Jul 28, 2010

I'm at CHA! Wow-HATS OFF to Provo Craft for the new Cricut Imagine machine!! And--my first vacation in 2-1/2 years!

Hi Everybody!!

Greetings from a very muggy (and now under a severe thunderstorm warning) Chicago!! I am at CHA and trying to look at all the new goodies for all of you!!

I am in a bit of technology funk right now, so if you're trying to reach me, please be patient!

WOW--Cricut fans, you are in for a SERIOUS treat with the new Provo Craft machine, the Cricut Imagine. Hats off to the entire PC team, especially Mr. Jim Colby, (VP of all Product Development at PC), of course CEO Jim Thornton, Mr. Mike Wigton and everyone else on their teams who were involved in the creation of this next generation of our beloved Cricut family.

Wait until you see how it can combine your existing Cricut cartridges with the new Imagine cartridges, basically rendering the need for lots of different colored cardstock, as well as lots of patterned paper moot!! You can now take an image from any of our existing Cricut carts, (which now, as we know, only cuts an outline of the image), and with the Imagine machine and an Imagine cartridge, fill the outline of that image with either a color of your choice (it has access to the entire color wheel!), or a pattern chosen from any of the Imagine carts.  WooHoo!!!!!!!!!!

Let me try to explain, using an example for someone who already owns existing Cricut cartridges (which are most of my followers and subscribers!):

Take a Princess image from one of the existing Disney Cricut cartridges, (which is plugged into one side of your Imagine machine), select her dress image and put her in your queue. Then, from one of your Imagine cartridges, (which is also plugged into your machine on the opposite side of the machine), pick either a patterned "paper" design from the Imagine cartridge, or one of the matching plain colors on the Imagine cartridge, or if you didn't care for any of those, you can even enter the exact color code you want by entering the RGB codes.  You just go in and using the normal color wheel (just like you do to choose a color to print out on any ink-jet printer!!) choose the color you want (PINK!!)  and then you fill your dress with the pattern you chose, or for me, the pink color, and now we have a beautiful dress for our princess that is already the pink color we want or is is already filled with a beautiful pattern we love. Next, put a piece of white cardstock on the mat, load it and let it work its magic!!

When it's done and your mat is unloaded, you will now have this: A dress ready to put on your princess which is already the color and/or pattern that you chose and, is already perfectly cut out for you. You didn't have to go searching for, and then buy any patterned paper, you also didn't have to cut out a background color to put under it (unless you want to add another layer, which you certainly can do!!) AND--you have only used an inexpensive piece of white cardstock and you allowed your Cricut Imagine machine to do all the rest of the work for you.

Now, let's take it a step further:

Using the same cartridge as before, choose some of the other layers of your princess (such as her hair, lips, etc.).  And let's say you searched the internet and have found the exact color codes (RGB Codes) for the Disney Princesses. Using the same steps as before, you can go into each of those individual layers and insert the exact RGB code, which will then give you the exact color match for her lips, or for her hair, etc. 

So, we are going to take the base piece of your princess, (already cut out for you!), then, you also now have her layers ready and they're all the perfect color match because we entered the matching RGB code for all her "parts", and they are all cut out for you as well.  We take all her layers, such as her hair layer and adhere that on top of the base piece where her hair already is (maybe with pop dots??!!), next, we adhere her shoes over the shoes on her base piece, and then for the finishing touch, we adhere her dress right on top of her dress on the base piece and what we end up with is a beautifully stacked and layered image, where all the pieces of the layers on top are perfectly matched to what's underneath on the base layer--similar to a technique used in rubber stamping where you stamp the same image over and over, and then manually (and laboriously!!) color and cut each piece apart and adhere them on top of their base layer, making the project have immense depth. But, using the Cricut Imagine machine, we did not labor, we did not touch scissors, we did not color anything with markers, pencils, etc., we did not have to stamp anything---we just allowed the Imagine machine to work its magic and to do all the work for us.  Come on now, can it really get any better than that???  I'm feeling a bit whoosy just thinking about it!!


