Monthly Archives: August 2015

Creepy Critter Cricut Cartridge Ideas

by Richelle Naeglehalloween page 2 layout made with creepy critter cartridge

I know it’s way to early for Halloween, however when you see this new Creepy Critter Cricut cartridge you are going to want to start making Halloween Crafts as well! This cartridge was designed by Nancy Kubo, who also created the original Create a Critter and Create a Critter 2 cartridges and the Create a Friend cartridge. I absolutely love her designs and this cartridge is no different!

For these layouts I started it as a two page layout, but when I was finished I realized it would be good as a stand-alone layout. Remember that if you don’t have this cartridge, you can try to substitute any number of Halloween Cricut cartridges.

This first page: the tree and moon was cut out at 11.25″ and the arrow sign at 4.5″. For the Happy Halloween I just used a font from my computer and had the Cricut Explore system write it on using the silver metallic pen. The ghost border is cut out at 1.38″ making it the perfect length for a 5″ x 7″ photo frame.creepy critters cartridge layout project

For this second page the bat border was cut out at 2.4″ so the border length would be 12″. Oct 31st bat image was cut out at 4.5″ and has 4 photo spots – three 3″ x 3″ photos and one 4″ x 6″. In all, this layout was pretty easy. The paper stack I used is called Haunted Hollow by American Crafts. I love these patterns.

I can’t wait to see what you have created using this fun NEW Creepy Critter Cricut cartridge. Ideas for Halloween crafts are always welcome on our Paper Crafting Fanatics page or on our Facebook page. I can’t wait to see what you have created. Save on all of our Cricut cartridges at

Happy creating!

Product Review: Hazel & Ruby Crafternoon Collection

by Richelle Naeglehouse pillow project by hazel and ruby
While attending a paper crafting show this summer, I came across the Hazel and Ruby booth. I had never heard of them before, but they had this new product that caught my attention. I was immediately hooked, wanting to spend all my free creative time on their fun kits. The collection is called Crafternoon and part of the beauty of it is the kits are affordable and give you everything you need to make an amazing project.

Create crafts that you can wear or put on display in your home. It’s supposed to be so easy you can do it in an afternoon, thus Crafternoon. So while the kids are at school, you can get out a kit and create something beautiful before they get home! Some of these projects won’t even take close to a whole afternoon – maybe just an hour or two. That just gives you time to make a couple ; )

dreamcatcher from hazel and ruby - completedHere are some of my favorite projects:

The project that caught my eye most was this House Pillow! Isn’t this thing just so adorable? I don’t sew, though I do own a sewing machine – I don’t use it, just twice in 10 years. I think I will be breaking it out again to make this one happen. I love it and it looks so easy.

Oh and the Dreamcatcher was one of their display projects they featured at the show and let me just tell you, it was gorgeous. I’ve watched the video on how to put it together and it looks so easy. I can’t wait to make this one! I will do it soon and share.

crocheted bracelet project completedSome of these projects were created and designed by well know craft bloggers, like the Crocheted Bracelet was created by Craftaholics Anonymous. I look at this project and think of all those younger pre-teen girls who can’t get enough of accessories – these crafts are the perfect way to spend an afternoon with your kid. They will have so much fun.

mini keepsake book project completedI love the idea of this next project – make a quick Mini Keepsake Book in a matter of minutes, and you can proudly put it on display as a coffee table-topper. This kit includes album pages, covers, photo protectors, die cuts, rings and charms.

august calendar made with crafternoon cross stitch calendarThe last one I’m going to talk about is the Cross Stitch Calendar and this one is seriously fun! Keep in mind, with 18 templates, you aren’t just buying 1 project, it’s 18 different projects! I created this sample project on the right. Since it’s August, I chose to do August. Go figure. It took me a about 2 hours to do the one, and I was distracted watching a little TV. I haven’t cross stitched in years, and I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but it was so easy. Don’t be intimidated like I was.

