The Cricut Explore ~ Life Changer for Crafting!

I saved for months to buy a Cricut Explore. The Explore is the latest/greatest die cutting machine from Provocraft. I wanted it even before I knew all of the capabilities it had for crafting.

Did you know the Explore can write? It has two areas for use — one is for the cutting blade, and the other is for a marker or pen. It can even write your own handwriting!

Did you know you can upload pictures from the internet and convert them into cuttable files? With the Design Space feature (online access) you can upload SVG files — virtually any picture from the internet — and convert it into a cuttable image?

Upload a close up of your child’s face, and convert it into an SVG. Upload it into Design Space, and you can print then cut a picture of your child!

Print then cut is wonderful! Upload any picture into Design Space. Print it, then place the printed page on a Cricut mat. Load it into the Cricut Explore, and it will cut precisely around the edges! NO MORE HAND TRIMMING WITH SCISSORS!

Went to Disneyland but forgot to get a picture of the sign? No problem! Find a picture off the internet, upload it into Design Space. Print it, then cut it, and you have a custom die cut!

Want to cut chipboard? You CAN do that with the Cricut Explore! Want to duct duct tape? You CAN do that with the Cricut Explore! Want to cut fabric? You CAN do that with the Cricut Explore!

Want to see a video overview of the Cricut Explore?

I’m not exaggerating when I say Cricut has changed the way I scrapbook and create paper crafts. I make banners for birthday parties, treat boxes, centerpieces, adorable custom wreaths for my front door, scrapbook pages, die cuts, my own t-shirts with heat transfer vinyl, and so much more.

Here’s a link so that you can get your very own Cricut Explore!


Cheat sheet for embossing and die cutting machines

I was recently the very lucky winner of a Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 electric embossing and die cutting machine. I’ve included the link to buy this fabulous machine on Amazon. It normally retails for $199, and a price of $172.78 with Amazon Prime shipping is a great deal. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m all about Provocraft and Cricut products, but I’ve really come to love my Vagabond 2.

It’s electric and wonderful for crafters who don’t want to crank an embossing machine handle or someone (like me) who has arthritis and can’t crank very much without having pain. It has a very easy learning curve, but being that I’m relatively new to embossing and die cutting outside of a Cricut machine, I have been having a very difficult time figuring out how to ‘sandwich’ my embossing folders and metal dies.

This morning, I was very excited to find a cheat sheet for the Vagabond (1 and 2) die cutting machine, and I’m going to share it with you! I’m attaching this reference chart for you here. It’s a ‘cheat sheet’ from Die Cutting for Paper Crafters magazine (link below) to help you figure out the plates to use for what you’re trying to accomplish. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me.

Have a fabulous weekend & happy crafting!