Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Growing Pains

So, it's been a couple weeks since my last post, and I've been BUSY printing and cutting up a storm over here.  I got my Silhouette Cameo 2 a couple weeks ago and I am IN LOVE with it.  I've been spending all my spare time designing, browsing and buying stickers for my planner.  I've decided there are 3 types of EC planner folks.  People who do minimal or no decorating.  People who keep other shop owners in business buying stickers from them to decorate their planner.  And people like me who spend probably more money trying to make their own stickers to save money.  *wink*

Ok, so I struggled for a bit with the machine and how to load/unload/scan etc.  Problem #1 was that I wanted to cut stickers I'd already bought that were in PDF format.  I wish Silhouette Studio could import PDFs but it apparently can't.  So I had to take a picture of the sheet I wanted, mounted on a special "PixScan" mat.  Except mine was bent from being put into the box with the machine as a kit.  So for 2 straight days I kept trying to get the damn thing to work, with no luck whatsoever.  Eventually I said screw it and bought another mat from Michaels.  They don't discount with a coupon apparently, so I was out $14.99, but Voila! A mat without bends works perfectly.

When I ordered the Silhouette, I also ordered more sticker paper and (accidentally, 2) additional cut mats.  I saw people online talking about the adhesive wearing out, etc, and I didn't want to be without a mat.  Extra mats have turned out to be one of my favorite things.  I can keep the machine going and get the next sheet I want cut mounted to the mat to prepare.  The Silhouette bundle I bought came with the starter vinyl kit, which has another blade.  So I marked one for the sticker cuts and one for cardstock, thicker cuts that I use to cut the sheets to smaller sizes.  This resolved my need to adjust the blade twice per sheet of stickers.  Now I just have one set for kiss cut depth and one for full cut, and pop the blades out as needed.   I'm going to test some other options with using the same blade setting but varying the thickness settings in the software to see if I can make the machine do the work for me.

The real Eureka moment I had this week was that it's almost too easy to buy sticker sets with cut files from Etsy!  I found one I loved and bought it for about $3.20.  I downloaded the files and printed & cut 4 pages of different designs for the full, half and quarter boxes.  I was so excited.  They cut without me working on the cut line tracing for hours like I'd been struggling with for the past week.  Then, this morning I woke up at 3:30am for no apparent reason and found myself browsing Etsy.  I came upon the same sticker pattern I bought, but noticed that HEY, I DON'T HAVE WEEKEND BANNERS!  I don't have cute cupcakes and coffee mug stickers!  I don't have these cute flags!  I had thought it was kinda odd that the files I had found for the Silhouette format in the zip files were labeled 5-8, but I never went looking for pages 1-4.  I immediately got dressed and came down to my desk to find those files.  And they were there, I just hadn't looked for them.  So, here I am at 5am, printing and cutting the hell out of these stickers.  :)  I feel like I won the lottery.   Ok, well maybe I need to get more sleep, but I am really excited right now, and can't wait to try these new stickers out.

In other news, I got my first 2 pen pals from LWA.  I'm not really sure what to talk to John from Milwaukee about besides that we both apparently enjoy fountain pens.  But Kathy from SC is into some of the same things as me - stickers, coloring, reading.  I requested 2 more pen pals yesterday, because I think I can handle a few more letters or postcards a month.  My 12 year old wants a pen pal, and we talked about signing her up for LWA, but she & I were both concerned about who she would be matched with, so I decided I would reach out to people I know who have daughters her age to see if I can find her someone I feel comfortable with her writing to.

On Friday I will be having some surgery, so I hope to be able to post more frequently and get back on a blogging schedule now that I've got this Silhouette thing under control and it won't take up all of my time.

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