Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Studio 5: FOUR things you may not know about DIE-CUTTING machine & FREE Cut files!

*Studio 5 video will be posted tomorrow (Wed afternoon).

As usual, I had WAY too much prepared for my Studio 5 TV segment, really, there is only so much you can do with 6 minutes! 

So, I'm sharing it ALL here. 
Bear with me, but enjoy all my hard work...ahem, it really was more FUN than hard.   I'm going to scatter the projects throughout the post and include links to the CUT FILES next to each photo.  They are free for you to use and enjoy!

I decided to share this information because many of my students want to know if they should invest in a die-cutting machine OR if they should upgrade.  I also get a lot of questions about how to use them, so stay tuned, as I plan on doing some Facebook Live Tutorials about exactly that...soon, so please follow me there for updates!

I am primarily referencing Cricut in the post (Because that is what I use), but most of these points apply to all the other leading Die-cutting machine brands; Silhouette, Brother, Sizzix etc...

Find 'blank' home decor pieces (Hobby Lobby for these)
and add Chalk Vinyl for a custom Wedding ensemble.
DOWNLOAD Envelope Sign
DOWNLOAD Guestbook Sign
Number ONE thing.

Everything is getting smarter, including die-cutting machines...this is how.

Wireless - the latest versions of popular brands, like Cricut, Silhouette, Sizzix and Brother all feature Bluetooth.

This may not seem like a big deal, but for me, wiht a computer, 2 printers and several die-cutting machines, it's nice not having a spider web of wires under food.  It also allows for die-cutting on the go (on a trip or at a friend's...which leads me to the next point.

Apps - Cricut now has an App for ipad and iphone with Android coming soon. I'm sure the other brands will follow suit, if not already.

Software - Significant improvement over the last few editions of software.  Learning curve for sure, but well worth the investment of time.

Number TWO thing.

I sewed a pillow!  Yippee!  Here's a tip, instead of buying a
pillow form, which are shockingly expensive, I bought
a ready made pillow on clearance andsave 70%
DOWNLOAD 1776 Laurel Wreath
Cricut new-generation machines (Explore version and forward) include CutSmart Technology.  Bottom line, the machine cuts like a dream.  Much, much better than the Expression.  Circles are now perfect!  Detailed shapes cut & release perfectly!

German Carbide Blades - These are a totally redesigned blade, using a specifically formulated tungsten carbide.  It resists wear & breakage.  Bottom line, blades are very sharp and will stay sharp longer.

Smart Set dial - This beauty take the guess work out of how deep to cut your material.  FOr the most part it work well, but I've had to make certain adjustments for cardstock.  What I LOVE about it though, is as soon as you dial up to thicker items, it automatically cuts twice.

My old Expression would have mutilated these detailed cuts.
DOWNLOAD Water/Lemonade
Quieter, working on faster.  Definitely quieter, which is very nice.   Little bit slower, but that is mainly with detailed cuts.  With the latest version you can choose fast cut for simpler shapes.

Number THREE thing.
SVG Cut Files.

SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics.  Think of it as a shape file, not a picture file.  Cricut came to this 'game' a bit late, but they have joined all other die-cutting brands in allowing crafters to use their own shapes, not just what the brand has to offer.

Cartridge vs. SVG file:  If you're like me, you have many cartridges.  The good news if they are compatible with the newest Cricut machines.  But the days of collecting cartridges are over and I'm pretty happy about it.  Instead of spending up to $60 on a cartridge that you may only use a few shapes, you can know purchase just the one shape you want in Cricut (or other brands) large library of shapes.

I used Black Glitter Vinyl and wow, it's shimmers!
I found the tutu and onesie at Hobby Lobby,
both for less than $10.  Cute Baby Gift!
DOWNLOAD Sweet Dreams
You can subscribe for a specific amount of money to receive unlimited shapes during a period of time.

FREE cuts!  Cricut has a free cut of the week, be sure to get it!

FREE cuts!  The internet has loads of places that offer free SVG cut files.  That includes me and the files I created for the projects here.  I also include the cut files for each of my card making kits.

Number FOUR thing.

Dollar Store mugs, perfect little Father's Day gift.
Your kids could make them!  All men LOVE the Lego Movie!
DOWNLOAD Yoda Best Dad
New materials (besides paper) ...because of the improvements made to these new generation of die-cutting machine, you can cut more materials, BETTER. 
You can cut more than 60 materials including fabric, leather, felt, wood veneer, vinyl, etching glass etc...  It's not that you couldn't cut these things before, but because of all the improvements, it does it all MUCH better.

Practical - It's not just for scrapbooking/card making anymore.  A die-cutting machine opens up a whole world of practical ways to enhance your life.  If you have children, you NEED a die-cutting machine.  From chore charts to school projects you'll find fun ways to make the most of your machine.

Another fun Father's Day Gift.
Iron on Vinyl is addictive!
DOWNLOAD Grill Daddy
Creativity!  Think Home decor, Gifts, Celebrations, Invitations, holidays! 
I think of an idea, design it and cut it!  I'm pretty  much obsessed.

If you like what you see and you want to try your hand but feel a little lost, please visit me on my facebook page, where I will be doing some live videos tutorials and take you step by step from downloading my files to cutting!

Just have your machine ready to roll, some iron-on vinyl and see you soon!

P.S.  Money saving tip!  Do not buy the Cricut brand of vinyl.  It's great, but very expensive.  Cricut uses Oracal 631 brand of vinyl and you can get this for much less in other places.  In Utah, we have an awesome Vinyl store called the Vinyl Outlet at the Brickyard in Salt Lake City.

Oh my!  It's like a kid in a candy store, I wanted it ALL!  (Thanks Rhonda for the recommendation!).

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Favorite Quote

"The art of being
HAPPY lies in the
POWER of extracting
happiness from
COMMON things."
~Henry Ward Beecher



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