Friday, June 29, 2012

Using Imagine Art cartridges in the Cricut Expression

Last week I received an email from a lovely lady called Suzanne. Suzanne has a Cricut Expression and recently purchased an Imagine Art cartridge not realising that she couldn't use it in her machine.

Before she put it up for sale on eBay she emailed me to ask if there was any way she could use that cartridge.

My immediate thought was that as there's no Imagine slot in the the Expression, the answer would be no. But then I thought about it a bit more and realised there is a way.... by using Cricut Craft Room!!

First, you will need a friend who will let you link the Imagine cartridge to your account using their Imagine or Expression2. (Make sure you're logged into your account, not there's!!)

Once you've accomplished that all you need to do is connect your Expression to your computer, create your design using the linked Imagine cartridge and send it off to cut!

This should also work with the Cricut Personal, Create and Mini. (I haven't tried them but I see no reason why it won't work.)

Don't have a friend with an Imagine or E2? All is not lost. This will also work with the Digital Imagine cartridges that you can purchase from

Surely it can't be that easy???? Well... there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
  • As the Expression doesn't have any printing capabilities you will only be able to cut the images from the cart. For the same reason you can't use the Imsgine Colors and Patterns carts.
  • You will need to edit the images before you cut them as they are made up of multiple layers. For example this image from the Best Friends cartridge looks like this in CCR when the Imagine is selected as the default machine:

And like this if the Expression is chosen:

If you were to cut the image as it appears above this is what you'll get:

A jumbled mess of useless body parts! That's because every single line in the image is cut. To get a useful cut of the image here's what you need to do.

Select the image on the mat and click the Edit Group button

The Combine/Separate buttons will appear in the right corner of the screen. Click the Separate button.

Now your image will look like this:

Click the Exit button (or press Esc) to go back to the mat screen.

Now when you cut your project, each of the five layers will cut separately. At the moment they are automatically grouped. To move the individual pieces around on the mat click the Ungroup button on the toolbar. You can then space each piece out on the mat allowing you to load your mat with different colours of cardstock.

Remember, if you want to resize the image once you've ungrouped it, you will need to select all the pieces by using Ctrl A (Cmd A) or select Edit, Select All. Then use the resize handle to increase or decrease the size of all the pieces at the same time.

As you can see from the image above, you will lose the facial features of the image as those parts are only printed. Time to break out those Peachy Keen stamps you've got stashed in your drawer!

Play around with the different Imagine cartridges in CCR before you start purchasing them. Some images will work better than others.

Here's another example:

An image from the JT Imagine cart as it would print:

That image when the layers have been separated (still with the Imagine selected as the default machine):

And how it looks when the Expression is selected as the default machine:

So if you're one of those cartridge collectors that has accidentally purchased an Imagine Art cartridge, all is not lost! Have fun experimenting. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New additions to CCR.

If you're scratching your head looking for ideas for a Father's Day card (that would be me....) then check out the new digital "carts" in CCR.

There are 24 new additions. But instead of full cartridges or mini cartridges these are single files that you use to create a card. I love this idea!

They are $1.99 each except for five of the cards which are free to use in CCR until June 19, 2012!

Check out all the card samples at in the Today's Deals section.

ETA: Currently only the 5 free carts are showing up in CCR. You won't find them in the CCR Exclusives library but in the My Cartridges library.

When you purchase one of the other 15 carts it will also show up in your My Cartridges library - not the CCR Exclusives library.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

More on CCR and the Imagine cutting problems

On Friday I posted instructions on how to get the previous version of CCR onto your computer. One of my readers, (Colleen) just let me know that have posted a link to the old version (Build 132 and 133 for the Mac). Here are the links:

PC Version:
Mac Version:

So if you don't want to keep 151 on your computer you can just do that update and 151 will be removed.

If you want to have both builds on your computer follow my instructions.

This is great news for those with a Mac as I wasn't sure how to get that problem fixed. (Hey, I've bought cartridges to help people with their problems. I even bought an Imagine so I could help. But I draw the line at a new computer!!! At least while mine is working fine....)  (Never say never, right!)

Thanks for letting me know Colleen!

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's baaaaaaaack!

Just in case you missed the news... Tags, Bags, Boxes and More 2 is now on CCR!!

Looking for a Mac user of CCR who hasn't updated yet

Update - not only did I find someone (thanks Mandy) but PC have posted a link to the old Mac version of CCR here:

If you are a Mac user of CCR and you haven't updated to Build 151 yet, could you please let me know!

I'm after the set of Build 132 Mac files so I can help out our Mac users who have updated and now can't use their Imagine.


Using an old build of CCR

For those of you who have an Imagine you will no doubt know by now that Build 151 has most likely caused your Imagine to stop cutting. Until PC fix that problem all is not lost.

It is possible to use a previous version of CCR.

When you installed the new version you most likely installed it over the previous version. All you need to do is have the previous Craft Room files on your computer to allow you to run that version.

