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Cricut Everything

 

My husband, John, bought me the Cricut Explore Air 2 for Christmas 2017 yet I didn't get any materials beyond the introductory kite card (because of its price tag, hubby thought machine was expensive) and I was overwhelmed and didn't know where to begin from here. 

 

Sound familiar? I didn't understand, couldn't understand at that time, that Cricut users, machines, tools, materials, workflows and applications are supported by the greater Cricut crafters community. I was hung up looking for manuals so back in the box went my Cricut Explore Air 2 for about 18 months. Fast forward to Spring 2019, I've had stomach surgery to clear a blockage and now off work for minimum of 6 weeks. It was suggested I find a 'hobby' to help me from going stir crazy and because I'd already watched everything on Netflix. I began the 'hobby' quest when I started taking some online/video DIY crafting courses on MyBluPrint now known as Craftsy; first course was cake decorating. I ate more cake frosting than what actually went on cakes or cupcakes. However, I do have necessary supplies to make, bake and decorate a round cake; too bad my hands shake when I practice piping. After cake decorating, I was interested in revisiting embroidery and sadly discovered at age 58, my eyes can't see the little needle eyeholes anymore. Now I have 3 unfinished embroidery projects and embroidery floss in every color of the color wheel. Next!

Seriously, crafters are hoarders. That's another story...

 

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After embroidery was quilting. I did make couple of small quilts; they're not perfect yet I have great pride when I see them used in my home. Again, discovered I have a fondness for collecting fabric squares and fat quarters in different designs; I had couple of fabric bins full of beautiful fabrics that would eventually be integrated into fabulous, 5-fabrics design project but then Coronavirus happened and I made fabric face masks instead. Did you make masks as well? I proudly donated 100+ masks to local schools for lunchtime employees who were feeding school age children during COVID-19 lock downs even though schools were closed. 

Coronavirus was also affecting supply chains (not just TP) and elastic was nowhere to be found and back-ordered 6 weeks on Amazon so I grew restless while waiting for more elastic to arrive and admit I was already trolling through Pinterest for inspiration for my next crafting project. I was still on this quest to find a 'hobby' (one I enjoyed and was good at), remember John asking me "When are you going to do something with this thing?" he was pointing to my boxed Cricut Explore Air 2. That interest was sparked again and I started new Internet searches, purchased Cricut Access subscription and began with easy card projects. There are so many and so much fun to make and share with family and friends! Cricut Access projects have the step-by-step instructions I needed, personally, to help me accomplish my goals to finish a craft project and have it look like the original inspiration. :-D 

Its almost Summer 2019 now and about same timeframe when found a Cricut Maker on eBay for less than $300 including shipping, no box. It was risky but it's still working now in October 2020. This is also when I started ordering other materials and tools for the Cricut Maker, and started to experiment with thicker materials supported by Cricut Maker. I'd not found a focus yet and bought all types of materials to practice usage of the new tools and learn best settings for the different materials being used. I didn't have a 'focus' yet; I only knew I wanted to make all sorts of beautiful things for my home, for my family and friends. From Cricut Access card projects, I transitioned to box and trinket containers and even mastered my first larger-than-mat project. 

The first fabric project on my Cricut Maker was a teddy bear created using my Cricut Maker and sewing machine. 

I then discovered how to make rolled paper flowers with the help of JenniferMaker and then spurred the Cricut Everything addition. I didn't document much back then, now it's my plan to document everything as it's very therapeutic for me to craft. And, I'm finding that sharing my crafting is quite therapeutic and helps me keep an acceptable work/life balance, especially with Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. It's also Summertime 2019 when I finally venture into creating Aerosmith logo HTV tshirts for myself and sister to wear to concert in Vegas.    

 

  Let me know when you are done laughing at me, okay! I'm not sure how long I stood looking and wondering the reason for so many different vinyl types, removable versus permanent, heat transfer vinyl (HTV), glitter vs holographic, etc. I wasn't even able to begin to dream of all the variety of projects that could be made with vinyl, we are only limited by one's imagination and creativity and SUPPLIES on hand! But that's for another story...  . I so enjoyed the cards as the card projects provided me with those step-by-step instructions I was so desperate to have guide me, anyone else get like this? I think it's a slight form of OCD. Who am I kidding? Major OCD! In fact, my crafting was fast becoming a shopping addiction and actually came up in therapy as I was concerned I was trying to replace work with buying crafting supplies. I have a small Denise's Crafts Shop in my basement studio, seriously I have more supplies than projects I know or NEED to make right now.

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