Sunday, January 25, 2015

Lollipop Holder - From the Past

This is a file I made back in 2013 but thought I would repost it since there are so many new users of SVG files and the Valentine season is upon us which tends to make mother's of young children scamper around for cute easy party favors or gifts. I only made a few of these and think I gave them to my daughter to give to her friends. Often times I design a file and never use it because it's more about the challenge of the designing than it is the application of the design.

 As you can see in the picture there are 4 different "top" designs you can choose from. All the scoring lines, holes for tying the lollipop in the holder and cuts for decorative paper are included in the file.

You should be able to get about 8 holders out of a 12x12 sheet of cardstock if you nudge them together and then lay 2 horizontally at the bottom, making it quite cost effective if you have to whip out a great number of them for a class full of children or co-workers.


SVG USERS - select all - all designs in the file you can delete the ones you don't want later - and  make sure to resize to height at 8.5" so the proportions are correct.  


This is a picture of the ones I cut. I did use a heavy cardstock, specifically Stampin Up because I wanted them to be sturdy but probably any cardstock would work okay. This is a good way to use up some of those precious scraps as well since the pattern panel and the toppers don't take a whole lot paper to make.






 
I used ribbon to tie and keep the lollipop in place but twine or anything of that nature would work as well.

You can download the appropriate file below:
MTC - LOLLIPOP HOLDER
SVG - LOLLIPOP HOLDER

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Life is...better in flip flops - Layout

Evidently I need to go through my folder labeled "layout" because I have found some in there I have never posted! I get in designing kicks sometimes and then forget about posting the layout for download. I actually did this one over a year ago and I'm sure I was thinking of some vacation pictures when I did it. This will be perfect for some pictures of my BFF Karen and I on past vacations as she is the queen of flip flops! I actually think she moved to Florida so she can wear her flips all year round, but don't tell her I said that!

I'm sure you could change the elements if you wanted to just use the flip flops and title but since I have quite a few beach pictures I decided to use the sand, and a life preserver on this design. 

I decided to use some circle text in part of the title because I get bored with the same old straight titles on scrapbook pages. Thank goodness I can do the circle text in Make The Cut fairly easily. I just hope the dang thing cuts okay because some of the lines are a little thin.

You can download this layout design below:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Love Your Smile - layout

I've almost forgotten how much I love to design layouts! Okay usually I do but last night this one was giving me fits for some reason, it was suppose to be so simple but ended up giving me much difficulty and I blame it on creative block *okie figures she has to blame it on something*.

I know I have some pictures of my daughter when she was a baby where she was smiling really big and I want to use those for this layout. I will be embellishing the layout with some flowers, buttons or something besides just the cuts in the file as well. The colors will depend on the colors in the photos of course.

If you would like to use this layout you can download the appropriate file below:
SVG - Love Your Smile 




Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Precious - A Baby Girl Layout

My friend Carmen is working on some layouts and asked me last night what I had available and while I wanted to smack her upside the head because she should know by now what I have available for download I refrained *okie thinks that is only because Carmen is quite a distance out of arms reach* and went through my list of layouts on my blog with her. She did find some that she liked and downloaded although I'm not quite sure which ones. Since we were talking about some of my older layouts that are no longer available for download because they were done with Design Studio I thought I should do some more geared to baby girl ones because I still have some pictures of my daughter that I need to scrapbook.

I generally like to scrap more than one picture to a layout and I thought this design could easily be adapted for one or more pictures. I liked the idea of the simple title "precious" because that is exactly what baby girls are! I think this could easily be dressed up with some ribbon, maybe a butterfly or some tiny flowers to compliment the daisy cuts.

Maybe I can go through my daughters pictures this week and get this one done myself! But even if I don't I know Carmen will be surprised when she checks her Facebook this morning and sees this one available, especially since I actually designed it for her.

If you would like to make this layout you can download the appropriate file below:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Vegas Wand Chalk Markers - Two Thumbs Up!

After doing my little chalk art for the first time I came to the conclusion I am no artist and certainly not with chalk! I'm not even going to pretend that my chalkboard is the best and the board is some kinda of pressed board that Home Depot sells but even with that excuse I still can't blame my lack of skills on the material that was used. Although I was using Prang chalk and I'm quite sure it isn't top of the line chalk. There was some discussion on Facebook on one of my posts where the topic was chalk and a friend of mine said she got some chalk pens at Hobby Lobby that she liked and my dilemma is that I am at least 60 miles from the closest Hobby Lobby so off to Amazon I went in search of chalk markers.

