tammy over on her blog, Creative Critters for this very informative video about the new Cricut Cake machine.  It answers a lot of the questions people have been asking.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Put new COLOR in your creations!





Don't you just love this color combination?  No, it's not a paint chip from the hardware store.  It's a color combination that my computer picked for me!  As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator for 10 years, I can't tell you how many times a customer has told me, "I'm just no good at putting color combinations together."  Most of them are better than they think, but until they gain some confidence, I direct them to this nifty little site on the web to help them get started, and I send seasoned crafters there to help them choose colors that may be out of their comfort zone.

It's called simply, SU Color Combos.   Now, you'll  notice that the colors in the database are all Stampin' Up! colors, but don't let that stop you from using it if you don't use SU products. It can still spark some great ideas for color combinations that you might not have thought of before, and all you have to do is search through your paper stash (and I KNOW you have a stash) and find the best matches.  If you use Close To My Heart products, try the sister site, CTMH Color Combos.  Both pages are courtesy of scraptitude.com.

Give them a try. Instructions are at the bottom of each page.  It's easy and it's fun!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bigger paper means bigger BOXES!

Most of you know about my passion for designing boxes.  In fact, making boxes was my main reason for "upgrading" from the Baby Bug to the Expression.  I've really enjoyed being able to cut from 12"x12" paper, but I pretty much shelved the 12"x24" mat unless I was cutting vinyl.  Once I started wanting bigger boxes, I started to buy large sheets of artist's paper and cutting it down to fit on the 12"x24" mat. That meant there was waste, and that stuff isn't cheap, though it does come in some nice textures.  Provocraft makes 12"x24", but as far as I know, it's only available in pads of assorted colors and not individual sheets (available at ritzcamera.com).

Well now somebody has come to the rescue of all the damsels in distress out in Cricut Craft Land.  Couture Cardstock is unveiling its new12"x24" cardstock next week at CHA!!  It will come in 25 totally yummy colors and retail for just $1 per sheet!  Here are some of the colors, but hop on over to their site for a peek at all 25!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pretty Clutch for Gypsy



A few days ago, I posted a photo of the cute little Disney purse that I bought last week at WDW to hold my Gypsy. Now, I know not all of you are Disney fans - though I can't imagine why - so I'm bringing you news today of another adorable little purse that's been designed especially for Gypsy.

Cricut gals have been all abuzz over on the Cricut message boards about this new clutch that looks very much like a Laura Bradley purse.  It has a pink corduroy lining, magnetic closure, detachable strap, and zipperd pocket. I've heard from a few people who've already gotten theirs that it's roomy enough to carry the charger and USB cable as well.  At only $18-20, it's a great accessory for your Gypsy so she can travel with you in style!

I can't vouch for any seller of this clutch, but I did do a little searching for you, and I found them available at the following:


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Disney and a new blog

Would you believe that I have another obsession besides my Cricut?  Yep, I do.  It started when I was 12  years old and visited Disney World in Florida just 8 months after it opened.  My mother is from Miami, so we went almost every year while I was growing up.  I continued that tradition with my own kids, and  now I've lost count of how many times I've been. Last year I was a very lucky girl and got to go to Euro Disney in Paris! (Finally something good about all my husband's traveling for work.)
My daughter is now just as obsessed, and in November, she took her new husband on his first Disney trip for their honeymoon.  Taryn and I have both been to Disneyland in California, and she has been to Tokyo Disney twice - the lucky girl!

I got a lot of insight into Walt Disney World in Florida when I worked for AOL for several years as a live Disney chat host.  I met so many awesome people who worked for Disney in one way or another, and I got a lot of perks from knowing them - free park admission, VIP show seats, private character meetings and some serious resort rate discounts!  Those days are gone, and my family and I are on our own now to find the steals and deals, and we want to share what we know with first-time visitors and fans.  Many of you here have already told me that you're also a little Disney crazy, so I wanted to tell you about my new experiment.  It's a mom-daughter venture, and we'll both be posting. I'm including the link in this post, but there will be a permanent link in the toolbar above, just below the page header, and there's a link back to here on the Disney page, too.

