Artsy-Fartsy Link Party #146

Welcome to Artsy-Fartsy Link Party!! I hope you've had a wonderful week and that you're ready to share what you've been working on at our party! Here are just a few of the fantastic recipes and projects shared at last week's party:

Artsy-Fartsy Link Party Features at artsyfartsymama.com
Shrinky Dink Succulents in a Die Cut Terrarium by Lynda Creates
Southern Blackberry Dumpling Cobbler by Worthing Court
Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint by Wife Mommy Me
Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Parfaits by Live Love Texas
Strawberry Rhubarb Dump Cake by Over the Apple Tree
DIY Kids Book Sling by Grillo Designs
No-Bake Dreamsicle Cheesecake by Honey and Birch
DIY Hand Painted Globe by Just a Little Creativity

Please grab a featured button!

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Cricut Explore Air 2 vs. Silhouette Cameo 3

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine. This post contains affiliate links.

When it comes to cutting machines, which is best: Cricut or Silhouette? Whether you’re team Cricut or team Silhouette, there is no wrong answer. They are both incredible machines that will take your creativity to the next level. For years Silhouette was the one to beat, but the Explore machines have pushed Cricut to become one of the best crafting tools around!

Cricut Explore Air 2 vs. Silhouette Cameo 3: How the Cricut compares to competitor machines

Purchasing a cutting machine is certainly a big investment, so it's important to do your homework. As I did my research for this post, I learned a lot about how these machines are so similar yet so different! Since I've had experience with both a Silhouette Cameo and a Cricut Explore, I wanted to tell you why I have chosen the Cricut Explore machine as my favorite crafting tool

Cricut Explore Air 2 vs. Silhouette Cameo 3: How the Cricut compares to competitor machines

User-Friendly: One of the best things about the Cricut Explore machines is how easy it is to use. Those that are non-crafty or "technologically challenged" can even get the hang of it pretty quickly. When it comes to software, I feel that Silhouette Design Studio is much more of an advanced program and takes some time to learn, where Cricut’s Design Space is much more user friendly with easy-to-find options for finishing your projects quickly and painlessly.

Cricut Explore Air 2 vs. Silhouette Cameo 3: How the Cricut compares to competitor machines

Fonts and Images: The main reason for using a cutting machine in the first place is to be able to cut images and lettering, right? Both Silhouette and Cricut have a library of images and fonts, but with Cricut you get a whole lot more for your money. Plus, you don't need to use cartridges (unless you want to)!

When it comes to uploading your own images and fonts, Cricut Design Space allows you to upload jpgs, pngs, and svgs for free. If you can’t find what you need for free, the Cricut Access monthly subscription is only $9.99 and allows you access to their entire non-licensed library of images and fonts! Silhouette allows you to upload SVG files... IF you pay the $49.99 Designer Software upgrade fee.

Cricut Explore Air 2 vs. Silhouette Cameo 3: How the Cricut compares to competitor machines

Cutting Materials: Have you seen the list of what materials you can cut with the Cricut Explore? Some of the tougher materials like glittered cardstock, washi tape sheets, balsa wood, leather, fabric, cork board and more are no problem at all with the Cricut Explore.

In fact, a recent study by an independent, third party lab tested 3 Cricut Explore machines against 3 Silhouette Cameo machines. They had the machines cut 8 popular crafting materials such as leather, chipboard, aluminum, and magnet sheets. Then they rated the machines based on what materials they could cut and how precise the cuts came out. The Silhouette Cameo was only able to cut 1 of the 8 materials, where the Cricut Explore ran an almost perfect 100% score!

Cricut Explore Air 2 vs. Silhouette Cameo 3: How the Cricut compares to competitor machines

Smart Set Dial: The Smart Set Dial on the Cricut Explore saved my crafting and my sanity. When I used my Silhouette, I would always have a hard time manually adjusting the blade depth and speed settings for my projects. By the time I figured it out, I was frustrated and wasted expensive materials. Needless to say, I put off crafting using a cutter for a while...

The Smart Set Dial does the thinking for you. Ever since I switched to the Explore, my cuts have been perfect every single time. When I cut vinyl, all I have to do is turn the knob to the Vinyl setting. If I'm cutting glitter vinyl, I just select the setting in between Vinyl and Iron-On. If you need to cut something that's not listed on the Smart Set Dial, just select Custom and choose your material from a dropdown list in Design Space! It really is that easy.

