Close To My Heart has 4 great cartridges and they each have different strengths. Art Philosophy, Artiste, Art booking and Artfully Sent. The following is an overview of each so you can make an informed decision of what to get. They come with different stamp sets that match the work of the cartridge. There are more stamps available that are compatible with the cartridges. You can see what stamps go with the cartridges in the catalog by their outline in red. Even if the stamps are not in the current catalog, they are still available. (Usually stamps are only available 1 year after they appear. ) Go to barbarapagekell.ctmh.com and under Shop, My Acrylix Stamp Sets you will find Cricut Compatible Stamp Sets. For those who use the online Cricut Craft room there are some charts that have all the numbers to find all of the CTMH images. You can find it at thenoncraftycrafter.com or Google it. There are advantages if you can connect your cricut to a computer/laptop vs just using the machine.
The Categories are: Layer, Decorative Layer, Tag, Card, Font and Font Layer
In the back of the booklet you will have a view of the Icon Gallery which is each category both regular and shift.
There are 2 images on each page that the layer and decorative layer works with. The Tag with a rectangular hole can be for sliding on ribbon or paper and the other tag can have a ribbon in the hole or a brad. There are 2 cards on each page. You can use some of the layer/decorative layer combos but you decide the size. The Font layer has 3 holes in each letter/number for bling/ embellishments a well as when you shift, you get a box to build.
You get to decide what size everything will be. To have things match you need to keep the same size when you cut or experiment. It is great that there is an icon with the button placement for each page.
It has a regular booklet and an “Assembly Instructions” booklet. There are 3 D projects which need help on folding and gluing instructions and the booklet provides pictures with arrows and glue so you can put them together. The categories are: Accent 1, Accent 2, Accent 3, Accent 4, Card and 3D Objects. Each page is color coded on that page for the projects that fit together. The upper left corner shows the finished projects and the color so you can see what coordinating things you have to work with. Where size matters, it is listed in inches and centimeters as to what cuts will work. Most of the Accents are matched by color in the same square with regular and shift. If the image is gray or black, they are not coordinated with any project. If there is a card, there is usually an envelop to go with it. You can decide what size the card/envelop to the size allowed on the page.
There are many great tags that can be used in a variety of ways. There are also different shaped tabs to use in booklet projects or on pages. There are a couple of booklet projects. There are things that act like bookmarks or tabs that can go on pictures or booklet projects. There are images and a few sayings as well. There are also white chipboard dimensional elements 1- 12 x 9 page of 6 album pages matching the cut album in the cartridge. You can make a booklet in combination of these chipboard pages or adhere the cut pages to the chipboard.
The Icon Gallery is in the front. In this booklet Real Dial Size matters. The icon gallery is divided not by pages but by image type. You can see by color which image is on which page. It has the projects by color for booklet and photo mat. There are also images with layers and the finished images creation is shown. The Categories are: Title, Photo Mat 1, Photo Mat 2, Icon, Border and Overlay.
Take for instance page 38. It is for an 8x8 Travel Mini Album. The Overlay on that page will fit 8x8 size. If you want to have it for any other size, you need to turn on the Real Dial Size. If you want the borders to be 12 inches, it is easier to work online in the Cricut Craftroom where you can melt images together rather than cut separate ones and put them together. There is away to trick the cricut to cut 12 inches when you have a 24” mat and start the 12” paper ¼ inch down from the top.
The is the newest one from CTMH. This has an “Assembly Instructions” booklet for the pop up cards. The Categories are: Pop-up, Icon, Scene, Sentiment, Sleeve, Pocket card. The front of the booklet has the icon gallery by category. First are the fonts and then the different envelopes. Here you can find any shape envelop at a quick glance. Next are the Pop-up cards with how they will look opened up. They are all in red. The next are the green Scene cards. Usually you fold them first in the middle and then front half out. You can also cut a second card and cut it at the fold to cover the first card with different paper for a layered look.
The red Pop-ups say either 5” or 7”. These are all 5x7 cards for finished size. If you want 5.5x 4.25 purple cards in the Sentiment shift area. If you want the pop-up cards 5 ½ by 4 ¼, you put the 5” at 41/4 or the 7 at 5 ½ and then keep it at that size for all the proportionate things and the envelopes for everything to match. You can find in the Icons the things to cut for all the cards. Remember that the whole cricut cartridge is proportionate for that page so if you are trying something different do it on scrap first. The Scene cards have their own insert which is next to it. The Sleeve is the first one that will fit a 4x6 pocket size. This is just right for a gift card on the pocket insert. It is wise to line the Sleeve with a 3 ¾ x 5 ¾ piece of paper. The Shift on the Sleeve is another 7x5 card. The Pocket Card is great for Picture My Life albums or regular pages or inserts in the sleeves. You can also use them as photo mats. The dark purple are all 4x6 either landscape or portrait. The lighter lavender are all 3x4 cards either landscape or portrait. On page 50 is a plain 4x6 and 3x4 cards for you to cut but you can also cut paper that size and use the corner rounder. All the cards have these great cut out pieces on them which can be backed with all the scrap pieces you have saved.
Tips: use the blue mats for overlays and for small items. The Medium and hard ones often help with the larger cuts. Turn the mats and change to Portrait to have a longer life on the mats. Make sure the Triangle on the knife is forward on the cutting blade. Go only as much pressure as you need for the cuts. Faster is sometimes better for heavier and slower for lighter paper.
Remember that when you use Paper saver you can get more things on the page but if you want to use the “negative space” for titles, you can’t use the paper saver and you need to put spaces where you would have them when you type.
When you have smaller pieces of paper, put them in the lower left had corner and use the “set Cut area” button to get the cut on the paper you have. Don’t forget “last Load” for when you want to start cutting where the blade left off and Repeat last buttons to cut the same thing you just cut. You can always find the Cricut instruction book online. You can find videos of all the CTMH books and more on YouTube. You can find things to do on Pinterest.
You can go to barbarapagekell.ctmh.com and under Products you can see the 4 Cricut cartridges and the stamps and other things that come with them. Also you can find on the website 2 helpful charts: Different Machines which helps you decide what the best machine is for you. Tips and tricks give you a chart for the speed, depth of blade and pressure for all different material you might cut. Scroll down and you will find all the images from each of the cartridges.