The Cricut Digital Craft Cutters and I have a long history; I've been drooling over die cutters like the Cricut for years. When I first heard of a machine like this, I didn't even know what I might do with one, I just knew I wanted it. So, a few years pass, and I continue to drool. I think to myself, if I could justify the cost, actually have a use for one of these puppies, I'll treat myself. Believe it or not, I never came up with a good reason; at least not reason enough to spend around $200 - which is funny, because I've spent way more than that on other more silly things, go figure.
Fast forward to Christmas 2010. I was finishing up my grocery shopping at Kroger, when I came across a display near the front of the store, filled with Cricut Personal Cutters and various cartridges. The price of the machine was $99. "Hm", I said to myself, "that's not a bad price." I kept walking and went on with my day.
A month later, early January, I saw them again at Kroger, this time marked down to $65.99. I had never seen them priced that low. So I thought about it for a bit, but kept on walking. Again, I couldn't justify that purchase, even though it was a geat price. The next couple of times I was in the store, I kind of kept an eye out to see if they were maybe marked down any further, but I didn't see the display. I just figured they had sold them all, and went about my business.
Then, in February, I was again doing my weekly grocery shopping, when I randomly went down the "Seasonal"/Pet Food aisle. I'm not sure what drew me down that particular aisle, as I knew we didn't need dog food; maybe it was Providence. Anyway, there were a lot of Christmas leftovers, toys and various other things, marked with clearance price stickers. Lo and behold, there was the Cricut. The price? $35.99. That was it, my decision was made. There was NO WAY I could pass that up. I would find a purpose to use this machine. I would find a way to make it pay for itself. Afterall, I'm crafty, I could use die cuts. Plus, adhesive vinyl is all the rage in the crafty personalization world, right?
So I grabbed one. I couldn't wait to use it. No more drooling! Then a few days later I went back and picked up another one for my sister-in-law Katie, because I'm awesome that way.
Now, there was something else that had been stopping me from buying a Cricut for all those years: the fact that you couldn't do anything with it unless you had a Cricut cartridge. You couldn't use any of the fonts on your computer, or any other designs you already had. You could only use what was available from Cricut on their cartridges. Personally I found that to be a little stifling. I didn't want to be limited to the cartridge-based system, especially when the cartridges themselves start at around $45. This may be okay for some, but I don't want to spend that kind of money everytime I want a new design. Of course there are other die cutting machines that don't require any sort of cartridge, but where am I going to find one of those for $36?
So I did some more research, and found out that there is software you can buy (online) to enable your Cricut to use any font you have on your computer. Hurrah! I was sold.
I know there are ongoing lawsuits and issues between Provo Craft, the makers of Cricut products, and these other software companies, such as CraftEdge/Sure Cuts A Lot, but I feel like these companies have opened the doors for crafters everywhere to be a little more creative with their machines. I'm happy I have my little Cricut, but I'm also happy to have options.
If you have a Cricut machine, any of them, I highly recommend looking into Sure Cuts A Lot, while it's still available. You'll be amazed at what you can do with it!