So did you miss out and getting the Explore One on Black Friday? Did you stand in line only to get to where the machines were and they were sold out? Did you spend all your money on gifts for others instead of buying for yourself? Are you afraid no one understands how much it would mean for you to get an Explore One so you can indulge in your beloved hobby? Did you miss out on winning the Explore Air I just gave away?
Why am I giving away another machine you ask? Well because I want to! So stop asking so many questions and start answering the question that is required for this giveaway!
1. One entry per person, duplicate entries will be deleted (I have to approve all comments so your comment might not show up immediately).
2. Comment entries must be submitted no later than Midnight Wednesday December 2nd, 2015 central time.
3. Answer this question "What would you make with the Cricut Explore One?" in the comment section of this post.
The winner will be announced either Thursday December 3rd or Friday December 4th, depending on my work schedule.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
After going through and reading every comment 5 times to make sure I weeded out any entries that didn't answer all 5 questions correctly, remember that was one of the requirements, and deleting duplicate entries *okie truly appreciates the ones who stated "my other comment didn't go through" or "I think I accidentally entered twice"* I was able to get a winner for the Explore Air!
I used Random Org to generate a winner number from all the valid entries and the winning number was...
I numbered each of the valid entries before using the Random Number Generator and the winner is...
Congrats tpthatsme! CONTACT me with your personal information so I can have the prize shipped to you!
I used Random Org to generate a winner number from all the valid entries and the winning number was...
I numbered each of the valid entries before using the Random Number Generator and the winner is...
Friday, November 27, 2015
So there are a lot of people who are estatic over the whole Cricut Design Space App for the Ipad and Iphone. I, however, am not one of them. Why? Because I am an Android girl. I owned an Iphone 3 for a period of time and didn't like it. I was an Android owner before that and then after. My last 3 phones have been Samsung Galaxy phones and I have to say I LOVE THEM! I currently own the Samsung Galaxy 5. So ya see the app for the I products just didn't phase me one bit.
But wait...they announced an app for an Android? *insert Minion voice here* WOOT??!! Cricut Design Space for Android?? Oh well that is nice but how am I suppose to see on my little phone screen on what I am trying to do? My tablet is a Kindle Fire, which if you didn't know runs it's own OS (ie operating system), and is not compatible with the Android App of Cricut Design Space, and I know this information to be true because I got it from a very reliable source who I am sure was getting a headache trying to explain to me why the app wouldn't work on a Kindle. I had been shopping for a new Kindle since mine is starting to try and poop out on me and have been researching which one I would like to have for over a week. In the mean time I saw that Walmart had a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 lite in their BF ad and I was mildly interested just knowing it was Android.
Thursday evening my cousins and I decided to head out to Walmart in Seminole *okie wonders if people have ever even heard of Seminole Oklahoma* to see if we could get a few things from the ad. The store was busy but was nothing like my Walmart in Ada on Black Friday. I didn't even see one fight in that store *okie remembers the fist fight and the cops being called over some Paula Deen cookware a few years ago*. People weren't even push each other out of the way. I digress, let me get back to our trip. We picked up a few things and I told my cousins I was going to see if they had any of the Samsung Tablets, thinking I could check it out more while we were in the very long line waiting to check out. I finally found out where the Samsung tablets were located and when I got to the spot there was a worker sitting on a pallet of water that was covered with a board protecting the Ipad and Samsung tablets that were left. I looked down and there were only 2 Samsung Tablets and she promptly handed me one when I asked and then behind me was a man that got the other one. I figured it must be fate.
The operation of the tablet is almost exactly like my phone so there isn't a difficult learning curve for me right now. The display is good, not HD, but still as good if not better than my Kindle Fire. It runs Netflix which I do use a lot on my Fire and I was able to download the Kindle Reader App and figure out how to work it easily enough. I don't think I am going to regret my jump from a Kindle Fire to a Samsung Tablet. Now whether or not I like Cricut Design Space on the Samsung Tablet will be a whole different experience. For those who don't know I hated the Gypsy so lets hope this goes a little better!
