Geeks and Glitter

Come geek out with us in what we like to call "Shuman Land" and join us while we create and learn along the way.

Hey everyone! As stated in a previous post, my goal this year is to be able to decorate my home for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, without breaking the bank, but look fun and festive at the same time. Since Halloween is next month, this has been my main focus for the past month, and I'm finding all kinds of ways to save money on Halloween decorations, but also new ways to decorate with common things most people buy to have around the home every year. 

Everyone, or at least most people, buy pumpkins for the fall season. Some carve them, others just leave them sitting on porch steps untouched, and others (like the ones featured in this post) have come up with some extremely original ways to decorate their pumpkins that require NO CARVING! I love the way pumpkins look in the fall, and I don't mind carving them (I find it fun!), but once you carve them, they begin to rot and don't last. Over the past few years we haven't carved many pumpkins, but we have decorated our porch with giant pumpkins in their natural orange beauty. This year, after seeing these no carve pumpkin decorating ideas, I'm going to make a few of my own. 


Of course, I always use Pinterest to search out bloggers who are doing  fantastic job, and post them here for you to check out as well. This allows you to either make it yourself, or inspire you to come up with your own. I hope the no carve pumpkin decorating ideas stirs you to try something new. 



If you like the idea of not having to carve a pumpkin, but still want to do something different painting your pumpkin is the easiest thing. You can paint your pumpkin to look any way you want it to. If you want to match your decor, you can easily stay festive without having to change the current colors or theme to your room or porch. I like to try and stay with a fall color scheme so that I can keep things in place through Thanksgiving as well. 


I love Disney, and this pumpkin reminds me of Cinderella's coach. If you have little girls running around your home who will become Princesses on Halloween, this tutorial is definitely one you should check out. I would love to do this, but it looks time consuming, and I just don't know if this is one I will get around to. I have been setting aside more personal time to do whatever I want, and this may be one of those projects that I showcase.You can find the instructions at Craft Smile


I already know my daughter is going to want to do these, and I won't mind doing them. These are adorable. What makes this even better is that these are done on small pumpkins which can easily be placed on a counter for decorating. Also, you can find fake pumpkins at the Dollar Tree that come in a bundle and paint some of those as well. If you like Dollar Tree crafts then check out: Halloween Dollar Tree DIY Projects


I thought this was a simple, yet very fall way to decorate a pumpkin that can easily stay out until Thanksgiving. This is done with tissue paper and decoupage glue and could be easily done with supplies you have around the house. You can find the instructions at The Daily Basics


Another version of a painted pumpkin, that if I had the artistic talent with paint to do, I most certainly would attempt this work of art. If you decide to do this pumpkin, please post pictures in the comments below so that I can see it because this is stunning. If you are interested, you can check out how it was done at Craft Berry Bush


Now this galaxy pumpkin is definitely something that I would do as a no carve pumpkin project. I love stars (most of my tattoos are stars), and I could definitely see this sitting on my porch. If you want to do this project for yourself, check out Dream a Little Bigger


This is simple, and I am making these this year for Halloween. I love the way these light up without having to carve them. Who would have thought to use spray paint to make your pumpkins glow. If you want to know how they did it check out One Little Project


I loved how simple this was, almost requiring no effort. All you need is a scrap piece of lace and some white paint, and you are good to go. If you want to know more about this project, you can check out Digs Digs


I wasn't surprised when I found this project. People have marbled almost anything you can think of, and the reason is because the results are absolutely stunning. I've marbled several things myself. If you want to know The Do's and Dont's of marbling, or how it's done, you can check out DIY: Marble Nail Polish Coaster. If you want to know more about the pumpkins and how they were made you can check out Alice and Lois


Another fad that went around Pinterest were the melted crayon projects, and this has also been tried on just about anything you can think of, so I wasn't surprised when I saw someone had tried it. This is a very simple project and if you've been needing something to do with those old and broken crayons, this is a great way to recycle. Check out the tutorial here at Princess Pinky Girl


This is a pretty cool way to dress up a pumpkin, and honestly I don't know if I would have ever considered doing anything like this, which is why this project made it on the list. This looks fun to do. You can find out these no carve pumpkins were made at Midwest Living


I think this is really cute, and ANYONE could make a pumpkin like this. The possibilities to what you could glue down to a pumpkin and decorate with are endless, and people have tried all kinds of things, but I really like the way this one was done. It's simple enough to knock out quickly, but still looks fantastic, and this time of year, these are the types of projects I am looking for. 


