Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2BadCats and their Scratching Post

I feel like our team is getting a brand new start. This is very exciting! And thank you Chrystal for all your hard work!

Our member to be highlighted this month is Charity with 2Bad Cats. You really need to go by and take a visit. She does know how to pick the best vintage when it comes to paper. I had a really hard time picking out photos. I liked them all!

Tell us about you.
My name is Charity. I live in Terre Haute, IN with my husband of 13 years and my 6 month old daughter. I work part-time for a university and am a part-time stay at home mom. I have had a love for art since I can remember, and a love specifically for paper since I was young as well. I loved buying stationery and writing letters to pen pals and friends when I was growing up. I love old books and vintage cards, too. I only recently, within the last year, decided to start exploring the world of selling my ephemera collection and finds, and also some of my handmade paper crafts and goodies. I started with Etsy on the last day of 2009, but I have taken a less aggressive approach to marketing my goods recently, because of the birth and adoption of my daughter Eden. She is 6 months old and I put most of my marketing efforts on hold when she arrived. Now that she is getting older and I am adjusting to being a new Mom, I am about to begin listing new vintage ephemera and new handmade crafts in my shop! I am also on a personal journey to return to my letter writing ways, and I encourage you to try it, too. Pick up a pen. Open a beautiful card. Write. It's that easy.

How did you get your start in the world of art?
I always enjoyed the process of creating. My mother was a very creative person, and we did a lot of projects together, mostly drawing and other random crafts like sewing, pottery, etc. I've dabbled in all sorts of art forms, including writing, painting (NOT GOOD!!) and drawing. Now I mostly create random hand sewn crafts and paper stationery and greeting cards, but I do like found object art as well.

Do you have a ritual you perform before you start creating?
I look for inspiration before I begin a new project, but don't have any rituals because I am so random with what I do. Sometimes I plan things out a lot, other times I dive right in. It is fun to start at one point in a project and find yourself ending up in a totally different place!

What do you like best, the creative process or the final creation?
They both hold a special appeal for me. I enjoy creating because it is something I can DO...an activity that uses my mind and my body to create a tangible object. Even when I am writing I consider the words, the story, the tale to be a tangible outcome to my efforts. That whole process is enjoyable in and of itself, but there is also special joy in getting to the end of the project, looking and what you've made and realizing you feel pride. You can say, "I made this."

What are your favorite art media, tools, and supplies?
I like all sorts of things when it comes to art, but I have always enjoyed working with paper, stamping images, cutting, assembling, etc. But I also like sewing and felt crafts as well. My projects are simple, and because I also focus on finding beauty in vintage items, I feel that is also my art. To find an old greeting card written by someone 75 years ago, or a beautifully preserved, unused postcards from the last century... discovering those treasures and appreciating their beauty and perseverance for existing all these years later, even in their fragile paper forms is wonderful. That appreciation is also my art form.

When a creative block happens, what process do you go through to get the creative juices flowing again?
Again, I find myself looking for inspiration. I might go back to old projects, or look at books, magazines, and websites...seeing the direction other people have gone can show you hidden paths that you might choose to take, projects you might want to explore. Sometimes though, just stepping away and taking a break can help.

What do you hope your art says about you?
I hope it says I care. I really think that the basis for my ephemera collection and for the handmade items I sell is my desire to see people connect with one another again. People don't write letters any more. Then don't pen cards, and most certainly don't hand craft those cards if they do choose to send one through the postal mail. Email has taken over, but I want people to return to the simpler way of connecting with someone. I want people to take the TIME to sit down, and write a letter by hand that will reach out and touch someone else when they open it. I know the instant gratification of email and instant messenger clients will be missing, but the gratification of taking the time to show someone they are important and that you care is so much more fulfilling.