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Just a quick note to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! The kids and I are going to Seminole to spend the day with my Aunt Betty and her family. Not sure if Shiane and I will do any shopping tonight or not, we still have to look through the ad.
I just wanted to share this file that I made last night because I know people will be doing some Thanksgiving layouts. I think I will use him for the layout I do for this years Thanksgiving.
Don't forget there are still 2 more days to enter the giveaway for the Cricut Explore Air!
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
This was a project I made last year when I was reviewing the Cricut Explore while using vinyl.
I actually used the finished project for a dirty Santa gift at school and the girl who ended up with it loved it. The following post was the original post and has the download file available at the bottom of the post.
Since Christmas is coming up I thought it was worth reposting now in case anyone missed getting this file last year.
ORIGINAL GRINCH POST:
So last night I was going to work with some vinyl on the Explore for my next review and wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I looked through my files and started playing with a Grinch file and a quote file I had and came up with a new file. I posted it in the Design Space Facebook group to see if it could be read and my friend Jackie pointed out that one word was hard to read so I went back and edited the file and it did work a lot better! THANKS JACKIE!
A few people said they would pay for the file and I had to giggle to myself because obviously I guess there are a lot of folks out there that don't know I very, very, very rarely charge for files I make! Anyway I thought about charging but then quickly decided to make this file free as my Christmas gift to my readers! So many of you guys and gals have been with me for over the years and have shown such loyalty even when I was on my hiatus from crafting that I thought I should show my appreciation! You really have no idea how much it means to me to have people stick with me even when I was gone for months and months!
I did import the SVG file into Design Space, it imported just fine so it should be ready to use once you download the file and then upload into the program and of course as always I have the MTC file available as well.
So to all of you MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ME TO YOU! And thank you so much for always being there to read all my dribble even when I have no files or projects to offer.
So yesterday I finished my series of comparison posts and to celebrate I am going to do a giveaway. I am feeling a bit generous and after much contemplation about what to giveaway I have decided to give away....
Go ahead and do a double take...yes that is a picture of a Cricut Explore Air!
Why am I giving away a Cricut Explore Air? Well simply because I believe in the Explore. I love this machine. I think this is the best cutting machine on the market at this time. So yep, that is why.
Usually when I do a giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment but this time you are gonna have to work for it a little bit, just because I feel like being a little mean *okie gives a little evil laugh*. Okay, seriously I just want to make sure who ever wins is someone who reads my posts and isn't just coming here to enter a giveaway.
1. Enter only once, remember I have to approve comments so your comment might not show up immediately, be patient as I will approve comments periodically as my time permits.
2. Comment entries must be submitted no later than Midnight Friday Novemember 27th, 2015.
3. Answer each of the following questions correctly.
- 1. In the Cricut Explore VS. Cricut (baby bug) post what was the image in the screen shot?
- 2. In the Cricut Explore VS. Expression post what did I say was unnecessary to me on the Expression?
- 3. In the Cricut Explore VS. Expression 2 post where did I say the 2nd E2 I owned came from?
- 4. In the Cricut Explore VS. Cricut Mini post who did I say I donated the Mini to?
- 5. In the Cricut Explore VS. Pazzles post where did I say the Explore beat the Pazzles hands down?
The winner will be announced Saturday November 28th. Good luck everyone!!!
Monday, November 23, 2015
I am actually dreading this versus post...it is almost making feel like some kind of traitor but in the fairness of versus posts I have been doing and me being a person of honest opinions I am begrudgingly writing a comparison post.
After my DIVORCE from Provocraft almost 3 years ago I started looking at other machines, ones that I felt could cut a little better, heavier material, and allowed me to have more creative abilities with making my own design files and after looking into several different ones I had decided on the Pazzles. I knew it would work with Make The Cut and had heard wonderful reviews. As fate would have it there was a long time reader that wanted to gift me her Pazzles because it was in storage not being used and she wanted me to have it *okie knows she has been very blessed in the crafting sector of her life over the years*. Once I got it set up and started using it I did notice it cut more intricate details than what the Expression would cut and I was in love. The Pazzles was good at cutting most things perfectly but there were still some issues with certain papers and materials.
