Saturday, May 2, 2015

Organization - Ink Swatch tips and tricks

I am not was never a big fan of organizing things, but now after getting lost in my own craft room, I realized that I had to organize. And I started with inks, then stamps and then paper...or something like that!

Here is my ink swatch book..I have followed Jennifer Mcguire's Video (have linked to the video) but did not use her downloads. As the printer which could print on my high gsm paper was dead. So I made a little changes here and there. Will explain better below.

So after cutting all my papers into 2x2 inch squares, I started looking for a solid stamp. And I only had 3. So it was either a balloon, butterfly or a flower. Not hard to guess what I picked.

I was confused about what paper to use. I had 5 different types of whites that I use in my card making, but use Brustro mostly in my stamping. But now with Neenah Solar being available in India (YAY!! Thank you so much Priya!) I may change my stamping paper to Neenah too! For now I went with Brustro.(the link is for 2 packs)

I printed out the ink names and brands on MS word and printed on my regular laser printer, cut it into strips and glued it on the 2x2 swatch. And then I was ready to start doing my swatches.

And having the MISTI (check my previous post) made things so so easy!! It was just simply, ink, stamp, clean the stamp, ink again and stamp!! Simply quick and fast!!

Instead of posting a huge load of photographs, I just made a quick video showing all the inks I have and how I have separated them. As I buy more inks, it will change, but for now, this works.

This is how my folder looks. It looks odd because all colors look mixed up. They are not. They are on consecutive sheets.. In the video , I have put a white paper behind each sheet so as to give you a better idea. I still have to do my distress inks, embossing powders and maybe my mists in this folder..the possibilities are endless!!

You can see the Video on YouTube too! 

 Yes, I know you want to know where to buy those coin protector sheets from...Here is where I go them...from ebay. Here is the link  or you can buy from their website, here.

I did not order an album, since I didn't want a bulky folder on my desk. You can buy a D-ring album if you want to keep it in the folder.

So there you have it, my ink swatching system.

Do you have an inventory system? Would you like to share? If yes, I will create an inlinkz so others can find all the posts under one page.

I am surprised there isn't much sharing in our blogland. No one wants to share any info...if they find something new, its always "inbox me for details" I find it a pretty narrow minded vision. I have lost respect for a lot of people the moment I see, "Inbox for classes/inbox for details" especially considering they learn everything free on YT! Do I sound petty and jealous?? I hate unfairness. Had I been jealous, you would have never seen such sharing or enabling posts on my blog.Well ending the tiny vent on a jolly note, I spoke to a friend about it, and she simply said...Not everyone has a generous heart. Most are money minded. And that is where I find my solace. I am not them.
 To each his/her own...Anyhoo! End of my tiny rant! :P

Thursday, April 30, 2015

My MISTI review

Hello everyone,

I'm just here to share my newest love...MY PRECIOUS!! My newest stamping tool, The MISTI... It is nothing related to misting, just that the word MISTI stands for Most Incredible Stamping Tool Invented. And I can promise you, it is all that and more!

Here is my short review on MISTI...I have been using it for almost 4 weeks now. I simply love it. I am so planning to sell off my Fiskars Stamp Press. (If anyone is interested, please send me an email)
Image from My Sweet

What it does? 
Its a stamping placement tool. Its design is such that you can stamp again and again in the same spot without getting ghost images.
Its hinge lid ensures the perfect placement every time. It will be confusing if you have never seen it in action. So hop over to My Sweet petunia's Channel and check out this video..and most of her other videos.

Do you need it?
If you are a serious stamper...and I mean, you make more cards stamping than using dies and flowers and all that jazz, then yes, run and get it. You will love it.
If you like stamping and want to get serious about it, start saving for it. 

 If you are a crafter who only stamps sentiments on cards, or random stamping on your Scrapbook pages or only makes scrapbooks, don't invest in this right away(and this is my opinion specifically for a beginner stamper and crafter) 

Simply because the cost factor is such that you cannot use it instead of your acrylic block. It costs 50$ plus the shipping and plus the customs. But if you have the means, then don't hesitate.

