Monday, December 9, 2013

Let Me Count the Ways {Hybrid} by Wendy Tunison Designs

Oof, this past week has been busy but I've got a new hybrid project to show off featuring Wendy's pieces of the December Buffet over at Ginger Scraps, Let Me Count The Ways. This is such a fun group of elements & papers, you get  a Christmas vibe from the colors but the elements are all about love!

For this kit, I promised Jake (my youngest) that he could make whatever hybrid template caught his eye. He decided on a cute little handled box from Wendy Bird Designs; I was thrilled as it meant I could break out my Silhouette Cameo for the cutting portion of the project. I may be a bit biased but I think Jake's box is the best I've seen!

Suprisingly enough, the box is still intact almost a week after we made it, there might be hope for the boys yet!

I mentioned above that I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the box, in addition to the curved handles, there was a slot that they had to go through that needed to but cut out. I really didn't think I'd be able to do that by hand, fortunately for her fans, Wendy Bird includes cutting files with all her templates. I plan on working up a little tutorial on using cutting files in the future, but I first wanted to give everyone a few tips about the cutting mats that I wish I had known when I was starting out with my Cameo.

Tip # 1 ~ You can use Cricut cutting mats with Silhouette machines! When you find that your mat is no longer good, you don't have to worry about having to order one online & have it shipped to you; just head over to Michaels & pick up a Cricut mat set if you need a new mat ASAP. I have a Cameo & didn't need to trim the mat at all, if you have a Portrait then you'll want to use your old mat as a guide for trimming the Cricut mat down.

Tip # 2 ~ Cutting mats are sticky, like really really really sticky. Did I mention they're sticky? Now the mats have to have some stick to them so that the material you're cutting will stay on while it goes through the machine, but when you first open up a new mat, you need to do one little trick before using it.

Grab a light colored t-shirt (I used one of my husband's undershirts) & press it on to the sticky side of the mat. Do this a bunch of times until the mat is still sticky but not super sticky. Kind of hard to say what it's like but take a piece of paper & put it on the mat; if you're struggling to pull the paper off the mat, then the mat is still too sticky. This is a major problem if you are cutting out delicate designs, it is super easy to rip something.

As a warning, here are my current Cricut mats. On the left is the mat that I actually use with my Cameo, you can see it looks like ... a mat! But on the right is my other mat that I forgot to do the t-shirt trick with & just slapped a paper on there without thinking. Let's just say that I managed to get the cut design out but there was a lot of threats involved. As you can see, I've never been able to get the rest of the paper off the mat, it's that sticky. OK, I could get the paper off with a scraper but I just don't have the patience to sit there & scrap it all off, easier to buy a new one. Which makes the mat on the right unusable, really should toss it out.

Those are the two most important cutting mat tips I've discovered ... so far!

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