Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Guest Designer: Cara Miller

A big welcome to our August Guest Designer, Cara Miller.  Cara has hosted multiple cruises with Cruise & Crop and the ladies have raved each time.  Cara is versed in many die-cut machines.  She is also an avid "colorer" and is Copic certified.  

You can check out her website at
Her Cricut Guides, "Whispers," are available on Amazon.  Search for "Cricut Whispers"


I have purchased cartridges simply because they have a Border Creative Feature!  I love the ability to add themed borders to my layouts and even cards.  I love borders but … and this can be a big but… Cricut borders may not cut the way you expect them to cut.  No surprise…it is a Cricut!  But I find that is part of the thrill and the challenge. Let’s think like a Cricut!

First important fact to remember: You can make the border larger but you will never be able to increase the number of item in your border.  If there are 3 cruise ships in your border you can’t make your border have 5 ships unless you are using your Gypsy. 

Next, borders are an image created by the cartridge designer and they are one image in the mind of the Cricut.  That means the height and the length maintain their proportions.  If you make the border longer, it will also increase in height.  In other words…you will probably not be able to create a 2” tall border that stretches across your 12x12 scrapbook page …unless you are using your Gypsy.

Do you see a trend here?  Yes borders are awesome but they are limiting if you are using the Cricut alone.  Don’t give up …there are a few tricks but you need to think like a Cricut.  Using the Original Cricut, set the size dial on the height you want your border to be.  Cut the image and measure the length.  You can then cut as many images your need to piece together equally the full length of your layout. 

Using the Expression does make it a bit easier.  The mat size doesn’t matter but the “FIT TO LENGTH” feature on the Expression makes borders much more satisfying.  Remember the size dial on the Cricut refers to the HEIGHT of the image or the border.  The length will be determined by Cricut.  The image will be cut as long as Cricut thinks is the right length for the size you selected on the dial. 

But if you use Fit to Length you are telling the Cricut “I know what length I want this image (border) to turn out so use the size dial number as the length.”  The Cricut will try to cut the image as long as you ask.  Using the cartridge Border Creative Feature , press the image key you want, start with your size dial on 11 ¾ to get the longest border possible on your 12x12 mat.  Press OK and Cricut will do the math and think about it… and tell you how tall your border will be.  No surprises now.  The Cricut may beep and that means that it can’t cut a border at 11 ¾ because the border height will be too high to fit on your mat.  I also think that is not really a border at that height either!  It would cover the whole page!  Dial down and see what Cricut says when you press OK.  This trial and error allows you to see what is going to cut without wasting paper. 

Adding the Gypsy allows you to piece the border strips together and weld so that you will actually get as many trucks as you wish in your border. This is really the only way to really get the small detailed border that was in your head.  

Thank you Cara for being part of the Cruise & Crop family!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Virtual Craft Fair

A friend of ours is hosting a Virtual Craft Fair.  There are many links to great blogs and Etsy shops with super cute merchandise.  Why not start your Christmas shopping early!

Click here to visit the Virtual Craft Fair:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tiered Inspiration

I was so inspired by this blog that I decided to create one for myself.  I wanted to add some height to my crop table and this was a fashionable way to do so.

I took only 1.5 hours on a Saturday and hit up a couple of thrift stores in my area.  Did you know you could haggle with them over the prices?  I didn't know if it would work but it did - and I ended up saving about $8.  This entire stand only cost me $4.

It looks crooked in this picture but it actually came out very straight with no extra effort.  I used 3 plates and 3 candle sticks to make this.  The pieces are glued together with E-6000.

The bottom candle stick started out like this - yucky and wooden.  So I painted and distressed it to match my Studio.

For the next divider I used a glass candle stick.  I love mixing these different elements - by doing so I ended up with a truly unique piece.

The top item is a very strange candle stick that when turned up-side-down, created a nice "dish" for my topper.

Have you created any tiered plates?  If so, we want to see them.  E-mail photos to