f The Bugbytes: January 2010

Welcome - Copyright & Disclaimer

Welcome to The Bug Bytes a site/blog mainly for Papercrafting and some photography and other stuff thrown in here & there. Add in some die cutting machine, scrapbooking tools, cameras, scissors , glue and...... My name is Pam. If you have been redirected from Papillon Digital Design you have come to the right place.Hope you get inspired by the projects, videos and files. Would love it if you could leave comments and become a follower. (Word verification is turned ON to avoid spam. Sorry for that inconvenience.) Would love it if you would also share your project here . If you find a linky under the post do share your project by posting link there or if you do not find a linky post your link in the comments.Thank you for visiting.

January 31, 2010

Blog Tip - Color picker

I wanted a particular shade of color for the marquee in Tuesday Treats and for this blog too. So what do we do in such situations. None of the color suited me. Here is what you do. Search for any color picker online. Or if you have adobe or gimp then it's easy just pick a color and note the hex number - hash followed by 6 digits.
Then in blogger -> Layout->fonts and color - go to the what you want to change , for example - blog title color . Then to the right you see edit color hex code to the right. Type in the number and press enter for it to register and then save changes and view blog and you will have the exact color you wanted.

What a day this turned out to be !!!

I am so filled with joy that I just wanted to shout it out to the MB world. Mercy is back and am I a happy camper. I knew you will all understand why I have to give a special moment/post and log it in.
She is one reason I held on to the G and the MB.

Blog candy give away at scrap-n-dance - last day to enroll in the drawing so hurry

There is a blog candy give away at one of my favorite blogs - I just love her bubbly face and keep going there just to see her face. Of course she has some awesome projects as she designs for gypsy challenge spot.
Her blog URL is http://scrap-n-dance.blogspot.com/.  Today is the last day for the drawing so hurry.

Shhhh - A secret

I wanted to take a look at the Once Upon A Princess cartridge and the Cake Basics- the full cartridge handbook and not just the sample sheets.
Even though I have only princes in my house I was fascinated by the castle. Why not build a medieval castle for a prince? by modifying some features in that was my justification in even thinking about this cartridge.
 I knew they have loaded it so how to take a look? I just went to other handbooks and saw upclose the way they named it and so tried putting the URL the same way but the name and sure enough there it was.
Here are the links. Don't tell
http://www.cricut.com/res/handbooks/OnceUponAprincess.pdf
http://www.cricut.com/res/handbooks/CakeBasics.pdf

See how they name - Capitals separating the words . But not all are that way for some have used % to separate like Hello Kitty. Some have underline as separators. The earlier ones like Mickey just has MandF.
I think it's only lately since they have so many cartridges they decided to adopt this and get the full name out.
Oh my gosh! What am I doing wasting my time analyzing cartridge URL for. I better prepare for the TT project instead of wasting my time in doing crazy things...

Tick - Tock, Tick - Tock

Tick     Tock
Tick      Tock
Tick    Tock
Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock -Tick-Tick-

It's almost time for the start of Tuesday Treats! 

Don't miss the latest updates, and methods used  by other Gypsy owners. Tuesday Treats will feature a designer each week. Designers will share their talent complete with step by step instructions helping us to develop and hone our Gypsy skills. Our Treats will start by including designs from the Tags, Bags, Boxes & More (TBBM) cart. You will learn to make, all types of boxes, purses, tags and even scrapbook layouts from that cart! What a Treat this will be for all of us.

Now stay tuned and be sure to sign up to be a Tuesday Treat follower today!

We are looking forward to seeing you in just a couple of days, hours... soon to be minutes!
Keep Watching as Myamagoo starts off on February 2nd!!! Are you ready for that Tuesday Treat?

Be Sure to leave MYAMAGOO some blog love in the comment line today...

January 30, 2010

Grrrrr - Deleting a page in update 0160

Well I was doing a project and didn't want a page in between so deleted all the images and saved and opened another file and came back and opened this one and to my horror the page was still there. I panicked. I tried again and again. Then also tried the old fashioned way by undoing - but nothing. Did both resets and also pinged in the MB where except for one person no one had replied. Well.... It was a weekend. But I was desperate so decided to try one more thing. I moved/shifted all the images from next page to the empty page and same way shifted the rest of the pages till the last page became the empty one. Then I saved and same steps - closed the file.... and when I opened - thank goodness that page was gone.
So in build 0160  (0159 people - please check in yours) you can delete only the empty pages if it is to the last. You cannot delete an empty page which is sandwiched between other active pages i.e pages with images in it.

Welcome to Tuesday Treats!

Yeah! finally we are open. Welcome!
This month our Designer's will be Myamagoo, Sassylady, CherB and mmmmeeeee .
Can you hear my teeth  chattering in nervousness. I'm going to grab a chocolate to boost my sugar level :) .
Join me as we walk together in this journey into the Cricut Cartridge World and explore all the fun stuff within.
Cheers to all of us!

Having an Editing blog - Idea by Eiyiyi

I tend to make lots of mistakes while typing , apart from the missing letters which my laptop causes. I am so impulsive that I just type and post before I forget to put down the idea which popped up in my brain. 
Only after I post and view it published full page in the blog do I realize the mistakes I made and of course I have to correct. 
Well I am kind of - let's say different - to be polite :). To this day I can only add after you give me a paper and a writing tool. I have to write it down and then I am fast computing .
So there was a lot of editing going on.  When I mentioned this in another post one of the sweet MB member eiyiyi commented and advised and I quote - "I was doing my editing on the fly as well. Then, I created another blog just for editing. I create my post, add my pictures do all my fiddling, publish, look at it again and fix it then "select all", copy and paste it to a new post in my regular blog. The key to it is to make sure when you set up the editing blog you click the box that says no one can see it but you!. "
What a gem this is. Of course I followed. If any of you read my blog you should thank her too for saving you all from reading either my atrocious mistakes in the future or making you read all my re- edits :).
I am still a crazy impulsive person who still may some time type directly in the blog but hopefully it will be just one or two posts.

