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Celebrating International Women’s Day & Joining the Movement

March 8, 2017 • Contributor: Cricut Marketing Director Tiffany Isbell

Photo Credit: Teacups & Things

I’ve grown up surrounded by truly amazing women. My mother was in education, and she taught me the value of education along with teaching me so many successful life skills. Whether we were canning plum jelly to hand out to people in the neighborhood or she was teaching me how to sew so I could join the 4H Club and put on a fashion show down the middle of the horse arena when I was 9, my mother was a true inspiration. The best part was that I also had a father who always encouraged me to not just get an education, but become an educated woman. He absolutely believed that I could be whatever I wanted – even President of the United States, which obviously didn’t happen. What did happen was that I grew up – surrounded by strong parents, teachers, and friends.

Now, I work with truly amazing women. From our VP of (developing amazing*) Product, Kim Kanarowski, to my partner-in-crime on product launches, the beloved Cortney Haymond. We have women peppered throughout our building who are strong, beautiful, inspiring people. They each have their own story, their own life journey. They have diverse backgrounds, and they sometimes even have similar experiences. They’re all unique and fabulous!

Also, I’m inspired by all of the amazing women in our Cricut community. We see your inspiring projects; we hear about your incredible life stories, and we are constantly in awe of what you do. I cannot express the number of times your beautiful moments have brought us tears of joy. We celebrate this throughout all of our offices. We love to hear your stories, and we love to be there for you.

In honor of all the amazing women in my life and yours, we want to celebrate International Women’s Day and #BeBoldForChange. Bold takes many steps and many forms, but at the end of the day, it takes a lot of courage. We announced Cricut’s Pretty Pillow Project, #SayItWithCricut, in January – where we are helping you learn how to work with fonts and phrases in Design Space. So far, we have made over 30 pillows. You’ll see fun phrases, inspiring phrases, hopeful phrases, determined phrases, kids’ phrases, and more! Our goal as a team is to make at least 100 pillows this year, have an amazing experience helping you learn Cricut Design Space, and give back to our local community at the end of the year.

We will be donating all of our pillows to local women’s shelters to help bring a moment of happiness to them and their children during a difficult time in their lives. We would love for you to participate with us. As a community of crafters and makers, we invite you to participate with us. Let’s make it a goal together to donate 1,000 pillows and help touch many lives at the moment that they are trying to #BeBoldForChange. 

We encourage you to get together with your friends and have a Crafternoon or a Girls’ Night In party, or stay in and use your fabulous creative skills to make pillows on your own. Make pillows or pillowcases for your own local women’s shelters. Even if it’s just 2 or 3, you can make a huge difference in a life. Together, we can be powerful and help impact 1,000 lives. Please join us and let us know what you’ve done in your community here: https://cricut.wishpond.com/pillowproject/

If you have a story to share, let us know. We welcome pictures about your fun pillow making event, stories of the impact made by your donation, and other experiences that really connected you to the women in your community. You can submit them to contest@cricut.com or post them on social media and tag us with #CricutPillows. 

I always end with a ‘Cheers’, and this has an even more powerful meaning to me today. Cheers to your creative life and the powerful impact your creativity has. Cheers to you and your families. Cheers to all the people who inspire you. Cheers to all the people who inspire me. And most importantly, Cheers to the Change that I know we are all empowered to make.

Cheers.

t

*This isn’t really a part of Kim’s title, BUT IT SHOULD BE! 

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Your Guide to The Ultimate DIY Teen Room

January 23, 2017 • Contributor: Heidi Moore of Idieh Design

Is your teen's room in need of a makeover? We've got some stunning inspiration for you! We came together with stylist Heidi Moore, of Idieh Design, J-14 Decorate Magazine, and hayneedle.com to makeover the room of teen actress, Jenna Ortega. To see the full makeover story from Jenna's perspective, head over to J-14 Magazine, or pick up J-14 Decorate Magazine in stores... you'll see some amazing Cricut DIY projects that will be available on Design Space this week! 

Heidi, the brains behind the contemporary DIY room design, came up with the concept, color palette, and furniture arrangement to transition Jenna and her sister Aliyah's childhood bedroom into a more modern and grown-up space for the girls. We are so inspired by Heidi's versatile designs, which is why we sat down with her so she can share more on her inspiration, motivation, and vision when it comes to creating home décor. 

