Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The New Cricut Maker!

*Post contains affiliate links*
You guys! I'm so excited to discuss my favorite new toy with you today! As you may remember, in the beginning of August I had the amazing opportunity to go to the Cricut Mountain Make-a-thon in Salt Lake City. While I was there, Cricut announced several new products, the BrightPad, the EasyPress and the show stopper... the brand new Cricut Maker
Meet the new kid on the block, the new Cricut Maker!
I've been very vocal about my love of Cricut. I bought the original Explore machine in 2014 while planning my wedding. It was the perfect excuse to splurge on the most expensive crafting tool I'd ever bought. And once I started using it, I couldn't stop! From paper to vinyl and everything in between, the possibilities really were endless! Since the original Explore was released three others in the Explore series have succeeded it, the Explore One, Explore Air (which comes in GOLD!) and the Explore Air 2 and yes... I have two of the three (I know, I know). Over the last three years the brand has continued to be at the forefront of the cutting machine world. The web based software has made the machine's capabilities advance without you having to get a new machine. They are constantly adding new images, fonts and projects to their already vast Design Space. And while the Explore series was amazing at what it did, Cricut wanted to create even more possibilities and they did, with the Cricut Maker. 

What is the Cricut Maker?

The Cricut Maker is the ultimate smart cutting machine. With its revolutionary Adaptive Tool System and expandable suite of tools, Cricut Maker gives you the freedom to make virtually any DIY project you can imagine. You can use the Rotary Blade to cut fabric for a sewing project - without backing material. (This is HUGE) Switch to the Knife Blade (*which is scheduled to be released later this fall*) and cut chipboard for added dimension and depth. Cricut Maker has the tools to cut hundreds of materials quickly and accurately, from the most delicate fabric and paper to matboard and leather. Featuring unique cutting versatility, a huge library of design ideas and sewing patterns available instantly, and easy-to-use apps, Cricut Maker delivers professional-level cutting performance that anyone can use. AND it still does all of the things that the previous machines do!   

The Features Everyone is Talking About

•Cuts hundreds of materials, from the most delicate fabric and paper to matboard and leather
•Expandable suite of tools
•Rotary Blade, with its gliding, rolling action, cuts through virtually any fabric
•Knife Blade that works like an X-ACTO® knife to slice through heavier materials up to 2.4 mm 
•Sewing pattern library with hundreds of patterns available to choose from
•Washable fabric pen to eliminate guesswork and know precisely how pattern pieces fit together
•Simple design apps and the ability to use your own designs
•Cuts everything the Explore Family of Machines can cut and more! 
•Applies up to 4 kg of force

•USB port so that you can charge your device AS YOU CRAFT!
•Device shelf, to store your phone or tablet which is especially useful when using the Design Space app!

What Does it Come With?

Included in the box: 
•Cricut Maker machine 
•Rotary Blade + Drive Housing 
•Premium Fine Point Blade + Housing 
•Fine Point Pen 
•FabricGrip Mat 12"x12" 
•LightGrip Mat 12"x12" 
•Welcome book 
•USB cable 
•Power adapter 
•Cricut Access free trial membership 
•50 free ready=to-make projects, including 25 sewing patterns 
•Materials for your first project 

Why would I want a Cricut Maker?

The Cricut Maker really does do it all. If you're familiar with the previous machines, you know just how many possibilities there are, but with the Maker, there are now MORE! Being able to cut fabric??? Total game changer. 

I already have an Explore machine, would I have to buy all new tools?

One of the great things about the new Cricut Maker is that you can use all of the tools you already have! It uses the same mats, the same blades, the same pens, the same software, it just has even MORE great tools, like the rotary blade and the knife blade. The one thing you can't do is what they call "go backward" meaning you can't use the new tools on the older machines because they don't supply the force of the new machine (which is 10 TIMES more than previous machines). 

Wait! Where's the dial?

I will admit, this was a little hard for me to wrap my head around but the dial is gone! And with good reason! Now for each project you have to select which material you are cutting from your Design Space screen which, at first, seemed like adding an extra step to me when actually, it will save me! If you have used any of the previous machines I'm sure you've had a time (or several) where you have forgotten to change the dial and wasted paper, vinyl, or god forbid, gold glitter heat transfer vinyl! (guilty) The new way to choose materials just makes sense. And here's the kicker, the machine double checks your blade to make sure you're using the correct blade for the material you are using! Is that smart or what?!

I want a machine, but what do I need?

