When one spends $300 for a die-cut machine and then $90 a cartridge one expects this to be the end to all ends, at least in the world of crafting. People expect to make cards and scrapbook pages using only the Cricut system and although I am not saying it can't be done ... it just isn't my style. So I struggled and sought ways to best use my Cricut without having to buy too many cartridges. I discovered that for my style the Cricut was best used to create backgrounds for stickers or other embellishments and not to be used to create a full card. So I concentrate on purchasing cartridges that offer a variety of images that can be used for various themes versus specific thematic cartridges. My favorite cartridges are: Home Decor, Elegant Edges and Fancy Labels. To illustrate my Cricut style, I made the following three cards.
Card one: Just for You!
This card was made using flourishes from the Home Decor cartridge, embellished with leaves made using the rose leaf Martha Stewart/E.K. Success hand punch. The use of the flourishes as the stems and tendrils just seemed to be the perfect background for the added leaves and flowers. The 3D paper daisy stickers are from Reminisce. The sticker text is from Mrs. Grossman's Card Greetings.
Card two: Celebrate!
This card uses the Fancy Labels for the background medallion, shadow outline and leafy wreath. Again the 3D paper sun flowers stickers are from Reminisce and the sticker text is from Mrs. Grossman's Card Greetings. I matched the shadow outline color to the color of the sun flowers to tie the images together and again embellished the leafy wreath with leaves made using the rose leaf Martha Stewart/E.K. Success hand punch. To finish off the medallion I edged the inside panel with brown ink.
I'm sure had I had the appropriate cartridges, as well as the inclination and time, I could have made the leaves and flowers for both cards using the Cricut.
Card three: Happy Birthday
I wanted to make at least one masculine card and use embellishments that were totally different from stickers for this card. I chose a Tim Holtz label holder in black and copper tones as the embellishment around which the card would be based. I quickly found the appropriate background on the Elegant Edges cartridge. I die-cut the actual image from a metallic copper paper from The Paper Company and the shadow/background from a solid black paper. I then cut a 3/4" wide strip of black paper to create a ribbon. The card was made from some K&Company/E.K. Success paper edged with black ink. The sticker text is from Mrs. Grossman's.