January 29, 2010

Yeah - designed the blog from scratch including the paper

Well.... I know it looked better before but I wanted it to be all my own. So designed by myself using what came with photoshop apart from some brushes downloaded. I even changed my blinkie. Hubby wanted something simple too. He said the other one hurt his eyes. So well here is my own simple creation and it's going to stay that way for some time. A request to all who grabbed my blinkie - please change to the new one. I am sorry for the inconvenience.

More on image size after update 0155

A few days back I had posted - After update 0155 you can have the image go off the mat and it will also cut that way, but the maximum image size is still limited by the mat. " 
It is true. But forgot to add this piece - Say you choose mat size 12 x 12 and image increases to only so much and you want it a little bit more.You can then choose 12 x 24 and then increase the image size as then the delimit will be 12 x 24. Then you go back to 12 x 12 and you will have the image - though part of it will be cut off. But sometimes that is precisely what you want - some piece cut off but still large as you can have it - then this is the way to go about it.

Blog Tip - Adding emoticons to Blogger

Oh my Gosh. How many of these will I add ? :) ;) :D  =))
Ok - I better stop getting carried away.
I was asked this question. And as I keep saying - I google it. I wanted to add smileys so I googled - adding emoticons to blogger. Many of the sites suggested to add monkey something - ha ha  as if I am not monkeying around with my html enough ( Ok before I am inundated with all of you smart helpful people's email  - that is greasemonkey :) and you need firefox for that but I use google chrome - god knows why) but one of them added just a javascript to the code and I can type the symbols - a colon followed by a bracket and it will automatically convert that to this :) . (that's why I spelled the word for if I type it will become a smiley)
And the link is (actually there are many out there but the one I used for no better reason than it popped up first on google search) is
http://mltan100.blogspot.com/2008/02/use-emoticon-on-blogger-blog.html

This is not a recommendation at all. Do all HTML code hacking  using your own judgement in assessing the risk please. I am a beginner blogger and have a long way to go before I consider myself even an average knowledgeable person in this field. I just was asked and have provided the answer.

oops forgot to add so edited . I do keep editing as somehow I can only see better after publishing it and since my laptop is old and missing some keys ( I need to get a new one but only next year - would you believe I have taped one key as the top is completely missing?) and skipping some more letters I do come back & edit as wrong spelling and incorrect grammar bother me.
Any way - you all can also add emoticons in my comments by using the shortcut keywords found at that site - basically all these are yahoo emoticons keyword shortcuts

Salient points from the videos from CHA in Calender girl Tammy's blog

I was relaxing with the videos and vicariously living the CHA - ha ha - through Tammy's videos in her blog http://www.creativecritterscricutclub.blogspot.com/. I was watching the one where our talented girl Tammy co hosts with Jinger (these 2 enablers made me get the G in the first place. One by demoing live on ustream and the other by getting sick and saying  how cool it was with the G when poor old me had a severe back episode).
Oops I am rambling. The reason I mentioned is I was taking notes as I always do regarding the G - ha ha.
I noticed this -
1) Jinger says we can store upto 10,000 files. Thud!!! ;) Yep I fell from the bed. Seems to be going around these days - first Jim falls , then ohhsnap a MB member falls and now me.
Well would I load these many files in the G?....But it is a nice thing to know.
2) Ok she also says that we get emails to update when we register??? Hmm...Jinger girl - I am not receiving one. Oh wait I received just one from Admin Darryn (one of the 6 guys I will allow into my Scraproom - the others being my younger son, Scrapguy isn't his blog posts super cute -  check out his blog.  Jim, Tim Holtz and of course Cricut Dan) but apart from that one mail - nope.
well. and when it got to the really good part where Tammy was going to demo a lovely card from songbird - the video unfortunately runs out of tape. Tammy!!!!!!.
I did see the rest of the videos and the awesome new all in one cuttlebug folders again :)

updated. Slept off before finishing - ha ha.
But thankfully not before watching Tammy's demo.

January 28, 2010

Recycling

Recycling  - yes we all can do it. Many have recycled the cartridge boxes for giving gifts. One other thing which can be recycled is the plastic wrap? that the cartridge comes with. Cut out the edges and just keep the inside flat pieces/rectangles. They will come handy in doing cutout windows for boxes etc.
I think I have mentioned it already in one of my previous posts - but since I was doing it all today while I was organizing thought I would mention it again. Remember we will be doing lots of boxes and bags soon in Tuesday Treats - they'll come handy :)

Copyright

This is every artist's - be it an artist with words - like a writer or an artist that provides visual treats - worst nightmare when someone steals your idea and portrays that as yours.This happened to some of our cricut MB members. So here is an article that everyone should read. I cannot say it any better than this
http://crazy4crafting.blogspot.com/2010/01/im-sad-to-have-to-write-this-post.html
Please read.
 I am going to edit all my photos to include copyright. I was doing this for a while and then stopped so I have to re edit all my post pictures LOL. So please bear with me during this construction stage.