Or let's say we're using a Disney cartridge that has Mickey and Minnie Mouse on it.  Referring to that same chart we found on the internet that lists all the RGB codes for the various Disney characters, you want to find the exact color that will match Minnie's hair bow.  All you need to do is have the layer with her hair bow open on the original Cricut cartridge, and then on the Imagine, go to the color wheel and enter the exact RGB numbers and voila'--now on your Cricut Imagine screen, you will see Minnie's hair bow flood-filled with the exact color of that it is supposed to be!!!   Then load of piece of WHITE cardstock and it will print out Minnie's hair bow in the perfect color AND it will then go back (after printing) and cut the image out for yiou as well!!  Can you IMAGINE all the countless possibilities of what we will now be able to do with our regular Cricut cartridges???  My head is literally spinning with ideas.

Ready for another fabulous idea???  There are companies out there who sell stamps, inks and cardstock that all match together perfectly.  Guess what??  For many of those companies (such as Stampin' Up, Close to My Heart, etc.), there have been lists complied and posted on the internet that specify what the exact color code (RGB) is for their products.  So let's say you are making a project and you're using an ink pad to stamp your sentiment from one of those companies, but you don't have the exact match for the cardstock in the same color.  You can look at that list of the RGB codes for that company's products and enter it.  Load a piece of white cardstock onto the cutting mat, insert it into the Cricut Imagine and again, it will print out with the EXACT color match to the ink pad you were using, so now you DO have a matching piece of cardstock to finish up your project!!! 

Here's another fabulous thing:  Using an Imagine cartridge, we pull up a piece of artwork from that cartridge and when we first see it on the screen, it's all in one layer.  But when we click on it, it opens up all the layers that make up this piece of artwork/image and shows us all the pieces separately on our image screen.  We can keep all of those layers, or delete some of them if we choose to.  We can also go into any of those layers and if we want to, we can change the pattern to any other pattern on any other Imagine cartridge that we own, or maybe we just want to change the color of one of the layers.  Again we can change it either to one of the regular colors on our Imagine cartridges, or if we know the color code, we can simply enter that RGB code.  Once we get those layers looking exactly how we want them to look, we can now either combine them back together again into one layer, or if we want a bit more depth or texture, we can leave all the layers separated and then tell the Imagine to print and then cut out each layer on its own, using only a piece of WHITE cardstock.  Once that's done, we can layer them up by using pop dots, foam tape, glue dots or however you prefer to use in order to give the piece some dimension.  And of course, an easy way to add even more visual interest to any piece of paper that we cut out on any of our Cricut machines, is to emboss them using our Cuttlebug machines and embossing folders!!!

There are soooo many things we are going to be able to do with this new Cricut Imagine and frankly, I haven't even scratched the surface for you here.  And it's all going to be done for us just by using the Cricut Imagine machine and some plain white cardstock!!!! EASY PEASY!


And the best part of this for me is understanding that WE CAN DO ALL OF THIS USING JUST PLAIN WHITE CARDSTOCK, which the Cricut Imagine machine then transforms into the colors and patterns we chose!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!  It is the true and beautiful marriage of the technology of our Cricut machines and our ink-jet printers!! (HP, the industry leader in printing is actually Provo Craft's co-branded partner in the Cricut Imagine machine, so this is a very serious combination of the best technology from two companies which are the very best in their own industry at what they do!!)

I can't wait to get my hands on this great machine!! My mind is absolutely exploding with ideas! BTW, it will also work with the Gypsy (they're working on the update for the Gypsy now), so that is GREAT NEWS as well!!!

