Thursday, November 29, 2012

Silhouette Cameo Print and Cut Advantage

One of the reasons I enjoy using the Silhouette software and the Cameo is the amazing ability it gives me to combine my love of digital scrapping with cutting.  When the Cricut Imagine came out a few years ago I was very excited by the possibilities it offered until I realized that it was a closed system - in other words, the only artwork that could be used on the machine was cartridge based.  I have thousands of digital papers and embellishments that I have purchased over the years and I wanted to be able to use the items I already own to do print and cut projects.

I won't go into a lot of detail about the shortcomings of the Imagine machine.  I have never been able to get a well calibrated cut throughout an entire 12 x 12 sheet of cardstock.  This machine has been discontinued so I doubt that there will be much more attention given to it.  I can use it to print 12 x 12 papers from the cartridges that I own and there are some that I like very much.  However, I would feel better about the whole situation if the machine could be "unlocked" and I could use it as a regular 12 x 12 printer.

I'd be more upset about the Imagine situation if I didn't own a Silhouette machine.  The great thing about using the Silhouette software is that you can create a digital image in the software, add cut lines and registration marks to it, print it on your regular printer and then cut out the images perfectly with the machine.

You can even use the Silhouette software to make basic digital page layouts (it doesn't have some of the more advanced effects and functions that I am used to from the Storybook Creator 4.0 software but you can make layouts like the one above - click HERE to read the original post about this page).

The creative potential with the Silhouette software and the print and cut system is very exciting.  I designed this card with all of the layers, the text in a circle, the spinning flower piece in the center and the actual card base and filled the shapes with digital papers and elements. 


These are all of the pieces I printed on plain white cardstock and cut with my Silhouette SD (the older machine).  You can read the original post HERE

I can use a digital element like this little Cosmo Cricket pixie, trace it and add an offset in the software and after printing and cutting in the machine, I have a perfectly cut image with an even border.

Here are the two sheets I printed to create a birthday card.  I did "faux layering" by placing two patterned papers on top of each other in the software for the card mats.

Here is a view of the finished card.  The blue card base was decorated inside and out with pieces that I set up in the software and then printed and cut.  You can see the post about this card HERE.

Here is one more example of a print and cut project.  I used an embellishment from the Creative Memories Classic Halloween Digital Embellishments (all CM digital content is still on sale until tomorrow, November 30th - the 25% discount will show when the items are placed in the shopping bag).  

I was able to create a shaped card very easily by tracing the monster face and creating a cut line and then flipping and welding the shape to make the card.  You can read more about this card HERE.

You can get as complicated as you want with the print and cut projects.  It is not difficult, but you do need to learn the software and be able to plan a design for a card.  For someone like me, this is relaxing and fun but if you are not comfortable with computers it may not be your best option.  Printing paper is fun but there are limitations on what you can do on a home printer and if you love foil and glitter effects you'll still need to buy papers (let's face it - we all have a least a bit of a paper addiction, that's why we do this!).

If you are already a digital scrapper, you will find that you suddenly have many "cartridges" since you can use all of your digital images and papers with this software.  This Santa is from an Echo Park kit called All I Want For Christmas, available at Jessica Sprague HERE.  I would print and cut the Santa and cut the "ho ho ho" mat with the Cameo and add them to the card base and white layer that I cut with my trimmer.

I couldn't resist having a little more fun with the image and I created some new kaleidoscope type shapes - doesn't the one on the top right look like a flower?!

It these are the type of projects you are interested in doing, the Silhouette machine will be a good choice for you.  I am not familiar with the print and cut options on other machines, so I can't really compare them.  I do know that you can't do this with any of the Cricut machines.  I don't know if they will come out with a new and improved version of the Imagine.  Unless it is a system that allows you to use content from any source, I doubt that it will be able to compete with the Silhouette products.

Once again, if this is not something you are interested in doing then you may find that you prefer to stick with the "plug and play" Cricut system for most of your crafting.  It is good to know about all of the possibilities and then decide what makes sense for you.

If you are thinking about adding a Cameo machine to your crafting tools, there are some good deals available now.  The machine is on sale at the Silhouette America site in a bundle with the designer version of the software for $229.99 HERE.  You need to put the code "Black" in the box on the check out page to get the discount (normal price of the bundle is $349.98). 

There is also a bundle deal at HERE for $229 that includes a bonus $25 download card, some glitter, adhesive sheets and a cover but does not include the designer software.  You can search for other deals - these are just a couple that I know about and I do not have any affiliation with either of these vendors.

If you already have a Silhouette machine, the 40% off sale in the store for supplies and accessories ends tomorrow - remember to use the code "black" on the checkout page to get the discount.  The images in the online store are also on sale through tomorrow for half price (most of them are 50 cents - a few are only 25 cents!).

Free shape this week in the Silhouette Online Store.

If you are thinking about this machine but are not sure, don't worry - there will always be another deal, you just have to wait for it!  In the meanwhile, I would highly recommend that you download the free software and give it a try.  You can find the download link HERE There are Mac and Windows versions of the software available.

You should also get in the habit of downloading the free shape each week.  The new freebie is posted on Tuesdays and there are also some designs that are half price each week.

