Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cricut Explore Cards

I purchased the Cricut Explore from HSN recently, to give it a try.After all, I have 30 days to decide if I want to keep it, right?  First let me state, this is my opinion only. I am not endorsing or denouncing this machine and it's software.  You will need to do your own research and choose what bet suits your needs.

I will say that I am impressed with this machine's cutting ability.  It does cut extremely well, even heavy glitter paper. I love heavy glitter paper and up until now, I could not get a clean cut on any machine without double/triple/quadruple cutting along with some additional hand cutting. I also like how the software puts the layers on the different mats for you and lays them out in the software, in the order they should be placed. This makes it easier to see what goes where on an image, especially those little pieces that I always had left over after a project (like the Disney Princesses). Oh yeah, the write and cut feature is pretty neat too.
Now, I am not totally happy with the software. It has a few glitches and hang ups that are annoying. I am guaranteed to get at least one error per night of use.The one I get the most is "your machine is not connected to your computer" and it is. I have to re-start my Explore. I also get a lot of "your machine is already in use" errors. Hopefully this will be rectified with future updates.  I don't  like the fact that it takes too many steps to do simple things, like welding.  It also does not have a shadow feature, at this point. You can only work on one project at a time, not good if you're in a hurry.  I think the software is great for someone new to using SVG's and uploading pics, but if you have ever used MTC, SCAL or the Silhouette Design Studio, you may get aggravated with it quickly.

The good part is that since I own almost 300 cartridges, I now I can  fall back in love with using them effortlessly.  So look out, you may see more "cutesy" animal and people cards coming your way!

Here's the first one:
I used Sesame Street Friends, Easter 2010, Easter Magic and the MS All Occasion cakes cartridges.

Next one:
This is one of the cards from the Cricut store.  This is the heavy glitter paper I was telling you about.  It did very well on this and I did not even use the deep cut blade on it.

Next one:
I used Dr's Check-up mostly, but I had to use my Cameo for the "Soon" and shadow, table and flower.
See, they play well together!

Write and cut (not to be confused with the Silhouette's print and cut) Print and cut is promised "to be coming" around November. This is the card I think every Explore owner made first just to see it in action.

The Explore comes with the silver pen (middle pic). I used my American Crafts pens for the blue and the red. The Explore will use the medium point and the fine point pens. It will not work with the bold point pens as the tip is not long enough to reach the mat. Pretty neat.

Will I keep the Explore? Of course I will silly!! I love gadgets, machines and bling!!  I have to keep it!!