Design Space: About Our Pages

I’m a crafter, just like you. Sure, maybe I have more computer experience, but I’m a crafter. I like to try new things. I like to help people. I like to write. So I’ll combine them all and try to help you learn, too. That’s my goal with this site.

The pages here at Inspired Squirrel are written from first-hand experience. If I haven’t specifically put my hands on it and seen the results of selecting, dragging, clicking, tapping, importing, or whatever else you can do within the software, I’m not writing about it.

My Relationship with Cricut

I have an affiliate relationship with Cricut. Any links on my site to Cricut will generate a small commission if you make a purchase using that link. I really encourage you to do so, as my hope is that it generates enough money to cover the costs of hosting this site.

Affiliate links are the entire relationship with Cricut. I don’t have any extra information from them, such as new features they might add, insight on existing features, or secret features. I don’t have any special ways of asking for help, other than the same help you can get through them.

In other words, all the explanations and opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. Any features I’ve explained are the results of my own trial and error (lots of both trial and error!). Any Cricut products I’ve used are those I have purchased (or my family has purchased and given as a gift to me).

Because there is no other relationship, I have no idea when or how they will change Design Space. As they upgrade and change their apps, I’ll try to keep up to date. However, it’s just me. Feel free to let me know if there’s something out of date.

What I Use

I want to document what I do, so my projects and knowledge are limited to what I purchase. Here’s what I use for Design Space:

  • A Windows 10 laptop with a touch screen purchased in 2016
    • It’s a 15″ HP Envy x360 with an Intel i5 processor, 12GB RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. I’m a programmer when I’m not a crafter — this is much more machine than you need for Design Space!
  • An Android phone — a Google Pixel 2 (a series of Samsung Galaxy phones before that) purchased in 2018
  • An older Android tablet, a 10″ Galaxy Tab 3, purchased in 2014.
  • A Cricut Explore Air 2, a Christmas gift from my daughter in 2017
  • Access to the Cricut Explore machines that my daughter, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law have.

My main method to work is to use my laptop with the Cricut Explore connected by Bluetooth. I’ll also use my phone and my tablet at times, too, so I’m able to use the laptop to design while I use the tablet or phone to cut things.

To create content, I use:

  • The Window version of Design Space
    • Chrome browser in Windows 10
  • The Cricut Design Space Android app
  • Inkscape to create original SVGs. (It’s free!)
  • GNU Image Manipulation Program, aka GIMP, to work with screenshots and bitmap graphic files (like JPGs). (It’s free!)

Please note: I do not own or have access to a Maker or an older version of a Cricut cutter — only the Explore series. I also do not own or have access to any Apple computers or devices of any kind.

Where Are the Videos?

I might link to some, but I’m just not a fan of them. Why? Generally speaking, I don’t want to watch a 4-10 minute video (or longer!) just to find out the several steps that could be typed out on a single screen. 

Not to mention one of the most important things: this whole site came about because my mother-in-law gets frustrated with the videos because it’s difficult to follow along. To follow along with the project requires a lot of pausing (and management of tabs, windows, or multiple devices), and to refresh one’s memory of the previous steps (as in, “step 5 is performed just like step 2 — do the sequence of 5 instructions again) is nearly impossible. My mother-in-law simply wanted a series of steps that she can print out and keep next to the computer as she does each task. This site is for her and others like her. 

It’s also for people like me and my daughter: we like the general concepts of how to do things, then we put our own spin on it. Usually we pretty much know how to do the basic tasks, so saying “select the layers, then weld them” is enough instruction for us. We don’t want pages of lengthy, detailed explanations (sometimes we skip over the very parts we really need!). That’s why projects will open up more instructions. You can get exactly what you need: you might know how to select but not weld (or vice-versa), or maybe you are a very beginner and need both. Open up the instructions you need, skip over them to get the info as succinctly as possible.

That’s the most important part. Another consideration is that I don’t like producing and editing videos. I’ve written several successful computer books — explaining things on paper is my thing. I’ll leave the videos to those who excel in that medium.