it’s here! Imagine This Friday debut! plus a giveaway!

hi everyone!

before we get to ITF i have a tremendously exciting announcement – i am the newest Staff Reporter for Craft!!!  i am beyond excited about this!  Craft Critique is a fantastic site focusing on crafting product reviews.  while they are primarily paper crafting they are branching out to cover ALL crafty areas and i LOVE that since i dabble in so many!  i love doing thorough product reviews and am really looking forward to contributing to this amazing website!  thank you sarah for the fabulous opportunity!  my first assignment – CHA coverage!  can’t wait!  they have already been posting sneak peeks!

this is an exciting day for me as i debut this new idea for my blog.  i realize many of you do not even have a cricut much less a cricut imagine BUT i hope to help new readers who DO have one or might be trying to decide whether or not to get one.  Be sure to enter the giveaway for ALL cricut users at the end of the post!

today focuses on a very basic concept for the Imagine.  for all of the adorable images on the Imagine cartridges you can choose to print and cut them as a one layer flat image OR break them apart into layers for a bit more dimension.  here are two identical cards done each way:

The cards use the current card sketch from Splitcoast Stampers.  The card on the right is the one layer flat image and the left is the layered image.

To accentuate the layers i inked the edges too.  you can further the dimensional look by using foam tape beneath the layers too.

I want to focus on this first because it is the most common thing i hear.  “i don’t like the imagine because it’s too flat and not creative.”  i totally disagree.

1. placing layers is placing layers – whether you made them with the Imagine or the regular cricut cartridges.

2. card making involves ALOT more than your focal images.

3. i don’t HAVE to print the image flat. i have a choice and i like choices!

many folks have also said they don’t like the layers because they are different from the way the original cricut looks.  i am GLAD they are different – now i have a machine that can give me two different styles depending on my mood.  the layering style of the Imagine carts is much more like “paper tole.”  and you know what they remind me of – Anna Griffin.  i was watching her on HSN yesterday and have been buying her stuff for many years.  one of the things she does alot of (and so does K&CO among others) is produce stickers with layers that are popped up on foam tape.  i love these types of stickers but rarely buy them because i can make them myself!  (hmmm file that in ideas for another ITF segment…)  but seriously this is a very popular style right now and i LOVE that i can make them myself but with more creative freedom to custom design them!

Now for the nitty gritty!  i have both a video and a printout for you so you can choose your preferred method of learning!

PDF file is available – email me if you need it!

Lesson 1
Using your Cricut Imagine Art Cartridges

Your Cricut Imagine can use the traditional style Cricut Cartridges that are used in the other Cricut Machines as well as its own cartridges designed specifically for the Imagine. There are two types of Imagine cartridges – the Art Cartridge and the Colors and Patterns Cartridges. Today we will talk about the Art Cartridges.
Art Cartridges have more contents than Color & Pattern Cartridges and are more expensive. Art Carts provide you with both images as well as pattern and color choices. The images are already colored and you have a choice of printing them as a flat, one layer image OR breaking them apart into layers for added dimension.

I will go through some initial things with your machine for this lesson only – future lessons will get right to the good stuff! When you turn your machine on (with no cartridges in it) here is what you will see:
The image on the upper left is Print & Cut – tap that with your stylus.

This will bring up your stock images – these are loaded onto the machine itself. They are very basic but quite useful shapes with no color at all – you can add any color or pattern you want to from your Imagine Cartridges.

Your Imagine Cartridges are smaller than your regular Cricut cartridges and those are inserted in to the slot on the RIGHT side of your machine. The machine does not need to be turned off to switch carts. Once your cart is inserted the images will appear on your screen. Use your stylus tool to gently touch the screen and slide the images over to the left to scroll through them and decide which one to use.

Today I am working with this image of a table with a cake on top and presents around the bottom. Choose your image by tapping it lightly with the stylus – it will appear very tiny at the top of your screen in your image queue.

If you choose additional images they will line up at the top of the screen. Here you can see I have chosen our image twice – once for a flat one and once for the layered one.

The Imagine has a default height of 2” for all of the images (not “REAL” size but in relation to the main images.) In order to EDIT an image, in this case change the size and break it out into layers, tap the tiny image at the top of the screen, it will pop up larger inside of a square. You will see a pencil in the upper left corner and a red minus sign in the upper right corner. The minus sign will delete the images from your queue.

Tap the pencil and your edit screen will come up.

On this screen you will see your image as a whole as well as just HOW your image would be broken up if printed out in separate layers. There is a tiny icon in the upper left corner that controls how it will be printed. The little girl on the left – browned out means it is selected – is all one layer. If you select the little girl on the right broken into layers your image will be done as layers.

Now let’s talk about adjusting your sizes. At the bottom center of your edit screen you will see the settings pictured here.

This is your size adjustment. When you are working with an image broken out into it’s layers you can choose Relative size (rel) highlighted white on the right side of the +/- or true size on the left. True size is equivalent to Real Dial Size on regular Cricut machines. If you highlight true then all of the images will be printed the same size and will not layer correctly.
Now click Apply at the bottom right of your screen and you will go back to your original page.

When you go back to your original selection screen you will see that you now have the layers in your queue along the top. You are ready to print and cut your image! Tap next on the bottom right and your print screen, or Job Set Up screen, will come up.

