Autism · Cricut · DIY · life · New England · recipe

Welcome to “Miss Rita To The Rescue!”

 

Hello and welcome! 

My name is Ritamarie Cavicchio.  I’m a blogger, a Cricut Product Expert, a homemaker, a corgi lover and a mom (not necessarily in that order).

Everything on my site is FREE for you to use, although not for commercial use.
I do need to support myself, which I do with selling my wares locally and on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/MissRitaToTheRescue).
I am also an affiliate for the Cricut brand, which basically means I get a small percentage of your sale on Cricut.com…but only if you use this link–> My Cricut Affiliate Link
As a “thank you” for using my link above, you can also use my code MISSRITA1 on your order of $50 or more and you will receive an additional 10% off and free shipping (some exclusions apply)
I’m here to help, so feel free to reach out!
A little more about me:
I blog about my beloved Cricut machines, FOOD, corgis and, of course, my wonderful 13 year old son–affectionately known as MO online–who is on the Autism Spectrum.
I am a Boston native (Shout out to Somerville!), but I was raised here on the North Shore of Boston.  After a few years away, I was drawn back to Peabody and I own a beautiful old home in the Emerson Park section.  MO and I have always lived with corgis.  Maybe you’ve seen us around town with Ted E. Bear?  He’s super cute!
After many years in the corporate world, I decided to stay home and raise MO.  While raising a child with Autism is tough work, I do also find time to take care of my home and do lots of crafty things.
Back in 2012, I was introduced to these amazing machines called a Cricut.  When I couldn’t find help on how to use it, I decided to create my own helping groups on Facebook.  Today I am the founder of four Facebook Groups called “Cricut Newbies & Pros”.  In 2014, I was invited to join the Cricut Product Expert program and I am very proud to help people to maximize their experience with these awesome machines!

 

I craft a LOT! On January 1, 2019, I began a Cricut Access Challenge, which has become a regular feature on my blog and in my groups.  If you’d like to see all of my projects from my challenge, you can find the index at this link:  Cricut Access Challenge Project Index

 

I also love to cook and craft other things, too.  I am enjoying cooking with a Dutch Oven especially, which includes baking bread and frying!  I’m hopelessly old fashioned and I love to cook all those Italian and New England recipes from your childhood.  If you are interested in my recipes, you can find them all here: Recipe Index

“Go forth and Cricut, my friends!”

Best always,

Miss Rita

Cricut · DIY

2019 Cricut Access Challenge Announcement

Happy New Year!!!

Being a Cricut Product Expert is one of the most amazing titles I have ever had and I am so fortunate to be one of a handful of people to have it.

Back in 2014, Cricut CEO Ashish Arora asked me to join the Cricut Product Expert team–at the launch of the then-new Cricut Explore. At that time, I was a devotee of the Cricut Expression 2, which was the first machine to utilize an online environment.

Admittedly it was a little difficult for Ashish to assure me that things were going to get better than the E2; I adored that machine. But I am so happy he was able to convince me to “trade up” to the Explore family, because he was 100% right!

In the last four years, I have seen amazing and innovative products coupled with an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction from the growing group at Cricut. I am literally like a kid in a candy shop when Team Cricut unveils yet another new “got to have it” product!

To further demonstrate my absolute love of all things Cricut, I have decided to challenge myself this year. For each day of 2019, I will be presenting a new card or creation made *only* from images available for FREE to Access customers. (Cricut Access is an image subscription service that has over 60k images and hundreds of fonts designed for use with the Cricut machines.)

I will be posting my daily Cricut Access cards here, in my Facebook groups and on my Facebook page: “Miss Rita To The Rescue!”

So…if you are curious about the Cricut, Design Space or Cricut Access at all, please feel free to pop in and check it out!

Let the Cricut-ing begin!!

Day 1-Happy New Year Card from Simple Holiday Cards image set. An ombré paper was used as an overlay to the silver glitter background and placed on a 5.5” x 4.5” blank card.

Link to Pin:

Link to Design Space file on Cricut Community:

Happy Cricut-ing into the New Year!!

“Go forth and Cricut, my friends!”

Best always,

Miss Rita

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on one of my links and buy something I will receive a small commission from your purchase. Thank you for using my links as this is how I support myself and keep MO in pickles and Ted E. Bear in chew toys–they both are insatiable!

