Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Little Design Doodling and a question...

Monday was rainy and I didn't need to go anywhere so I had a chance to make some new designs.  I haven't cut any of them yet - I hope to do that today.  I really like to make intricate, multi-layered geometric designs.  I thought I'd share a few screen shots of what I have been up to...

The image at the top of this post has four layers (plus the center circle).  This version has five...

...and this one has six layers, plus the center circle.

The design reminds me of a peacock's tail.  I may try doing my test cuts in peacock colors - they are some of my favorite colors so I am sure to have paper on hand!

I designed this image with the Silhouette Studio software.  I am curious to see if I can cut it at a size that works for a standard card.  Check back tomorrow to see what happens!

I have been hearing from more and more of my readers that they are purchasing Cameo machines to use in addition to their Cricuts.  In some cases, they have decided to sell their Cricut machines and cartridges after trying the Cameo.  I am curious to know if you have seen this trend and what your plans are - stay with Cricut only, add a Cameo but keep your Cricut (best of both worlds) or total conversion to the Cameo or another machine that allows you to create your own designs.

It is a personal decision with good reasons for each choice so please don't be shy about commenting!

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  1. Sometime in the future I might buy a Cameo, but I have a significant amount of money invested in my Cricut. I am not savvy about making my own designs, and do not have much of a desire to learn. I do have a WishBlade and I think the Cameo might be a bigger/faster/sleeker version of it.
    So, honestly, only time will tell.

  2. Good morning, Diane. I joined the Cameo Craze in April. I plan to keep both of my Cameo and Cricuts/cartridges. Oddly enough, I find that having the Cameo (which is WONDERFUL) has made me use my Cricuts more. I think that's because I now keep my Cameo and computer on my main work desk so that when I'm thinking about an image, I first go to "My Cut Search" (www.mycutsearch.com) to see if I already have an image I want/need on a cartridge. If not, I will go buy that image ($.99) from Silhouette Online. If so, it's more economical of both money and time to pull out that cartridge and cut it while I'm doing whatever else I need to do on the Cameo. So in a sense, it's enhanced my productivity in the craft room.

    To me, the downside of the Cameo is needing to be comfortable with both your computer and having a little bit of a graphic sense. I find that my computer is a HUGE time-sucker, because if I sit in front of it to use my Cameo, my attention is drawn in by e-mail, Facebook, Pinterest, online crafting mags, etc. -- and before I know it, hours have slipped by and I haven't crafted at all.

    Also, again oddly enough, my collection of dies has increased too. What I like about that is I can cut with no electricity required! Sure, it's limiting (size) but quick and clean.

    I guess I am one of those "Material Girls" like Madonna has sung about, though give me craft supplies over shoes, make-up, clothes, jewelry ANY DAY!!

    Warm Virtual Hugs to your Dad toward improved health.

    Ellen ♥ CardMonkey
    e-mail: cardmonkey@comcast.net

  3. Well, I purchased my Cameo in early December, 2011. I truly, truly love using it and have used it exclusively since then. I have taken several design studio classes from Kerri Bradford and learned so much about this wonderful software. I still have my Expression and some cartridges. Did sell my Gypsy, about 80 cartridges and many other items. I think I have reached the point that I will sell the rest of my Cricut items.

    We travel a lot with our RV and I bring the Cameo with me, since my laptop is always with me. The Expression is only sitting home collecting dust. About time to go.

    Love all your wonderful designs. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. I have the original silhouette and the cameo, and I LOVE them. I know I should sell the small one, but I still use both! I have recently sold my baby bug, but still have the impression and the imagine. I have only used the cricut once since getting my silhouette, and that was to print paper for some Easter baskets. I wouldn't mind selling the expression but would like to keep the I imagine for the printing ability and since I have so many cartridges!

  5. I've had a Cricut since they first came out back in 2006. I sold my Imagine and all the cartridges I had for it to get my Cameo, the Deluxe Software and some extra mats and blades. I received my Cameo in early February and fell in love with it almost instantly. I've only used my E2 once since then. This past 10 days I've sold almost all of my linked cartridges, and some that I had that were not linked. I still have my E2 and my Gypsy and will probably not sell them. Mostly because my E2 has been temperamental and I don't want to sell it to someone and have it stop working, and also, because I may give it to my daughter who is in need of making a little extra money and I thought she might be able to use it to create some stuff to sell on Etsy. However, if she decides she doesn't want it, I may sell it in the future. I do not see me purchasing anymore Cricut stuff in the future.