Edited:  One of the Calender girls - Happy Happy Joy Joy  - mentioned in the Gypsy thread to register with the my free copyright to protect the blog and I of course followed :). You can now see the logo at the top.

Cartridge keypad overlay file

I wanted to see the creative features clearly and since the G is not helpful in this , I had written in a previous post my idea for taking a reference book to swarm.
Here are the pictures




















I have changed the test files in the nav bar to Misc files and posted the pdf file there to save anyone to do it all over again. It's called obviously - ha ha - "Cartridge keypad overlay pictures for creative features". But these are only from the cartridges I own - so you still have to do the rest yourself. Feel free to use it for personal use but please do not sell the product as yours.

January 27, 2010

Cylindrical Castle pop up card

Here is a cylindrical pop up card which I made a week ago. The cylindrical pop up idea itself is not mine but from a general template I had read in a book about basic pop up cards and also I came across  this in a website http://www.stampohmania.com/pages/howto/cylindrical.html  by Kathy Berger. She is precise in her measurement -  while I just rough estimate things to suit to my needs and I have used the Gypsy to do all the cutting work.
I just decided that the cylinder will be ideal for a castle and adapted the design to suit.
One other type of pop up is box type which is generally used.
A beautiful website link  for pop up cards is http://extremecards.blogspot.com/ .
There are also some books which can be got from amazon including Sandi Genovese's (DIY) book.
 I had posted this card on MB without the instructions. But I have loaded the file and posted the pictures with instruction  now. The file can be downloaded from the navbar - gypsy files and cut file under DS files (I design with gypsy so I do not cut the DS files).
A note here - though the card does use lots of cartridges - the main cartridges are just George and Plantin.  The rest are just for embellishments.



Page 1 in the gypsy file has 2 cards. You can cut one or two depending on your choice. I have used one for the front and one for the inside which is white.
Page 3 is the envelope. page 4 is the embellishment for the front
Page 2 is the pop up portion.
Note: DS cut file has the pages named and  not in the same order as the gypsy file - 1st page in DS is the pop up part, 2nd page is the card base 3rd page is the front embellishment and 4th the envelope.


Again it has 2 similar shapes - these are the pop up shapes - one at the top left which I cut in white and one to the lower right. I made it so so that the window can show white inside and I can paste the princess on top - sliding her in (after coloring her) - between the two pieces and also adjusting her so that the bars does not go smack up her face. I pasted the window bars on top  of the  cream and brown pattern paper. I cut the man out (after coloring him) from the sweethearts cartridge and threw out the poor girl :) as I wanted a princess.
At first stick the patter paper on the white - starting only from left. Adjust the princess before gluing the rest of the paper down - after dry fitting the window bars on top. once you are sure glue it down completely and then the bar too. Score in the left scoremark and in the small rectangle in the right.
Try out the whole thing before actually gluing it down. That way you will get an idea where to glue the roof too and you can move the pop up depending on your preference.
Take the card and open it. (I have taken the white card) . About an inch away from the center score line on the right glue the flaps of the pop up portion as shown. (As I mentioned - glue it after the first trial only)



Then slide the small rectangle through the gap/hole





And depending on how much of a curve/roundness to the cylinder you want pull the small flap and stick it to the left side of the card - maybe   from 1/2 an inch to 1 inch to the left.



Decorate and embellish as you want. I  have added my prince and also a path with puddle - (for a touch of  blue to help the composition) and some green grasses and pasted the small pink hearts. To the lower left I attached a chipboard sentiment - "I am stuck on you"
For the card front:
I  attached a ribbon and pasted the pink pattern paper card cut out from page 1 in the gypsy file to the front of the white card (which has the pop up inside)


I cut out a shell from another pattern paper and then using an embossing stylus gave it shape to resemble an actual shell and attached a sentiment - "Love is Life"  inside it . It was actually "Love this Life" but I colored in the "th" to make it "Love is Life". To the left I cut out the LUV (I think this was from tie the knot - cartridge) from brown pattern paper - same one as the roof and stuck a pink heart and a rhinestone in the center of the heart and I was done.

January 26, 2010

Increasing image size after 0155

After update 0155 you can have the image go off the mat and it will also cut that way,
but the maximum image size is still limited by the mat. Try this -
Set the cursor size as 1 and then add an image. Keep increasing it with bigger bubble in the 10key function/numpad and you will find that it will stop when the image hits at least one pair of ends in the mat (if the image is centered in the mat you can see this more clearly). It will not increase beyond this point. You can move it off the mat but nope it will not increase. If the image is a layer - say a shoes of Mickey then the shoe size will also increase till the shoe fits the mat exactly and then it will not increase beyond that point (this is  with the actual size off). So Mickey's height (cursor size) can go upto 11.64 (this image will stop when it hits the top & bottom when centered)


and his shoes 21.04 (this image will stop when it hits the left & right edge when centered).

