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candylover679 Offline
#1 Posted : Tuesday, February 08, 2011 1:05:46 PM(UTC)
candylover679

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Hello All!!

I am looking to invest in a Cricut. I have NEVER done any kind of crafting of ANY sort...not even scrapbooking...but I want a fun hobby, maybe even something I could turn into a little extra money. I would say I'm half-way creative, but have NO artistic ability. So here are my questions....

1. What machine is the best to start out on? I see a lot about people loving the Expression, but what is the Imagine?

2. Is there somewhere where I can read on just general "instructions" on how to get started and what not?????

Thanks in advanceBigGrin



Penguin Collector Offline
#2 Posted : Tuesday, February 08, 2011 1:46:26 PM(UTC)
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I love my Cricut Create, but I wish I would have spent the extra $ and gotten the E. I have no interest in the Imagine.

Go to You Tube and there are plenty of Cricut videos. HTH!
CricketCMV Offline
#3 Posted : Tuesday, February 08, 2011 2:23:59 PM(UTC)
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The Expression ("E") has six function keys that I don't think the prior machines have to the Expression. I love my Expression and I'm glad I didn't know anything about the cutters until I saw the informercial on the "E". There are other things the Expression does that the earlier machines don't.

The Expression makes cuts from 1/4"(high and wide) to 24" (high and wide). The other machines only use 6X12" mats, so you can't cut anything more than up to 12". So, it really depends on what it is you want to do.

If you are making cards, the 6X12" cutters might work for you. If you are working on 12X12" layouts, you might like to be able to cut something more than 6" (high or wide).

There are other things you can do with the Expression, as well.

If I were you, I would go to the EDUCATION button on the Home Page of Cricut.com and explore the manuals of the different machines to see what it is you will want your machine to do for you.

The IMAGINE is the newest release. I don't have it; maybe someone else will come on here to tell you more about it. I personally can't afford it and probably never will. BUT, I DO LOVE A LOT OF THE POSTS I SEE OF THINGS MADE WITH IT!

Good luck in your decision.

Char
candylover679 Offline
#4 Posted : Tuesday, February 08, 2011 2:53:39 PM(UTC)
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Thanks for the input :) Just curious...would the Imagine 'replace' the Expression?? I'm going to the home page and explore...been watching HSN for about the last hour, LOL!
scrapalette Offline
#5 Posted : Tuesday, February 08, 2011 3:11:06 PM(UTC)
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Well yes and no. The Imagine has the print ability and the Expression doesn't. So if you have an Imagine, you don't really need an Expression. If you want to cut thicker media (other than paper/cardstock), you would need the Expression as the Imagine can't bring thicker media into the machine because of the way it rolls the paper through (like a printer).

But, there is a new version of the Expression due out at the end of April. While it will have more advanced technology (color touch screen, wifi capability, ability to cut from Imagine carts~no printing), the original version of the E will still thrive.
BetsyBoo Offline
#6 Posted : Tuesday, February 08, 2011 3:47:36 PM(UTC)
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The new E sounds neat, but frankly I think the current E is just fine, I have the original small cricut and upgraded to the E this summer, I am glad I did, I like being able to cut small things to much larger items, I personally would not spend the money on the new machine.
Khrista Offline
#7 Posted : Tuesday, February 08, 2011 8:58:16 PM(UTC)
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Here's been my progression...

I started with the BabyBug.. sort of the same idea.. looked fun and I was sure there were things I could do (plus I taught then and am in a classroom again (was an admin for a while)). The babybug as it's been dubbed is the original small machine 'Personal' and the same size about as the Create. I found it great for making cards which is what I mainly due. It didn't take me too long though before I got frustrated that I couldn't make things bigger, so..

moved up to the Expression. I love my Expression and have used it a LOT more than I ever used my smaller one. I still have the small one as I let my daughter use it etc. The Expression let's you cut things much bigger which I would think for scrapbooking and other crafts is better. I've done a lot of vinyl words using the Expression. It also has a few features the babybug doesn't. So then my dilemma became I want to do more.. so I also own a Gypsy which I personally wouldn't recommend right off the bat unless money wasn't a problem. It's allowed me to combine images etc. I won't go into all of it's things though.

So my next problem beyond those was that I am bad about using scraps. So.. when the Imagine came out I thought.. looks cool, but too expensive.. I don't need it.. never watch HSN, they make it all look great <sigh>. So I now own the Imagine too. The Imagine prints and cuts. It will do everything the Expression does, but now add the ability to print. My purpose for this machine is so many cartridges have layered images. So I would have find the red, the blue, the yellow, the purple.. whatever and put each color on and have it cut whichever layer on that color. Ok, not an impossible thing to do.. just a time thing and what contributed to my scraps the most. Now I can pick my colors and have all of an images layers print on one page (unless they're so big it needs more than one) and cut the images so when the mat comes out I can put that image together pretty quickly. Some people have had various problems with the Imagine and some have not. I don't honestly know if I would recommend this machine as a first machine. It kind of depends what you want to be able to do. I personally think it is the gypsy that will help make this machine do the most and the company is still working on the updates for that to happen. I go between the Imagine and my Expression still at the moment.

