Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cricut Explore!

This post has been a couple of weeks in the making, but I got a Cricut Explore!   I've been wanting a machine like this for a while, I just never had seen one up close or even knew which model would fit my needs.  My sis-in-law has the Silhouette Cameo (Amazon) which she showed me in action, a few weeks ago.   I was in awe watching it go to work!  Soon after that day my husband surprised me with the Cricut Explore!  A very romantic anniversary present. :)  (Amazon has it for a decent price).  I'm glad my sis-in-law and I have different models so we can compare projects and share tips.  Truth be told, the Silhouette is equally as sweet as the Explore.  I'm in no position to compare in great detail the pluses and minuses of either machine, however, I just don't know how you can go wrong with either one.  I am personally in love with the ease of the Cricut.  The website is simple to walk through and create to your heart's content.  You get a few "subscribed" fonts and images (meaning, they give them to you when you sign up).  If you prefer other graphics, you have to purchase them, but most are only .99 cents.  The fonts are a bit more, understandably.  I'm just so over the moon excited about what lies ahead.  I did complete a few projects before this post so that I could get a good feel for the machine and compile my experiences to share with y'all.  (I should apologize for or "fix" my Texas accent, but it's me and I don't feel like conforming .) :)

 And heeeere we go!  My work space is now complete! :)
The Cricut Explore package comes with several pieces of material (card stock, vinyl, duct tape and a silver pen for when you need to draw your images instead of or in unison with cutting).

*On a side note, I haven't had much luck with cutting regular paper.  If you have any tips please share in the comments below.  Thanks!

The "Thank You" card is the Cricut Explore's introductory tutorial project on Cricut.com.  You register and download the software and you get to play right off the bat!  The bunny was my first project alone and it was just in time for Easter weekend!  (The bunny and pink decal were cut out separately using different shades of card stock paper.)  The green mat you see underneath is where you place your paper/material to be cut or drawn and feed into the machine.  I ended up buying a few extra mats because my sis-in-law warned me that they do lose their stickiness over time and after a few projects.  Remember to always put the plastic sheet back on before storing it away!

The projects in between here are things I made the same day as the bunny...I couldn't stop myself!  It is just too much fun!

I ordered some sheets of self stick vinyl  because I love words and shapes and changing things up frequently-duh.  I figured I would use that material most often.  Finally no more painted on letters!  Well, only if the mood strikes and I'm feeling EXTRA creative. :)  

I used the vinyl for this little gem.  It didn't come out EXACTLY like I had envisioned but it is still cute and serves its purpose with the message I want to relay to my little monsters. :)  
(My dad  designed and constructed the timeout stool out of pine.  There is a secret box underneath he says is "just for the girls...to hide candy."  Pff.  Grampa's prerogative, I guess. ;)

So there you have it.  My first experiences with the Cricut Explore are in the books!  I'm currently working out new projects in my head for this my new partner in crime, so stay tuned!  

These machines are great for invitations, thank you notes, signs of all kinds, putting yours or your kids' names on things, etc.  Fabric, vinyl, card stock, duct tape...it does sooo much!  If you are into all these things it is definitely worth investing in which of course is only that of  my opinion.  

Go on over to YouTube and check out the comparison videos for yourself.  You will be amazed!

Hope you guys have a super creative day!

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