A Well Crafted Retirement

"Retire from work, but not from life." -M.K. Soni

The card for this class

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Using and Uploading SVGs with Your Cricut Explore

In the course of working with crafters in the first two JoAnn Cricut classes, the subject of SVGs has come up every time.  So together with Laurie Carlson, the Education Coordinator at the Loveland store, we have developed a “Local Interest” Class!  Since this is a local offering you need to contact the Loveland store to sign up.

Purpose of this class:

  • Learn how to locate and purchase SVGs online.
  • Learn how to download SVGs.
  • Learn how to upload SVGs into Design Space.

I am primarily a paper crafter so I chose the set Summer Box Cards from my favorite designer, Mary, at svgcuts.com.

The full set of "Summer Box Cards"

The full set of “Summer Box Cards”

This set contains five different box cards that can be adapted for lots of occasions by the types of papers you choose and the sentiments you stamp or print on them.  It also has some “blank card bases”  that allow you to design custom box cards using any images you want.  The class project will be the “Party Box Card” from this set.

You can buy this set ahead of time and download it onto your computer at home.  Just be sure you know where the download is stored on your computer and that you bring that computer to class.  If you want to wait until class to make your purchase, be sure to bring your credit card with you.  I tried this a few weeks ago and it worked.

The methods for searching, downloading, and uploading are the same for any SVG.  Even if you’re not a paper crafter this card is fun and surprisingly easy to put together and is really impressive to receive.

The card for this class

The card for this class

Supply List:

Must Haves:

  • card stock (note: if you use scrapbook paper, it will not support the weight of the card)
  • glue (I recommend Scotch Quick-Drying Tacky Glue)
  • Cricut tools
  • cutting mat
  • pen that fits in your accessory clamp, not too thick a point, the writing is small
  • your Cricut
  • your computer

Fun to Use, but not Required:

  • baker’s twine
  • pop dots or foam squares
  • thin ribbon or small pre-made bows
  • ink pad for shading edges of cuts
  • embellishments




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Robot Birthday Card

I bought the Cicut Explore several weeks ago and I am experiencing a pretty steep learning curve with the Design Space software.  I think part of the problem lies in the fact that I never used The Craft Room with my Expression 2 so before I can learn some of the features of the new machine I first have to feel comfortable with the concept of designing on line.  Here is an easel card I made for our nephew.  I have attempted to create a template for the card base, but I am still having some trouble the placement of the score line.

Images:Robot Birthday Card

  • Robot from Wrap-It-Up
  • Cake from Stamping
  • Rectangle a notecard from Cricut Craft Room Basics
  • Cloud a notecard from Cricut Craft Room Basics
  • “Cake” Impact font

Cuttle Bug:

  • Darice Swirl Background
  • Darice Diagonal Stripe Background

Additional Supplies:

  • tape runner
  • craft glue
  • “Happy Birthday” stamp for inside of card
  • small piece of foam core to place under “Cake ?”

Here are two screen shots from my Design Space to help with the sizing of the cuts. The one of the card base is still a work in progress.

Elements of the card.

Elements of the card.


Easel Card base...in progress

Easel Card base…in progress


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“Thanks a Ton” Card

This week Clay needed a thank you card for the family of one of the students he tutors.  I like the elephant cut from Everyday Pop Up Cards so that’s what I got out.

Thanks a Ton CardCartridge Used:

  • Everyday Pop Up Cards

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • Elephant @ 4.0
  • “Thanks a Ton” @ 4.0

Additional Supplies:

  • tape runner
  • craft glue
  • a corner rounding punch

I found a print with old time circus ads and ticket strips in The Great Rock Island Route paper stack by the Paper Studio.  I cut a 5 x 6.5 inch rectangle from the print.  I then cut a 4 x 5 rectangle in red and a 4.5 x 5.5 in gold.  I used the punch to round the corners of the gold paper.  The print had these cute little tickets  that I cut by hand to embellish the left hand edge.  Using some tan and a copper foil paper from my scraps I cut the elephant and attached it to the gold paper.

InsideI scored the gold paper 0.5 inches from the left edge so that it would open outward.  The phrase “Thanks a Ton” went on the inside of the card.  The tickets act as the hinges to open the card.

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Card Gallery

I received my Cricut a year and a half ago and for my first project made the card suggested in the Walk in my Garden Cartridge.  I only started blogging three months ago.  Many of the cards I made I photographed but didn’t keep records of the cut sizes.  I do remember what cartridges I used for the main cuts.

Birthday Cards:



 Get Well Cards:

Special Occasions:

 Two Versions of One Design:

A Sympathy Card:

I hope to share more cards as I go along.














