Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tools and Accessories for the Cricut

So, you have a Cricut®, or you are considering buying, and you have some questions.  One of those may be "What tools and accessories do I need to use a Cricut®, and how much will they cost?"

As a long time user and now paid Blogger for Cricut®, I can tell you that the Cricut® line of Die Cutting units requires very few tools to work with them.  You do need supplies regarding material that you want to cut, or write and draw on!  Supplies needed are  Paper, Vinyl, Iron-on, Fabric, and Others.The choices are almost endless and depend on what you want to make.

The other thing you need is a Mat.  The kind that Cricut® makes is sized correctly for its machines, has a sticky surface to grip the medium, and has markings to help you align your projects and that the device can read for the proper blade and cut placement. These mats do lose some stickiness after many many uses, and I recommend buying replacements.  How many mats you will need during the lifetime of your machine entirely depends on how much you use it.  Replacement mats are available through the Cricut® online shop, and many retailers.

There are three different types of mats available in sets and individually.  The StandardGrip™ Mats (Green) are available in 12 x 12, 12 x 24 suitable for cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, washi, and window cling.  The LightGrip Mat™ (Blue) is suitable for light cardstock, office paper, and vellums.  It is available in 12 x 12.  Finally, there is the StrongGrip™(Lilac) Mat available in 12 x 12, and recommended for fabrics (with backing),  thick cardstock, glitter cardstock, and poster board.

The tools I recommend to make working with Cricut® enjoyable are available in the Cricut® Essential Tool Set which has everything you need including other tools sold especially for the Cricut® user in mind.

Within the  Cricut® Essential Tool Set, you get

* Tweezers to lift and secure delicate materials
* Weeder to remove tiny negative cuts
* Micro-tip scissors with protective blade cover
* Spatula to lift cuts from the mat
* Scraper to burnish materials and to clean all cutting mats
* Scoring stylus to add fold lines to cards
* High-quality trimmer for materials up to 12 inches wide
* Replacement blade for trimmer

These tools, although not necessary, enhance your experience of working with the Cricut®.  I have included **affiliate links to the Cricut® online shop.  Note these tools are also available at many retail locations too.

I hope that this post has given you some useful information about working and playing with Cricut®s.  Thank you for stopping by, and stay crafty.

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Why Invest in the Cricut® Electronic Die Cutting Machine

***I am a paid Blogger for Cricut®.***
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My love of crafting, making stuff, and DIY'ing, is just part of who I am.  Along with that comes the pleasure of buying and collecting tools and supplies.  I get great joy and satisfaction from creating with my hands the ideas I imagine in my mind and making stuff that I am inspired by other makers. It is only natural that I have a keen interest in what is available out there in the marketplace that will enhance and help develop my ideas!

That passion eventually led me down the path of working and being paid as a Maker (Artist, Designer, Professional Crafter, etc.), it was a long and winding road with many bumps along the way, and there were more times and reasons for me to have just stopped and turned around.  None the less I am where I am!

Companies may pay me to write about their products, and contribute to their promotion, but I only do so honestly.  So, all of this to say that I purchased my first Cricut® way back when I was a young(er) stay at home mom, with no intention or idea that I could possibly work for the same company 15 years later! Thus, whenever someone asks me how they could possibly justify making a similar investment, I suggest asking themselves a few questions.

The questions I recommend asking yourself before buying a Cricut®, or just about anything else really, are the following.

1.  Do you like, or love to make things?
2.  Have you ever tried using an electronic die cutting machine? Did you enjoy it?
3.  What would you use the unit for? Would you use it often?  (often is subjective)
4.  Are you considering starting a business?
5.  Are you a shopaholic who may express remorse after buying one?

My opinion is that except for number five, and four if you answered yes to most of the other questions, or even just one of the first through fourth, then yes you should consider making that purchase! By the way, you don't have to say yes to number four to qualify! You may have no intention of making money from your crafting, it wasn't mine!  I scraped and scraped to buy my Cricut ®because I wanted it so badly, and I know myself.  I knew then how much I NEED to make things all the time, and I suspected that I would like using this machine.  I was wrong.  I LOVED it!
So much so that I even list my Cricuts® as one of the "7 Important Things " in a YouTube video:

Owning the Cricut® expanded my world of inspiration.  Ok, my head was already filled with project ideas it's not like I needed more!  But let me tell you, I began to think of more ways of making anything!  To me, the possibilities were endless.  Fast forward to today, and I am amazed at how much this little machine has developed and what its capabilities are now with the new generation of Cricuts®.

Now, if you are still unsure of buying wait!  Learn more about the Cricut® and what it can do, try one out.  If you attend crops or crafting events, see if you can try out someone else's, check in the local scrapbook or other stores if you can use their equipment (particularly when they offer classes), often for a small fee, it's worth it!

In following posts, I will comment on just what can the Cricut® do, and what materials, tools, etc. it works with.  Please, post any questions or suggestions below for any content you wish for me to cover in the future.

Thank you so very much for stopping by today.  Keep on crafting, it's good for you!

                                                             " It's Here!"

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