CM is BACK!

CM is BACK!
It's a rare job that allows people to do well while doing good. I invite you to team up with me and see how easy it is to make $$ while doing something you love!

This blog contains affiliate links!

Some of the links in the posts on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission (Thank you!) Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers.
Email me ..........................

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Where to find files for your Silhouette machine–free SVG & SIL files.

Below are sites that offer lots of freebies.
I will update this from time to time.  Feel free to add your favorites in the comments - freebies or paid files!
Apex Cuttable Designs
A. Spoon Full of Sugar*
Agus Yornet  
Beanie’s Tag You’re It 
BeaOriginal
Bird’s Cards             
Brittany's svg files Craft Edge
Cre8ive Cutz
Create, Believe, Imagine 

Creativity = Sanity 
 
Cuts by Connie  - a lot of broken links & you’ll have to go back a few pages for free files.
Digital Designs by Stephanie

Ducky's Designs 
Einnej 
Everything Ladybug - lots of ladybug files!
The Free SVG Blog
Get Silvered

iDiecut.com 
(I) (L)ove (D)oing All Things Crafty  
Images by Heather M 
Kerri Bradford
KLDezign les SVG – in French but not too hard to navigate
Krafty Nook - TONS of great FREE file sets!  Click here for a tutorial on how to download them.
Krewella Kreations
LA's Cricut and SVG creations  
Little Scraps of Heaven Designs - weekly freebie 
LKC Designs – list on the right side of page
Love Paper Crafts  

Make The Cut Forum
Miss Kate’s Cuttables – daily freebie!
Monica Bjork
PapaSue Creates  
Paper Creativity
Paper Yoga
Pretty Paper, Pretty Ribbons – new Freebie every Friday  
Quilling Patch 
SCALE - Files  
Scrapbook & Cards Today
ScrappinbyKris 
Scrappin Doodles – sign up for their email list for Friday Freebies   
Scrappinfun.com 
Something to Craft About  
Shery K Designs   - links on right side of the page the page     
SVG Cuts
SVG Cutting Files - some really cute Star Wars freebies & lots of others.
Too Cute by Jessica
Treasure Box Designs - Freebie every Tuesday  
Wanda's Cards and Crafts
Top 40 Lists – listed in order of website traffic, I think
Make The Cut
Silhouette
Sure Cuts A Lot 

Silhouette Cameo & Make The Cut!

I have been using electronic die cutting machines for close to 10 years.  I’ve used a few different ones (Wishblade, Cricut & Silhouette) as well as a few different software programs including Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL), Silhouette Studio (SS), SS Designer Edition (DE) & Make The Cut! (MTC) and have found that my Silhouette Cameo and Make The Cut! are my tools of choice.  The Silhouette cuts beautifully & precisely. I love the ability to create my own titles using any font on my computer, to create files using shapes or images and also to purchase and/or share files.  There is also a print & cut feature that is fantastic.  Here’s a brief video showing just a bit of what the Cameo can do:
I LOVE my Silhouette Cameo!!

If you’re even thinking about getting a Silhouette machine (Cameo has a larger cutting area than the smaller Portrait) you should download the free Silhouette Studio program.  Play around with the program, watch videos and start collecting shapes!   Here is a link to download the Silhouette Studio program http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/software

Silhouette offers a free shape each week in the Silhouette store. You'll probably receive a download card with your Silhouette Machine good for $10 in the Silhouette Store so if you’re waiting to get a Silhouette you can set up an account, start shopping or create a wish list.   http://www.silhouetteonlinestore.com/

I have found that the free program that comes with the Silhouette machines – Silhouette Studio (SS) - isn’t easy to work with.  It’s unstable – often getting hung up and/or crashing (consider this a reminder to save your work often!)  The tracing feature is hard to use and you’re limited to cutting .sil files with SS.  That is unfortunate because most cut files are in a SVG format.  To cut SVG files you’ll need another program.   You can upgrade to Silhouette Designer Edition – that has more features but it still works the same as SS (with more features) and I’ve experienced the same crashing issues and so have many others I’ve heard from. 

Fortunately, there are some 3rd party software programs out there.  I’ve used both SCAL and MTC and really, really like using MTC.  It was designed by a scrapbookers husband and the software is upgraded from time to time at no charge to MTC owners.  It’s very user friendly!