January 25, 2010

For - 0160 build users - Cartridge in Use

Today I was doing a WB for a wordbook file swap. In all the recent activities I quite forgot that the deadline was Feb 1st and hurriedly started desigining the WB when I noticed something. I had added an image from another cartridge besides SpongeBob and to get the cartridge quickly , when I pressed cartridge in use - I did not get the name of the other cartridge.
Oh Oh! I had just done the update and of course I was ready to jump and blame it on this.Well!....these updates come with so many bugs when one of them do come without any bugs we do tend to be leery and regard them with jaundiced eyes don't we? :). To me an update is proven guilty until cleared - ha ha. But this time I decided to be fair and give it a chance and decided to ponder on why this might be so. Then I remembered usually with G many changes are reflected only when you save , close a file (PC - get us proper file closing already!!!!! instead of us going and opening another file or a new file and then having to come back!!).and then reopen the file. So I followed that process and when I reopened the file- yep I could see the cartridge - sure enough.
Of course the other method still works if you want to know from what cartridge the image is from select it on the mat (image will be blue if in a group all will be selected) , go back to the keypad overlay and then hold your stylus on the image and you will see a box pop up below most probably under your hand - :) so lift it up. If you still can't see it popping up, press zoom button while holding the stylus . I could do it only this way in some updates. Tapping on the cartridge name button that pops up will also take you to the cartridge.
So many things - like deleting a page , cartridge in use etc are  reflected only when you refresh the file - by saving it, closing it (by opening another file or a new file) and then reopening the file.
Crossing my fingers that this update stays- just a bug free update...

January 24, 2010

Gypsy's battery

Everyone including me wants to know about the G's battery. Nikki - this is specially pulled out for you - dear girl. 
The closest we have come to find out from the horse's mouth is what Glenda wrote after her conversation with Mr. Jim Colby - the VP of production in PC.
Here is her writeup - quotes from the Gypsy MB
"I asked about the Gypsy BATTERY:  Are we supposed to drain it completely before we charge it, or are we supposed to leave it plugged in to charge all the time??  Mr. Colby answered that the Gypsy battery is an ion battery—there’s NO MEMORY.  He said all their current tests show right now that you don’t have to worry about draining it.  That means the tests show it doesn’t matter one way or the other if you drain it completely or don’t drain it at all.  Either way it’s OK.  The current battery has something like 50,000 duty cycles, & after that, it doesn’t just stop suddenly one day.  When the battery starts to go bad, it will start by notholding a charge as long as it used to.  I asked him what was the procedure going to be when we starting having problems with our battery??  He said for CURRENTcustomers, the battery is a “serviceable” part, which means we’ll have to call customer service (CS) & arrange with them to send it in to get the battery replaced.  He also said Provo Craft is always looking at what’s the best overall system & what their consumers want for the product, so that is something, based on customer demand, that could possibly change in the future. "

January 23, 2010

Do I update or not? That is the question...

Well lots of you have asked this. Doesn't it remind you of Shakespeare? 
See my previous posts for each update and also PC's write up on update notes
But in a nutshell here's my opinion (note  - this is only my opinion - please use your own logic after proper assessment and research)


1. update from 0155 to 0159 should not matter - check if it fixes the multipage and please let me know.
2. From update 0148 - yes I would wait until 0155 people can do the update and tell us if it has fixed the multipage error (but in case you want to badly use the new cartridges heritage, sentimental etc- well then leap for it - there is a work around for multipage but just link george before you do . There is always a new way according to PC in going back an update by pressing ctrl, alt, shift , q all at the same time.)
3. update 0159 to 160 - just adds 2 new cartridges what they call in DS font installations.





updated: Atleast 2 people (one of then cherb) have confirmed that update 0159 has fixed the mutipage error from 0155 for those yet on 0155 apart from adding the 2 new cartridges. No photo app still for 0155.
For the rest who are on 0158 (which was pulled) had already fixed this for  and 0160 just adds a cartridge and retains the photo app. 



Update 0155/0158 & 158/0160 recap


Here's  a quick recap of the updates. This is more a log to myself in case I need to check back later than for anything else.
Update 0155 
Bugs
  1. Multipage error 
  2. George and basic shapes not linking again 
  3. Plantin also messed up while welding. 
Cool features 

  1. Cartridge now categorized as linked and all cartridges. So easier designing from the cartridges we have 
  2. Battery now shows the amount of charge it has and warns us by turning yellow when charge is almost depleted 
  3. Selection box can go out of the mat and the image will not vanish. 
  4. Cutting is also possible when the image goes out of the mat.
  5. Zoom and pan acts as a scroll in any list (provided you keep holding on to the button. If you  let go screen reverts back.)
* update 0159 now has just added the font cartridge once upon a princess and cake to 0155 build. (note: people who have 0155 get update 0159 without photoapp) Has it fixed the multipage error of 0155? Not yet known. Waiting for confirmation from someone on this. (email me - please)


Update 158
Bugs


  1. George and basic shapes not linking again 
  2. Plantin also messed up while welding. 
  3. Caused frozen gypsies for some especially the new users or for those updating after a long time. 
Cool features


  1. Fixed the multipage error 
  2. New photo application 
  3. Cartridge now categorized as linked , all cartridges & used. So much easier now to design from the cartridges we have and also so easy to go to the cartridge which we have used in the design. 
  4. Battery now shows the amount of charge it has and warns us by turning yellow when charge is almost depleted. 
  5. Selection box can go out of the mat and the image will not vanish. 
  6. Cutting is also possible when the image goes out of the mat. 
  7. Zoom and pan acts as a scroll in any list (provided you keep holding on to the button. If you  let go screen reverts back.)
* update 0160 now has just added the font cartridge once upon a princess and cake to 0158 build.(note: people who have 0158 get update 0160 and get to keep their photoapp)
***updated: Atleast 2 people (one of then cherb) have confirmed that update 0159 has fixed the mutipage error from 0155 for those yet on 0155 apart from adding the 2 new cartridges. No photo app still for 0155.
For the rest who are on 0158 (which was pulled) had already fixed this for  and 0160 just adds a cartridge and retains the photo app. 