What is your greatest dream and greatest fear as an artist?
My greatest fear is that someone will think what I've done is crap. LOL. Basically, being judged. My greatest dream would be that I could sell some of my vintage items and make some money to finish paying for my daughter's adoption. That's ultimately why I started my Etsy shop...to create a new revenue stream for myself so I could work part-time instead of full-time outside of my home. If I can excite people to buy my handmade cards or my vintage ephemera, then I can be self-sufficient and encourage letter writing at the same time!

What are your goals in art, and in life?
My goal in art is just to do a good job. To write well received pieces when I write, or to have people enjoy the items I have presented to them. If they are touched by what I offer and it inspires them to connect with other people, then I have been successful. In life, the goal is to be happy. To be content, to love, to share, and to leave a legacy. I hope I can achieve those things

What is the name and link to your Etsy studio?
I have an Etsy shop: The Scratching Post, by 2badcats http://www.2badcats.etsy.com/

Do you have any other online shop, a website, a brick and mortar shop, and/or a blog?
I do not have a brick and mortar shop. I work out of a spare bedroom that is my crafting zone and my vintage ephemera supply vault! LOL
I do have a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/2badcats
I also have a blog, but I had to put that old hold when the adoption process ramped up LOL: http://2badcats.wordpress.com/

Thanks so much for stopping by! Leave some love for 2BadCats!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

HampshireRose and Memories

Meet Sharon with HampshireroseMemories. Sharon has been scrapbooking for over 20 years. When you take a look at the pictures that are posted you can tell that she enjoys creating albums for family, friends, and now YOU. Sit back and get to know Sharon. You might find a little mini album that is just what you need.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a fulltime caregiver to my mother who has Alzheimers, I have been doing this for the last five years. We live in Lake Forest, California. I am divorced, and have a 26 year old son, yikes I'm getting old! LOL I have been scrapbooking for over 25 years.

When did you open your shop on Etsy?
I opened my shop in July of 2008. I have always enjoyed creating albums for family and friends, and my sister suggested I give Etsy a try. I had never thought of selling my creations before. Etsy has been a great experience for me, not only am I able to make a little money, but creating my albums helps me to relax, de-stress and realize that I'm not just mom's caregiver, but my own person as well. I have met the nicest people on Etsy, and have to say it's really been a lifesaver for me.

Tell us about your shop.
My Shop HampshireroseMemories http://hampshirerose.etsy.com specializes in all different kinds of mini albums. Mini albums are so popular right now, there are so many uses for them, carry them in your purse, display on your desk at work, or at home. And, of course, they make great gifts for family and friends. Mini albums are quick and easy to make, which is great for me because I never know how long my free time will last. LOL

Do you have a special space for your crafting, or does the kitchen table do double duty?
I am lucky to have a separate area for my scrapbooking. I have taken over the living room. This arrangement works very well for me, except that's it's the first room you see when you come in, so I have to keep it clean. I can’t just shut the door!

How much time do you spend daily/weekly working on your craft?
I usually try to get in a couple hours everyday creating my albums. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. My sister comes over and spends the day with mom, so I get the most uninterrupted time on those days.

How did your shop get its name?
My shop HampshireroseMemories is named for my mother she was born in Hampshire England and Rose is her middle name. Memories…that’s what my shop is all about…preserving your memories.

What's your emergency craft kit consist of?
Chocolate and Diet Coke!

What have you learned the most about life from your craft?
It's all about your memories. Life IS about the memories you make and the ones you share with your family and special friends. The other day my sister and I found a couple boxes of 35mm slides that had been hidden away. We had the best time looking at those old slides crying, laughing, remembering our childhood. It's an afternoon I will always treasure.

Thanks for stopping by. Please comment and let Sharon know some of your special memories. And she just might have the album for those precious memories.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tina and her found passion!

“Find your passion, and do it well.” That is Tina’s favorite quote. And after selecting her pieces of art for this interview, she does do it well.

