Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Falling back in love

  I received a Cricut Explore last year for Christmas (2015). I had all sorts of plans for it. My main focus was cutting fabric. It didn't do a good job of what I wanted. Sure, it cut simple shapes, But I wanted something more. I read and watched countless blogs and Videos about how to make it do what I wanted it to. Guess what? Half of them showed how it didn't do what I wanted. (Big sigh!) 
 So, sure, I cut some vinyl, did some stencils for etching... pretty cool- but not what I wanted it for. Many of them suggested you put paper backed fusing for the cuts, but, mid cut, the fabric would release from the paper (which was good and stuck to the cutting board) and made a mess. I even tried it with the paper off and, trust me, the glue on the fabric stuck too good to the adhesive on the cutting board. (I almost didn't get that ever cleaned off!). I was to the point of throwing my hands up and walking away from this machine! 
 I actually did let it sit for much of the year.  
Then I had an issue with printing on fabric. I had to buy a new printer, I struggled with feeding the fabric through the printer (with paper backing) then I tried Aelene's stiffen Quik to solve that problem. Wow! Not only was the fabric able to feed through the printer, it did it without paper backing! This made the fabric as stiff as a piece of paper and even made it possible to put in the tray instead of straight feed. 
I wondered if this would help cutting my fabric with the Cricut... 
It cut the piece I struggled with last year perfectly. So then I was a bit more in love with this machine and I was willing to explore with it a bit more. 
I drew a simple drawing on paper with sharpies. I took a photo of it and then cleaned it up to add to my library. This paper is 8.5 x 11 so you see the size of the initial drawing. 

 I had a plexiglass and metal frame from the craft store. The over all frame size is 2". 
I had some metal tape from a project of my hubby's. It's made for ducts, (no, not duct tape) and is an aluminum metal with adhesive on the back.(and paper/ plastic backing) 
The tape is less than 2" wide so I reduced my drawing to be 1.5" (ish) and set the Cricut to emboss on aluminum. 
 This is what I got.  I was very pleased with the level of detail I got from the embossing feature.
I mounted it on a sample of counter top. 
 In the end, I thought it was a bit too big for a necklace, so I reduced it even more to fit a 1.5" x1.5" frame I had around. 
 A bit of ink (or shoe polish) put on top to bring out the depth and I was in business. 
Now, I'm back in love with my machine and playing around with other designs.