As you may know anytime you search something on Amazon you get a plethora of results and sometimes it is difficult to wade through the results. I often sort by review so I can find a good product, which is what I did with the chalk markers. I decided on the Vegas Wand White Chalk Markers since they had 5 stars and the price was decent, $10.99 for the four of them and since I am a Prime member I got free two day shipping *okie so loves the two free day shipping*. I also liked the idea that they markers have dual tips, one with a point and one with a chisel tip. You do have to switch the tip manually as they are not on both ends but since there were 4 markers I wouldn't have to try and switch during use.



This is the first chalk art I did and I was using the Prang chalk I got from Staples. While it was okay I did find it was a bit difficult to use because of all the dust. I also had to "sharpen" the chalk with a nail file so I could get a half way decent point on the end and repeated that frequently. When I tried to make more solid heavier lines there was a LOT of dust and sharpening going on.







 
Here is my chalkboard after I used the Vegas Wand Chalk Markers. It was very easy to prepare the markers following the instructions and it works like a paint pen where you have to shake and then pump the tip a few times to get the ink flowing. The lines are nice and solid and the ink flowed nice. While I haven't tried any shading with the markers, I'm not sure how it would work out since it is more fluid. For this chalk art I used the Prang chalk for my shading.

I found it easy to remove any boo-boos with a damp paper towel. Make sure you don't use them on a porous surface.

My friend David said he thought it looked like a professional did it and I thought to myself he probably hasn't seen much chalk art. Even so, I am really happy with the markers and am thinking about maybe ordering some of the colored ones but then again I really like the simplicity of just the white.

I don't have other chalk markers to compare these to but I definitely would pay the price again for them and give them two thumbs up!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Weekend Project - Little Red Table

After I moved two month ago I decided I wanted some sort of theme for my kitchen and I thought something along the lines of French Country, actually the idea came from a the GRAPHIC 45 FRENCH COUNTRY MATCHBOX PROJECT that I did two years ago. The previous renters left a really hand island because they didn't have room for it and it was painted red and with red being my favorite color I knew that was going to be the base color for my kitchen. I have been slowly trying to figure out what else I could do with the kitchen and over the weekend completed a little wall area that I am quite pleased with.

Right after I moved I was in Home Depot and they were having Diva Day and one of the projects was a chalkboard and I thought "why the heck not" and knew exactly where I would put it in my new kitchen. Most people stained their chalkboards but I decided to paint mine. I used Behr paint and chose the color Allure. My friend Wendi was there and she was staining her chalkboard with some ebony stain. Just out of curiosity I rubbed some of her stain over the paint and loved the effect. Oh and you can see the island over on the left of the picture. I kept wondering what I could put under the chalkboard to make that little area look complete and then one afternoon after work I stopped in Goodwill and saw this little white table and knew that was perfect and the price was only $4.99! I did know it would have to be painted to match the chalkboard. Oh the dog in the picture didn't come from Goodwill, he was suppose to be my daughter's dog but I quickly became his primary caregiver and now she can't have him, but that's another story.


On Saturday I decided to get busy on the little table and I couldn't find my good paint brush and ended up using a crappy paint brush for the first coat of paint on the table. I knew I was going to have to do more than one coat and didn't think it would really matter too much for the first coat. I ended up taking pictures of the different stages because my friend Carmen wanted to see how it was coming along. After I got done with the first coat I really did wonder if it was going to turn out how I wanted and thought back about how different my chalkboard looked from the first coat to the finished project and so I kept my hopes up.







After the second coat of paint I knew it would be okay and I also knew it was going to look a lot differently after I got the stain on. It was at this point Carmen asked me about the little engraved swirls and I told her that for the theme of French Country I might paint them with gold paint. I knew I had some in the craft closet somewhere. 













I spent Sunday doing two coats of ebony stain on the table and painting the engraved areas with the gold paint. I really think it turned out nicely and I absolutely love, love, love the color!















Here is a picture of the table completed and in place under the chalkboard. It looks quite excellent in that spot and they compliment each other nicely.