This is so elegant and again, extremely simple to do. Grab some scraps of tool and a can of spray glitter and you have yourself a no carve pumpkin that is decorated in less than 5 minutes. If you I actually do get around to trying the Cinderella pumpkin above, I would add a couple of these in the background to have additional decor. 

I love these ideas and can't wait to try a couple of these myself, so be on the look out for those tutorials soon. If you are still looking for Halloween DIY ideas, you can check out these articles as well that offer additional projects that are budget friendly. You can check out Free Halloween Printables and Halloween Dollar Tree DIY

I hope you guys enjoyed these ideas! If you try any, please do not hesitate to put your finished products in the comments. You can also suggest other ideas. 

Have a blessed day!
Jess
Geeks and Glitter.





NOTE: Some of these images I found through Google, so I'm not sure who the original image belongs to, but this seems simple enough that we could wing this from home. If you know who this belongs to, I would love to give them credit. 
In an effort to decorate my home for Halloween as nicely and inexpensively as possible, I have decided to find the best free resources on the Internet in order to accomplish my goal. If you have a good printer with plenty of ink, then you can easily print and frame some of these amazing free Halloween printable to add to the decor of your home.

I LOVE Halloween, and I especially love those who have a knack for decorating on a budget for Halloween. We don't do a lot of gore in my house, mostly because I have small children, but we do like spooky, and these free Halloween printables for your home will not disappoint.



Listed below are some of the best sites I have found on Pinterest that offer free Halloween printables for your home. Many of these websites you should bookmark because there is so much to be offered for not only holidays, but for your home in general. These printables and resources offered by each one of these sites are amazing and should definitely be kept for future reference, especially if you aren't into Halloween.


This website has a ton of really creepy apothecary jar printables, and her set up is AMAZING! You will really enjoy these. She also takes you through her process of how she designed everything, what she used and how she set everything up. If you are looking for a great tutorial on how to use bottle printables, this is the place to go. You can find her tutorial here at The Navage Patch

These look like real life medicine jar labels, which is probably why these are my favorite. If you want something that looks authentic, but is spooky at the same time, you will definitely want to try these free Halloween printable for your home by Faco Designs.


If you aren't following the dating divas, or you didn't know about them, I am telling you now...FOLLOW THEM. They showcase the most adorable items on their blog, and thankfully, in this post, have done all the hard work for you by putting together their favorite party printables in one area. If you are throwing a Halloween shin dig (that's what we call it here in the south), then these printable will add a fun touch to any party you are throwing. You can check out their blog post at The Dating Divas


These printables are easy enough to throw in a frame and hang on the wall without having to invest too much time or effort into decorating. I will be adding these to the wall in my kitchen. There is so much traffic through my kitchen that it's hard to put out nick nacks and such where the kids won't destroy them running in and out the back door, but these will dress up the kitchen just enough. She also has tons of other fun printables for around the home as well. You can get these printables here at Little Gold Pixie

 This is a fantastic resource to have for printables. I will be mixing these with the ones from Little Gold Pixie, and like I said above, also be showcasing these around my kitchen and possibly my office to add a little Halloween flare. You can find these printables at The Graphics Fairy
Here are some more apothecary jar labels, and if I get around to it, I may be using some of these in my Halloween display in the living room, or possibly patio area with my pumpkins. Either way, these would be a great addition to you Halloween decorating needs. You can find these printables as well as a ton more here at Holidappy

I can't wait to try out some of these Free Halloween Printables to decorate my home, and added bonus, save money while decorating. If you know of any more blogs or websites that have awesome printables for Halloween or any occasion let me know in the comments below, and I will showcase them as well for everyone to look at. 

Thanks so much for reading, and have a blessed day!
Jess
Geeks and Glitter

So, here we go again folks, I am sitting here writing this post as I await the damage from Hurricane Irma who is wreaking havoc across the coast of Florida right now as we speak. Hopefully, my craft shed doesn’t take as much damage as Hurricane Matthew brought upon us last year, but it seems that we may see similar damage between both storms. I’m just praying that our home takes no significant damage. While prepping for the hurricane, I decided to get a jump start on October goodies by writing a post on Halloween Dollar Tree DIY.



