Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cricut Explore - the other reasons I ordered this new machine


Last week I wrote about the reason I ordered the Cricut Explore (if you didn't see that post, you can find it HERE).  A lot of the people who commented on that post or wrote to me directly shared my frustration with the wonky circles and scallops that have plagued the Cricut machines for years.  My new Explore is due to arrive on Thursday (fingers crossed that there won't be any "weather delays" since snow is in the forecast again...).

Fair warning - this is a long post!

I am eagerly awaiting the first cuts - hoping to go from this...

odd looking shapes meant to be scallops and circles...
to this...
nearly perfect scallops and circles!

In the post last week, I said that this change in the ability to cut proper circles and scallops was the tipping point, the main reason I decided to spend my money when I have several Silhouette machines that already cut these shapes perfectly. 

Expression 2 on the left, Silhouette SD on the right

It isn't just these simple scalloped circles, it is all of the images with tiny circles or that are meant to be symmetrical but always cut slightly "off" on my older machines.

I did mention that there were other reasons that I would share in another post - so today I want to share other factors that I considered in making my decision.  These are some of the things that I believe will be great improvements.  Several of them involve a shift in the way we work with cartridges and will take some getting used to, but I think that overall they are good changes.


First - the ability to see full color, fully layered images and then add all of the pieces to the project with one click.  This is genius!

More recent cartridge handbooks have added pages at the beginning showing the assembled images but the Design Space takes things a few steps further.


Just look at the difference between the keypad black and white image in the CraftRoom and the full color layered version in Design Space.  With some of the images that have a lot of layers it can be a laborious task to figure out if you have all of the bits and pieces you need - in the new Design Space you just look at an image, decide if you like it and click - it's on the mat with all necessary pieces.


This bookmark is one of the Make it Now projects from an introductory video.  The full set of images comes in, already layered - you can see all of the layers in the column on  the right.


When you click to go cut the project, the colors and pieces are sorted out into the number of mats you need.  It doesn't get much easier than this if you want to use a image that exists on a cartridge or in a Make it Now project.


Next - the ability to cut and draw in a single operation.  The dual carriage is a great idea and something that is not found on any other machine that I know of.


Not only can you draw and cut but you can also score and cut by putting a scoring tool in the second carriage position.  Just think how much easier it will be to make lots of rosettes like these seen in the intro video.  Scoring the bags with gusseted bases will be so much easier with this carriage and tool.


The Make it Now projects.    This was not as much of a deciding factor for me because I like to create my own original designs.  However, I can see how useful this would be if you needed to make a project in a hurry.  In one of the introductory videos there is a line that states "Instead of figuring out how to make your project you can focus on what you want to make."  This is a great concept.

The new machine definitely has an appeal for people who don't have a lot of time or patience to fiddle around with designing their projects or determining the right settings to cut their projects.  If they just want to make something pretty or cute and do it quickly these projects are a sort of "creativity in a can" but with the element of choice of color or paper, etc. that makes the user feel creative.


The directions are all spelled out along with the list of materials required.  A lot of these projects would also be suitable for children to make (I know that my young friends and relatives love to use the Cricut to make projects).

Cartridges, cartridges and more cartridges - Just like many people who have had Cricut machines for a long time, I have accumulated quite a collection of cartridges.  At first, there were only 12 or so cartridges and each new release was eagerly anticipated.  As more and more cartridges were made available, it became clear that it was unreasonable for most people to try to collect them all.  I haven't bought many cartridges lately but the Design Space structure will certainly allow me to make better use of the cartridges I have.  Watching some of the videos I have noticed images that I haven't seen before - they might actually be on cartridges that I own.

The subscription plan will allow you to access all of the unlicensed images (about 25,000 and growing) for $9.99 /month or $99.99/year.  This will be a great deal for people that don't have a large library of cartridges.  Since I purchased my machine through the HSN launch, I will have a three month trial of the subscription to help me decide whether I will need it.  I'll crunch the numbers for you in another post but my instinct is that the subscription will make sense despite the number of cartridges I already own.

The variety of materials that can be cut.  My current machines can cut a lot of different materials but the Explore adds even more cutting potential and is supposed to cut things like faux leather, cork and metal.  I want to try out lots of materials.


Finally, finally - cutting the computer fonts.  This was something asked for from the very beginning of the first Design Studio program.  I am not sure why it took so long but it is nice to know that this program will allow you to work with the fonts on your computer.  If this had been available a couple of years ago, I might not have purchased the Silhouette machine to make these invitations.


The ability to create with a variety of file types.  This is a huge change of course for Cricut and a great way to level the playing field between the Cricut machines and others that have had this ability all along.  For me, the ability to bring in my own designs and combine them with Cricut shapes has unlimited potential and I can't wait to try some things that I already have in mind.

The downside is that, as far as I can tell, the current program has very limited "create from scratch" potential.  There don't seem to be any drawing tools, no offset or shadow function and no alignment tools.  So this means that I will have to do the type of designing I like to do in another program.  At least I will be able to bring my designs in to the program to try cutting them.  I hope that these basic tools will be added eventually...

