A craft blog about paper craft, sewing, knitting and baking. I've always loved making things but started card making in 2012 after I found I could make my own wedding invites how I wanted them and for a fraction of the cost, plus it was fun to do!
I love stamps, digistamps, die-cutting, colouring in and just getting lost in my own world while I craft. In 2013 I became a Spectrum Noir Accredited Colorist.
I hope you enjoy my reviews and blog posts.
I've now had my Cricut Explore for 2 months nearly and have had a chance to use a number of functions so I thought I'd post an updated review, especially given the fact Cricut have now announced a new Cricut Explore (although from what I've seen it just makes it wireless without needed a wireless adaptor, so not much difference.)
Firstly I have actually used this Cricut more than I used my Cricut Mini as the cuts are far superior. Even though it's bigger, I like the fact I can make it wireless so I've got more space on my desk when cutting.
I had a few issues when I first got it due to the mat being bent but having contacted Provocraft they kindly sent me out a replacement (actually 2 new mats!) after I gave them proof of purchase and my machine serial number. Brilliant customer service!
I also ordered the heavy duty and lighter mats along with a scoring tool from a shop on eBay but after waiting 2 weeks it never turned up so they kindly sent out a replacement but had no more scoring tools (these seem to be hard to get hold of) but I managed to get one via Amazon.
I've not really read any guides or instructions for the Cricut Explore and here are a few things I have learnt while using it:
- When cutting Crafters Companion Centura Pearl card it won't cut cleanly on the cardstock or cardstock+ setting however on the glitter cardstock setting it does it perfectly as it does a double cut (ie it cuts once then goes over again)
- For print and cut items there is a maximum size for cutting depending on the web browser you're using. I found this out as I printed Donald Ducks boat out for a card so it was around A5 size, it printed fine, I put it in the Cricut and it scanned the lines then said it was finished and didn't cut anything out! On searching I found this http://content.provocraft.com/b/pdfs/explore_manual/10thingstoknow.pdf
- When adding text there is a filter to show only 'handwriting' styles of text so that when using a pen in your Cricut it won't just do an outline. There is a little triangle at the top of the text box and you can choose 'has a writing style' and then all the fonts which have an option to just do a line style font will show (this blog has a great section on it http://www.withglitteringeyes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/alternative-handwriting-fonts-for.html)
I'm still learning new things while using the Cricut and managed to cut a cardblank, add in text on the front and back, then I crafted as normal and it gave a brilliant result.
I also used the writing font to address an envelope and it looked so cool although I found that it didn't finish off an 'O' and instead left it like a 'C' which was odd so I had to write it in myself.
Talking of the pens, I have tried a few pens out now as I didn't particularly like the Cricut pen which came with the machine as you could see where the pen started and finished each letter. I also tried Crayola fine line pens which worked a bit better than the Cricut pen (and were only £2.50 for 10)
However the best pens I've used so far have been Pilot V5 Needlepoint Liquid Ink Rollerball Pens. I brought 3 for £4.50 on Amazon and they fit perfectly and write lovely (see the heart card earlier in this post for an example). Although colours are limited in these I don't find a need for any other colours. It might be nice to have a white, silver or gold maybe to write on black card, but not necessary really. I used the pens on Centura Pearl and was wary that the ink may be wet, but it dried almost instantly (I would say instantly actually but I didn't touch it until it came out the machine)
I'm looking forward to cutting some fabric at some point in it and will post the results on here. I'm so glad I brought this, you certainly get what you pay for! I've got rid of my Big Shot and all my dies now as this does an amazing job and with the Cricut subscription I have access to so many images and cuts PLUS I can add in my own images to cut, the possibilities are endless.