Cricut Explore Air 2 vs. Silhouette Cameo 3: How the Cricut compares to competitor machines

Tools and Storage Space: Besides a mat, having a collection of tools and accessories on hand will only help to make your experience with a cutter a better one. There are tools available for both Silhouette and Cricut, but I prefer the large variety of tools that Cricut provides. You can even get sets to match the mint, blue, or rose Cricut Explore Air 2!

When you invest in tools and accessories for your machine, you also need some place to keep them at their best so they last. Explore machines are designed to make your workspace a more functional area. There are three built-in storage compartments: two inside the front lid for replacement blades and tools, and a bin on the top left where I keep frequently-used tools like pens, a scoring stylus and weeder. There is also just enough space underneath the machine to slide your mat so it has a place out of the way.

Cricut Explore Air 2 vs. Silhouette Cameo 3: How the Cricut compares to competitor machines

So, if you’re thinking about buying a cutting machine for yourself or someone special, do yourself a favor and invest in a machine that will give you a better experience for your money - which is, without a doubt, the Cricut Explore Air 2.

If you ever have any questions, I'm happy to do my best to answer them. Just leave me a comment!

Which machine do you think is best? Leave a comment!

Cricut Gives Your Ultimate Cutting Precision

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Free Printable Harry Potter Hogwarts House Bookmarks

Download and print these Free Printable Harry Potter Hogwarts House Bookmarks to save your spot with your favorite Hogwarts House!

Free Printable Harry Potter Hogwarts House Bookmarks to save your spot with your favorite Hogwarts House!

Are you a Harry Potter fan? I sure am. My daughter and I have been reading the Harry Potter series together for years, and it is so fun to share the love of this magical world together! We've even taken the quizzes on Pottermore to find out which Hogwarts houses we belong in (goooo Hufflepuff!). This inspired me to create some Harry Potter Hogwarts House Bookmarks as part of the annual Happy Harry Potter Series with other talented Harry Potter-loving bloggers!

Free Printable Harry Potter Hogwarts House Bookmarks to save your spot with your favorite Hogwarts House!

Just in case you are *gasp* new to Harry Potter, the students at the School of Hogwarts are divided into four houses, thanks to the Sorting Hat. Each house bears the last name of its founder: Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff.

Gryffindor values courage, bravery, nerve, and chivalry. Gryffindor's mascot is the lion, and its colors are red and gold.
Hufflepuff values hard work, patience, justice, and loyalty. Hufflepuff's mascot is the badger, and their colors are yellow and black.
Ravenclaw values intelligence, creativity, learning, and wit. The house mascot is an eagle and its house colors are blue and bronze.
Slytherin values ambition, cunning, leadership, and resourcefulness. Their mascot is the serpent, and the house colors are green and silver.

Free Printable Harry Potter Hogwarts House Bookmarks to save your spot with your favorite Hogwarts House!

Once you've figured out which house you belong to (by quiz or by choice, either way is great!), download and print out these bookmarks with each house crest and color to show some Hogwarts house pride. Can't decide? Use them all! They're the perfect size to save your spot and to share with friends!


Some things you should know before downloading:
*Artsy-Fartsy Mama printables are for PERSONAL USE ONLY (home, libraries, classrooms, etc).
*You may NOT modify, re-sell, redistribute, or claim the design as your own.
*Please do not remove the credits/watermarks.
*If you'd like to share this project, credit must be given to Artsy-Fartsy Mama & linked back to this post.

Free Printable Harry Potter Bookmarks at artsyfartsymama.com

Check out last year's Free Printable Harry Potter bookmarks with four of our favorite characters!

Free Printable Harry Potter Hogwarts House Bookmarks to save your spot with your favorite Hogwarts House!

Which Hogwarts House are you in? Let me know in the comments!

For more Potter-iffic fun, enter to win this amazing Harry Potter Prize Pack Giveaway, including:
  • $50 Amazon gift card
  • Make Love Not Horcruxes Book Bag and Custom Hogwarts House Tie Necklace from Rae Gun Shop
  • Bookish Swag from CrateJoy, which has loads of HP and fandom-related subscription boxes
  • Four Stunning Harry Potter Printables from Sisters What!
  • The Unofficial Guide to Crafting the World of Harry Potter Book
  • Wizard School quilt for Harry Potter fans oversized throw size from Pieces by Polly

Happy Harry Potter Giveaway!

Enter to win this amazing prize pack by using the widget below.
Make sure to check back as new ways to enter will be added throughout the series!
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