Speaking of tools... I definitely find the overall design of the machine to be very attractive.  The design is so carefully thought out and the storage compartments are just one of the little "extras" that shows a great attention to detail.  All of the design choices, including the diagram that shows you how to fit the tools in to the storage compartment, are aimed at making the machine good looking and easy to operate.

some printed and cut items I did using the Silhouette Cameo

Coming soon - print, then cut and an iPad app.  The print then cut capability (print on your printer then load into the machine to cut) is something I am eager to see.  This is in the works for later this year.  If this was the most important thing to me, I'd probably wait on getting the machine.  However, since I already have machines that do print then cut my main reason for wanting this is to possibly reduce the number of machines I have to have accessible in my crafting space.  The iPad app is interesting but not as important to me since I have a laptop that I can easily bring to my machine.

Concerns - well yes, I have some, primarily relating to the need to be online to use the machine.  I was not able to access the Craftroom for months despite having an up to date computer with lots of memory and a fast internet connection.  If I can't access the Design Space I will have a $300 paperweight since the only way to operate the machine is through this online program.
Other concerns will have to wait for another post.  I am keeping an open mind so that will be after the machine arrives and I have a chance to do my own tests.

a bit of commentary...

A number of responses to my first post were from people who have moved on to other machines and systems and don't plan to return.  There are many reasons that people are unhappy with ProvoCraft over some of the things that have happened in the past few years with the launch and then discontinuation of several machines. I lived through all of the problems with the Gypsy and the Imagine and share some of that frustration.

However, I don't understand accusations that ProvoCraft "just wants to make money" or "they don't care" about all of the owners of the discontinued machines.  It is interesting that a product and a company can generate such extreme emotions - crafters are a passionate bunch!  But it seems silly to "accuse" a company of wanting to make money - that's what companies are meant to do.  That is how they pay their employees and pay taxes.  All of us who have a big investment in cartridges and machines should be rooting for the company to be very successful with this machine. 

I believe that this new machine is critical to the future success of the company and I see lots of indications that the people at the company from the CEO on down are trying to do everything possible to make it succeed.  I was impressed by the speed of the decision to change the original plan to require a subscription to use SVG files was changed after customers spoke out on this issue.

I think this machine might finally bring together all of the functions I am looking for.  At CHA in 2010, I had some conversations with people from PC about what I'd like to be able to do with bringing all of my digital content together in one place where I could add digital papers to images and cut both cartridge images and my own drawings.  I think they are getting close - I hope that when the print then cut is added I'll be able to use my 27 Imagine cartridges - wouldn't that be great!

I want to remind you that there is some great nuts and bolts information in the white papers that you can find HERE (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Whew!  That was a lot to read - thanks for staying with me if you got this far!


Back to the blog anniversary celebration - what did I put in the boxes today?  Do you remember these favor bags I made using the Square1  Square1 Printable iron-on Fabric fabric? (The original post is HERE).


I have added five of the little muslin bags and an 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of the iron-on printable to each box.  You don't need a machine that does print and cut to use the iron on - you can print on the fabric and cut it easily with scissors.

 How do you play along in the blog celebration giveaway?

To enter for a chance to win one of the three boxes - see all of the details on the first blog celebration post HERE.  Then come back and get your comments in on this post.  Remember, if you sign up for the new newsletter (see the box at the top right of the page) I will be choosing one person from the subscribers as a box winner (you don't need to leave a comment here since I can see that list).

Today's question to answer in your comment is:

Do you have a "dream machine" - a crafting tool that would make your life easier and more creative?  Does it exist already?  What features would it have?  This doesn't have to be a die cutting machine - I am curious if you have any ideas about any sort of tool that would be help you create more easily.  Is there something that you have already that you can't imagine crafting without?

Thanks to all of the people who told me that the newsletter subscription form was giving a "list not active" message.  I think I have all of the forms fixed now.  The first newsletter will be coming out in a week or so.  If you tried to sign up and got that message, please try again.  Just a few more days until the boxes are full...

Subscribe to Capadia Designs if you would like to have new posts delivered directly to your email. 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation

98 comments:

  1. I thought the imagine would be the dream machine when combined with ccr. It never worked out for me and I have since sold the Imagine but I do love the images on cartridges and wish we could play with the new software before buying the machine. Looking forward to see how you like it.

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  2. I would love a cutting machine that didn't require mats. I go through too many of them. I hope your new machine is exactly what you are looking for

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  3. Yes my dream machine is the Cameo, hands down. I have to honestly say if I had bought the Cameo first I don't think I would have 4 Cricuts in the house. I still use the cartridges for some tried and true images, but I would be lost without my Cameo.

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  4. At what time of day did you order your Explore? I ordered mine late morning, and it won't arrive until March 18! I am looking forward to getting it, and appreciate your informative comments. Like you and others, I hope that this is the last machine I have to buy... it's getting crowded in my craftroom!!

