cricut expression - review (part 2)

Today I'll start with another small disclaimer. As I mentioned yesterday, I don't do any scrapbooking. I think it's also important to mention that I don't own any other cutting machines. So, I can't tell you if this particular machine is better than any other. So far, I've only used my very high-tech Xacto blade for my work.

The projects (very simple ones):
- This purse/bag was so easy to make. The Cricut did all the cutting and I just scored and glued. Little C and I made and decorated a round version which I forgot to photograph. These would make very cute party favors.

- I told you that the hang tags were fun. This was a quick banner I made with the Provocraft textured cardstock. The longest part of the project was tying the tags evenly spaced out.

- A butterfly that took me a couple of minutes to make turns a fun colorful pencil into something a bit more special.

- This is a shadow box frame that I've added to little C's room. The raspberry colored C is cut using the same dimensions as the white C but with one difference. It was cut out by using the shadow option I mentioned yesterday—very handy. The Cs and the bottom left flower are raised.

- So far, this paper lamp is my favorite project. I can see myself making this over and over again with different motifs, letter and/or numbers. I used the initials of our first names, middle names and last name all combined. It's 12" tall and 4.5" wide. I can add this to my growing list of paper lamp ideas.

White-on-white always makes an appearance in my work doesn't it? I can't help it.

My only concerns with the Cricut are:
  1. The upfront pricetag for the machine and each of the cartridges. My husband suggested that I purchase the previous model (several times) and I simply couldn't bring myself to go for it. Having said all that, I realize that in the long run the Cricut may actually be cheaper than buying all the scrapbooking supplies as individual pieces. It's not something I'm well versed in, so someone please correct me if I'm wrong. For a non-scrapbooking person such as myself the price does seem hefty.
  2. This may be a given but I'll say it anyway. I don't like being limited to cutting what's on the cartridges. I have many more ideas for 3D projects (such as my gift boxes) but I'm always limited by the handmade aspect of what I do. If Provocraft would be willing to make custom cartridges with images I supplied them, that would be incredible. The logistics and costs of making a program like that available to any crafter are probably insane but wouldn't that be fabulous?
  3. Not related to the machine directly - As a crafter that is concerned with being more 'green', one of my first thoughts is related to the scraps and scraps of paper that I now have after making these projects. This isn't to say, that I don't have scraps when I cut paper by hand, but these projects came about at a fast pace so the piles around me got me really thinking. I have a scrap drawer that gets a lot of use and some projects that these are all destined for. I wonder what everyone else does with their scraps.
  4. Speaking of being green. What will happen to the machines that get discarded once a crafter decides to upgrade to this new one?
Regardless of how this Cricut is used, it certainly is a great tool. It also is much, much cheaper than a laser cutting machine I looked into purchasing at one point. I'm really looking forward to exploring what else I can come up with. I know I've only scratched the surface. I also know that we will be able to use it for many projects such as: school projects, parties and celebrations, stationery, wall art and paper lamps. I'm specially looking forward to combining the machine cut pieces with the ones I create by hand. That's going to be exciting. To recap the good points:
  1. Very easy to use
  2. Fast! Saves a ton of time.
  3. Limitless possibilities within the cartridge options.
  4. Educational. My little C was reviewing her alphabet in a fun way. I can see why teachers would love the Cricut.
  5. The Cricut helped us spend some quality crafty time with the kids. Good music + Cricut = fun times.
  6. Although I did state the price as a concern, I can also see how it saves money in the long run. I know it's all contradictory. I guess it depends on how you look at it. If the Cricut isn't in your budget, why not purchase it as a group (among sisters/friends)?
  7. Definitely fun to use.
For those of you that would like to know - The cartridges we used were: Simply Sweet, Jubilee, Plantin Schoolbook, Home D├ęcor Solutions and Stand and Salute. Aside from the white and gray paper, the sheets I used are all sold by Provocraft—see options here and here. I also received rolls of vinyl which I haven't had a chance to get to. When I make something with them I'll definitely post it here.

Once again, thank you to Provocraft and Rachael/Todays Mama for the opportunity of participating in this review. Remember to participate in the giveaway and good luck with the opportunity of winning a cruise.

And... thank you for reading these super long couple of posts after my days of absence. Summer is just moving slowly around here. It's probably this insane heat!

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