A bit of an epic post with something a little bit different from me...a review (and of course one of my makes).
A couple of months ago I was asked by Ranieri Communications (a technology PR company) to go to London to a Cricut (Provocraft) event showcasing the new Cricut Mini. I had a fantastic day and met some brilliant people.
The very generous Cricut team and Roxanne from Ranieri kindly sent me a Cricut Mini *. As I've been a bit busy with commissions at the moment, I've only just managed to have a play with it.
It's a great little machine, perfect if you currently have a manual die cutting machine such as the Cuttlebug and want to progress to an electronic one.
It can cut shapes and fonts out of paper, card, vinyl, fabric and lots of other materials. It is so simple to set up and use. You connect it to your computer (you will need Internet access), it takes you through the whole set up process and tells you how to register your own 'Craft Room'.
|Cricut Craft Room|
You create your designs on screen and you can resize, adjust and weld images together. There is a grid on the screen which is the same as your cutting mat, this is great for cutting lots of things in different coloured card at the same time, as you can see the size and position of where it will cut the image. The mat is tacky, so it holds your card. This is useful for using up all those little scraps of card and paper!
|Paper Settings Screen|
|Cutting Confirmation Screen|
There is an onscreen gallery showing you all the images available and you can 'link' any cartridges or downloaded Cricut digital images to the gallery. This way, you don't have to keep swapping and inserting the cartridges.
What's in the box? You get a Cricut Mini machine, USB cable, cutting mat, power supply, power cord, cutting blade assembly, full instructions on how to set up and sheets of card so you can make your first project. You get lots of free images and lettering to get you started in the Craft Room and it works with existing Cricut cartridges. You can also purchase digital versions on line.
Cricut also have their own vinyl range, so you can create stickers for walls, windows, anything really. They will also be soon releasing iron-on transfer paper in the UK.
Replacement blades and mats etc. are readily available (prices vary, so shop around) as is a handy little tool kit.
I purchased one of these and it's great for all my crafting and comes in a lovely lime green zip up fabric wallet.
If you fancy your chances at winning a Cricut Mini, then check out the current issue of Crafts Beautiful (July 2013) on the 'giveaways' (pages 60/61) or the competitions section on the Crafts Beautiful website.They are giving one lucky reader a chance to get hold of the Cricut Mini worth £129.99 and a bonus cartridge worth £30.00. If you are not lucky or you want to splash out straight away, Hobbycraft have started stocking the Cricut range.
For more information on this handy little machine, visit www.cricut.com.
Here is a quick little card I created yesterday, after only a few minutes of setting up the Mini.
What you need...
Card stock: kraft, white, aqua, pink, lime, orange
Punch: corner rounder
Crystal gem: clear
What you do...
Create an A6 top fold blank in kraft card and round the top right and lower left corners.
In the 'Cricut Font and Basic Shapes' section, select the 'Geometric Shapes' and drag the selected shape onto your onscreen mat. Repeat with the lettering. Resize as necessary.
Lay scraps of card on the cutting mat, so they correspond with the shape/lettering you want. Set the machine to cut.
Assemble the die cuts on the blank, as shown and finish with a crystal.
This card literally took minutes. You could make a lovely notelet set. Make a batch of these, put in a funky handmade folder along with some envelopes. A great gift to give someone.
All in all I think the Cricut Mini is a great little 'starter' die cutting machine and with lots of cartridges out there, the possibilities are endless. I will post more creations made with this fab little machine in the future. :o)
* Disclaimer: I have not been paid to write this review. I have tried to give an honest opinion of the Cricut Mini and its features. As I mentioned before, prices vary for the Mini, its accessories and cartridges, so it is better to shop around.
Thanks for visiting and toodle-pip! xxx