It's a very new page, so there isn't much in the way of posts yet, but there's a great little news feed with Disney-related stories and updates, and there's even a jigsaw puzzle all the way at the bottom of the page that will change periodically.  Sprinkle yourself with a little pixie dust and fly on over for a look.  Leave me a comment, too.  You KNOW how much I LOVE comments!

Monday, January 18, 2010

And the winner is...

...Debbie from Wisconsin!  Congratulations Debbie!  Get in touch with me with your full name and address so I can send your prize on it its way to you!

To the rest of you, I can't thank you enough for your kind and encouraging comments.  My followers have doubled in the last 2 weeks, and I'm so grateful to all of you for making my blog a success.  Your comments inspire me to come up with new and interesting projects for my fellow Cricut lovers.  A couple of my box designs came about because of special requests, and I do love a challenge, so if you have something specific you'd like to see, by all means, let me know.  I'll do my best to make it happen for you. Just give me lots of time if you need it for a specific event, as I work full-time and can't always find time for crafting every day.

While you're here, scroll down to my last post.  I've been given an award and asked to give it to three other bloggers.  I've chosen three of my faves, and the links to them are listed in the post.  I was also supposed to list 10 things that knock my socks off, and it reveals a few things about me, so read it if you want to know a little about what makes me tick!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My first BLOG AWARD!

A dear new friend that I met on the Cricut message boards just a couple of months ago presented me with this, my very first blog award.  I just started this blog in November, and I couldn't be more flattered that Sheila from She's a Sassy Lady chose me for this award, because she does the most amazing scrapbook layouts and has such a great eye for design and colors.  Thank you, Sheila!

Part of the award process is that I have to list 10 things that knock my socks off, and then give the award to 3 other blogs.  The blogs I have chosen are:

Capadia Designs - I look forward to everything new that Diane does, and she has done some awesome videos!
Scrappin' Phlen wins my vote for the cuteness factor. She does adorable stuff!
Clever Someday is a site that's more about SCAL and SVG's. She has some really GREAT info there for converting images to be cut with Cricut.

Now for the 10 things that really blow me away:
My husband. He's SO smart and so good at what he does and ha has impressed engineers in the electrical power industry all over the world so much that he's in 2 international committees and travels all over the world.  But more importantly, he's been my partner for almost 35 years - since we were both 15 - and he not only treats me like a princess, but he totally supports my crafting habit! I'm very lucky to be married to my best friend.
My daughter, Taryn.  She knocks my socks off because she's such an amazing, giving and compassionate person.  She is beautiful inside and out, and she makes me proud of her every day.
My son. Ryan has had struggles all of his life, but he keeps on keepin' on, and he loves family.  I know he is a good soul because he has never met an animal that didn't like him.  I think animals have a 6th sense about people, so as much as they all love him, I know he will be OK in life.
My pets. I have three - 2 pomeranians and a calico cat.  They are part of the family, and they bring me joy and peace every day.
Service men and women. The selflessness displayed by those in the military amaze me every day. Anytime I see a person in uniform, I personally thank them. My wish is that everyone reading this will do the same from now on. They put their lives on the line every single day so that we are safe and free.
The ocean.  I am awed by it every time I go to the beach.
Disney World.  I have loved it since my first trip in 1972, and dozens and dozens of trips later, I still can't get enough of "the happiest place on earth."
Coach purses.  Ok, I have another addiction besides crafts.  Lucky for me, my daughter works for Coach, and lets me use her discounts!  Unlucky for me, I have run out of room for them in my closet, and my husband now says I have to get rid of one each time I buy a new one. He might as well ask me to give away one of my children!!
Anything with raspberries.  I love raspberries. Period.
And you knew I was gonna say it...my CRICUT!  It's the greatest craft invention since glue! I love my Cricut!