(I am an affiliate for MTC! – but I became an affiliate because I love the program, not the other way around)

Do yourself a favor – download a trial version of MTC – simply click the “Download Now” button  It is a wonderful program – the layers feature is my favorite.  You can try it out but won’t be able to cut your items until you purchase  your copy of MTC.  Once you do that  you’ll be able to cut all other file types other than .sil files.  You can save files as SVGs, something you can not do in the  upgraded Silhouette Designer Edition program.  I use MTC for everything but .sil files.  I find myself using .sil files less and less because of the issues with the Silhouette programs and because MTC is so much easier to use.

But don’t take my word for it  - see which program you prefer and judge for yourself!

Here is a great comparison between Make The Cut & Silhouette Designer Edition:  http://underacherrytree.blogspot.com/2012/01/why-make-cut-mtc-vs-silhouette-designer.html

Here is a comparison between Silhouette Studio & Designer Edition: http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/media/docs/silhouette-studio-version-comparison.pdf

Here are some other resources for the Silhouette machines.

A good, basic – get started with your machine video:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMQ84O8o33I

This is a great series of videos - she explains things in detail and is easy to follow: http://www.youtube.com/user/2tinytreasures/search...

Tracing Without Tears series - using Silhouette Studio (the software that comes with the Silhouette Machine) http://www.youtube.com/playlist...

Good video about the Print & Cut feature. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqXrUmZoc_o

I have lots of Silhouette/electronic die cutter related pins here on my Silhouette Pinterest Board http://www.pinterest.com/lisa.../silhouette-ideas-and-finds/

and a board dedicated to vinyl projects http://www.pinterest.com/lisagraham/vinyl-projects/

This is where I order my vinyl from – great selection & quick shipping!

EV-Logo

This is a community board showing projects created with Make The Cut - where anyone can pin to it. http://www.pinterest.com/conicuts/make-the-cut/

This is one of my favorite spots for SVG files. Lots of great, fun files and a freebie each day!

Enter to win a Silhouette Cameo from SVG Cuts on Facebook!

I love, love, LOVE my Silhouette Cameo!  It is a fantastic die cutting machine that lets you cut any font you have on your computer, design your own files, use purchased files & more.  It also has a great print & cut feature.  Here’s a chance to win a Silhouette Cameo from SVG cuts!  

Click on the image below to enter.  You’ll receive additional entries when friends enter! You'll earn one extra entry for every friend you refer.  Good Luck!! 

Not familiar with the Silhouette Cameo?  Here’s a post about Silhouette – complete with links to videos, software upgrades & freebie files.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cardstore

CYBER MONDAY! 49¢ Flat Holiday Cards at Cardstore! TODAY ONLY 12/2/13. Use Code: CCP3122
CYBER MONDAY! Affiliate Exclusive! $1.49 Folded Holiday Cards at Cardstore! TODAY ONLY 12/2/13. Use Code: CCP3149
Personalized Photo Cards at Cardstore, Shop Now!
I recently discovered a great option for creating & sending personalized cards – Cardstore.  They have a very user-friendly process for creating customized cards and they’ll even stamp & mail out your cards, too!  There is no cost (other than the postage) for this option!  You can even schedule ahead of time when cards will be sent out!
Cardstore also has a mobile app so you can create & send cards on the go.

Cardstore has many helpful features including:
* Address Book Upload your entire address book in just a few clicks from your computer. Then you can mail your holiday cards directly to friends and family!
* Favorites:While you're shopping for Thanksgiving cards, mark your “favorite” Christmas cards so later you an select the one that works best with your favorite photo.
* Facebook Photos: Facebook photos make the best photos! Select your holiday card from Cardstore and upload your picture from Facebook. Your photo will appear right on the card! You can also upload photos from other sources:

*Fun designs! 
Including Mary Engelbreit & Awkward Family Photos.  Cardstore also has lots of great choices for kids, too – including One Direction, Care Bears, Hello Kitty, Sesame Street & Thomas.  How I wish I’d have known about Cardstore a few years ago when my boys were all about Thomas the Tank Engine!
image
Cardstore has a fantastic selection of Thanksgiving cards and more, and you’ll save $10 off your order of $30 or more when you use code: CAM3849 at checkout. Valid through 11/20.
Start personalizing today!

Some favorites from Cardstore:



Photobucket

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Panstoria Digital Artwork on Sale - Ends Saturday

All digital content from Panstoria and Creative Memories will be on sale for 30% off the original price.  No coupon code needed - the sale price is listed on the website.

Panstoria now offers digital artwork from Cottage Arts & Kaisercraft, too (not included in this sale.)

