I LOVE my Silhouette! I thought I loved my Cricut when I first got it and I did at first but then really started feeling the limitations of it. I hung on because I noticed the usb port on the back of it and heard hints of fun things coming for it. Then, they released Cricut Design Studio. I rushed out and got it. It wasn't long until I figured out that it was pretty limited too unless you owned all of those cartridges. Sure Cuts a Lot was a dream come true!! And then there was the lawsuit so Cricut owners don't even have that option anymore unless they already had the software. I do have a point to all of this!! Promise!! I opened up the box for the Cameo and installed the software. Right out of the box, you have 51 images to play with plus a gift card for $10 more to go towards any you want to buy from their web site...most of which start off at $.99 so you could potentially get 10 more plus the free shape of the week. You can use any fonts already installed on your computer. Plus, you can import .pngs and .jpegs to offer even more design possibilities. If you would like the option of importing .svgs, you will need to upgrade to their Designer Studio software...hopefully I can upgrade to that soon so I can play around more with my own designs. Anyway, that was right out of the box...already way more than Cricut ever offered us!! I upgraded my SCAL software as soon as I ordered the Cameo. If you already have SCAL 2, you can upgrade to SCAL 3 for free to use with the other die-cutters (it doesn't work for Cricuts anymore though). You just have to provide the serial number for SCAL 2 to qualify for the free upgrade...or at least this was still the case last week. ;)
Ok...now on to my project. I needed to make a baby gift yesterday for a baby shower last night (nothing like waiting until the last minute!). I already had the shadow box (see last post) but wanted to make a mini-album too. I've been really wanting to make an album using the bird I created for Kissy Kissy. So after a couple of hours of searching YouTube and playing around with the software, I figured out how to do the bird AND use the Print and Cut feature...have I mentioned that print and cut is my FAVORITE part of the Cameo??? Here's some quick instructions on how I did this...mainly so I won't forget the next time I need/want to do this. ;) I opened up the .svg file in Illustrator and assembled the bird pieces back together (they are separated in the version I have for sale so the different pieces can be cut out of different papers). Then, I exported the file as a .png file and opened it up in Photoshop. In PS, I added the colors and patterns I wanted for the different parts getting this.
I opened this in the Silhouette software. I used the Trace feature and traced around it. This is really where YouTube came in handy...I watched a few tuts and combined some of the ideas. I got it traced out and added the registration marks that the Cameo needs to know where to cut the image and printed it and cut it out. That part was pretty easy once I got the hang of it. Then for the rest of the pages, I just moved the colored part off of the artboard and did a fill page. I ended up with 4 birds per page and cut them out of cream cardstock. Oh and for the covers, I also cut out the birds with a manilla folder and glued the printed part to them. If you want the front and back covers printed, you will need to do a mirror image of the color bird. ;) You can do this within the software too. To decorate the inside pages, I made labels in PS and did the same steps I needed to do to cut the printed bird out.
I took a very fine tip pen and made "stitches" all around the birds...all 12 pages and covers, front and back. The eye has Black Diamond Stickles on it. To assemble the album, I scored the ends of the tail and the wing that is sticking up and glued them all together above the score. Then, I tied a ribbon around it. I started to use a notebook ring but was afraid the feet would get all tangled up and it would tear easily.
For the front inside cover, I put a "Hello, world" tag. I thought this would be a great place to stick a newborn picture. Each page has a number tag representing the month...front and back. On the front of the month page is another tag "This month I...". By the way...the Silhouette can actually handle really small scallops like the ones on those tags!!
On the inside back cover, I put a "Happy Birthday" tag for his first birthday picture. I folded the ends of the tags with that little tool you use for scrolling. The tags are attached with foam adhesive in the middle and just Mono Adhesive on the ends.
And this is the back! Both of the covers are painted with Glam from Tattered Angels. Other than that, I didn't do anything special to the back.
I can't remember if I mentioned this yet either. The Cameo can cut vinyl without a mat from 12" to 10'...yes, that is 12 inches by 10 feet. I bought the Cameo bundled with the vinyl from Amazon. The only drawback is that I couldn't pick my own color and they sent me navy blue. But I'm going to use that for the boys' rooms as soon as they get them cleaned up and we can repaint them. They sent a roll of the transfer paper too. The vinyl is cheaper than Cricut's too and you get more of it.
Biggest drawback...I'm not going to live long enough to do all the projects I have floating around in my head. :)