Simply put, it is more of a stamping tool which gives you perfect placement, perfect inking and if you don't get a clear impression the first time, you can re-ink and re-stamp in the exact same spot without any problems.You can stamp on your die cuts perfectly and you can make multiples of a card in a jiffy!
If you break down and get it, don't blame me!! :P

What all do you need with it?
For sure you need the magnets. And I recommend at least 2. I use 4, but then I am OCD about lining papers. You can buy magnets from locally... you need to get the size 20mmx2mm which is what I use. I brought them off Ebay long before my MISTI arrived.

Do not get the iron or ceramic magnets..they will stain your papers. You need to get Neodymium magnets or magnets that are coated with nickel.

Buying the spray and grid papers is optional...and I don't have either of those. I print out my own grid papers from free downloads on the internet.
And I use plain water and microfiber cloth to clean my acrylic lid. 

Being the crazy person I am, I would also recommend get a cover for it. Buy any tablet cover that is around 11 inches x8.5 inches (Apple ipad Air covers seem to fit well)
 It will hold your MISTI and make sure the acrylic doesn't break. 

There are some other things that I am looking into, that is an addition to the MISTI, and as soon I find that they are good enough, I will update you all!

Here is my card that I made with this border stamp...when I was just testing out my new tool.
The image is super sized so that you can see how perfectly I was able to line up the stamps.
And most of the colors, the orange, the yellows and the blue (I hate that blue, never stamps well..I stamped it 3 times here) are all stamped twice and some more than twice.

Because of the MISTI, I didn't have to worry about lining it up. I knew it would stamp exactly the same place! 

 I used 9 inks, all of then Ranger Dye inks...except the 4th from the bottom which is Memento Dandelion ink. Finished it off with a sentiment from Winnie and Walter and some gems.

If you still have doubts, shoot me a comment or an email.

Coming in my next post, how to make your ink-swatches, or rather, how I made my ink swatches!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

CAS Explosion box!

Yep, you read that right...A CLEAN AND SIMPLE Explosion that even possible?? Well anything is possible....I just chose to keep it simple!

So here's my birthday explosion box....made one after sooo long...and was absolutely glad to try it again...So without much's the pics....quite a few of them!! :D

Here's the teaser that I showed you yesterday... Loved the SSS dies..but they are a pain to cut..Either that, or I need a new die cut machine! Loads of wink of stella on the balloons and Glossy accents on top of it!

 Here's the top of the box...Told ya..CAS! Since this was for a guy, I really didn't want to load it up with flowers unless necessary! I somehow lost the dot for the "i" in the birthday...and realized it just before I had to give it...just added a sad dot!! That's the one thing that bugs me!!!

The box when closed.

 Loved this sentiment!! looks amazingly stylish!! And lets pop that lid open....and BAM!

As you can see by the 12x12 paper below, this one is big. Its 5"x5" box...when opened it opens to 15inchx15inch. And the request was for blue and I alternated the, red, blue and finally the red cake. My mind works like that...I love symmetry in everything...

Messages were printed and then die cut..
 The second layer with reds...

 The lower most layer with blues..and drum roll please...

 My first ever circle took me a better part of the day to figure this out! But looks good...wouldn't have been possible without tons of inputs from my friends, Nupur and Manu...Thanks girls again!
No project is ever complete without just a touch of butterflies.. I needed something to balance the overload of flowers on the opposite side.  So here went my butterflies!

So there you go! Loved making it.
I haven't mentioned supplies, because there a ton of it...

Just before I go, there is a discount for the Re-positionable spray used for re-sticking the Cameo mat on Snapdeal...just in case anyone was looking to buy it.  Here's the link

Ask me if you have any queries and I shall get back to you asap!!

Till the next post!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A quick card share

Hello everyone!

Here is another card that I made on the same slider technique that I showed in one of my previous post...(Yes, I am working on a a day or two when I can upload it)

I don't have a video of this card...and just two pictures to show!! (Shocking isn't??)Made and given in day!

Its a very very simple...I kept the background  simple. I cut the heart template on an acetate sheet with my Silhouette Cameo and inked the background with it. Since I wanted the silhouettes to be the highlight of the card.

And covered it with vellum to soften the look. The silhouettes are traced and cut from free vector files..