If you notice the chalk art on the board please don't judge it harshly. It was my first attempt at chalkart and I used some cheap Prang chalk. I've never even attempted chalk art until I did that and I told Carmen "ya know it was really quite relaxing". I do have some Chalk pens ordered so maybe I can do some more art that will look a little nicer. I'll keep ya'll posted on that.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Inventory and Organization - Embossing Folders

Today's organization topic is embossing folders! So many of us love to use the crafty goodness of embossing folders but there is always the issue of how to store, how to find and knowing what we have! A few years ago I decided to make a cutting file for my folders so I could organize them easily and just last week I decided I needed an inventory. Luckily I haven't ever purchased one I already had but I have benefited from some generous people who did buy duplicates and were kind enough to send me the extra they had purchased *okie is always humbled and grateful for people's generosity*.

The screenshot of the inventory list shows how I do have them broken into different categories. I have all my A2 and 5x7 folders in a list together and if it was a set, such as Honeycomb, I have them in the main list and then labeled it in the C column. Since I have several different brand of folders I added that in the D column since so many companies have folders that are the same theme. 

You can download the inventory list, Embossing Folder Inventory XLSX and edit for your own use, and once again you will need Microsoft Excel to use the list.






Here is a picture of my folders. I keep them in a drawer in my Ikea Expedit unit and in the picture the drawer was pulled out so I could get them organized. Instead of using my lovely cardstock to make the file folders for them I pick up file folders from Dollar Tree, they come 10 to a pack, and make the folders out of them. If you don't mind the crease of the folder being on one of your folders you can get 3 out of one file folder *okie wonders if that even just made any sense*. In this picture my 5x7 folders haven't been completed yet but they are now.

I have reposted this many times and will once again post the link, if you would like to make the folder you can download the cutting file in either MTC or SVG format at this location - EMBOSSING FOLDER STORAGE.

 


I also wanted to show you why I make a "folder" for the folder. As you can see in the picture I actually emboss the folder so I can easily see what the pattern is when paper is embossed with the specific folder. Sometimes it is hard to tell what the pattern might look like and now I can easily see the design and not have to second guess if I might want to use that pattern.

So there ya go...now you have no reason not to get your embossing folders organized and inventoried! I think this will be the last of my posts with inventory lists for a little while. I go through spurts of getting organized and I think I'm done with this spurt...but then again who knows I might just decide to get my craft closet organized!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Inventory and Organization - Graphic 45


One of my favorite lines is Graphic 45 *okie hears someone in the back say "DUH" and throws a bottle of Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive at their head and wonder if the nipple will stay on the bottle when it hits the intended target* and my friend Carmen recently found papers from several of their collections at Tuesday Morning and sent me a box full of paper. For those who don't know, Carmen is one of my BFF's and lives in Houston and has access to many things I do not and she is generous and kind enough to pick up things for me quite frequently. I always try to send her money for such said shopping excursions but she make me pay her in cards and other items I make. Anywho...yes I meant anywho, she went to another Tuesday Morning and found some other sheets from those collections and couldn't remember what all she had gotten the last time. Luckily my paper was still out on my table and I was able to quickly go through them and let her know what we did and didn't have. I knew at that moment it would be so much easier if I had a list and went about making a spreadsheet inventory.

Last year on Black Friday I got a Brother P Touch PT-D200 for $10 and I absolutely love that thing! I order the refills off Amazon because they are a lot cheaper than getting them at Staples or other stores, I'm thinking about half the cost if I remember correctly. I also ordered the cord because it is not very economical to keep batteries going in this thing. There are a lot of options for fonts, sizes, etc in the label maker and I sometimes forget what settings I used for labels. The reason I am telling you this is in the next paragraph.



The first line that says "Labels for collections" is actually just a reference for me in case I need to make new labels in the future. 

As you can see I have the collection name in the first column and then the name of the specific sheet. You may wonder why I did that for the Graphic 45 and the reason is that when you get the paper at Tuesday Morning it comes in packs of 20 of the same sheet so I have multiple sheets. And NO, I am not so OCD that I am going to count the sheets and put that in there but of course if you would like to do so there is column space for it. 

If you would like this file you can download it here - Graphic45 Inventory XLSX



Here is my Graphic 45, or at least part of it, in my Cropper Hoppers. I have divider between each collection and they are in alphabetical order as is each individual sheets. I will be able to easily add to the inventory and put the paper away now and know exactly where to find the collection. There are a few of the collections that are in packs and those are inventoried as such in the list. 

Tomorrow I will be posting my embossing folder inventory and will share the file for it as well. Now go get to organizing!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Inventory and Organization - Punches!