The Imagine won't replace the Expression. Many people don't care about the 'print' ability. I personally think there were always be some type of Expression out and that will continue to be improved upon. I think the smaller machines are going away. The new one has some nice features that might be worth holding out or saving for instead of getting the current version. It will at some point be able to be wi-fi which is nice, you won't have to pull out the overlay (which for me.. that means I only need the cartridge as I use my iPad for the handbooks), and it saves various settings that you like. That's the ghist of what I know of it off the top of my head from the video's I've seen. On the flip side, seems like it would knock the price down on the current Expressions out there. Do know that usually within a month or two of PC product being launched, the prices start dropping by quite a bit. The Imagine was $500 at launch in Sept. Now it ranges from $350-$400.

Long response, but hope that gives you a little info on each one and least what my thoughts as to why I ended up with the various ones. :)

candylover679 Offline
#8 Posted : Wednesday, February 09, 2011 1:30:26 PM(UTC)
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thanks for all the responses :)

Khrista--When you talk about layering, I have watched many a HSN videos and she always talks about layering and I understand what layering is...however, with the expression does layering mean that you have to do each pieces with a different card stock and then layer it yourself, but with the imagine you don't have to use different colors, it will do it for you? My thinking is if I am going to go ahead and spend 300 bucks on the expression, why not spend another 150 and get the imagine if it is better and can do more???? Or would you still get the expression no matter what?

I need to watch some more videos on youtube to understand too I think...
Khrista Offline
#9 Posted : Wednesday, February 09, 2011 6:51:34 PM(UTC)
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candylover679 wrote:
thanks for all the responses :)

Khrista--When you talk about layering, I have watched many a HSN videos and she always talks about layering and I understand what layering is...however, with the expression does layering mean that you have to do each pieces with a different card stock and then layer it yourself, but with the imagine you don't have to use different colors, it will do it for you? My thinking is if I am going to go ahead and spend 300 bucks on the expression, why not spend another 150 and get the imagine if it is better and can do more???? Or would you still get the expression no matter what?

I need to watch some more videos on youtube to understand too I think...



Hm.. thinking as I type. :) With the Expression, you would cut each layer out in whatever color/pattern paper you want and yes layer it yourself.

The Imagine gives you some additional things. It will use all of the cartridges the E does and you can do the exact thing above on it where you put different colors/patterns of paper in it and have it cut that image. However it also has two sets of cartridges made specifically for it. One is a pattern cartridge which has so many different coordinating patterns on it. The other is an image cartridge (which doesn't have a lot of images like the original cartridges). The Imagine Image cartridges allow you to do two things - one is to have a single flat layer like a printer of that image and you can change various patterns and colors within that image. Sometimes you lose some of the details though and they're supposed to be working on that. It also allows you to print and cut that image in layers so you can then layer it yourself for a more 3-D effect. If you look on the cricut website, you can look at the handbooks and see what I mean too I think. Ok.. so that's the two things you can do with the Imagine Image Cartridges. The pattern cartridges - those you can put in and then put in an original cartridge (let's say Spongebob) and use those patterns to make the different layers of spongebob. You can also use solid colors or any RGB (Red/Green/Blue) code you want. So then your image prints and cuts out onto white cardstock which you would then layer just like you would have on an Expression. The Imagine isn't technically 'portable' like the Expression is. You can move it, but it's like 30 pounds and wasn't meant to be moved a whole bunch. The expression you could easily, for the most part, put in your car and take somewhere with you.

Some links maybe to look at too:
www.mypinkstamper.com
http://imaginecritters.blogspot.com/

Honestly, I think it's just a preference. If I did not have any of them and was looking at them.. I personally would probably lean towards the Imagine, even if I had to save longer, because I haven't gotten involved into crops (not because I don't want to.. just a time thing) where I need something portable, and it gives me the things I like for when I'm creating something. It's still not to it's full potential yet which means there is more to come so what you'll be able to do will probably expand. It does not take a 24" long mat at this time, but it's been said it'll come. With the Imagine you do have to replace the ink when it runs out... but so far that seems to be little.. I've yet to replace either of mine since Sept. You do have to have some patience to grow with it as provocraft puts out updates etc.

I'd look at projects in the Imagine forum: http://community.provocr...cs35_Cricut-Imagine.aspx

sweetpea1030 Offline
#10 Posted : Wednesday, February 09, 2011 8:59:15 PM(UTC)
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I've had my expression for many years. I purchased a Create about two years ago, and I love it. It gives me about the same as the E but it's portable. The original E was meant to be stationary. The Create is about the same as the original bug.

There's also the Cricut Cake machines for people who like making and/or decorating cakes.

You can go to cricut.com and see the different machines and also the cartridges. The I is a print and cut machine. It's not for me because it uses ink cartridges. If you're familiar with the price of ink these days you know some people are just purchasing a new printer than buy replacement ink cartridges because of the price. The cartridges for the I are between $34 and $36 each. I'd rather spend money on new cartridges, when I can afford them, than ink cartridges. There's tons of beautiful papers available. The I does allow you to customize. You can do that with a regular printer if you needed only a small amount of a particular paper and the software to do it, but you'll still have to make any cuts with your machine and cartridges. HTH
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