  6. I don't have a Cameo but do have an SD which I bought after Cricut stopped working with MTC. Poor choice on Provocrafts part, because while I like my Cricut, I love my SD, wish it wAs a Cameo for many reasons, but for now it will do just fine. I still use my Cricut, but not often. It is too bulky and more time-consuming tonuse, or at least it seems so. While I enjoy it, I LOVE my SD and wouldn't trade it for anything.

    Also love learning new things to do with it. Thank you for all your input!

  7. Hi Diane, I have the Cricut Expression and do not plan on buying the Cameo for a while since I've invested lots in tools and cartridges. However my daughter is starting to love crafting and if she wants to buy a cutter I would probably suggest the Cameo. Love your designs.
    Have a super day.

  8. I purchased the original Silhouette and used it a lot for designing my daughter's wedding invites a couple of years ago. I purchased the Cameo last year and love it! I'm so tempted to sell my Cricut & all that goes with it. All of my cartridges are linked to my Gypsy.


  9. Thanks Diane for starting this conversation. Just last night I ordered a Cameo and can't wait to get my hands on it. In the mean time I will be playing with the software and watching videos so I know a little bit when my machine arrives. I have been eyeing the Cameo for a long time so with recently having trouble with my Imagine (which I love) I guess it pushed me over the edge. I have a Create, Expression, Gypsy and of course the Imagine at this point I plan on keeping them as I have way to much money invested in them. In my head I guess the Cameo will replace my Expression when it arrives because that is the spot that I will put it, plus I use the Expression the least right now.
    Love your designs

  10. I haven't joined the switch to Cameo for a few reasons: I have a LOT of cartridges! My friend has a Gypsy, I've linked my carts to her Gypsy so that I have even MORE carts. When we go to crops we bring the Gypsy & our Baby Bug that we bought with a 1/2 off coupon as we usually don't need the full 12-24" cutting ability of our Expressions. I'm not very tech-saavy, yet, so buying a machine that requires me to be would cause me to STRESS. And finally, I'm usually quite happy with the designs that I can tweak in Design Studio with which YOU made me more comfortable! So, the Cameo will have to wait. Perhaps in the future I'll see the need to add another electronic machine to my Craft Room.

  11. I own the Cricut Expression. I LOVE my Cricut and don't have any plans on selling it or switching at any point soon. I haven't really ever had any problems with the Expression and it works great for what I use it for which is mostly card making and scrapbooking. I haven't had any experience with any other cutting systems, so maybe this will change in the future. :)

  12. I bought my baby bug in 2006, upgraded to the expressions in 2008, then the Gypsy a few months after that, then the Imagine when it launched in HSN in 2010 (?), then the Cricut AE2 - I know, crazy! I have since parted with my baby bug but I do have over 200 carts linked to my Gypsy and the last 3 Circle carts unlinked and unopened. 90% of my cart
    Enter the Cameo in December 2011. I haven't purchased any carts since! I find that I use the Cameo more. I love the print and cut feature the most. I love that I can import digi stamps and plan my elements to a card easily. I only buy images I want. I have recently gotten into digital Scrapbooking and I can import my pages onto the Silhouette Studio to plan cuts I want to add to my pages since I love the hybrid pages.
    Am I ready to part with the Cricut? I'm not since I plan to use them sometimes but I don't plan on buying any more carts (6 months and going strong!).

  13. Unfortunately I do not have the budget for the Cameo but would love it! Maybe when I win the lottery! Ha! I will just keep on with my Cricut, but I really haven't desired any new cartridges lately U have been sticking up on died for my Big Shot I just got!


  14. I have the expression and the cameo. I love them both. I find that I am certainly doing more with the cameo and I know that I will never - ever buy another font cartridge again. I love the freedom that the cameo offers in that resprct. I have bought some images online from the silhoutte store. Most of them have been great but I certainly wish that they offered a version with the layers seperated. I spend way too much time seperating them so I can cut them.

  15. I bought my first Cricut in 2006 and then soon after bought the Expression. Then I jumped on the Design Studio bandwagon and then SCAL. I loved the freedom it afforded me. And then PC sued Craftedge and MTC and I began to fear that if I lost my computer (a very real concern since it was old), I'd lose my ability to really cut what I want. So in February, I caved and bought the Cameo. And as soon as it arrived and I played with it a bit, my Expression was packed up in a box, waiting for me to list it and my cartridges on eBay. I have no qualms about my choice. I love my Cameo and could never go back to using just cartridges.

