I have registered on the Cricut.com website and community so that I can read hints and tips and the like and there is indeed some very useful info (and, as with all forums, a bit of wingeing in this case about Provocraft - the manufacturer of the Cricut machines)
I have discovered, via this forum that there is a website which tells you what image is on what cartridge, which I think is great. One of the things I'd like to do with my cricut is cut out paper hexagons templates for patchwork. Yes I know that a cricut is capable of so much more, but cutting out paper templates by hand is a little tiresome, and they are not always as accurate as they should be. There are companies that have discovered this and so will sell you packets of precut templates. Ha - have you seen the price of them.
So going to Mycutsearch and typing in hexagon you get the following result How fab is that? so if my finances only stretch to one cartridge, I can now choose from the ones which have my hexagon and by looking at the other images on the cartridge I can see which will work out most useful. And I can see more infomation about all cartridges in the library
There is a poster on the forums called Scrapalette who also posted the following information so I thank her for this
Here's the 411 on carts:I have a lot to learn and a lot to playing to do. I think Mel has her work cut out (ha ha) in order to accomplish her mission
The regular Cricut carts contain 6 full Creative Features and can hold up to 700 images. These carts come in the storage box and have a spiral bound handbook showing all the images.
Lite carts have one Creative Feature key for layers and have 50 base images, some with additional layer options using other keys. These carts come in a plastic storage box and have a tri-fold pamphlet showing the images.
There are also:
Solution carts contain 2 Feature keys (usually a Shadow and a Blackout), one layer option and hold 50 images (not counting shadow, blackout or layers). These carts (initially) had no storage box and all the images are shown of the cardboard packing.
Seasonal carts have no Creative Features but some images have layers or shadows that are on the Character keys and hold 30 images and are usually a limited edition and centered around a theme. These carts have no storage box and all the images are shown on the cardboard packaging.
Project and Event carts have fewer images than full carts, images centered around a theme but these not limited edition releases. These carts have a plastic storage box and a modified (because there aren't as many images), non-spiral bound handbook.
Cake carts are really full carts just with images geared toward cake decorating but they can also be used with papercrafting.
Then, there are the two categories of Imagine carts: one that is images and patterns (Art) or just patterns/colors (Colors and Patterns).
And now, there are digital carts for use with CCR or a Gypsy.
ps - just discovered the cartridge I want was sold exclusively with the Expression machine - hmmmmmm - praise the lord for ebay