Sentiment is again written with my Sigma Micron pen using Cameo and when you pull the right tab out,

Here is the message you see..

Since it was to be a no fuss, no frills card, that's what I went with...

Envelope made from DCWV stack paper, using the envelope punch board.

Till the next post,
Much love,

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Shake shake shake it baby!

Hello again,

I was Guest posting on the Lulupu blog a while ago, celebrating their 3rd birthday! I had shared how to make shaker cards, so I thought of posting it here on my blog as well. So let's go...its a picture heavy post though...

 Let me take you along as I create not one but two shaker cards.

I started with two, because I wasn't sure how I wanted to go with I played with both the cards and it may go from one card to another, but I'm sure you will get there in the end, and hopefully not confused by it! Let's do the shake it shake it baby!

I started with a cake...stamped it in Archival ink and colored with my distress inks. The stamp is from Hampton arts and comes with a fabulous pennant stencil.

So now, I'm creating a background for my shaker card. I masked the cake with a post-it cut out.

The great part about this pennant stencil, is that it is SELF ADHESIVE..yes you read that right, no need to add masking tape to secure it down. Just peel and paste it on your work surface and you are good to go. Once you are done, just paste it back on the backing and it safe and secure!

I used two shades of distress inks to create my pennants..,shabby shutters and mowed lawn. (Please excuse that washi tape on my inkpads...I usually stick them on the inkpads after using stencils)

So this is what we get. Now this is where I went a little hay wire. I jumped from this background to the next card. Please forgive me for that. But here is where we start making the shaker component of our card.

This is my second card.. I simply masked off the edges with a 1 inch masking tape and used the pennant stencil to create a background. For the shaker window, I'm using a card piece which is slightly smaller than the background. You can use the same size card piece too, in this case
4 1/4 x5 1/2.
Using my exacto , I cut off an area in the center to create my window.
TIP - You can use your square dies, oval dies, rectangle dies, word dies etc., to create fancy looking windows too.

 Now, cut a piece of transparency the same size as your window piece, (you can use Vellum too).
Run some red tape/score tape down the sides of the window. Peel off the tape and adhere your transparency/acetate to the back to the window piece.
Dry glue is always better with glossy surfaces like vellum or transparency.

 Over the transparency, we are now going to create a space for the shaker confetti!! So use double sided foam tape and add it around your window frame.
Keep it 1/4 inch away from the edge of the window, you don't want the foam showing through.

The most important part I feel for a shaker card when you are using double sided foam tape, is to make sure the confetti does not stick to the sides of the foam, which is usually sticky. 

I love love my new EK Success powder tool...just run the brush tip along the inside sides of the foam tape and your confetti will never stick to the tape! I even brush it across the inside of the transparency so there is no static on the plastic.

I picked up some number confetti and just took all the number 3 from it...
and I glued a few on the transparency too!!

Remove the foam backing and stick your window piece on the background and your shaker card is done.

Now to embellish the card and ready it up!!

showing the scattered confetti

So here is my finished card...I took the 2nd  birthday cake (scroll back to the first picture) fussy cut it and glued it to the window.
Took a piece of vellum and gold embossed the Happy Birthday sentiment.
Stamped and fussy cut balloons, added twine. To finish up the balloons, I added Wink of stella in clear and glossy accents over the balloons!

The whole piece is glued on a black card base.

The piece which I abandoned in the 3rd step, here's how I finished that too..

scattered stars confetti

Here I took the window piece and stamped stars over it...stamped 3 balloons from the Hampton Arts set and fussy cut them.
Heat embossed sentiment on vellum, with Gold embossing powder and hid the glue behind the balloons!
On the right, is how the confetti shakes out!!
Again, this whole window was glued to a black card base!

And we are done!! If you are still with me, Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

List of supplies,
Cardstock - White - Brustro 200 gsm
Black Cardstock - Local
Inks - Distress inks -Mowed lawn, shabby shutters, picked raspberry, salty ocean
          Archival Jet black
          Ranger dye inks - Electric lime, Caribbean Coast, Classic Cherry
Ranger Queen's gold Embossing powder
Stamps - Hampton Art birthday stamp, Simon Says Stamp - Clear Birthday ballons,
Hero Arts - birthday messages
Ek Success Powder tool, Olfa cutting knife, Tim holtz ruler, Tim Holtz non stick scissors, Wink of stella, Glossy accents.
Black Baker's twine

Monday, March 16, 2015

Another Accordion fold card!