  16. I will buy a Cameo and you are responsible. Additionally, there is a new program available only for the Cameo that I would like to try advertised in my craft magazine. I will keep my two Cricuts but I haven't even used the E2 and am discouraged as you said Craft Room doesn't always work. Additionally I love Design Studio. You are an inspiration. Joan Murphins.

  17. I have the Cameo, the Expression, and the Gypsy. I have hardly ever used the Gypsy as I find the screen too small. Although I have about 80 Cricut carts, I hardly ever use the Expression since getting the Cameo. I find that I get much better cuts with the Cameo and I like being able to purchase only the images I really want. I also find the silhouette seems to have much better customer service than Provo Craft. I will probably eventually sell all my Cricut items and just keep the Cameo.

  18. Hi Diane,
    I have had the expression for a number of years and quite like it. I have 19 carts, which have certainly been enough for me. I also have Design Studio which allows me the luxury of changing the carts a bit.
    I bought a cameo a few months ago and haven't been able to use it as much as I expected because of life getting in the way of what I planned. But, I really like being able to purchase one design at a time, at the moment of need. I hope to have time to cut with the cameo more so it becomes more comfortable to use. Have no plans to get rid of the expression.
    Jane K.

  19. I bought a baby bug in 2006, followed by an Expression, Gypsy and another Expression as a back up, "just in case" my original one died! I have about 90 carts linked to my Gypsy. I bought a Cameo in May and enjoy all the freedom it allows and the versatility of the machine. I will not be buying any more carts. I have sold my baby bug and have a buyer for my original Expression. I will hold onto my backup Expression and my Gypsy for awhile to see how it goes. I would tell my friends to certainly buy a Cameo over an Expression. Provocraft, in my opinion, certainly went down the wrong road when it blocked SCAL and MTC!

  20. I have been a cricut fan since they introduced it to the crafting world. I own an expression and an imagine. I am really disappointed in my imagine as the more I print and cut, the more the cutting is off. I have tried everything. I did purchase a silhouette back in March and am just now really utilizing it. I absolutely love it and it cuts so much better than my cricuts. I have considered selling my cricuts, but I have so much invested into them, that I am hanging on to them for a little while longer. :-) I love your blog and your projects.

  21. I have a circuit and us it more since I got a gypsy. I do really like it but get very frustrated that it doesn't cut the tiny little extra pieces for the cut. I make due. I keep looking at a Silhouette but am not sure I would use it enough to have both. I may someday want to take something to the cabin then I could see having both. There just are not enough hours in a day and I am retired. LOL

  22. I have enjoyed very much watching you create with your cameo but I just cannot justify the expense of another cutting machine. I don't use my cricut as often as I used to. I have a Gypsy and many many linked cartridges, so I will just stick with what I have.

  23. I purchased my Silhouette about a year ago with every intention of keeping my Cricut Expression, Imagine, and E2. However I haven't used any of my Cricuts since I got the SIL. I still can't quite bring myself to get rid of my Cricut Carts and machines yet...

  24. I just purchased a cameo about a week ago after taking the class, acut above, offered on onlineclasses.com by Jennifer McGuire and friends. After seeing what you've created and really learning more about the machine and software from that class I decided to take the plunge and buy the cameo instead of renewing my circle membership.

    I don't have immediate plans to get rid of my cricuts or cartridges, but I must say my E2 has really proven to be a paperweight(bought at launch, never worked correctly and have had 3 replacement machine, thankfully I held on to my wonderful E). So far, the silhouette is awesome. It cuts very intricate shapes much better than the cricut and I love the subscription plans silhouette has to offer.

    I have signed up for the monthly subscription and really don't have much desire to buy more cricut carts going forward except for maybe imagine carts. I love my imagine but that is about all I love about y cricuts these days. I never thought I'd buy anything else other than a cricut, but given the quality of the cameo, if I were able to start all over again knowing what I know now, cricut machines would not be my first choice.

  25. I bought a ZING in December and I love it. I bought a Expression in 2006 and have over 40 carts. Anyone want to buy?? The Zing comes with MTC software which is just wonderful. I put all my cricut items packed away and am waiting to sellthem. Take a moment to look at the MTC software, it is remarkable.