So a lot of you know that I have an addiction problem, okay I'm likely addicted to many things, but organizing has to be one of my favorite addictions. There is just something about having things in their proper place that makes me happy! I still need to get my closet in my craftroom organized better but that is for another day *okie thinks week is more like it*. What I have been working on is my punch inventory, paper inventory and organization and updating my embossing folder inventory and organization.

I will start out with my punches first since that is what I did first. Back in 2007 when I got my first Cricut, the baby bug, I would see people post about paper punches and I thought to myself "well I have a machine that cuts paper...I don't need no stinkin punches!" and I will admit that smug attitude didn't last long after I got my first Stampin Up punch. What I learned about punches is that they are readily available, easily portable, quick and can use the most minuscule of scraps accurately...something my Cricut wasn't capable of doing. And so began my love affair with punches!

Before I moved I was always able to keep track of what punches I had because they were on a wall and I could quickly look and see what I had but during my move I had to make a Stampin Up order and all my punches were boxed up for the move which lead to me accidentally ordering a punch I already owned. This little experience made me think I should really have an inventory I can quickly refer to with the name and company that makes the punch. As for the duplicate punch, luckily my friend Carmen didn't have that one and it is now added to her collection.

I made a file in Microsoft Excel and now have all my punches listed alphabetically, size if needed, and company that sells the punch. I did have to ask on Facebook if anyone knew the names of a couple of them because I didn't remember and couldn't find the name. Of course within no time I had the answers I needed. I did add a preface to some of the names such as Butterfly and Christmas that you can see in the picture but also with edge punches, which are in the list but not the picture.

This is a screen shot of the file in Excel. I am sharing the file if you would like to edit it and make your own but remember you will need Microsoft Excel for the file to open and work.

PUNCH INVENTORY XLSX




Here is a picture of part of my punches. I made labels for the ones I wanted names on so I can see what it is and compare it quickly to my list. I didn't label the obvious ones like the basic shapes.It will be nice to have the name as well for when I make projects and use a particular punch and want to post it in a supply list.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Put a Nipple On That Bottle!

First off let me apologize to all the mothers out there who have babies on bottles. There will apparently be a shortage of silicone nipples starting immediately...now for the rest of the story.

My friend Linda posted a Youtube video NO PLUG GLUE TOPPERS FOR PAPERCRAFTING in the OCC group on Facebook with this fabulous idea of how to keep your glue bottles from clogging and of course after watching I knew I had to try it! The premise of the idea is that you use a silicone baby bottle nipple and it keeps the glue from drying out, which is one of my pet peeves, and also allows you to apply a thin line or thick line of glue. I generally have to dig out the glue from my Scotch Quick Dry because of this and I also hoard the old style bottle because it has the smaller tip *okie wonders what freakin idiot decided to change the bottle tip and would like to give that person a HUGE smack upside the head* and the new bottles have a tip that, well to be honest, isn't worth a chit because it is just too big!

After watching the video I made plans to stop by Dollar Tree, as my friend Pat mentioned that they carried the said nipples, the next day and pick up a package. My Dollar Tree indeed had them and there were 3 nipples in the package. It is suggested that you look for the 0-3 month silicone nipples but the ones I got were marked 0-3 years. The opening of the nipple needs to be small. I knew I already had mounting foam *okie wonders how many watched the video and how many are scratching their heads right now wondering why the heck okie would need mounting foam* so I didn't need to get any of that. Okay, for those that are wondering about the mounting foam, it is to wrap around the top of the bottle so the nipple will stay on, actually you wrap twice around the top of the bottle.

It didn't take long to replace the tips with the mounting foam and nipples but my skepticism was more about how it would do to keep the contents from drying out and being easily usable for the next time. Since I did these yesterday I couldn't wait to get up and try them out this morning to see if the glue dried out or not.

I thought I better use a black piece of cardstock so the lines would show up clearly and as you can see from the photo it worked great! I just wiped the tip of each nipple with my finger to get rid of the dried dot at the top, it is suggested you leave a small dab to help the glue from drying out, and it was good to go. How much glue you get depends a lot on how much pressure you use and how fast you move to make your line. I actually think it is easier to make more uniform sized dots with the gloss accents, which is on the left in the picture, and it was easy to get different sizes. Also one thing I noticed is that when I was doing dots with the Scotch Quick Dry there was a larger dot at the end of the nipple but I was able to just dab the end to the paper for very small dots...that will be extremely handy!

