Archive for the ‘Craft Tools & Supplies’ Category

CRICUT (SCAL) SOFTWARE NEWS: SCAL3 is NOT compatible with the Cricut

As expected, SCAL3 is NOT compatible with the Cricut… ProvoCraft (maker of the Cricut) is starting much the same nonsense with CraftEdge (maker of Sure Cuts A Lot) as they did with the Make-the-Cut maker!!

In my opinion, ProvoCraft should recognize that the makers of SCAL and MTC have allowed ProvoCraft to sell more Cricuts – I would have never bought a Cricut if there wasn’t software out there that made it so we didn’t have to buy a bunch of expensive cartridges!!

At least I have past versions of both software titles’ installation files backed up on my pc – they can’t take away MY freedom 🙂

Here’s the scoop on SCAL: http://www.svgcuts.com/blog/2011/04/16/sure-cuts-a-lot-3/ (this page includes a good list of machines that do work with SCAL – if my Cricut ever breaks, I’ll definitely be switching the type of machine I’m using. ProvoCraft is really making a big mistake!!) Here’s a cool podcast from SVGCuts that talks about a couple of other cutting machines: http://www.svgcuts.com/blog/2011/04/22/black-cat-pazzle-penny-duncan/ 

Here’s the scoop on MTC (my thoughts and a link to more info on the MTC forum):  http://cuttingcrazy.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/mtc-news-make-the-cut-is-no-longer-compatible-with-the-cricut/

New Files for Sale – Digital Pattern Paper (JPG) for Valentine’s Day & a 3D Easter Basket SVG

New Items in My SVG Store:

NEW Digital Pattern Paper for Valentine’s Day (JPG) and any day you need to send some love!!

NEW 3D Easter Basket SVG

CraftEdge Sure Cuts a Lot (SCAL) Discount – 10% off sale

Kewl beans…

Check this out my crafty friends… You can get SCAL2 for just under $54 if you act now… while they have an Easter Sale going on (save $15.05) AND you can add this 10% off coupon code to your cart (save another $6):

Coupon: 8774959

Discount is not valid for version 2 upgrades.

Discount is for 10% off and will expire on 4/12/2010 11:59PM PST

ENJOY!! 🙂

Viewing SVGs in Internet Explorer & Windows

Ever wish you could view your SVG files like you do with JPGs, GIFs, etc.? You know what I mean… view them along side all your other thumbnail images within a Windows folder on your pc or full-sized in Internet Explorer.

I’m not sure how Mac computers work, but I know that those running Windows XP (and likely Vista) or prior are unable to view SVG thumbnails or images in Internet Explorer. But, there’s a solution! Just download either the IE plug-in or Windows plug-in available here: http://www.examotion.com/index.php?id=product_player_download… umm, never mind! That page is now in Japanese or Chinese or something. (Thanks to PJ for pointing this out to me!)

I can’t seem to find a good link to send you to, so, if you still use Windows XP or other 32 bit systems, just email me and I’ll send you the install file that i use. You can also do an internet search for Renesis SVG Browser or Player. If you happen to find a working link that’s in English, let me know and we’ll share it with the world 🙂

Now, you don’t need to save any more JPG versions of your SVGs just so you can view them in IE or their thumbnails in Windows – by eliminating all those JPGs, you save about 50% of the computer memory spent on cutting files! 🙂

Tip: try not to let your digital artwork folders (on your pc) become too full. Trying to load a lot of SVG thumbnails at once can freeze up the window(s) you have open at the time. I just do my best to keep folder sizes small by breaking larger folders down into smaller ones (aka: breaking down my art topics folders into sub-topic folders). Then all the folder’s thumbnails load without freezing up the window.

My Fave Sites to Find SVG Files

Hot off the presses…. if you check out my links on the right, you’ll see all the sites that I check-in with on a regular basis. They all provide quality SVG files to be used with your Cricut and Sure Cuts a Lot or Make the Cut software. Many of them offer FREE SVGs. Many of these crafty people have blogs and stores – make sure you watch their blogs if you’re interested in store discounts and/or freebies! 🙂

Enjoy & happy crafting!!