Tina, Ruthie's Girl Designs, inherited her creativity from her late mother, who, in her mother’s time, made clothes for her and her siblings. Her mother also made various crafts and Tina has held onto vintage supplies from her mother’s stash. Just imagine what she is holding onto. Tina also enjoys sewing and jewelry making.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy your visit with Tina.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a married mother of two 19-year old children. No, not twins! My husband and I have two children from previous marriages. We currently reside in a little town called Converse, Texas right outside of San Antonio.

When did you open your shop on Etsy?
I opened my Etsy shop on April 3, 2007. I waited a few days because I figured if I did it on the first everyone would think it was a joke.

Tell us about your shop:
My main shop, Ruthie's Girl Designs consists of hand crafted (pieced) invitations, greeting cards and stationery. Pipkin Paper Co is another paper shop of mine, which specializes in Baby Shower Invitations and Birth Announcements.

Name top (3-5) items (for crafting purposes) that you cannot live without.
I cannot live without my various cutters (guillotine, slide cutter, rotary), my modge podge, or my glue gun.

What inspires you?
The thing that inspires me the most, especially when making wedding invitations, are the bride and groom themselves. I like to talk to them and see what really moves them emotionally. I am also inspired by other paper artists' work. I love looking at techniques they have learned and try to learn them myself.

What is it about paper that draws you to create with it?
I have always loved paper. ALWAYS. I used to make these 3-D pictures, so to speak, out of shoe boxes with a hole in the far end, then the top cut out with blue paper on the top and then do a scene within the box. I did that in the 4th grade as an art project and got 3rd place at the Art Fair. I was pretty much hooked on paper then. Paper has so many personalities! It's one of those things that, even if it has a design on it, can become something more than a flat sheet of paper once you have molded it into something you want it to be.

Is there something that you've never tried with paper that you'd like to try?
I'd also like to try to use gesso in some of my designs. It's pretty versatile and I'd like to see where I can go with it.

When do you find/make time for your crafting?
I'm currently unemployed, so I have a lot of time in the day to create or search online for inspirations to create. When I was working, I created whenever I could find the time. I'd also carry a mini composition book around in my purse and would draw pictures of card ideas that came to mind. I also use my phone to take photos of commercial cards (NOT TO COPY!!!) that have a technique on them that I'd like to go home and try.

Do you have a special space for your crafting, or does the kitchen table do double duty?
I'm very fortunate to have a dedicated art room. I have about 100 sq. ft. of space to work in so I have lots of give room. Before that, I used the dining room table. We never had a place to eat for over 2 years. It's amazing how clean my house stays now, with out all the bins of paper and glue etc all over the place. It's amazing.

Do you remember the first item you made, and if so, do you still have it (or a picture of it)?
I count this baby shower invitation as the first thing I ever made, in terms of Ruthie's Girl Designs. I currently sell it in my PipkinPaperCo. Shop. It's a baby shower invite I made it with beautiful textured paper (called hapsack) and hand stamped flowers with textured paint centers.

How much time do you spend daily/weekly working on your craft?
I probably spend about 40/week or more.

Why did you decide to become on Etsy seller?
I decided to become an Etsy seller because I wanted to be part of the handmade movement, and to try to make a little money doing what I love best.

What is your favorite technique/ your "specialty"?
I don't think I have a favorite technique or specialty, but I've been told many times I do hand tie the perfect bow.

Do you have a favorite crafting book, magazine or TV show?
The Carol Duvall Show will always be my favorite show. Unfortunately, I don't think it's on anymore!

How do you create the perfect balance between family, house-hold duties, work and paper?
I keep everything in perspective. Family first, no matter what. We usually get up and feed the animals, do household chores, then I move on to my office. It's not the first place I go to in the morning.

Do you sell mostly online or at craft shows?
I sell mostly online. I need to start doing craft shows!

How many different selling venues do you use?
I sell on Etsy (3 shops), Ebay occasionally and Shop Handmade.

Where do you go to first when you need ideas?
I go online to some of my favorite blogs and look at what they are doing at the time.

Who is your biggest fan?
My biggest fan hands down is my husband. He's always encouraged me to keep at it even when I doubted myself.