On this screen you see your mat with your images on it. This is a great way to check your sizing so there are no surprises – a rectangular shape might be set for 4” high but then it makes it much wider than you expected so this way you can really see it. If you want to make an adjustment at this stage simply tap the image again and then tap the pencil to get to your edit screen. Let’s look at the settings more closely.

You can make a lot of adjustments on this screen. If you are making multiples you do not have to select them and adjust them individually (this could get tedious if you are making 25 invitations for example.) Just do it one time and then increase your art quantity here to 25. You also have the option to have the machine fit your image to your page or fill your page with as many as will fit.
Along the bottom half you can adjust your multi cut, speed and pressure just like the regular cricut. You can flip your images in one step.

You can also set your paper size here. I use 8 ½ x 11 paper because the paper I like best (PTI) is not available in 12×12. The first pic shows the images laid out on a 12 x 12 piece of paper. The second one shows how the images were re-adjusted to fit when I reduced the size of my paper.

I also want to bring your attention to the size of the images in this particular picture – notice they are all the same size – NOT sized for layering like you saw above. This is what they come out like when you pick the True Size rather than the Relative size.
The next one is critical – Load Last. This is a little check box in the center of the screen. When you cut your images out you will have plenty of uncut paper left. On your next project run load that paper exactly as it was for the first project and then hit Load Last – it will move your images to the unused paper portion!
When you are satisfied and ready to cut tap Next at the bottom right of the screen.
Insert your mat with your sheet of white paper on it. Be sure you do not have any paper extending over the border area – the machine uses the black lines as guides. Lay your mat on the white rail that says insert paper and slide it in gently until it stops. Hold it in place with light pressure and tap the GO sign on the Imagine screen. (On mine I have to put slightly more pressure on the right hand corner of my mat.) Once the machine grabs the paper you are good to let go. Once the machine is done and spits your mat back out you can remove your image but leave your paper in place on the mat! It’s easier for the Load Last feature.
When putting the layers together consider inking the edges of each layer and/or using foam tape to pop them up and give them even more dimension.

now how about a giveaway ALL cricut users can love??? hate constantly buying new mats?  too lazy (like me) to go through all the work required for many of the re-sticky options?  check this out:

These two products are AMAZING.  and so quick and easy!  when your mat gets un-sticky simply cover the outer edges with blue painters tape, spray on a layer of Stick & Spray, 30 seconds later you are back to cutting!  3-0-seconds folks!  mat getting a little gunky and you need to kind of start over?  before taping off the edges spray all over with Stack Away, wait 30 seconds, wipe with a paper towel to remove the excess spray.  now take a credit card or an acrylic block and scrape the mat clean – this does NOT take long or require much effort.  you certainly don’t need to be sure you go down to the bare mat or anything.  tape off and spray with Stick & Spray, DONE.  the best part – this method of sticky-ing is actually BETTER than the way the mats come to you brand new!

***KEEP IN MIND – ProvoCraft has stated that re-stickying your mats will void your warranty if they find any sticky in your machine.  If your machine is no longer under warranty your do not have to worry.***

How do you win?  just leave me a comment and tell me if you have an Imagine or are considering getting one or just let me know what you think of the cards!  you have all weekend to enter and i will choose a winner on Monday!

now i am off to get my busy day going!  thank you for stopping by – it makes my day!


35 Responses

  1. What a great product! Definitely easier than the methods I use! Love the cards but I don’t plan on getting the imagine anytime soon…to rich for my blood! Lol and it is massive! I have no room In my little scrap space for it! I may get it when the price goes down to Like $100 haha it is inevitable with the rate in which PC is putting out stuff…look the gypsy just came out last year or so and they were on clearance at michaels for $50 last week!

  2. I have an Expressions, not the Imagine. Loved your video! After watching it, I know the Imagine is not for me at this time, although it would be nice to be able to print out the coordinating patterned papers.

    As a stamper who loves to layer, I have a suggestion for those who, like me, like more layering… Print out additional images, cut them apart and layer. For example, using the images in your video, I would print an extra copy of each of the gift packages, cut the bows out, and layer the bows on top of the previous layer. And, as you suggested, I would use pop dots or foam tape for more dimension. Marti, I loved that you inked the edges of the layers. That really helped to make them pop.

    Thanks for your wonderful reviews, and can’t wait to read your Craft Critique reviews of CHA! Congrats!!!

  3. Unfortunately, My budget will not allow me to purchase Imagine. PC is coming out with so many cute machines but I don’t have the money or the space for different machines. I would love to try the spray for renewing my mats. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  4. I love the cards! I just love to be able to try the sprays

  5. These sprays would be great, my mats always give
    out when I am really working hard at a project late at night, these would make it possible to redo the mat then and continues.
    Love the cards. I am saving and giving hints to everyone about the new Imagine, it is such a neat
    machine. Thanks for the chance to win the sprays.

  6. I have an E, but no imagine =( I resticky my mats with the krylon spray, but would love to try these too. 30 seconds!

  7. I love how the imagine colors- the cards are beautiful, but I barely have room for my E. If I ever get my craft space an Imagine is on my wishlist! This spray sounds just perfect! I also love reading how you are coming along on your cakes. I am going back and forth on that machine too. 🙂

  8. […] also included some basics about navigating within your Imagine so if you missed that you can see it HERE or catch the video on You Tube […]

  9. […] This Friday Cricut Imagine tutorials.  If you missed the first two lessons you can see them HERE and HERE.  This lesson assumes knowledge from the previous lessons so i don’t go over steps […]

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