Category Archives: silhouette cameo

When Silhouette won’t Recognize Registration Marks on Vellum…

…shine a bright light close to the machine!

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I’ve print and cut successfully on vellum many times in the past but last night was the first time I tried to do it late at night. I don’t understand the mechanics in any real technical way, but looking at the machine try and fail to recognize the registration marks multiple times, I wondered if the machine’s optical reader had a hard time “finding” the black registration marks because the light in my craft room is not very bright at night. One bright light and voila, problem solved!

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Silhouette Pixscan is Awesome!

I purchased the Pixscan sheet from DesignsbyMiriam. She had a great price, shipping was super cheap, she threw in a free sketch pen, provided tracking information, and was super responsive. Thanks Miriam!

Calibration was easy; however, as a Studio v3 nube, it took me a second to find the calibration test card. To print the calibration sheet, click on “Camera Calibration” and then “Show Calibration Test Card.” Once the dots show up, click print. To finish setup, I took a photo of the test card and then uploaded it by pressing “+.” After thinking for a second, it was ready! For those seeking more directions, I’ve read that the instructions are on page 35 of the Help section in Silhouette Studio. I just followed the helpful directions that the blogger at Paper Pulse Blog posted — below is a screenshot of the menu sidebar so you can see the button that needs to be clicked to show the test card. 

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Diecuts for Stamped Images

For my first test, I used some stamps I would never want to fussy cut. I like white borders around my images and the Pixscan feature worked brilliantly! As others have noted, once you have taken a photo of the image, you can save the cut outline and create diecuts for future stamping. The Pixscan is going to bring new life to my scraps because I can use any sized paper to stamp an image.

Pixscan image

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Diecut stamped images

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Sketching on Paper Pieces

I was also very excited to try the sketching function on paper scraps and other assorted pieces. I’ve found some really neat fonts recently like La Chatte a Maman and have been looking for ways to incorporate them into my crafting. Recently, I purchased my first set of metal dies for thicker materials like the cotton paper I use for letterpress. I cut out a few too many the other day and have been wondering how I might use them. Using the sketch pen Miriam sent me, I typed out the word “laugh,” resized it for the shape, welded the letters, and then sent it to the Silhouette to sketch. I love how it turned out!

Pixscan image

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Sketched piece

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Cutting out Embossed Images

There aren’t a ton of reviews out there yet but a few have mentioned that Silhouette Studio needs a relatively dark line for the Trace function to work effectively. I decided to experiment with an embossed image and to add to the challenge by stamping on top of a lightly patterned paper. I had to play with the trace function for a bit to get a clean cut and then offset it. The outcome though was awesome. My friend and I worked on some Christmas cards earlier this year and it was such a pain to take delicate vellum diecuts, stamp them with Versamark, put on powder, and then heat set each tiny piece. With the Pixscan, I can definitely see embossing first and then cutting the embossed sentiments out en masse.

Pixscan image

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One note – some of you may notice that the offset on the sun was almost perfect, while the camera offset is slightly off. This is the result of user error — when I took the photo, the paper wasn’t pressed down firmly enough and had a few bubbles. I only noticed after I imported the photo into Silhouette Studio and smooshed the paper down before I sent the cut file to my Silhouette without thinking. This error though gives you a sense of how accurately PIxscan captures the position of the image on the scan. 

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A Mama Elephant Haul with Stamps and Creative Cuts

The first card I made with the sets combine the sentiments from Splendid and the Creative Cuts.

I’ve resisted buying die cuts for a very long time because most of the materials I used can be easily cut using my Silhouette. As I started using thicker weight materials — especially when letterpressing — the Silhouette wasn’t able to consistently deliver a clean polished cut. My first set of steel dies from My Favorite Things – the Circle Stax set – was so awesome, I decided to double-down and purchased the Mama Elephant Creative Cuts set. I also got the Cozy Christmas set (which I’d been eyeing since last Christmas) and the Splendid and Make A Wish stamps.

This is the first card I made using the sentiments and cuts.

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I adore this 3D bow. I sprayed it with some Heidi Swapp Color Shine in Gold. Next time, I’m thinking teal with white polka dots!IMG_0002

A close up at how well the stamp works with the resist technique. Gah – so pretty!