If you are like me, you love to decorate for the holidays, but it can be a little tight on the wallet. If you shop frugally, or even a little smart, you can easily decorate your home for every holiday in the fall with a little creativity and prep. When it comes to Dollar Tree DIYs, you have to start a little ahead of time, and while I was shopping for necessities, I realized that Dollar Tree was already placing their Halloween stuff on the shelves, which gave me the idea for this post. So here goes nothing! Listed below are 10 of the most fun Halloween Dollar Tree DIY projects to add a little fall flare to your home. 

Some of the ideas listed below do not have links. This was because I couldn't find them or was only an image search. If you are the original owner of one of these photos, please comment below and I will add your blog or website for additional instructions. I ALWAYS give credit where it is due if I have not tried or created it myself. 


Dollar Tree has plenty of fake bones you can buy. If you don't know what to do with them, then try hanging them as an eerie mobile to creep out guests. 


This is such a simple Dollar Tree DIY project, but can really add a nice touch to your home. Painted in the right colors, and with the right decor, these candy jars could stay out year long with goodies in them. 


I don't seem to have the knack for knowing what things look coolish in glass ware projects, but I would love to have something like this for my home. Again, after buying the glassware, you could easily change this out for every season. You can find the instructions for how to make this fun Halloween decor here at The Pin Junkie


This was one of my favorite Halloween decor ideas, mostly because I like anything anatomical related, and 2nd because I would leave this out year round if it were painted in a different color. This is so simple to make, it will definitely be on my To Do list for Dollar Tree DIY projects this Halloween. You can find the instructions on how to make it here at Perisalou


This was my 2nd favorite project on the list, and I'm sure this goes without saying, that it's because of the glitter. I am in love with these, and also something I would leave out year round just because they are too cool to only be out for a few days a year. You can find the instructions here at Caps Creations


You have got to give it to Martha Stewart, she really knows what she is doing when it comes to awesome DIY projects, and these apothecary jars are no different. All you need is some paint to really turn boring jars into something fun to decorate with during Halloween. You can find Martha Stewart's directions here at MarthaStewart.com


I think this is such a cute idea for welcoming guests into your home during the fall. You could even make sure it lights up at night by adding some sort of solar light on the inside which would make it glow. I'm not sure I would paint the pumpkins black, there's something wrong about that to me, but this is for sure a really neat project. You can find the instructions to this Dollar Tree DIY project for Halloween here at DIY Candy



Now this project is actually for sale on a Halloween website, but you could easily get most of the supplies from the Dollar Tree to make this around Halloween. You could use hoops to do the tiers and there are fake chain pieces that you could string in between each level. If you are willing to put in the effort, this would be really neat to hang outside or in a dining room.

I really liked these a lot. Not only are these skulls, but they decided that they wanted to dress up for the Halloween festivities as well. This would be adorable as decor. I am thinking about making these to set up in my office at work, I'm pretty excited about this potential project for the fall. 


This is such a cool project, and honestly this woman has some amazing creativity. I love using other bloggers as inspiration because there really are some talented people on the internet. These will take a little finesse in order to get the image on the glass, but the finished product is amazing. You can find the instructions on how to make these here at Flamingo Toes

So there you have it. What did you think about these projects? I'm really excited to try a few of these for Halloween decorating. Which project was your favorite? Tell me below. 

Have a blessed day!
Jess
Geeks and Glitter

If you haven’t heard by now, Cricut is releasing several new products this season: The Cricut Easy Press, The Cricut Bright Pad, and the most exciting, in my opinion, the Cricut Maker. Cricut CEO, Ashish Arora, announced the new additions to the family on August 1st, 2017 at the Make Something You Love convention. 



There were so many people following the announcement on Facebook live that the feed kept shutting down. thankfully I had a back up channel through Melody Lane and got to see it for myself while at work, which was exciting. One of the best benefits of social media and cell phones.