~Vickie 🙂

PS – SCAL and Make the Cut also allow you to cut letters and shapes using the fonts installed on your computer – this includes dingbat fonts, which are really images obtained by typing on the keyboard. If you somehow find the time to go through all the links on the right and you still desire more …. do an internet search for free fonts. There are probably billions of them available free online. I’ve even purchased dingbat fonts that are made up of things like flower images and box templates. You might press “P” and get a french fry box template cut out – all ready to fold and stuff with fries! 🙂

Making Photopolymer Stamps and Texture Plates

Did you know there’s a product out there that allows you to create your own rubber/semi-clear polymer stamps and only costs around $40 ($20 for refills)? All you need to provide is a 60 watt bulb in a flexible lamp and some dish soap. You can even make stamps from images on your pc (even photos) by printing their black & white negatives on your printer on the vellum paper included. Software is also included, but I use my own. The kit is called Stamp!t and you can buy it from Just Rite Stampers (link noted at the bottom of this post).

Here’s a pic of my first stamp made with Stamp!t. Once made, the stamps are of a pale translucent yellow color. Mine is also died with Xmas colors. (Names blurred to protect the innocent.) 🙂

Industrial stamp making options are also available in Just Rite Stampers’ (JRS) Lightbox kits.
JRS also sells a photopolmer kit that you can use w/ your 60 watt lamp to make embossing/texture plates (similar to Fiskars) to use with your embossing machine!! The same company just introduced a new flash self-inking stamp maker worthy of taking a look at as well.

Other Options: ProvoCraft also makes Cricut Cuttables to cut your own (non-detailed) rubber stamps & embossing folders.

For stamps of simple designs (like silhouettes), Cricut Cuttables may be the best, most economic choice. If you want to make more detailed stamps, go with photopolymer/clear rubber from the Stamp!t people.

As for the embossing folders & texture plates – I’ll skip both retailers’ kits for now. Simple recycled boxes & mailers make great materials for making fairly detailed embossing folders. If I find a need for more detailed embossing folders or texture plates, I’d probably go with Just Rite Stampers kit to make photopolymer texture plates.

For more info, visit:
Stamp!t seller http://www.justritestampers.com/category.aspx?categoryID=112
and
Cricut Cuttables Maker www.cricut.com

So, … I got a Cricut and Some Coupons

My Growing Craft Room
… and I just about went crazy decking out my new craft room… a room that never used to be until I bought the Cricut!! I think I’ve been bit by ‘the bug’!!

You too can get all sorts of great crafting products at great discount prices to deck out your new or existing craft room by using any of the following sources to get your own 40-50% off coupons for some of the best craft supply stores… like Michael’s, Joann’s, HobbyLobby, and more!! Just visit: SVGCuts’ coupon corner, MyCricutScrapbooking blog, or the VisualDesignsByChris Forum.

My latest item from Michael’s…. another bug, from ProvoCraft!

I had to get a Cuttlebug – the kewlest and most versatile embossing (and die-cutting) machine. And, if you view some of the YouTube videos out there, you can even learn to make your own embossing folders and texture plates to use with the Cuttlebug (using Cricut or other cut-outs of chipboard, recycled mailer envelopes, cereal boxes, or cardstock pack covers)! That’s a savings of about $6 per (Cuttlebug) embossing folder and at least $1 or more per (Fiskars) texture plate (and one less piece of paper in some land fill)!! Love it!!

Gosh, this paper crafting thing is such great fun! And soooooooo addictive!!

Chat soon,
Vickie 🙂

CraftEdge: Not to be outdone…

Just as the newest Cricut software hits the market (Make the Cut), CraftEdge puts out its newest version of Sure Cuts a Lot (Version 2.006). The new version of SCAL contains many new features that allow users to rely less on third party software titles like InkScape and Adobe Illustrator – much like the new Make the Cut software does.

Not only is CraftEdge keeping up with the Make the Cut company, they are also reconizing and even endorsing one of my favorite SVG suppliers: SVGCuts! I highly suggest you visit their blog today, get yourself some free SVGs and lessons in Sure Cuts a Lot, and leave a comment for Mary and Leo and their crew. You should definitely stop by their store for some of the best SVGs out there!! (In case you didn’t know, SVG files are the ones that Sure Cuts a Lot & Make the Cut use – though they are also able to read from most JPGs and BMPs these days too!)

You can hear more about CraftEdge’s newest features on the SVGCuts website: http://svgcuts.com/blog/?p=4573.

SVGCuts’s blog is also a great place to find all the latest craft store coupons!! You gotta see this: http://svgcuts.com/blog/?p=3197

Enjoy!!

~Vickie 🙂

Big News: Yet another Cricut software title available (not from ProvoCraft or CraftEdge)

MTC IMPORTANT UPDATE: After being a MTC affiliate for just over 3 months, I have a sad truth to share with you here: http://cuttingcrazy.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/new-news-make-the-cut-software-makers-try-to-scam-buyers/

ORIGINAL BLOG POST FOLLOWS:

OMG!! Before I even get the chance the tell you all (or much of anything really) about how I like to use the Cricut and SCAL software (no cartridges needed), where I like to find my cutting files online, and so much more, and ….