Are you a clean or messy crafter?
Now that I have my own dedicated space, I am a clean crafter. Although my work space (table) may get a little messy, I always clean it up at the end of the day. I like walking into my art room and it's clean. It keeps my mind from getting overwhelmed with clutter.

Do you have a day job? If so are you up all night crafting?
This IS my day job!

How do you get the word out about your products?
I can't promote much right now, or even relist. I try to keep my flickr account up to date with what I have going on at the time and by being a presence in Etsy when I can be.

How much planning do you do before you create?
It could be spur of the moment, or it could be days. I guess it all depends on what it is I am trying to make at the time.

Is there someone in your life that may have inspired your creativity?
Ruthie, my mom, was a crafter.

How did your shop get its name?
I dedicate my shop to my mother, Ruthie, who was a sewer and all around crafter.

What is your favorite item to create and why? Tell us about it.
I like to create boxes from scratch. Be it a box for a set of stationery, a gift, anything. I love to make boxes. I made one for my husband's birthday gift. I just like to take a bunch of flat nothing and turn it into something.

Do you have more than one etsy shop?
I have THREE shops! Two of them are going slow, but Ruthie's Girl Designs is my baby: http://ruthiesgirldesigns.etsy.com/ -Here I sell handmade greeting cards, stationery, and gifts. Pipkin Paper Co.- THis shop specializes in hand made baby shower invitations and accessories. http://pipkinpaperco.etsy.com/ . This shop has everything else that I like to make. So far, it's really pretty hair pins with sparkly centers. I plan on starting on some sewing projects and other crafts that interest me: Atenshn Deficit Design- http://www.etsy.com/shop/atenshndeficitdesign.

What has been your most successful marketing technique to date?
I really don't have a marketing technique, which is why I probably don't have as many sales as I should. I just try to be myself and always tell people what I do. I usually tell them I make custom communications, which interests them to ask me more.

What's your emergency craft kit consist of?
Gum ....seriously.

Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do cause it's cheaper than therapy.

What have you learned the most about life from your craft?
I've learned that no matter what, you we are all multi faceted and we don't have to spend our lives doing just one thing. Explore your options. Start over even if you are 55 or older. It's never too late.

Leave a comment or two about Tina and her work. I know she will appreciate it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mechelle Designs with an attitude

Mechelle with Mechelle Designs is one of those artists who knows how to use color. Those colors that she chooses makes you want to see more of her work. Her talent in illustration has led her business life to freelanceing. She has also worked for companies as a graphic artist.

I was reading her profile and she has sold her work at the Smithsonian Institution gift shops. That had to have been a wonderful feeling to receive that recognition!

I have picked out a few of my favorites from her online Etys studio. I really like the “birds with attitude.” Enjoy the sites!

Tell us a little about yourself:
I am a wife and mother of three children ages 12, 10, and 5 years old. We live in a suburb just outside of Atlanta.

When did you open your shop on Etsy?
I opened up my Etsy shop in December 2007

Tell us about your shop:
I create original art, prints, note cards, journal/sketchbooks, tags, pendants, and magnets.

What inspires you?
I marvel at the beauty of God's nature when I observe plants, animals, trees, and flowers. These creations inspire my work tremendously, but in a humorous way.

What is it about paper that draws you to create with it?
I love the fact that I am able to use my artistic ability to create a piece of art in a functional way.

How do you create the perfect balance between family, house-hold duties, work and paper?
That is an ongoing struggle since I have a child that goes to school a half a day. Time is very limited.

Do you sell mostly online or at craft shows?
I sell online primarily but also at fine art and craft shows

What do you have on while you're creating, if anything, and is it tuned to something specific?
I love listening to talk radio while I create.

If you could learn a new craft, what would it be? Why?
I think soap making looks like so much fun to do. It is almost like baking a dessert.

Please leave a comment and let Mechelle know how you feel about her work.

