Good Morning, and Happy St. Patrick's Day to ya!
I have owned the Cricut Expression Electronic cutter for a long time and I know my machine inside and out. I believe I have maximized its potential in every way I can think of. I hesitated for years after its release to purchase, because I DISLIKE cartridges. I didn't want to be limited like that, and the cartridges were/still are SO expensive and I would only use one or two items from each cartridge. Eventually I purchased my Expression like new on Craig's list only after learning about and purchasing the Sure-Cuts-Alot-2 software. (before the whole mess began with provo-craft) Perfect! A way out of depending on cartridges!
This week, I stumbled onto the Cricut Explore, and again, it is not new, its been around for a while. I tried out and determined I disliked the Cricut Craftroom software, and thought that this new line of cutters worked with something similar. In my mind, they most likely changed the name to Design Space. (money trap - so I thought)
What intrigued me was the Print & Cut feature that came along with it. I thought that would be really handy with my digital stamp collection I have been building slowly over the years. Instead of investing in all the die cuts that match all the stamps, I could use my Cricut to cut them out. How cool would that be? (I DETEST fussy cutting) Bingo! What a great solution! And I don't have to PAY to use the software with my own images! (Thank you cricut for getting on board!)
So, like before, I searched Craig's list to see what I could find. I found a BRAND NEW Explore being sold for significantly less than the stores. I got so excited, ran to Tampa and scooped it! -it was purple too- (ahhh...heart melting) It was meant to be.
OK, onto today's creations. I saw these two cards: CARD #1 and CARD #2.
And using my new purchase! Here are my creations from these inspiration.
Card #1 - I used distress inks to SMOOSH and SMOOSH and SMOOSH ink onto the background. I used my heat gun in between to get the look I wanted. The plants I grabbed from my Insightful Meadows from Unity stamps set. and the sentiment was I think from Hero arts. I simply outlined it in black pen.
Card#2 - I loved the look I got when I attempted the faux mother-of-pearl technique on this card. I created a bigger panel with more distress inks and blended them heavily. Then cut them apart with my Simon Says stitched squares dies. and glued them to a white piece of cardstock and attached the Thanks.
The words "Thanks" were cut using my Explore! I cut THANKS several times, and layered & glued them together. I don't have a Thanks die cut. The Explore is very easy and fast. I think the design space is very limited compared to SCAL2, but is provides beginners with simple tools. I think I will continue to use SCAL2 and then import my SVG's into Cricut Design Space. Maybe with that said, I could/should upgrade to SCAL4?! There is a thought!