There’s already another Cricut-compatible software program out there called Make the Cut!!! It was just released this past weekend!! I guess it has all the features of SCAL and InkScape all in one (or getting closer anyway) – so we won’t need both programs anymore. I have yet to test it out.

Here’s how the manufacturer describes it:
Imagine It. Create It. Cut It. It’s That Simple. Make The Cut! allows you to easily cut virtually any shape you can imagine including TrueType Fonts using your Cricut™ machine without needing to purchase expensive cartridges. With its easy-to-learn interface, the possibilities are endless. Go unleash the true power of your Cricut™!

WYSIWYG Interface,
Automated Cricut™ Driver Installation,
One-Click Cutting,
Use Any SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics),
Integrated SVG Gallery,
Work on Multiple Projects at a Time,
Choose From 3 Standard Mat Sizes,
Use Any Installed Font or Import TTF Files,
Convert Raster Images to SVG Format,
Break/Split/Layer Shapes and Edit Them,
Weld/Join Shapes Together,
Export Shapes to SVG Format or Personal Library,
Cut, Copy and Paste Shapes Between Projects,
Custom Mat Themes,
And Much, Much More!

Please feel free to click the banner below to find out more about it and to possibly purchase Make the Cut!!:

There is even a free trial version available (much like SCAL, which also offers a free trial version that cuts watermarks if you don’t buy a full-version license). But, at least you can try it before you buy it!!
You can also click here to download the trial or here to buy a full version license now. If you do try the software, please feel free to leave us a comment about your experience. We’d love to hear from ya!!

Until I have the chance to tell you more about this new revolution in Cricut-eering for myself, please feel free to sign up for our pals over at ScrappyDew.com’s Make the Cut newsletter for more info:
http://scrappydew.com/newsletter

Thanks and chat soon,
Vickie 🙂

What’s a Cricut? How about SCAL?

So,… I was flicking through the television channels one night, when I came across these chipper ladies going about their business of paper crafting and glass etching. All with the help of this machine called the Cricut; made by the ProvoCraft company.

While it looks much like a printer, the Cricut is actually a personally cutter. One that takes (very expensive) cartridges with images on them to make die-cuts out of everything from paper… to chipboard… to vinyl even!! Sounds great, but pricey!

When we were walking past the craft department in Wal-Mart one day, I pointed one out to a friend of mine. I told her how I’d love to own one, but refuse to have to buy a bunch of cartridges (much like hard die-cut machine ‘planks’ that also end up costing a fortune). I was thinking the Cricut people should come up with a way for us to download our own images onto one of those cartridges, much like we download music onto MP3 players. Then they did it!! Not exactly what I was thinking… but better!! …….

Who’s they? At first, ProvoCraft (the Cricut people) came up with their own software program for the Cricut called Design Studio, I think. I don’t use it though, because it requires you to own all the cartridges (and to have them plugged in – either to the Cricut or through the Cricut Jukebox accessory) in order to use their images. The CraftEdge company, on the other hand, hit it right on the head with their Cricut software, Sure Cuts A Lot, which allows its users to cut from millions of (free and cheap) fonts and images available on the internet… and even ones already on our computers! The image and text possibilities are endless… and basically free once you own the SCAL software (though there is stuff you can buy if you want)!!

In short, between Sure Cuts a Lot (SCAL) and another software program called InkScape (a vector editing software program available free online), even the most novice of computer users can convert regular images found online and all around us into files that SCAL can use to cut with. SCAL even allows you to view exactly what you’ll be cutting and where on the mat it is to be cut from before you ever click the “cut” button. SCAL can also cut any text or dingbat font you have installed on your pc. So…. with SCAL, we never have to buy a cartridge (other than the one or two the machines usually come with). It’s great stuff!! AND it’s what finally convinced me to spend $300 on a Cricut machine (and about $70 on the SCAL software).

I’ve got so much more to share with the scrapbookers, cardmakers, stampers, interior decorators, and craftsmen and women of the world. But I’ve got to end my rambling for one day. I’ll tell you more another day.

For now, please feel free to check out the Cricut, Sure Cuts a Lot, and InkScape websites for yourself:
Cricut: www.Cricut.com
Sure Cuts a Lot from CraftEdge:
SCAL2 logo

InkScape: www.inkscape.org

Thanks for checking out my new blog!! Talk to ya again soon!!

~Vickie 🙂

PS – please bear with me while I do my best to make this blog more visually, creatively, and intellectually stimulating.

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