Thanks for stopping by our blog,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

EtsyPaper Team Weekly Featured Member - Aletha Williams

* This is a re-post of our most wonderful Aletha of AJs Designs.  She will be taking over the team's featured members posts for us and I wanted to recognize her and her terrific shop once more.  Be sure to give her a BIG THANKYOU when you see her on Ning and our team threads!  Thanks Aletha!!!

Our next featured team member is Aletha Williams. Aletha is the creative mind behind AJ's Designs. She creates gorgeous cards, artwork, and really intricate mandalas (my favorite). Aletha has been a member of our team since November, 2008. We have 3 questions that tell us a little about Aletha and her shop and she has chosen 7 out of all of the questions that were submitted by our team members on the forum post. Here are her answers to our questions - happy reading!

Tell us a little about yourself :

I am now residing in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I am married to a wonderful man. (I count my blessings every day. And, I make him count at least once a week.) We have two beautiful children, a daughter and son. Our daughter has given us two grandsons who are now age 14 and 11. Our baby, well he’s 27 now, just married in January to a beautiful woman. No grand kids there yet, he is still in law school.

Tell us about your shop:*

When did you open it?

I opened my shop in February 2007. I really got busy with it in 2008. I still do not have everything posted.

What items/type of items do you sell:

I sell collage art, hand bound journals, mini wall art (collage on stretched canvas no larger than 5”x7”), art cards, greeting and note cards, mandalas, mandala art cards, seasonal items such as ornaments and holiday cards. Just about everything I create involves paper and rubber stamps.

Getting to know you - 5 Questions (or 7,lol)

1. Name top 3-5 items (for crafting purposes) that you cannot live without.

I cannot live without rubber stamps and paper. I have an over abundance of both and I still keep collecting both. If I every decide to have a garage sale, just to clean my studio, I would probably be able to make the next two house payments. The other items that I could not live without are my X-Acto knife, paper trimmer, watercolor brushes, and rulers.

2.What is it about paper that draws you to create with it?

I have always been drawn to paper. We cannot live without it. It is part of our everyday life. I remember growing up and making my own “little books.” Some were small enough that Barbie could hold them. And then I did grow up and was lucky enough to land a job in a print shop. Thus began my career in graphic arts and print production. I was introduced to typesetting on some of the first photo type computers (I’m getting ready to show my age here). And I gained experience in operating printing presses. I realized then that some of the art that I created I could reproduce. Reproduction involved typesetting, dark room work (shooting negatives), burning printing press plates from those negatives to make the positive, getting the press ready to make the job complete. The most fun was choosing the paper for the job. I could not wait for a paper salesman to come and peddle their wares. They brought the most beautiful poster samples that was printed on “the stock of the month.” Now began my career in collecting paper. The fire marshal would probably have a few words of concern.

3.Do you have a special space for your crafting, or does the kitchen table do double duty?

I do have a studio. It is a 6’x8’ attic room. I have spilled over into the attic for storage. Whatever project(s) I am working on seem to over flow onto the stair landing. If I am doing a lot of tearing and meticulous trimming I will be in the living room and/or sun room. The dining room table I use as a catch all and packing for art festivals. I store my inventory in the spare bedroom closet. My shadow box frames are stored in the downstairs hall closet. My husband and I share an office with our computers. He’s the Director of News and Analysis for RigData and he telecommutes. He’s also a writer. Hmm..two creative people living together 24 hours a day. I do allow him to have his own desk in our office and he gets to use the kitchen table in our sun room. Hey, I had to learn to not talk to myself…he thought I was talking to him!

4.Who is your biggest fan?

I have to say that my biggest fan is my husband. You probably can tell that by now. He has to live with me. Next will be the kids. They check Twitter to see if I have posted anything new and if I haven’t, they ask why. Then there are my parents, the rest of the family and friends, who always gets something handmade as gifts.

5.How did you learn your craft?