One area where the Explore has the Pazzles beat hands down is the settings. With the Pazzles there are literally hundreds of settings you can use and it was always hard for me to remember what settings to use with what materials since one little setting off would work for one cardstock or material and not the next. The pressure range alone went from 0-50. I did come up with a method to keep them straight by having little tags with settings written on them. Of course I thought this was wonderful but it was also a pain in the arse to have to look up a tag when I couldn't remember off hand what settings to use.
With the Explore all I have to do is turn the dial or use the custom settings options when I get ready to cut, nothing to pull out and go through, nothing to remember...just turn the dial or use custom settings and POOF, perfect cuts every time. Yes, I mean every time! Okay it did mess up a time or two but it wasn't the Explore's fault but my own for not paying attention and changing the setting from my previous cutting *okie remembers how pissed she was when she first reviewed the Explore and wanted so much for it to cut things wrong and it wouldn't*. This is a total time saver when I'm crafting and one less thing to worry about.
The Pazzles produces about the same amount of sound as the Expression did when cutting so it is quite a bit louder than the Explore, and if you aren't familiar with the level of sound just know that sometimes it seemed like it was loud enough to wake a sleeping baby. There was no sneaking to use your machine with the Pazzles.
When I reviewed the Explore for the first time one of the things I cut was vellum and it cut perfectly. I did try cutting vellum with the Pazzles but never had good luck with anything intricate and even with larger things it seemed to rip the vellum rather than cutting it. There were a few cardstocks the Pazzles had difficulty cutting as well, mostly the cheaper ones and when I tried cutting the same cardstocks with the Explore I had no problems *okie wonders if people really understand how hard she tried to get the Explore to mess up cutting different materials*.
Okay, so far I have said the Explore is easier to get correct settings and that it cuts better than the Pazzles but now I want to talk about the downfall where the Pazzles beats the Explore. It is no secret to anyone that I love Make the Cut and have been using it for a few years now and even sold off my cartridges because I didn't have a need for them anymore and the one thing I loved about my Pazzles was that I could connect MTC directly to my Pazzles for cutting. With MTC there is no need for an internet connection and the program has a lot more features than what the Cricut Design Space program has...A LOT MORE! So POOF there ya go...Pazzles over Explore!
But wait...now let me tell you where I messed up! Pazzles came out with the Pazzles Vue about the same time that Provocraft came out with the Cricut Explore. Both had a lot of the same features including print and cut but I already had a bad taste in my mouth about Provocraft and there was no way I was going to consider the Explore so the Pazzles Vue was coming to my house! All of this was happening during a time where I wasn't doing much crafting and I wasn't keeping on top of all the latest and greatest of things. I did however go ahead and order the Vue feeling fully confident that the developers at MTC would make the plugin for the Vue. My confidence faded over time and now I am quite confident it will never happen. I do have the Pazzles software but have no idea how to use it. I opened a few times and stared at the screen with a WTF look on my face and then would close it. I even tried watching a video or two and with my impatient nature *okie wonders who all remmbers that her motto is "I just wanna make chit"* it just never worked out for me.
*okie takes a deep breath and can't believe she is going to say what she is about to say* I have to say that when I did spend a few minutes with Cricut Design Space I found it quite easy to upload my SVG files I made in MTC and then cut the files. It was much less complicated than trying to use the Pazzles software.
The Explore beats the Pazzles due to being able to cut more accurately and setting the machine is much more simple but the Pazzles is better because I could use it with a program that doesn't require an internet connection and has a lot more features. The Explore beats the Pazzles Vue because I don't know how to use the Pazzles Software and I can't connect the machine to MTC.
So in a final note it's the Explore over both Pazzle machines for me due to the following:
1. Simple settings
2. Cleaner, more accurate cuts
3. Easy of uploading SVG designs I make in Make the Cut
4. Quieter performance
5. Not as bulky
6. Machine closes for self containment
7. Bluetooth capabilities
There are probably a few more reasons that are escaping my brain at this moment. When anyone asks me what machine I recommend I tell them the Explore and give them the reasons I love the Explore, but I also tell them they only drawback I have about the Explore is the dependency of an internet connection.