I love love Accordion Fold cards...I love the space it has for writing oodles and oodles of notes!! Its like a card but a hidden album all in one! Check my previous Accordion cards here and here...
So when I had to make a custom one, for a couple celebrating 7th anniversary, I decided this was the way to go!!

So here go the pics! I have shared most of these on my if you don't follow me on IG, please do.. You can find the link on my sidebar.


So these are my newest new Dye inkpads from Ranger...And they are amazing!! I might do a review of these soon, though I have a few posts pending too! So lets see...but they are 100 times better than Memento dye ink pads. That's for sure! 

 I had this vision of creating a starry background and the couple being framed in the moonlight!
So these are my failed and working experiments with it. For the bottom one, I tried texture paste, but I didn't like it. Plus the colors of the sky were not too same the middle one...the colors of the sky were good, but the masking fluid  that I used was not right, it peeled off in the middle. so another fail!
The last one I was happy with..

.How did I make it? 
The first thing I did was mask off a circle with a post it punch out. Because the masking fluid was not working for me!
Then I picked up my distress inks - salty ocean, tumbled glass, milled lavender, dusty concord and seedless preserves. Once done, I heat set it.
Then picked up my stars stencil from Memory box, and use a ink blending tool, and applied  Frost White pigment ink by colorbox, on the base...I varied the pressure, so some stars are bright and some are faint. After applying pigment ink, I again heat set it. Because pigment ink takes a long time to dry!
so here goes the final look of the card..

I did not want to overwhelm or cover that gorgeous inking so I kept it very simple. The banner, is done using my sigma micron pen (05) and sketched on the cameo. I love how versatile the Cameo is!

 A few spritz of Silver shimmer from Lindy's sprays and the card front was done! (click to enlarge the pic and see the glitter!)

The accordion has 7 pockets for 7 tags. All are lightly inked.

And this is the back page of the card, This awesome awesome chalkboard type label was sketched with my white gel pen in the cameo. To give a faux chalkboard effect, I took my white pigment ink and without re-inking on the ink pad, used the foam applicator and brushed it across the black cardstock. And that's it!

I love the Gelly Roll pen and it works wonders on dark cardstock . Leave me a comment or shoot me and email if you want to buy this white gel pen. I managed to get some extra from my craft store! The uniball signo somehow doesn't work this white for me!

Coming up soon, a tutorial for the slider card...

See you soon!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Its time to Celebrate Love!

I've finally found my mojo!! And that calls for hi-fives!

So without any ramblings, let me jump onto this card ... and what a way to begin my crafty adventures for this year!!
This is a huge A4 size card...and this is inspired by a card that I only have a photo of, don't know the if you think you know where it came from, please let me know! I don't really have well clicked pictures, so please pardon me for that!

So let me explain how this card came about. The background is XOXO cut with my Silhouette.
That has been layered over with a vellum to tone it down.

TIP - This is a trick I like to use if the background is too over powering. This is what it looked without the vellum..wouldn't you agree, the little girl and boy are just shifting out of the focus. So in comes the vellum, and the XOXO's fade into the background!

The little girl and boy and the grass and the sentiment , all are cut and written with Cameo.

The little cupid and the hearts are from Mama Elephant. Stamped, colored and fussy cut. Now there is a tiny little fun element to this card....its a Slider the video to understand how it works..its a teeny tiny 6 second video.


Wasn't that cute!! It took me a while to figure this out, but once I did, oh I fell in love with it! There are tutorials for this out on the net, but if there is a request for it, I shall do it too!! Leave me a comment saying you want a tutorial, and I'll make one!

And once the boy comes towards the girl for a sweet little kiss, a hidden message pops out! This message was a bit personal, so had to blur it!

But I totally loved making this!! And so glad I did, because, I have two more cards to share in a day or two!!
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already seen one which I shared yesterday!!

So that's it for the first post of the year!! See you soon with another card!!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Q & A - Silhouette Cameo .