  26. i'm almost 62 yrs old. i have almost and mabye already, 300 cricut carts. i have the E2, expression, mini, and the create. i've sold two machines. i cannot see me investing in another die cut program. i've been a circle member from the beginning, went on one cricut cruise. it isn't that i'm dedicated to provocraft, i just don't feel at my age, i want to 'learn' new things. i have everything i need to do whatever i want. if i were 20 yrs younger? i might have a different opinion. if i were to suggest to someone who asked and was interested in scrapbooking and papercrafts. i might make other suggestions. but...for now, for me, i'm sticking with what i know and am comfortable with.

  27. I have had a Cricut (the first one that cut 12x12) and an Imagine for some time.. I love them both, but I have had innumerable problems getting my Imagine to print AND cut with the Craftroom program.

    I also live in Australia where cartridges are extremely expensive, and not available from Cricut directly. However, all of this wouldn't have justified the price of the Cameo for me, until I found I couldn't purchase digital down loads or the craft room exclusives without an american address.

    I prefer to make my own designs and with the demise of Sure Cuts Alot this became more difficult. So I will keep my Cricut and the carts I have, however, I wont be buying any more unless they are very cute patterned paper for my Imagine.

    Instead I will be spending my money on downloads for the Silhouette and its accompanying paraphernalia.

    A. (omyn)

  28. I don't like having to have computer access to use a die cutting machine so for now I will stick to my Expression, Design Studio and the 16 carts I have. In over 2 years, that's all I've needed to create what I've wanted. There's so much repetition on the carts that I don't intend to buy any more. I don't know that I would do it any different if I started all over today because of the inconvenience of the computer, but I do now tell people about the Cameo too so they can decide what works best for them. The better cutting capability for intricate designs is awfully attractive.

  29. I plan to buy a Cameo eventually but will keep my Cricut Expression, Gypsy, Design Studio and all my cartridges (I have over 100).

  30. I bought a Cricut Cake about a year and a half ago. Thought it was one of the best things ever made and I use it for scrapbooking as well. But I noticed that the smaller the pieces go, the cuts aren't as smooth. I bought the gypsy as well. That helped with the customisation a little. Down side is, hardly anyone uses the Cricut in Singapore and needless to say, hardly anyone sells anything Provocraft. I had to buy them from amazon, pay international shipping and they cost a bomb. Found out about the Cameo and....OMG. THAT is the THE BOMB! I just got it barely 2 months ago & I like the fact that I don't have to buy cartridges for the few images I like. I love the amount of customisation I can do on the Design Studio and sketching, omg the Cameo sketches! I find that I'm getting more critical of the Cricut.. I won't sell the cricut coz I'll just keep using that for my cakes. I realised that because of the gumpaste, the cricut tends to get oily with crisco and I can't bear to 'oil' my cameo just yet.

    There's so much I can do with the Cameo, honestly I don't know where to start!

  31. I have the original Silhouette and the Cameo. I loved designing in Inkscape for my Silhouette, but I think I will like the Cameo more. I never could see getting a Cricut - those cartridges are too pricy for me! I purchased a subscription to the Silhouette Store and it seems much more cost-effective. I also broke down and bought the Designer Studio, simply because it will open the SVG files I have collected, rather than me having to go through Inkscape -> RoboMaster -> Cameo. All in all, I love the Cameo and wouldn't trade it for the world!

  32. I got my E2 an a Gypsy right before the PC vs SCAL and MTC situation, wich really bothered me since I was planning on getting either one to compliment the functionality of the E2. I have not used my E2 as much as I though I would and ended up bying an Ecraft for the design liberty. I have not used either one much, but i see the benefits of both, After seeing what you have designed using your Cameo I have been thinking about getting one, but at the moment I dont see my self either selling my current machines nor acquiring another one.
    Have a great day.

  33. I am a huge fan of the Silhouette, even though I do not yet own one. It's everything I bought my Cricut for, and more. Don't get me wrong, I like what I can do with my Cricut, but I too, bought my Cricut and Gypsy right before all the law suits and they do not have the flexibility I was counting on. I feel like I spent my entire savings on a product I cannot afford to use since my only option is to spend more money, so, instead of investing in Cricut carts and images, I am saving for my Silhouette. I will keep the Cricut because I love the 7 carts I do have and the pens and deep cut system, etc. I think I can get the best of both worlds this way.


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