Familiarizing myself with Cricut Maker 3

I forgot to mention in an earlier post,

but I purchased a “crafting desk” for my Cricut. My home office desk is made by the same company, and the colors of both desks are a perfect match. I love this desk. It has plenty of room for all Cricket items, and the drawers can hold all of my die-cutting supplies.

This past weekend, I learned a bit more about Cricut Design Space.

I printed several stickers and increased my knowledge about printing, cutting, and modifying designs within Cricut’s Design Space.

I love the above picture. It reminds me so much of my daughter, big hair and all. Besides the purchased images and free photos, I was able to turn one of my daughter’s sketches into a sticker. How awesome is that?

I also purchased an annual membership at Maker’s Gonna Learn. A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon some of Tanner Bell’s (owner behind Maker’s Gonna Learn) Youtube videos. I enjoyed his energy and learned that he had a Cricut website filled with tutorials, images, tips and tricks, and much more that I thought would be helpful to me as a new Cricut user. Currently, I’m taking 30 Days to Maser Your Cricut course. On Day 6, How To Download Fonts to Cricut Design Space.

Later this week, I’ll be creating a few Holographic Christmas stickers. I cannot wait to see how those turn out. After this weekend, I might make a few stencils. We’ll see! Thus far, I’m enjoying my Cricut Maker 3.

There are a few things that I wish would change with my Cricut.

 

Increase the area that I can print and cut

I’m restricted to 6.75 x 9.25″ for cutting with the Print and Cut feature. I’ve been using the 8.5 x 11 paper, so space isn’t being utilized. Currently, I’ve only been printing stickers. I’ve utilized every inch of space with Cricut Design Space.

Allow me to save material selections.

Also, each time I print, I have to go through selecting the type of printer paper I’m using. I already know that I’ll be using stickers a lot. I love them. Cricket, please give users the ability to save formats they often use. Overall, I do like the Cricut. I still have a lot to learn about this die-cutting machine; however, I’m enjoying the learning process immensely. I’m currently waiting for my mat to dry to make a few more stickers.

Edited to add

There is an option for Cricut users to choose the medium that they use the most. Once the material is favorited, it will appear under your favorites section.

In other news

Work laptop is dead

My computer laptop stopped working. It won’t turn on at all, and now I’m awaiting a callback from our IT department to tell me what I already know. I need another computer! This will be my second replacement. Hopefully, the third computer will give me no more issues.

Dad upgraded to ice chips.

Today, my father had a visit with his Speech Therapist and Physical Therapist. He did very well. His Speech Therapist has allowed him to eat ice chips. Woohoo, progress! This will be the first item he’s had in his mouth for several weeks.

 

Running on Empty…

Last Tuesday was my final day at work for the week, and that day was a partial day. Since that time, I’ve been assisting my mother with the care of my father. I spoke with my awesome boss, and he worked with me so I could take the time needed to assist my mother while waiting for his Home Health Care to start. His Home Health nurse was supposed to be at the house last Monday; however, that did not happen until Friday of last week.

Supplies that were supposed to be here just started arriving today, which was for one item we don’t use. I’m happy to see that it’s begun. Hopefully, my mother will get the remaining supplies soon. I’ve been running errands for my mother to ensure she has adequate supplies until the ones ordered with his care start to arrive. I spent a few hundred dollars worth to ensure that she had plenty of stores. My mother tried to pay me; however, I told her I wasn’t taking her money. She’s my parent. They did so much for my brother and me when we were children and continued to support us through adulthood emotionally.

It feels strange seeing my father so utterly dependent on others for the basic needs that we sometimes take for granted. My father is being fed through an IV tube attached at his stomach.  A catheter condom is how he urinates, and the bed liner catches his bowel movements. Undergarments are out of the question since he developed a bedsore in the hospital. Even with all the extra tasks that have been placed upon us, I know my mother (nor I) would want it any other way.

Today, his physical therapist and his occupational therapist were at their house; at different times. Finally, he was able to sit up on his own. Success! Baby steps. While I know it will be a while before my father can do things he once could do. I do believe in time that this will happen. I have an older friend (in her 80’s) that faced the same thing. She had to relearn everything, and like my father, she was fortunate to have family that loved her and did what was needed to take care of her needs, even if it meant sacrificing their downtime to make that happen.