But seriously….I do so appreciate your continued support!

Here is my affiliate link:  https://www.shareasale.com/u.cfm?d=327204&m=51766&u=1089398

Remember if your order exceeds $50 and you use my code MISSRITA1 and link, you will receive an extra 10% off and free shipping on most items!  My code will *not* work for Access Subscriptions or machines (anything that plugs in).

 

Cricut · DIY

Cricut Makeathon Class Handout

Cricut Mountain Make-A-Thon
Cricut Mountain Make-A-Thon

Last week I had the pleasure of joining a host of Cricut enthusiasts in Salt Lake City, Utah for the Cricut Mountain Make-a-thon.  I had an absolute blast being among fellow Cricuteers and all the great people from Cricut. 

I was invited to teach at the event and I chose to discuss Box Cards, which are a particular passion of mine.  Unfortunately the handout that I prepared didn’t get distributed, so I figured I would post it here for anyone who attended the class and even people who couldn’t make it.

So here it is…I hope you find it helpful and don’t forget you can always contact me by e-mail at: missritatotherescue@gmail.com!


Handout: From FLAT to Fab: Making Box Cards with your Cricut

​What is a Box Card?

For a card to be considered a box card, it needs to have one feature–it must be able to fold flat for easy mailing and then pop back up to show off its three dimensional beauty.  As you can see from the cards showcased here, not all of the box cards are square…but all of them fold flat and are easily mailable.

 

 

Hello Box Card
Hello Box Card from All Occasion Box Cards in Cricut Design Space

 

About today’s project:

The project we did today is from the Cricut cartridge “All Occasion Box Cards” by Lori Whitlock, who is considered the leading designer of box cards and variations of the box card theme.  We did the “Hello Box Card” Design (pictured above).    If you are interested in this cartridge and need the handbook, you can find it here: http://content.cricut.com/b/pdfs/res/handbooks/all_occasion_box_cards_handbook.pdf

For all the projects on this cartridge, you will need to resize the files.  This is very important, because using the files straight from Design Space will result in a very small card.  If you choose to use the envelope that comes with each box card, Cricut recommends you resize the entire file’s height to about 10.8″. 

For even more specific instructions, please visit the Cricut sizing guide for each of the cards on this cartridge, which you can find here at the end of the handbook on page 41: All Occasion Box Card Resizing Guide.  

Sizing Template for All Occasion Box Cards
Sizing Template for All Occasion Box Cards by Lori Whitlock

 

 

Or you can use my tip about resizing, which is to ungroup the entire file, eliminate the envelope and then  sandwich all of the images on top of each other.  Once your elements are sandwiched neatly, go ahead and re-group them and resize the entire design to 10.5″.  The resulting card will fit nicely into a pre-made 5″ x 7″ envelope.  Here is a visual of that:

Resizing box card files
Screenshot of how to ungroup and resize the All Occasion Box Card designs so they will fit in a 5″ x 7″ pre-made envelope

 


 

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 3.44.57 PM

About me:

My name is Ritamarie Cavicchio, but a lot of people call me Miss Rita because of my “Miss Rita to the Rescue!” website and blog.​  I have been creating things for as long as I remember.  I am an accomplished soap maker and herbal/aromatherapy artisan.  In addition, I love to make things with my Cricut Maker.  My favorite things to make are cards, but I do dabble in home decor and iron on projects.  I also knit, sew, cook and bake.

I am a blogger and a Cricut Product Expert.  I like to blog about Cricut related news, recipes, home economics, corgis (my favorite breed!) and my 12 year old son (aka MO) who has Autism.  When my son MO was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, I chose to take a break from my successful small business “La Diva Bella” to care for him.  Now that he has grown and is in doing well, I am eagerly looking for ways to express myself creatively.

​You can find my blog at: MissRitaToTheRescue.com

On Facebook, you can find me under my name: Facebook.com/RitamarieCavicchio and my Facebook Page: Facebook.com/MissRitaToTheRescue.

In 2013 I started one of the first Facebook groups for Cricut users.  Since then, my groups have expanded into three very large groups that are managed by a team of great moderators.  You are welcome to join any of them!  Simply search for them by the names below and request to join:
Cricut Newbies & Pros for Explore and Maker
Cricut Newbies & Pros for Expression, Personal and Create (the legacy Cricut machines)
Cricut Newbies & Pros for BUSINESS (for starting and maintaining a Cricut based business)

I sell my handmade designs at my hometown marketplace (Peabody Pop Up Market) and I also have an Etsy shop (etsy.missritatotherescue.com).

