I have been considering a Cricut Expression for quite some time. I was not really serious about it because I do my scrapbooking digitally and I have a die cutter for my cardmaking. I got a bit more serious when I read about doing vinyl with it. So, a few weeks ago I started doing a bit of research and deal searching online and found one.
WOW! I can't believe I waited so long. I love this thing! However, waiting did allow me to keep my eyes out for good deals. I was checking out sales and on Craigslist when I found a local gentleman who gets the Walmart returns and refurbishes them. Sometimes there is nothing wrong with them and he sells them at a really good deal. If you know me, you know that I am a total sucker for a good deal. Well, in the end I got it for about 77% less than the full retail price.
Upon further Internet research, I found out that you can connect to your computer and cut out just about anything you can get on your computer. Wow again! There are a few programs that you can get to use this function. Among a few lesser known others, the two I looked at were The Cricut produced program and Sure Cuts A Lot. The biggest drawback for me with the Cricut produced program is that you have to purchase the cartridges to use the shapes. That was way too expensive for me. I ended up choosing a program called Sure Cuts A Lot 2 (SCAL). There is a plethora of information at Scrapping Table . I have only been fiddling with the program for a week, but I have figured out how and where to find free SVG files. The program will allow you to cut any kind of font that is on your computer as well as dingbat fonts and SVG files. I don't know what SVG stands for, but you can get a ton of them for free on the Internet. You can also get a ton of free fonts as well. Just Google it! The flower for the Butterfly Invitation and the paisleys on my shower curtain were both cut on my new toy using Sure Cuts A Lot.
So far I have figured that I can use this crafty duo for creating appliques, iron ons for do it yourself shirts, cutouts for scrapbooking or decoupage, and vinyl for car stickers, wall decals and pretty much anything that vinyl will stick to. As if that wasn't enough, Cricut has an idea message board too! More new toy projects coming soon!!