by Richelle Naegle

Update:  Entry for the contest has been closed, but we have yet to determine a winner. Unfortunately, Provo Craft has not made any machines available to us yet, so we don't have any to give away at the moment. We hope to get product in early April. We will announce the winner when we have an Explore to give away. Hopefully Provo Craft can deliver soon!

We anticipate that the new Cricut Explore machine will be available to CraftDirect customers on March 15, 2014.  Stay tuned for more details.

In case you haven't heard the buzz, the paper crafting world is going nuts over the news about Cricut's brand new machine that is slated to hit the market in the upcoming weeks. The Cricut Explore will kick off 2014 with all the bells and whistles you could possibly ask for in a die-cutting machine. With several new features, Cricut is distinguishing itself as an industry leader. This machine bridges the gap between new school and old school with its patented Cut Smart technology and the ability to create designs both with software and the Cricut cartridges you have come to know and cricut explore machine

Cricut Design Space vs Cartridges

One of the beauties of Cricut is that its cartridges have allowed the less technologically inclined to operate their machines with ease. This was very appealing to many users, but many of their customers have yearned for something more customizable. The new Cricut Explore machine offers the best of both worlds. With the software application you can use image files to create the design you desire or you can rely on the tried and true old fashioned way, and put your Cricut cartridges to use.

cricute explore smart set dialCut Smart and Other Features

Not only does this feature allow for quieter operation, but it can simultaneously utilize the marker as it cuts with one simple pass of the blade. This is made possible by multiple housings that allow for more convenient functionality. Learn more about the Cut Smart technology that the new Cricut Explore machine offers, here.

Changing your blade settings is a snap with the smart set dial (image to the right) and this machine is compatible all kinds of materials, including cardstock, poster board, fabric, vinyl, and more.

 With blue tooth technology, the Cricut Design Space software can be operated with a wireless iPad, which indicates to the machine exactly how you want your project to be cut and marked. In addition to this, the machine offers convenient storage space for tools and more, for improved organization (see below).

storageStay Tuned for Unbeatable Offerings

In the next few weeks we intend to offer more information, tutorials, promotions, and even giveaways related to the Cricut Explore, so check back with us about this exciting new product. We'll have videos ready for your viewing pleasure as soon as possible.

As always, we appreciate hearing from our loyal customers, so please feel free to leave comments or questions. We have all the accessories you need, including Explore cutting mats and Cricut blades. Regardless of what you need, here at CraftDirect we have all the best Cricut machine accessories.