I think most of us who are Cricut lovers will agree that the Cricut completely changed the way we crafted. This new Cricut Imagine machine is going to take it even further, to places I don't think I've even "imagined" it will go yet. The possibilities of what we can do with this, whether you buy it new (with the Imagine being your very first Cricut machine) and use the new Imagine cartridges alone, or if you're already a Cricut owner with a collection of Cricut cartridges and you combine those with the power of the new Imagine machine and its Imagine cartridges, it's going to be an exciting journey!!!!! I can't WAIT to get started and I especially want to thank Provo Craft for their AMAZING generosity for giving me the new new Cricut Imagine machine at last night's gala event. I was absolutely floored when I heard they were giving us all a machine. I was already fascinated with it and falling hard in love with the new Imagine machine from looking at it all day Tuesday (and trying to win one at the Provo Craft booth's drawings!).  I know I've been both a very loyal, long-time Provo Craft and Cricut consumer (since 2006), a Premier Charter Member of the Cricut Circle from the get-go, as well as a retailer for some of their products, but I really was surprised and over-joyed with Provo Craft's generosity in giving me (and everyone else there!!), the new Imagine machine so I can help show all of you what it can and what it will do for you, so I want to publicly say "THANK YOU" to everyone at Provo Craft for this amazing opportunity. I promise all of my followers and subscribers that I will show you exactly WHY you will want this new Cricut Imagine machine, once Provo Craft mails it to me!!!  And just like our other Cricut machines, it will work beautifully in combination with many of our other favorite crafting tools!!

One last note and shout-out to Provo Craft, thanks soooooo much for a fabulous gala event last night!! It was a great party with a mind-blowing performance artist painter who makes nothing into something gorgeous and fabulous in such an unexpected and creative way in just a matter of minutes--I wish ALL of you could have seen this. I do have videos, but somewhere in my travels, the USB cords for my cameras have gone missing, so I have to track those down before I can upload and post any videos or still pictures!!!

I've also had a blast here at CHA getting to say hi and to visit with soooo many people from our Cricut world, from the Cricut Circle and from Provo Craft, such as GMCricut (Genny!!), Joy, Diane (Capadia), Melanie, Megan, Maggie, Shannon, Tammy, Susan Edwards, Donna M, KissKoala, Robyn and Karlee, Terri, Marti, Kendra, BobbyJo, Kelly and all the gals from Custom Crops, and more (I know I'm forgetting some people and I apologize up front for that!!), and of course, all of the great Provo Craft folks such as Jim Thornton, Jim Colby, Brad Brusa, Mike Wigton, Matt, Jinger Adams, Kristi, Richard and all the rest of their amazing team of very helpful people! It is sooooo much fun to spend time with so many like-minded people (Cricut lovers!!!!). We all seem to understand this major obsession we have with our Cricuts.

One last quick note about Provo Craft: there's a new, sleeker-looking version of the Cuttlebug, but I was told that the functions are the same and it works the same as the existing Cuttlebug, it was just the cosmetic look of it that was changed (and it's also still the same green color as before!!).  But it is very pretty for those of you who still don't have a Cuttlebug machine yet!!

OK all, I'm off to get back to exploring all the fun new products I know you want!  Later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6 comments:

  1. I am so happy that you are having such a wonderful time... (jealous cause I am not there sharing all the fun). AND so excited you got the imagine... hugs

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  2. Reading your review has got me all excited about this machine! Glad for you and the others that received one from PC. Thanks for posting!

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  3. Thanks for the great review.

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  4. WHAT! They gave everyone a new Imagine machine!

    That is so amazing, and I am so jealous. Hope you have have a great time at the CHA and enjoy your vacation afterwards.

    Love
    Jo

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  5. Hmmmm. I am not too sure I will like this new Cricut - shopping for paper is one of the best parts of cardmaking and scrapbooking for me!LOL!

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  6. The Cricut Imagine sounds phenomenol - It is now top of my wish list - thank goodness it's tax return time down here in Oz - I know where mine is going.... How long do you think before the Imagine reaches Australian shores?

    Thank you for your excellent review, was CHA what you expected? - I'll be in LA for January CHA - cannot wait - sooooo much to look forward to - life sure aint boring.....LOL xx

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