Originally Posted by lylacfey
I don't know if this well help you any but there is a new Cricut book out: Amazon.com: Cricut Expression: A Comprehensive Guide to Creating with Your Machine (9781423623106): Cathie Rigby: Books
I have no reviews of it yet. I have a copy on hold at the library. AboveRubieStudios also has a DVD that is excellent for beginner and expert Cricut users. I got mine at the library too.
Crossing fingers you don't have a defective machine.
You will also get off cuts if your blade is turned the wrong way. Here's a good tutorial: The Card Castle: Installing the Cricut Blade Assembly
Do you see how the blade arrow is pointing right between the arms of the blade holder. Put your blade housing exactly like that. If you just stick the blade in all willy nilly it really messes up your Cricut cuts. All Cricut users have done it one time or another. I have been using the Cricut since it first came out and I did that just recently. I thought my Cricut was broken and almost throttled the machine, lol.
One last thing if your machine is just turning off and on it might be a problem with the Cricut. There could be a loose connection. If you have a friend or family member who knows electronics they can pop your Cricut open and probably find it easily.
I bought this book on Amazon.com and it is well worth the money. It's not only very informative but also has some projects.