I got a new toy, you guys, and I need someone to tell me how to play with it.
[whispering] It's so beautiful.
(For once we don't mean you, Suki. Sorry.)
The beautiful thing is a Cricut Air 2, for those who - like me - didn't know what they look like.
I've been telling lots of you that I've been thinking about getting a cutting machine for over a year now, but then John caught wind of it, found a sale, and brought home this beauty. I had no idea they came in teal, so... BONUS.
I've been watching a bunch of "instructional" videos on Youtube, and can I just say, most of what I'm finding are pretty bad. But funny. One lady kept dropping the camera, then she'd lose control of the zoom feature so the computer screen would suddenly zoom in 'til you could see the pixels, and where I really lost it was when she spent a solid minute of dead air time scrolling through a menu because she couldn't find a file that *I* could clearly see, so I'm sitting there yelling at the monitor "IT'S THERE! IT'S RIGHT THERE! CLICK IT! CLICK IIIIIT", and by the time John came in I was laughing my fool head off. Not because I could do any better, but because that was the final edit she put on Youtube. Then again, she gets the last laugh because I watched the whole thing, so there ya go.
Anyhoo, once I was armed with over 2 tedious hours worth of "instruction" from Teh Youtubers, I proceeded to watch in horror as John plugged the Cricut in and figured it all out on his own in about 5 minutes.
So not fair.
This is not a review, and I can't say if this will ever be worth the $200, but I will say that within an hour John and I were giddy with the possibilities. We've done a lot of tedious papercrafts here over the years, and most would be a snap to revisit with this thing. In fact, it took John less than 10 minutes to take our existing template of the Hogwarts House Nightlights and have the Cricut cut one:
This looks way better than my hand cut versions - and only took about a minute to do. Whaaaaat.
Now I know what all my friends are getting for Christmas next year! (Hint: it's not a Cricut.)
Here's the machine set up, btw:
We still have to find a space for it in my office. o.0
The first project on my list for the Cricut is revisiting the Craft That Got Away: the one that so many of you have spotted in the background of my house photos, and have been asking about for years now:
My custom Harry Potter book covers.
These faux leather babies were a labor of love, emphasis on "labor". So much tedious sketching, cutting, and stenciling! I hand cut 22 separate stencils for this set (see how tiny they are?), which John and I then had to stick down & spray individually with gold paint. MADNESS. I wanted to make full sets in each of the 4 House colors after this, but I gave up after this trial run, realizing it was WAY too complex for a blog tutorial.
Ahh, but now - NOW - I think I can finally move forward using DECALS! And I can show you guys my secrets for making book covers that look like leather!
I went through a lot of trial and error to get the finish right, and I still have more experiments to try with the sheen, but I'm excited to revisit this. Making the covers was the fun part! (They're thick and pretty durable; I think we made these... 5 years ago?... and they're holding up like champs.)
If this works maybe I can finally show off all the minimalist symbols I drew for the fronts, too, since I'm kinda proud of them.
This sheen isn't as nice as the red one, but you get the idea.
Plus I can draw minimalist House insignias for the bottom spine design, so instead of the HP you could have a lion, badger, eagle, or snake. Ohhh, can you imagine? THEY'LL BE SO PRETTY.
Anyway, sorry to hype you up for something that probably won't be on the blog for a while yet, but I am PUMPED. Unfortunately we've already discovered the Cricut brand vinyl won't work - the adhesive isn't nearly strong enough - so John and I are researching more permanent, high-quality vinyls right now. (Any recommendations?) Once we have that I plan to make a bunch more book covers to perfect the process, then I hope to record a tutorial for you guys!
In the meantime, I'm still a total newbie to the world of Cricut, so help a girl out: Who has the best tutorials? What are your favorite kinds of projects? Where do you get your materials? Hit me up with your best tips and tricks. Most of the projects I'm seeing so far are just glorified label-making, but I know there has to be so much more out there, so teach me, oh Crafty Ones!
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