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  5. Dream machine: A crafting RV with enough room for a good size crafting area for at least 2 people, storage for all my supplies and room to set up tools like a cricut, paper cutter, etc. Instead of packing up all my paper and tools when I go to a crop or to a friend's house, I could just drive the RV there. It would have to get good milage though!

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    Replies
    1. I LOVE this idea!!! I want one, too!!!

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    2. That would be awesome! For me that would be like a mobile office!

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  6. Thank you, Diane, for your commentary. I am one of those who are waiting to see if PC delivers on the print & cut feature. The machine sounds like it could be the solution to having so many machines. Right now, I'm really liking my Cameo but I have over 100 cartridges that I can't bear to part with. The print & cut feature & the ability to design with the Silhouette Studio is a must have for me. I anxiously await your next review of the Explore.

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  7. I must say that I really don't have what you call a 'dream machine'. I really don't keep up with all the new products that keep coming out. I have learned from young on to make do with out you have already.
    I do have a Cuttlebug which I use quite often and that I didn't buy as it was a gift.
    Thank you for this opportunity
    ColleenB.
    Texas

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  8. Good Morning Diane. I don't think I have a dream machine in mind. I have decided to focus on using my new Silhouette right now and keep watching the info on the new Cricut. I do have a question...I own A LOT of digital cartridges and carts. I was wondering if we can use them with our Cameo machine? If so, how? That would be awesome!
    THanks Diane
    Kathy U:)

    kathy21361(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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  9. I'd want one that actually cuts things correctly & scans.. Also I'd every thing to work from pc. easy to use, not have to buy cartridges or keep upgrading. My silhouette des cut but my 2 cricuts didn't cut only tore. What a nightmare I had. I think if you buy their machine you shouldn't have to ay a monthly fee to use their website! Sometimes I don't get on internet.

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  10. Looking forward to learning more about the Explore. Really enjoy my Cuttlebug---very easy to use.

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  11. I want one that can scan something in and cut it. I'm looking forward to more information about the Explore.

    Thanks,
    Jenny
    stine069@aol.com

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  12. Thanks for your in depth thoughts about the Explore. I appreciate your analysis. I don't know if I have a dream machine. I just need my machine to work easily and work everytime I use with it

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  13. Hi Diane, thanks so much for the info about the new cricut. I am hoping to order one, but have to wait just a little longer.
    I really like the idea of a crafting RV suggested by Clutter Bunny! What a great idea!
    It would be cool to be able to scan something in and cut! These guys are creative. The reason I check in with your site as often as possible!
    Marilyn
    mrtooke@yahoo.com

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  14. Hi Diane ... I totally agree with your commentary about PC and the flap they got themselves into when they sued MTC and SCAL, to protect their business and their patents and copyrights. They ARE a business, and they worked hard to build it and receive those patents. If anything, I think they could have handled the communication better so as to avoid the PR situation that evolved.

    As for a dream machine, I am a complete dolt when it comes to embossing -- I always overstuff the machine with a too-thick sandwich, and break it. To date, I have broken a Cuttlebug, 2 Big Shots and an eBosser. My dream crafting machine would be an embossing/die cutting machine with a wide platform (9" at least, maybe even 12") that would allow the tension on the rollers to be manually or electronically adjusted. I THINK I saw one such machine being demo'd at CHA; an inquiry to the company showed that it may be available this spring! I can't wait!

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  15. I don't have a dream tool. I like to explore what is already out there. I would really like to get over my fear of power tools, my husband has so many and I have so many ideas.

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  16. The new machine does sound great, but I would worry about the requirement to be online. I use my computer all the time, but live in a very rural area where internet connections are far from perfect. And I plan to take my machine when we go RV-ing (after retirement in 2 years), so it will be even less perfect. Never-the-less, it doesn't matter, because as I keep saying, I love my Cameo. I am still having fun learning new ways to use it and perfecting those I have already learned. That makes it one of the best investments I have ever made! Hope you do not get very much snow. We are also getting some, but the worst is that we are below zero again. Brrrrr.

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  17. Thanks again for all the detail you share! A couple things I'm hoping you share after you. Get familiar with the explore. Is a detailed comparison of ccr and design space. I saw you already made a comment above...looking forward to hearing more :). Also can you use RGB colors in design space? You mentioned print and cut. Maybe you can re explain about that and when is that coming out? Regarding can't be without or dream Mach. I think it's my cricut. I don't have a silhouette, so I can't compare, but I'm very intrigued with the explore. I do wish though they could have made it not dependent on the Internet and also the ability to use cartridges without connecting to their software. Love the little bags!

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  18. I sure am glad someone knows the inside scoop on the explore. HSN was so vague that it posed more questions than answers. I guess in the land of make believe I would love one that u could talk to and discuss what pictures u have and ur ideas then it could suggest it's thoughts and ideas about it. Even maybe scan the pictures and see what it suggest. U know like u do with ur buddies at a crop when u just can not decide what to do with certain photos. That would be great.

