Yall. I just had one of the most wonderful trips ever thanks to Cricut, so let me try to put the amazingness in words…
First of all, I was excited about this trip for a few reasons: I got to craft for a few days (and take off work from the day job), I was going on my first solo trip which happened to be across the country, and I knew I’d get to meet some wonderful people and learn so much. Color me excited.
On a personal note, this trip was kinda hard for me (as I sit here trying not to cry, unsuccessfully, while writing this in the ATL airport on my way home). The last time I went to Salt Lake City was when I was 15 years old in 2002 with my family for our first ski trip. This was the trip we realized something was off with my dad and when we came home we found out it was because he had a glioblastoma brain tumor. 14 years later, I’m back in the city for a conference with a brand I work with for my side business. Talk about a roller coaster of emotions!
Okay, bringing it back to my excitement for the trip – I arrived to the beautiful Grand America hotel on Monday afternoon with an hour to kill before registration opened, so naturally I ordered some food to my room. And then room service arrived with a bottle of wine from my husband with a note about how proud me was of me. Cue the tears again…
After I pulled it together and enjoyed some meatballs, I headed down to registration and got a bag of goodies plus my first craft of the trip – a name tag! They gave us our names cut in white vinyl, an acrylic hexagon for the name tag, and other vinyl options to make the name tag unique. I weeded out my name and chose a blue background and gray half hexagon and applied it to the acrylic to create a more geometric name tag. Project one done.
That night we had a little cocktail hour in the courtyard to kick off the event. Being the introvert that I am, I was nervous to just start meeting people, but it was so easy to talk to all these makers from all over the country! I had a wonderful time chatting with all sorts of people and was ready for the event to begin the next morning.Since I was on east coast time (2 hours back) I was interested in the morning walk around Salt Lake City that was on the agenda at 6:50am. My husband, mom and sister are probably in shock at this because I love sleep and am totally grumpy in the morning, but alas… I watched the sun rise for the second day in a row and went on a walk around downtown to see some sights with a few event attendees. At breakfast they had these huge glass cases with different themes where the majority of items were made with a Cricut! Two of them also gave us a hint of the upcoming announcement.. I recognized the BrightPad in one and saw what looks like portable heat presses in another. The creativity alone in each one blew my mind.
After breakfast we headed to the opening and yall, it was literally like the several Apple events I’ve watched. There was a great presentation, then they talked about the BrightPad, launched the EasyPress and it all built up to launching the new Cricut Maker machine.
PS – You can watch the whole launch event here.
We left the hall to go to another area to check out the different stations they had setup with Makers at each table and different information at each one – like the fact the new machine has 4000 grams of pressure that helps it now get through materials like thick leather and wood. I also had the chance to speak to their CEO, Ashish Arora, which was SO COOL.
Before lunch we were given materials to make our second project of the event – a tote bag. First we weeded the excess from the 2 pieces of heat transfer vinyl, then we got to use the new EasyPress(!!!). I’ve actually been looking for a heat press lately because an iron just isn’y cutting it anymore and taking me more time than it should, so I was SO excited for this product to come out and to then play with it immediately after. After lunch, it was off to class! I learned about some of their programs I’m involved in, changes in the new Design Space 3 and new features I didn’t realize were there, and the background of the new Maker machine, complete with cutting fabric on it.
I also did my first Facebook Live piece, and yall… I was sooooo nervous for it. I knew I wanted to talk about the new products that were launched, but wasn’t totally sure what to expect so thank you to everyone that tuned in and watched. I appreciate it and can’t wait to tune my skills for one in the future..
We had a short break before dinner began and then ice cream and live music on the patio. The part we were all looking forward to was the open project night with the chance to work on some projects with the new machines. I haven’t worked with felt before, so opted for trying out the large felt rose project, which included marking and cutting it on the new Maker machine. I finally tapped out at 10pm to get some sleep, but had friends there until midnight when they closed the area down.
The final morning I didn’t see the sun rise (thankfully), but was up early for breakfast and then 3 more classes. There were 7 to choose from and you picked 3 you wanted to attend. I opted for Fonts, Patterns and Print then Cut. Patterns dealt with information on how the new capability for the Maker to cut & mark your fabrics for you worked and I have to admit, I’m a little excited to use this as a way to get into sewing. New hobby? Print then Cut is a current feature, but I’ve never used it so I wanted to learn more about it and how I could incorporate it into projects. Turns out there are several ways that I will.. more coming soon 🙂
The last part of the event was the closing ceremony where they mentioned the Cricut tour they’re going on (check it out Atlanta & Texas friends) and then the fact that every attendee was going to receive a new Maker machine! It was like an Oprah show.. everyone went wild and cheered! I can’t wait to get my hands on the new machine and start creating more crafts – I can’t decide where to start!
Sadly, it was off to the airport after that for my flight to Atlanta and then Charleston.. I can’t thank Cricut enough for the fun week – it exceeded my expectations in all ways!!