So there ya go folks...I have finished my series of Explore VS. every other machine I have owned and yep Explore wins over them all. Now with that said make sure you come back tomorrow because to celebrate I think I will do a giveaway of some sort!
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Okay there really isn't even a comparison here...seriously! But since I did own a Cricut Mini I am gonna discuss it anyway *okie is wondering just how short this versus post will be*. I acquired the Cricut Mini on the second Cricut Cruise I went on and it was something I never considered buying.
I really didn't get the concept of the machine and maybe it was because I really loved my Expression and being able to cut 12x12. I know some people were excited about the size of the machine because they felt it would be easier to take to crops and such but if I remember correctly it was difficult for a lot of people due to the requirement of having to be connected to the internet to use it and not all venue's had internet capabilities.
Now I will say the Mini did cut great and it was more quiet than the Expressions when cutting. I know it even cut glitter paper quite well. The small size of the machine was nice and it was easy to store. After using it a few times I put it away and went back to my Expression. I ended up donating the Mini and the mats to a school teacher I know.
As for comparing it to the Explore, like I said earlier, there is really nothing to compare...EXPLORE WINS. I guess I can say the Explore wins because of the superior cutting abilities, the quietness of the machine while cutting, ability to cut 12x12 material, cutting a wider variety of materials and yada yada yada. And even though I hate to admit it the Cricut Design Space program is easier to use than the Cricut Craftroom program and so far I haven't had as much problem with the internet connection as I did with Cricut Craftroom but that maybe due to me only using Design Space for cutting and not designing.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Sorry for the delay on this versus, I had some life stuff that had to be taken care of *okie figures cleaning house is considered life stuff* and didn't have time to sit down and type out the post.
I remember all the excitement at the launch of the Expression 2, which will now be referred to as the E2 for the remainder of this post, and how there were a lot of people upset after purchasing because they felt the "exclusive" machine they bought from HSN should not have been sold again and I even made a POST about my thoughts on the matter. I was not one of the ones who jumped on the bandwagon to buy one because I was happy with my Expression and didn't want to put out the money for another machine. I did however end up with two E2's. The first of the E2's I acquired was one of the gifts on the Cricut Cruise and the other was won from the HSN contest and I had submitted a few layouts and they chose one of my layouts as a winner.
I liked the idea of the E2 and I did use it a few times but man oh man was it a pain! I couldn't use Design Studio with the E2 and of course the tiny screen on the machine was impossible for me to see to be able to do anything. The process that I had to use was as follows...
1. Design using Design Studio
2. Save the file
3. Close the file
4. Open the file and save as a Gypsy file
5. Upload the file to the Gypsy
6. Hook up the Gypsy to the E2 and cut my design.
I know Cricut Craftroom was available and yes it probably would have been less time consuming than using my Gypsy but I hated that program. For me it was glitchy and never ran smoothly and I only tried it a few times.
The cutting abilities of the E2 was comparable to the Expression from what I remember. I don't think it really cut any better and it didn't cut any worse. I know a lot of people who loved the E2...I was just okay with it.
With the Explore I still can't use Design Studio, which would be silly anyway since that program is now a dinosaur but I can't use the Explore directly with Make The Cut so I have the following process...
1. Design in MTC
2. Export design as SVG
3. Upload SVG into Design Space
4. Cut the design
So while there is a process for me to cut with the Explore it is a lot less time consuming than using the Gypsy or the glitchy Cricut Craftroom software. So far I haven't had any problems with using the Cricut Design Space with the method I am using and I love having the ability to design offline with MTC and then just using CDS for my cutting. I never use cartridges anymore and haven't for about 3 years now and my design abilities are only limited by my imagination and I love not having to depend on cartridges for images.
Once again the Explore wins over the E2, but then again the Expression would win over the E2 in my book.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
My second Cricut was the Expression. I didn't think I needed the Expression since I was completely happy with my baby bug and at the time I really couldn't afford to put the money out for an Expression. Back in the days of the Cricut Messageboard there were so many generous people and one of the members made it her goal to have me own an Expression machine and to keep things short about that in this post you can read about how I came to own the Expression >HERE<.