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  19. Hi Diane, I look forward to all of your future posts on the Explorer before I decide if I should keep my order going! It is destined to arrive on April 25th and actually said sold out on HSN when I placed my phone order. I know I got one of the last ones available! I don't really have a dream machine, I do like Ellen's comments about an embossing machine though! I guess I would just like somebody to help me use the computer well enough before I get the Explorer. I am technologically challenged! Thanks, I have been a follower of your blog for many years! Thanks for a chance at the give-away! -Barb-

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  20. I don't get to spend enough time crafting to really have a dream machine. Would just love a larger, organized space to be able to make the most of the time I do have!

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  21. Do you know if we will be allowed to use Design Space to create a project, without being connected to the Explore? I'd like to create on my laptop in another room, perhaps while watching TV, then take it to my craft room to connect to the Explore and cut/draw/score.

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  22. I do not have a visionary brain. I wish that I had ideas for inventions. I just enjoy others' inventions and cleverness. That is one reason I enjoy your blog so much. Look forward to your in depth tuts again. Kathie. Kdobbins194807 at yahoo dot com

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  23. My "dream machine" may have been the Imagine, but, of course, we all know what happened there... My Cameo is at the top right now and hope they, too, will have an iPad app in the near future. Truly, I am with others that have expressed that we just want the machines that we have to work consistently and with virtually no problems that would interfere with our crafting time. I appreciate your time reviewing the Explore, however, no one seems to have mentioned anything about what you need to do to use your cartridges with this machine... Is it like the Gypsy? Any problems with the ones that have already been synced?

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  24. The Explore is almost my dream machine. I want something that will be able to cut like Silhouette (I have a Portrait, I won it) and have the ability to use my over 250 cartridges without linking them. That would be perfect. Love the little bags. Thanks so much for all the information.

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  25. Dream machine would be the Explore with the ability to use it off the internet (computer based operating software) and to have a wireless capability. Also, to have a full feature ipad app with the wireless capability as well. I think they are close...

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  26. great review, you are always fair and honest about what you think, I've really appreciated that over theyears. love the RV idea..could have it said of you "The Scrappers are coming to town!"

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  27. I don't plan on getting the Explore since I got the Cameo. I do wish replacements mats for the Cameo were cheaper but I have lots of cricut mats I can use. Now if the Cameo would also emboss, I'd be in heaven. I love the print and cut. I was amazed at how intricate and delicate of a cut I could get on the Cameo using print and cut. Thanks for all of the info. I love your detailed instructions on your projects. I'm still learning how to use the cameo.

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  28. I am so excited about the Cricut Explore and if it wasn't for my Cricut I would be in a funk and not able to craft due to my challenges with I am so disappointed in people with all of the ugly comments about ProvoCraft!! I love all of my cartridges and they allow me to make things I couldnever do on my own...My cuttlebug adds to my creativity with all of the textures, Love it...I am hoping my machine is here on Thursday also!!!! Take care

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  29. The Explore does have a lot of check marks in the "plus" column. Thanks for pointing out the future print & cut feature that should work with the Imagine carts.
    Donna K U

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  30. Hello Diane,

    Reading your post today got me to thinking. I was ready to buy the Cameo and then Cricut comes out with this new machine. I know some of your reasons why you are purchasing the Explore. I have a few questions for you. Can the Cameo cut intricate designs and perfect scallops like the new Explore. And secondly will you use the Explore to do your designing or will you continue to use your Cameo. Another question I have for you would be which machine do you think is the better machine that can do it all. I am asking this because the next machine I purchase I want to make sure that it is here to stay and not be discontinued in a year after purchase. I have read other comments about the new Explore but these come from only users of the Cricut and no other machines. And just want to get an opinion from someone who had no ties with the company to say only the good stuff about the new machine. Thanks for all you do.

    Luria

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  31. I have to say that I love my big shot and use it more than the cricut because it is fast to use and I love the beautiful dies I can buy. Cost of the dies is the main issue but the quality of the cuts is what I like.

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  32. I loved my cricuts but so wanted my machine to print and cut more than my imagine could so sold everything and bought the cameo. So far it is my dream machine. I do so wish that it had an easy shadow button like was on MTC. Where you could highlight grouping and hit that button and get a shadow. The offset works pretty good but still not always 1 button easy. I will be watching the print and cut option on the explore so will stay tuned when that comes out for sure. I do miss my cartridges though and still have them available on CCR so they should be there for the explore if I decide down the road to get one. Thanks again for all the goodies you are sharing with some of us. I don't expect to win one as I rarely win anything but love seeing them just the same and reading your blog.

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  33. Diane I think I already do have the best tool and that is the Make the Cut program. It works with several cutters and makes my Zing sing. I can do kinds of designing with it or go to the gallery for free images that others have offered. It works with svg, ai, pdf, wpc and others and when there is an upgrade it is free. The forum is full of helpful people and everyone treats everyone else nicely. I would be sad if I couldn't use this program. Thanks for the updates and I am so excited about your boxes, I hope I win one of them!