The Eager Needler - my cousin's blog

I was just looking at my cousin's blog. She is a needler. I was amazed at her talent. Well she has all the talent in our family atleast when it comes to stitching. My dad is a Textile man but boy did it jump my gene and went to her instead :) . Give me a needle and thread and I think a cat would do a better job than me - :). Well I am off to make and send her some pretty,  pretty cards and wheedle her into sending me some of that handiworks.
Here's her blog link if you want to look at her handiwork.
http://eagerneedler.blogspot.com/

Don't worry - I will not be bringing up my billion cousin's zillion blogs up here - just the artsy ones ha ha. But the reason I brought this one up is she has made some cute cards too and how good will these stitches look in our layouts!!!
Pondering here.....Hmmm. would it be easier for me to learn needling or for her to learn scrapping  to do my layouts?.....

January 22, 2010

Gypsy Tip for the day: Naming files in the Gypsy for easy sorting

The G sorts your files automatically first by numbers , then by capitals and then by the small letters. So if you want to reach important files easily - then add a number and then make the first letters capital. For e.g the way I do it is if I want some card dimensions as template so that I can open them later as template (or I can just even open the file and then add pages and elements on them and save it as new file without the 0 etc later) is to name the file 0Card4dot25x5dot5. The dot are for the decimal point as we should avoid using dashes and special characters in case the file throws up an error.
So do spend some time giving a name which will help you. Of course if you make a mistake you can always open the file and choose save as. Then open some other file to delete the first wrong filename as there is no close file in G and the file which is opened does not show up in the file names.

Blog Tip - Moving the gadgets in the sidebar in Blogger

When moving the gadgets in the sidebar in blogger it sometimes is so difficult and frustrating to just drag it down where you want it to go. I am a new blogger too and I found it irritating and for a while just left things as they were. But then I searched for a better way and found this method.
An easier method would be (always save your template before making any changes in the html code)to go to layout edit html. Do not expand the widget. But go way down almost to the end most probably below a code which looks something like these lines

where you will find lines of code like this. Each widget has it's own id so depending on what your gadget is the id will be different and you will have many lines - one to each gadget in your sidebar. So look for a bunch of lines looking like this

I had added my first gadget as an html code for adding buttons so my line looks like the one above. If say I want it below my followers's gadget which will look like this

then I just cut the first line (ctrl X in windows) and then go to the spot where I want to paste - ie below the followers line , press enter to create a line (more for your clarity than anything else) and paste (Ctrl V in windows). Save template and view and you will find that the gadget has moved exactly where you want it to.
Much better than dragging the gadget and praying that it will land right LOL.

January 21, 2010

Gypsy tip for the day: To see which cartridge the image on the mat comes from.

If you are in build 0158 then all you have to do is go to the keypad layout and tap on the cartridge and from the cartridge dropdown list select used cartridges to see all the cartridges in the design.
But if you are in any build after 0142 (including 0158) then the  way to see is by selecting the image on the mat and going back to the keypad layout. There you will find the image on the queue. Hold the image with your stylus and you will see a square with the cartridge name in it pop up most probably coming up right under your hand lol . But for some like for me in 0155 , this didn't still do it. So if I pressed on the zoom button when I held the image over the stylus then I could see the cartridge name pop up right enough. You can let go of the stylus and then tap on the cartridge name pop up box and it will take you to the cartridge .
But as of yet you cannot get the exact key - button but it does bring up the keypad layout of the particular creative feature  and so is still an improvement from what we first had.
Hopefully this feature, hide & contour and selectively switching off of the template feature in each page will come soon (the last one particularly bugs me the greatest :)  ).

Ha HA - I 've become a blog background designer - more tips

After that blog tips which I posted last week - I have had requests to make blog backgrounds and blinkies.
I have designed now for both the Sassy's and one of them even graciously and heartouchingly mentioned in her blog and MB.
It's not difficult at all to do it yourself as long as you keep saving your original template when you are happy with it and then play around.
I had already given 2 websites for adding navigation bar to your blog below the header in my previous posts.
Heres a few sites for the background
http://www.kevinandamanda.com/whatsnew/tutorials/how-to-make-a-scrapbook-blog-background.html
Only thing here to note is I would set the resolution as 1400 pixels x 910 pixels instead of 1600x1100.
Remember to always set your photobucket upload - more options as 1 MB.
And a nice compliment to this site  for adding more elements is
http://shabbyblogsblog.blogspot.com/search/label/tutorials
You can get digital kits from many sources from the web - both paid and free kits. As ong as you do not sell anything you will be ok to use them (just check from the source though). you will just have to give them credit.
Always a wise and more importantly a nice thing to do. The world becomes a sad world indeed if you start claiming other's stuff as yours. :)

Here are a few precautions and things to do or not do do (LOL) which I found while bumbling (and tumbling) around:

