Monday, February 20, 2012

CAN'T FIND CRICUT 12x12 MATS? -- READ THIS!

If you have been shopping for green Cricut 12x12 Expression cutting mats recently, you have probably noticed that they have been very difficult to find, in stores and online. 
Well, it is because they aren't making the green mats anymore. Don't panic -- it just means buying and using the white 12x12 mats that used to be just for the Cricut Imagine machine. Now they've redesigned it to be used for both the Expressions and the Imagine machines.


You can use this 12x12 mat in your Expressions machine
It makes sense really, if you think about it. Why should the company have to make two separate mats for basically the same type of paper?
But there is something you need to know about the white Imagine mats. When you first get it, it won't seem as sticky as the original Expressions mats. In fact, there have been quite a few complaints that paper won't stick well after a few cuts. 
According to Cricut.com, these mats were designed to be washed with warm water to "reactivate" them and make them usable again. Here's is what the website said:"Wash the mat under warm water for approximately one minute (no soap). Let it air dry. If the mat is still not sticky enough, use a plastic scraper to roughen up the surface of the mat. Repeat the scraping as needed to improve the tackiness. If there is a buildup of lint or paper dust on the mat it can be washed with warm water and gently rubbed by hand to refresh the mat."
Honestly, I just bought a white Imagine 12x12 mat, and it worked great. I didn't have issues with the paper moving, but I also was using thinner paper. If your paper doesn't stick well, here are a few suggestions:
1. Use a Zig 2-way glue pen to add adhesive to the mat. You can find these pens at Michaels, Hobby Lobby and JoAnns. I usually put a dot of glue in each corner and a stripe down the sides. Then, you have to let it dry for 10-15 minutes. When the glue turns clear, it is a temporary hold and works much the same way as the original Cricut mats. You also can google Zig glue and Cricut mats and find lots of how-to videos.
2. Use blue painter's masking tape and tape the paper down to the mat on the top and bottom -- just not on the sides. 

I hope that helps, but feel free to email me with more questions.

Monday, February 13, 2012

JUST ONE OF THE REASONS THAT I LOVE MY GYPSY!

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was spent about 2 1/2 hours away from home teaching at a scrapbooking retreat in Kearney, Nebraska. I taught classes Friday night and all day Saturday. Then came home Sunday. It was a great experience. I met even more awesome ladies than I did last time. 
Anyway, one of the classes that I taught was about the Gypsy. If you know me at all, you know that I love my Gypsy. But at the retreat, I met lots of ladies who still don't know about the Gypsy or aren't convinced they need one -- until they meet me, of course. 
So, I decided to show everyone how a Gypsy makes layering so much easier, and quicker I might add. 
This first photo is a picture of the Gypsy screen. When you design things, you place everything on a virtual mat. Where you place it on the virtual mat is where it cuts on the real mat. This photo is of the layers I needed to make a scarecrow girl for my Vala's pumpkin patch page. 


Photo No. 2 is a picture of the mat with the colors that I needed for the scarecrow placed in the same spots as the images on the virtual mat. 



Below is the mat after all the pieces are cut out, so you can see how it comes out and how it makes layering so easy. Note that I had already taken off the brown parts before I took the photo. 



Here is my completed scarecrow girl. I added Smooch paint for her cheeks and the ribbon on her hat. 


FOLLOW UP AND COMMENT WINNER

 Hello again! 
In my last post, I asked for input regarding a pumpkin patch page that I was working on. I was having trouble getting the title placement and color combinations just right. 
Thank you so much for the input. I was surprised that there wasn't an overwhelming winner. The votes were fairly even between the cream and the blue. 
After some more brainstorming, I came up with the compromise below. I really wanted to tie in some blue, especially with the other page of the layout. But I'd still love to hear what you think of my final selection.


The winner of the prize for commenting on this dilemma is... 
CLM-cindylu2uFeb 5, 2012 06:46 PM
Great LO, I like picture 4 with the Smooch Spray by itself!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

WHICH DO YOU LIKE BETTER? -- GIVEAWAY!

With so many options in scrapbooking these days, sometimes I am surprised I ever get a page done! Today was one of those days. I loved my basic page, but getting the title just right was frustrating me. 
So, I am asking for your input. Picture #1 is the whole page. It is the same in all the pictures. It is the title, "Vala's" in the bottom left-hand corner that I couldn't decide what looked best.
I tried it several ways: one with just a cream title -- that is picture 2. 
Then, I used the cream title as a mask and applied Blue Smooch Spritz for a contrasting negative look. That's picture 3.
Picture 4  is the cream titled now covered in Blue Smooch Spritz. 
Leave a comment with your favorite option. I will pick a winner from the comments by next Sunday, Feb. 12, to receive a little surprise prize pack  from me! 
And then I will post the winning option and the option that I finally used. 
Thanks for helping me with this project! 

Picture 1 -- The whole page


Picture 2 -- Cream title



Picture 3 -- Blue Smooch spray negative

Picture 4 -- Blue Smooch spray by itself




Friday, February 3, 2012

FINDING USB CORDS FOR CRICUT

9695523 Larger Front

For those of you who are interested in trying out the new Cricut Craft Room program at Cricut.com, here is some handy information you need first.
You will need a A/B USB cord that connects from your computer to your Cricut machine. If you have a standard computer, it should look like the picture to the left.
I found several online at websites such as Best Buy and Office Max. You also can buy them at Cricut.com, but the cords there are much shorter than the type you find in a store. You can find some in stores that are 10 feet or more. This is good if you Cricut machine isn't right next to your computer.
Notice that the square-ish end goes into the back of the Cricut machine.

Welcome to the I Teach Scraps Blog!

Hello! I am excited to have my own blog site. This is way cool. I plan to use this site to promote my scrapbook instruction business, as well as pass on lots of scrapbooking tips and ideas to my family, friends and clients, both past and present. I'll also through a little of my personal life in for fun.Feel free to comment, ask questions, email me, ask me to post pictures of your projects, etc. Just let me know how I can help!