I have been playing with my Gypsy and I am loving it the more I play with it.I still have some questions, but so far I am finding it fantastic. I am learning a great deal from YouTube videos posted by other Gypsy users. Just look at the bottom of this post to see what newbie Gypsy videos I found very helpful!
Now the good things about my toy…
- I love being able to weld images together to create my very own image; this is especially true for making my own phrases.
- I love that I can spread individual images out over the virtual mat so I can see exactly how much space each item will need to cut. I am finding that this is saving me time and paper because I know exactly how big it will be before I cut. That means no trial and error when cutting my actual paper and having to toss out images that are the wrong size!
- I love that I can save projects to come back and work on later.
- I love that I can set up templates for things I might use over and over. For example I set up one file with different card fronts sized at .25″ smaller than the A2 size card. I have a scallop, rectangle, oval and marquee shape.
Okay, so with all the things I love there are still some downsides. I am finding that the search feature is not very complete. For example there may be an image that is a tag that has a butterfly cut in the middle of it. This image in NOT listed in the butterfly category in the search. And if this image is not categorized, how many other images am I missing when I do a word search? Plus, the word I would use to describe a shape, such a flourish or scroll, may not be the word that the Gypsy know the shape to be called. This is some human/computer interface challenge that I mostly knew would be a problem. I was just hoping Provo Craft would have had a more detailed oriented mindset when creating their labels. And a final note on naming shapes… I am not sure how to see what a shape is names once I have seen it and want to use it. It would be nice to see what an item is called so that I could get a better sense of how things actually are labeled so I can adjust my own search style. To solve all this, I wish they had more of a tag feature so that each image could be labeled by the user with different tags. Then they could further the flexibility by allowing users to share tag files so that we could get the benefit of a community of tagger’s data!
As I learn more about my Gypsy I will let you all know. In the meantime, I have compiled a listing of very useful YouTube videos for the newbie Gypsy user and a couple of videos for when you are ready to take it to the next level. Enjoy!
What to know when you first open your Gypsy is explained by these videos
- In order to use your new Gypsy you’ll need to update the Gypsy and the firmware on your Cricut.
- Opening, turning on and the initial setup is explained by Robin at My Pink Stamper.
- Box contents, settings & Linking cartridges from Lauries Craft Room
- The importance of registering and updating your Gypsy is explained by ScrapinDeeDee
- Searching for images by keyword is shown in this video by TheBugGytes.
Once you are comfortable moving around you will want to get to work using all the cool features. This next set of videos goes over all the main features.
- Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of How to Design with the Gypsy is provided by Cropoholicblog. She covers a little of everything. [TIP: Note that in order to see larger images from the cartridge… push the top left button (top right for lefties) while tapping on an image. I didn’t know how to do this one and it was one of my complaints about the Gypsy until I saw part one of this video.]
- The above video did not explain the “real dial” size button. However, the Cutting Layers video by Scrapperbug2002 does a nice job of it. She gets to this at about the 2:40 minute mark if you just want to jump straight to it. She has quite a few other nice videos as well. Check out her stuff. Try this feature with lower case text (both on and off) to see the difference it really makes.
Here are some more tips that will make using your Gypsy much more convenient…
- Using and naming layers is a great feature explained by http://www.JoysLife. Layers are important for cutting different types of paper. Remember the Gypsy will cut one complete layer at a time. You cannot change pressure, speed or blade depth settings during this process. If you are cutting two very different papers, say cardstock and thin pattern paper, for the same project, put each image on it’s own layer!
- Coping and pasting images between layers is shown by ScrappinGrandma. Note: She has an older version of the Gypsy and so your layer interface will look different.
- The hide contour feature was explained in another video but I think it is worth repeating here since it can give you much more flexibility with your images. It allows you to tell the Cricut NOT to cut certain portions of the image! Nice explanation by CreativeLadyBug. Remember to use this feature BEFORE you group images. Once there in a group this feature in unavailable.
And now for some more advanced projects…
- Using the photo app on the Gypsy is shown by http://www.JoysLife
- Drawing and cutting images on the Gypsy is fun and is explained by ScrapbookingGrandma.
- How to use various existing images to create your very own design as shown by TheBugBytes. I think this really shows the power of creativity allowed by this tool.