Wednesday, October 31, 2012

CCR Build 179

Build 179 of CCR was released on October 18. Here are the release notes as posted by PCGena on the Cricut messageboard. (Thanks Gena) :

• Firmware update for Cricut Create® machine allowing standalone use and compatibility with the Cricut Craft Room® design software
• Firmware update for Cricut® Personal Cutter enabling cartridge linking
• Improved Cricut Expression® 2 cartridge detection reliability
• New project layers now add in front of existing layers
• Minor bug fixes and improvements

Great news that the Personal cutter can now link cartridges and that they have fixed the firmware problem with the Create! (Although I haven't tested either...)

Not mentioned above is that there has been an improvement (for some users) of the printing and cutting function for the Imagine!!!! Whilst it doesn't work for me every time, I can at least get it to print and cut most of the time.

What's not there??? The elusive Gypsy linking facility.... sad face....

I'm so looking forward to the day I can post "It's here!!!!"

Friday, August 17, 2012

CCR Build 167

CCR Build 167 was released earlier today. Here's a very quick overview of some of the changes. I'll do a more indepth post soon!

The bad news.... Build 167 still doesn't allow the Imagine to cut.

Click the image to enlarge it. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Forcing the Expression into a firmware update

CCR requires a firmware version of 2.43 on the Cricut Expression to cut and link cartridges. If CCR doesn't prompt you to update the firmware (you may have pressed Skip at some point) here's how you go about forcing the update.

Please note: This only applies to the Cricut Expression and the Expression Cake. The firmware on the Cricut Personal cannot be updated to the level required to link cartridges. Update: The Personal and the Create can now be updated via CCR!! 

If you are updating a Cricut other than the Expression (not including the E2, Imagine or Mini) make sure you select the correct model at step 7!

1. Connect your Expression to your computer.

2. Open CCR and login.

3. Hold down the Stop button on the Expression and press the Power button.

4. Release the power button but keep holding down the Stop button. The Expression will beep once. Keep holding down the Stop button until it beeps a second time. (It takes a while)

5. When it has beeped the second time release the Stop button. The Expression will power on.

6. If it has worked correctly you will see this on your CCR screen:

7. Click on the down arrow and select the Expression.  Then you'll see this screen: 

8. Press the Update button and follow the instructions there (you'll be putting it back in update mode).

9. Follow the onscreen instructions to update your firmware.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Paper Doll Teen Scene layering

I recently posted on my Design Studio blog about an almost life size Paper Doll Teen Scene that I made for my daughters room. I received a question from Nancy about the correct way to place the layers from this cart.

She said: "I just bought this cartridge, and am having problems layering so the eyes come out right. I tried making the 5" tall doll, and it comes out looking like an alien. Can you tell me how to layer it so the eyes work? Nancy"

So I thought I'd put together this tutorial. This will work whether you're using the cartridge directly in the Cricut or whether you're using Design Studio, Cricut Craft Room or the Gypsy.

For this example I'll be using the first image key on the top row of the cartridge. You'll notice that all the dolls on the top row of the cartridge are all facing in the same direction. This means that you can mix and match any of the hairstyles and clothing items with any of the dolls on that row.

The same applies to each of the other rows. So long as the doll is facing in the same direction you can use any of the hairstyles or clothing on any doll on that row.

 The first thing you need to do is look at the cartridge handbook.

The order in which the images appear in the handbook is the order in which you will layer them - from the bottom to the top.

The rest of the layers are wardrobe and accessories and are layered on top of the 4 other layers.

The layer numbered 1 in the picture above should be cut in what ever colour cardstock you want the hair to be, as that is the only part of that layer that will be visible.

Layer number 2 (the <Shift> of layer 1) should be cut from white cardstock as that layer only shows the white of the eyes.

Layer number 3 would normally be cut in black. This layer only shows the pupils of the eyes and the eyelashes. You could cut this layer in blue, brown or green but note that the eye lashes will also be that colour.

Layer 4 (the <Shift> of layer 3) should be cut in the colour that you want the skin to be. This is what your 4 layers will look like when you have cut them. At this point she does certainly look like an alien.

Before you adhere them together move the fringe (you call them bangs, right??) so it's the last image. Like this:

Now adhere your layers together. The image on the left will be the bottom layer. The white will go on top of that, then the black, then the skin tone and finally the hair piece. Now she will look like this:

The rest of the layers are the dolls clothing (including shoes) and any accessories. Each doll has two clothing options. However, as I said above, you can select any outfit from any key on the same row and they will fit your doll. Here she is in her bikini:

And her (I think) PJ's:

I hope that helps anyone who is having trouble putting together these dolls!