  1. Just always remember to download the template first so that you can revert back to it whenever needed and take it in steps. For eg - adding background and changing the html would be one step as if you're not happy then you can revert or play with the html more. 
  2. Begin by making your background a minima template.
  3. If the background comes shorter leaving white spaces - do not revert as this will be either a resolution canvas size problem in which case go back and resize the canvas (so save your background as psd file or whatever the gimp format is if you're using that software). Most probably the problem will be photobucket's as if you haven't chosen the option 1 MB then it will automatically resize it to 1200. So reload  after changing and try
  4. While doing blinkies and header and signatures- choose transparent background while creating and then save it as either gif or png24. If you want to use header as a blinkie then save another file without the texts so that you can add glitter text and animations to it from photobucket.
  5. For blinkies while using photobucket and editing image remember to add all in one step itself and then save as if you go back to edit then the previous animation vanishes. So resize first and then add glitter text , animation stickers all before saving. Wherever possible choose transparent. (like for eg text will have transparent background checkbox - so tick that). Remember to keep the size of blinkie small from -  100 - 180 px  in width as this usually goes to the sidebar which is usually 180 - 210 in width.
  6. Well that's about it. Look at the site tips for blogger and other sites and as you would have  become familiar with a little of html by this time you can play more. HTML tags and xml tags are easy to understand. It's like labeling things at home. If you label and put sugar - then you clearly know where t look for sugar don't you and you will not pick up salt by mistake. that's all the tags 
  7. does and you have to tell it where to end so you place and end tagwhich is the same as the beginning tag except it has a backslash to it

January 19, 2010

Creative Feature solution

I wanted to see the creative features clearly in the keypad layout, but since I do not have an iphone or an e-reader , I wondering what to do when I thought why not put the scanner which I have to use. I laid 3 keypads directly on the scanner - leaving a 1/2 inch space in the beginning at the top and in between each for punching. And then laid a 8 1/2 x 11 paper on top (so that the layout shows up good and also to see that the do not go beyond. ( you can mark the top so at the edge with pencil so that each time you get the same placing. I then scanned. And it came pretty good. All I need to do is go up to my scraproom and bring all keypad layout and then scan, cut and bind. If I punch and put bookrings instead of using bind it all. I can have them arranges as 2 booklets - fonts and shapes and then as I get more cartridges also arrange in alphabetical order

Winners announced

The winners are
Forever Young cartridge
Mom of 2 Monsters - Please contact me with your full address.


Love Struck cartridge
Yvette - Please contact me with your full address

January 14, 2010

Blog Candy Time

Thank You for participating. Winners have already been announced
 It's time to grow this blog  so it's time for blog candy.. Since Tuesday Treats blog - our sister blog is also going to open soon in February - it's time to celebrate.
Here's how you can snag them.
Be a Follower. If you aren't one already just Follow by clicking the Follow button in the  sidebar and then also post a comment in this post by Jan 18th Midnight CST (post comment is at the bottom of this post - so click on that - don't forget to do both -  follow and post a comment. I am not a stickler for time so as long as I get to pick at about 9:00 am CST on Tuesday you can post away until then. there will not be a rejection. :) ). Please include your email so that I can contact you. I will post the winners on Tuesday morning.
I will be picking 2 winners (using random generator to be fair to everyone)


1st winner gets - yeah you guessed right - Forever Young - Cricut Cartridge. ;) Well be using this soon in Tuesday Treats , so here is your chance to win one





2nd winner gets this Cricut Cartridge - Love Struck - limited edition. Valentine's day is just around the corner so here's a chance to make all those goodies with this lovely cartridge if you win





Thank you in advance for following and making this blog grow.

January 13, 2010

Blog tip

I have been asked how I added the navigation bar in my blogs. The answer to this is google for it and do not be afraid to do some code hacking of your layout. Before you start though  download the present template so that you can revert back if you make a mistake. Select customize and then go to Layout and choose edit html. Check the expand widget. Download the template before you begin and note where it is stored in case you need to revert back . 
Then for adding the navigation bar itself see this link  http://tips-for-new-bloggers.blogspot.com/2007/08/horizontal-menu-navigation-bar.html - scroll down to where it says Text Link Menu Navigation Bars and follow instructions
and as for the links themselves you have to create static pages and backdate your posts.
The link to that is http://technicallyeasy.net/2008/07/creating-static-pages-in-blogger-part-2/
 

read and hack on.

We have a Blinkie!!

WOW~love the blinkie!!!! FANTASTIC :) :) :) who wouldn't want that on their blog?!?!? :) :)

How to handle 0155 update's bug

Build 0155 has a bug which dumps all the images in one page while previewing and does sometimes even for cutting.
Before cutting delete all the images from the rest of the pages but DO NOT SAVE , just then cut the page. Press unload mat and then without saving close by opening another file. Come back and do page 2 etc.
Remember it is important not to save the file.

January 12, 2010

Welcome

This blog is still under construction. I have opened it up so that you all can take a sneak peek if you are curious and decide to drop by. It will  officially open on February 2nd with our 1st designer - Myamagoo.

Yeah! My package is shipped. So expect the announcement soon.

I was thinking of putting up a blog candies in lieu of opening the soon to come new blog Tuesday Treats and also for growing the blog by increasing the Followers/Viewers .
Hopefully I will get it by this week or by the latest early next week.. So lookout for the announcement.

January 11, 2010

Gypsy Tip of the day - To see a larger view of image before adding it to the mat

When you are in the image queue and you need to add an image but if you cannot see clearly by just running your stylus over it then there is a new way since update 0148. You just have to press the zoom button and tap over the button and it'll show you the image in a full window. pressing zoom again reverts back to the keypad layout. Also in update 0155 and 0158 the zoom button and pan button can be used to scroll through any list. But do not let go of the button  else the list goes back to the original spot. Just make your selection while hanging on to the zoom or pan button.

