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  1. #1
    just don't call me The Boss MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Cricut Mini and Craft Room design tool

    I got an email a week or so ago about the Cricut Mini and Craft Room. They wanted to lend me one for a short time to do a review. I played with it as much as I could yesterday and did a long review on my blog, but now I am interested in hearing from you if you have one, have used The Craft Room, and what you think! I wasn't looking for input BEFORE I played myself, but now I've gone on record in a blog post, I am curious to know what others (especially Cricut lovers) think?

  2. #2
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    I wouldnt touch it with a bargepole Mary Anne.

    I'd lose my scal capable firmware and scal was the only reason I bought the machine in the first place.

    Even if I was still able to use scal I would have grave reservations about spending any real length of time designing stuff.. there was a nice little clause that gave Provocraft ownership of it's copyright! Fair enough when you're welding their images but not when you've used generic rectangles/squares.

    *if* neither of those 2 were true I'd possibly have tried it to see if it cured the Cricuts inability to cut true circles and angled lattice (one direction always cuts thinner bars) Somehow I doubt that it would tho.

    In theory buying virtual carts wouldnt bother me if they'd been considerably cheaper than physical ones. It's no different than buying songs on Itunes/kindle books, you still have to have a device that plays them.

    Provocraft are still on my dont touch with a bargepole list though. Forcing scal, mtc and fairycuts to remove cricut capability was for me short sighted. I only bought the cricut to use with scal as I have no interest in the cricuts images and invariably if there is one I like I always want to change things. Not only did they get my money with the machine but I also bought lots of blades & mats. Since they forced scal out I resticky my mat and when my stash of blades runs out I'll be looking at buying pazzles ones, or seeing if I can use eclips blades.

  3. #3
    just don't call me The Boss MaryAnne's Avatar
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    How do you re-sticky your mats?

    Yes, I take on board all you say, and said as much in the review. I suppose their reasoning for stopping the other systems from working with the Cricut is because they had the Craft Room in the works. I've not noticed the cutting issues, but then I do use my old Cricut with Scal too - just glad I bought a copy (and the back up disk version) while it was available.

  4. #4
    Dedicated Scrapper Azimuth's Avatar
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    I re-sticky my mats too - I use the the two way zig glue pen, or other similar "stay tacky if you let them dry" glues.

    interesting review MA. I love my cricut - but I had SCAL back when it was available and that is the ONLY way I use it. I can't imagine changing for anything with less functionality now - cutting fonts - especially the ability to cut in any language! - is what i use it for more than anything else, so cartridges just won't do.

  5. #5
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    To be honest I bought a Cricut personal cutter, an extra 3 cartridges and logged on to the 'Craft Room' software, taking advantage of the freebies I loaded virtual mats with the stuff I wanted to cut - then the mats would not load, I e-mailed Cricut to be told that 'sometimes it happens' and no further contact, so I said 'stuff 'em' and bought a Silhouette Portrait, which I love, which cuts what I WANT not what is on the cartridge or Craft Room!!!

  6. #6
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    I dont resticky them often, a quick whizz over with el cheapo nail varnish remover from lidl (on cotton wool) takes them back to being nearly new sticky time after time. When it really isnt working I use a wide nibbed zig 2 way glue pen and leave to air dry. Go careful as some of the stay sticky repo glues are too strong and need to be diluted.

  7. #7
    Procrastinating Scrapper... Weaselwise's Avatar
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    I was lucky enough to win a Cricut Mini in a FB draw last year, so sold my Cricut Personal. Having to always be online to use the Cricut Craft Room is a bit of a bummer, meaning I can't take my Cricut out to my crop, but I do use it at home, just not very often 'cos I am still learning how to use it!

    But I love the fact that I can use designs from all the cartridges I own after linking them (and the one I bought second-hand and can't link I can still use by having it in the cartridge slot) so I can mix and match and merge to my hearts content.

    I also get weekly emails from Cricut dot com with freebie cuts in the CCR. And if Cricut ever get their act together and sort out being able to take UK credit cards then there's a wealth of digital images I can buy too.

    As for re-stickying the mats, the first mats I had were awful and apparently from a batch that were all crap... the new pair I bought are fine and dandy. Altho that might be because I've not used them that much yet...

    I think the CCR software could be a bit hard to pick up if you are not a computer and graphics-type person, however I used to dabble in graphic design for the websites I wrote so find using the CCR software ok. It's just getting used to their version of how to do things!
    ...Weasel AKA Suzie...
    Wise Weasel Witterings ... Eagles may soar, but Weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!

  8. #8
    Dedicated Scrapper simplyme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by playingwpaper View Post
    I dont resticky them often, a quick whizz over with el cheapo nail varnish remover from lidl (on cotton wool) takes them back to being nearly new sticky time after time. When it really isnt working I use a wide nibbed zig 2 way glue pen and leave to air dry. Go careful as some of the stay sticky repo glues are too strong and need to be diluted.
    oooh I am going to try the nail varnish remover, thanks for that.

    I have not tried the craft room as I too don't want to lose my SCAL capability. I guess having the cartridges digitally doesn't bother me - no storage space required. However, I do sometimes take my cricut to a crop, so I wouldn't like having to be online to use it. I hope it is easier to use than Cricut Design Studio was - I found that very fiddly.

  9. #9
    just don't call me The Boss MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Part 2 is up now. I am cutting masks and stencils using the Mini



    What makes you think you can't use the Craft Room and Scal? If I had to guess I would guess it would force you to update the firmware on an old machine somehow, so Scal won't work anymore??

  10. #10
    Dedicated Scrapper Azimuth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by playingwpaper View Post
    Go careful as some of the stay sticky repo glues are too strong and need to be diluted.
    yeah, good point - I'd forgotten that I had to "condition" one mat by sticking it to my jeans, then use it only for cardstock for a little bit until it got a bit less sticky.

    I've never tried the nail varnish remover trick though - might have to try that next time.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryAnne View Post
    Part 2 is up now. I am cutting masks and stencils using the Mini



    What makes you think you can't use the Craft Room and Scal? If I had to guess I would guess it would force you to update the firmware on an old machine somehow, so Scal won't work anymore??
    Yep, I havent dared risk it but a few ladies on a digidiecutting group have reported back saying it changed the firmware.

    Think I might have to dig mine back out and have a go at some masks.. those are looking decidely useable.

  12. #12
    Dedicated Scrapper simplyme's Avatar
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    Yes, I am scared it updates the firmware and then I couldn't use SCAL. I could dig out my old original cricut machine but then I'd have to get mats for it.

  13. #13
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    I don't have SCAL as I bought my cricut expressions just as this issue was becoming a problem. However I have installed craft room but very rarely use it because it is painfully slow to work and I find the program not very intuitive to use. I do have a gypsy that I use all the time and this works for me.

  14. #14
    just don't call me The Boss MaryAnne's Avatar
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    Another part is up, talking about using the Mini to cut fun foam stamps. A nifty trick, to first compress the foam (in the Grand Calibur for me, but Big Shots should work as well!) then cut and stick to a mount. I think they stamp fine. You do need to trace with a craft knife to get the last layer to cut thru but it's really easy to do, ano deep cut housing needed.

    Check it out


  15. #15
    just don't call me The Boss MaryAnne's Avatar
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    One more - this one is highlighting a cool function of Craft Room, to hide certain areas of a design so you don't cut it. In this design the outer edges got hidden so the stencil has a more substantial edge to it and it therefore less "floppy".



    The designs on some of the Cricut carts are good - Edge to Edge and Paper Lace being the most usable for stencils

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