Speedy Recovery Card

An old friend of ours is doing in-house rehab after a long illness.  So I’m sending him this card.  He grew up in the 50’s and loves classic cars so I thought this would suit him. The front of the card

Cartridge Used:

  • Give a Hoot
  • Nifty Fifties
  • Every Day Pop Up Cards
  • Plantin Schoolbook

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • Gas Pump @ 3.0 (Nifty Fifties)
  • Car 1 @ 2.0 ( Nifty Fifties)
  • SpeedyRecovery @ 1.5 (Every Day Pop Up Cards)
  • Border page 46 @ 1.25 ( Give a Hoot)
The inside of the card.

The inside of the card.

Cuttle Bug:

  • Darice Simple Border

Additional Supplies:

  • tape runner
  • craft glue
  • a black Sharpie pen
  • a silver gel pen
  • a corner rounding punch

I used a paper cutter to cut the card at 6.5 x 10 from Cloud9Design double sided card stock.  The other papers I found in my scrap box to coordinate with the blue, green and cream stripes.  The dark blue rectangle  is 2.5 x 4 with the corners rounded.  The light blue horizontal stripe is 1 x 6.5 and embossed with the Cuttlebug to give the checkerboard design.  The copper stripe is .25 x 6.5.

When I cut the gas pump I found the tiny letters and silver details were to small to handle.  I used the very fine point of the Sharpie pen for the word “gas” and the silver gel pen for the hose details.  The green border I thought had a nice 1950’s vibe, but it was either too tall or not long enough.  The cut at 1.25 worked when I made two and covered the seam with the gas pump.

I cut the phrase in the dark blue and its shadow in the striped paper with the stripes running horizontally to mimic the lettering.  For the convertible I use red, light blue and white with the black bottom layer.  I cut the pop-up strip .25 x 5.5 and folded it at the 1 in., 1.5 in., 1 in., 1.5in. and .5 marks.  The method is the same as I used in the Baby Shower Card.  With all the pieces ready and the envelope cut from cream paper I assembled the card.



Freshly Picked Birthday Card

Our friend in Oklahoma has a birthday next week so I’m doing a birthday card.  Nancy likes blue so that color’s in the card.  I know Freshly Picked is an older cartridge but I just bought it last week and was anxious to try it out.

Freshly Picked Birthday.Sometimes I pick the paper to go with my design. But this time I picked the paper first and let it influence the design.  I knew when I went to my stacks that I wanted the colors blue and green and an outdoor theme to the print.  I found a small bird print with a reverse side of yellow green in a heidi grace stack called Tweet Dreams.

Cartridges Used:

  • Freshly Picked
  • Straight from the Nest
  • Give a Hoot
  • Plantin School Book

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • Gazebo @ 3.5 (Freshly Picked)
  • Bird 1 @ 1.5 (Straight from the Nest)
  • Bird 2 @ 1.5 (Straight from the Nest)
  • Tree 4 @ 4.0 (Give a Hoot)

Cuttlebug Folder:

  • Happy Birthday

Additional Supplies:

  • Versa Magic chalk ink pad in Oasis Green
  • Darcie Self-Stick Gem in yellow
  • a tape runner
  • craft glue like Aleene’s Max Tacky Adhesive

I cut the card to measure 6.25 x 10 from the print paper being careful to watch which way the print went.  I didn’t want the birds to being flying sidewise when the card was folded.  Again using the paper cutter I cut the blue at 4 x 4.5 and the green reverse print at 3.5 x 4.  I embossed the print with the Happy Birthday cuttlebug folder.  This time I left the paper in the folder and patted the raised surface with the ink pad.  That seemed to give a more even color with less ink hitting the low parts of the embossing than when I take the paper out first.

The bottom layer of gazebo is cut from a deep red and the shift layer from the reverse green print.  The tiny leaves and vines I cut from that same yellow green reverse print.  For the flowers and shadow I used the blue.  At this point I stopped and put the gazebo together because I was afraid of losing some of the tiny pieces!  I used the same red and blue for the the birds.  When I put them together I turned one of each size around and shifted the angle of the top layer wing to make them look slightly distinct.

For the topmost layer of the trees I choose a bright truer green to pop against the yellow green background of the inside.  I cut the Happy Birthday phrase in the blue.  With the paper cutter I cut a scrap of the print 4.25 x .25. to make the gazebo a pop-up element. I wanted the two little birds to be perched in the trees of the inside, so I removed their feet.  I did the same for one of the larger birds so that he looks like he is flying while the other is standing on the ground.  The method of making the gazebo pop-up is the same that I used in the Baby Shower Card.

I cut the envelope in a cream paper, assembled all the completed elements and fastened everything down.  I added the gems for the eyes on the cover’s birds and used a marker to dot the eyes of the interior birds.