Cricut Explore Air adventure
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How I decided on the Cricut
I had heard of Cricut, I had seen the machines in the craft stores and never thought I would, one day, want to own one. Okay, want perhaps is a bit of a mild word…I really, really, wanted it!
But I am getting a little ahead of myself.
Years ago, when I first knew of Cricut’s existence I didn’t pay it much attention. I wasn’t into crafting back then ( I was big into exercising a LOT) so the Cricut was just something I was aware of. I knew people who wanted one because you could do all kinds of things with it. Again, I wasn’t interested enough to care to research it.
Well, when life handed me my lemons ( i. e. Non obstructive heart disease), I discovered crafting and all the joy it gave me. I was reasearching all kinds of different crafts I might be interested in. I started off with hair accessories, then branched off into loom knitting.
And then the electronic cutting machines came into my radar.
I am one of those people who tend to research extensively before buying an expensive tool. And did I ever research?! I spent hours alternating between poring over blog posts comparing different machines and watching YouTube videos of how to operate those machines.
The final decision was between the Cricut Explore Air and the Cameo. You can guess which one I decided to go with …
I took a lot into consideration when I decided on the Cricut. This is not a comparison post so I won’t go in into that.
There’s is a good comparison post at Whipperberry
This is just my experience with the Cricut.
Getting the Cricut out of the box
I was so excited when the box arrived on my porch! My daughter made me promise to wait for her so we could open it together. I had to wait for her to get home from school.
They weren’t lying when they put that on the box! 🙂 It was super easy.
The machine looked so shiny and new ( probably because it was haha). I love the gold band at the bottom and the gold accents ( my Cricut Explore Air was the Gold edition). I bought the Cricut Explore Air Gold with the ultimate accessories bundle and I bought it directly from Cricut. Right now they are offering free shipping on all US orders over $50, code JUNESHIP, expires June 30th. Follow this link to see all the great products they have. (affiliate link)
Accessories that came with the machine
- Standard grip mat
- A set of three mats- light, standard and strong grip.
- Standart set of tools- scissors, weeding tool, tweezers, scraper and spatula.
- Candy colors pen set
- Scoring stylus
- Deep cut blade and housing
- Window cling material
The Cricut looked awesome but now came the ultimate test: would I be able to work with it?
Setting it up.
The Cricut comes with very straightforward instructions for setting up and connecting it to your computer and mobile devices. I used the USB cable to connect to my laptop.
***You will need to have a Cricut design space account setup ( I had already set that up before buying the machine so I could familiarize myself with Design space.) You can play around with Design space without owning a machine.
I followed the start up instructions and was ready to go within a few minutes.
I connected my iPad via Bluetooth later. Note- when it asks for the Bluetooth password, enter the numbers on the instruction paper and not on the bottom of the device ( in my case the password on the instruction paper was 0000). It took me a while to figure that out. I have since worked from my iPad via Bluetooth and never had any connection issues.
Inside the machine and controls
NCricut has a very sleek look and when closed, it looks rather compact. The Open button opens up the machine and you can see where the blade is ( came preinstalled) and the housing for the stylus or pens.
The two compartments you see on the bottom are handy storage areas- the small one of the left is to store an extra blade and the one on the right is for the tools. Very very useful!
Cricut comes with materials for a card that you can make right after you connect it to your device. You do this through Design space – it guides you and it is virtually fool- proof. Also, the handy dial on the top right of the Cricut lets you change the cutting material ( there is a custom option which you can further narrow in Design space before a cut).
I snapped this pic right after the Cricut had written “Hello” on the cardstock .
This is the final product- – a very simple, yet elegant greeting card. It took me only a few minutes to complete it.
What I love about the Cricut Air:
- Easy to use straight out of the box!
- User friendly design software – Design space is very to use, especially for someone’s who has never used design software (ME!) I can now create designs from scratch. It’s a relatively small learning curve.
- The machine cuts with precision.
- Cutting material dial – I love that it’s so easy to change the material being cut. The custom material option requires a few more seconds in design space.
- I love the storage compartments.
- Design space has an app for iOS (I have it on both my iPhone and iPad) and a Beta app for android, which means you can design on the go! The app has worked beautifully for me!
I think I used the word “easy” a lot! And I have to say that’s one of the main reasons I love Cricut:
It was easy to set up, to use and easy to learn to design for it.
Tell me what you think about Cricut and share your stories of your first Cricut experiences.
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