On Thursday, I took my new Cameo out of the box and started to make some cuts.
I wonder why they added the girl with the pony tail to the "O"? It seems odd when the rest of the design choices are so clean and simple.
The mat is clear and thinner than the Cricut mats. The protective sheet only covers the adhesive area so it can be a little tricky to get it back on perfectly. I had read so much about people having problems with ultra sticky mats that I was a little worried. I just "conditioned" the mat as I do with the Cricut mats by placing my hands on the adhesive and patting it all over. This takes less than a minute but makes the "ultra-hold" stickiness go away. I do like the adhesive - it seems smoother and more even than the adhesive on the Cricut mats. It is more like the adhesive on the Cricut Imagine mats - but stickier. I did not have the problem of little bumps of adhesive coming up on the back of the papers.
The blade is already in the "click holder" which is numbered from 1 to 10. You have to use the tool built in on the machine or the plastic tube (on the right) that is packaged with the blade to adjust the setting. You can't change the number without removing the blade holder from the carriage but it is pretty quick and easy to do. I was planning to use Core'dinations Gemstone cardstock which is textured and fairly thick so I tried 5 for the blade setting (the manual said from 4 - 6 for heavy cardstock).
For my first cuts, I tried a couple of the free shapes included in the software. I was able to fit four scalloped hearts across the top of the mat and a cute gift bag on the rest of the paper. The Cameo will cut to the edge of the 12 x 12 area (there isn't a "no cut zone" like there is with the Cricut). This will be helpful for doing true full page lace cuts.
The blade setting turned out to be perfect. My images cut cleanly and the blade did not damage the mat. You could see the outline of the cut in the adhesive but the mat was not cut.
When the cuts are finished, the blade carriage returns to the top left corner. I was able to check the cut before I unloaded the mat. (The Cricut stops at the end of the cut so I usually press "Load Mat" and check the cut before unloading). You can see how nicely the heart lifted and all but one or two of the tiny cutouts stayed on the mat.
The delicate handles of the gift bag were nicely cut - even with the tiny swirls. The offcut hearts and swirls can be used for a card or tag. I will show you the assembled bag in another post.
I did try cutting another snowflake that I had designed in the software. You can see that the circles in the design cut as true circles even thought they are quite tiny.
Here is a closer view of the circles in the snowflake design.
I tried to cut the intricate frame that I designed (I posted the screen shot at the top of yesterday's post) but the machine just stopped at the third diamond on the bottom row. I tried pressing "cut" again but the machine started at the center of the bottom of the page. I need to do some reading to find out what made this happen. I did simplify the nodes before cutting. I will try a few other things tomorrow to see if it was a fluke or if I made an error in the design somehow.
I had little or no learning curve since I have been using a Silhouette SD (the smaller machine that is now discontinued) since last spring. The main difference was the blade with the numbered settings instead of caps and the larger mat and cutting area. Now that I have this machine, I will probably try to do the advent calendar boxes. They are designed to work for the smaller mat but I think I can revise the design to take advantage of the larger cutting area and simplify the assembly.
The machine makes all sorts of funny noises as it cuts. It hums and squeals a bit (just like the SD does). I don't mind the sounds but some people think it is too noisy. It probably would be quieter if I put the lid down while cutting but I like to watch the cuts being made. So far, I am very happy with the clean cuts and easy weeding. I do need to find out what the problem might be with the file that stopped cutting...I'll let you know when I figure that out.
Right now, I am just going to admire those tiny circles!
Have a wonderful Friday - sometimes the "short weeks" seem longer than the regular weeks so it's nice to know the weekend is almost here.
I hope that some of you will be taking on the Color and Pattern Inspiration Challenge I posted a few days ago. I am working on my project and will post it soon to help motivate you. There will also be a small prize for one project that is submitted - details will be added to the original post soon.
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