My craft is rubber stamp art and I am self-taught. I was needing a creative outlet and during a year of watching Carol Duvall and the rubber stamp segments I kept repeating to myself, “I could do that.” I guess that my husband got tired of me talking to myself and bought me my first rubber stamps as a gift. I already had all the paper stock and he knew my creative side. He did create a monster. He asked me “just how much paper and how many stamps do you have?” Needless to say I changed the subject.

6. Do you have more than one Etsy shop?

No, I have the one Etsy shop: http://ajsdesigns.etsy.com/
I do have three other online shops and a blog. They are:

7. Why do you do what you do?

This is a very good question! Through the years ( I hope there are many more), I have realized that one of the biggest sins you can commit could be against yourself and others. That sin is not using your creative talent. What I mean by that is…be it God, the gods, nature, evolution, or just being human…if you do not use the talent that is given you, and nurture and let that talent grow, you are performing a disservice to yourself and the world. Let it shine! Practice one hour, four hours, or 24 hours a day. Just don’t let it go to waste. “That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.” —Dennis Miller

Find her here:

SHOP - AJs Designs

BLOG - AJs Designs

NING - Aletha

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Be sure to visit their awesome shops!

* Funny Sky - Funny Sky

* Kim F. Aucher - Kimosabe Scraps

* Tiffany Burks - Tiffzippy

* Terri Moore - Terrbear37

* Kerry Downes - Erin and Celeste

* Kimberly Garner - My Creative Side

* Tina Price - Ruthies Girl Designs

* Julie aka Elves in the Attic - Elves in the Attic

* Gregg O. Byers - Greggs Goodies

Decisions were based on the date these members signed up as well as their participation level during that time. Our next membership announcement will be in early April.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Creating Your Own Designs using the Cricut

By Gregg O. Byers
My Shop: http://www.greggsgoodies.etsy.com/
My Own Blog: http://greggsgoodies.blogspot.com/
Etsy Paper Street TeamPage: http://etsypaper.ning.com/profile/GreggOByers

Why I wanted to use the Cricut Machine
When I kept seeing those infomercials about the Cricut Expressions machine,my constant question was, “Can I create my own designs and transfer them tothe Cricut Expressions Machine?” After doing some “googling” online, I found that the answer is YES! This article is all about how you can do the same. I love Scherenschnitte and using the Exacto knife to create multiples of a design in a timely manner, just isn’t feasible. So finding a software that helped me to produce multiples of the same design was a wonderful find!

Making sure you have the correct version for Cricut

First, you need to have the Cricut Expressions machine, of course AND it
needs to be updated to the 1.3 version. The only way to find out is to
have the Cricut Expressions Design Studio and through that you can find
out and update through the internet. There are easy steps for doing this.

Getting the Tracing Program: Inkscape
Next, you need to have a free program called Inkscape,
which can be downloaded from inkscape.org. It is a
program that takes your design and traces it and makes it
such that it can be used in another program that directly
works with the Cricut Machine. The next page shows how
the Inkscape program looks when opened. The only use I have had for the Inkscape program is for the tracing of the designs I create. So the only choice I have had
to use is Path and File, which will be discussed later.

Getting the SureCutsALot Software
The other program you need is called SureCutsAlot. This
program must be purchased, which I did through the internet
and you are given a program key to change it from a trial
version to your personal version to use. It now has the trace
feature like what is done with Inkscape above, but I’ve tried it
and I still like Inkscape’s tracing much better. The particulars for
this program are found at craftedge.com.

Creating Your Design
Now that you have the programs, you’re ready to CREATE!
First, you can do a line drawing and then scan it to make it a .jpeg. After
scanning, I use a program called Paintshop Pro to use the FILL feature
to make areas in my design black. Note: Think of it this way: Anything
that is black will be traced as an object and that part will stay in you
design. All of the white will be cut away in the end. This concept is
important to internalize, because if, for instance, you have a design with
a “floating” dark object inside a white area, but it isn’t hooked to the edge
of another black area, it will be cut away and not show in your final
design. Think about it as an eye that you might draw on a face. It would
be isolated with white around it and therefore if traced in the Inkscape
program and then cut out in the SureCutsAlot program, the eye would be
removed because it was not connected.

