Oct 4, 2016

Cricut Explore Air 2 - debuts on HSN Oct. 5, 2016

Cricut has decided to release another version of its popular Cricut Explore line. On Oct. 5, 2016 the Cricut Explore Air 2 will debut on the Home Shopping Network > http://hsn.com

The new model supposedly cuts and/or writes up to 2 times faster on some select materials and settings.  Other than that - the machine is the same as other Explore Air machines (the Explore ONE model only has a single carriage, and requires an adapter to place the pen or scoring tool) All Explore machines use the online software of Cricut Design Space. For owners of an iPad and/or iPhone, there is an available free app, that allows for some offline capabilities of Design Space.  There currently are efforts to develop an app for Android devices, but it is not a sure thing that the Android app will ever have an offline capability.  And no dates are being offered up as to when the Android app will be available.  Also Cricut is working on changing up Design Space to eliminate the use of the troublesome plugin of Adobe Flash to change over to HTML 5 programming.  That is a most welcome switch that I personally look forward to (no dates given for that completion, but hopefully before end of the year).

Visit Cricut.com for the latest information on the Explore line and visit your favorite Cricut themed blogs and/or Facebook groups for more info, reviews and comparisons. Many outlets will probably being offering deals on the original Explore Air over the coming months, so look for deals.  Personally I don't think having the machine cut at a faster speed on some materials, is going to be a reason for me and many others to buy the latest model, but I will be watching HSN for the demonstrations throughout the 24 hour Craft Day on Oct. 5, 2016.

I'm sticking with my ole (bought Oct 2014) Lilac Cricut Explore that I also have the Cricut Bluetooth adapter on it and have paired it with each of my 4 laptops (I collect laptops, not cutting machines)  

Note: here is  a link to the Current 2016 minimum system requirements for running Design Space for use with your Computer or iPads

2016 September Cricut Explore system requirements
Cricut Explore machines Recommended minimum system requirements

Note to help future proof your systems, it is best to Exceed the minimum requirements when considering buying a Cricut Explore machine.

See: Debbie O'Neal's videos dated Oct. 7, 2016 (she is the Admin and moderator of the Facebook's group >> Lets Learn Cricut Explore )
Cricut Explore Air 2 vs Cricut Explore Air Overview by Debbie O'Neal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JGUgLM4eQY 

Cricut Explore Air 2 vs Cricut Explore Air >> Cutting and Writing Comparison https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHosmBBrVIM

See also:
Setting Up Cricut iOS App with Cricut Explore Air 2 (for those who have an iPad or iPhone)

Happy Cutting and Crafting.

Sep 30, 2016

Not much new going on...but put up another webpage for Cricut Explore - Print n Cut folks.

It has been a year or more since I have posted anything on my Blog. I seem to spend more time on Facebook - telling friends and family, what I have been up to.

I did make a new webpage about a month or so ago. I first posted a link to it on Facebook in one of the Cricut Explore groups I belong to. It was in response to a question someone asked - that was, "Has any one Print and Cut elements from Digital Scrapbook kits with their Cricut Explore machine".  I had, a month earlier posted in a Crafting messageboard - that information about how I did print then cut elements from a free Christmas themed digital kit. So I took that information, and made it into a web page, and gave the person asking the question the link to my webpage.  Well the moderator and creator of this particular Facebook Group, had responded as well to the person asking the question, that she would be covering just that "Topic" in an upcoming class she would offer on her website (she offers both Free and Payfor classes on all things Cricut machines as well as Photoshop Elements, and a scrapbooking layout class).  I thought the link to my simple webpage that easily showed the person asking the question, that Printing and Cutting digital elements was as easy as any other Print then Cut action of graphics or clip art.  But the moderator must have felt that I was usurping her ability to answer or help people in the group, as she ended up removing my post, and as far as I know possibly the entire thread.   If anyone is interested in seeing the webpage, you are welcome to link on over to:

Recently I went out to California for a wonderful 2 week adventure - first to attend a Family Wedding in Southern Cal, and then a trip up the coast with my younger sister. We had such a great time, visiting friends and family, touring Hearst Castle, watching the waves crash on several beaches, &  taking tons of photos.  My older daughter and grand daughter also came out for the Wedding portion of the trip, and my grand daughter loved seeing So. Cal and the Pacific Ocean etc.  We live in Florida, so she is used to Beaches :) , but this was her first trip west to California. She hopes to visit again soon.

