Cricut

Making Crepe Paper Flowers with Lia Griffith

Crepe Paper Tulip
My new friend Sandie showing off her in process crepe paper tulip from Lia’s Cricut Make-a-thon class

One of the highlights of almost everyone’s Cricut Mountain Make-a-thon adventure was meeting Lia Griffith and learning to cut crepe paper with the Maker.

The Cricut Maker is the first cutting machine to master cutting crepe paper and Lia is an artist at re-creating flowers with crepe and her Cricut Maker. Her techniques are now available in the soon-to-be-released book “Crepe Paper Flowers: The Beginner’s Guide to Making and Arranging Beautiful Blooms”.

Although I did make a tulip while at the convention, it didn’t travel well after I had to stuff it in with all my other cool Cricut swag. Oh, well!


 

Lia Griffith's "Crepe Paper Flowers"
Lia Griffith posing with her new book “Crepe Paper Flowers”

Luckily I received a copy of Lia’s new book (thank you, Kestin!) and have begun reviewing it. The awesome thing about the book is that it comes with a code to download all of the SVGs for making over 20 different types of flowers!

So, of course, I have downloaded them all and am busy figuring out how to cut them with my Maker.

I need to get some of Lia’s crepe paper, because it was so soft and stretchy. The crepe paper most Americans know is cheap and generally only used for paper streamers. Lia has circled the globe to find the best crepe paper manufacturers and has worked with Italian and German crepe paper companies to produce two types of crepe paper–extra fine and heavy weight. Both kinds are made in sheets that fit on a Cricut mat and both cut like butter with the Maker using the new Rotary Blade.

Please note that you will not be able to cut crepe paper on any machine other than the Maker. Lia has provided a full library of printable PDFs so you can cut them by hand, if that is the case for you.


 

Lia Griffith's Crepe Paper
Some of the luscious crepe paper available in Lia Griffin’s shop

I am amazed at the range of colors available through Lia’s shop and I am hoping Cricut picks up her line of crepe paper. (Huib-take note!)

In addition, Lia’s book outlines–in great detail–how to assemble the flowers to look realistic and I am enthralled at the photography.

If you like making paper flowers, this book is a must have!

Look for some of my creations in the near future as I continue to digest this amazing new art form!

Cricut

Finding Beautiful SVG Files for your Cricut Crafting

I was recently asked about my favorite sites for SVGs on Quora.  Since my answer was pretty extensive, I thought I would also share it with all of my Miss Rita blog followers.

I buy a LOT of SVG files for crafting with my Cricut.  Yes, I realize I could do a Google search and replicate many different things, but I also understand that designers, too, need to eat, so I’d rather do my part to support an artist than to try to cheat the system.

Do note, I have always used a Cricut machine for crafting with SVGs, so I am coming from the perspective of a Cricut user. And while I don’t have any issue with other machines, I *know* and trust Team Cricut.  Your mileage may vary, of course, and if you have any other sites I might want to consider for future posts, please contact me!

 

Okay…here we go!

My top places to buy quality, beautiful and well designed SVGs are as follows:

A Mega Monarch Butterfly from an SVG Cuts file
A Mega Monarch Butterfly from an SVG Cuts file

SVG Cuts (SVGCuts.com):

SVG Cuts designer, Mary, is a master designer. She won a Martha Stewart award for her massive 3D Ferris Wheel in 2013. Mary’s SVGs tend to be large and very finely detailed. She specializes in 3D structures and unique box card designs. Mary’s designs are well thought out and show attention to detail and she often gives specific information about what paper she uses for each design, which I find helpful.

Mary generally sells her SVGs as part of a set that has a theme. She launches a new set once a month or so and often has introductory specials for new sets, specifically she offers new sets for free with a purchase of about $15 from her large backlist of SVGs. Mary offers very detailed instructions in PDF format with each set purchased and she also creates complete video instructions for all her SVGs, which she conveniently posts on her site along with the product. No searching for videos on YouTube or struggling with paper sheets, if that’s not your thing.

In addition, I have found Mary to be very responsive to email inquiries and is very friendly and helpful. She could probably use a bit more help with social media connections, but I get that. This is by far the best site I know for SVGs.

 

 

Pink Hydrangea Closeup
This small potted hydrangea was created from a Dreaming Tree file

Dreaming Tree (3DSVG.com):

Dreaming Tree is the brainchild of Leo Kowal, who was once in partnership with Mary of SVG Cuts (see above), so it’s no wonder that many of the wonderful features Mary offers, Leo also offers. However, I appreciate that Leo and his team (which includes Ron Guttman and an adorable kitty named Pumpkin) have made an effort to differentiate themselves from SVG Cuts.

As with SVG Cuts, every purchase you make includes a complete list of instructions (with color coding to AC Cardstock colors) and very detailed video guides. But you can also see the difference between Mary’s and Leo’s design styles. Dreaming Tree specializes in 3D designs and are usually centered around a theme. Leo has some lovely Christmas, Spring and Halloween SVG sets and also allows you to purchase individual files, too.  He offers a similar “free with purchase” program that SVG Cuts offers.  Leo often using LED tea lights to create beautiful “table-scapes” and offers many beautiful home decor designs.

Leo is very personable and is great to email or chat with on Facebook. Furthermore Dreaming Tree offers a many free SVG designs that I’ve found exceptionally beautiful!

