Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Design Possibilities

I bought the Silhouette SD last spring and used it extensively to make many of the paper items for our son's rehearsal dinner and wedding.  The print and cut capabilities were amazing.  The size of the Silhouette (9 inch width) was a challenge after years of working with the Cricut Expression (12 inch width).  At CHA last summer, I was able to see the new and larger machine, the Cameo, which became available last fall.

When I first tried the Silhouette software I was thrilled to find out that I could do many of the things that had never been possible with the Cricut Design Studio, the Gypsy or even with the new Craft Room online design tool.  I'll go into much more detail about the differences in the capabilities of these programs in future posts.  The ease of using the Silhouette Studio program made it hard to resist buying the new and larger machine.  I thought I would wait for any problems with the new machine to be resolved, however, in reading various forums and message boards, I didn't see very many negative posts.

The main issues that people seem to have with the Cameo have to do with the blade and the stickiness of the mats.  I felt confident that these problems would be relatively easy to work out and I had read that the customer support for the Cameo is excellent so I took the plunge and ordered the Cameo.

The machine arrived Tuesday.  I had a busy day yesterday and couldn't take the time to get it out and do some test cuts.  I am planning to spend part of my day today trying out at least a few of the many cuts I have been designing in the software.  I have been "doodling" with the software for months and I have hundreds of files waiting to be tested!  

I decided to create a file that would take advantage of the full 12 x 12 size and also be a challenge to give the new machine a good test.  The screen shot at the top of this post shows a frame that I created and I am eager to see what happens when I try to cut it (and hoping that my machine isn't one of the ones that shipped with a bad blade).

The day I started this blog, I posted seven items.  The most complicated by far was this doily that I designed using just the George cartridge and the original version of Design Studio.  I was trying to test the limits of what could be accomplished and I have continued to experiment as the DS program was updated and as newer tools came along.

I know some of you have also started using a variety of machines and software programs in addition to the Cricut.  There are a lot more options available now than there were when I got my first Cricut in 2007.  Many of you have asked me for advice about these new options.  I am not going to "abandon" my Cricuts - like many people, I have quite a large investment in cartridges and machines.  There are some things that are much quicker and easier to do with the Cricut system such as the very detailed multi-layered images of licensed characters. 

I will continue to write about my projects made with all sorts of tools and machines.  My interests have broadened considerably and I am always excited to try out new products.  I happen to be a person who enjoys working on the computer so some of the things I prefer to do will not be as interesting to someone who does not want much computer use involved in their craft time. 

I hope you will enjoy exploring some new possibilities with me. 

On a completely different note...

I went to Staples today to replace an ink cartridge and discovered a huge new section of Martha Stewart/Avery products.  Is there anything Martha doesn't get involved in? 

There were all sorts of organizing boxes in typical "Martha colors" - very pretty.  The inclination to reorganize is always strong at the beginning of the calendar year and the beginning of the school year.

Lots of lovely designs for notebooks and journals in various sizes...I have to confess that one of the small ones ended up in my shopping basket.

There was quite an assortment of tags and labels - some of these would be great for scrapbooking as well as organization.  You may want to check your nearest Staples store to see if they have added this section. 

Have a great Thursday!

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  1. I'm very interested in hearing your comments about the Cameo - a machine I'm considering getting as well. I'm still using SCAL and my Cricut, thinking that my Cricut will eventually die, but like you, I'm not abandoning it due to the amount of cartridges I've got. Keep us informed...can't wait to hear what you think!

  2. Silly me, I thought you already had the Cameo. I didn't realize you were just creating without the machine. Can't wait to see what you think of it.

  3. I'm excited to see your designs with the Cameo, and your opinion of the newer machine. I have been holding back buying it but really want to do it, for the same reason so many others have moved to other/additional machines. I've loved using SCAL but I live in fear of something breaking down. I find the Cricut cartridges nice for some things but I love designing and using other cuts and doing my own "thing".

    I must say, I'm not surprised this is where you ended up.

    I look forward to seeing where you go on your crafting journey.

  4. Yeah! I recently bought a cameo and I am so excited to see what you think of it and what you create. I have always found your designs inspirational and have no doubt that I will increase my skill level by following you on the journey!

  5. Do you have a file for the doilie for your first posting? I would love to make that.

  6. I'm so excited to see you have the Cameo now too! I'm still making friends with mine, but will enjoy following you on this adventure. I'd especially like to follow your design process, so fascinating! Any and all tips & tricks on it's many features would be so appreciated! Again, thank you!

  7. I'm with you Diane. I use a third-party software with my Cricut and hardly ever use my cartridges... it's just too easy to personalize my cards without the carts. I'm definitely interested in the direction you're going. I have my Cricut until it dies but am interested in seeing what other machines can do! So post away about Cricut and Silhouettes and any other machines you know about! I'd rather use my computer to control/design my projects too! Thanks!

    Kris in Alaska
    funamom at yahoo dot com

  8. Very interesting, thanks for sharing your experiences. Often I wonder how things are really going to work out, and you always give such detailed information. As for MS, I guess she is an over achiever. Bet a lot of it has to do with organization = she is a whiz at that! Happy New Year.

  9. Diane, congrats on your new toy - cant wait what you make with it. I'm loving mine so far. You're right though, there were more positive reviews about the Cameo than the negatives. I'm not getting rid of my Cricuts and my many carts but am going to incorporate both machines in my projects.

  10. I am very interested in hearing how you make out with your Cameo. I was just looking at a promo video 2 days ago, wondering if that is what I should have done instead of my Cricut. to justify having both? ;)

  11. Hi Diane,

    I am so excited that you got a Cameo!!! :) My husband surprised me with one for Christmas (it wasn't even on my wishlist-yet!) and I haven't had a chance to take it out of the box. I know you'll inspire me!!!!!

    It is hard to make the switch, though, because I own about 100 Cricut cartridges (most never used) and a Gypsy. :o Hopefully the two machines will fill different needs...

    Happy New Year,

    partridgelu at yahoo dot com

  12. Well, if anybody gets me tied to the computer, it will be you! Love that doily. Booked my flights yesterday, arriving on the 27th. Can't wait to see you
    En x


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