January 9, 2010

So there is a way to downgrade to previous versions

Finally we have the way to get back to a previous version - the software backdoor as one of my friend's at MB calls it. This had already been mentioned in the MB but I like to keep this blog as a log too so that I can recover data quickly here than sorting through all the submerged posts in the cricut - Gypsy  Messageboard.
So now if a person wants to return to 0155 update though I really do not know why one would want to do that unless they cannot link George and even then 0155 is dicey too - all they have to do is press Ctrl Alt Shift q at the same time.
This method is also supposed to unfreeze the Gypsies but do not know how as the G will not switch on to successfully run the G sync. 

January 8, 2010

Deleting a page the new way

Before update 0148 you had to delete a page by removing all images on the page and keep pressing the undo button and after 4 or 5 trials you might have succeeded in getting rid of the page. That is after going through-  it bringing back the image  then deleting again and hoping this undo does it and holding on to the undo so hard after each trials that maybe if you are angry enough you would have almost poked a hole where the undo button was :). But after all the suggestions  left at the MB , PC did come up with a better way.
Now in 0155 and 0158 ( am not sure if this works in 0148 itself) you just have to delete all  images on the pages you do not want. A note here some people are getting mistaken that the grey image which is a template from the previous page is the real one. Press preview if you have a doubt and what you see on the page is what - is the one on that page. Ok getting back - as soon as you delete all images from pages you don't need just save the file.
You have to close it but since there is no close button - for the effect to take place you have to open another file or you can open a new one if so you have to go to the mat. Then from that file press menu button and open the original file again and voi'la - you have the file without the unwanted pages.
I have shown this in one of my episodes. I think shadows one or maybe before. Hmm.. either I have so many that things are blurring together or I have alzheimer's....ha ha

January 7, 2010

Here's an interesting "case" that came up on the MB

Yes a case - LOL. Now the G MB members have made me a detective - a G detective. All that's missing is a hat and a pipe :).
Remember how I said in the last post to view a file with CDS and preview before transferring to G. One file - one of the MB members had such a problem. Previewing it threw an exception and had the CDS closing down and would not open any other file after that too. I knew it was not a date exception as this member is from US - but I still checked later and also opened it in hexedit to see if there were any discrepancies. But the cut file was fine - only the G file had problems. First thing that caught my eye were all the score marks. That bothered me. As I said before unless and until necessary try to avoid score marks. But I also looked to see if any images may have been slanted/skewed and it had none. 
I knew that the culprit was very well the score marks as there is one main point to note with CDS and G.
The G will not accept any image with width or height 0 but CDS sometimes does. 
So knowing that and to prove if my thery was correct or not 
Here's what I did.
I first opened the cut file (note - not the G file) . I clicked on each image and it not only shows which cartridge and it's dimension (but right clicking after selecting the image will bring you a pop window where when you press show cartridge will show the exact button selected) and all the details. 
From this I could see that none were skewed or slanted - which generally causes problems.
So to get to the tiny score marks as it doesn't get selected easily - I just selected the other bigger images, noted their details copied them to a new page and deleted them from the original page. Then I saw that about 5 of the scoremarks had the width set to 0. So I changed that to say 0.02 or 0.03 and then pasted them too to the new page . Then I deleted the now empty page 1 and saved the file again. After this I converted this file to gypsy file and now I could open it in CDS and preview. 

So that's how I solved this "case" . taking a bow here. What ??? you are not clapping??...
Jokes aside - the reason I mention it here is that this is one more thing to look for when some file throws an exception in CDS

January 6, 2010

Gypsy Tip - Checking for error in Gypsy files

The best way to check for errors in Gypsy files is by opening it in CDS. Choose the file option - gypsy in CDS and open the file from it's location in your computer. See if it opens correctly and also if it previews correctly. If there is no errors/exception thrown then the file is good to go.
It's a good method to follow for files you may have downloaded from other sites. Of course the files you have created directly in your G need pass through this ritual :) The reasoning for doing this is - If you load to Gypsy directy - the Gypsy or the Gypsy Sync does not show many errors messages at all as of yet . It will just load the file but you will see that the file either shows an empty mat or it just does not cut whatever is on the mat.
So it's always better to check the file in CDS(paid version) as it throws an error and sometimes tells you what went wrong if we click on the details.
I always prefer doing it this way for downloaded and also for converted files.

January 5, 2010

Episode 16 - Cricut Gypsy Basics - Photo Application

Here's a look at the photo application. This feature is  available only if you have build 0158 on your Gypsy. Unfortunately this was pulled due to the process itself causing problems with  Gypsy freezing/crashing. hopefullt it will be back up soon.
Here's the video

Converting files from CDS to G

I had already talked about file conversion earlier. But will touch on it once again.
For the conversion to take place -
You have to have a paid version of CDS.
Next CDS has to be version 1.0.31101.0  atleast and the G higher than build 0142. Check your version by opening CDS and going to the  about. Checking for updates unfortunately sometimes brings only the message no updates. So it's always a good idea to go to the website http://www.cricut.com/cds/Update.aspx and check for updates  For CDS and G  file conversions - these 2 should be able to talk and for that you need to have atleast 1.0.311101.0 version in your CDS and build on your G should be 0142 or higher. Check on your build in G by tapping on the wrench icon in the application launcher screen. In the subsequent screen which comes up - the build will be to the lower left. For G you have to update via Gypsy sync

For international users you have to do way more. The date format has to be fixed in cut file using hexadecimal editor to make the 1st 2 date digits less than 12 and saved. See my video and a post on that - handling date error.Then you can convert. But still most probably your G file will show up blank. Unfortunately the  file will have lots of commas instead of dots. So you have to then open the G file again in the hexeditor and find all the commas (,) to dots (.) and then save the file and then you can even see the file in CDS and it will transfer properly.