I’ll be returning to work tomorrow. I must say that it truly is a blessing working from home. If I worked outside my home, I would be unable to assist my mother since my father has been released from the hospital. At times, as the title states, I genuinely feel like I’m running on empty. However, I’m more than willing to give up my time to assist my father during the healing process.

In other news: Cricut Maker 3 and Canon Pixma 8620

Yesterday, I was finally able to squeeze a few moments setting up my Cricut and registering at Cricket Design Space. Cricket Design Space is the program that’s needed to operate the Cricket machine.

Nightmare Before Christmas – Sticker that I made from Etsy purchase

I browsed Etsy, discovered and bought a few .png and .svg files that I like. So I created stickers with a few of the images today.

Stickers of the same picture

I still have a lot to learn; however, I’m pleased with the stickers created, and I know my daughter is also.

Sticker sheet that I created

I gave her the stickers that I created. I’m still impressed with my purchase of the Canon Pixma 8620. The photo quality is terrific. I’ll be curious to see how long the ink cartridges last. I did notice that some stores are already sold out of printer ink. I better order some ink now before they’re gone.

 

 

 

I bought the Cricket Maker 3

This evening, after my daughter and I, dropped off my mother, I stopped by Target and picked up the Cricket Maker 3. I used Target’s Drive-Up feature. I love this option. The Cricket Maker 3 has been out since earlier this year. I have a lot of upcoming projects that would benefit from a die-cutting machine. I’m eager to explore cardmaking, stencils, labels for organization, and many other avenues with my Cricut. I’m ready.

I’m not new to die-cutting machines. I have the Brother Scan N Cut. Searching my website, I purchased that in 2014! I enjoyed the device; however, my daughter loved it also, and I gifted her with the item when she was twelve years old.  I’d still occasionally use the machine; however, she’s the main one using it, and she created a lot of items (mainly iron-on for teeshirts) with the device.

I finally got around to opening my Cricket a few hours after being home; however, I honestly have no desire to try it out at the moment. Who knows? Perhaps I’ll feel differently later this evening? Most likely, I’ll continue watching Cricket tutorials this evening. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll get around to creating with the machine. Even though I’m not actively using my Cricut tonight, I turned it on to ensure it was working correctly. Also, I was able to pair my iPad to the Cricket using Bluetooth and download updates directly to the machine.

Currently, I’m listening to the above video while I’m writing this post. I only purchased a few items for my Cricket. I’ve decided to hold off on some of the accessories until I review the options a bit more since I know that you don’t have to use Cricket-only products with my machine.

I’m learning a lot from the videos and genuinely appreciate the content makers sharing their knowledge with people like myself who are new to Cricket machines. They’re beneficial and have given me better guidance on some of my first projects until I gain confidence working with the device.

 

How to clean a wooden/bamboo cutting board and my handcrafted wooden cutting board (a work in progress!)

I thought the video (shown at the bottom of this post) is a nice tutorial on cutting board maintenance. When we use ours, we wash them with mild soap, spray them with a blend of lemon water, tea tree essential oil (It’s my natural food antiseptic spray), and then wipe the board dry. The only thing I will say is she should use a fractionated coconut oil since regular coconut oil will go rancid.

Bamboo Cutting board

I condition my bamboo cutting boards (pictures below of them just having been cleaned/conditioned) weekly. In our house, they typically get used daily. I also do this treatment to the entire board, not just the side used for cutting.

My bamboo cutting board about to be conditioned with my cutting board paste.

My cutting board conditioning paste is made by me. What’s in it? Natural beeswax, fractionated coconut oil, and lemongrass. Sometimes… I’ll add 100% turpentine essential oil. The polish is all natural and the ingredients used are all antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial. I let the paste soak in the board overnight and wipe off/buff in the morning. It conditions and keeps my boards looking brand new.

 

I’m getting a handcrafted cutting board!

Guess what? I’m getting a custom cutting board made for me! I must say that I’m excited to receive that. I decided to include the pictures that are being sent to me below.

