It makes the cutest little chirp you’ve ever heard.

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking74 Comments


Unknown  So the fine folks at Provo Craft and Today's Mama hooked me up with a shiny new Cricut Expression electronic die cutting system. After all these years in the scrapbook industry, would you believe I'd never even seen one in action? That I truly had no real understanding of what it even did? Well brothers and sisters: BELIEVE.

When the box arrived, I pulled it all out, and with minimal effort, set everything up and then just sat and stared at it. Now what?

I decided to start out super simple. Because let's be honest: what the heck am I going to make with this? I mean, I'm a simple scrapbooker, remember?

Being a fan of type, I plugged in the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge and set out to make my first projectโ€”a layout about my recent summer vacation. I designed a simple gathering of photos, grabbed a sheet of Hambly Little Circles paper and loaded it into the machine.

The Cricut takes very little time to figure out, even for a die-cutting newbie like me. And when you hit the Cut button, it's pretty much magical. HOW DOES IS KNOW TO DO THIS? That's pretty much my standard reaction to any new technology in my world.


And so, I created my first page, courtesy of the Cricut (click on the page to see it larger):


Then it hit me: with a set size of die cuts, you have one size to work with, but with the Cricut, you have whatever size you want.  I love that you can use multiple sizes of the type as seen in the title here, and the "09." That is super cool. I also loaded up the Accent Essentials cartridge to add in a few shapesโ€”the curvy arrow and the journaling cardโ€”to complete the look.


With my new-found confidence, it was time to branch out with a new cartridge and a new project. The cartridge? From My Kitchen. The project? A new idea for a recipe card design. As you may recall, I love me some well designed recipe cards. And it turned out, if I may be so bold, ADORABLE:


Seriously? For cute, right? I love the idea of combining a cool, streamlined design, and then adding a few die cuts.


Hello tiny salt & pepper. Aren't you just adorable? Well yes you are!

Now that I was feeling superior and fearless, it was time to conquer another crafting rite of passage: the greeting card. I had recently seen a usage of the Cricut on a set of bookmarks and tags and I absolutely loved the minimalism of it, which inspired me to create these cards using the Winter Woodland cartridge:


Okay, seriously? If you are on my Christmas list this year, and if I commit to sending cards, the kraft card with the reindeer will be showing up on your doorstep. Seriously. How simple and elegant is that?

In the end, I have officially branched out in my creative crafting. Die cuts are my friend. Thank you, Cricut.

Oh yeah, and it makes the cutest little chirping noise you've ever heard.

Cathy ZielskeIt makes the cutest little chirp you’ve ever heard.

74 Comments on “It makes the cutest little chirp you’ve ever heard.”

  1. #2
    Heather D

    Cathy, you are rocking the cricut. I only get to use the big one when I’m teaching a class, but I have the little one, and love it. Oh, and if you like the full size scalloped or brackety pages, use the fit to page option, and make your own. So very cool.

  2. #3

    So glad you like it! I jumped on the Cricut bandwagon when they first came up, and upgraded to the Expression when those came out – and I have never regretted it! I am going to have to check out My Kitchen!

    I find that – in addition to those cute die cuts – I use it more to create my own mini albums (pages, covers, shapes, etc)!

    Look into the Design Studio software – takes the Cricut experience to a whole new level! You can weld letters/shapes, create perfectly sized pages/accents! (Yep – I’m a fan!) ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have some mini albums and “word books” that I made posted on my blog if you are interested! (Look for “Cricut” under Categories.)

    See you in class! ๐Ÿ™‚ (MeTAV)

  3. #4
    Rene W

    Very cool! Now I want those cartridges. Michael’s has them on sale this week for $39.99 if you’re looking to add to your collection.

  4. #6

    The Cricut is the greatest. I was lucky enough to receive one from my mommy last year for Christmas. Just wait until you (your children) have a school project and you have to create a title for the ever popular poster board project. The sizes, colors and fonts are never ending and the kids really think they are something special when you just whip out a title. We did one last year and even added a tree for the “T” in “Family Tree”. Glad you finally got one and were able to play.

  5. #7

    as my blog name states, oh fer cute! LOVE the Christmas cards, love the recipe card, I have ignored the whole die cutting deal, but you have definitely sparked my interst…

  6. #9

    I’ve been eyeing these but really didn’t think I would have a use for one. Question, some of the cut outs seems quite small or narrow. What type of adhesive did you use?

  7. #10

    Saw your post on FB and was crossing my fingers that you were having another drawing…LOL. I SOOOOO want a Cricut! Alas, no…but yes, tiny little salt and pepper shakers, you are cute!