Now I need to see if there are any other adhesives hanging out at my house that need nipples! If you are tired of your glue drying out then just put a nipple on that bottle!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Cricut Explore Review 6 - Glitter Vinyl and Design File Available

As we all know by now I am never easy on my reviews and this one is no different. I had found some small ceramic dish things at my local bargain store for a dime, I think they might have suppose to been used for coasters or something. When I saw them I grabbed all 14 of them and even though I didn't know what I was going to do with them I figured for $1.40 I couldn't go wrong. I posted in my Facebook group Old Cricut Community about what should I do with them and a couple of members suggested making Ring Catchers that sit next to the sink and that inspired me to do a glitter vinyl review of the Explore.

The flat inside diameter of the dish is only about 2.5" and I had to think of what might look good as a design. I wanted something clever and different than just monograms so I could make some to have on hand and not be so personal. During a Google search I found the "When I said 'I Do' I didn't mean the dishes" and thought it was perfect for the wording. During my search for images of rings I came across the silhouette that I used. I know it looks big in the picture but you will believe how small it is in the next picture.

And before anyone asks, yes I did the design in Make The Cut and then exported to an SVG to upload in Cricut Design Space *okie still has no intentions of learning all the ins and outs of CDS since she is quite proficient in Make The Cut*.

I know different types of vinyl cut differently and I wanted to test how delicate glitter vinyl could be cut so I opted to use it for the silhouette of the hands.  I was on the phone with my friend Carmen when I was cutting the glitter vinyl and I said a few cuss words and then said "I hate this damn machine!" and she asked if it messed up on me. I told her "NO! It cut those tiny little lines perfectly!". Carmen said I should be glad since I wanted it to cut good and I told her "Yeah but I'm trying to find something it can't cut!".

When I told her I needed something to show how fine the lines where and that I had nothing to compare it to she asked if the lines were as small as a tick mark on a ruler. I quickly grabbed my metal ruler and told her "yep, pretty much!" and we concluded that would be perfect for showing the true size of some of the line. If you click on the picture and view it larger you can see the detail a lot better. 


MY HONEST OPINION: The Explore went beyond any machine I have ever seen used or tried in cutting the most intricate and delicate design using glitter vinyl.

If you would like to use this design you can download the appropriate file below:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS...The Angel Tree Story Tradition

I've recently picked up some new readers according to the stats on this thing and those new readers may not know that my Christmas tradition on here is not to write a long drawn out post but instead I share the same post every Christmas. Now my faithful readers know that my daughter and I have had some rough years *okie cringes at some of the memories* and while we will always have our mother daughter relationship we are beginning to transcend into and enjoy the closeness of friendship. Shiane is now 23, living with a roommate, working a great job as a surgery orderly at a hospital and finding out what it is to compromise and hopefully finding her true happiness *okie still thinks it would have been faster if she would have just slapped that happiness right across her daughters face a few times*

This story, my dear readers, is one of a little girl who melted my heart with her compassion and giving to another....

THE ANGEL TREE CHRISTMAS STORY


When my daughter turned 8 years old she had gotten birthday money from relatives,  probably a total of about $40. We went to Wal-Mart so she could spend her birthday money. I had decided we would go to McDonalds to get a bite to eat first. There was an Angel Tree in front of the McDonalds there in Walmart.

My daughter asked what it was and I explained to her that it was for children whose parents couldn't afford to buy them Christmas gifts. I told her let's go eat and she continued to look at the names on the tree.

She grabbed my hand and said "Mom look, this little girl only wants some clothes and a barbie doll". I think she thought it impossible that a child would want mostly clothes.

I looked and noticed the only toy on there was a Barbie, I think the child's age was about 5.

My daughter looked up at me with pleading eyes and said "Moma would it be okay if I spent my birthday money on this angel?"

I couldn't speak as a piercing warmth shot through my heart. I was fighting tears, as I am now remembering this moment. My daughter looked at me and said "I won't Moma if you are gonna be upset". I told her "hang on a minute" while I continued to fight back the tears and choked to find the words I wanted to say. I knew I would just bust out crying if I said much more. After a few moments and a couple of deep breaths I composed myself I told her "baby if you want to spend your birthday money on this little angel then I will match you dollar for dollar".

