Why I think The Cricut Explore Air 2 is any crafters best friend

A while back you may have read my post what’s on my desk? Where I spoke about my newest technology that I owned and how excited I was. Well, I thought now would be a great opportunity to finally write a post about this wonderful machine that I proudly own. I know a few people that are also thinking about investing in the machine, and I also have spoken to my friends so much about the Cricut, Weeding, Vinyl and other bits that they have no idea what I am going on about! so what better then to write my own review of owning this machine so far.

Introducing my cricut Explore Air 2.

So what is Cricut?

The Cricut Explore Air and other versions such as the maker, is a die-cutting machine, in its simplest terms. Think of it as a printer, except a Printer with a blade, and Pen option. With the Cricut, you are able to create an image or design on your computer and then send it to the machine to be made for you. The only difference to a printer is instead of using ink you are printing designs by cutting your chosen material.

My story of the Cricut so far…

After absolute years of longing for this machine, I have not yet been left disappointed. The Cricut Explore Air 2 has got me enthusiastic with many different craft ideas and a massive new passion for vinyl. I have a beautiful turquoise colour machine, and there is a variety of other colours that you can choose from. Although the machine and everything you need can be a little pricey, it is a well worth while investment when your in the craft world.
The opportunities that the Cricut system brings are endless. There is honestly so much that you are able to do with this beautiful machine. It doesn’t matter whether you are a papercraft enthuses, or vinyl, or anything else, the Cricut can do so many things for any passionate crafter.

So it has been over 2 months since my Cricut Explore Air 2 had been purchased. Playing with vinyl has now become my favourite thing to do with the Cricut so far, I really do enjoy personalising so many items with names, and pictures, or a few words. I can print on to fabric, like T-shirts and canvas bags, or I can Personalise any decor items, so far the options have been limitless.

Out of all of the cricut tools I own, these are my go too.

When my journey with the Cricut Explore first began I felt completely new to the Cricut world, even though I had experience with using one of the older versions of the machine, which I would mainly use for scrapbooking projects and did not have as many functions. Actually, the original machine uses cartridges only which are pretty pricey and limited.

Design Space is where it is at!

One of the best features of the Cricut explore and newer versions are the Cricut Design Space. This can be loaded on to any smartphone or tablet device, as well as the computer, The computer does give access to a few extra options, but I haven’t had any problems with using the app on my iPhone or iPad so far, in fact, I completely love it. There is a lot of flexibility, and by having a Cricut access subscription account you can have 1000’s of images and projects at the tips of your fingers.
As well as the Cricut library there are so many free SVG files out there on the interwebs that you can download and upload to the DS and create with at your own personal gain. (this can also be a business venture when buying commercial licences for the files) There is so many different freebies out there, as well as a massive amount of SVG files being sold on Etsy stores.

A few examples…

Now I know that I have already mentioned my new found love for vinyl, but there are so many different ways to use vinyl! as well as using adhesive vinyl for a decor, or heat transfer vinyl for Fabric, there are so many options you can do with vinyl as a template. Both I and Emma now use vinyl as a template for Glass engraving, and I have painted some designs on to doormats and canvas.

Pretty paper ready to go!

But like I said vinyl is not the only material that the Cricut machine can cut. Card, paper, Fabric, Posterboard, and so much more, so depending on your hobby, owning the Cricut could really be a game-changer to every crafter. Scrapbooking, engraving, painting, honestly so much more that I probably don’t even know about yet. Believe me, though, I can not wait to play and find out. Also! Did you know that the Cricut explore range can hold a Pen! Yes that’s right! it can draw & write, another amazing feature.

I literally have a list of project ideas that I want to do as long as my arm right now!

Above is a project that took me hours, but worth every minute. Using pretty card stock, a hot glue gun and a hell load of patience I created a beautiful load or 3D flowers, which I have then used inside a 3D box frame. although this project took ages, and I swore a lot because well the hot glue gun was hot and I kept burning myself, the project itself I am so happy with, and I do like a good fiddly project.

To anyone questioning buying a Cricut…

If anyone was to ask me, should I give in and buy a Cricut? I would probably do a really excited squeal, ramble about how much I love the Cricut and then overfeed information about what the cricut machine can do. Then I would ask them one simple questions…
Do you have a passion for crafting?
If the answer is yes. Do it! The Cricut community is amazing, and there is so much benefit from owning such an amazing machine. I would suggest doing some of your own research before you buy, as you will need tools and materials alongside owning the machine. I feel that it is beneficial to be able to get the accessories alongside the machine, and believe me there is so much too choose from. My next stop with be saving for and buying the Cricut east heat press.

So what do you think? Does the cricut machine sound like a match for you?

I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions, as always leave me some love below.

Keeping yourself organised and carrying on.

With my life being as hectic as it has been in the past months I thought that now would be the perfect opportunity to talk about the greatest art of them all. Organisation.

