Friday, December 31, 2010

One Of My Readers....

So this is for paintedbluestars! She just got herself a new Cricut and sent me an awesome email asking for cartridge recommendations. Wow.... that's kind of a brilliant thing to do and I suddenly wish I would have done the same thing back when I first started out, so, I thought I'd post my response to her. Thanks paintedbluestars for sparking a blog post! :)
CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'm so sorry for the delay with this response. I've been sick since before Christmas (can you believe my incredible timing?!?) and JUST NOW got to see a doctor! YIKES... Merry Christmas to me. Luckily for me though, I get to recuperate while watching the Twilight Zone marathon on Sci-Fi this weekend! YAY, just in time for New Years!!! Anywho.... which cartridges you should get is really based on what you are looking to do with your new found gem. If you are just a card maker, I would have totally different suggestions than if you are using your Cricut for scrapbooking layouts or crafting. But since you asked (and I tend to dabble with all of the above) here are my ABSOLUTE favorites and why:

Disney Hannah Montana - ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE. This cartridge has the most AMAZING bang for your Cricut buck. It contains 5 (count em F I V E) fonts as well as cool phrases and really unique images. You will be hard pressed to find duplicates for anything on this cartridge. Now, it does have VERY corny "Hannah Montana cuts", but they are easily ignored since the rest of this cartridge is sheer and utter GOLD. Of course, if you happen to live with a Hannah Montana fan, those oh-so-annoying-and-not-very-realistic-cuts are probably totally forgivable and might even earn you a "mom, you are the best!".

Storybook - Until I discovered the treasure that hid inside the Hannah Montana cartridge, THIS cartridge was my all-time favorite. Again, it contains a font AND uber cool images AND phrases AND.... well, you get where this is going. This cartridge ROCKS! My personal favorite are all the frames on this cartridge not to mention the font is GORGEOUS!!! I use this cartridge quite a bit to add a touch of "design" to many of my projects. Pssst... this cartridge contains the scalloped oval that I use to go with my oval nesties. I think it's the blackout feature on the "W".

Paper Doll Dress Up OR Everyday Paper Dolls - both of these cartridges, while different, have the same theme, paper dolls. I do think the paper dolls are cute and can be used on just about anything, but it was all the EXTRAS on these cartridges that propelled me to stand in line, during the freezing weather (hey, Arizona gets cold too), with a full on Thanksgiving day bloat, to battle some chick who was elbowing me in the ribs, to get my hands on these beauties for $29.99. Now, had I have known that they would be offered for FREE with Cricut rewards points, I might have thought twice and saved myself the aggravation.... NAH... I would have missed out on playing with these cool cartridges for more than a year. Money well spent, and if the chick who elbowed me is reading this now, I'm lookin for you! One of these black fridays I WILL exact my revenge.

Tags Bags Boxes and More - again, this is ANOTHER cartridge that is offered at Cricut.com/rewards, but I'm so glad that I didn't wait. I will say the draw back with this one is that I don't recommend this one for use with the 6" personal cutter. The beauty of this cartridge is making the bags and boxes to put things in to give away. I got this cartridge before I upgraded from the personal cutter to the Expression and can honestly say that I had WAY MORE FUN with it AFTER the upgrade. 6" was just not enough width. A special note here, I found out that I could get my cuts from this cartridge even LARGER with my Gypsy (Design Studio would allow you to do this as well) because I am able to shift and turn images on the virtual mat before cutting. Example: The popcorn box I just posted the other day on my blog was actually about 20% smaller until I "tweeked it" (meaning I just rotated it to fit diagonally). Now it's big enough to hold the full size bag of unpopped microwave popcorn and all the goodies I plan to load inside!

And finally.... Fabulous Finds - there's nothing I like more than interactive scrapbook pages and interactive cards and this cartridge gives me that. From tabs to tags and hidden window cards, this cartridge is everything the title promises it will be.

Well, that about does it for my ALL TIME FAVES. You'll find that I tend to gravitate toward cartridges that give you a lot for the money you spend. Honestly, the 50 images at Walmart for $40 is kind of a turn off and I won't buy the cartridges at Walmart for that price because of it. I did get a great deal this past black Friday when I got a couple of cartridges for $20 each... didn't have to freeze standing in line, Walmart was open all night and elbow chick was no where to be found. I still cringed though knowing that I was only getting 50 images for the same $20 that could have gotten me a full content cartridge (700+ Images) on Ebay for the same pricetag.

A GREAT resource to check out all the cartridges and what is on each cartridge is to go to

  1. Cricut.com
  2. Left click on "Products" at the top of the page
  3. Left click on "Cartridges" off to the left side of the page
  4. Find a cartridge you'd like to explore
  5. Left click the "Details" for that cartridge
  6. Scroll to the top of that page (it will look like a blank page if you don't scroll to the top)
  7. Left click "Digital Handbook". A PDF file will open containing every image available to cut on that particular cartridge.
This will allow you to see EVERYTHING that is on a cartridge before you buy it. Now some of the newer cartridges won't have a digital handbook available simply because they are new and some of the exclusive cartridges (again with the let-down Walmart?) are lacking preview images entirely, but for the most part, doing this should save you some time and money. Trust me on this! There have been a couple cartridges that I wouldn't have bought had I known beforehand everything that was (or was not) on them. Have fun and best of luck with your new toy!!! SOOOOO FUN!

Sincerely,
FitterTwit

1 comment:

FitterTwit said...

PS. Create A Critter is also a huge favorite of mine, but since I have only used it twice it didn't make the cut for this post. :)