so sorry for lack of posts but i have been doing ALOT of info gathering while here and literally just EXHAUSTED by the end of the day!!!! however i suddenly have LOTS of time on my hands – i was supposed to be on a plane flying home but instead i will be hanging out in LA until FRIDAY due to flight cancellations!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i have to say i am not all to happy about it – i miss my hubby and kids, i want to hang out with my mom who is home watching pezza and i am MISSING ALL THE GOOD SNOW AND ICE which i LOVE when i am AT HOME and don’t have to go anywhere. right now i am in the hotel lobby in my jammies catching up on work and watching the news (craziness). my roomies all sleep in so i head down here about 4am so i don’t wake them up.
CHA has been a BLAST as usual. i LOVE seeing old friends. i have seen lots of great stuff. exciting things coming out folks! i hope you have been able to keep up – i know there are alot of places that post pics of ALL OF IT which i couldn’t possibly do here but i will show you some of my favorites! first up is ProvoCraft of course!!!
three major things going on in the Cricut booth:
1. The revamped Cricut Expression 2 anniversary edition. the Cricut turned 5 and has a whole new look! t he expression 2 has some new key changes. the most important – the touch screen instead of the keypad and overlays. this was my single most favorite thing about the Imagine when i got it and to see it on the new expression – brilliant! it just makes things so much quicker and easier. on the current machine you have to cut things individually – for example you might want to cut three things in three different sizes – you set one size, cut, set the second size, cut, set the third size, cut. same for the different creative features. with the touch screen you can pick them all out at once and cut them all. In addition this will cut from Imagine carts as well. now that seems odd because many of them would not look quite right without the printed details. however there are some i could see using. and then finally there is the color. you will be able to customize your color – the two side bars pop off and can be replaced with other ones (purchased separately)
on the prototype shown here the blade holder is cricut green but on the actual machines that will be a neutral color since it is not changeable. the foot print is the same as the expression 1 including height.
another critical thing to mention – i noticed with my imagine that it cut ALOT better than my E – that updated cutting ability has been used on this machine as well so that is good news!
next up – cricut classroom. we have been wanting an improvement to the current computer based Design Studio for quite some time. the gypsy was a vast improvement but many of us (me included) did not like the small screen and did not need something that was portable. in addition the gypsy requires you to permanently link your cartridges which many did not like. but none of us were looking forward to having to purchase yet another software program (after all i have to buy all of those cartridges they keep coming out with right?) from many conversations with Jim Colby (VP of product dev.) i knew this was a HUGE priority on his list but there were some difficult roadblocks for a variety of reasons. i suspected this was going to finally launch so i beelined right for it and Jim looked SO pleased as he was telling me about it. it really is an answer to our concerns and frustrations. i have spent alot of time with Bill (creator) talking to him about his vision and what he wanted to accomplish with this program. i sat down and easily figured out how to navigate and do what i wanted in minutes – FAR more user friendly than design studio which i have never really gotten the hang of. it has more of a feel of most standard graphics design programs. it is online and best of all FREE. yes FREE. not free with a catch. not free with limited workability. not free for a limited time only. not free with a catch. cynics can stop – it is just FREE FREE FREE. you can look at and design with every cart ever made but can only cut with carts you already have. it welds automatically when the images touch each other. you can group items and resize them all at once. some fun features – a cartridge wish list. the ability to click and find out all of your local buying options for a particular cart you may want to purchase. it is still in beta testing and depending on how that goes they hope to roll it out in 4 weeks or so.
next up – my beloved cuttlebug - exciting thing coming in this arena and something i would have NEVER thought of. it starts with this – a master folder with a grid of peg holes:
one side is green and one is clear.
then you have your embossing pieces.
each image has a green piece and matching clear piece and they have pegs on the backs.
so you take your green pieces and arrange them as you want on the green grid plate – use 1 piece use 5 pieces.
next lay the clear pieces on top so they fit together:
next you close the folder so that the clear pieces attach to the top clear portion of the master folder in the peg holes. open it back up and you have a custom embossing folder! now put your paper in, two B plates and run it through your cuttlebug!
seriously how cool is that???? the master folder and two embossing sets will be available in feb and the rest are coming in june. MSRP on all is $20.00.
the cricut launch party was absolutely amazing as it always is. they had dancers from so you think you can dance which were amazing. then they had a dance contest between jim T (ceo), brian (not sure of his title), and Jinger (PC spokesperson) and they were HILARIOUS!!!!!!!! really beyond hilarious. i have rarely laughed so hard in my life. i think when i grow up i want to work for provocraft :)
since i will be sitting here in LA with nothing to do i will get more pics and updates posted up for you soon. the show is closing today at 2 so they can start packing up. have a great day!!!