 Have fun with this fantastic cart!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Winner of 3D cones challenge

Thanks for the entries to our Party Cones challenge. I have just used to pick the winner and that was entry number 2.

Congratulations go to Margi Lunn from Lunn's Designs for this spooky entry:

Margi, you can select one of the following carts as your prize:

Cricut Everyday (Circle)
French Manor (Circle)
Shall We Dance (Circle)
Sophie (Circle)
Birthday Cakes
All Mixed Up
Elegant Cakes
Forever Young
Nursery Rhymes
Slumber Party

Please send us an email with your name and address and your choice of cartridge and Paulette will ship you your cart lickety split. I'll also send you the link to the CCR Challenge winner blinkie for your blog!

Thanks again for participating!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

All digital carts 20% off!

Just in case you missed the announcement... All Cricut digital carts are 20% off until Wednesday. That includes all digital versions of the full carts and the CCR exclusives!

And if you're in the Circle you'll also get your 10% discount as well!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Time for a challenge

We're long overdue for a challenge so get ready!

We want to see what you can make with the 3D Party Cones image set which is FREE to use in CCR this week thanks to PC!

So get crack-a-lackin' and shows us what you can make. This cartridge is only free to use until next Wednesday so make sure you get your base imagines cut out before then! (After that day you'll need to purchase the cart to continue using it.)

Need some more inspiration? Here's two that Scrapalette has made:

Patriot Treat Cones

Easter Treat Cones

And of course there will be a cartridge giveaway! We'll use to pick a winner. Check back soon to see which cart you can win. We'll also send you the CCR Challenge Winner blinkie to add to your blog.

Once you've finished your creation use the Inlinkz tool at the bottom of this post to share it. Entries will close at midnight on Friday 13th July.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Using Imagine Art cartridges in the Cricut Expression

Last week I received an email from a lovely lady called Suzanne. Suzanne has a Cricut Expression and recently purchased an Imagine Art cartridge not realising that she couldn't use it in her machine.

Before she put it up for sale on eBay she emailed me to ask if there was any way she could use that cartridge.

My immediate thought was that as there's no Imagine slot in the the Expression, the answer would be no. But then I thought about it a bit more and realised there is a way.... by using Cricut Craft Room!!

First, you will need a friend who will let you link the Imagine cartridge to your account using their Imagine or Expression2. (Make sure you're logged into your account, not there's!!)

Once you've accomplished that all you need to do is connect your Expression to your computer, create your design using the linked Imagine cartridge and send it off to cut!

This should also work with the Cricut Personal, Create and Mini. (I haven't tried them but I see no reason why it won't work.)

Don't have a friend with an Imagine or E2? All is not lost. This will also work with the Digital Imagine cartridges that you can purchase from

Surely it can't be that easy???? Well... there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
  • As the Expression doesn't have any printing capabilities you will only be able to cut the images from the cart. For the same reason you can't use the Imsgine Colors and Patterns carts.
  • You will need to edit the images before you cut them as they are made up of multiple layers. For example this image from the Best Friends cartridge looks like this in CCR when the Imagine is selected as the default machine:

And like this if the Expression is chosen:

If you were to cut the image as it appears above this is what you'll get:

A jumbled mess of useless body parts! That's because every single line in the image is cut. To get a useful cut of the image here's what you need to do.

Select the image on the mat and click the Edit Group button

The Combine/Separate buttons will appear in the right corner of the screen. Click the Separate button.

Now your image will look like this:

Click the Exit button (or press Esc) to go back to the mat screen.

Now when you cut your project, each of the five layers will cut separately. At the moment they are automatically grouped. To move the individual pieces around on the mat click the Ungroup button on the toolbar. You can then space each piece out on the mat allowing you to load your mat with different colours of cardstock.

Remember, if you want to resize the image once you've ungrouped it, you will need to select all the pieces by using Ctrl A (Cmd A) or select Edit, Select All. Then use the resize handle to increase or decrease the size of all the pieces at the same time.

As you can see from the image above, you will lose the facial features of the image as those parts are only printed. Time to break out those Peachy Keen stamps you've got stashed in your drawer!

Play around with the different Imagine cartridges in CCR before you start purchasing them. Some images will work better than others.

Here's another example:

An image from the JT Imagine cart as it would print:

That image when the layers have been separated (still with the Imagine selected as the default machine):

And how it looks when the Expression is selected as the default machine:

So if you're one of those cartridge collectors that has accidentally purchased an Imagine Art cartridge, all is not lost! Have fun experimenting. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New additions to CCR.