There were mixed feelings about the Cricut Maker. The overall census for the new products were of excitement and awe, but there were mixed feelings over the release. Many Cricut users were disappointed that the Cricut Maker was being released in August 2017 when they just released the Cricut Explore Air 2 earlier this year. These machines are expensive, and many crafters were disappointed because they just spent $300.00 or more on a newer machine, and thought that Cricut should have just waited to release any new products earlier this year if they knew that they were going to release an additional machine later this year. I was also sad about this, as my Cricut is not even a year old, and I can’t quite see spending the additional money on a newer machine right now, but I’m hoping by Christmas I can make it work.

Another disappointing factor was that the newer blades, which I will touch on later, will not be made compatible with older machines, making it impossible to do some of the newer features without purchasing the new Cricut Maker.

While these are important factors to consider before buying the new Cricut machine, the good news is that these two “cons” are the ONLY ones. The Cricut Maker is more superior and the additional features make it much different and more capable of handling larger craft projects than those of the previous machines. The video posted below will show you just how pretty the new Cricut maker is, and will give you a brief overview of some of the newer features.

The rotary blade is the feature that I am most excited about with this new machine. I cut fabric from time to time with my Explore Air, but more intricate cuts are limited due to the limitations of the blade and it’s ability to cut fabric like it does paper and other materials. The new rotary blade for the Cricut Maker is going to open so many new doors for crafters, especially those who use fabric as a common element in their craft projects. Design Space is also adding sewing projects to their arsenal of crafting projects with several big sewing companies sponsoring patterns. Some of those projects will be free to Cricut users and others are only available through purchase or Cricut Access. There are so many projects I have been dying to try using fabric, but cutting out pattern pieces and the fabric is so daunting, that I’m over the project before I really get started. This will make me want to pick up some DIY projects. According to the Cricut website the rotary blade featured in their new machine can,
“…quickly and accurately cuts hundreds of materials, from the most delicate fabric and paper to the tough stuff like matboard, leather, and balsa wood. Now your creative potential is exponential.
“The Rotary Blade brings infinitely customizable, precision fabric cutting to the home for the very first time. Use it to cut cotton, fleece, denim, and more. With its gliding, rolling action, it cuts virtually any fabric quickly and accurately – without backing material.

Cricut is also adding tool sets specifically designed for your fabric cutting needs to include a sewing kit and a felt tip fabric pen.

Additionally, the Cricut Maker was created to last longer, be customizable for future Cricut releases and is made for commercial use (crafting businesses will love this), and it is made of exclusively metal parts to withstand some of the most difficult projects. This new machine cuts materials that are up to 2.44 mm in thickness versus the previous machines only capable of cutting 2 mm.
Here is a quick overview of some of the other things being offered with the Cricut Maker:
  • Cuts the most materials. Cricut Maker cuts hundreds of materials quickly and accurately, from the most delicate fabric and paper to matboard and leather.
  • Digital sewing pattern library. Access hundreds of patterns from brands like Simplicity® and Riley Blake®. Pick a project, and the machine cuts all the pieces you need.
  • Expandable suite of tools. With its powerful blades, pens, and scoring tool, Cricut Maker grows with you as you learn each new craft.
  • Rotary Blade. With its gliding, rolling action, this blade cuts through virtually any fabric quickly and accurately – without backing material.
  • Knife Blade1. This extra-deep blade works like an X-ACTO knife to slice through heavier materials like 2.4 mm (3/32”) balsa wood and matboard with ease.
  • Washable fabric pen1. Automatically mark your pattern pieces so you’ll always know how they fit together.
  • Adaptive Tool System. This professional cutting technology intelligently controls the direction of the blade and adds up to 10X more cutting force.
  • Easy-to-learn Design Space® software. Fully loaded with advanced features including Offline Mode, Print Then Cut, and SnapMat. For iOS, Android, Windows®, and Mac®.
  • Flexibility to upload your own designs. Use your own images and fonts for free in a variety of standard file formats.
  • 50 ready-to-make projects. Includes 25 digital sewing patterns plus more projects that demonstrate what Cricut Maker can do.

Compare the machines.


So what do you think about some of the upgrades with the new Cricut Maker? Are you as excited as I am, or do you fall into that category of individuals who just purchased the newer Explore Air 2?
Either way, you have to admit, this new machine is really cool and if you have the funds, definitely worth the upgrade.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Did you buy one? If so, I may need to talk to you in a couple of months when I finally get mine so that I can get some tips and tricks. 