Here's a few QandA that I got for my previous Cameo intro post! These answers are not the end of the world. These are what I think is necessary. You may have different needs and use out of your machine. Use my advice as a guide and go along with what you need!

Q - What else do I purchase with my silhouette? What accessories are necessary?

  • Get an extra blade and a replacement mat first. So that when you do have problems in the  middle of a project you are not stranded.
  • A dust cover for you cameo. 
  • As far as tools are concerned, I would say, you can get the scraper tool. For the rest I use local alternatives. A palette knife to lift up my designs off the mat instead of the silhouette tool. I don't use a hook. I do have the Quickstick but I don't really like it that  much. 
  • If you want to use pens with your Silhouette, get the new pen holder. It has 3 sizes and can hold any pen that you have!! 

Q- Where can I purchase the images to cut with my Silhouette?

  • your first option is of course the silhouette store. You can buy the designs for as little as 99 cents. Or you can buy a subscription to the store so your image cost falls to 50 cents or lower depending on your subscription. During sales you can buy them off for 25 cents if you have a subscription. 
  • BUT READ FIRST - If you want to use your silhouette for commercial reasons, that is if you want to use the files you get from the store and sell those products that you make, you need to buy a commercial license for that design. Which is roughly 8$ per shape. 
  •  OR you can use free images, don't just Google ( because Google will show shapes which are not free and you may run into copyright issues), find images that are marked free for download and then trace them and use them. If you can design your shapes, that is even more awesome!!! Stay away from Disney shapes. Disney chases people with a vengeance. I have read of several Esty shops being closed for issues with copyright.  
  • If you have the Designer Edition of the software, you can load cliparts, free Svg files and tons of image and trace and use them. 
  • SVG files are available at a lot of places, some give out daily freebies and some weekly. I won't list out the sites, you can just simply Google Free SVG files and you will get a ton of them. Make sure they are free before you download them.

Q - Where did you I buy my silhouette and what did I pay for it, how did I get it here?

Funnily this was the most asked question. I got it directly from Amazon during the Black friday sale for 199$. I had it shipped to a local USA address of a friend who has an export import business. And he had it shipped to my address along with his cargo.

But that does not mean I got it shipped for free. I had to pay about 6000 INR for shipping and customs.

The sole reason for opting from Amazon was that I was getting a bundle. I got an extra mat, an extra blade, a sketch pen set, a Quickstick and 10$ gift card. 

And Amazon ships faster. My order arrived within 10 days to India (which was thanks to the quickest shipping I've ever seen thanks to my buddy) During the same time, Silhouette America was offering the same bundle for 229. And they ship slow. So while my Silhouette reached India, many people in USA were waiting for their Silhouette to be shipped out even after 10 days of placing their order on Silhouette America website. 

Unless you can have someone bring it for you (Its a big box and weighs around 11 pounds) it will be too costly to ship it directly. Unless you have a jugaad! My advice would be to buy from one of the Craft stores in India. Shalini mittal at Crafter's corner can get one for you.
Q - What is the difference between the New Cameo and the old?

  • The main difference is the control panel. The old has a button system, the new has a touch screen. 
  • The old Cameo is grey, and the new is white on the inside so some markings are easily seen. 
  • And there is a holder for keeping your blades. 
  • The old one could take and SD card and you can take your machine somewhere else and cut the design with that. New one, uses a USB so there a some better options for this. 
  • Other than that, there is absolute no difference. You can check this post for a more detailed difference and pictures of the new vs. old.

Q - What is the difference between Cameo and Portrait?

  • The size of the mat it can take. Cameo has 12x12 mat, which means you can cut a 12x12 sheet of paper, the potrait is compact and takes in an A4 sheet of paper. 

Q - What do I do if I don't get proper cuts?

  • That is an extensive topic. There are a lot of things to consider if and when you don't get proper cuts. The paper, the settings, the blade settings, the cut setting, pressure settings, and the packet size. 
  • You can always email Silhouette America, they are the best to help
  • Or you can join the Facebook Silhouette groups. They are the most amazing bunch of ladies who will help you out in a jiffy! This is one of the good ones 

Q - What kind of paper to use?