​I am also on Pinterest /missritatotherescue  and on Instagram at /ritamariecavicchio


 

Buying and using SVGs from designers in Cricut Design Space:

Lori is a wonderful designer and, in addition to her two Cricut cartridges, she also has a large selection of SVGs that you can purchase on her site: Lori Whitlock’s SVG Shop.  

I recently posted a very extensive response to a question I received about the best sites for buying SVGs.  While there are many great designers out there and on Etsy, my post covers my top picks for the most beautiful, best designed and well thought out SVG files. Check out the post here:

https://missritatotherescue.com/2018/07/15/finding-beautiful-svg-files-for-your-cricut-crafting/

Anna Griffin recently jumped into the box card realm with her brand new Cricut cartridge called “Anna’s Window Box Cards”, which is available in Design Space or from HSN.  I now own this cartridge and it produces really stunning Print Then Cut Window Box cards like this one:

O0HDADsjR8OJwZf%LorBgw

 

Quick tips on the new Cricut Scoring Wheel:

The new Cricut Scoring Wheel is a major new innovation for the Cricut Maker and does a fabulous job of scoring files!  If you don’t have a Cricut Maker, the Cricut Scoring Stylus still works in Explore machines and also the Maker.

Remember that most materials will use the 01 Scoring Tip, but do keep your 02 handy for use with thicker materials such as glitter cardstock, sparkle paper and kraft board.

To prevent cracking while using the scoring tool, you can face your paper “fancy side down”

When removing your Scoring Wheel, remember to check that you replaced the fine point blade housing correctly or it will not cut your project.

Scoring Wheel for Cricut Maker
Scoring Wheel for Cricut Maker
DIY · Dutch Oven

Cleaning Your Dutch Oven

bread in the dutch oven
Bread in the Dutch Oven

As you may have figured out, I have fallen head-over-heels in love with my Dutch Oven.

If you are just tuning in, you can read all about WHY I love my new enameled cast-iron pot here:  Why I love my Dutch Oven

I’ve been using my Christmas gift non-stop and have blogged about many recipes, some of which you can find here:

Quick & Easy General Tso’s Chicken: Another Dutch Oven Recipe

Recipe: Crusty Italian Bread in the Dutch Oven

Julia Child’s French Onion Soup Gratinee

Beer Battered Fried Pickles in the Dutch Oven…of course!


stains in dutch oven
Ugly stains left on the inside of my Dutch Oven

Alas!  As with any romance, it can’t be ALL champagne and roses!

As I was preparing all of these fabulous dishes, I noticed my beloved Dutch Oven started to take a beating.  It no longer just wiped clean after a messy recipe and I started to see marks left on the bottom inside of the pot…as well as stains on the outside cover and bottom.

Needless to say, my heart hurt a little thinking that my beautiful Christmas gift was already looking a little shabby.

Luckily we’ve got Google and Pinterest to save the day!

In my search for a cure to bring my Dutch Oven back to life, I found two tips–both involving baking soda–that have revived my darling pot and for just pennies!

Let me start by saying, I’ve kept baking soda in my kitchen for nearly 30 years.  It’s just a fabulous thing!  Baking soda inexpensive, powerful and extremely versatile. And although it’s useful in cooking, it is often overlooked as a cleaning product.

The first thing I did to get the bottom of my Dutch Oven back to its beautiful white enameled self was to simply boil water with baking soda in my pot. No scrubbing at all and–just like that–the inside of my pot looked brand new!

Baking soda and water
Boil about a quarter cup of baking soda in water

After I boiled the baking soda and water for about 15 minutes, I noticed the stains on the inside were disappearing like magic…and no scrubbing!  Granted it isn’t brand new, but it looks better than it did before, which lifted my spirits a bit.

inside of cleaned dutch oven
Results after boiling with water and baking soda

Boiling baking soda and water works for the inside of the Dutch Oven, but what about the outside?  To clean the outside and the lid, I went with a baking soda paste.  The paste was simply baking soda mixed with a small amount of water.

