Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Creativity necessities

I'd like to think I NEED the items I buy to the same extent that I want them, but we all know this isn't true. When I got a rather nice tax return this year I really wanted to splurge it. Then I was contemplating resignation and ended up doing just that. I kept telling myself I needed to be sensible with my money as living off Single Parent Pension isn't easy.

What it came down to was a conversation with myself that ended with "who knows when you will have any money again? When is the last time you really bought yourself something, not just thrifted craft items or clothes (which are quite frankly, necessities)?". So I asked my friend Toni her opinion on where to buy the item I was after. It's something I had wanted for such a long time, and it seemed I was finally going to own my own Cricut Expression!!!!

I googled for hours, using metashopping tools like to see price comparisons. Everything in Australia was so expensive! I tried US stores, and it seemed the store Toni had recommended, Custom Crops, was really well priced. I went through the whole process of trying to work out what I might want, how much that would total, going to check out and seeing postage, converting it back to $AUD, rechecking Aussie stores.. it took me a long, laborious time to decide if this really was for me. In the end I placed my order with Custom Crops for the Cricut Expression, spare mats and blades, deep cut blade housing and blades, Cricut Design Studio and cartridges. Most of which I would have had to forgo if shopping within the limits of my own nation. Truth be told, I probably went over board. I got "2 free" cartridges with the machine and from all those they had to choose from, I wasn't very impressed. Turns out I really like Doodlecharms, but I think Fabulous Finds is crap. 

My order arrived while I was away in Perth and I itched to get home and play! When I did arrive home and collect my gigantic box from the Post Office I was so disappointed to open it and find my machine and some other items were on back order. Even more annoying was that their invoice said "expected date of arrival 12/31/1965". Yes, December 31st... 1965? I emailed them to ask after the actual date they'd get new stock and they informed me they had them. They then proceeded to ask if I got the 2 free cartridges. No, I did not. I quoted them the invoice number and pointed out what was on back order, as it also included a couple of other items. I was really starting to doubt them by this point. How did they not know what I had back ordered?

Finally my machine and everything owing arrived and I was happy little chappy! I would still use CustomCrops again, mistakes happen and they fixed it up very fast and with little fuss. 

The day the machine arrived, I realised I hadn't bought a power adapter to make the US plug work in Aus. Turns out I only needed to swap the lead from the power pack to the wall, and happened to have a matching cord from my video camera or something laying about. I was really apprehensive to turn the machine on after this little wave of genius, Aus and USA have different voltages and I didn't want it to go kaboom! I pay contents insurance for something, right? Thankfully there were no issues. The trouble started when Jessica realised what I was up to. It was school holidays and she wanted in on the action. I spent ALL afternoon that day using the Once Upon A Princess cartridge, making Jessica paper dolls!!!!! It was a great way to use up random bits of paper. You should see some of the colour/pattern combos. Actually, I revoke that invite. No one should see them! It's been some weeks since, and Jess is still playing with them. Bonus! I don't own inks and chalks, so have no real idea the right way to add texture etc so for now, everything is very simple. I'll get there :)

PS. My Cricut 'wish list' is getting bigger and bigger. Uh oh!


Toni said...


I went a bit nuts last night, and bought Opposites Attract and also some Tim Holtz stamps.