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A picture of my haul. Love Mama Elephant!

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Silhouette with iPad: Custom Lettering

I’ve been on a lettering kick recently – last month I took a pointed-pen calligraphy class at Meant to Be Calligraphy and I’ve been obsessed with Jenny Doh’s Creative Lettering: Techniques and Tips from Top Artists – but struggled with adding my lettering to my traditional and Project Life layouts. Finding the right ink/paper combinations with my very limited lettering supplies (I seriously have over 100 pens but only a few of them are right for the loopy lettering techniques I’m in love with), is very challenging. The Higgins Eternal black ink we got in class absorbs straight into the Becky Higgings Project Life paper. It looks okay on water color paper but as a newbie to pointed-pen and other technique-centric pens, I’m still getting used to the scratchiness. The Mister Huey’s inks work on the Project Life cards but the pointed pen part leaves weird scratchy marks for this nube….

Complaining aside, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to add personalized/custom lettering to my projects without the hassle of figuring out what ink to match with what medium and the solution seems to be the Silhouette Cameo. For the layout below, I tried some brush script techniques using a tablet, drew the image, saved it as an image file (e.g., jpg), and then cut the file out using water color paper. Voila! No special inks needed!

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Then I colored the words using some Faber Castell Gelatos. My favorite part was distressing the outline of the words using the Black Soot distress marker. I originally created a harsh line, but using a water brush, I was able to blend the gelato and distress marker for a unique look. 

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For the rest of the page, I used scraps from my Gelato swatches and other projects. I seem to use up a lot of my scraps in the scrapbooking process and generate a lot of scraps working on greeting cards and Project Life. I don’t scrap very much, but I’d be very curious to know if that happens to others.
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The most recent Amy Tangerine/Kal Barteski woodblock stampset is perfect for so many layouts that I created a cut file so I could easily create embellishments. I used Delicata Gold ink to stamp it and then distressed the paper using Mowed Lawn and Black Soot distress pens. 
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Studio Calico’s Funnel Cake Digital Stamp

Knowing that chances were slim that I’d be able to buy the stamp, I decided to purchase the digital files. We’re tiling our backsplash today so I’ve been super busy all day but when after I bought the file, I just had to see what it looked like. I quickly print-and-cut the image on vellum with my Silhouette. The image is so fun and distinctive. I used regular print settings (printer paper) and set my blade to 4. The image came out perfectly without requiring a double cut. After all these years, the precision of the Cameo cut is still so fun to watch.

I’ll definitely have to try to create projects with individual states – the California example on the product page was very inspiring for me. Since I’m from LA, it’ll be a perfect die cut for all sorts of specialized kits. Even though Studio Calico is restocking, I may not actually need to buy it because the digital stamp seems like it would be much more versatile.
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“With Sympathy” Card Using Distress Markers

The Distress Markers never cease to amaze me. Even when the color swatch is completely uninspiring, the transformation when it’s used with water is incredible. The die cut was made out of watercolor card stock. The white background was embossed using a Lifestyle Crafts embossing folder on Stampin Up white cardstock.

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Seasonal Silouette Cameo Love

My fondness for using certain tools seems to wax and wane depending on the season. Since the sun started shining more brightly, I have been using my Silhouette Cameo to create unique die-cuts. I thought about my Momma a lot while designing this card — though I need to find a better technique for applying Delicata ink to the edges of white card stock, I think the spinning circle makes the card happy and charming, just like my mom.

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This next card uses an image from Two Peas, which I edited somewhat so that the size and image ratio made more sense for my white card base. I cut the “Love” image out on water color paper twice. At first I colored directly on one of the diecuts and then spritzed it. The color was quite deep and dense; it was quite lovely but I was looking for something lighter and less precise. I colored the markers directly on my craft mat until a little bit of ink pooled, spritzed the mat with water four times, and then carefully dipped and dabbed the second diecut. The flower is from a Martha Stewart sticker pack — I love her flower stickers. IMG_0011 2

 

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I love using the Delicata gold ink to edge the cardstock!
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