Posts Tagged ‘Silhouette SD’

Ride Like the Wind, Tonto!


It’s my dad’s birthday today! Happy birthday, DAD!!

For Father’s Day I made him a black bicycle hat. I have a few childhood memories seeing my dad wear hats like that, so I thought he might like one. It was a complete shot in the dark.

You’ve got to understand that my dad is impossible to buy/make gifts for. He only ever says he wants happy children. Of course he means it, but we’re a pretty happy bunch so it doesn’t seem like we’re giving him much of anything. Personally, I think he doesn’t believe we’d ever pool our money/assets together to buy him what he really wants: a 40 acre ranch in Kolob canyon. He’s right. We’d never do that.

As luck would have it, my dad was very excited to receive the black hat for Father’s day & it fit him perfectly. He asked me if I could a decal on there. Of course! With my Silhouette, I’m unstoppable! He gave the hat back & requested that I put a decal of a cyclist & “Ride like the wind, Tonto!” wrapping around the side.

It’s taken me nearly 2 1/2 months to get around to doing it! The cyclist took some effort & patience to apply, but the quote was impossible. Maybe I should’ve taken apart the hat to apply the decal. Round shapes are not fun to iron. Admittedly, I was more than bummed to see that it wasn’t going to work out. Blerg. On the positive side, the hat looks pretty rad with just the biker on it.

Hope my dad likes it!

Scott’s Self-Referential Vinyl Decal


My brother-in-law and I were having a conversation about vinyl decals when I told him that I could now make my own my new Silhouette machine. Seriously, I think I’ve told each family member about this machine four or five times. Yeah. As soon as I told Scott about my lovely new cutter, he got so excited about making custom decals for his car. Chris and Scott brainstormed for about an hour trying to figure out what they should do to decorate Scott’s car. They decided on a decal of Scott’s face. Chris did a similar thing with a stencil and spray paint on a briefcase he used to take to school. It’s cool to mark your belongings like that.

We spent an hour or so trying to pick out a picture that would work, and settled on a skiing pic Scott took with his iPhone.

This is how the design turned out after playing around with the image in Photoshop & Illustrator. I finished the design in about an hour. The Silhouette took about a minute to cut the vinyl (it would’ve been faster, but I had it at it’s slowest setting). It took some skill to weed out the negative space properly because of the nature of the design, but I was able to save the negative of his face for Scott to apply on his computer. I didn’t get a picture of it, but the black sticker on his black MacBook looks pretty slick.

Here’s Scott, applying the decal.

Here’s Scott, trying to make the same face that he made in the original photo.

Here’s the final product! Pretty slick, right? Now how fun would it be to have an entire family of decals on the back window?

I love my new Silhouette machine. There are just so many things you can do with it! Click here to read my review of the machine. If you’re in the market to buy one, or if you know your mom would like one (Hello, Mother’s day!), use the above coupon code for $50 off a machine and 10% off everything else in the Silhouette store. Hurry and get one before the code expires!

My New Favorite Tool + Freebie


This post is brought to you by Silhouette.

If you follow this blog at all you know that I love paper crafts. My friend Heather recently introduced me to a new paper-crafting tool that has blown my mind and opened up a whole range of craft and design possibilities.  It’s called a Silhouette SD.  I’ve seen cutting machines floating around the craft stores for years.  They use expensive cartridges pre-programmed with stock word art.  The Silhouette is entirely different.  It’s a computer peripheral that takes your true type fonts and digital designs and cuts them with PERFECT PRECISION.  Glorious.

Silhouette sent me a machine to test out about two weeks ago. I was in Arizona when it came, so I was more than a little jealous that Chris was home all alone with my new Silhouette SD.  He kept teasing me about all of the fun he was having with “his Silhouette”.  My husband senses gadget lust on my voice and moves quickly to exploit it for his own entertainment. At least he didn’t unbox it while I was gone. That’s not a line that he wants to cross. ;)

Silhouette machine with heat transfer material, vinyl, and rhinestone starter kit

My first impression was that the packaging is surprisingly clean.  The only other gadgets that I’ve purchased that had this level of attention to detail in the packaging was my Apple iMac and my Wacom tablet. The cutter itself is very light and attractive. The first words out of Chris’s mouth as he lifted it out of the box were, “Wow! It’s so light!”  The only two machines on our office table are the iMac and the Silhouette, and they make excellent desktop friends.

Installation was a tad tricky for a few reasons. First, we don’t have a PC. The silhouette is optimized for Windows, but can be used with Macs. Second, I was connecting the Silhouette through the USB hub on our backup hard drive. You’ll want to connect it directly to your computer to clear up any potential communication issues. Third, I was trying to install the illustrator plug-in for the Silhouette, not the Silhouette SD. There’s a difference. I was in business once I installed the correct software (Cutmaster 2 for CraftRobo 1.61 I have this for CS3, btw) and read this tutorial.

Mac users need Adobe Illustrator to use the Silhouette SD, because Silhouette America has yet to publish a standalone cutting application for the Mac. My contact with Silhouette says that they’ll have a dedicated Macintosh application in the near future.  This is good news for Mac users who don’t already own a copy of Illustrator.

I can’t quite describe how much fun I have watching the Silhouette cut a project. I’m like a little kid waiting for Santa Claus. I hover over the cutter, craning my head all over the place to catch a peek of the cutting blade in action.  It makes this awesome robot noise as the paper jerks in and out and the blade zooms back and forth along its tracks.

I needed a worthy project fast, and I quickly realized that I needed to cut out everyone’s names for Easter Sunday dinner. I used Bodoni font, squished each letter together and used the pathfinder tool to make each word one shape. The names didn’t take very long, so I whipped out an extra one for my mom and sent it along with a gift box I was prepping for her.

I submitted the above word art to Silhouette, and they’ve decided to offer it for free on the Silhouette online store. Click the “Purchase Online” button within the Silhouette software to view & download these graphics for free! YUP. Free. There are even two 10ss rhinestone graphics, perfect to add a little bling to some baby onesies. Mac users cannot access the Silhouette online store, but don’t feel left out. Just email me and I’ll send you the artwork. ;)

EDIT: Download my baby graphics for free by clicking the download button below! ENJOY!! And, as always, these graphics are free for personal use only. If you would like to use these graphics commercially, please email me. Thanks!

Currently I’m a little obsessed with the “baby” and “girl” graphics. Do I sound a little baby hungry?

I just wrapped up a little gift for my friend who’s having a girl soon. Doesn’t the girl word art look so cute when tied to the package? Ugh. I’m a woman obsessed.

The silhouette isn’t limited to word art. Check out their “What Can It Make?” section for more ideas. Penelope’s grandparents live far away, so we can’t forget to share her photos and videos with them. It’s been a while since I’ve burned them a CD or DVD, so I cut these cases to provide myself with a little motivation.

I’ve always printed and cut out my own CD sleeves, but it’s a time-consuming, hand-ache-inducing process.  The digital cutter speeds things up considerably.  I cut the card stock down to size, run it through the Silhouette, fold and glue.  If I’m going to make one, I might as well make ten.  Or twenty!

My contact at Silhouette hooked me up with a huge discount to share with ISLY readers, so this is your chance.  If you find yourself with a healthy combination of papercraft desire and spare change, check out the Silhouette store and make sure to place your order before MAY 8, 2010 to get $50 off a Silhouette machine and 10% off everything else in the Silhouette store. They’ll throw in 10 feet of vinyl, 10 feet of transfer tape, and a hook and scraper to sweeten the deal.

Full Disclosure:  Silhouette sent me a Silhouette SD in exchange for my honest review.  I suspect they knew that I’d love their product.

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