Here are a few of the kits by Panstoria:

image

image

image

Panstoria also offers Predesigned Pages, Alphabet Sets,

Calendar Templates & Frames, Mats, etc.

Have fun!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sale at Expressions Vinyl

ExpressionsVinyl.com

 

10% off your order

The code is GIVETHANKS2013

Valid through Sunday, December 1, 2013

On Sale This Week

12"x5 yard Stripflock heat transfer vinyl

Sale Ends - Sunday, December 1st
*sale items CAN BE combined with coupons*

Be sure to check out the how to videos and project ideas on ExpressionsVinyl.com

Thinking about ordering a Silhouette Cameo?  Expressions Vinyl has a great bundle – including 10 sheets of vinyl and 5 sheets of transfer tape. 

There is also a great bundle available at Amazon.com with lots of basic extras.

Here are just a few vinyl projects I’ve made using my Silhouette Cameo.

m

photo 2photo 3

Link to video showing how to make the glittered ornaments similar to those shown above.

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Close To My Heart and Anhi & Zoe or Creative Memories

First – a disclaimer.  I am not signing up for any other direct sales company.  

I am a huge fan of the DS business model.  There are so many wonderful reasons to be a DS consultant but at this time that option is not a good fit for me.   I appreciate the offers and invites that some of you have shared with me.  I promise if I ever change my mind I’ll let you know.Smile 

 

Now – for some encouraging news.  Last weekend I saw some Close To My Heart albums in person.  I was very, very impressed with them. 

I know what you’re thinking – but they’re post bound!  Bear with me – there just aren’t any albums out there that I have found that are both strap-hinge and great quality.  Yet!  (Always hopeful!)

Yes, they’re post bound albums.  But they’re a very nice quality album and the page protectors are very strong!

1395368_10202217263094230_34239694_n

That’s a very full 12x12 album that Carolyn is holding by one, single CTMH page protector!

The Memory Protectors are thick and gusseted so if you have thicker pages they can lay flat.  They are top loading – BUT in January CTMH will be making side loading Memory Protectors that FIT CM’s STRAP HINGE ALBUMS!!  How refreshing that a company not only listens to requests from customers but are actually acting upon those requests!  I think these are going to be first offered for a limited time but who know what will happen in the future!

1468716_10202217429938401_579524609_n

CTMH sells Spine Extenders that you add every 3 or 4 pages to help your pages to lay flat.

563693_10202217357496590_2108419845_n

You can modify the CTMH Memory Protectors to fit in CM Strap Hinge albums. 

This was my first time meeting Carolyn.  I gave her the quick version of my history with CM & what was going on w/the company and she showed me a bit of their scrapbooking related items. 

Carolyn loves CTMH products and it shows! She was excited but not pushy at all.  She was very, very helpful to help me navigate through CTMHs product line.  I have been a loyal CM gal for all of my time as a scrapbooker  and although I’ve been to a few CTMH parties & ordered a few of their products I’m pretty new to their world.

Carolyn gave me a catalog.  I don’t know how much consultants in other DS companies pay for their catalogs but as a CM consultant I always considered the cost of catalogs as a business expense for me.  It was a write-off, like credit card fees and order forms.  Even in the good ole’ days when CM catalogs contained ideas I never sold them.  Giving away catalogs got my information into the hands of others and that isn’t something I’ve ever felt comfortable charging others for a catalog…or paying for one as a customer.  So I was very happy to get a free catalog Smile 

Here are a few things I liked:

CTMH printed papers – they have a strip on one side that lists what pack it’s from and the colors it coordinates with.

1397668_10202257019768122_1664520472_o

When you trim this strip off it has a pretty pattern on the other side that you can use in your projects.

775028_10202257024368237_690940730_o

CTMH Cardstock – it cuts like a dream in electronic die cutters!  They have lots colors to choose from, too.  The CTMH cardstock has a white core which may or may not be an issue if you’re used to CM cardstock.

Flip Flaps – these are great items that allow you to easily put extra photos or other items on your pages.  They are like mini clear page protectors and have a strip of adhesive that allows you to adhere them to your pages.

You can see the CTMH albums & Flip Flaps in this video:

CTMH has a lot of  items that work well together or coordinate. You can tell that people familiar with the scrapbooking & crafting industry have a hand in designing their products.  I like that!

So – those are my first thoughts about some of the CTMH options that might work for those of us searching for new homes for our scrapbook pages. 