If you're scratching your head looking for ideas for a Father's Day card (that would be me....) then check out the new digital "carts" in CCR.

There are 24 new additions. But instead of full cartridges or mini cartridges these are single files that you use to create a card. I love this idea!

They are $1.99 each except for five of the cards which are free to use in CCR until June 19, 2012!

Check out all the card samples at in the Today's Deals section.

ETA: Currently only the 5 free carts are showing up in CCR. You won't find them in the CCR Exclusives library but in the My Cartridges library.

When you purchase one of the other 15 carts it will also show up in your My Cartridges library - not the CCR Exclusives library.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

More on CCR and the Imagine cutting problems

On Friday I posted instructions on how to get the previous version of CCR onto your computer. One of my readers, (Colleen) just let me know that have posted a link to the old version (Build 132 and 133 for the Mac). Here are the links:

PC Version:
Mac Version:

So if you don't want to keep 151 on your computer you can just do that update and 151 will be removed.

If you want to have both builds on your computer follow my instructions.

This is great news for those with a Mac as I wasn't sure how to get that problem fixed. (Hey, I've bought cartridges to help people with their problems. I even bought an Imagine so I could help. But I draw the line at a new computer!!! At least while mine is working fine....)  (Never say never, right!)

Thanks for letting me know Colleen!

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's baaaaaaaack!

Just in case you missed the news... Tags, Bags, Boxes and More 2 is now on CCR!!

Looking for a Mac user of CCR who hasn't updated yet

Update - not only did I find someone (thanks Mandy) but PC have posted a link to the old Mac version of CCR here:

If you are a Mac user of CCR and you haven't updated to Build 151 yet, could you please let me know!

I'm after the set of Build 132 Mac files so I can help out our Mac users who have updated and now can't use their Imagine.


Using an old build of CCR

For those of you who have an Imagine you will no doubt know by now that Build 151 has most likely caused your Imagine to stop cutting. Until PC fix that problem all is not lost.

It is possible to use a previous version of CCR.

When you installed the new version you most likely installed it over the previous version. All you need to do is have the previous Craft Room files on your computer to allow you to run that version.

Here's what you need to do:
  • Create a directory on your computer and call it Cricut Craft Room Build 132
  • Go to this link and download all 13 files and save them into the directory you just created
  • Once you have downloaded those files go to this directory on your computer: C:/Program Files/Cricut Craft Room. You will see 4 sub-folders there called assets, Drivers, icons and META-INF. Copy those four folders (and all their contents) to your Cricut Craft Room Build 132 directory. (Highlight all four folders and press Ctrl C. Then navigate to your Build 132 directory and press Ctrl V. You now have the full set of files required to run CCR Build 132. Next you'll create a shortcut for your desktop to open that version
  • While you're at the Cricut Craft Room Build 132 directory highlight the Cricut-Craft Room.exe file (its type will be Application and its size should be 139KB) and press Ctrl C.
  • Right click on your desktop and select Paste Shortcut. (Don't just select Paste as you'll get an error when you try to open it. You need to select Paste Shortcut.
  • Right click the new icon on your desktop and select Rename. Add Build 132 to the end of the shortcut name.
  • Now you can use that shortcut to open Build 132. Use that icon whenever you want to use the old build. 
For those times that you do want to use the new build (when you're not using your Imagine and you want to use the new features) just open CCR from the usual icon on your Desktop. I use the new version to create my files then close CCR and open it up in the old version so I can cut the file on my Imagine.

Hope that helps!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

CCR update news

It's a big news day in Cricut Craft Room today. There is a program update available for download (build 151) plus there are five new CCR exclusive cartridges available.

When you next open CCR you will be prompted to update. There's no need to uninstall the current version. If you want to be able to go back to the previous version you'll need to copy all the files from C:/Program Files/Cricut-Craft Room to another directory on your computer. I create a directory on my computer and call it whatever Build it applies to eg. CCR Build 132. Then if I need to use the previous version I just click on the Cricut-Craft Room.exe file in that directory.

So, what's new in this build?

Well, first - what it doesn't have is the much anticipated Gypsy Link option. (Although it has been renamed to Gypsy Sync. Is that progress?)

Also, Kate's Kitchen still isn't working with CCR. (The images show up on the keypad but nothing happens when you click on one of the keys.)

