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Bic Gelocity Quick Drying Gel Pens

August 9, 2017

There's so much you can do with BIC® Gel-ocity® Quick Dry Gel Pens!

They dry up to 3x faster. There is a fully retractable gel pen with a comfortable grip.

I received a Smiley Pack which contained:

  • 3-pack BIC® Gel-ocity® Quick Dry Gel Pens (Pink, Purple, Turquoise)
  • 10 coupons
  • Fun activity sheet
  • Smiley Sharing Guide

Buy Now at  and Learn More 
Like BIC on Facebook

#BICGelocity #freesample #Ad
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Cricut Mystery Box - August 2017

August 8, 2017

Will I be required to use cartridges with the Cricut?

August 5, 2017


There is some confusion about Cricut and cartridges, especially to those new to Cricut. There was a time that the Cricut only worked using cartridges. Reviewers found it limiting and often commented it was controlling. This is no longer true. Circut now works with svg files. An svg can be made using computer design software like Adobe Illustrator. Design Space, Cricut’s online proprietary software, can accept a variety of different image formats. The Design Space software has opened up the once controlling creative limits.


I had one of the cartridge-only machines. I just gifted it and all the cartridges I had to a friend. Circut does sell cartridges. If you have an older machine that works with cartridges, you can still buy them and keep crafting.


If you have a newer machine (Explore and up) you can still use your cartridges. You link them to your account and they are available for use through Design Space. But you no longer need cartridges.


If you own a newer machine, I wouldn’t buy cartridges anymore. I would move to digital images. You can now buy one image at a time or buy a monthly subscription to Cricut Access. You can also use images from other providers and upload them to your software.


List of machines:


In the end, whichever machine you own, you can still be very creative with a Cricut. Circuit machines are used by paper crafters, card makers, and scrapbookers. The newest machine, Cricut Maker, has been completely retooled and works with thicker materials up to 3/16 of an inch as well as fabric. Circut announced there will be more introduced down the road with the newly built Cricut Maker.


The Cricut Maker


This post contains affiliate links.


Nitro Circus Live - Indianapolis

July 25, 2017

Nitro Circus Live - Indianapolis

Friday, July 28th at the Key Stadium. Gates open at 6 pm. Show starts at 7 pm.

Nitro Circus Live is the greatest action sports tour on the planet!

Featuring 30 of the World's best athletes in Freestyle Motocross, BMX and skate! Plus insane contraptions launched from the 40-foot high Nitro Gigant-A-Ramp!

Nitro Circus Live is a 2 hour, fully choreographed, theatrical spectacular that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

This is a sponsored post.

Cricut Digital Mystery Box - July 2017

July 19, 2017

This month Cricut is offering a digital mystery box. The files will be available instantly. It includes four Christmas themed digital cartridges.

Dreaming Tree
Rob and Bob
Natalie Malan
Alexis Mattox

ONLY AVAILABLE TO USE IN DESIGN SPACE WITH EXPLORE FAMILY MACHINES. Sales are final. Only available for purchase in the U.S.
$79.96 $29.99

July Digital Mystery Box for only $29.99 launches July 18th at 12AM EST! Available while supplies last. 

Cardstock, Paper, and Vellum starting at $4.99! 

Up to $70 off bags! Save on the Rolling Craft Tote and Machine Tote Bundle for stylish organization at home or on the go. 

Free Shipping all US orders with code CHRISTMASINJULY at checkout. (Valid 7/5 - 8/1) 

Introducing Cricut BrightPad: Create intricate artwork and craft projects with this extremely versatile lightbox.

This post contains affiliate links. 

What tools and accessories do I need for a Cricut?

July 11, 2017

What tools and accessories do I need to use a Cricut and how much do they cost?


To get started, everything you need is included in the box. The machine you purchase determines what comes in the box. You may find over time, there are more tools and accessories you would be interested in.


For the Cricut Explore Air 2:

  •     Cricut Explore Air 2 machine
  •     Cricut Design Space software and app
  •     German carbide premium blade
  •     USB cord and power cord
  •     Accessory adapter
  •     100+ free images
  •     50+ free projects
  •     Getting Started guide
  •     Pen and card-stock sample
  •     Cricut 12″ x 12″ StandardGrip cutting mat

What is not included that you might be interested in right away:

  •     Scoring tool $8.99
  •     Additional mats (not needed right away)  $12.99 - $17.99

For the Cricut Explore Air:

  •     Cricut Explore Air machine
  •     Storage bag
  •     USB and power cords
  •     German carbide premium blade
  •     1 Standard Grip cutting mats (12" x 12")
  •     Accessory adapter
  •     Metallic silver pen
  •     Getting started guide
  •     Iron-on, cardstock and vinyl samples

What is not included that you might be interested in right away:

  •     Scoring tool $8.99
  •     Additional mats (not needed right away)  $12.99 - $17.99


•There are other machines available. The above two are the most up to date.



There are many other tools available to purchase. Doing so individually isn’t the best bargain. If you think you will use more than one additional tool, I recommend purchasing a tool set.


For example, the tools I use the most are:

  • Scoring tool $8.99
  • Cricut Tools Scissors  $8.99
  • Cricut Tools Weeder  $7.99
  • Cricut Tools Scraper and Spatula $9.99


That is a total of $35.96. Of course, you can use your own scissor but I do like the size and cover of the Cricut scissor, besides it all matches!


If you are interested in purchasing a set of tools, you have two options. The Cricut Tools Basic Set, and the Cricut Essential Tool Set. The difference between the two in the Essential set contains a paper trimmer and the scraper seems to be a bit smaller.