Disney-fied My Gypsy

I got my Gypsy from HSN when they offered the bundle, so I have a very nice bag for her, but it's too bulky for me to take everywhere, so I've been on the lookout for something small but still with a handle.  I had just about given up on finding exactly what I wanted when I saw posts over on the Cricut message boards about the Vera Bradley clutch made to fit the Gypsy.  Yep, that was what I was gonna get. Then I went to Disney World last week...

On our first day there, I wandered into the hotel gift shop and saw a cute little purse that looked like it would perfectly hold the Gypsy along with the power and USB cords.  I mustered up all the will power I had not to buy it until I could bring my Gypsy with me to check the fit.  After all, she was with me on my trip, and they had the purse in the hotel gift shop.  I had 6 more days to buy it. 

The next day, I found a little Mickey Mouse charm.  I'm sure they are meant for cell phones, but it is perfect for my Gypsy stylus!  Isn't he adorable?!?!
All week, I saw that little purse at gifts shops all over the Disney parks, and all week I resisted buying it.  On my last day there, I still had not brought Gypsy down to try out the purse.  I could go upstairs and get her, but my feet had blisters, my back was aching, and it was late on our last night there, so I had packing to do.  "What the heck," I told myself, "I can use it for something. A girl can never have too many cute little purses, and I do LOVE Mickey!"  So, I bought it and ran upstairs, blisters and all, to see if it fit.  It does, and I love it!  I think Gypsy - and my new Mickey charm - will be very happy living in it!  I might still have to get the Vera Bradley clutch, too. You know...just as a backup.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Almost home!

I'm sitting here in the Orlando airport, waiting for my flight and feeling so recharged after a GREAT week at Disney!  That place never ceases to amaze me, and I always come home in a great mood.  My daughter and I are working together on a new blog all about Disney, so if you're a Disney nut like I am, watch here for my announcement of it's "unveiling." I will be posting my recent trip report, and my daughter will be posting her trip report from her honeymoon in November. 

This time, I'm also coming home from Disney with new project ideas!  I've been making notes all week, and I can't wait to get started on some of my ideas so I can share them with you.  The photo in this post is a clue to one project (smile).

Then there's that BLOG CANDY!  Oh my!  Almost 400 of you have entered the drawing!  I am overwhelmed at the response, and even more so at your lovely, encouraging comments.  I'll draw the winner's name first thing Monday morning, so if you haven't already entered, there's still time.  Just scroll to the post below this one, and leave me a comment.  Please, enter only once.

I have picked up quite a few new followers this week, and I feel so undeserving of some of your comments, as I'm really no Design Studio expert, and I'm very much a newbie with my Gypsy.  But, you seem to like what I'm doing, and I love doing it and sharing it, so watch in the coming weeks for some new projects for both DS and Gypsy users.  And check back Monday to see who won the new Mother's Day cartridge!

Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm CELEBRATING with BLOG CANDY! A NEW CARTRIDGE!

I humbly started this little blog November 15, thinking I would post once in a while, but mostly just to share my designs with fellow Cricut addicts from over on the Cricut.com message boards.  Little did I know the love I would feel from all of you who have become regular visitors.  On December 5th, a mere seven weeks after my first post, you all helped me reach 200 followers!  THANK YOU!  I am truly touched and honored that so many of you have found my blog interesting enough that you have become fans.  Some of the comments and emails I've received have given me such smiles and the inspiration to keep creating!

I recently came across a pretty good deal on two of the new limited-edition Mother's Day cartridges and I bought them both.  They arrived today!  Since I don't NEED two, I'm giving one away!  As thanks to all of you for making Crazy for Crafting so successful, I'm going to give one lucky follower a brand new-still in the package-never been used-NEVER BEEN LINKED TO A GYPSY- Mother's Day 2010 cartridge!

All you have to do to qualify is to leave a comment below this post.  If you've used one of my Design Studio or Gypsy files, I'd love it if you told me about it.  If you just found my blog, tell me that, too.  Remember, if you're commenting as anonymous, I can't contact you, so you will either have to leave me an email or check back here often to see if you won.

I'm leaving Sunday on a much-needed vacation to Disney World with just my DH, so I'll leave this open until I return, and I'll draw the winner's name on Monday, January 18.  Don't forget to become a follower.  I just might have more "candy" in the near future!