  8. #11

    Welcome to the wonderful world of electronic diecutting!! I love my cricut. Accent Essentials is one of my fave cartridges. Being a simple gal, you might also like the Base Camp font cartridge; it’s one I use a lot.

  9. #12
    Heather Wunsch

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Cricut Cathy! I have had mine for awhile now and just love it. I even named mine “Fabulous” and blinged it up! I just purchsed the “A Child’s Life” cart yesterday and cannot wait to start having some fun with it!

  10. #13
    Missus Wookie

    So cute indeed. An e-maginary friend just cut me a load of Sesame Street characters for a board book album and some layouts I’ve got planned. Sat and put them together on Saturday and just like your salt and pepper they are CUTE!

    Not to mention having just published my post with cricut bits was tickled to see yours ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. #14

    Don’t you just love it? That Cricut is so fun. I don’t own one, but I’ve used them lots at retreats. My 8 yr old is trying to talk me into getting one for her and I to share, but I still prefer buying product over tools, so I’ll keep pondering it. Cute layout too! TFS!

  12. #15
    Patty Schmidt

    I just have to say that the Cricut community has a network of people like no other. I recently had a friend who was dying of Cervical Cancer. My cousin posted an idea on the Cricut message board to have other Cricut users create pre-made pages for her to help finish her scrapbooks. Hundreds upon hundreds of pages were sent to us from all over the world. The pages were beautiful and the efforts simply amazing!! My dear friend lost her battle to Cervical Cancer in March, but the pages put together by Cricut members will be in her family forever and will help her two little boy remember the amazing mother she once was.

  13. #16
    Kathleen S.

    On those recipe cards, do I see angled elements? Not perfectly on the straight and narrow? And a wiggly arrow? The machine has clearly gone straight to your orderly graphic design head. A breakout! Break through?

  14. #17

    OMG, I love your new recipe card design!!! any chance you could post the psd file on your blog? and what are those adorable fonts??? ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. #18
    Sue O

    Welcome to the club! If I might enable even more, with a copy of Cricut Design Studio on your computer and your expression, the ideas are limitless. You can use multiple cartridges to make new and unique designs, weld words together, make it whatever size you want, stretch the design, narrow the design, and much more. I love my Cricut, my Expression and my CDS!

  16. #21

    I so not pictured you as a gadget girl, but obviously we don’t know each other, so how would I know, right? A techie, yes, a simple guru, yes. On your design choices, as always, elegant is always the way to go, with a spatter of funky.

  17. #23

    Go Cathy!! I just picked up eht Winter Wonderland cartridge, and hemmed and hawwed about the My Kitchen, but those recipe cards are teriffic!! Might have to rethink that one.

  18. #27
    Marcia Miller

    welcome to the wonderful world of cricut! I’ve been scrapping 10 years, and did not have a single die cut system until the Expression came out. And I love it!

  19. #28

    awesome review ๐Ÿ™‚ i just got one this past christmas… i really do love it. if i could just have a place to set ‘er up all the time, then i would be golden! … and FABULOUS page! girl, you really gotta share more of them so that i can get my cathy fix more often ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. #29

    I’m so glad you posted this!! I’ve been eying up the Cricut for a while, but just didn’t quite understand it’s purpose? Now I get it, and will certainly be saving up for it!

  21. #30

    and if you decide to get scal and inkscape or illustartor it will open a million more options:)

  22. #31
    Jennifer Larson

    This was so funny to read. I love to see an expert try something new.

    I should mention I have never done anything with an electronic die cut system; I’m sort of a dunce with this sort of thing, I guess.

  23. #33

    jealous, i am of your lovely cartridges…i have had the cricut for almost a year and cannot explain the degree of my addiction…you too will know… ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. #34

    I just bought “From My Kitchen” today from Michael’s. I wasn’t sure what I was going to make with it, but I knew I wanted it. Those recipe cards are too cute! I now know one thing I will be making with it:) I love my Cricut. Have fun with it!

  25. #35

    It bugs me that on the site you added: Great Gypsy Escape giveaway, that it states, no purchase necessary, but you only get a ticket hidden in an item that you have to purchase, sooooo….purchase IS necessary in this giveaway, right? Am I missing something?

  26. #36
    V Reed

    The Cricut is such an awesome machine! Welcome to the bug addiction! ๐Ÿ™‚ I never use mine without the Design Studio software. Check it out, I think you’ll like it!

  27. #38

    My Mum is NOT a crafter or even slightly crafty in ANY way. But she has attended a craft evening with me where they showed us the cricut.

    On the weekend we were at a market and saw some nice work. She said “owh, I know how that’s done – the cricut!”. Apparently it does everything. I didn’t dare tell her it was all digital and just printed out.

