Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Cricut Expression 2

Today is the day of the launch of the new Cricut E2 - the updated and improved model of the Cricut Expression.  I stayed up Monday night to watch the launch on the Home Shopping Network and the machines were selling fast - over 4000 shortly after 2 am (yes, I should get to bed earlier!).

This image is from the Cricut.com website and you can read lots more about the machine HERE.  The E2 is exclusive to HSN and will be shown at 12am, 1am, 2am, 6am, 7am, 11am, 12pm, 3pm, 4pm, 7pm, and 8pm EST.  Here is a LINK to the HSN website where you can purchase the E2 (until supplies of this limited edition run out).

This machine has four cartridges built in - Cricut American Alphabet, Just a Note, Cricut Decals, Cricut Essentials.  The handbooks and sample sheets have not yet been posted in the Cartridge Library or added to Design Studio so you'll need to look at them on the Gypsy if you have one.

All of the winners of the Cricut Cruise will be receiving an E2 - I don't have mine yet but I am looking forward to trying it out when it arrives (soon I hope!).

I want to thank all of you who left comments or sent emails with compliments on the photos I share here on the blog.  I do enjoy photography and digital manipulation of my photos.  Here are some answers to a few of the questions that I have received.

I use a Nikon D40 camera with the basic kit lens that came with it when I purchased it about three and a half years ago.  I don't think that this model is in the current line.  It was the most basic digital SLR when I bought it and I believe the current equivalent would be the D3000.  I generally keep it on the automatic settings but I sometimes get adventuresome and turn those off.  There is a macro setting (the little flower) which I use for close ups of cards and details.

The editing of digital photographs can make an enormous difference in the image.  Some of the photos I share are not changed much but sometimes I do a lot of changes with contrast and light to get the look I want.  I use the Creative Memories Memory Manager 3.0 software to edit and organize my photos.  This software is very user friendly and has a quick editing system but also allows you to get very advanced with your changes to the images.

This was the image of the spiderweb straight from the camera - the contrast is low and the spiderweb is not very obvious in the photo.  

I cropped and altered the contrast and the light to produce the photo I posted yesterday - it is much more dramatic.  

Here is another example of the original photo before editing...

...and after cropping, sharpening and adjusting the light levels.

One more example of the before...

...and after.  Cropping in on the most interesting part of the photo makes such a difference.

I use Creative Memories StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 to get more creative with my photos and turn some of the images into digital embellishments that I can use over and over again.

I use the cutting tools and the "magic wand" in the program to isolate my flowers, dropping out any background and saving them as PNG files in my digital content.  Then they can be resized, recolored, and altered as I please.

I can take my isolated flowers and resize and recombine them in all sorts of groupings and then save the grouped images as additional content.  It can be very interesting to try different combinations and I find it relaxing to work with the images this way.

I don't have any photographic training but I do take hundreds of photos and work with the software nearly every day - so I have lots of practice time logged!  If you have more questions or would like me to organize an online demo time to show you how I do this please be sure to contact me via a comment or email.  If you are interested in the software that I use, I am a Creative Memories consultant and would be happy to help you if you don't have a local consultant.  The link to my website is in the left column.

What do you think of the new Expression 2?  Will you buy one?

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  1. I probably won't buy it because I want to wait and see how the law suit comes out with SCAL - I may end up buying a machine that will allow the use of SCAL.

    I have Photoshop Elements (I think 5) and I have so much to learn about it - but i love what you are able to do with your images! TFS!


  2. I purchased the E2! Can't wait to get it. As far as your editing program....I would love to see a tutorial or video by you. If it's as easy as you say, I just may purchase it. How much does it go for?

  3. waiting for my E2 to come
    just like you Diane

  4. I did see the E2 and I'm on the fence about buying E2. Imay just wait a little while to find out the message Board has to say.

  5. Your photograhes are great, I enjoy enhanceing my photo on a different program. I always have fun.

  6. Your photographs are amazing! The spider webs were stunning. Clearly your practice has paid off.
    Nadia (With Glittering Eyes blog)

  7. Will not be purchasing from Provocraft...but I thoroughly enjoy your blog and so appreciate that you share your talents!

  8. Great idea with the cut out flowers, I'll have to give it a try with some of my photos!

    Also, I know better than to watch infomercials or HSN in the wee hours - I'm way too much of an easy sell then! Maybe I can catch some of it today when I'm not such a pushover!