Anyway the purpose of this post is for me to think about how the Explore compares to the Expression. First off I have to say that the Explore does seem to be better built than the first Expression machines. The first one I had wouldn't cut nice scallops and I actually ended up going through about 3 machines before I got one that would cut some scallop circles half way decent. Another thing that happened with the first Expression I had was that it BROKE and I do mean BROKE. A replacement was quickly sent and I was back in business.
The Explore blade holder is made in such a manner that it is faster and easier to get the blade housing out of the machine. Instead of a screw that tightens the blade housing in there is a latch that opens and closes. As you can see in the pictures the way the holder on the Explore is manufactured the blade housing is more stable due to the length of the holder.
I never knew what all the buttons were for on the Cricut machines since I never used them without either using Design Studio or Make the Cut. I did try one time...it was a disaster. I do like the sleek design of the Explore better than the Expression and it doesn't seem to be as large, well as tall anyway and there aren't all those unnecessary buttons, well unnecessary to me anyway.
The cuts between the machines are non comparable as there were many things the Expression seemed to have difficulty cutting. There were many cardstocks and papers that the Expressions would shred when trying to cut and I have no idea what those techno head designers of the Explore did to make the machine cut so well but I'm just glad they did! I have only found one piece of cardstock that seemed to have problems and I might have actually had the settings wrong at the time.
Now about the settings...EXPLORE WINS! Although I am still not a fan of Cricut Design Space I do love the little feature of "custom" settings and the list of materials available in the program. With the Expression there were the dials that had to be set, blade depth, cutting speed, etc and it was a guessing game a lot of times because one time you would cut with a certain setting and it would be great then the next time there might be problems. The Explore is consistent with the cutting. I am beginning to think there are little beings in the machine that make sure it cuts correctly and cleanly every time because I can think of no other reason for the invariable cuts.
I honestly believe that if anyone liked the Expression they would LOVE the Explore. Well of course there will be those few disgruntled, for what ever reason, people who will not like the Explore but if they are honest with themselves I don't think they will find fault in the machine and it's cutting capability but only find fault with having problems with the software that has to be used with the Explore.
Oh and if ya haven't noticed I am going down the line of the machine's I've had over the years and comparing them to Explore so expect a few more versus posts because I owned a few more than just the baby bug and the Expression.
If you guys are really good and pay attention I might even have a little surprise at the end of my series of versus posts so PAY ATTENTION AND KEEP COMING BACK!
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Years ago when I started using machines I started out with the Cricut, the orginal one, the one we often refer to as "baby bug". Oh how I loved that little machine! I got it just so I could cut letters for my scrapbook titles...yep that was it, the only reason. I soon found out how much more it could cut, well within the bounds of cartridges that were available and I was totally hooked. I also learned that by using Design Studio I could weld and manipulate shapes into making things that weren't available on cartridges. I spent HOURS making new designs, anything from animals to vehicles to ballerina shoes.
At the time I had two cats that I loved and adored and they loved it when I would start cutting paper. They would jump on the table and watch as the mat went in and out of the machine. I even did a layout of them and this picture because it was something I wanted to always remember.
I don't have the screenshots of all the designs I use to do to use with the baby bug but here is a screenshot I found of the ballerina slipper I made. The image was made with what was available on the George cartridge that came with the machine. I used George for almost all my first designs because it was what I had and what others had at the time.
The baby bug was a workhorse and I have always said I thought it was the moresolidly built than any of the other Cricut machines. Of course the drawback with the original Cricut was the limitation of the mat size, it was 6x12 and there were just some things, such as envelopes that couldn't be cut in one piece.
How does the original Cricut compare to the Explore? Well they are both solid machines and can handle a lot of cutting but the Explore does cut more accurately, can cut larger materials and a wider variety materials. All in all it probably isn't truly fair to compare the machines since the baby bug is the grandfather of the Cricuts and the Explore is the high tech grandchild. But when I think about it I guess if there hadn't been a Cricut all those years ago there wouldn't be an Explore now.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Sometime ago I use to post card and layout challenges and a lot of people always wanted me to post them and wanted to participate but then when the time came only a few participated and then it got to where no one participated so I stopped taking the time to make a design, make a post, etc etc etc and it looks like this might be my last card challenge. Since I did have a few people participate in the last card challenge but thought I would get the pictures of the cards up that were posted or sent to me.
