Monday, April 29, 2013

Silhouette Cameo Lessons


I'm happy to have you back here!  I've so been missing my blog and craft time, but things have been pretty busy here.  Phase 1 of "Operation HI" -- I know, I'm a nerd!-- was completed today-- the movers came and took our first shipment of essential household items so that I can have all the important stuff (like a coffeemaker!) when we move into a house in Hawaii.  So needless to say, I've been a bit preoccupied lately.  ....But fear not-- I'm back today!  And ready to share some new crafty-goodness :) 

So I celebrated my birthday last week, and my sweet hubby gave me a Silhouette Cameo!  I could barely contain my excitement-- the crafty possibilities are endless!  *As a side note, each time I mention the word "craft" or "crafty," go ahead and take a drink...* I had a chance to try and figure out how to use it the other day and...well... let's just say it was not a successful evening.  It's actually pretty easy to use, but did require a little "orientation" period before I had any success.  I did a bit of research, read some blogs, watched some youtube videos and I think I have the *basics* figured out.  Here's a few beginner tips from a beginner: 

1. Pay attention to whether you plan to load the sticky mat or another medium into the silhouette.  If you accidentally scroll to "load media" instead of "load cutting mat," you may end up cutting the top of the mat instead of your paper.  Ask me how I know.  Also, you may want to press the pause button if something awry happens...or you could watch in horror as the top of the mat is sliced open.  Ask me how I know. 

2. That cutting mat is SUPER sticky when you first use it, which makes it difficult to pull off the paper initially.  It'll definitely get a lot less sticky after you use it a few times.  If your fortunate enough to have some curious kitties like me, you could embrace all the fur that sticks to the mat after they lay on it when your back is turned.  Or you could wipe it with an old t-shirt like normal people.  Your call. 

3. Pre-cut just the right amount of paper you'll need for your project.  Paper tends to curl *a lot* when you peel it off (although less so once the mat gets less sticky) and there's no need to waste a whole beautiful piece of 12x12 paper that you've lovingly hoarded.  Ask me how I know. 

Using just the right amount of paper.
4. Choose the right paper.  I have mostly heavier weight cardstock and my silhouette has a lot of difficulty with anything heavier than 80lb.  It has trouble cutting through the paper and is an absolute mess to peel off.  I did try increasing the blade length to accommodate a thicker paper as some suggested in various forums, but the poor silhouette made terrible noises while cutting.  I read that the "thickness" (pressure) setting would also need to be adjusted if the blade length was adjusted, but since I don't know what I'm doing, that just seemed too difficult.  After all, I just wanted to hurry up and make a project!  Ugh!  So long story short, a lot of people like American Crafts cardstock for the silhouette.  The paper fibers are tight enough so that it doesn't clog the cutting blade and the paper is thin enough to cut.  So, I went out to my local craft store and got a few colors to test...and let me tell you, it cuts like buttah!  And I'm happy to not have to experiment with changing the cut settings!  Woo!  It's a win-win! 

So there you have it: my trial-and-error tips.  But, if you managed to actually read all that, I'm sure your eyes are glazing over at this point-- so let's get to the fun stuff! 

Here's my first *successful* project with the Silhouette: 

It's a custom control panel cover!  The cut file actually comes with the Silhouette, so all you have to do is pick a favorite paper, press cut, and insert!  And then stand back and admire your hard work.  I know I did ;) 

And here's my second project.  I used the Nature Rectangle Frame from the Silhouette store and cut it out of some green paper.  I then added a few die cuts and a sentiment (PTI Mini Blooms) and it was done.  Very easy. 

Here's one last shot of the card: 


And since "Anything Goes" over at Simon Says Stamp, I'll be entering this card. 

Thanks so much for bearing with me during this hectic time!  And, of course, thanks so much for stopping by! 



  1. Wonderful card! Love the scene you created! Such yummy shades of green! Thanks for joining us for the Simon Says Stamp Challenge!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing! I've been thinking more and more about getting one. I currently have an e-clips machine, but think the Silhouette has more to offer. Hmmm decisions, decisions. Your card is lovely with the cute butterflies and detailed foliage!

  3. ah ha! i knew our cats can somehow help me in the crafting process and that's how! =) i am so tempting to get a Cameo lately and this will come in handy if/when i did get one. thanks for sharing, Lizzy!


Many thanks for each and every thoughtful comment! Your feedback is genuinely appreciated--I only hope you enjoy my cards as much as I enjoy your comments!

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