  9. I did it! LOL I am impatiently waiting for its arrival! I too would love to know more about your photo editing software! TFS

  10. New E2 looks cool but probably not buying. It doesn't have that many leaps and bounds over the current one. Well the digital screen is but I can do it all in design studio anyway. The features that I think are the most intriguing are the built in cartridges especially Just a note (so cute) and the ability to cut from imagine cartridges.

  11. It has only been a year that I've had my Expression and don't have many cartridges for it yet! I'm still learning! I don't forsee buying another machine anytime soon. Your digital editing is amazing. I would like to get a new camera (my got wet in Belize) and some digital software before any other major scrapping purchases!

  12. Your photography is fabulous and I love seeing what you do. Your flower and scenery pics just make me smile.

    As for the new E2, I love my PC products and totally appreciate how much they've added to my crafting abilities and how much fun I've had with them. I would buy the E2 in a flash but I am not employed full-time and therefore my crafting budget is limited. Since my Expression is working just great right now and altho I am very tempted by the new features and future WiFi capability, I will probably not get one now. BUT I will most definitely get one when my current E quits working.

  13. I probably won't buy the E2... but as with everything else the more projects I see on the blogs done with it I might catch the bug.

    Thanks for showing us before & after shots of your pictures. I have been noticing your beautiful photos lately & it inspired me to take lots of nature shots when I was at the zoo yesterday with my middle munchkin. When we returned home I realized I had taken over 200 photos in out 3 hours there. Now I have some fun pics to work with. I looked at that software last month when you posted it was on sale. I looked at it a BUNCH of times. I didn't buy because I already own PSE8. I did buckle down & start watching tuts on PSE8 and even with the tuts it's looking like I'd rather buy the software you use because you do make it seem so easy ;)

    Thanks for all of the inspiration!!

  14. I was up way too late as well! I do like the new machine, but I don't have several hundred dollars or the space to have another cricut. If anything, I'd wait to get an Imagine.

    I am disappointed that they are only having Just a Note as a preloaded cart. I would've bought that one.

    But thanks for sharing the newest Hello Thursday blog. I hadn't seen it & I went over to check it out & won one of the carts!!!

    And I agree with you about the photography that it's so much nicer to crop the focal point. I hate to give my camera to others to take a pic with me in it because they always manage to cut out things that I would've included & then they have full length body photos & I really don't need to see my shoes. I'd rather have it zoomed into the people or background more.

  15. Thank you so much for your wonderful inspiration and for the secrets you have in creating such beautiful pictures! It's so greatly appreciated!

  16. I love your blog and have for some time now.

    I won't be buying the E2. I dont' see that many differences in it and the E I already have. I am not particularly fond of any of the cartridges that are preloaded and wouldn't buy them if they were sold seperately. The light is a moot point for me as I have a well lit area to work in.

  17. Thanks for showing us more about your wonderful photos & how you achieve such stunning results. The before & after of the apiderweb was amazing and enough to make me realize I need to check into a good photo editing program.

  18. With one still in college, I can't justify replacing my expression with the E2. It is tempting, but I have spent so much on the Expression, Design Studio, Jukebox, 50+ cartridges, and all the extras. I need to focus on getting scrapbooks completed :) I did watch HSN last night and I was very tempted!!

  19. Hi Diane,

    I will not be buying the new E2. Yes,I would like to have the latest and greatest of supplies, but my budget now just will not allow such a large purchase. I will keep up with it through your blog!

    Your photography is absolutely stunning and I enjoy seeing and learning some tips and tricks. Thanks so much for sharing!


  20. I won't be buying the new E2...my E works fine, besides most of the bells and whistles on it I already have on my gypsy. The only thing I am bummed about are the pre-loaded cartridges. I wish they would make them available to the public!

    I, too, love to take pictures. I have a Nikon D5000 that takes beautiful pictures! I also have the MM software. I just don't manipulate my pictures as much as I should. My problem is that I have the program installed in a PC, but practically all of my photos are downloaded to my Mac. I do on occasion transfer photos over, but sometimes I get lazy. The program is great, though. I love how it sorts by year, events, and so forth.

    Thank you for sharing your tips. I'm always open to learning new tricks!



  21. I don't even have the original Expression so I think I'd start there since I'm not at all interested in printing my own paper. But I do wish the preloaded carts were available for purchase. I don't by many but really like a couple of them.

  22. I won't be buying the E2. It looks like a great machine, but I've had my E for less than a year and really don't see a need to upgrade yet. Those exclusive pre-loaded cartridges are a tease though!!

    Thanks for sharing your photography tips!!