If you have specific questions about the products please ask your CTMH consultant!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Huge Red Flag for Ahni & Zoe!

CM was never big on social media.  There was a time when CMCs were forbidden from even mentioning online that they were consultants.  We couldn’t share our work online or promote our business without the threat of deactivation.  I know of CMCs that were actually deactivated because they dared to share ideas featuring CM products online on a message board.  Heck, I was slapped on the hand by CM because I promoted CM products on my CM blog.  The same blog that was dedicated to my CM business  and only contained info regarding CM! 

Looks like CM AZ  still doesn’t recognize the value and potential for social media and that’s really a pity.  Add to that their desire to control information to & from consultants and you get this as part of the A&Z Policy Manual (it’s on page 8.)

social media

I agree that as a rep for a company you shouldn't go on public social media sites and bash that company. That's just not good business sense.  Most direct sales companies have some wording regarding this issue and it pretty much boils down to common sense.  But this bit about “You must avoid disparaging conversations, comments…" leaves too much wiggle room for A&Z.   As an A&Z consultant, according to this, you can't say anything - in a public, private, closed or secret online group - that isn't "positive” according to A&Z.  Many people see things as honest and realistic but CM HO has a reputation for viewing anything that dares to go against their thought process as negative.  Unfortunately, I witnessed this labeling of a differing opinion as “negative” first hand many, many times.  Positive is a subjective term. Each person has their own idea what is positive and what is negative.  With the same people in charge of A&Z I’m willing to bet it will be not only more of the same but now, contractually they can discipline consultants for sharing their “inappropriate and disparaging” thoughts according to A&Z!

It’s quite obvious that if you don’t agree with AZ then they don’t want to hear about it. 

CM/AZ entered into the social media world kicking & screaming. They have not embraced it - in fact they seem to barely tolerate it. The removal of their consultant only social media platform (again) and shutting down of comments on their public FB page are the latest examples of this. 

I will say it again – go into any business venture with your eyes wide open!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Digital Scrapbook Day, 2013!

Today is Digital Scrapbook Day!  This happens the first Saturday in November each year!  Here are a few spots celebrating with digital freebies (Be sure to check out the stores – most have great deals & other fun things going on to celebrate DSD!)

Note:  most digital kits are pngs and they do not install with the ease of the kit’s most SBC+ and Artisan users are used to using that were purchased from CM or Panstoria.  Here is a tutorial that explains how to bring png files into SBC+ – same process for Artisan.  http://www.jenreeddesigns.com/blog/tutorial-import-digital-scrapbook-kit-storybook-creator/

Free page file template – at Scrap Orchard courtesy of Fiddle-Dee-Dee Designs to start a Sorry! MIS challenge.  Click here to learn more about this challenge & download the template.

Kellybell designs has an adorable free “Princess Overnight” kit and specials

MJAJ Designs has this fun freebie:

 

Check out Digiscrapparade for a fun parade that will take you to blogs, websites & Facebook pages where you can collect lots of freebies! 

digiscrapaddicts also has a blog hop – here’s the complete list of participants.  LOTS of beautiful freebies! 

A few of my favorites from the digiscrapaddicts hop:

from Brown Eyed Susan Designs

Triple J Designs:

This one from she creates is available in page format!

 

Scrap Orchard has lots of events and these freebies offered throughout the weekend :

Pixelscrapper has a Blog Train – with lots of freebies.  Here is a list of these participants.

 

These are not part of  DSD but are still fun & free!

Template by Meagan's Creations - page file available

October 8 Tuesday Template by Meagan's Creations

Scraptakeout.com has 3 freebies: 

#1

DSD Freebie

#2

DSD 2013 Freebie {1 of 3}

#3

Skullz Pattern Freebie

REEL fun freebie from simple Pleasure Designs

Reel Fun

“Like” Mad for the Mouse’s Facebook page for this freebie:

 photo SB_fBFreebie.jpg

LOTS of freebies at these 2 sites:

A Cherry on Top – 96 pages of freebies!

Here’s a cute one from A Cherry on Top:

Sweet Treats Add On mini kit

Shabby Princess – over 30 freebies!

Festival is one of my favorites!

Blog Train to celebrate Ivy Scraps 4th Birthday!

Lots of freebies here – Sweet Shoppe Designs & here susyQscraps

Be sure to grab the DSD freebies first – most will only be available for a limited time!

Have fun!!

Feel free to post links to other freebies you find & I’ll update this post if/when I come across more.