•Compatible computer or mobile device 
•Broadband Internet connection 
And that's it! That's all you need to get started! Sure, once you get started you will want to buy all the materials you can get your hands on but that comes later. :)

Which machine is right for me?

I'll be honest, not everyone needs a Cricut Maker. If you're not an avid crafter, if you're fine with using basic materials, maybe one of the previous versions is best for you. Here is a great graphic from the Cricut website that breaks down the machines. (Click on the image to see it larger.)
So what do you think? Are you excited about the new Cricut Maker and all of the possibilities?? 
Do you have any questions about the Maker? Let me know in the comments!

And be sure to check back next week for my Back to School Cricut Basics series where I explore all things Cricut for any newbies out there! 
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. 
 The opinions and text are all mine.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Favorites // Cacti Edition

Yay it's Friday! The official start of the weekend AND time for a freshly picked batch of favorites! If you've been following along for awhile you know that I love all things cacti, I even got married in the desert! Well, this week I decided to do a cacti exclusive roundup of favorites! Lets jump right in!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Meet the Maker: Kelsey & Christina of Kelsey & Christina Designs

Happy Monday! Sorry I was a little MIA last week but I was prepping for the Penelope Lane Boutique. There was such a great turn out and I had so much fun! Plus, it was a great excuse to spend an entire day with my bestie. Now that that's behind me, I'm ready to get back in the swing of things and I'm back with another installment of my "Meet the Maker" series. Today I'm giving you TWICE the maker goodness and introducing you to TWO makers... Kelsey & Christina of Kelsey & Christina Designs!
Christina is actually one of my cousins besties. (I have to stop myself from saying my "little cousin" because even though I think of her as a baby, she's TWENTY ONE now! HOW did that happen?!) After seeing some of Christina's work with Kelsey I knew I had to feature them!

Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

Kelsey: * 25 years old
* Earning bachelors at GCU
* Married to Garrett
* Property manager 
* Lover of all things fall 

Christina: *22 years old
*Future nurse
*Dating a Pastor

What is it that you make and how did you get started?

Kelsey: Specializes in hand lettering. Got started a few years ago when I was planning my wedding. 

Christina: We specialize in hand lettering, custom pieces or what we sell on our Etsy. I got started through my friendship with Kelsey and from there learned my style of writing!
Kelsey: Iced green tea and a good book

Christina: The beach & sunshine
A good vanilla latte 
Wine nights with my best friend 
Summer time!


Kelsey: Scary movies 

Christina: Scary movies and cats

Any Guilty Pleasures: 

Kelsey: One Tree Hill & anything chocolate 

Christina: Chocolate 
Netflix re-runs of Friends and How I Met Your Mother

Cocktail (or mocktail) of choice

Kelsey: Moscow mule

Christina: Moscow Mule

What advice do you have for fellow makers? 
Kelsey: Don't be discouraged in your journey. Take the time to refine and develop your skills and the rest will follow!

Christina: Practice makes perfect! My work was awful when I first started, but the more I put the time and practice in, the more it improved. 

Thank you Kelsey and Christina for being a part of this Meet the Maker series! 
Be sure to check out their Etsy shop and follow them on Instagram!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday Favorites!

Happy Fri-YAY! It's an extra special Friday because it's the Friday of a HOLIDAY WEEKEND!!!
Let's jump right into this weeks favorites!
This Sleep Mask- "Um No" is basically my first thoughts every morning. I need this. // This "Frame"- I'm always looking for new (and cute) storage solutions for my craft cave. I love that this one serves both form and function (and doesn't break the bank!) // This Robe- Having a conversation with my bestie Danica the other day I realized that I am a robe person. I love being in a robe. Which led me to looking for the perfect one and I think I found it! The pattern is amazing. I like that it's long and yet the sleeves are only elbow length so they don.t get in the way. It's a must have for sure. // This Wedding Bar Sign- I have to admit, I'm kind of kicking myself for not thinking of this for my desert wedding. Maybe for a desert inspired party one day though. // This Tea Light- A cute little way to add a touch of gold to your home. // These Chairs- I definitely don't need these for anything but I want them so bad! // This Floor Mirror- I currently have one of those cheap over the door mirrors just leaning up against the wall in my bedroom because I haven't found a floor mirror that I really like... until now! Usually I find them to be really gaudy and over the top. This one from Ikea though is sleek an modern and I love the hanging feature on the back! I may have to run out and snag one this weekend!

And that rounds out this weeks favorites! Have you found anything around the web this week worth sharing? I'd love to see it!
I hope you all have a fun and safe Labor Day!