Sunday, October 27, 2013

Birthday Banner & Intricate Cuts on the Silhouette Cameo

Here is one thing that I wish I could bottle up; the pure excitement of awaiting a birthday.  I know that most people gets excited about their birthday but nobody can get the same level of excitement as a child, which is the way it should be.  Well, my son was super excited about his birthday.  He was counting down the days, weeks, and months.  Yes, it has gone on that long.  I love hearing and seeing his precious smile as he tells me what day it is.  I hope that he continues to have this same joy over his birthday for many years to come.  Of course, I have something to do with his excitement since I am the one who decorates, cooks and get the gifts and I want to give my boys what I deemed to be the ideal birthday.  In other words, what I wish my birthdays are like.  ;-)   So, I had to make him a banner with my new baby.  My Cameo is working overtime lately.  Not only were we doing birthday banners, we also cut out autumn icon shapes for our windows.  I wish I had this when they were younger, it would have save me a lot of time cutting out templates and drawing.  It makes me appreciate my Cameo even more.

Anyway, when I first got the machine, I cut the most intricate images I could find, which were the swirl and plant(2) that came with the machine.  It cut like a dream even with those shapes and I had them pretty small.  Then my 7 year old wanted a pinwheel cut on glitter paper and after that it did not cut the swirl and plant(2) shapes as well, without tearing the paper.  I thought,"Great, I messed up the blade" but then I watched this video of cutting intricate images on the Silhouette and found this Q&A on SplitCoastStamper.  The key point that I took away from that video was to have a new mat and new blade.  Well, since I just got the machine, that should not be an issue.  I notice that the default was to cut the image on the top left corner.  So I moved my paper to a part of the mat that I did not cut on yet, and changed the type of paper media, and the image cut out fine.  In the video, it also shows you how to lift the intricate shape off the mat which helps with the stickiness of the mat and not ripping the paper.  I also used cardstock from my local craft store, so I thought that might have something to do with it.  I ended up moving my image to the other part of the mat that I did not use and the image came out fine despite the paper.  Though, later I was having some rips at the corner of my cuts.  So back to researching and I found this blog entry on how to cut intricate cuts on Silhouette Cameo, and now I have no fear in cutting paper.  It gives you advice on cutting different materials on the Silhouette Cameo and after following her advice, I found that my cuts were so much better.  Below is what I got out of her blog entry for cutting different designs on paper and what to do if you run into some problems.  I haven't try other materials yet, but I am ready!

Simple Designs - blade 4, speed 3 and thickness 33
Detailed Designs- blade 5, speed 2, thickness 33

Problems where most of the design is cut but not completely:
-try having double-cut checked or
-set blade depth down 1 level

Problems where the design is cut but the corners are "mucking up", try:
-decreasing the speed
-changing blade depth down 1 or 2 levels down (ex. from 6 down to 4 or 5)

 Before I found this blog entry, I was getting rips on the corner using the "pattern paper-65lb cardstock" setting for cutting in the Silhouette.  You could see the image below of one of my rips.  Weird thing was not all of them were bad cuts which made me think it was location of the mat since Silhouette advices you to use a new blade and mat when making intricate cuts.  This was one of the cuts for my Welcome Autumn card.
I was getting rips on the edges using the "Pattern Paper-65lb cardstock" in the cutting setting
After I changed the settings of slowing down the speed, this is the cuts I got below.

I create a custom cut setting, so I can use it all the time now for my paper by clicking on the "+" to add custom settings.   I label it cardstock 65lb and had a speed of 3 and blade of 4.  Some of my 65lb paper has texture and it cuts better at blade 4.
After having some great cuts, I cut out the banner which are 10.5" tall and 8" across.  I got these awesome free pennants at Bird's Card site.  She got tons of free cut files on her site.  It's a gold mine and a half!  I cut the design pennants on a royal blue cardstock and then a plain pennant on a pale blue carstock to pop the design out.  Then I punch out two holes on the pale blue paper after I glue the royal design on top.  I ran a blue ribbon through the holes to connect them all and created a loop to hang it up on both ends.  Anyway, I still have a lot to learn about my Cameo but I will share my trials and errors.

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