Please let me know if you have questions about the print and cut feature - it is one of the best features of this system.

The Creative Memories sale on the photo editing software (Memory Manager) and digital scrapping program that I use (StoryBook Creater) for digital pages and other projects ends tomorrow.  Content CDs and downloads are also on sale - click HERE to go to the Pixel's Holiday Hijinks page.  Artwork and Software (including upgrades) are 25% off until November 30th.  You'll find the pages with the digital downloads for artwork HERE - the prices will be adjusted in the shopping cart so don't be confused by the full price on the item description pages.

If you use machines that will cut files in SVG or other formats, Lettering Delights has a sale on Cut It sets that ends today (Thursday, November 29th).  These files come in a number of formats (ai, dxf, eps, gsd, pdf and svg) and can be used on most cutting machines but not the Cricut.  They are normally priced at 5 or 6 dollars for the set and they are $2 during this sale.  To make matters even better, if you order totals $20 or more, you can save an additional 40% by using the code HoDown.

I hope you have a happy and creative day.  The next week is going to be very busy for me with some family visits but I'll try to keep things current here on the blog.  I'll post the final items for the November Giveaway tomorrow and post the winner sometime this weekend.

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  1. I agree with you totally on your assessments of the electronic die cutters. Thank you so much for sharing. I may even dust mine off and give them a project or two to do. LOL.

  2. the print and cut feature is very enticing! I didn't get an Imagine, altho I was very interested in it, and now I'm glad I didn't. the way the Silhouette software works makes a lot more sense to me since I already have printers. Thanks for your info. I'm off to continue with my cards!

  3. Thank you for such an honest and informative post. It's very helpful to read reviews like yours before committing to a big purchase! Happy crafting!

  4. Thanks Diane, I am so enjoying reading your posts on the Cricut vs Cameo reviews. I especially like today's post and the print and cut. I too have a few Cricuts and many cartridges, but over the summer I got a Cameo and I love it! I am still learning the software (also have MTC) but would love instructions from you on how you did the sentiment in the circle and print and cut it. I looked through your blog and could not find a post explaining how to do the sentiment in a circle using print & cut on the Cameo. Thanks Donna

    1. Hi Diane, not sure if you tried to contact me, I had some in my email from you about being deliverable. Thanks Donna

  5. I have often downloaded your designs but I am making a book out of these instructions as I ordered Cameo on cyber Monday. Your offer is much better than the one I got. Would you consider writing a book for this machine? I learned so much from you re: Design Studio and other aspects of the Cricut I wished you had written a book about that. Please consider it for the Cameo Joan

  6. This series has been very helpful. I do want a Cameo eventually, but need to wait a bit. It's helpful to see what it can do. I love my Cricuts and plan to keep them also. Just different toys for different functions...

  7. Thanks for the explanation on the print and cut feature - that is one of the reasons I wanted a cameo...just the thought of being able to cut designs not on my cartridges is so exciting! But I will wait. I am a little concerned about support for the hubby got one for me for Christmas last year and I've had a couple of issues with it. It has been difficult for me to get them resolved because I work full time and by the time I get home, it's too late to call. Since I teach, I am not able to call during my work day. Anyone that has been in a classroom knows there is barely enough time to breath (I work with 1st graders)! For now, I will keep using my cricuts - maybe I'll get a cameo when I retire!

    rissaflor atyahoo dotcom

  8. So you might almost have convinced me about the Cameo. I just realized that when I like certain embellishments from Creative Memories and I can only get them via digital because they have sold out the traditional, then I could use the cameo to print and cut them. Now I hand cut them (fussy cut)! It might be worth the time saver.

  9. i haven't tried using the print & cut feature on my cameo yet, but i'm convinced it will work beautifully. i'm so glad i purchased the cameo instead of the cricut imagine.

  10. I always read your posts and sit in awe of the projects you come up with. Maybe in a few years when I get to retire I will have the time to learn this computer stuff and try out some of these for myself.

  11. Your comparisons of the die cutting machines are so very helpful. I'm thinking about the Cameo but I'm not quite there yet. Right now I'm happy with my Cricut Expression, my Big Shot my and rapidly growing collection of dies.

    papergardener4 at aol dot com

  12. oh yes, I have now gone through the cricket, Imagine, eclips, aaaaannnndddd the silhouette!!!! I'm not even sure WHY I bought an eclips when I KNEW how many applications I could use with the silhouette. The Silhouette will even cut PMC(Precious Metal Clay) to create intricate, consistent designs that, when heated in a kiln, become solid metal! How cool is that? It's not in my hot little hands quite yet, but thanks to the Black Friday promo, I think I will have it in about 2 weeks. Just in time to create some holiday 3D items I only have in my head so far!

  13. Thank You Diane, for taking the time to publish this post. I am just now catching up on my favorite blogs, so I am late posting this comment, but the information I needed about the Silhouette Cameo is right here. I convinced a friend to buy the Cameo for her daughter for Xmas, even though the daughter is not at all familiar with the different machines and what they do. She asked for a Cricut. I also ordered a Cameo for myself and your post explains why I suggested it. Thank You. I love everything I learn here. And ... like so many followers, please know I am here even though I don't comment often.


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