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  34. Thanks for all your info about the Explore. It will be good to hear what you say when you get your hands on it! I do love the designing ability on the Cameo. Looking forward to the newsletter also. Thanks for keeping us informed!

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  35. I don;t have dream machine. It's so expensive trying to keep up with all the new things out there. I make due with what I have. I do have a lot of cartridges and I have used my critcut in a while.
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts about the new machine but I think I will be passing on this machine. The boxes are looking great.

    Roxanna
    roxxscott at g mail dot com

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  36. I have a dream crafting room, a very wonderful husband that supports my hobby, if there is a tool out that I want, I can usually find a way to get it. I have been scrap booking for over 10 years, and finally, I feel like I have a little talent. I follow your blog for you help me with Cricut and have good creative ideas. I would love one of the boxes and enjoy your blog.

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  37. I have loved my Cricuts since 2006 and have all but the Cake and Mini and I have 250 cartridges, but was discouraged with the way PC was dropping machines and not keeping promises. I have a Silhouette and do love it, but I still use my Cricuts--with my Gypsy, without the Gypsy I would no longer be keeping my machines, it is such a great devise. I admit that I am very excited to see what the opinions of our regular members are to the Explore, it does sound wonderful-if they keep their promises for this machine, I think they will be making a new place in the world of die-cutting. Time will tell.

    Love the little Thanks bags.

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  38. I am still learning the Cameo I got for Christmas, and think it might actually end up being as close to a dream machine as I need once I start with all the materials outside of paper and vinyl that can be cut. I just ordered some of the inkjet SquareOne Masterpiece as my next adventure (thanks for the sale link) and am excited by how much this machine will do. If I get an Explore it will probably be in a few years, once I know the bugs are worked out and those of you on the cutting edge have figured out the tips and tricks for the rest of us. ;-)

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  39. Something that would scan , print and cut would be great! Some day someone will have that!! Thanks for all the info on the new machine - can't wait to see if it lives up to your expectations!

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  40. I would love a true all-in-one machine... it would print, diecut, trim, emboss, bind, laminate, distress, scan, and anything else I could think of!

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  41. Great info on the Explore. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and opinions with us. Like many people, the biggest drawback for me is the necessary internet connectivity - but that may be more of a function of my age than anything else!

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  42. Diane-I also do have a dream machine in mind at this time.
    I have a cricuit, big shot and e-bosser.I do have many cartridges and think at this time, for what I use them I have enough. I did like your information on the explorer and keep us up to date. I have to admit that I did have the explorer on back order from HSN but have cancelled my order. The main reason is that you have to use your computer for this machine and after watching some other blog sites I feel it is to complicated for me. Maybe some day I will try it but want to see what everyone thinks of it.

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  43. Another great question. So far, I have to say my Cameo is my dream machine because it does print and cuts, and has a bigger color selection than the Explore, that's disappointing. My Explore comes in March but I'm enjoying reading all the information on your blog and the videos from Joy. Learning a lot before it arrives. HSN/PC could've done a much better presentation of Explore's capabilities, but since they sold out of the machines, why change. I'm looking forward to the ability to use the color pens and cut at the same time, or score and cut at once. I'm also looking to seeing the colored images of each cartridge in a larger size on the screen. Like you, I'm sure I'll see lots of images I never realized I have. As Joy said, you'll fall in love with your cartridges again. I like that.
    Thank you for all the unbiased analysis and comparison of the Cameo and the Explore, it's very helpful. The boxes are filling up nicely, anyone of us would be so excited to win one!

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  44. Thanks Diane for your always welcome insight into all the die cutting machines. I too was put off by PC and how they handled somethings, mostly like promises things that never happened. I love my Cricuts and my Cameo and I always work on the computer so I was not happy with the way PCs IT department handled CCR and the updates when it worked it was great and I loved it. I am very intrigued by the Explore and look forward to your review when you receive. I hope that PCs IT department does a much much better job with the Design Space software than they have with CCR. I will watch the Explore over time and decide if I "have" to have it. LOL I am sure your review of it will have a lot to do with that decision.
    I don't really have a dream machine, I just am happy when mine work correctly, although a machine that would scan & cut would be awesome, for instance scan a stamped image and then cut it out. There are several tools that I use daily when I craft that I can not do without. Besides paper I find I use my Tim Holtz ruler and scissors all the time.

    Thanks again for all the valuable information you always pass on to all of us. I have been following your blog and receiving emails from you for several years now,

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  45. I still use my cricut expression and am happy with it. I don't need the level of options that others do. Thank you for all the great info in your post! I can't think of any other items that I need more than what I have!

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  46. I don't really have a dream machine in mind. I just go with what I have and enjoy the time creating. I appreciated your post today on the new Cricut Explore. I'm really interested in the future print on the printer and cut feature. When that is added and I read the reviews on that I may purchase the new machine.

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  47. Hmm, good question. But no, I don't have a "dream machine." I am not creative enough to imagine along the lines of "Wouldn't it be nice if....", I just enjoy using what I have, and don't think too much of what it cannot do.

