I am writing this post in complete and total shock that it has been SO long since I have posted anything on this blog. I can't even begin to believe that it's almost September already!
Well, I want to start off by saying Thank YOU to everyone who has still left some comments and sent such sweet e-mails to us all along. It's been a very crazy year to say the least and it appears that it's going to get crazier still... but... there will be crafting.
I have still been making lots of things, but many of them have revolved around work related events and such and with the position I hold at the company I work for, I don't think that it's really safe in today's world to post such things in a public blog. I work very hard and do a really good job for the company, but one wrong word and things can go terribly bad.
We have been collecting for the most part and there have been lots of problems in the craft room that kept things from getting done as well. I must say, I love HSN for offering the wonderful extended warrantees when selling things during the launches. We are a sucker for a good latest and greatest on HSN and we purchased very wisely. So.... for the latest dirt...
I have been preaching and preaching that I didn't need another cutting machine because the house was full of Cricut machines. Well... I have completely changed my tune now. My good old Expression is still just as wonderful as the first day she joined the family and I still love my Gypsy, but that's pretty much it. I had the E2 anniversary edition which died 4 times while under the Provocraft Warrantee and then... not too long ago, it died again with one of those terrible updates. My Imagine machine (replaced 5 times until I got one that worked right) was just wonderful... until it wasn't. The same update caused something wrong with the calibration and when I would print and cut, it would cut the first top left piece beautifully and by the time it reached the bottom of the mat, the blade would completely bypass the mat and start cutting into the part under the mat on the machine. God is good. We purchased extended plans on both machines and since PC no longer makes either of them, they refunded the full purchase price... Which... by the way... we all know was WAY too much to begin with. So, with all of the refunds and selling my entire imagine cartridge collection on e-bay, it was time to start finding some new toys and some new addictions.
We really started regretting calling this blog "Cricut Couple", but we still have a lot of fun content and since the newer machines were so bad, most of what we shared on this blog can be made with the original baby bug or the original expression machines... which we still are a fan of. With the crazy amount of money we spent on cartridges, there will always be an expression machine in the house as long as the Gypsy holds up. Fortunately, I wised up and have decided to never buy another cartridge and will never use anything related to cricut.com again as you have to remove everything firewall and virus related from your computer to get any of it to work anyway. Hee! Hee! Sorry Provocraft, but we've moved on to companies who tell the truth and continue to support their very expensive products.
So... enough of the negative talk. Time for the fun stuff. After visiting with a couple of friends and e-mailing around some questions (Thanks to all for the wonderful advice) we have done some shopping and are proud to say that we are completely addicted to the Silhouette Cameo! Just in case, we ordered it from HSN with the three year warrantee. Hee! Hee! Anyway, Tanya!!! You are SO right! This thing cuts like a DREAM! We are really having lots of fun with it. No longer are we stalking the internet for Cricut Cartridge deals or stalking HSN for the product launches (unless it's Anna Griffin). We are checking out all kinds of fun new things.
If you haven't invested in a Silhouette, it's really amazing, but there are a few things that I did in my learning process that may help. One very important thing that Cricut did really well is the booklets and how they organized the content. With that said, I have some tips coming up that I learned with the Silhouette. You may not want to make the investment that I did, but it's good information... just the same. With the Cricut machines and cartridges, everything stays together pretty compactly and you can stay on top of things a little easier as long as you are satisfied with the confines of only cricut content. It also really bothered me when I saw all of the lawsuits that were filed against companies that were providing advanced users with the abilities they wanted out of their cutting machines when provocraft wouldn't listen... but that's really between them. With the Silhouette, you really need to have some organization skills or tools to help in keeping things under control. There is a whole WORLD of goodies out there you can cut and many are free too, but the more you find free or purchase, the more you have to organize. Hee! Hee! With cricut, you just buy the cartridge.
With all of the mad money that came from the Ashes of old Cricuts, not only did we invest in the Silhouette, but we also invested in an iPad. I wanted one for a really long time anyway and it really helps with work, but having iBooks is a big help! We are fortunate to have a newish and really fast laptop to use with the Silhouette software as well.
The shopping takes a while as you find things and want to buy things. Once you buy them, you have to have the time to download them, seperate them, organize them and then find them later in order to be able to cut them. When I shop, I download my files and create two folders with the purchase date. One folder is for the cut files and one is for the pdf file of the instructions for the cut file. I then in the cut files folder, title whatever I purchased as some are collections with many pieces. I put all of the cut files in these subfolders and then all of the booklets in the other. Once I have all of that done, I open the Silhouette Studio Software and move them into the library making folders and matching things up. Once I have all of that done, I put all of the pdfs into the iTunes library and sync my iPad and then I have all of the booklets organized in the iBooks app! It's wonderful. If this doesn't make any sense, check out our newest obsession further on and it will.
So... In this quest, we have a brand new addiction and that's because of a very special couple with an amazing site called www.svgcuts.com. They have, not only the most amazing files to purchase, but they add something new "and free" every week! With what I was talking about in the organization, they have actually put together the most amazing videos that you can watch... just to help! Their advice is spot on and really necessary when you are going from a limited content machine to one that doesn't limit you at all. In addition to just the amazing advice and help, everything that they make comes with a video tutorial on how to put it together!!! Remember all of the promises made on the Cricut Circle? All of the money we all lost on that one? Well, Mary and Leo are providing everything we craved in the circle, but they are providing it all for free and their file prices are amazing!
So... I am going to be bragging a lot on SVGcuts.com in the near future as I am completely addicted, stalking their blog on the weekends to see sneak peaks of the next kit and building my Silhouette and iBooks library with all of their amazing creations.'
So... One final thing that amazes me with our craft room now. I can purchase a file and not have to wait on it to come in the mail, I can organize it fairly quickly now with having the iPad, I can plug my laptop into the Silhouette and find the cut files that I need, I can sit the iPad next to the laptop and roll through the booklets that come with the cut files so that I now what I need to setup on the mats and cut everything, and then I can carry all of the cut pieces and my iPad over to the assembly area, fire up one of Mary's YouTube Tutorial Videos and just have SO MUCH FUN!!! Wanna see what I tried recently?
They have a file collection that just came out. It's called the Back to the Books SVG Kit and it has this really cool shoe!
If you haven't seen anything like this before, check out the THIS PAGE to see the entire kit, an amazing video trailer and the entire tutorial video on how to put it together. They are so much fun.
I really didn't have a reason to make this cute shoe... except that I wanted to. Hee! Hee! I have more to share, but I just wanted to say Hi! Miss Ya'll! and let you know where we've been for so long. I hope everyone is doing well and hope to get some time soon to start visiting again.
BTW... I am no longer a consultant with CTMH, but I still love their products and use them all the time. In fact, this shoe was made using paper from their Dotty for You collection. If you need anything from CTMH, Miss Sheila over at She's A Sassy Lady is still active and has links to her store on her blog, so hop over if you are looking for anything out of the fall/winter 2013 book. I haven't looked really close yet, but I need to. I have to get some re-inkers. Hee! Hee!