One other setback (for me anyway) is cutting with the Imagine. Where before I rarely had a problem printing and cutting with the Imagine, now my mat is being spat out after the image is printed. I'll keep working on that and see if I can get it working. (I never give up!!!)

Edited to add: So it appears it's not just me that is having the Imagine cutting problem with this update. If you have an Imagine and want to use CCR you will have to use Build 132. I mentioned above that you can save previous versions to your computer so you can go back to them. You'll find more info with instructions and a link to the files that you'll need to download if you've already installed Build 151 here:

On to what is new...

Here's the blurb from the notices section of CCR with my comments:

Cricut Craft Room™ update: June 5, 2012

  • New image insertion cursor! Click on the virtual mat to position the cursor. Click an image from the image drawer and it will add to the mat to the right of the cursor.
I love this feature! Although it would be nice if the cursor could be a little less intrusive, maybe by making it grey instead of black. The size of the cursor will be dependant on what you have set as your Dial Size in the Options menu, Craft Room tab. 

Just single click somewhere on your mat and wherever your cursor is, is where your object will be placed. No more having to move images around or drag them from the keypad to where you want them. 
  • Cricut Expression®, Cricut Create®, and Cricut® Personal Cutter machines have a new load and unload mat buttons. Now you can leave your mat loaded between cuts! This makes it easy to align scoring, drawing and cutting.
This is great news! Do I smell the scent of TBBM2 arriving in CCR soon? Breaking news... TBBM2 is now on CCR!!!
  • Cricut Expression 2 (1000 fw version) now can automatically cut from Cricut Craft Room™ with the Cricut Alphabet and Cricut Essentials cartridges.
Good news for all those who have the 1000 firmware version E2's who haven't been able to cut with their pre-loaded cartridges in CCR!
  • Sort your saved projects two ways, by name or by date modified!
I've been hoping they'd add something like that. 
  • Bug fixes for placement of certain images
  • Bug fixes for importing Cricut DesignStudio® projects (that have been saved as .gypsy files) into Cricut Craft Room™
Hopefully I'll get time to test that out soon.
  • Cutting speed improvements for Cricut Expression 2
Loving the new speed!! I tested it out this morning and it cuts so much faster now!! Of course now I don't have time to go make a coffee while my project is cutting! 
  • ‘Save As’ added so you can easily make copies of your projects or use a project as a template.
This is in addition to the Save As that was added into the File menu. Now it appears in the menu in the top right corner of the CCR screen. 

When you go to start a new project, open another project or logout, you will be asked whether you want to save the current project. If you say NO any changes you made won't be saved. If his was a new project it will be deleted. I like this idea because most projects I create I have no need to save. Often I'm just playing around with new carts or cutting something simple that I don't need to save. Now those files won't automatically be added to my projects list.

One addition that wasn't mentioned above is that when you login to CCR now, the Cartridge library will default to My Cartridges.

If anything else crops up I'll update this post.

Now onto the new cartridges. 

Just in time for your Independence Day celebrations are Independence Day - 3D projects, Independence Day - Celebrate and Independence Day - Freedom. Also new is Bag Toppers - Summer and Doodlecharms - Life. Check them out at!



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Digital Cartridges on sale!

In case you don't get emails from you might not be aware that all Cricut Digital carts are currently 20% off! This offer is for this week only and expires May 22, 2012.

There's also a great Bundle deal on Summer Vacation, Summer in Paris & Summer Celebrations digital carts. Get all three for $49.99. (That one is sitting in my Shopping Basket right now just waiting for me to go find my credit card!!)

And don't forget, if you're in the Circle you get an additional 10% off on top of that!

Happy Shopping!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

TBBM2 - and then it was gone....

Sad face here.... TBBM2 has been removed from CCR. One of the message board members (thanks The Soap Lady) mentioned that the Score lines didn't show up. So maybe this is why it was removed.

Maybe it was just added while they tested it.... who knows? I've seen new carts appear on CCR for a short time then disappear. (Dora the Explorer ring a bell???)

Anyway... such is life. Hopefully it'll be back up there lickety split. My Expression2 keeps asking me when she can play with that cart!!! She had her hopes up for a day... I've had to keep feeding her Easter Eggs (via me) to cheer her up!

Just to cheer you up here's my favourite picture at the moment. I found it on the internet the other day (and already I can't remember where.... because I'd like to say thanks!!). Hope it makes you laugh out loud like it did me!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tags, Bags, Boxes and More 2

Breaking news just in....

TBBM2 is now on CCR! Thanks to the very observent Kerstin from the message board for pointing it out!!