Have a great week you guys, and don't forget to stop by from time to time and see what's new around here. 

Have a blessed day.

Jess
Geeks and Glitter 
Now that you are well on your way to creating by finding social media groups and practicing with your machine, chances are your Cricut cutting mat is getting a little worn and dirty. While you could go out and replace your mat with a new one, there are a few things that you can do to revive a dirty mat in order to save time by not going to the store, and better yet MONEY. We all can use a little more of that right? So let's learn how to clean a Cricut cutting mat.



First off, there are a couple of different ways that a Cricut mat can be cleaned, and I have tried each one of these. All of these methods work; however, I will list below the different methods, which ones work best and which ones will work in a pinch, but not so much long term. It also best to note that resticking a cutting mat can void your machine's warranty. Always check the warranty information that comes with your Cricut cutting machine.

One of the first things you can do to your Cricut mat is to wipe your mat down after use with an alcohol free baby wipe or a lint roller. The lint roller helps to remove any remaining paper bits that you can't get off with weeding and the baby wipe just removes any dust or dirt that may have collected on the mat. I have heard that scotch tape work as well, but I have not tried this method for myself. If you are anything like me, sometimes I forget to put the covers back on my maps and this is a quick way to ensure you are working with a decently clean mat before begining a project.

This is the method that I use if I have completed a fairly large project with lots of cutting and chaning out materials which can cause the mat to become less sticky. If your mat isn't heavily soiled with bits of paper, you can try the simple method of just washing it with soap and water. I usually put dish soap on a sponge and scrub it a couple of times to knock off dust or small paper particles that may keep the mat from sticking. When you are finished, lay the mat on a flat surface and let it air dry. When the mat is dry it will be sticky again. The soap and water just take dirt, dust and paper off the top of the surface, but there is still sticky left on the mat to continue on to your next project. It may not be as sticky as before, but it will still hold your work down. I don't suggest using anything more than lightweight materials.

I use this next method as a way to start from scratch and really deep clean a soiled mat, maybe I shouldn't say "soiled" more like well loved. :). This method requires several steps, but it will completely clean your mat and give you a fresh start. The first step is to apply Goo Gone to the mat and allow it to sit there for about 30 minutes. Once the Goo Gone has set, take a scraper and scrape all of the sticky off of the mat. I used the tool set that came with my cricut that is more specifically used for applying vinyl to different surfaces. If you don't have one of these with your machine, you can easily pick one up at a local craft store or you can go HERE and pick one up on Amazon for yourself slightly less expensive.

When you have finished scraping your mat, there should be no residue left. This is where this project can get a little messy. Using a spray adhesive you can re-stick your mat. I suggest taping the mat off with painters tape. The tape just keeps the paint from setting in places that you don't want sticky. Once you have sprayed your mat with spray adhesive, I let it sit for a couple of hours to settle. Using a spray adhesive will make your mat REALLY STICKY, so you will need to use something to help take some of that away. I use a piece of fabric that will pull some of the unwanted adhesive off. Keep dabbing the fabric across the mat until it is the correct amount of sticky that you need for your projects. If you do not de-stick your mat before placing your materials on it, you have a really good chance of it getting stuck. Trust me, I learned this from experience.While this method is a little tedious and time consuming it will keep you from having to buy a mat every time you complete a project.

SUGGESTIONS FOR SPRAY ADHESIVE:
3M Spray Adhesive
Elmer's Spray Adhesive
Aileen's Spray Adhesive
Krylon Adhesive Spray

I personally use the 3M and Krylon spray adhesive. Both of these work great. If you are looking for an option that is less expensive the 3M spray is the way to go as Krylon can be a bit more expensive. I feel both work equally as well.

Obviously, we we have already touched base on the warranty information when we started this article. That is IMPORTANT! I always have 2 mats available when I am working on a project. If I need to clean a mat, I always have one as back up.

Remember, these are just a few methods that I have tried. There are many bloggers and vloggers that have different methods and it is always best to find what works best for you. To help you with this process, I have taken the time to find a video on youtube that may help you, and of course it is from Melody Lane. She is so helpful, and if you weren't currently following her from my previous suggestion, then you need to follow her now. If you haven't read my article about learning your cricut explore machine and what you can do to overcome your fear of using it, I suggest you read my article HERE

Check out Melody's video below. Happy crafting and be blessed.