The above picture shows the wood that is being used. It’s exotic wood, I’ll have to look at the names of exactly what’s being used. Here he’s getting everything ready. It doesn’t look like much now, does it?

In this picture, he had glued all the wooden pieces together and clamped them in place.

In this picture, with my cutting board, he had added the handles (located on the underside of the board) and had given the board it’s first sanding. It’s starting to look like a cutting board, right?

Here’s another picture he sent me right before it went under for its second sanding.

This handcrafted cutting board is gorgeous!

… and here’s the last picture that I received today. It’s been oiled and will receive another coat of oil tomorrow. Isn’t it gorgeous? This cutting board is 17″ x 12″.

I really appreciate that the wood crafter has been kind enough to update me with the behind the scenes process for creating this cutting board.  Do you want to know something? I had just watched a few videos about them two weeks ago and at that time I had no idea I’d be purchasing a customized board, even though it was on my “to do” list for purchasing one later this year. Years ago, I did have a wonderful cutting board but somehow when I was reorganizing it was lost. I have a feeling it was inadvertently placed in a box of items that went to the Goodwill or Purple Heart. Well, someone received an awesome cutting board, and many years later, I’m finally replacing the one that was misplaced. This board, properly cared for, should last a lifetime.

How to clean a cutting board.

Another birthday and some Dr. Martens

At the beginning of the month, I had a birthday. I’m now 47. Wow! Sometimes, it’s a bit hard to believe that I’ve been around for almost half a century. But here I am. I don’t get into birthdays, but my daughter does and so she sketched a lovely picture for me and wrote me a beautiful letter. I’ll be framing both.

A few days ago, I ordered these boots. Dr. Martens has been on my want list for years. They’re durable and seemingly last a long time. Which is perfect for someone like me since I dislike spending money. The shoes were supposed to arrive on Monday. However, they arrived yesterday (Tuesday).

As you can see, I’ve already changed them around a bit. The new shoelaces are definitely… Opal.

I had made some bias tape about two years ago and so I made those into shoelaces.

 

The bias tape was originally created from a bolero jacket that I’d made for my daughter when she was nine years old. That was four years ago. Great memories! 🙂

Cleaning raw fleeces

Wow… where has the summer gone? It’s been a busy one for my daughter and me. I’ve been posting sporadically here, although I’ve done a bit better on my crafting website. This past February, I started spinning and a few months ago, I added something else to the mix and started purchasing raw fleeces. Initially, the fiber I’d purchased had already been cleaned, but I must tell you there’s something truly satisfying about doing the entire process myself. Of course… it means added work, but I really don’t mind that at all.

Before I took this step, I was looking at my dwindling pile of cleaned fiber and thinking, “I need to purchase more,” but… BUT I really didn’t want to spend too much on the fiber and so I looked into raw animal fiber. The pricing is usually lower, and if you choose “dirty fleeces” the prices typically can drop by a lot. Currently I have about 60 pounds of fiber (wool, mohair, alpaca and llama) that needs to be cleaned. I do believe that will be enough to last me in my spinning adventures for quite some time.

My new spinning wheel: Kromski Sonata

Tomorrow, will make two weeks that I’ve had my spinning wheel.

Kromski Sonata - Walnut
Kromski Sonata – Walnut

I’ve named her Ruth, after the lady in the Bible. Hardworking, Christian, honest… she was the perfect example of a Proverbs 31 woman. Guess what? I’ve actually made yarn on Ruth!

Handspun yarn
First day using my spinning wheel – Handspun yarn

And while my yarn leaves a lot to be desired…

Handspun yarn_2 2.13.16
Handspun yarn

I’m turning fiber into yarn! I’m fascinating that I’m starting a process that begins everything related to yarn and fabric. I’ve wanted to spin ever since I was a child. Initially, I’d planned on learning spinning when I purchased my loom in 2013; however, I thought that learning two crafts at once would be a bit overwhelming and so I held off until I had the time to really commit to learning spinning. That time is now. Later today, I’m taking a two hour private lesson spinning class. I’m looking forward to that.