The pricing of the two different sets:

Cricut Tools Basic Set   $24.99

  •     Tweezers
  •     Weeder
  •     Micro-tip scissors with protective blade cover
  •     Spatula
  •     Scraper

    * Basic set does not include the scoring tool


Cricut Essential Tool Set   $49.99

  •     Tweezers
  •     Weeder
  •     Scissors with protective blade cover
  •     Spatula
  •     Scraper
  •     Scoring stylus
  •     High-quality trimmer for materials up to 12" wide
  •     Replacement blade for the trimmer


If you were to add the Stylus Tool to the Basic Set, your total would be $33.98. So you can see the Basic Tool Set plus Stylus is less expensive than buying the tools individually. The Basic Set plus Stylus Tool includes all the tools I would purchase and a few more for less money.


Other accessories you might consider are:

  • Deep Cutting Blade $29.99
  • A variety of different color marking pens
        These come in different sized packs as well as individually.
  • Additional mats (individually priced)  $12.99 - $17.99
        Mats also come bundled in different variety pack

Finally, Cricut recently released a set of cases. There are three traveling cases for your machine and tools, and a pouch specifically for your tools. The cases range in price from $99.99 - $199.99. The accessories pouch comes in three different colors and is priced at  $12.99.

The prices provided in this article are the retail value set by Cricut and found on their website. You may find these items for less or on sale.

This post contains affiliate links






QSquared Melamine Dishware FREE

July 10, 2017

Q Squared sells shatter proof dishware. The patterns are gorgeous. If you would like to see a few patterns before you buy, this is a great deal for you. Mix and find your match! For a limited time, you can order four bread & butter plates for free—just use code FREEQBB at checkout. Add each pattern to your shopping cart. These butter dishes regularly sell for $5 each. Enter the code and your total is ZERO. You will pay shipping and handling, for me it was less than $10. [Q Squared


Cricut Deals on Amazon Prime Day

July 10, 2017

Cricut is participating in Amazon Prime Day!
The Cricut Air 2 machine will be at the lowest price ever of $199.99.
The Cricut Air will be only $159.99.

Starts for Prime members at 9:45am

This post contains affiliate links

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Cricut Deals for July

July 6, 2017

How is the Cricut different from competitive cutting machines?

June 13, 2017


Here are some great reviews for personal cutting machines. The information seems a little dated, so keep reading.




What are the big names in the personal cutting machine wars? (in alphabetical order)



KNK Zing



While Cricut and Silhouette have been in the personal cutting business for awhile, Brother is new to it with the Scan and Cut Machine. Prior to this research, I had never heard of the KNK Zing, probably due to the machine being double in price of the others. 


Price break down:

The price differences aren’t going to make the decision easier for you. They are all typically similar except for the Zing machine. If you found a great sale, that might make a difference. You could also look for a used machine or a refurbished machine to save costs.

Cricut Explore Air 2



Brother Scan and Cut


(basic machine, need to purchase activation card, USB cord, card or flash drive)

KNK Zing

$ 449.00 - 960.00

(need to purchase software)

Silhouette Cameo 3





Cutting mat size (width):

No real differences here except once again for the Zing. The standard mat size for the Zing is 12” but it can cut larger.


Cricut Explore Air 2  

12” wide

Brother Scan and Cut


KNK Zing 

12” - 15”

Silhouette Cameo 3 




Uses files named:

There seems to be a lot of differences in the file types accepted. Most machines have a function to translate files. If you don’t already have a stash of saved files, this difference isn’t going to make a decision easier either. 


Cricut Explore Air 2  


Brother Scan and Cut 


KNK Zing  


Silhouette Cameo 3 



* Most of these machines can handle different file types by converting them into a file they can read. 



The software could make a difference. Depending upon the machine you want to use to access that software, whether or not you have WIFI access to run the online program, or if you want to be able to work as a standalone without internet access or even use a computer. No matter what machine you buy, there will come a time you want to edit a file, additional software and skills will be needed. As well as the computer to make those changes. 

Cricut Explore Air 2  

computer, tablet, or smart phone (also utilizes cartridges)

Brother Scan and Cut

built in images and fonts, need to purchase activation card for CM350 machine

KNK Zing  

need to purchase Sure Cuts A  Lot - windows and mac

Silhouette Cameo 3 

Mac and PC - mobile software is in beta form



Unique qualities

KNK zing - has a variety of different blades: material, thick, fabric, uses Sure Cuts A Lot software that you need to purchase separately (additional cost)


Brother - This machine has a built-in screen. It can scan a drawing and create a cut file from it. 


Cricut and Silhouette are the most similar in comparison. You will find brand loyalist in each camp. Typically, a user begins with a certain kind of machine and stays with that brand as they upgrade. Early on, Silhouette had the upper hand in flexibility and use of files. Cricut has had so many improvements in the past few years, I believe they are overtaking the market. Circuit Design Space software is already released for tablets and smartphones. Silhouette is still in beta. 


If you are going to read comparisons make sure you are looking at reviews and comparisons for the newest machines; Silhouette Cameo 3 and Cricut Explore Air 2.


Want to see head to head battles? I recommend:


In the end, it comes down to whether or not you have past experience with one brand over the other. If you have used an older machine and are looking to upgrade or get back into personal cutting, that will be the biggest driving force. It is easier to work with a brand that you already have familiarity with. Given the two reviews above, if you are a first time user, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is the easier machine to learn. 


Finally, you will need to learn. No matter what machine you choose there will be a learning curve. Work through the tutorials, Experiment with different materials. Learn, watch YouTube videos, join a few Facebook groups dedicated to the machine you choose. And for heaven’s sake, don’t let that machine sit in the box or go unused!


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all my own.
Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.



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