Life Is Good!!   

Might be a year till I post again. Folks who know me, know where to find me ;)  

Jul 8, 2015

Closed and Closing

Things are always changing. 

When I got my Cricut Explore in October 2014, I started visiting the online community messageboard of Cricut.  I found some good advice and tips for using my Explore. And I also posted answers to posts that I felt I could add to the conversations as my way of contributing.  On June 19, 2015 the Forums were removed and effectively closed (There are still some subforums that people are now posting new topics, but they are subforums of Cartridge themed forums and that's all) .  

I posted this same information on the messageboard and am putting it here, so even I have the links for future reference.

Please consider joining one of the new messageboards created by former members of the Cricut messageboard community, and / or join one of the many Cricut Machine themed Facebook groups, so that you can continue to stay in touch with each other. 
New messageboards that have been started as of June 2015 - note these messageboards don't limit the discussions to Cricut machines or specifically the Explore. And they aren't very active as the old community forums may have been on Cricut.com.  Most crafters prefer using Facebook.

Unoffical Cricut Messageboard
Crafting Circle
FACEBOOK GROUPS - I have included some quoted excerpts from these groups, but before joining, please read complete Group details.

Cricut Lovers Guide to Design Space
https://www.facebook.com/groups/CricutLoversGuide/ For Cricut Explore and Cricut Design Space lovers. We do welcome members who don't yet have an Explore. Paulette and I have been blogging about Cricut machines since 2007. So we're bound to be able to help you if you have a problem. And we always love seeing the projects that our members make regardless of which Cricut they used! ☺ Our main focus though is helping members with Design Space and the Explore.

This group is to learn, share and inspire each other as we use our Cricut Explore and Design Space. Feel free to post and answer questions and post your projects and share your Design Space files.

Let's Learn Cricut Explore
https://www.facebook.com/groups/LetsLearnCricutExplore/  A place for Cricut Explore fans to share news, learn about the machine and inspire others with projects using the new Cricut Explore

Let's Learn Cricut
https://www.facebook.com/groups/LetsLearnCricut/ Let's chat about Cricut here! Post and share your creations, questions and Cricut love. From Explore and Design Space to Original Cricut and cartridges, all are welcome! I love my Cricuts and want to share that with you.
Explore and Design Space help while still celebrating Cricut Craft Room!

Cricut Newbies and Pros
We are a welcoming group with emphasis on learning how to use our machines to create beautiful things! We encourage questions and love to share. We love to learn new things, too!

I Luv My Cricut
A place to learn how to use your Cricut products, ask for help with your Cricut products, share Cricut projects and tell others how much you LUV your Cricut.
Note that any discussions about using 3rd party software to cut designs with older machines will be removed.

I Luv My Cricut > Admins YouTube channels
Karin's YouTube channel is at https://www.youtube.com/user/homevidka
Lorrie's YouTube channel is at https://www.youtube.com/user/LONU2008
Melody's YouTube channel is at https://www.youtube.com/user/MelodyLane815

Cutter Software
https://www.facebook.com/groups/CutterSoftware/ The purpose of this friendly group is to provide free support for software that is used with electronic cutters, including but not limited to Make The Cut, Sure Cuts A Lot, Cricut Design Space, Pazzles InVue, Pazzles Pro, Funtime, Silhouette Studio, Funtime, Inkscape, Illustrator, Wishblade, Robomaster, etc.

Cricut the Official page, this is NOT a Group, but more a Cricut news and announcements, and promotions page, you can Like the page, but you don't need to Join it.
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialCricut?fref=ts Welcome to the official fan page of Cricut. Get ready to go from inspiration to creation in just a few clicks! www.Cricut.com
Sign up if not already to Cricut's Mailing list

If you are just considering purchasing an Explore, please note that you will need to use an ONLINE ONLY Software program "Cricut Design Space" and your computer and internet connection should meet or exceed the system requirements suggested by Cricut.
Exceeding the requirements is better, than meeting the minimum.  Design Space is a computer system resource hog, and to have the best user experience using the many features of the program requires a computer processor that is fast, a system that is always up to date and a very fast and reliable internet connection.  
current as of Feb 2015 system requirements

See TroyTube >  Troy Young's youtube channel for some good videos on the best computer specs to purchase to work with Design Space.  (published Dec 2015)

other Helpful videos
Cricut Explore Newbies > Mistakes & Advice

Troy's Definitive Guide to Adobe Flash Plugin Errors
Troy's channel has several other helpful videos - be sure to Subscribe

For Cricut Explore owners

Update Jan 2016: check out Melody Lane's Nov. 2015 youtube video - about all things Design Space.