Jessica
Geeks and Glitter




If you are reading this blog post, chances are you have a Cricut Explore Machine, and not only are you ready to use it, but you are curious to what you can do with it. The Cricut line of cutting machines are top of the line, and the possibilities are really only limited to your imagination. Some buy the Cricut so they can design their own greeting cards, others use it to cut stencils for various DIY projects, and some use it for monogramming using various materials. If you are really new to Cricut or don't know much about it, you probably thought it was only useful for cutting images out using card stock. While this is a common material used for many Cricut projects, there are so many more materials you can cut with the Cricut Explore machines.

 According to the Cricut Help Center these are the list of approved materials for using the Cricut Eplore cutting machine. This is what they say:

Which materials can I cut with my Cricut Explore machine?

Cricut Explore machines cut so many materials that the only limit is your imagination. From something as delicate as tissue paper to thick leather, this amazing machine can do it all! Some of the popular materials that the Cricut Explore can cut are:

  • Paper - Standard, Cardstock, Vellum, Poster Board
  • Vinyl - Standard, Premium, Dry Erase, Chalkboard
  • Iron-On - Heat-Transfer Vinyl (HTV)
  • Craft Materials - Washi Tape, Craft Foam, Glitter Paper
  • Upcycled Materials - Chipboard, Cereal Boxes, Aluminum Cans
  • Fabric - Felt, Denim, Polyester, Burlap, Canvas
  • Plastic - Stencil, Window Acetate, Silicone
  • Thick Materials - Leather, Balsa Wood, Magnet Materials

This is a crap ton of materials right? But, there are still more materials that many people have also tired out and posted about. Even Cricut recommends trying out different materials as long as they are smaller than 2.0 mm in thickness.

For the most popular materials used in cutting on the Cricut Explore machines there is a preset dial to make cutting at the right depth simple. You can also save certain settings for materials that aren't listed on the dial by moving to custom settings and the Cricut will automatically adjust to that setting for you. Below is a snap shot of the settings listed on the Cricut website, but as I mentioned earlier you can adjust anything you need under the custom settings dial setting on your Cricut Explore.


The list above tells you the pressure setting you need your machine set on, and also tells you the best tools for the job, including the various Cricut mats and blades needed to get the job done with ease.

If you are following Cricut Facebook groups or Youtube video bloggers, chances are you can find all of the information that you need on cutting your materials, along with tips and tricks for getting it right the first time. If you aren't exactly sure where to look for other individuals who like the Cricut cutting machines as much as I do, you can check out my post HERE!

I have found that with some of  the thicker materials I have tried, sometimes you have to play around with even the settings that Cricut recommends on their help page. If you find that your design did not cut all the way through the first time, you can always repeat the cut by inserting the mat again. Certain materials do require multiple cuts with the machine, you can adjust this when you come to the final cut screen and choose multiple passes before you hit the "GO" button.

I hope this post has been helpful. Let me know what types of materials you have tried cutting and what settings you have found work best. Happy crafting and be blessed.

Jessica
Geeks and Glitter
I am finally confident enough using my Cricut Explore Air, that I feel I can finally share a few tips and tricks when it comes to using the Cricut Explore. I'll admit, I have been really wanting a Cricut machine for awhile, and often went to my Mom's house to play with her original. However, when my Bookie (yes, this is my pen name for my husband) finally bought me the newest one as a surprise after I lost a lot of my crafting supplies after hurricane Matthew, I was OVERWHELMED. I took it out of the box and did the beginner tutorial card they offer through Cricut Design Space, but after that, I was so nervous I would mess something up I stared at it for a month before I touched it again.

Although I still get nervous with some of the things that I push my Cricut Explore to do, I'm having more fun with it, and I have found some of the coolest tricks so that you can get the most out of your machine. These are the things that have worked for me, but the advice I give comes from following some wonderful bloggers that I follow and trust with the amount of knowledge that they have when it comes to their crafting business and using the vast amount of products that Cricut has to offer. So, without further adieu, here is my best advice for learning how to use your Cricut Explore. 