    Re: Cards – just too wonderful.

    Re: Recipe cards – I’m also overhauling my recipe routine as it’s currently a disaster zone. But no cute little salt and pepper for me.

  28. #40

    Love the cricut. What kind of adhesive did you use to mount your delicate die cuts (especially the darling reindeers antlers and legs)?

  29. #41

    Sorry, didn’t read all the comments. You already answered the adhesive question. Congrats on the new cricut!

  30. #42

    Dang it….. its time I drag out my cricut and get to creating those awesome cut out christmas cards….

    I have so much but use so little of it…. thanks for the reminder to use what I have!!!

    Seahawk Terri

  31. #43

    You lucky girl to get a Cricut! I keep putting that on my wish list but so far no luck. LOL

    Love the recipe cards – they are absolutely adorable!!

  32. #45

    I had the official honor of opening up the one we used at my cousin’s SB store. She made ME learn to use it so I could teach HER. Ha! There wasn’t a day when I didn’t find a reason to cut something… anything… with it! Crazy little rockin’ machine, eh? Love it.

  33. #48
    Vonda Orders

    Cathy – Glad you were converted – I’m sure it’s easier when it’s free. LOL Anyway, I find the Cricut is great for the simple scrapper – what’s easier than finishing a layout with title, picture and journaling – and then taking a scrap of paper adding a simple die cut and calling it done.

  34. #54

    Welcome to the Cricut world, it is my most used tool in my craft room. Looking forward to seeing more simple designs using it, seems like most examples I see using the Cricut are way too “fussy” for my taste. LOVE your Christmas card ideas. Keep chirping and posting these type of great ideas using your new bug!

  35. #59

    Welcome to the dark side ๐Ÿ™‚ And you should definitely check out Sure Cuts Alot – it’s Mac compatible and lets you cut ANY font in any size, along with SVGs you can create in Illustrator.

  36. #60

    This has nothing to do with Cricut, but I went to see Wicked just recently, and have Oz on the brain, and then your summer vacation spread linked me to Dan’s insert-head-here photos, and I just cracked up! Dorothy? So, so funny. You’ve got yourself quite a guy. Have a great day!

  37. #61

    wow. i just bought the silhouette, and that was a super bold move on my part….and now you might have me intrested in this cricut. ๐Ÿ™‚
    but i’m still happy with my silhoutte. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. #62

    Wow, wow, wow. I can’t believe you just got a CRicut. I thought I was late to the party and I have had one for over a year now. Love, love, love it. No more using up all the vowels or consonants and having not enough letters to finish a page!

  39. #64

    At $500 a pop, this is one tool I will not be adding to my stash. I mean, you can get a laptop for that price, or a camera lense, or 2+ External Hard Drives! Only in the scrapbooking industry does the price of technology go up in time, rather than down…!

  40. #66
    Nicky from Canada

    Looks like a fun tool – might have to get one of those.

    Just wanted to tell you Cathy how much I am enjoying your class right now at Big Picture Scrapbooking – All About Me. Love it – a bit slow getting going – only 4 pages done so far, but it is a lot of fun.

  41. #69

    Oh gorgeous! Smart people over at Provo sending a simple scrapper like you the machine – it shows another way it can be used, ie. without all the fru fru. LOVE how you used it and LOVE that reindeer Christmas card. Looking forward to seeing more Cricut creations from you in the future!

  42. #70

    The Cricut is SO GREAT! I actually haven’t used it for scrapbooking as much as I have for anything & everything else under the sun. I’ve cut fabric with it, vinyl, shrinky dinks, canvas….you name it. If you are really into fonts, check out SCAL (Sure cuts a lot) software. basically any fonts or dingbats you have on your computer you can cut on your Cricut! it’s AWESOME!
    BTW-Lovin METAV-although I am WAY behind, still haven’t finished my journaling! I’m so tired when I get home from teaching, all my “good energy” is in the morning, I can’t get my thoughts straight in the evening to type! UGH!

  43. #71
    michele t

    I LOVE that recipe card!! Please, please share a template with us. Pretty please!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. #72

    I am loving that recipe card design! Would you mind sharing how you made the curved rectangle border? I’ve been trying to figure out how to do that, but to no avail!
    Thanks for sharing lots of great ideas!

  45. #73
    Angela L.

    Love your blog and the inspiration to create that you share with your readers! Beautiful projects…

  46. #74

    I wonder if I can make a website header with cricut cutouts? I create a lot of websites and I thought I could make a page with it, photograph it, and turn it into a web header. Has anyone tried this?

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