January 3, 2010

A sister blog - Tuesday Treats

I made a resolution this New Year to start exploring the cartridges I have. I especially wanted to do all the boxes and purses from my tags and boxes and the new yet to come into my hands - forever young. So I thought why not catalog it by making videos. So was born Tuesday Treats. For it to be a treat not a torture :) of course I needed just one person - the box lady herself . Yes -- our very own Myamagoo. This gracious lady agreed to co-blog with me.So hopefully after ironing out the details (yes we live very far apart - she in Canada and me in Texas) we are thinking of starting in February. I am so excited and at the same time nervous to work with a person of this caliber.

Gypsy - Tip for the day - naming files in DS for conversions

While converting from CDS .cut file to .gypsy file do not use dashes, commas or any special characters for then  you will see either an error popping up or sometimes it will just show up as a blank file without shooting out an error. (You can see the blank file in CDS itself - no need to load and check on gypsy).
Gypsy files do not accept dashes or any wild characters in the conversion. Spaces are OK. So take care while transfetring and delete the commas, dashes and any other wild card characters before saving as .gypsy.
And also remember not to use slanting and skewing as they will not translate in the to and fro conversions. If yu do use it you have to recreate the effect in the converted file and save.

January 2, 2010

Cricut : Tip for the day

When you want to cut a box or purse and if you want the biggest size - you chose fit to page .Most of us already know that. But we have to wait for it to cut and then see what the size is which sometimes is either too big or too short.
Is there a way to find out?
For people having windows - yes there is. For MAC users - hope you have your G.
So the 1st group (windows user). Even if you do not have a paid version of CDS, download the trial version and  add the figure. Increase the size (try not to move with the handles if you do not know how to lock the aspect ratio) and see note the height when it fills up the mat. That will be the size at which the cricut is going to cut. You can then see the box on the mat and figure out how wide the box is, the height, sides etc.
For Mac - just use your G  or keep bombarding PC till they give you a MAC version. If they can do almost the same program features with G why not with CDS? So flood their phone lines. LOL . Oh! wait a minute. Their phone lines are already flooded. ;) :)

January 1, 2010

New gypsy users

First thing to do as soon as you get your gypsy is to charge it preferably during PC’s working hours switch your G on and it will take you to calibration screen. After you  calibrate it will take you to the Application launcher . Click on the wrench and change the settings to suit you. After that while still preferably connected to AC power and your Gypsy connected to your computer with the correct cable and on the still switched on - register. If you are  in the MB you already have a user account so just type in that email id while registering from http://www.cricut.com/gypsy/gettingstarted.aspx
  as it links the Gypsy to your account and your reward will be sent there too. ;) Try not have eager hubbies do the registering and put their email. Ask them to just stand by your side. It’s better to set the rules early on with your spouse and kids when it come to the G.
  Your reward points will come in the mail to you maybe a week or so later depending on PC‘s traffic. If you need further help call PC . Also see post 2 in this thread http://www.cricut.com/messageboard/tm.aspx?m=5553391
Run the gypsy sync again (preferably during PC’s working hours) when the G is on and in the application launcher screen (atleast). This is the screen with 2 or 3 icons - the wrench, bug head and if you have it - then the 3rd one iz an orange box icon.  You will see the G sync look for updates . This step has to be followed regularly (after watching the MB to get a heads up on glitchy updates) to keep your G updated.
If there are updates you will find that after the update is done the G switches off and the Gypsy Sync says gypsy not found. That means the update is complete. Switch  your G on and tap on the wrench icon and on the lower left in the screen which come u you can see the  version and build of your Gypsy. If G is still connected explore the Gypsy Sync. Drop down the file menu and take a look. Drop down the Gypsy folder and the design folder too. That will be the place all your files get placed when the G sync refreshes. These files are the files on your Gypsy and not the computer. You have to manually move the files yourself (take care while moving file from computer to G as it will overwrite without any warning message).
Then if you do not have the CDS and have not updated your cricut firmware for a while please do so.
Gypsy will give you the instructions (tap on design app. ie the bughead and choose update cricut ).
Then make a test cut by adding an image from the 2 preloaded cartridge Gypsy Font and Gypsy wanderings.
(all the rest of the cartridges are preview only and have to be linked to make a cut. You can design with these- but just cannot cut)
Just play around and my advise is not to link your cartridges until you get familiar and you are sure you are keeping your G. There are some glitches and some kinks need to be yet worked out . Once you link the cartridge you cannot sell your cartridge and your cartridge can only be linked to one G. So you will be loosing the cartridge if you want to return your Gypsy. So just be sure before linking.
So Play with the G . Be a part of the gypsy MB , watch some videos from MB members and visit their blogs
Well I hope I covered most of the  points.
Happy crafting

Happy New Year and a Gypsy Tip - Open an image you don't have and build it.

Happy New Year to all of you.
And here's a tip for you. If you want to cut out any box or purse from any of the cartridge you don't have - then just place that image in page 1 and the on page 2 build it up inside with shapes from the cartridges you have and weld. You can then delete page 1 and you have a basket or bag which you can now cut.
You can build almost anything you have just between the 2 cartridges - Gypsy wanderings and George and basic shape. Ok let's throw Plantin in the fray too as it has many basic shapes too. If you want to add a  thin line - then see - my video how to add score marks and you can add that - just make it bigger for a line.

Happy New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL