Product Reviews, Storage Ideas

12 x 12 Paper Storage….Meh…

Storage is such an issue for me!  I have a very small craft space, literally just the corner of our master bedroom so I have to get really creative with what little space I have.  One area I am constantly struggling with is storage for my 12 x 12 paper.  Since I’ve rejoined Stampin’ UP! I KNOW I will be investing in the fabulous DSP (Designer Series Paper) because I LOVE it!  So I went in search of a way to store it.  In the past I’ve done the Vertical storage files from Cropper Hopper but I don’t really like storing my paper that way, I prefer horizontal.  So I then tried plastic storage cases with lids.  Only trouble is that the only place I had to put them was on a closet shelf, stacked on top of one another.  So every time I needed a sheet of paper, I had to pull cases out, open them up, struggle to get them back in.  Ugh, got tired of that quickly!

I finally found something I thought I would like, on Amazon for a very good price!

41195675_319993142092534_3142710583611097088_n

Well my paper rack arrived today and I eagerly opened up the box.  

41351735_319993178759197_2739034136537726976_n

No instructions, just a pile of wire racks.  It was pretty easy to figure out, just unfold the base and sort of hang each tray in place.

41033374_319993205425861_3672982342785302528_n

41149306_319993238759191_7990371176251654144_n

It looks like it will hold all I need for now and I like the sea foam green color.  But I will admit, I was a bit disappointed!  While I like the color and love that the trays will slide out partially, what I don’t like is how flimsy the whole thing feels.  It’s very wobbly, maybe once I get a ton of paper in it it will feel more substantial?  

41096978_319993275425854_8565472884938506240_n

41079276_319993312092517_5024662929417437184_n

Oh well, I guess we will need to file this one under “you get what you pay for”.  It’s not the ideal solution, but for now for my budget and space it’s okay.  In the meantime I will keep dreaming of that big huge craft room I’m sure I’ll have someday…*sigh*…..*

**I got this on Amazon.  Interesting, when I purchased it just a few days ago it was listed as $19, now it’s $28!  Way too expensive for what you get, just my opinion!  So maybe do a search and see if you can find it cheaper.  I would not pay more than $20 for this and even that feels like too much!  **

American Crafts 375798 Paper Rack Crate Paper Desktop Storage Paper Rack

Boxes/3D Items, Cricut Projects, Product Reviews

Cricut Explore Air and First Project!

I was so thrilled to finally get the Cricut Explore Air!  I decided to go with this machine rather than the latest models because it really does everything I need for a much lower price.  I got an amazing deal at Cricut.com with over a $100 off AND FREE shipping!  I can’t guarantee that price will still be current but definitely check it out!  *be aware this deal I got does NOT include the scoring tool, so be sure to add that!  It does come with the blade already installed and a silver pen.

cricutexploreair

Everything you need to get started is in the kit (aside from the scoring tool).  You get the power plug, the USB cord, one cutting mat, a silver pen, instructions and some cardstock and other samples.  I will tell you though, the cardstock was not big enough for the sample project you are given and it tore.  So I don’t personally recommend this cardstock which I believe is Cricut’s own brand.  Just my opinion!  

cricutexploreair2

It’s a beautiful machine, very sleek!  I especially love that you no longer have to deal with choosing the pressure and speed like in the older models.  It’s all figured out for you!  You simply choose your material, cardstock, vinyl, etc, and the machine sorts it all out for you.  There are 3 storage areas, the bit on the left is a well for your pens, tools, etc to go while you are working.  Then you can store everything in the bottom of the lid in 2 areas when not using the machine!  So cool!

cricutexploreair3

One of the reasons I chose this model was that there are separate bits for the blade and the pen/scoring tools.  So you don’t have to change things out for a project (except for pen and scoring tool).  You can see the bottom storage areas in the forefront of the picture.  This model does move slower than the Explore Air 2, BUT it is much quieter and I am really not bothered about the slower speed.  

Cricut Design Space is the free software that comes with the machine.  It’s pretty easy to set this up and they lead you through the process.  Cricut has lots of tutorial videos on this, so just do a search on youtube and you can see how easy it is to use.  

CricutHoneycombboxThis is the first real project I created with my Cricut Explore Air!  Isn’t it beautiful?  With your purchase you get 2 weeks free of “Access” which is a monthly subscription service for certain images through Cricut.  I am not planning on subscribing to Access but I am enjoying sampling the projects that are offered.  In addition to Access there are tons of free images and projects.

I will tell you that the directions for this box are easy – up to a point!  They give you the cutting directions but after that you are on your own.  It did take me a while to figure this out. I might try to do a video explaining the process because I can see that people who have not made boxes before would be really confused!

I used CTMH 12 x 12 cardstock for this box, it did work, but I think it would be better with a heavier cardstock if you can find it in the right size.  It’s a bit flimsy to be honest!

So my final opinion is that I love this machine!  It will take some more learning of course but I don’t feel totally overwhelmed by it which is good!  And you can’t beat the price. If you are not bothered about the slower cuts (only about 50 seconds slower than the Air 2) then go with this machine.  It is nearly $100 cheaper and is the same!  

Have a great day everyone!!!

Oh and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!!

Hugs, Beth