Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Now, this is a story all about how

Now, this is a story all about how
My crafting got flipped-turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I'll tell you about the Explore, just not the Air

In Oklahoma I born and raised
In the craftoom was where I spent most of my days
Cuttin and gluin relaxing all cool
And all organizing some buttons next to the tools
When a couple of gals who were up to no good
Started makin trouble in my craftinghood
I made one little post and someone got scared
They whined and cried and said I was rude and not fair

I laughed and joked with them throughout the day
But they kept on talking smack while running away
I told them what they could kiss and then said f*uck it
I turned my Explore on and said 'I might as well cut it'.

*okie fall out chair laughing* Okay, okay I couldn't resist the lyrics and I know some of you were reading with a beat knowing where that little diddy originated and it was more about the comments made on my first post reviewing the Explore One. 

But for realz I wanna share how I ended up getting to review the Explore and the Explore One because I know some are curious and some folks are down right pissed off about it. Since I have quite a few Facebook friends I got a lot of private messages when I first reviewed the Explore about how some people in Facebook groups and the Cricut Messageboard *okie observes a quick moment of silence in remembrance of something that use to be great* were upset that I was choosen to review the machine since I had divorced Cricut a few years back. I thought it was funny and told the dear people who were trying to protect my honor I didn't give a rats ass about what people thought I might have done to be able to review the Explore. 

But here is how it happened. Sometime ago Ashish Arora, the CEO of Provocraft, sent me a friends request on Facebook and I sent him a message that I was curious as to why he would want to be my friend. It was quite a bit later that he messaged me back, stating he was still trying to get use to the whole Facebook thing and my message went in his other folder *okie figures that is plausible enough because she can't even get private messages on her phone anymore* and we chit chatted for a bit and he asked if I would be willing to review the Cricut Explore. I asked if he really wanted me to do that since I give my very honest opinions about products and he said that is exactly what he was wanting. Of course at that time I smirked to myself thinking "he doesn't know what he is in for". I even asked him "Um...Did ya ask Dan about me?" because I knew Dan would be able to convey in person how honest I am about things and he said he and Dan had talked in length. By this time I was thinking that Ashish was completely out of his ever lovin mind! He kept telling me he was very proud of the changes they made to the Cricut and how it was a superb machine and he had confidence in the abilities of the machine. 

Of course y'all know that I am truly impressed with the Explore and quite astonished in the changes Provocraft has made. After my reviews I was approached about being a "product expert" and I agreed but once I received the non-disclosure agreement I told them I would not be able to join that group because I would't sign the NDA that in so much wording said I would not be able to say anything negative about the company for a period of three years. I understand their need for the agreement and they understood that I would not compromise my integrity and honest opinions about products that I try and write about. I have learned over the years that people trust my opinions because I am a straight shooter. After that I thought the correspondence was done but then about a month ago I was contacted by Ashish about reviewing the Explore One and I agreed. 

So you see I didn't need to find something to blackmail Provocraft with so I could get a machine to review, I didn't contact them and beg, I didn't post all over the internet how I would love to review a machine...or anything else. Okay I will admit that I do know there were two dear friends that were suggesting that I would be allowed to review a machine. It was simply one man asking me if I would be willing to review a machine made by a company that I had moved away from in the past. 

Now if you think it is easy to review things think again. Yes, I received the machines for free but...I use my own time to test the machines, my own time to write up reviews, my own time to take pictures, my own time to edit and post and my own materials to cut in the machine for reviews. I have a full time job and crafting is not it. The reviews are done in my free time, something I cherish. I am not compensated in any other way for what I have reviewed. 

And there ya have the story.


  1. Love the lyrics and YES, I was singing in tune. :)

  2. You are just too funny! Love you little lady, so enjoy reading your blog, hugs

  3. OMG! Nellie how are you?! I always remember you commenting before because my mom's name was Nellie!

  4. Love the lil dity. You're right I was be bopping that tune in my head. I also wanted to say I follow you because of your honesty. Keep on keeping on.

  5. Your honesty is truly refreshing and the reason I LOVE your blog!!! You are the reason I have decided on getting the Explore Air!!! I couldn't wait for your review as I knew it would be the truth and YOUR HONEST OPINION and I thank you!!!!

  6. Truly appreciate you being honest and "shooting from the hip". Can always count on the truth-good, bad or the ugly.

  7. You go girl and Ashish knew he had chooses the best person for he job. He had enough coincidence in his machine that he knew you would love or take the chance.
    Like I sad GO GIRL you rock and are so respected in the crating community

    1. Darn auto correct sorry for the spelling and grammar errors :(

    2. LOL I immediately thought "Donna must be typing from her phone" because I know the struggle! My text messages often don't seem to make any sense because of autocorrect!

  8. So happy for you and glad the folks at Provo Craft appreciate your honesty as much as we do!!!

  9. Comments by a couple of "I-think-I-know-it-all" jealous ding-a-lings are not worth the energy of a reply. However, they did inspire a bit of brilliant, finger-snapping, head-bopping, poetry, so all is not lost. (Yes, I was singing along too.)

    BTW, I very much enjoy your reviews. They are honest and fair and written by someone that is willing to put the product through rigorous testing that will actually benefit other product users. Your reviews are well written, on point, fun, have a touch of humor and make us feel like we are friends enjoying a crafting experience together. THANK YOU!

  10. I never was bothered as to how you got the machines to review, I was just glad that you were reviewing them because I know that you would give your honest opinion. And that is what I needed, an honest opinion! I didn't want to invest in yet another machine if it didn't truly do everything they claimed it could do. I waited before I ever dumped on the band wagon and it was your review of the first Explore that convinced me to get one. So thank you Shirley for doing these reviews for us. I always know if it comes from you, it is the truth! Hugs, Brenda

  11. I just love reading your posts. You're funny and truthful, and I like how you intersperse your thoughts in between your writings. Keep it up. Your readers support you.

  12. I don't know why you feel you need to justify your actions to idiots. Just let them stew. We (and probably PC) are very happy and grateful that you provided honest reviews and information. To heck with the morons.

  13. I love your poem and yes I did have the rhythm going on in my head while reading it! I do enjoy your honesty and if people don't like it they don't have to read it, it's a free country. I felt very much the same way you did about Provo Craft and products, even though I own several machines. I am glad that they now offer products that are "off the chain", that's great. Just like you, I work very hard for what I have and put a lot of thought into my purchases. Thanks for the update and information!