Using a sponge, I dabbed the paste on the outside of the pot and worked in a circular motion.  Without much scrubbing at all, the stains began to magically disappear!

It was THAT simple!

Again…I didn’t get my Dutch Oven back to its pristine state, but I *did* get most of the stains off and managed to shine it up in the process.  I even did both sides of the lid with the baking soda paste.

Don’t you just love tricks that are just super simple and yet effective?

So if you have a well-used Dutch Oven that needs a little sparkle, may I suggest a little baking soda? You will be back to loving your Dutch Oven in a snap!!

Cricut · DIY

SportFlex Iron-On™ from Team Cricut®

I am the happy recipient of a new product from Cricut® called SportFlex Iron-On™ and I simply cannot wait to try it out!  But before I go off to play with my new stuff, I wanted to give you the lowdown on what SportFlex Iron-On™ is all about!

 


What is SportFlex Iron-On™?

SportFlex Iron-On™ is a new HTV (heat transfer vinyl) by Cricut® that is especially made for use on today’s activewear made with polyester and nylon.  As the name suggests, SportFlex Iron-On™ is stretchy and flexible and can be used on sports jerseys, leggings, caps and other sportswear.

Example of what you can do with Cricut SportFlex
Example of what you can do with Cricut SportFlex

 


Is SportFlex Iron-On™ replacing Cricut® Iron-On Lite?

Absolutely not! SportFlex Iron-On™ is just a different kind of iron-on material.  It is made to be used on polyester or nylon.  Stuff that has a stretch.  Cricut will still make and sell their very popular Iron-On Lit Cricut®

 


On what kinds of garments can I use SportFlex Iron-On™?

SportFlex Iron-On™ can be used on all your activewear.  From youth soccer jerseys to embellishments on your yoga pants.  Basically stretchy fabric made with polyester or nylon.  Check your labels…some things you think are Cotton do have a built in stretch so SportFlex Iron-On™ would be a great “fit” with those items.  SportFlex Iron-On™ will also work on windbreakers, baseball caps and even for monogramming a knapsack!

 


Which Cricut machines can cut SportFlex Iron-On™?

All of Cricut’s machines will cut SportFlex Iron-On™.  That’s because Cricut designs their products for use on Cricut machines.  Using Cricut Iron-on will ensure you are using the best available for your machine.

Currently my machine of choice is a Cricut Explore Air2 (Sorry folks, but I can’t justify buying a Maker when I already have four Cricut Explore machines that work wonderfully!)

Plus if you happen to still have an original machine or an Expression, they will cut your Cricut Iron-On, too!

Find the perfect Cricut machine for you!
Find the perfect Cricut machine for you!

 

 


How should SportFlex Iron-On™ be applied to my garments?

Cricut recommends the use of their EasyPress™, of course, but they fully understand that many of use our home iron to apply our HTV/iron-on materials.  Cricut makes all their iron-on materials with the home user in mind, which means you get the same support from Cricut whether you apply with a home iron or not!

Cricut EasyPress, Sky
Cricut EasyPress, Sky

 

 


What is the Cricut StrongBond(TM) Guarantee?

The Cricut StrongBond(TM) Guarantee is new with Cricut.  It basically means that Cricut stands behind their machines and products.  Should you have less than perfect results when using your Cricut machines and/or Cricut material, contact the team at Cricut and they will make it right.  (They do…I can fully attest to that!)

 


Are you interested in what I do with all this SportFlex Iron-On™?

Stay tuned here on my blog!  I will be posting my own pictures of using this NEW product from Cricut!  I’m also on Instagram (and frankly could use some more followers there!) and on my official business page on Facebook @MissRitatotheRescue.

What?  You didn’t know I had a FB page and an Instagram account??  You’re missing out on a lot of the fun!  You can find my “deets” at the end of this post!

Follow me on Instagram

 

Note: From time to time, Cricut sends me some products to use and review; this post about SportFlex Iron-On is one of those times.  Unless I include a link on my blog with tracking to the product, I do not receive monetary compensation from Cricut or any other company for reviews.  In the case I do receive product to review, I will tell you that…like I am doing right now.  However, I will not receive monetary compensation for positive reviews.  Furthermore, I am not employed by Cricut nor am I compensated for blanket opinions or  for specific content.

All of the opinions expressed are mine.  I try to be nice to everyone, but that doesn’t mean I won’t call a spade a spade.