So now once a month, I have another to do. I found it to be a really great way to unwind. I placed mine in a frame that has a 5″ x 7″ opening. The calendar was about 5″ x 7.5″ so I had to trim the length down just a little bit.

Take a look at all the Crafternoon projects and let me know which one you like the most! And don’t forget when you finish your Crafternoon project, share it with me. I would love to see what you created and what you thought about it. I can’t wait to get started on my next project!

Happy creating!

How to Use the Sizzix Precision Base Plate

product image of precision base plateby Richelle Naegle

If you have tried to cut with wafer-thin dies, you may have had trouble with the Big Shot machines and some of the accessories. Sizzix has heard their customers complain of a misunderstanding in exactly how to use the Sizzix Precision Base Plate, and they have provided these best practices recommendation that should make things loud and clear. From the manufacturer (paraphrasing):

Tips and Tricks:

  • To increase the life of the cutting pad used in conjunction with the Precision Base Plate users need to rotate the placement location of the die on the cutting pad. Do not place the die in the same place every time this will greatly reduce the useful life of the cutting pads. Instead, rotate the dies orientation on the cutting pad so that it rotates all around the cutting pad. After each cut flip the top cutting pad and use the opposite side.
  • The Precision Base Plate is not a replacement for the bottom-cutting pad, it should only be used with intricate Thinlits dies. They are wafer-thin and won’t fit like regular Sizzix dies.
  • Do not add shims to the sandwich. If an intricate Thinlits die does not completely cut on the first pass, it may require an additional pass to complete the cutting process.
  • Works with Standard and Extended Platforms only. NOT recommended for use with the Magnetic Platform.
  • The Precision Base Plate is NOT recommended for use with the Big Shot Plus. The Plus has step rollers technology and does not require the additional metal plate to cut intricate dies.

Thinlits are also great for embossing (if you use a silicone rubber sheet and an Impressions pad) or you can do it the old fashioned way with Sizzix embossing folders. You can also use Thinlits to stencil. Hopefully that was helpful. Save on all Sizzix accessories right here at, and as always, Happy creating!

Intricate Cut Quotes Cricut Cartridge Ideas

just add bacon card made using Intricate Cut Quotes Cricut cartridgeby Richelle Naegle

Here is the last of these new cartridge releases for August 2015. I think the Intricate Cut Quotes Cricut cartridge may be my favorite. I have to admit it’s because I saw this cute pig with the “Just add bacon” phrase and immediately fell in love. Literally everyone I know loves bacon. I should just make a dozen of this one design and distribute them. It’s sure to be a hit.

Just like all Cricut cartridges, there are quite a few designs that are sure to please, but clearly the pig was my favorite! I always love to include Core’dinations cardstock in my projects.

Both the cards I made are easy to complete. For the Just Add Bacon one, the base of the card is 5″ x 5″ with a 4.5″ x 4.5″ insert and the pig was cut out at 4.25″. I added a little bit of ribbon and some painted brads.

love the little things card made from Intricate Cut Quotes cartridgeThe second card I created is the Love the Little Things card and really I just wanted to see how well the Explore cutter would do with all the little intricate cuts. Of course it did amazing as always. I think one day I will just accept that it will cut whatever and stop testing its limits!

This card was cut out at 5″ x 7″. I wanted it to be a shaped card instead of the standard rectangle. I detached the image. duplicated only the very bottom, put it as close together as I could, and then welded the images together. I love how it turned out!

There are a lot of fun images on this cartridge that are perfect for Cricut vinyl, or try Silhouette vinyl. So if you create something – a card or a home decor project, please share them with me. I can’t wait to see what Intricate Cut Quotes Cricut Cartridge ideas you come up with. Don’t forget to share them with me on the Paper Crafting Fanatic’s Google + page. As always, save with on Cricut supplies.

Happy creating!

Dimensional Paper Art Cricut Cartridge Ideas

koi card made with dimensional paper art cartridge

Koi card design

by Richelle Naegle

So many new Cricut cartridges have been released recently that I can hardly keep up with all the fun crafting potential they offer. You know me – I have to play with all the new ones and put them to the test. After all, I want to give you some honest opinions of these new cartridges and more info so you can make an informed decision about whether or not this cartridge is for you. Remember to save on colored cardstock here at CraftDirect.

