Friday, November 26, 2010

"This is our pact: We live. We work. We're just getting started."

Can you guess what movie that quote is from?  Hint: Morgan Freeman.  :-)  Ten Items or Less.  A pretty good indie film.  The basic premise is about two strangers helping one another while getting to know each other.  And part of that process includes telling the other the 10 most hated things about themselves, and then the 10 things that are "keepers."  Voicing their lists provides guidance and lifts their confidence.  So I'm going to start my blogging by introducing what I feel are 10 "keepers" in cuttable-related web categories (for me, anyhow); and I suspect (if you haven't already become familiar with them) these sites will give you guidance, inspire you to have confidence in your creations, and above all, they'll be very good sites to return to, again and again.
  1.  First, of course, is the Cricut Community which includes links to tips, projects, products (at the top), and the ever helpful Cricut Message Boards, which led me to the next pick.  
  2.  After I got my Cricut, I caught the cartridge craze, but soon realized that I couldn't afford THAT addiction.  So when I found out (from a Cricut Message Board) that there was software out there that could save me from myself, I jumped on it!  It's called Sure-Cuts-A-Lot (SCAL).  This software allows you to do so much more with your Cricut.
  3.  But you will need a little guidance, which can be found in some exceptional SCAL tutorials.  One very important tutorial is this one which shows you how to find and install fonts that you can then access (and cut!) with SCAL.
  4.  Then along came the scads of free SVG files on the web.   I found my favorite freebies at and my MOST favorite cuttables (although these aren't free) are Mary's Cuddly Critters.  SO cute!  :-)   But there is now also a comprehensive website called that searches the net high and low for free SVG files so you don't have to.
  5.'ll want to begin making your own SVG/cuttable files (if you haven't already started).  You will want Inkscape - the premier free vector-creating software (if you don't already have it). 
  6.  Inkscape is a little complicated for the novice; but have no fear, there are tons of tutorials out there.  Here is a quick starfish tutorial to get you started.  And here's a really colorful and fun Valentine Art tutorial that will really get you rolling with Inkscape. Another one that I absolutely love is this Swirls tutorial.  You've probably always wanted to learn how to make your own beautiful and unique swirls that you can cut and add to your scrapbook pages and card projects.  Now you can!  
  7.  When I got about this far with my interest in cuttables, it came to my attention that there were other machines besides the Cricut that can cut SVG files (who'd of thunk?).  Here is a good comparison chart that describes the capabilities, prices, similarities and differences between several machines.  I'm sticking with my Cricut for now, but knowing how it compares to the others is reassuring.
  8.  And in addition to the other machines, there are also other software programs now that can aid you in your cutting (for those of you who don't like buying new cartridges all the time).  Here's a terrific cutting-software comparison chart by CleverSomeDay.
  9.  Speaking of new cutting software, I fell in love with Make The Cut (MTC) software and consider it an essential tool that offers a splendid cut and print feature (making it less necessary for one to buy the new--and very expensive--Cricut Imagine machine designed to cut and print images from your Cricut cartridges).  The blog that convinced me that MTC is the next new sensation, is Under a Cherry Tree.  I intend to take a closer look at blogs and videos that focus on cuttable-related features and tutorials, as well as advanced cutting techniques and projects, in the days ahead.
  10.  And finally, for those of you who just prefer the Cricut Cartridges no matter what (or maybe just don't have time to learn new drawing programs), here is a great Cricut Cartridge Search Tool that will prove invaluable to you.
That's all for today.  :-)

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