What was your first reaction when you heard you’d be designing for a teenager’s space?

Honestly, a little nervous, but also very excited! My teen years are long gone and I knew I had to find a way to tap into what it’s like to be a teen again. My first step was checking out Jenna’s personal style on social media. After a quick glimpse, I quickly realized she was a mini me in terms of style. She can rock any style of hats (ME TOO!), she’s a fan of black and white (classic & chic!), and she has a little quirk mixed in with pure adorableness. I immediately felt at ease as I knew it would be a breeze to connect with Jenna’s style as it, in many ways, was a reflection of my own.

Talk us through your style profile and how that translated to this room.

Jenna is a teenager with a heart of gold, lots of style, and charisma beyond her years, so I knew I wanted to add a ton of spirit & energy to the room to match her bubbly personality. Also, I remember how during this stage of my life, I was searching for my identity, my confidence & the idea of self-love and it was really important to me that Jenna & Aliyah’s room be a place where the girls feel empowered and beautiful in their own skin. Therefore, it was high priority to sprinkle affirmations throughout the room such as "Messy Hair, Don't Care" and "Hello, gorgeous!" to remind them just how unique & adored they are. And, because they are in their early teen years, I wanted to challenge myself to find a way to design & create a space that could grow and transform with them. I did this by focusing on a sophisticated design foundation & then added touches of whimsical and fun to still keep the room feeling young at heart.

Hello Gorgeous

What is your method for inspiration when it comes to color and design?

At my core, I adore a black and white combo with pops of color and I’m always up for ways to mix patterns & textures to add depth and dimension. For this particular design, the focal point for inspiration came from the gorgeous rug from hayneedle.com. I instantly fell in love with the colors & textures of the rug and that jump started my design direction. I also thought about what teen girls like to do in their room and that’s what inspired the reading nook with the bean bag & the vanity for getting ready.

 

Check out the super cool style board Heidi made for the room before it was executed:

Idieh Design Style Board

What was your favorite Cricut DIY project in this room? 

Hmmm ... I’ll have to go with the wall decal of “Messy Hair, Don’t Care.” I’m a huge fan of hats and when I came up with idea, I knew I would have to implement it in my own bedroom. (And, I loved being able to add a little surprise for Jenna by leaving one of my signature Heart Black Hats in the display before the big reveal.) I love how it’s not only visually funky & artistic, but also very functional. Is it just me or does anyone else struggle with keeping all those hats in order?!

Messy Hair Don't Care Image

What was the coolest Cricut hack you learned when executing the design? 

Most definitely the use of Heat N’ Bond to convert some amazing fabrics into pieces that could then be easily attached to surfaces with just the touch of an iron. I’m always of fan of mixing patterns and textures and the Heat N’ Bond allowed me to transform a basic duvet into a work of art. I simply ironed the Heat N’ Bond to each of the shapes the came together to create the heart duvet and then ironed them onto the comforter. The Heat N’ Bond made it possible to quickly attach the unconventional materials and turn them into some funky room decor (& art!) by only using some heat ... and some patience.

Duvet Image

Tell us which Cricut material is your favorite to create with? 

Oooo ... this is such a tough one as there are so many favorites. I’m quick to find ways to utilize the vinyl as I love the versatility of it and that it’s only temporary, making it easy to switch out if your mood or style changes. I used vinyl for the “Messy Hair, Don’t Care” wall decal, the Hidden Heart wall installation and the “Hello, gorgeous” mirror decal. A close second would have to be the adhesive foil. It has such a sophistication and high-end feel to it that allows you to take a basic form and elevate it to become a statement piece. I used the gold foil to transform a basic black lamp shade into a geometric focal point of the room.

What was your biggest challenge in designing this space?

I learned A LOT. I think the biggest challenge was not being able to see the room until showing up a few days before the shoot. Let’s just say, Tim Gunn’s saying of “Make it work!” was the motto of the weekend. When designing a space there are so many factors to consider: materials, dimensions, spacial relations, shelves that can’t be removed but you didn’t know that until you arrived. You get the point. But, that’s what makes design & style so exciting and worthwhile. It’s through these unexpected limitations and obstacles that emerge your best & most creative ideas! (Not to mention, with the ease & versatility of a Cricut, it made it a breeze to make these changes on the spot and whip up a new idea, if needed.)