UPDATE on new Flexible Stylus for Gypsy


In my last post, I showed you a video about a new flexible stylus that wraps around your finger.  Sounds like a great idea to me!  I can feed my mat and paper into the Cricut, or do other things in my craft room, and the stylus will still be attached to me so I don't set it down and promptly lose it under a pile of scrap paper.  Even more appealing to me, my hand won't cramp after a couple of hours of designing on my Gypsy.

There was lots of talk over on the Cricut.com message boards about where to find them, and several ladies were able to find them at game stores, but they either came with the clear Gameboy shield as in the picture that I posted previously, or they came in a pack with 2 other regular stylus. Well, last night I stumbled on a post (sorry I can't remember who posted it) that said the inventor herself was taking orders for individial ones online with free shipping, and she takes credit cards and Paypal.  I promptly went to her site and ordered one for just over $8! 

Everyone who has already used it has been singing its praises, so I'm psyched about getting mine!  I will let you know how I like it when I do.  In the meantime, if you want to order one, go to her site, ThumbStylus to order.  I don't know how long she's offering the free shipping, so you might want to check it out ASAP.  If you already have one, please leave a comment here so we can see what you think of it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

NEW stylus for Gypsy??

I ran across this online today, and I'm thinking it might be just what the doctor ordered for those marathon Gypsy design sessions when my fingers start to cramp into something that looks like it came from the Sci-Fi channel.  I hear you can find them at Game Stop stores and Wal-mart. Now I might not have to get my index fingernail filed into a sharp point!
For more info: Comfort Stylus




Sunday, January 3, 2010

Get organized in the new year!

I was looking around over on the Cricut message boards this morning and came across a post from a member suggesting that someone make a cut file for a folder to store the Cricut books and overlays.  Well, it just so happens that I made my own storage system back in 2008, and I thought, what better time to share that with all of you than the start of a new year!

I want to apologize for the bad pictures.  I wasn't very good at taking them back in 2008.   I've been nursing a terrible cold for 3 days, and I'm not feeling like taking new ones, so these will have to do for now, but hopefully you can get the idea.  I really do LOVE this storage system because it can grow as my cartridge collection does, and it's easily adjustable to whatever your needs are.  Since I put this all together, the Snap-Ware containers are also much easier to find. Back in 2008, I could only find them online and I paid much more for them, plus the shipping.  Now that you can find them in stores, it's a very inexpensive storage solution!

One final note: People have asked me if I keep the original boxes, and the answer is "yes."  I don't intend to ever sell them, but I LOVE those boxes with their magnetic closure.  In true packrat style, I keep thinking I'll do something crafty with them one of these days!

Cricut Organizer System files for Design Studio
Cricut Organizer System files for Gypsy

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Years resolution I can keep!

I quit making New Years resolutions years ago because I was rarely able to keep them much past Valentine's Day.  This year I think I have one I can keep because it's something that truly makes me feel good and recharges my batteries.  What is it? Well, look at the image in this post and you'll see...6 little words that will hopefully guide me throughout 2010.  All of them are ideas that obviously lend themselves to crafting, but they can also all be related to other areas of our lives every day.  I know that, if I live by these words, my life - and my craft room - will be fuller and richer.   I hope you will all try to do the same, and I hope you will continue to come back here so that I can TEACH and INSPIRE you by SHARING the new creations that I have DREAMED up and IMAGINED you CREATING in your own craft rooms! 
Happy New Year to all of you. May your Cricut fill the coming year with many happy chirps!

About Me

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Midlothian, Virginia, United States
Lifetime crafter, beginning with sewing clothes for my troll dolls when I was 5. Stampin' Up! demonstrator since 2000. Wife of almost 30 years to my high school sweetheart and planning on 30 more! Mom to 2 great kids and one awesome new son-in-law. "Mom" to 3 furkids, Pomeranians Roxy and Lulu, and a Calico cat, Sugar aka "Miss Fattypants." Addicted to all things Disney!