Wednesday, January 22, 2014

3 Things To Pay Attention To When Using Your Silhouette Cameo

With Chinese New Year coming on January 31, I thought I'd make some cards for my kids using Make The Cut (MTC) and the Chinese Zodiac Cut It Set from Lettering Delights.  That would mean making four cards, with each of their zodiac signs on the front.  Because of my lack of a fully functioning brain due to being sick for the past five days, I encountered three "technical difficulties" and only succeeded at making one card.  I thought I'd share these difficulties and what I learned here, in case you encounter them.  My first problem was easy to solve.  I noticed while my Cameo was cutting the square card mats I'd created, the shapes inside the mats were way too small to cut well.  I wasted an entire sheet of cardstock, ugh!    Lesson learned, make sure to do a test cut when cutting small shapes!  I also noticed the squares had cut farther to the right on the cutting mat than they should, problem number two.  I had no idea why that was.  The only card that seemed salvageable was the snake, so I decided to press on.  I cut the top layer of the snake in vinyl, and that's when the third problem revealed itself.  The shapes weren't closed, they looked like this:

Silhouette Cameo, Make The Cut
This shape didn't finish being cut!
I racked my brain over this for a while, and then it dawned on me.  While I was test cutting trying to figure out what was wrong, I had the cut window open and I noticed some unchecked boxes, which if memory served me right, had always been checked when I cut.
Silhouette Cameo, Make The Cut
This could be the problem!

I then clicked on that question mark to the right of settings and discovered this little tidbit of info:
Silhouette Cameo, Make The Cut
Shapes not closing, exactly what one of my problems was!  And, since the "using carrier mat" option was unchecked the shapes cut farther to the right on the mat.  Try checking and unchecking that box some time and see the difference, the picture will change.  I hope sharing my mistakes will prevent this from happening to you!  Now, last but not least, here is the card I managed to create:
Lettering Delights, Chinese Zodiac, Make The Cut, Silhouette Cameo
It's far from perfect, as you can see the rough edges from where the shapes didn't cut well.  To make the red mat have only the openings of the snake I used MTC and broke apart the snake, removed the solid portion that remained and joined the inner pieces to the square.  I was then able to put the actual snake shape cut from vinyl on top.  The one success I had was writing on the card using a thin font and a Silhouette sketch pen, it turned out perfect!
Lettering Delights, Thin Fonts, Chinese Zodiac, Make The Cut, Silhouette Cameo
No, I'm not a snake!
This is one advantage of having Make The Cut, as this is something Silhouette Studio can't do.  If you use these fonts in Silhouette Studio it must be the true type version which is a double line, and personally I don't think it looks as good.  The red layer is popped up with foam tape for dimension, here's another view:
Lettering Delights, Chinese Zodiac, Make The Cut, Silhouette Cameo
Of course I'm not really calling my 12 year old son a snake!  He was born in the year of the snake, 2001.  Here's the inside of the card:

Doesn't really sound like a snake!
I did a little reading to find that info in a book called The Secrets of Chinese Astrology by Derek Walters.  I found the Chinese character for snake by doing a simple Google search, clipping it, and tracing it in Make The Cut.  Making this card turned out to be a learning experience for me.  I now know to pay more attention to things like unchecked boxes and the appropriate size for cutting shapes!  Have you ever had a crafting experience like this?  I mean, for a while there it felt like someone didn't want me to finish!  I feel better now that I have one card.  I plan to make larger versions of the others tomorrow.  Here's what I used to make this card:
Silhouette Cameo
Make The Cut Software
Chinese Zodiac Cut It Simple Shapes
LDThin Font Light Sans
LDB Christine's Hand (inside of card)
Black Silhouette Sketch Pen
Core'dinations Cardstock (red)
DCWV Textures & Finishes Stack (gold)

Hope you enjoyed this post, and Have a Crafty Day!

(I am an affiliate for Make The Cut)

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