We went to eat and my daughter kept looking over the list of items from the angel she had pulled off the tree. After we got done she was so excited to go and buy for this little girl. I did as I promised and matched dollar for dollar, plus another $20 because daughter thought the little girl needed some things to go with her barbie doll that she picked out for the little girl. My daughter even said "you don't have to buy me anymore gifts Mom, just spend it on her. Santa will bring me stuff anyway".

We got the shopping done and took it to Customer Service where my daughter informed the lady to "make sure it is wrapped pretty". My daughter spent every last dime of her birthday money that day on someone else.

I can honestly say that on that day I had never been more proud of my child and still am to this day for her unselfish act of giving up her birthday money to make sure some little girl got her Christmas wishes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Glass Cutting Board Designs

I remember when I first got my Cricut and I was so hungry for cutting different things and back then the only way to make your own was to weld shapes together. We weren't able to trace images and designing was tedious and time consuming work in those days. I would spend hours manipulating shapes to get new designs and would feel a since of accomplishment every time there was something new to cut. Now days there are many programs that help us with this and of course I still am totally in love with Make The Cut and prefer it over any program that I have tried. Right now they have the program on SALE for $58.36 and personally I think it is worth every penny and then some. The great part is that anytime there is an update you are not charged for a new version like with SCAL and other programs.

One of the most fabulous things about MTC right now is the ability to design and export your design into different file types, the one most popular is the SVG format which can be used with the Cricut Explore. To be honest I have only used one image out of their library and when I was asked to do my review I informed Provocraft that I didn't have any cartridges but I had plenty *okie thinks probably thousands* of files I can use in SVG format and import into their Design Space program.

Last year I spent quite a bit of time tracing images for glass cutting boards. My cousin and I had decided we wanted to make a few and we wanted plenty of designs.

Fast forward to this year and there are a lot of new people to the world of cutting machines. I know in the Design Space Facebook group people are going crazy about the little cutting boards from Dollar Tree and are looking for designs. I should have thought about posting these earlier but it just dawned on me that someone might want to use some of these so I am making the file available. Of course you will have to resize for your own use but each design is made to fit on either the round or square cutting board.

DOWNLOAD FILE:
MTC - Glass Cutting Board Designs
SVG - Glass Cutting Board Designs



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cricut Explore Review 5 - Cutting Vinyl

Thought I better get this posted before I get busy making more projects for Christmas *okie looks at the calendar and panics a tad see that Christmas is only a week away*. I actually could have written the vinyl review before but I kept making things for gifts and then would be like "CCRRAAPPPP! I can't post that!". Last night I decided to try and cut the Grinch file because I needed a gift for Dirty Santa at school today and figured it was as good as any for the review.

I found an 8x10 inch frame at Goodwill for 99 cents and was a little apprehensive about trying to cut the file at this size, which was actually 7.25 x 9.25 inches. I knew some of the lettering was delicate but then also I thought it was perfect since I am trying to put the Explore through it's paces. I have read that some folks are having a tough time with vinyl and to be honest I think most of them are using Cricut vinyl, which I do find inferior to the Oracle and Avery that I tend to use. It seems to be too rubbery or something and I have seen it tear and snag where I generally get crisp cuts with the vinyl products I have around my craftroom.

Even though vinyl is a lot easier to cut when doing delicate work than most paper I still wondered how the settings on the Explore would handle the different vinyls I used. I actually used some Avery, Oracle and then some kind that said graphic film on the back and I'm not sure of the brand. I didn't change the settings for any of the vinyls and they all cut beautiful. I will say that on another project I did use the custom setting for glitter vinyl and it worked perfectly. 

Ignore that my Grinch is a little off in placement. I did the mirror image so the vinyl would be on the inside of the glass instead of the outside and I need to work on my skills of layering backwards on glass.






Now where I thought there might be problems were on some of the letters that had very small cuts on the interior of the letters and also some small *okie wonders what to call them because all the sudden her brain isn't working properly* I guess finger like projections on the ends. I actually smiled at one point because I thought one of the interior cuts had messed up but when I weeded the piece it was fine *okie is still bound and determined to find a fault in the Explore's cutting abilities*.

MY HONEST OPINION: I am quite impressed with the built in settings with the Explore and the setting worked perfect every time no matter what brand of vinyl I was using. The precision of the cuts, no matter how small is splendid. At no time did the blade go through the carrier material which is a problem I would have with my Pazzles and Expressions. Each and every color was cut flawlessly with a kiss cut and there were no places where I had to take a craft knife or scissors and complete a cut.