Monday, January 27, 2014

In Preparation for a New Machine…

Explore vs. Cameo.  Photos from Google images
Hello, this is a quick little note as a follow-up to my last post.   I have decided that I have been in the dark too long, and since I had one little problem with my Cricut machines, I decided that I am going to get this new thing after I see it at launch on HSN.   I just love the idea of doing SVG files, which brings me to an explanation on why I did not choose the Cameo.  Hold on to your hats, folks, did I say that I was going to buy it on launch preview day?  You have to read between the lines, because I only have seen what everyone else has seen of this little demo on You Tube, and anything else that head honchos at ProvoCraft (PC) have allows them to show.  I still have to do a comparison between the two, a pros and cons analysis of the situation.  I cannot just go by my gut feeling.  Without knowing much about the Silhouette Cameo and too much about the ProvoCraft Cricut line (a pro and con within itself), I have to take me out of it for a minute.  Yes, it will be MY machine, and I have to be happy with what I buy, but on the other hand, I want it to be long lasting, get great support 2-3 years down the road, and I can use it for anything without limitations (other than copyright issues).  So the first thing I have to do in order to prepare for purchasing either machine (I am not rich enough to buy both, besides that, isn't that hoarding?), is to see what I have in inventory.  I enlisted the help of MS Excel and Access for that.  I listed all of my cartridges, what type they are, what current and future machines that can work them. (This is I have and planning to buy-not the whole fleet, which excludes baby, E1, Create, Cake, and Mini).  I also listed Cricut Classroom and Cricut Space, the new one.
You should do that for anything that you do in papercrafting.  You should see what you have in generic stuff.  You all have seen them, the video of a person’s craft room.  Looks beautiful, right?  Until you see that she has 20 rolls of Scor-tape, and all of them are ¼” rolls.  No variety at all.  What is she storing them for?  A nuclear blast?  Armageddon?  The closing of a scrapbook store?  A person should not have no more than two rolls at a time, and that is only if you are doing a big project, or you 20 rolls are of different widths, and you are about ready to run out with the current roll.  OK?       
(Ok, as usual, I got a little sidetracked.  I have been watching way too many YT scraproom makeovers lately).  Shall we move on…?
Anyway, if it wasn't for PC and their way of thinking about a potential new feature after the fact on their current machines, they could have been a great competitor for the Cameo.  Nope, they had to get lawsuits out of the way first.  That is called, “playing nice with the neighborhood children (Sure Cuts Alot and the make the Cut software). 
I am on a couple of Cricut Yahoogroups, and a couple of the ladies on one group thinks that PC is a little late in the game to have a machine that cuts SVGs.  I happen to agree, and I am also putting that as a con on PC’s side.  What I am also putting as a con is PC customer service and support for the last 4 years when it comes to Imagine.  You cannot make a person pay $599 at launch preview date, have all kinds of problems with the machine, give up, and cut people off at the knees when they need help.  The same goes for Gypsy (the little handheld that allows you to design a page, and hook it up to your cricut and then with a touch of a button, it tells the machine to cut.); and the Cricut Cake line (allows cake designers to make all sorts of fondant designs by cutting it with a FDA, food-safe Cricut Machine).  They have also let go of key people who customers have grown to love.
The Pros of getting an Explore is something new (the idea of cutting with cartridges AND SVG files appeals to me), and maybe the price (6 flex pays if I buy on HSN, and I have an account, and I get the machine right away).
The only 2 cons I see to the Cameo is it will be a learning curve for me, but I am a fast learner.  Giving up on being an all Cricut owner would be another, but I can adapt.    The Pro of owning a Cameo would be that it is a tried and true machine, and the owners have not had too many complaints that I have heard of. 
So I have less than a month to decide what to do.  I have finished my research, prep my inventory, and check the finances, and I am ready.

So that concludes this segment.  Be blessed my friend, and make something.

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