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Cricut Explore - My first impression.


So, on Tuesday my Explore arrived.  I bought it through Amazon (oh how I love Prime and 2 day shipping)!  It arrived exactly 5 minutes before I was leaving for a doctors appointment which bummed me out.  I didn't even get to open the box.

After the doctors, hubby and I were having lunch and I broke the news to him.  "Babe? Ya know how I asked you if I could drop 300 bucks on something no questions asked and you replied sure?"  He says "uh.... what did you do?"  Me:  I uh, bought the cricut explore.  He sat there and shook his head.  "You said you'd never give them another dime"  you are correct fine sir, I did say that.  BUT, I said "I will never spend a dime of YOUR hard earned money on them, I work now, so I spent mine"  I won't tell you the conversation that led to LOL.  We share an account but I somehow justified it in my head.  He's a good man, he supports whatever I do and was just kidding.  But seriously, I couldn't spend it back when it was just him working. He comes home dead tired and sore every day and I would have felt horribly guilty.

Ok enough of that dribble, so on to the explore.  Later that evening I finally got a chance to take it out of the box.  It was VERY well packaged.  I was impressed.  I put it on the desk and wondered where I should set it up.  You guys, my craft area is a disaster.  It really needs organized and re thought out - but any of you following me know that it's an annual thing with me.   Anyway I plopped it right in the middle of the desk pushing my sewing machine to the side.

Husband jumps in shower.  I set up the machine, (easy peasy) and update the firmware.  I was already rooting around the Design Space so it logged me right on and I was ready to try it out.  I did the card below:

This is one of the 50 'free' projects that you get.  There is a video on how to do it, but if you've used cricut you really don't need to watch it.  The black card stock, greenish mat and the silver pen all come with your machine.  I loaded the project from the design room, it immediately told me how many mats I needed (1 in this case) and had me load the pen.  Loaded the mat and away it went.  It was super fast and wow it was super quiet.  I unloaded the mat, closed out of the program and put my laptop away.  Folded the card and was looking at it when hubster came out of the bathroom.  I proudly held it up and said "Look what I did in the 15 minutes you were in the shower!"  I was impressed. Very impressed.

Things I'm not impressed with at this point but may change after I really get to play with it for awhile:

  1. Projects not being included in the subscription service.  Some are 99 cents, others I saw at 10.00,  Sometimes you want to just do something quickly and I think the prices are a tad high on a one time projects.
  2. The Mat was bent. (you can see it at the corner of the card on the right side)  I sat something heavy on it all night and the bend is still there.
  3. You get an email giving you 25% off at the Cricut Store on any purchase.  I filled up the cart with tons of things, added the code and got an error "Doesn't apply with these purchases"  Annoying but not really a deal breaker.
Things I AM impressed with so far:

  1. The speed, the quietness and the precision.
  2. The overall design is sleek and handsome
  3. The little compartments for tools
  4. All of my cartridges were already there under "My Sets" - I didn't have to link any of them!
  5. Came with a few materials to get you started.
It comes with a bag, albeit a little cheesy and not really something I'd trust to travel with.  I think it would be helpful to come with at least a hook to get a newbie started but I was able to slightly bend the mat and take off the card. I needed my spatula to take the bits off tho.

I'm looking forward to trying out my SVG's and there are a few questions I have and will have to root around for the answers when I have time.

  1. Can we share projects with friends?  
  2. How does the Ipad app work?  Can I design on the go and hook it up later?

Overall I think Cricut is really stepping up their game.  Am I upset about the gypsy not being supported? No, time moves on and so does technology - I never used mine except to store my cartridges.  Am I upset that my Imagine is just a shelf I sit my tv on in the craft room?  No, I got that for 40 bucks at a Walmart.  

What am I going to do with my Expression?  Keep it, I love that thing.  
Cameo? Keeping it.... for now.  
Pazzles?  Getting rid of it the first chance I get.

Am I full on Team Cricut now?  No.  Will I be?  Probably.

Hugs and Happiness!


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