Are you like me with a thousand things going on in your mind right this second, then you have about a hundred different things that you really need to do? No matter how hard you try sometimes it feels like you are never going to catch up! like all that life stuff just seems to get in the way of just everything that you need to do! or maybe you have too many plans to do all the things you need and there is just not enough hours in the day to fit it all in! It can literally feels like a rollercoaster that you are stuck on, with no brakes and no way of getting off. Scary hey? but did I get it right? If so you are not alone. Literally there are thousands of people exactly the same right this minute! In fact even the most organised person can have moments where life is mental as hell and cannot get all their shit together.

Let us be honest. Life really can be a bitch at times, with it being so busy at times that it is hard to get a break from it and catching up seems like mission impossible. keeping organised can be a hard enough at times. So what can we do to get ourselves to keep going, and feel like we are heading in the right direction again?

Stop and breathe!

Honestly, this is probably one of the most important steps to getting yourself in a calm and organised, destressed state of mind. I know that if you are reading this, you are wanting to get organised and productive, and you are probably feeling like you must do it all and do it all now, but it is so important to stop. Take a breathe and don’t panic. We all know being unorganised and having a lot to do is stressful but if you can just take a minute, to gather your thoughts, this will be a massive game-changer for you. what I mean is, by taking it slowly you aret going to make less mistakes, be in control of what it is you have planned, and you are going to feel less of a want to give up before you have even begun.

Making Lists!

So now that you are calm and you have taken a break, let’s think it all out! It may sound pretty cliche honestly, but I do believe in to-do lists. Even if they never seem to end. By sitting down and recapping everything you need to do can help you work out the most productive way to do things anything to be able to save a bit of time) as well as making it possible to remember everything you need to do! so a brilliant idea would be to keep an active note book with an ongoing list, that you can add to when ever you need, and the feeling of crossing an item off the list when it has been completed. yeah that is actually quite satisfiying

Also by making a list, you can priorities what actually needs to be down first and what can wait. Which means you will not need to stress because youwill be able to confidently work to deadlines, knowing you have completed your ‘To-Dos’ efficiently. Pretty awesome hey?

Use your phone

If we are honest with ourselves, how many times in life can you say that you do not carry your devices around with us 24/7? We literally have this amazing device that we do so much with. So why not use your smartphone as your personal PA? It is the ideal way of constant reminders and keeping yourself on ball.

If you can sort yourself so that all of your important dates and appointments in your calendar on your phone, and then set your phone to remind you a day before so you are always on top of the stuff that is coming up in your life. I find it really useful as well that you can even share an open calendar with loved ones that they can also add too. So not only are you reminding yourself, you are making sure everyone else is on point too..

I literally have 100 reminders set to go off to remind me at times to do things, because thats how I role! and it works! If Im playing on my phone and something comes up it really does push me to get up and get it sorted before it is too late! and it really is the things that I havn’t set

Planners

My happy planner (one of them)

For me a Planner is my favourite purchase of the year. at the moment I am a proud owner of a Mambi Happy Planner, I absolutely love it. My planner is another creative space for me with all my upcoming adventures and chores written in. I have been using one for 2 years now. As well as a standard planner. I would suggest to anybody, especially anyone who has a love for stationary. I’m thinking of even trying a different style next year and getting the Erin colder life planner.

But don’t get me wrong. You don’t need a fancy planner. A cheap and plain one will do just fine as long as you stick to writing everything you basically need too.

Find your Zone

And by Zone I mean your own space! like a little corner of your room or house, that is completely yours for getting stuff done! it is such a good idea, since I have gotten my own desk the way that I work has changed so much! I almost never have my laptop on the bed anymore! I am happy to sit in my ‘zone’ which I have personalised to be a bit of me, and I am able to craft and create for hours at a time without any distractions or excuses. Even if you can’t have an office like set up or anything like that. I would still suggest you have an appropriate space where you can get shit done. Its such an amazing tool!

Sticky notes

So speaking of sticky things…. I have always had a massive love for sticky notes. I can quite easily have them everywhere. Full of reminders, info or just a few doodles and inspirational phrases. Plus leaving messages for yourself on pretty and coloured paper, can really brighten up a room.

Those colours <3

Time

Another really important factor for the skills of organisation. Time management. Ensuring that you are able to give yourself enough time to complete tasks and that you are able to take your time on whatever it is you are doing, is so so important. Don’t set yourself a task that is going to take you 3 hours, when you only have 1 hour free. you will be less likely to complete what it is you are doing, and that would just suck wouldn’t it? no one likes too many open projects at one time hey?

So that is all of the most important factors that I can think of, and methods that I actually use to keep myself organised and on the right path! I would always encourage all of my friends to try these ways to getting back on track! and never giving up, you can do whatever you put your mind to.

So guys. What are methods that you guys would suggest? I would love to hear your comments and suggestions below! so I look forward to hearing from you all.