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  48. Liked reading your post today, Diane. I just recently purchased the Cameo, so another machine would have to wait, since I have and Expression and Imagine in my studio already. I do like the idea of the iPad ap. I like that I could just bring my smaller and lighter iPad up and not my 17" laptop. It's crowded enough up there, ha ha! I do use both my Cricut and Cameo and my Cricut is backward compatible with SCAL which is why I've waited so long on the Cameo, but I'm loving the Print and Cut which is a dream come true for me. I dream I didn't know I had ;- ) So as far as new dreams, I probably don't know them yet. Just trying to keep up ;- )

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  49. My dream crafting machine seems to be the Explore. I love Provo Craft. There customer service is top notch. I have always said that if they make a machine that writes words without cutting them out I would buy it. I never seem to have the right stamp or size for the job. I have to cut out the tag first tape it to paper in just the right place and print out my message from computer than run it through the printer. Takes sooooo much time.
    Thanks for your honest opinions.
    Linda in Stanwood

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  50. Many thanks for today's post! I have about 100 cartridges that I no longer use since I bought my Cameo. Some of the features you posted today are very interesting. If I do buy the Explore, it won't be anytime soon. I will wait for PC to add the features they say they will add. I am very disappointed that the Gypsy can't be used. Does that mean I would need to take all my cartridges with me? I do love my Cameo! It cuts so beautifully...

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  51. I'm enjoying the information you are sharing. My dream machine is a laptop to have in my craft room so I can utilize online images. Question: why were you not able to hook up to Craftroom for several months? That scares me.

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  52. I'd love a machine that prints with nice sharp, bright colors. It would also cut shapes & letters It ideally could print and cut at the same time without having to switch out paper. It would also let me print & cut whatever image/font that I could find.
    I look forward to hearing what you think about the new Cricut after you use it. anticil at comcast dot net

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  53. My dream machine is the Silhouette. I can now create my own stamps, stencils, etc. I really enjoy using it as well as love having the versatility to create multiple type projects. The one thing I wish my silhouette would do is to print and cut within the machine (similar to the imagine). I loved that my Imagine would do both in one machine, because I am a very lazy person! I also love that I can take the outline of a digi stamp and do a print/cut around it so I don't have to fussy cut my image.

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  54. I have the Expression and have used it quite a bit since I'm not into designing my own images. However, after reading your comments, I think I'm ready to move on to the Explore. I also wouldn't want to do without my Cuttlebug for embossing and die-cutting. I look forward to seeing your creations with the new machine. You are so talented. Thanks

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  55. Thanks for all your info on the Explore. I really don't have a dream machine, I am just trying to use everything I've got to it's full potential. Your boxes are looking very exciting.

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  56. At the time, the Baby Cricut was my dream machine. Then came the Expression and THAT was my dream machine. I still have my pink Expression and still use it. Next came the Imagine. I had high hopes for that machine and was let down!!!!! Now I use and love my Cameo the most.

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  57. I've not thought about the perfect machine. I don't even use my cricut that much. I have a Portrait and not learned how to use it yet. I would just love to have a space that really flows with the way I work. I'm in the process of moving my scrapbooking stuff to a bedroom in the basement. My husband keeps saying "put this here and this here". I keep telling him I'll decide. I won't know how it will work until I have everything in the room. I want to have lots of counter tops so I can see what I have. I tend to put things away and then not be able to find them. So frustrating and time consuming.

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  58. Hi Diane, I have 5 paper weights. One being the Cameo. I have watch video after video for a year. I still cant figure out the Cameo. I watched HSN, There wasn't much talk about what the Explore would do. THEY SHOWED WHAT they had cut AND THE MATERIALS IT COULD CUT. If they had explained the Explore the way you have, I would have bought. I sat watching it sell out. The best feature is how they lay out the mats set up. There were times I cut the wrong images in the colors I wanted. Now I see how they didn't have the shipment schedule set up with HSN. People are waiting and waiting for their product with no explanation.
    I am trying to sell a Bug, an Expression and a Mini cricut.. I also am selling the CAMEO. And Im stuck having paid a subscription with Silohette. A whole years worth of images that I don't own. If I decide to buy the Explore I will have to send my husband to fight the crowds, there is no way I could physically do that. The other concern is I had 5 Gypsys, they were nice and replaced each one. I would be leary of linking a Gypsy to the new computer. Many that have updated their Gypsys have had there Gs die. If that happens they want to charge for the repair. I just don't know what I will do, but the Explore looks to be a great machine. DawnRI

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  59. I don't have a dream machine but I would love to reorganise my scraproom and have a larger table. I thank you for all your Explore updates, and look forward to reading more of your updates. I like the RV idea very much. Where can we order the Explore? I've looked on the net and can't find it anywhere. I love your little bags.

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  60. Do you think a machine will come along that all we have to do is THINK the design and it will print, cut and assemble it?? LOL Can you tell I haven't had a lot of crafting time lately!?