If you could give design advice to a parent looking to redesign their teenager's room what would it be?  

As I did with Jenna’s room, I think it’s important to think about how the room can transform with your daughter as she goes through such a life-changing stage in her life. Teen girls’ interests and hobbies change so much during those adolescent years and by focusing on a classic and timeless foundation (color of the walls, furniture, bed frame), it allows the design of the space to naturally transform with their style without having to completely redo their room every few years.

 

Another Room Image

I think we can all agree Heidi did an incredible job designing this contemporary teen room. The color palette alone has us with major hearts in our eyes! For more room inspiration from Heidi, make sure to check out our new Cricut home decor page and you might get a chance to win a style session with her ... along with your own Cricut Explore Air 2 bundle, and a shopping spree up to $2,000 on hayneedle.com! You can re-design your teen's room or give your room a new style. So what are you waiting for?! Make sure to sign-up!

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#SayItWithCricut: Our Secret Obsession for DIY Pillows!

January 4, 2017 • Contributor: Cricut Marketing Director Tiffany Isbell

We’re declaring 2017, the year of the pillow. Last year, we had a little “pillow talk” showing you beautiful pillow inspiration. They’re so simple to make, and they can instantly transform a room or a life. I know what you might be thinking – yeah, nothing is really that easy. (This really can be.) BUT, we also know how scary or hard some DIY projects can look. Pillows can be made from iron-on, stencil, paint, fabric, felts, and more. We’re here to help you learn all the secrets, and give you Pillow Super Powers! Join us as we walk you through the how-tos of everything from picking the right pillow, designing your project, and tips & tricks of cutting your materials. 
 

Say I Love You

We’ll be making pillows throughout the year to inspire you and people in your life. Pillows are such a great way to express yourself, say something meaningful, and a really easy DIY way to make something special. You can tell people you love them:

This pillow uses fabric paint and stencils. The scariest part about this pillow might be picking and sizing fonts.  We know how intimidating that can be. We’ll take you through how to match fonts, build your design, and add it to your pillow. Don’t fret – whether you’re new to the world of making with Cricut or a seasoned veteran, get ready to learn something or share advice!  We’re all in this awesome journey together.

Photo courtesy The Idea Room

Celebrate Life

Whether it’s a holiday or a beautiful moment these types of pillows are made with Cricut Iron-On and are easy one-cut pre-designed phrases. Pre-designed phrases can be one simple way to make a quick, yet meaningful pillow. We’ll take you through the world of finding and using phrases in Cricut Design Space as well as making your own!

Texture Made Easy

This beautiful Ranunculus pillow can be one of those projects you might shy away from, but stay tuned and we’ll walk you through a wide variety from the simple one-cut to more complicated pieces like this one. You’ll be a pillow-making rock star by the end of the year. 

Our first step is going to be learning how to find and use phrases to make this great “You’re Amazing” pillow (because we truly think you’re amazing!):

You're amazing Pillow

Next, we’ll be walking through how to narrow down layered phrases to get a simple one-cut like this:

Awesome Pillow

Never fear! Because you are awesome! Together, we are ready to learn and grow. We’ll also share tips on how to pick the right color iron-on for your project and using iron-on easily. 

Lastly, we’ll be finding and sizing fonts together to make this:

 

Be Adventerous

... and celebrate the beginning of our adventures together. Every couple of weeks, we’ll have a new set of pillows to learn new techniques, tips & tricks, and the ins-and-outs of Design Space. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so that you can get in on all the fun!

Here’s a quick sneak peek of our next few pillows:

Sneak Peek Pillows

Let’s be adventurous, awesome, and amazing as we head into 2017, and let’s #SayItWithCricut every week! Tell us in the comments below what tips, tricks, and techniques that you'd like to learn along the way, and we’ll work to get you tutorials and answers. Make sure you also follow our #SayItWithCricut Pinterest board to see all of our amazing pillow and phrase projects. Cheers - Tiffany!