Thursday, September 16, 2010
Something New that Might Be Helpful...
At the rate new Cricut cartridges are being released, many Cricut owners are getting overwhelmed with the sheer number of cartridges. In the early days of the Cricut it seemed entirely reasonable to try to collect all of the cartridges. Now, with the release of the Imagine cartridges, there are about 200 cartridges and there will continue to be many new cartridges for both the original machines and the Imagine.
The incredible variety of cartridge themes is both a blessing and a curse. Even the most compulsive collector will have to stop and think about whether they will actually be able to use every single cartridge that comes out. Some of the cartridge images are very specialized and not necessarily in a style that appeals to everyone. It is important to "pick and choose" the cartridges you want to add either because the images can be used for a wide variety of projects or because a more specialized cartridge is perfect for a specific project you want to do (for example, you are in charge of a "Carnival Day" for your elementary school - the Carousel Lite cartridge would be just the thing!)
One of the difficulties with a large collection of cartridges is that it becomes nearly impossible to remember what each cartridge has to offer in full detail. There are search functions in both Design Studio and the Gypsy but they don't always give you the results you are looking for. The keywords on Design Studio are terribly out of date and many cartridges do not have any keywords assigned. The Gypsy has been kept more up to date but not every Cricut user has a Gypsy and the keyword system is not able to do certain types of searches.
I had an email from the owners of a new website that I think will be very helpful to many people. Through a lot of patience and hard work they have created an easy way to search for images on your Cricut cartridges. When you search for an item, the site pulls up images of the handbook pages for the cartridges that contain that item. There is an advanced search function to allow you to search in alternative ways. The website just opened a few days ago and the owners are looking for feedback on how the site works and any suggestions for improvements.
The site is free but there may eventually be more features added on a subscription basis. Check out CricutSearch.com and see what you think.
(The hydrangea in the photo grows by my garage - the color is so pretty in autumn as the season changes).
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