Cricut Imagine: my thoughts

hi all!

i am excited today – me & Pezza are heading to my mom’s for a week.  she has loads of fun stuff planned for us while we are there.  i plan on bringing some crochet projects with me to work on.  Maybe some other small handwork i can easily transport.

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all Kraftin Kimmies will be 15% off for this week only thru the 17th at Susana’s Custom Art & Card Design!!!!

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So yesterday i FINALLY got to pull out my brand spankin’ new Cricut Imagine!!! i  can tell you i am LOVING it – really loving it.  so i want to give you my initial thoughts and assessments.  but i will tell you first off my overall thought – I LOVE IT!!!!!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  WAY more than i thought i would to be honest.

ok to start with – there are some things you need to go through when you take the machine out of the box and i HIGHLY recommend you do it.  the main thing is callibration.  YOU MUST do the callibration so that the blade lines up correctly around the edge of your image.  otherwise your cuts will be off and even if they are only off a little it will cause problems when it comes to doing projects.  i was lucky – my hubby did all of this for me!  he knew i had so much to do to prepare for being gone for a week that i would never have time to do that AND play with it.  at one point the Imagine even printed all over the outer edge of the mat but it cleaned right off with a little windex.  this was important because your imagine uses the black marks on the outer edge to line itself up.  the callibration takes PATIENCE but is so worth it.  once he got the printing callibrated he had to get the blade callibrated.  our initial callibration was close and so we thought it was good enough – not so!  i ended up going through it three more times to get it just right.  here is the difference:

The cut outs on the TOP are after our intial callibration – you can see how the green printing is off on two edges.  this made a MAJOR difference in the overall piece i cut out.  the bottom two are after my subsequent callibrations – big difference!  Unfortunately this takes a full sheet of paper every time.  so i chose to use the backs of papers i don’t like 🙂  YOU DO NOT NEED TO RECALIBRATE EVERY TIME YOU DO A PROJECT.

now the projects i made – please be kind – i was less interested in the overall project and more interested in the functioning of the machine so NOT my best cards ever but they serve their purpose here:

The card on the right is NOT layered – i picked it out of the images on the Imagine cart that came with the machine and print and cut it:

talk about EASY card – seriously if i had put any effort into it i can see how this will be AWESOME for quick beautiful cards.  the image is a Studio G image – added ribbon and a few glittered skittles and DONE!

Next i used the same image but cut it in layers so each colored portion you see was cut out as it’s own layer – this is easy to do – one touch:

now i have my image cut in layers just like traditional cricut cuts would be.  i could have even popped them up with dimensionals for added depth.

now my general assessments, tips, etc for those who want to know this part.  i have pros, cons and DUH moments:

PROS:

i find this machine cuts better than my E.  don’t know why but it does.

the digital interface is AWESOME – now i know why so many folks love their gypsy.  i like this method WAY better than all of the buttons, dials and overlays on the E.  i NEVER would have thought that but it’s true.  i am still getting to know my way around in there and have not found everything yet but i like it.

i like how this method of picking out my cuts allows me to EASILY do a string of cuts in all shapes, creative features whatever that i want more easily than i can do with the E.

i LOVE that i can also use it just like an E – i don’t HAVE to use white paper, i con’t have to print ANYTHING – i can ust use colored or patterned paper like before if i choose to.

all my original cricut cartridges work just as well in the I as in the E.  and NO they have no plans on doscontinuing the carts for a regular cricut – that would be silly.

CONS:

it does take up alot of space – for me i am lucky enough to have the space for it – i put it right where i had my E and really didn’t have to change much about the space BUT i can understand how it might be difficult for people who have less space or have to keep their Cricut put away when not in use.  it’s ALOT of machine to be taking out and putting back.

the mat does seem to be losing it’s stickiness quicker than my regular mats…not sure if that is a fluke or an overall problem.

the mats are more expensive.

i have not figured out how to move the images around on the mat – there might be a way that i just haven’t figured out…but i like to load several colors of paper on my mat at once and cut everything i need…..

my hubby says the print quality is poor but i think its fine…could be that i can adjust it like a normal printer and i just haven’t figured out how….

Provocraft is being VERY slow getting out the updates needed to use more recent carts in teh machine – this is a problem they will HAVE to address – i can’t get rid of my E if i don’t know how long it will be before i can use recently released cartridges.  i went to start on Pezza’s bday invite and my Boys Will be Boys cart does not work in the Imagine SO…

yea…..not gonna work for me…i am hoping this will be addressed in the future. 

now i realize some folks will consider the price to be a con but i do not think this machine is overpriced for what you get.  BMWs are expensive too, just because i can’t afford one doesn’t mean the price is unfair…

as for ink cartridges – i buy them for my printers and i can buy them for this – same thing to me.

now for my DUH moments:

inserting my mat – yea i sat there for quite awhile frustrated because i held my mat against the roller bar on the front just like my E and it WOULD NOT LOAD….welllll thats because you are supposed to put it in the slot ABOVE the roller bar…the one with the BIG RED ARROWS that says insert mat here……..

Changing the size of my image.  i can’t tell you how many things i tried before it occurred to me that perhaps i should tap on the PENCIL that appears on the image when you select it…you know…the UNIVERSAL icon for edit…yea…..

that’s all i have for now – i better get PACKING!!!

hugs

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2 Responses

  1. Marti you are costing me more money again! I like the idea of quickly making a card and not having to search for just the right color of paper! So I have something to put on my wish list. I hope they get the bugs worked out soon!

  2. Have a great time with your mom!

    Thanks for all the info. It was also nice to see that the multiple calibrations helped your borders. I was not impressed with the samples I’ve seen so far because the borders were always uneven.

    I’m happy with my e & gypsy, so I’m going to stick with that for now because I hate to print stuff myself and I haven’t seen lots of designs that I like.

    The price does seem decent for what you get, but I don’t have that to spend on another machine. That’s why I drive the bug, not a BMW 🙂

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