If you do use any other brand, make sure it is not fibrous. If it is, it will stick all over your mat and will leave an ugly fuzz when you lift it off. 

Q - What is Vinyl? Where do I get it?

Vinyl is what is used in signboards, on your card number plates. It is what I've used on my Cameo. You also get Heat transfer vinyl with which you can make t-shirts and clothes. But I am still trying to locate the local sources for it! Any shop that does custom T-shirts will be able to help. But as I have come to know, We are a weird race. We don't like sharing. They will not tell you where to buy it, they will not even let you buy from them. Weird weird people!

Finding vinyl is not easy, but not hard either. You just have to go bug the local signboard shops for vinyl. I bug my cousin who has a signboard and design shop!! :P Lucky me right??
I am checking on ebay and there are very few who do sell, but you can try there too!

IF you find any links and would be happy to share, please do. It shall benefit everyone!

Q - My Mat is no longer sticky? Do I need a new mat? or Can I fix it?

You can fix it.

first try washing it with soap and water and let it air dry, It should get sticky again.
If it still doesn't work, you can use the Scotch Re-positionable spray. Tape your sides down and spray it. This Spray is available with Anandha Stationary stores (just email them)
or Pick buy it online from here 

Head over to this link to see the step by step of how this is done! 

So that concludes my lengthy post! Still have any questions?? Shoot them in the comments!
And if you found this helpful, please pay it forward by helping someone else!

till the next post,

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Book Review - Nirbhaya And Other's Who Dared

First off the bat, let me clear one thing. This book has nothing to do with the Nirbhaya Case! The title is a little misleading, but once you start reading you will find faint echoes of the same case resonating through each story.

 (Click on the image to buy the book right away!)

 This is a book of 22 stories of Women. Women who dared to be different, to change from who they were all their life!  Some are inspired from real stories and some are real stories. Author Kusum Choppra has very clearly and without the use of superfluous words brought home the point with each and every story.

Each story revolves around the woman. She is the central character in each of the stories. She has various names, she comes from a different strata of society, she lives in a different part of the country, but every woman in each story has one thing in common. She decided to stand up for herself.
Even though we call ourselves as being in the 21st century, the mindset of people, men and women have not changed.
The woman is still considered the weak link. A burden for the father, a trade off to the boss for a higher position, a meal ticket, a punching bag, a caretaker!! And what not!
But there comes a time when you have had enough and you have to decide ..ENOUGH is enough! And that's what these women did!

Its heartwarming in some places, its shocking and some stories will make you cringe! But the essence is the same. They Dared and they decided to stand up for themselves. They rebelled against the so called rules of society and decided they wanted to live for themselves.

Is it a must read. I would say, if you like a little dose of read it.

Just a little drawback according to me. I wish the author had started the narratives differently. It just takes a bit of re-reading to know what the story is about. Maybe that was her intention, but I didn't like the narration style...starts abruptly. Guess it comes down to my habit of perfection. It was different enough for me to take notice of that fact!!
 But the ending!! Ahh! Each story ends with such a bang..even a small sentence sounds like a loud clang! Wake up sound kind of! That part I really liked!

Its one of the more different books that I've read. Different. Totally. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Silhouette Cameo...Info Post

I thought its high time I did a post on the Silhouette Cameo...I've probably answered 50 mails and endless whatsapp conversations about this nifty gadget.

Simply put its a digital die cut machine. But it goes beyond that...If I sat down to list what all you can do with it, it would take me days. But lets get down to basics...

What you can cut - you can cut thick paper upto 250 gsm...I don't advocate 300 gsm because the machine is not built to handle that much pressure. But I have cut 300 gsm...but with a nifty trick. More on that later.
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Printer paper
  • Cardstock
  • Thin chipboard - like your cereal boxes 
  • Fabric
  • Vinyl
  • Adhesive paper
  • Transparency etc
This is vinyl I cut with my Silhouette and decorated my Cameo with! 

What else can it do - Replace the blade with a pen tool and you can fake a very fabulous handwriting with your Silhouette.

Print and Cut - Using it in conjunction with your printer, you can print the design and then feed that paper into your Cameo and it will cut around the design.  CAMEO does not print .. only cuts what you've printed... Saving you the trouble of cutting it by hand! Nifty eh!!  It does require a bit of software handling though...but easy once you get the hang of it.