My friend Avra made two cards for this challenge. I like how she used some of the Stampin Up flower punches in place of the flowers in the file. I have the same punches and they are some of my favorites. The "hello" is also from Stampin Up if I remember correctly.
On the second card Avra made she took a Christmas spin on the design and used snowflakes in place of the flowers. I really love the look she got with all the different patterned paper.
This card was done by my friend Kathy and when she posted hers I hadn't finished mine yet and I thought about not finishing it because I didn't want to post mine along with hers! I love all the colors in Kathy's card and the embellishments are just gorgeous.
For my card I used Graphic 45 Le Cirque papers. I used the flowers from the file and like how the turned out. I curled the petals a little to give them a little dimension. As I was laying the card all out after getting the base pieces done I thought "Oh dear God this thing looks like a crayon factory exploded!" Once I got done and had the large white piece for the sentiment in place I felt better about the card.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
If you are wanting to get an Explore and can be satisfied with the Explore One then ya might want to jump on the deal that Walmart is having! This was just posted today!
It's a great price for a great machine! If later on you decide you want to go wireless you can always get the bluetooth adapter separately. It does seem to come with the ablity to use pens if you want by using the accessory adapter that is included.
Saturday, November 7, 2015
I am going to admit that I really don't know what to call the card challenges and I absolutely don't know what to call the card designs that I am posting so if the title sounds weird forgive me.
This weeks challenge is a 3 flower card. And since people seem so curious as to where I am getting my designs I will tell you...I see something, trace it, make a file out of it. As for the ideas for the designs I get those from various locations and by the time I adjust tweak and save I honestly can't remember where the original idea came from so it's not that I am trying to cheat anyone, it's just that I have too many squirrels.
- Basic design of card (layer shadow optional)
- Oval frame
- 3 flowers, more if you want
- Leaves, amount of leaves are up to you
- Feel free to add other embellishments
- Feel free to add other embellishments
The oval can contain a stamped or cut out sentiment. I left it large enough so a cut out sentiment can be used.
Cards will need to be completed by midnight Thursday November 12th. If anyone would like to send a picture of their card to me to post just send it to me by EMAIL and I'll be glad to post your project.
SVG users if you are importing into Cricut Design Space you will need to select all and resize to 4.25" x 5.5" to keep ratio that is show in the picture.
Friday, November 6, 2015
So I'm a little late getting the cards posted but I've had a really busy week. It seems my life is always busy these days and I'm not really sure what I do to stay busy *okie stops and tries to think of what she is accomplishing in her busy life and can think of nothing...absolutely nothing*.
I had posted the Bee Card Challenge here and in my Facebook group Old Cricut Community to see if anyone wanted to join BFF Carmen and I for the challenge and I did have a few send me pictures or post them in the Facebook group.
I'll start off with my card. I added some Glossy Accents in the honeycomb to give it a wet look and then added some Fiskars Zings to make it look like honey dripping off the honeycomb. For the wings I did a layer of mica and then a layer of translucent drew on some veins with a Stardust pen.
I went with a simple sentiment I cut out and left the inside blank so it can be used for about any purpose.
This card was made by Avra Williams. Avra is part of the OCC group and has been a Cricut friend for years, we met on the Cricut Messageboard years ago.
I love how Avra made a "trail" behind the bees for their flight pattern.
BFF Carmen made this card and she said it was a pain to glue all the little letters and I am sure it was but it is so nice! The inside of the card says "great friends are we".
Linda Guild made two different cards for the challenge, both punny cards. She said she is counting the donut as the half circle in the design.
Linda loves minions and I bet this idea came to her as soon as she saw the card!
The last card was made by Maureen Sala. She saw the challenge here and decided to join in. She said she downloaded the SVG and opened it in her Explore just fine. Maureen also said "I usually do bright colors, so this card was a change for me. Pop dotted the bee - it turned out fantastic." I love the paterns she used and the sentiment.
I'll get a new challenge posted tomorrow!