    Kris in Alaska
    funamom at yahoo dot com

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  61. My dream machine would be the Imagine - if it did what was promised. I have every cartridge for it and am afraid of the day it stops working, If the Explore could use those cartridges and print/cut, I would jump right in. Well, maybe not at launch. I'll let them work the bugs out first!
    Karen L in PA

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  62. I have the Cricut Expression and tons of cartridges so I'll be sticking w/Cricut. The Explore is tempting but I'll hold off a while. Provo Craft's idea of "soon" is often months if not years later than my definition of soon. I love the idea of two housings and also the mats and layers of a full project with just one selection. I NEVER use my Cricut w/o Craft Room. Why did you have to go months w/o Craft Room?

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  63. I have the expression and the 5 year E2 which I really like. I also love my vagabond. My dream machine would be to have a more tech orientated brain. I so appreciate your tutorials. The boxes look yummy.

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  64. First, Thank you for posting your thoughts, Diane. I enjoy reading your posts with a cup of coffee....better than the morning paper!
    I would love a machine that would be able to emboss and print, along with drawing and cutting.
    I am really looking forward to your thoughts once your Explore arrives and you can get down to business using it!

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  65. I don't really have a dream machine or tool. I do wish someone would make a square digital picture frame though. I'd love to have the photos of my layouts on one.

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  66. I guess my dream machine is my Silhouette Cameo. It works better than the Cricut and Pazzle machines I had first!

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  67. Thank you for all of the information. I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. I have always had problems when I replace my cutting blade with a pen or marker...I would get jagged lines. It looked like you could see every start and stop point. Drives me crazy. On the explore could you do a blog entry on what the drawing part looks like. I am hoping for smooth uninterrupted lines. Thank you and enjoy your new machine.

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  68. I think the Explore is my dream machine!! The only other thing I would dream of would be a craft studio detached from my home!!!

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  69. I wanted a die cut machine initially to cut fonts but right now I think the silhouette is my ideal machine. I just wish I could use my cricut images with it.

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  70. I think the Explore is close to being my dream machine. Maybe the only thing better would be to have one of those help screens that gives you a real talking person like the new Kindle fire has for those times you have a question.

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  71. OK, I must not be the only addict in this papercrafting world! Why am I buying a lot of thin metal dies when I canprobably do something very similar with my Cricut. Isn't it bad enough that I buy all of those Cricut cartridges! My daughter is thinking I am a Horder! IShe is afraid she will have to go through everything if I am no longer here. I can't help myself!

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  72. I wish my silhouette had a portable design device like my poor Gypsy used to. I loooooved her and hated that she died!
    Anna N.
    ann2236 at juno dot com

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  73. I noticed comments that mention scanning and cutting machine. I saw such a machine being used on an Utube video. So there is one out there. I didn't catch the name of the machine or know where in my surfing journey I saw it. But, it is a reality.

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    1. It's called Scan n Cut by Brother.

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  74. I love my cricut and what would make it better would be the ability to print and cut designs from all over the net (not only cricut) and use my computer's fonts. I've been looking into the Cameo (waiting for $) and now I'm wondering about the Explore. Since I don't have the $ right now I'm patiently waiting for you to try your Explore and see a comparison.
    Thanks

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  75. My dream machine would be able to cut very detailed, intricate, and small designs, cleanly and precisely, and without the use of a sticky mat. Because no matter how careful, you always tweek something, or rip it. It would also cut any material without prep work, and print and cut any image found in the computer, without the use of a printer first, or registration marks.

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  76. I don't really have a dream machine. I love my cricut and cameo. But who knows I may eventually think more about the explore.

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  77. I really don't have a dream machine. I like everything that has to do with cricut. My pocket book doesn't LOL.

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  78. I want a silhouette cameo. I really like the print and cut feature.
    marilyn2222 @ hotmail dot com
    follower

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  79. I have been contemplating purchasing the Silhouette Cameo. I don't know enough about it though so I have a lot of research to do but now with the Cricut Explore and being able to cut different types of files, well that may be the way I go.

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  80. I hope Provo will eventually design it's own version of MTC or SCAL for those of us with cartridges to be able to cut SVG files. I will not by another machine until they are dead or the cartridges don't work. I use my BigKick the most now. I do have a craft area set up in our motorhome and it's ready to be used when we hit the road. My husband will be retiring in the next 18 mos, but we don't always have good internet on the road. So the Explore isn't for me right now. Thanks for doing your reviews. I have followed you a long time and depend on others that can work out these details when my brain doesn't compute techy stuff. LOL

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  81. I don't have a dream machine. I have to say that I love my cricut. It has problems and PC has not lived up to the promises that they made. I also have a Gypsy which I never thought that I would like, but now love. I don't use the cricut without the gypsy. I am interested in the Explore but am hesitant because of all of the discarded products that PC has already made. I also don't like the fact that you need internet and a computer attached to it. My crafting space is not the largest and to add my laptop on my already crowded table is not fun. I like to be able to just insert a cartridge and cut. I will be anxiously awaiting your comments after you get your machine.