Leo is great to follow on Facebook and often offers giveaways and contests. The Dreaming Tree site is technologically head and shoulders above all other SVG sites; it is clear that Leo and his team “get” social media and is a real player in the online SVG space. Dreaming Tree even has an app to help corral all his SVGs, videos and content in one place. Be sure to sign up for Dreaming Tree’s newsletter and you will get updates on all their new designs.

 

 

Z Fold Heart Card from Lori Whitlock
Z Fold Heart Card from Lori Whitlock

Lori Whitlock’s SVG shop (shop.loriwhitlock.com):

Lori Whitlock is, for all intents and purposes, the mother of the modern day box cards—by this I mean digital cuttable box card designs. Lori is the designer of two Cricut cartridges, which were designed exclusively for use with Cricut machines. I, of course, own both sets and I do love them. But, in addition, Lori offers an extensive catalog of all of her SVG files, which is quite literally hundreds of different SVG files. Lori’s email tutorials are excellent and offer all kinds of variations for using her designs; she also offers quite a few video tutorials on YouTube. I like it when Lori bundles her designs for extra savings and she also has some specials such as the FREE Kit of the Month and a Friday $5 Bundle. About once a month, Lori has a sale on her entire catalog so it is a good idea to sign up for her email newsletters; her sales are usually 30% off all the designs in her shop, which also includes a handful of other designers such as SAS Creative. Most SVGs are only $1.50–$3 each before any discounts, which makes it reasonable to collect quite an inventory of files. As I mentioned, Lori has been the leader in box cards and variations on the box card theme and her backlist reflects that. She does have a huge inventory that is not always easy to navigate.. Sometimes, too, I’ve found a few SVGs that are improperly formatted, but I’ve found Lori to be super responsive to email inquiries email about file issues. But aside from those small issues, I find Lori to be super friendly and I’ve had frequent chats with her via email; she is responsive and interested in her customers and their purchases. As a designer for Echo Park, she coordinates her SVG designs with the EP paper and embellishments, which I love. Although not as detailed as Mary/SVG Cuts, her designs are clean and cute and she also offers Doodlebug and other designer SVGs for sale on her site. I fell in love with SVGs through Lori’s designs and I think I now own almost every file in her inventory…my only issue is with storing and organizing them, which I am hoping the team at Cricut could somehow assist with or Lori can figure out something to accommodate her growing inventory!

 

 

Paper Peonies by Lia Griffith
Paper Peonies by Lia Griffith

Lia Griffith (liagriffith.com) is the hands down leader in exquisite paper flower designs. She offers a subscription model for her files, which is very reasonable if you like to download lots of files and don’t want to pay for them individually. Lia’s tutorials are beautiful with lots of gorgeous pictures along with the step-by-step instruction sheets.

Lia also sells her own paper products—such as fine crepe paper—which are a bit on the high side, but still a nice selection.

My only issue with Lia’s site is the way she formats her files.  When I was a member and downloaded  files, I found that there was no consistency with their naming profile. As a bit of a glutton for SVG files, I find it easier to organize and sort all my files when the files were coded first by the designer’s name. For example, Lori Whitlock always begins her file names with “LW” and Leo from Dreaming Tree starts his files with “3DSVG”. This makes organizing hundreds of files so much easier. So, I suppose if Lia can get that part figured out, I would enjoy her content more.

Either way though, if you like creating paper flowers, Lia’s site is the master paper flower crafter and you won’t go wrong perusing her site and possibly becoming a member.  I would suggest you check out her free files before you sign up for a membership, but I don’t think you will be disappointed.

 

 

Star Wars C-3PO Iron On from Cricut Design Space
Star Wars C-3PO Iron On from Cricut Design Space

Cricut Design Space:  

You might be surprised to find this one on here, but I have been consistently surprised with the designers that Team Cricut continues to offer. I’ve been especially impressed with their partnership with Anna Griffin, with whom they also coordinate special content on HSN.

Cricut has made a huge effort to build up their file library’s depth and breath in the last year.  They now have about two dozen designers that include those I’ve listed above (except for SVG Cuts), but also from newer or less prolific designers like Kim Byers, Teresa Collins, Rob & Bob, TomKat Studio, tatertots & jello and LoveSVG.

Cricut has also taken on the big franchises for marvelous and legally re-produceable files.  Those include partnerships with Disney, Marvel, the Star Wars franchise and Sesame Street.

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 2.36.29 PM

Martha Stewart:

I would be remiss to leave out my all time favorite home-keeper and virtual matriarch, Martha Stewart.  A long time ago, Martha came out with a couple of Cricut cartridges for use in the Cricut Cake machine.  If you were lucky enough to own the Cake or buy the cartridges, you will know she already has some beautiful Cricut files out there.  But it seems Martha has regrouped as of late and has just launched her own version of a Cricut, so I feel she is just getting re-started in this genre.  Knowing Martha and her vast background in all things crafty, I expect great things.  Be sure to watch both her site and Cricut Design Space for more stuff from her in the near future. I personally can’t wait!

 

So that’s my very extensive list of sites that offer both free and purchasable SVG files for use with your Cricut.  Want to know more?  Please join one of my Facebook groups or follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook!

Take care, darlings!