The Complete Guide to Cricut Design Space by Melody Lane
5 things to do while you wait for your new Cricut Explore to arrive
by Kay Hall - Clever Someday blog - Dec. 2015 post
Explore online user manual by Cricut
Cricut Design Space user manual
Cricut Cartridge handbooks
Online learning > payfor classes by Cara Miller http://www.caramiller.com
Lots of YouTube channels to subscribe to>
Stacey Williams, Debbie ONeal, Troy Young, Kens Kreations, Melody Lane, Crafts by Two, Sissi's Scrapbooking, and more
Also see the Support pages and information on Cricut.com
 Cricut Craft Room Info (Cricut Craft Room is used by those who own any Cricut machines made prior to the Cricut Explore which was introduced in February 2014) > http://us.cricut.com/home/craftroom
The other news 
Aimee Asher.com is CLOSING for good on July 31, 2015.  The owner of Aimee Asher, will be enjoying her retirement.  Some artists & designers will still be selling their art and/or printables on other sites.  Laurie Furnell & Tammy DeYoung each have Etsy stores.   

Apr 17, 2015

My Glory and other stuff

My daughter was visiting recently, and she saw some of the spring cards I had been making using my computer software (MS Digital Image) and cutting out the card fronts and embellishments with my Cricut Explore machine.  She said I needed to place them out on display so I could appreciate "My Glory".  That is a term she used often when the grandkids made things, she'd say to them "It's your Glory" :)  .  So I thought I'd post some of my glory here on my blog, which doesn't see much action or posts during the year. I am using these photos as an excuse to "post something"!  

Image credits: the Books with teacup on top by Rebecca Carter, and all the images with Bunnies (except for the 2 bunnies with the watering can), or Bear, and the Cat with the beehive, those also are by Rebecca Carter from collections once upon a time sold at pccrafter. Those collections are no longer available online for sale.  The 2 bunnies with the watering can, is by the late Sandi Gore Evans, from a collection that was once sold at daisiecompany.com (but is no longer available for sale online). The violets in a pot card is artwork by Cathi Freund, that was also once upon a time sold at daisiecompany.com, but is no longer available for sale. 

 I have such a huge collection of wonderful clip art that I have been buying over the past 15+ years, and now with the Cricut Explore, and its Print then Cut feature, I have really begun to re-visit the many folders full of wonderful images, that now I can easily "cut" with the Cricut Explore and bypass scissors.  For some of these card fronts, I used my photo/graphic editing programs to remove a specific image from a background, so that I could use it as a standalone image to apply to the card front with pop-dots and provide a 3d effect on the card front. And some images were standalone in the collections, and so I didn't have to prepare them.  Once I have my 5x7 or 5x5 card front created and or got my standalone image prepared - I just upload those images to the online program that Explore owners must use > Cricut Design Space, and then size them for printing out on my printer, and then place the printed images on the cutting mat of the Cricut Explore, and let it "cut it all out".  Then I apply the card front to a blank card, and next I put the glue-dots on and place on top of the card front. ( I made a webpage that shows a bit about how I put these cards together > see: http://sippingtea.com/tuts/cardscutwithcricutexplore.html  ) 
taaa-daaa!  Here is My Glory!

And some other stuff, I've been up to lately, these are photos are of a snowy egret out back of my home on a branch in the wee pond...He/She is preening & scratching and the wind caught its head feathers, that just made me smile as I took the photos.

And then this past weekend I went to The Tilted Tea Cup in Brooksville, FL, with my daughter and granddaughter, along with 2 of my daughters friends. It was such a relaxing and an enjoyable afternoon. The food was delicious and we visited a couple of Brooksville shops before returning home.  Great Day, Wonderful Company.

That's All Folks!