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  82. My dream machine would have easy, perfect, quick print 'n cut. My most important machine is the computer. Most fun to me is the Cuttlebug. The Explore is sounding good; hope it works out for you.

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  83. So far my Cameo is my dream machine. The only thing that would make it better would be if I could cut without a mat, that would be awesome. While the Explore looks interesting I'm still not willing to spend the money until PC can prove they got it right this time...too many disappointments from them in the past.

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  84. For me, my dream machine would have the double printheads of the Explore but be as easy to use and find free images for as Cameo. My Cameo has replaced my Expression for everything except when I need a specific image from a Cricut cartridge. I doubt such a machine exists with versatility of the Cameo and double (triple?) heads for writing/scoring/cutting. I love to design complex designs from simple available files.

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  85. Yes, I have a "dream machine" for my craft area: it is a robot that would neaten up after me. In our kitchen we call this entity "The Magic Fairy" -- she has all the tools, equipment and non-spoil ingredients ready for breakfast when I come downstairs each morning. Guess who she is?
    llwyman[dot]310[at]gmail[dot]com

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  86. Cameo has been my dream machine so far, and I just saw this week that there is a new software upgrade to import designs you draw in Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw to the Silhouette software. That will be big for some folks like you Diane, who want to design and not always select from markets images and shapes. I guess a real dream machine would keep me from spending too much time on the internet and demand for me to get crafting!!! ;-)

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  87. I have the Cricut Expression 2 and it has worked well for my needs. I may upgrade to the Explore after I see all it can do.

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  88. I am hoping the Explore does all it says it can do as I took the plunge and ordered from HSN.! I was amazed and impressed by all its options . I have seen a lot of videos and blogs of what it can do so far and I am totally impressed. I think it will definitely help organize all my carts so I can figure out what is on the quickly rather than looking from book to book . In addition I am looking forward to the carts with so many layers which will have all the figuring out done for you and put them on all the mats so you can easily see that you have to cut. I also have carts that I don't have books for so this well help figure out what is on all the different icons easily . Cutting, Scoring and drawing are a big factor as well. I haven't really used CCR that much but the new Design Space is really intriguing . Looking forward to yours and Joy's blogs to help me learn the new machine. I appreciate all your incites to the Cricut world. I only have the expression and Gypsy so this was a big jump for me to buy from HSN without waiting. Hope is was worth the plunge.

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  89. I couldn't live without my "perfect Layers" not sure what I did before I got them.

    Hugs, Jenn

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  90. I am a FB follower

    Hugs, Jenn Zeeb

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  91. My dream machine would be a "time machine" just to add time to my day for crafting only! I have lots of tools already but not enough time to use them.

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  92. I love my Cricuts and can't wait to get you feedback on the Explore. Do you know if it will work with the Gypsy too? I love my Gypsy, being able to design on the go is my favorite cricut capability. I have also been looking into the Brother Scan N Cut, the ability to scan in a design is intriguing to me. I don't know which machine I'll end up with I am waiting for more reviews.

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  93. This is my first visit to your Blog and I very much enjoyed reading your article - and yes, I read every word. Your honesty and candor came shining through and reflected many of my own sentiments. I had no intention of purchasing another machine but in spite of that, my new machine arrived yesterday. I have not had the opportunity to set it up. I did want to clarify - at least from my own point of view - a couple of the ProvoCraft comments. I believe that the feeling of 'just wanting to make money' and other sentiments like that come from not making things right with the consumer. As an owner of 122 cartridges and counting, I would love to see this company succeed. But as the owner of 4 of their machines 2 of which are now large expensive paperweights, I do not believe that they have ever addressed the question of "what do we owe (or do for) the folks who purchased this machine? How do we restore consumer confidence"? Frustration comes from purchasing a product that doesn't work. Anger comes from the manufacturer not doing anything to compensate you for that purchase. It is not right on their part to say "Hey, here is a new machine and we fixed the glitch. Sorry about your $500 plus dollars that you spent on the last one." This would not fly with any other industry. What would have been a large step in the right direction was a discount offer on the new machine for anyone who was strapped with an Imagine or Cake machine or even a 1-year free subscription. Doing "nothing" reinforces the image of greedy big business. Especially since the consumer is screwed over on a regular basis in the marketplace so we tend to hold on tightly to products and companies that have historically treated us fairly. Well, that's my two (or three cents). I look forward to checking out some of your other videos so that I can get up and running by the weekend. Thanks for taking the time to put them together.

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    1. Hi Cassie, I totally understand your frustration. In the area of technology, there is always something new and improved but usually you can keep using your older version. Unfortunately, some of the Cricut machines never really did all that they were expected to do. The Explore is actually meeting or exceeding my expectations for cutting. The software is great for what it does but I really hope for more design features to be added. That said, it does things that no other machines/software do - I love the way it brings in fully layered images in color and divides them out on to mats for cutting. If I have a chance to ask someone about your idea of a discount or other special deal for Imagine owners I will do that and pass along the answer. I think you will love this new machine.

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