This is the logo for the program I use to work with the designs I
create. Especially with designs for cards, I like to put a border
around the design, which helps secure the design if it will
become a part of a card. (That may be another article.) But, I
seem to learn more and more from this program every time I
use it. It has been a very good buy for my needs.

Tracing Your Design using Inkscape
Once you have a design that you have created and scanned to make it a
.jpeg, you are ready to have it “traced” by the Inkscape program. Below
is a screen shot of the program after opening it.

Double click to open the Inkscape program and you will see a blank box.
Click on FILE and choose OPEN to find your .jpeg and CLICK on it.

You will see your .jpeg design in the box. If the box doesn’t have little arrow marks around it, CLICK on the box to activate it for tracing.

Next, find PATH, CLICK on it, and then CLICK on TRACE BITMAP within the list of PATH choices..

Clicking on Trace Bitmap will open a small box. To see your .jpeg in that little box, CLICK UPDATE. And the design should show in the box.

This screen below shows the design after clicking update.

CLICK OK in that same box and the program shows the design in a traced fashion, which means you have been successful. Now CLOSE the box (just click the X in the upper right corner of the small box.

Last, to save the design to be used in the program, SureCutsALot, CLICK FILE and choose SAVE AS. A box will appear with the name of your design with the .jpeg at the end. Use your mouse to highlight the .jpeg
and REPLACE that part with .svg, which is the extension SureCutsAlot looks for to cut the shape. CLICK SAVE to save the file with the .svg.You will still have the file in .jpg, as well. Now you can close out of
the program HINT: If you plan to do a bunch of designs at once, it’s great to just minimize the program to be used again. Also having the .jpeg file allows you to go back and use the file later for other projects you might think to create using the same design.

Using SureCutsALot to Cutout Your Design
Open SureCutsAlot. (it looks much like the Cricut Expressions Design Studio Program) You’ll see lots of symbols at the top. To bring the design into the program to work with, CLICK on FILE and then choose and CLICK on IMPORT SVG. Find your design now with the .svg at the end, CLICK on it and the design will show on the grid of SureCutsAlot

Now you can expand the shape to the size you need it to be. If you notice that when you click your mouse when over the shape, a box appears to the right where you can change the dimensions. I had to use my calculator to change fractions (and made a chart for this) to decimals, which you will need to do so for example, if you have a shape you want to be 4 ½ inches wide, then you will type, next to the W: 4.50. And if the shape needs to be 5 ¾ inches long, then you will type next to the H: 5:75 . You will see the changes as you change the shape size right after typing in the numbers.

Below shows the changes made. You will also have the ability to change how the shape can be placed on the mat, as well as being able to turn it and also copy and paste it to create duplicates on the same mat if you have the space. (See the program directions built into the Help section for copy, paste, cut, etc.) You will then, once you have manipulated the shape how you want it and whether you have made duplicates, cut it out by clicking on the SCISSORS icon.

Some Helpful Notes:
•I now have over 40 designs for blank cards, and so as I began to
realize the amount of designs I was accumulating, I decided to
create folders within my folder, CricutCuts (as I called it) to make it
much easier to find each type of card design. Examples of folder
categories: Objects, Animals & Birds, Trees & Plants, People,
Christmas, Boxes, Envelopes & Cards, Halloween, Valentines Day,
Early American Designs, etc. It has really helped when searching for a design.

•This is just an idea that happened with the mats used in the Cricut
Machine. To prolong the life of each one, I use a lint roller to gather
up all the paper lint that adheres to the mat. It does keep the mat
tacky and I can use them longer.

•Dover Books has many public domain graphics that I have adapted
to cards I have created. At the least, the books give great ideas for
my own creations.