    ~Sharon C.

  23. Thanks for letting us know what type of camera you use I am getting a new camera but I have my eye on the Nikon p500, I athink it will do everything I need and more. TFS


  24. Regarding your pictures, the spider web detail is awesome. I have the Storybook Creator program and need to get into it more. I have made a photo-book using it and am working on another. It is a very easy program to use. I have Photoshop Elements also and find it very hard to use. I need a good tutorial on using PSE. As for the E2, it was too hard to say no. I tried, I really did. I held out until 1PM today...oh well. I have to get busy and use these tools more. Can't wait to see what you do with yours. Looking forward to the inspiration. Hope you have a great day!!!

  25. Another CRAPCut machine....people purchasing this on HSN NEED to read the boycott going on on Facebook immediately....they're going to be spending lots $$$$$ for the cartridges and not use their own imagination or creativity....just PC's creativity limits. Hopefully you, madam blogger will get off PC's bandwagon and wake up...backing a company who denies u using your OWN creativity is nothing more than monopoly.

  26. I will get one. It just may not be the limited edition one. I may wait and hope that the later one comes out and costs less. My expression has a little more wear in it. I really don't understand what the differences are going to be between buying now and later.
    diane at weismanfamily dot net

  27. I took a look at what I have in my craft room. I have lots of cartridges I have not used. Enough paper to paper almost every wall in my home. I need to try and use what I have.
    I love your pictures...
    Great Job..............
    Blog: http://lovethatexpressions.blogspot.com/

  28. I love your pics I have been looking at photoshop but now I think I may try this one!! I got my E2 last night and was digusted at all the negative comments on facebook and just read one on your blog. If people are not into buying it then don't if they don't like PC they don't! Why do people have to be so negative at other people having fun!!! Sorry I just had to say that, but love your blog and will be ordering the Creative storybook from you soon.
    Happy Crafting!!

  29. I will not be purchasing an E2. My E is working fine and I can not spend the funds for another cutter. I was disapointed in the decision to file againist MTC and SCAL. I wish they could have worked it out better. PC is on my no purchase list right now. I will use what I have. Thanks for all your wonderful work. Love your projects.

  30. I love your photography Diane and never get enough of it. I have an Expression, a Create and Design Studio, so won't be buying another Cricut. There are so many other toys I want right now and with a retired income I have to watch my pennies daily.

  31. I enjoyed watching the world launch of the E2, but I didn't order one. My E is working great and I love working with my Gypsy and E together. Whenever my E stops working, I will definitely get the E2.

    I have the Nikon D90 and love it! I mostly use the auto settings and do love the macro. I have the kit lens and the 70-300mm VR lens. We went to Alaska and I took approx. 1,000 photos! I use PSE7 which is not too user friendly. I took a class at the local vo-tech on photoshop and it helped somewhat in the basic understanding of it. I love how you were able to cut out your flowers. They are beautiful.

  32. Hi Diane, I love your photo's, they are amazing. Despite what you say, you have to have talent, an eye to take pictures like that. You are amazing.

    As for the E2, I will not be purchasing one, I live in Canada and by the time its available to us and I'm not sure what it will cost up here. It took over two months for us to the the I.
    I don't see the purpose of the E2 taking I carts, and not being able to print.

    I do love my I.

  33. I wouldn't buy the new E2 at this point. I'm still learning and having fun with my Expression which I've had for about 7 months, and the many cartridges I haven't even touched yet. AND Design Studio! Wow, congrats to you for winning an E2. How nice! But I understand it's not compatible with Design Studio. But I guess you won't really need it either!?--Pat N.

  34. I truely love your photography Diane!! You have a very talented eye and are able to see beyond the obvious! While I would LOVE to own the E2, I think that I will wait until the new features are added to the I and then consider making that purchase--IF they have not priced me out of the market! I have put the brakes on new cart purchases because there are just plain too many coming out all at once that I can't make a decision on just 1 or 2! I have many that I have never used, but just HAD to have--so I will just "shop" at home! Thanks for all that you share!

  35. Provocraft can keep their E2. I don't see why I would want it over the Expression, just because it has a touch screen and a light. Whatever! I have both SCAL2 and MTC, so my next machine will something that supports 3rd party software. I use Picasa for organizing my pics and for basic photo edits, but I've had PSE8.0 for about a year and am still learning how to use it for more detailed fixes and digi scrapbooking. Feel like I could take a year long class on it and still never learn all there is that you can do with it! A bit overwhelming at times!!!


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