What kind of designs you can cut - If you are a graphic artist or can dabble in Corel or Illustrator, you can cut any image on this earth. But if you are like still can cut any image on earth.
Silhouette comes with a free software and free 50 designs to start you off. (The new Silhouette comes with 100 free designs )Then there is the Silhouette Online Store that has tens of thousands of images that you can download and use.
Most of these designs are priced at 99cents. During sales, they drop to 75 cents, sometimes 50 cents.
And if you buy a 3, 6,12 month subscription to the store the price per image can drop to 10cents too. Depending on your subscription.

Now- there is a Designer Edition of the software, which is basically an upgrade to the free software. It allows you to trace images, use .svg files and host of other features which I've yet to play with. But I use the tracing and svg feature the maximum.
What you can do is trace any vector and get a cut any image you can Google....There is a fabulous 8 part Youtube on tracing . Worth checking out.

This is free image I found on google and traced it to get the ECG line...had to play around with the file for while before I could get it correct...but it works!! 

Another set made with designs from Sihouette Store..the rays, the flowers and the banners...only the sentiments are stamped! 

There are host of graphic artists who design free svg files and you can download and use them. The internet and the Pinterest world is full of free designs that you can search.

What you can't do in Silhouette -
You can't cut glitter paper - Well actually you can cut American Crafts Glitter paper, but that will dull your blade faster. If you are cutting glitter paper, its better to keep that blade exclusively for glitter paper.
You cannot emboss. Not like you can in your die cut Machines. 
There is an engraving tool that is supposed to work, but I haven't tried it.

So what's the downside?
1. The first thing people crib is that they have to keep buying mats and blades. Its not like a darn trimmer where you have to buy a blade every 4 months...unless you are cranking 150 cuts a week...then you need a shitload of blades and mats.
I have had the same blade for almost 8 months...the same mat for 8 months...but I have a re-stick spray which I use every 3 months and the mat is as good as new.
Because I haven't used a whole lot of variety of cardstocks, my blade is good. If I used fibrous cardstock, my blade would have gone for a toss. I use just a standard few brands of cardstocks and that keeps my blade from wear and tear.

2. The learning curve for the Silhouette software is a little high, but not hard.
There are millions of tutorials and amazing amazing groups on Facebook that jump and guide you in a second. I love love those Groups. Absolutely free of negativity, and oh they love to share! Love those ladies!
I have always suggested to those who ever approach me about whether to buy the silhouette, download the software first. Its free to download even without the machine. Watch tutorials and play around with your software. Then buy the machine. Download the software here (scroll to the bottom and on the right is the Legacy Version. That is what I use. You can try the Basic Edition V3 if you are a little brave)
Coz I do know a lot of people who have just jumped and bought the machine and then don't use it because the software curve is high or they just don't know what to do with the machine once they get it.

Its not like your Big shot where you don't have to think. You need to know what you want to cut and how the design to look before you cut.
You need to figure out what kind of paper works for you, what kind of settings for the blade work for that paper.
If you think that's too much headache..its not for you.
Its kind of like getting to know someone ... what works, what doesn't work, how to trick it to get it to work for you...kind of like getting your boyfriend to do the work while making him think he is the boss!! hehe!!

So I'll wrap up this post here....and part 2 will have answers to whatever questions you have on this post!!

Toodles!! Till the next post!

P.s. I'm happy to answer questions and do some research. Because it widens my horizons, but please don't be so lazy that you just post the question and expect me to answer without you lifting a finger. If you want to buy a Cameo you at least need to know what the Cameo is. Read up, watch videos and use Google. After that if you have queries , feel free to ask me. I'll be happy to answer. But after all this big gyan you come and ask what is a Cameo....sigh....

P.P.S I am not going to compare this with other digital die cut machines...Simply because I own only the Silhouette Cameo. I'm not going to buy another one, so I'm not going to read up on The Brother Scan -n- Cut, The Cricut Expressions 2, The Cricut Explore etc. Unless you want to send me another one and have me compare!! I'm all game!! (Bwahhahaa!)
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