Pagoda is the third cartridge I found at Michael's this week. I left it to the last to review because the cartridge has been available in Design Studio program for a while so I thought that many people would have seen the images already (I imagine that most people who read my blog are also Design Studio users). It can be helpful to see the color handbook (and I was on a roll taking photos!) so I will do a bit of show and tell - show you the images and tell you my thoughts about this cartridge.
Pagoda is a full cartridge with six creative features. They are
You will notice that three of the features involve Kanji. Kanji are Chinese characters that are used in Japanese writing. You can find out all sorts of information about these online - here is a LINK to an interesting Wikipedia entry for some background.
It really would have been a good idea to have a page that shows the English words for quick identification. I looked through my handbook a number of times so I don't think I missed it! I was so bothered by the lack of this page that I created my own to share with you. It took a quite a while to do this but I know it will be a handy reference in the future.
Please respect the time and effort I put into taking, editing and posting these photos by referring others to my blog to see the photos and not copying them - thank you. I do not disable right clicking photos on my blog, however, I am sharing these images for your personal use and not for duplication, or posting to other sites, message boards and blogs. Thanks for understanding (you may be able to tell that I have recently been notified of some of my work being used without my permission so I may be overly sensitive to this issue right now- it is a hazard of sharing on the internet).
So on to the photos and my thoughts about this cartridge.
Remember, you can click on any photo to see a larger view.
The first images are of lamps or lanterns
Another lantern and the first of three dolls (these remind me a bit of the matryoshka- Russian nesting dolls - on the Paisley cartridge I reviewed a few days ago.
The other two dolls - I actually have one of these that my parents brought back from Japan years ago - it brought back a nice memory,
Two fish - these are fish in kite format
Another fish (not a kite) and a Yin Yang symbol (this is a frequently requested symbol on the Cricut Message Board Design Studio forum).
A fierce dragon and a sweet Panda bear
Another Panda that looks like it needs a hug (sweet) and a humming bird
Another humming bird and a flying crane
A standing crane and a fish leaping from the water
another leaping fish and a pair of dragonflies (these would be beautiful with their wings cut from iridescent paper)
a couple of bonsai trees
some stylized tree branches
a bamboo cluster and a flower
my new favorite plant/branch (see yesterday's post HERE to see why) and another lovely flower cluster
more flowers - I particularly like the one at the top and I think the lower one looks a bit like a calla lily
more beautiful flowers - so many on this cartridge
and even more flowers - these are layered flowers that would be nice for paper bouquets.
flowers in a vase and a typical Japanese garden bridge (I did something interesting with the bridge in Design Studio - I'll show you soon...)
a temple and a shrine
a couple of cages (for those of us who are wishing we had Serenade...)
A couple of beautiful fans - the layers are very pretty with the flowers
an umbrella and a teapot and cup
a rice bowl (with a Greek Key border?) and chopsticks!
a curtain or screen and sandals
and finally, a couple of kimonos.
So, as you can see, there is quite a variety on this cartridge. I have to say that this is a welcome change in that it contains many images that we haven't seen on other cartridges (and no cupcakes - not that I have anything against cupcakes...). Many of the feature keys are used for the Kanji characters and their layers so if you aren't interested in using these for many projects you really have only half a full cartridge. On the other hand, they are a great feature for using in home decor projects among other things.
The basic set of images with attractive layering is well worth the price of a cartridge. The flowers and branches would be lovely for all sorts of cards - particularly for sympathy cards with their simple elegance. The more realistic style of this cartridge is nice for those who don't do a lot of scrapbooking or cardmaking for children - this is more of an adult style cartridge which I know many Cricut fans will appreciate.
Once again there is a lot of repetition in the tag shapes but this is helpful for ease of use when the Cricut is used without Design Studio (it is amazing to me but many people do not use Design Studio or a Gypsy). There are some interesting cards in unusual proportions and I like this change as well - of course you can always alter these to more standard sizes by using Design Studio.
I am very glad that I found this cartridge - I believe it is available from many sources and, with Black Friday just around the corner it will certainly show up on many shopping lists. I'd be curious to hear what others think about the Kanji - I see a lot of uses for these characters but they may not be of interest to everyone.