Here's what you need to do:
  • Create a directory on your computer and call it Cricut Craft Room Build 132
  • Go to this link and download all 13 files and save them into the directory you just created
  • Once you have downloaded those files go to this directory on your computer: C:/Program Files/Cricut Craft Room. You will see 4 sub-folders there called assets, Drivers, icons and META-INF. Copy those four folders (and all their contents) to your Cricut Craft Room Build 132 directory. (Highlight all four folders and press Ctrl C. Then navigate to your Build 132 directory and press Ctrl V. You now have the full set of files required to run CCR Build 132. Next you'll create a shortcut for your desktop to open that version
  • While you're at the Cricut Craft Room Build 132 directory highlight the Cricut-Craft Room.exe file (its type will be Application and its size should be 139KB) and press Ctrl C.
  • Right click on your desktop and select Paste Shortcut. (Don't just select Paste as you'll get an error when you try to open it. You need to select Paste Shortcut.
  • Right click the new icon on your desktop and select Rename. Add Build 132 to the end of the shortcut name.
  • Now you can use that shortcut to open Build 132. Use that icon whenever you want to use the old build. 
For those times that you do want to use the new build (when you're not using your Imagine and you want to use the new features) just open CCR from the usual icon on your Desktop. I use the new version to create my files then close CCR and open it up in the old version so I can cut the file on my Imagine.

Hope that helps!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

CCR update news

It's a big news day in Cricut Craft Room today. There is a program update available for download (build 151) plus there are five new CCR exclusive cartridges available.

When you next open CCR you will be prompted to update. There's no need to uninstall the current version. If you want to be able to go back to the previous version you'll need to copy all the files from C:/Program Files/Cricut-Craft Room to another directory on your computer. I create a directory on my computer and call it whatever Build it applies to eg. CCR Build 132. Then if I need to use the previous version I just click on the Cricut-Craft Room.exe file in that directory.

So, what's new in this build?

Well, first - what it doesn't have is the much anticipated Gypsy Link option. (Although it has been renamed to Gypsy Sync. Is that progress?)

Also, Kate's Kitchen still isn't working with CCR. (The images show up on the keypad but nothing happens when you click on one of the keys.)

One other setback (for me anyway) is cutting with the Imagine. Where before I rarely had a problem printing and cutting with the Imagine, now my mat is being spat out after the image is printed. I'll keep working on that and see if I can get it working. (I never give up!!!)

Edited to add: So it appears it's not just me that is having the Imagine cutting problem with this update. If you have an Imagine and want to use CCR you will have to use Build 132. I mentioned above that you can save previous versions to your computer so you can go back to them. You'll find more info with instructions and a link to the files that you'll need to download if you've already installed Build 151 here:

On to what is new...

Here's the blurb from the notices section of CCR with my comments:

Cricut Craft Room™ update: June 5, 2012

  • New image insertion cursor! Click on the virtual mat to position the cursor. Click an image from the image drawer and it will add to the mat to the right of the cursor.
I love this feature! Although it would be nice if the cursor could be a little less intrusive, maybe by making it grey instead of black. The size of the cursor will be dependant on what you have set as your Dial Size in the Options menu, Craft Room tab. 

Just single click somewhere on your mat and wherever your cursor is, is where your object will be placed. No more having to move images around or drag them from the keypad to where you want them. 
  • Cricut Expression®, Cricut Create®, and Cricut® Personal Cutter machines have a new load and unload mat buttons. Now you can leave your mat loaded between cuts! This makes it easy to align scoring, drawing and cutting.
This is great news! Do I smell the scent of TBBM2 arriving in CCR soon? Breaking news... TBBM2 is now on CCR!!!
  • Cricut Expression 2 (1000 fw version) now can automatically cut from Cricut Craft Room™ with the Cricut Alphabet and Cricut Essentials cartridges.
Good news for all those who have the 1000 firmware version E2's who haven't been able to cut with their pre-loaded cartridges in CCR!
  • Sort your saved projects two ways, by name or by date modified!
I've been hoping they'd add something like that. 
  • Bug fixes for placement of certain images
  • Bug fixes for importing Cricut DesignStudio® projects (that have been saved as .gypsy files) into Cricut Craft Room™
Hopefully I'll get time to test that out soon.
  • Cutting speed improvements for Cricut Expression 2
Loving the new speed!! I tested it out this morning and it cuts so much faster now!! Of course now I don't have time to go make a coffee while my project is cutting! 
  • ‘Save As’ added so you can easily make copies of your projects or use a project as a template.
This is in addition to the Save As that was added into the File menu. Now it appears in the menu in the top right corner of the CCR screen. 

When you go to start a new project, open another project or logout, you will be asked whether you want to save the current project. If you say NO any changes you made won't be saved. If his was a new project it will be deleted. I like this idea because most projects I create I have no need to save. Often I'm just playing around with new carts or cutting something simple that I don't need to save. Now those files won't automatically be added to my projects list.

One addition that wasn't mentioned above is that when you login to CCR now, the Cartridge library will default to My Cartridges.

If anything else crops up I'll update this post.

Now onto the new cartridges. 

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