#1. Find Groups on Social Media
This is the best piece of advice I can give anyone who is starting out with any new project they may be taking on ie: Crafting, blogging, technology...whatever it is, there is probably a Facebook group for it. What makes these groups even better is that there are people just like you on there. There are advanced to beginner individuals who all want to help out and find suggestions to their projects. It was so refreshing to be in a group with individuals that had the same questions as I did about learning how to use Cricut products, many of who were just as overwhelmed as I was just starting out. My favorite group on Facebook is Cricut Design Space with Melody Lane, and there are wonderful people that give support, a thumbs up and advice on how you can make your projects look better or get past a technical problem you may have. If you are looking for a Cricut group to follow, I promise you will not be disappointed with this one.



#2. Youtube, Youtube, YOUTUBE!
I'm pretty sure you get the point, but for those of you that aren't using Youtube as a way to learn, you are living under a rock. I love research! I think it gave my Mom so much comfort in knowing that most of the time she could always find me at a book store or library trying to find as much information on whatever it was that I was interested in that week. When I have a question about my machine, or I want to learn how to do a particular project, I ALWAYS go straight to Youtube. What makes Youtube so great is obviously instant gratification, but on the other hand, there are so many people that can guide you step by step through your journey of learning something new. You may not like everyone who has a video channel about your subject because everyone learns different ways, but when you find a channel that you like, subscribe and support that individual and let them know they are doing a good job. You can also find Facebook groups this way, which helps connect you with different individuals. This is how I found Melody Lane. If you are a newbie and want to learn your Cricut Explore, she is FANTASTIC and her videos are really easy to follow.

#3. Just DO IT!
I know the amount of knowledge when learning something new can be overwhelming, but the most honest advice I can give you is that if you aren't applying that knowlege that you are learning through a Facebook group and Youtube videos, then you are wasting your time. When starting out, find a small, simple project that you can accomplish in a short amount of time and DO IT. It may not be exactly what you want or would like to do, but you can't do the bigger, better and more fun things until you learn the basics and start small. One of my personal favorite small projects to do is making paper flowers with my Cricut Explore. They can be used for a variety of different projects and are simple to make in a matter of minutes.

Hopefully, this helps anyone reading to overcome Cricut Explore anxiety (as I like to call it), and you are ready to learn and have fun, because ultimately that's what it's about!

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and have a blessed day!

Jessica
Geeks and Glitter
If you are wondering where everyone is finding those adorable little svgs that they are placing on cute personal items, then look no further than this post. I’m sharing my favorite websites for free svg files and fonts. I love using my Cricut Explore to cut out vinyl images to place on everything I own, but you can also use these as printables.
You don’t have to be a computer genius and design your own fonts or svg files, even though it isn’t as complicated as you may think to design your own, I get it….sometimes you just don’t have the time to design your own image, or have to decided to put something together on a whim. While this list isn’t extensive, and only consists of 2 websites, I promise you won’t be dissapointed with the free svg files these websites have to offer.



First on the list is Creative Frabrica
This website offers an svg for almost any occasion, and most of these are perfect for making your own signs or printables. Here’s the coolest part about this website. They only offer cetain fonts and svg files for free weekly, but if you want unlimited access to everything they have to offer, you can get unlimited access to everything for 3 months for ONLY 12 bucks. Yeah, I said it, 12 bucks. There are over 2,000 files avaiable for you to access with this subscription and you can find anything you need. Hop on over to Creative Fabrica and check them out, regardless of which way you choose to get your svgs this website is an excellent bookmark for future use.



My next favorite place to go is LoveSVG
If you get on Pinterest (If you don’t know what pinterest is, I don’t know what you have been doing with your life), then changes are you have seen these adorable little printable svg files. What makes it even better is that most of these are free. Even better, if you want to use these images for commercial use when you are selling your own crafts you can buy the images in bulk for around 15 dollars. That’s an AWESOME deal.


I know that there are plenty of free places to get svgs on the web, but I use these two websites because they have so many in one place and they are organized. I’ve searched Google countless times trying to find svgs to use with my projects and I feel like I spend more time digging through images on random websites, and even then I rarely find what I am looking for and have to create it.
So, if you aren’t busy and you have a project you need to complete, head on over to these two websites and check out what they have to offer you. I think you will find that you will enjoy it, and maybe even purchase a few images of your own.
Be blessed!
Jessica

Geeks and Glitter