When I first saw the Dimensional Paper Art Cricut cartridge, I was not that impressed and even a little confused as to why anyone would spend money on it. So I was a little hesitant to make something with it, in part because it looks intimidating. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cards actually turned out very unique and were not complicated (though detailed) at all. Keep in mind that if you send this card in the mail, it will flatten a bit. That’s OK, just tell the recipient to “fluff” it up a bit. I’m not sure how this cartridge would work on the Expression, because you definitely need the scoring stylus to make this one work. With Cricut Explore machines, it will work just fine. It can cut those tiny little dots out and the scoring features and you can even write on the card using the machine. Cricut really has advanced their technology since the good old days.

So the cards are all just two cuts: the base of the card and then the top half. The machine cuts everything just enough so you can run your fingernail under them (or a spatula) to give all the little cuts a lift. The first card I made was the Koi card which is cut at 3.5″ x 5″. Be sure to do your cuts with a fresh Cricut blade. I love how it turned out, don’t you? While it cut quickly and nicely, the time was mostly spent in “fluffing” it. If you like to color I think this cartridge would be awesome (I don’t). If you cut and then colored some of the pop-outs it would give it a fun extra dimension. I may have to try that.

dragonfly card made with dimensional paper art cartridge

Dragonfly card design

This second Dragonfly card I made a bit smaller it’s only 4.5″ x 3.5″ and would be perfect for a gift tag. It didn’t take as long to “fluff” because only the dragonfly body and wings pop up.

In the end, I decided I really do like this cartridge. If you are a card-maker or DYI crafter, this cartridge has so many fun images to choose from. One problem is you can’t really use any of these designs for your scrapbook (the pages will smash the designs).

Let me know what you think of this cartridge and please share some of your projects with me. I would love to see what Dimensional Paper Arts Cricut Cartridge ideas you have brought to life. Post them on our Facebook page! Oh, and here’s a special notice for all my readers so be sure to check back tomorrow (Thursday 8/13/15) around noon MST to see another fun new Cricut cartridge release.

Until tomorrow…happy creating!

Anna’s Lovely Layered Cards Cartridge Ideas

by Richelle NaegleAnna's Lovely layered rose card

This cartridge will be released tomorrow 8/11/15!

As you probably know, Anna Griffin has come out with so many new cartridges this year and all of them have been a huge hit! The new Lovely Layered Cards Cricut cartridge is no different – I can’t tell you how many fun cards you can make with this cartridge (OK, so you can make 24 cards but when you incorporate different patterned cardstock the possibilities are endless). The great thing about this cartridge is that your not limited to just a 5″ x 7″ card – this cartridge has them in two shapes so you can do a standard size or you can do a square one without having to figure out how to size them. Oh, and instead of having little images to glue together you have larger ones that layer easily giving your card some beautiful layers without having all that extra work.

So I created two cards today with this cartridge: the first is this beautiful Rose card. I made it 5″ x 7″. While this card is gorgeous on its own, you could also add a few embellishments or some pretty ribbon and make it a little fancier.

Anna's Geo Square cardThe second card is Anna’s Geo Square card and this card is about 5″ square and was super easy to put together. It seriously took longer to cut the one image than it took to put the whole card together. So if you hate dealing with the little pieces or just want an easy way to create beautiful cards quickly, be sure to add this Anna Griffin Lovely Layered cartridge to your collection.

Save on the Cricut Explore Air machines, and while you’re here, you might as well get Cricut cutting mats and replacement Explore blades. You can never have enough fresh supplies on hand.

I can’t wait to see what you create using Anna’s Lovely Layered Cricut Cartridge. Ideas, I’m sure, are going to start flowing once you get your hands on this cartridge. Share them with me on the Google + paper crafting fanatics page.

Happy creating!