How to open and clean your Cameo blade!

Did I say you could  not open your Silhouette Cameo blade? Well, I just found this amazing video by a wonderful lady from Germany that proves me wrong, wrong, wrong! Thank goodness!

YES, you can open your Cameo blade and clean it out. I followed her directions, which are extremely easy, and was totally amazed by the paper debris that dropped out of my blade housing. No wonder it wasn’t making clean cuts.

See for yourself. Here is my new BFF with instructions on how to open your Cameo blade and clean it like it’s never been cleaned before!! Enjoy!

Silhouette Cameo: how to get a clean cut every time!

Is your Cameo giving you clean cuts one minute and tearing your paper the next? Well, if it’s any consolation, you’re not alone. There’s a good chance this frustrating problem could be caused by something as simple as a dirty blade. 

If you are not deeply in love with your Cameo because it doesn’t always give you clean cuts, have a look inside your blade housing and tell me what you see. If it looks like the one in the photo below, then it’s time to give it a cleaning.

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This is my blade. I was working on a card for a customer last night and all of a sudden, my Cameo started misbehaving and tearing up my paper–my good paper! I took the blade out of the machine and this is what it looked like: lots of paper debris clogging the opening where the blade lives. Of course, it can’t make clean cuts–it can’t even get close enough to the surface of the paper with all that debris stuck in it.

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The blade definitely needed to be cleaned before I could go any further with my project. So, I pulled my trusty needle off my bulletin board, inserted it gently into the blade housing, and ran it around the opening several times. Chunks of debris began to fall out. I kept poking at it until I had removed as much as possible.

 

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The photo on the left shows some of the debris that came out of that tiny opening. Of course, this is an enlarged view, but believe me, it was enough to completely clog the blade housing.

 

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This is what it looked like when I finished cleaning it. You can still see some little bits on the lower edge, but they were not visible to my naked eye.

I made several more clean cuts after that cleaning and then pulled the blade out to have another look. It was all clogged up, again!

So, the bottom line is that if you want clean cuts, you must have a clean blade.

Take care of  your Cameo and it will give you the most glorious, intricate and clean cuts of any die-cutting machine on the market!

 

Did you get a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas?

Ladybug Dec 2011If you got a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas, I guarantee you will have questions about it. But, that’s good, because you’ve come to the right place! Over the past year, well over 70,000 Cameo-owners have visited Globug Ideas in search of some advice and reassurance about their purchase.

I hope you are enjoying your Cameo, but if you are gritting your teeth in frustration, scratching your head in wonder, or seriously contemplating throwing your Cameo out a window, please take time to read some of my posts. I promise you will be glad you did!

Below is a random list of some of the posts I have written to help Cameo-owners get over that initial hump. I have also replied to hundreds of questions from my readers in one-on-one e-mails. (I also post my responses in the Comments section). There are tons more posts, so take a minute to search my site! Oh, and by the way, I was ready to throw MY Cameo off a cliff for the first while, so I can totally relate to any problems and frustrations you might be having.

Silhouette Cameo–problems and solutions

Silhouette Cameo–get ready to cut!

Silhouette Cameo blade problem–read this!

Silhouette Cameo: using the right paper makes all the difference!

Silhouette Cameo: working with vinyl

Blonde lady smiling clipart

I’m here anytime you need moral support or have questions you want answered or if you just need to bounce some ideas around.

Good luck, Cameo-owners. I KNOW you will fall in love with your Cameo, just as I have done with mine!

Is the honeymoon over with you and your Silhouette Cameo?

In most relationships (specifically, the romantic kind) there are two phases: the honeymoon phase and reality.

During the honeymoon phase, all you can think about is your new love. Your sweetheart is your “everything.” Your pulse quickens when your eyes meet; you quiver when your hands touch; you just can’t stop thinking about him. You want to see the world, together; you want to experience everything life has to offer…together. You might even neglect long-time friends in favour of spending time with your him.

Well, that’s exactly what happened with me and my Cameo. I fell for Cam and I fell hard!  In fact, I had pretty much decided I would end my relationship with my “Happy Birthday” stamp and I would, forevermore, cut the words out on my Cameo and glue them onto my cards. And, I vowed to forsake all die-cutting shapes and let Cameo take over.

I got hooked on buying Cameo shapes. In fact, it got so bad that I could barely sleep on Monday nights waiting for the weekly Tuesday half-price sale. All I needed was my Cameo. Just me and my Cameo…and four or five hundred Cameo shapes…and some paper. Yes, I was in LOVE!

Ah, but I did say there were two phases to a relationship, remember? Okay, well, that second phase, known as reality is kind of important. That’s the phase during which your sanity returns. That’s when you remember that there ARE other things and other people in the world besides your Honey Bunny… in my case, Cam. Oh, don’t get me wrong, this return-to-sanity phase doesn’t mean you fall out of love. Nope, not at all. It’s just that those crazy-happy neurochemicals in your brain start to settle down and you begin to act normal, again. Remember normal?

So, what inspired me to write this article is the fact that today, after a year-long honeymoon with my Cameo, I realized that there are many other colours in the rainbow and many other tools in my craft studio. I was making a Christmas card and trying to glue the 14 letters of “Merry Christmas” onto the front of it without getting glue on the cardstock. Like that’s ever going to happen!

As luck would have it, I glued my index finger to my thumb and had to stop to pry them apart and scrub the glue off. It was at that moment that I happened to noticed, sitting way up on a shelf, a card that I had made last year. It, too, had “Merry Christmas” on the front. But, I had done it the old-fashioned way, using a beautiful stamp and a rich pearl embossing powder. The stamped sentiment on the card just happened to catch the light, giving it a  look of sheer elegance.

And, my point is…

What did I learn from this (you ask, hoping that there really is a point to my story)? I learned that, while my Silhouette is great for some things, it is just one of the many tools in my studio. I also learned that, if you use the same tools all the time, you can get stuck in a rut and start turning out cookie-cutter projects.

So, the honeymoon with Cam is over and I’m sane, once more! I’m still in love with my Cameo, but it I have returned to Planet Sanity, and it’s good to be reunited with my wonderful family of crafting tools.

Nowadays, I use my Cameo for cutting out:

  • large-scale sentiments for scrapbooking (not the little fiddley ones, unless it’s absolutely necessary)
  • multiple copies of the same shape
  • intricate cuts that would either be too frustrating or take too long to cut out by hand (or simply impossible, as in the case of doilies) Note: I found the “Sunshine and Lollipops” photo on-line and I have used it only in this post.
  • vinyl stencils–the Cameo is, of course, the master of stencil-cutting

I know that me and my Cameo will enjoy a long and happy future, together, now that I have realistic expectations for our relationship. Like they say, “no man can be everything!” Well, I guess one tool can’t do it all, either!

A last few words of caution, which I offer based on my own experience:

  • always take whatever is free (i.e., free shape-of-the-week)
  • try not to get carried away when buying shapes–even if they are half-price. A lot of those shapes that you think you will use one day, will likely sit in a folder, forgotten. So best to buy on an as-need basis, even if you do pay the full $0.99. It’s cheaper, in the long run
  • use your shapes creatively. I have often modified shapes to suit my needs
  • before you buy a new shape, check your library to see if you have one that is similar
  • don’t forget about your die-cutting tools, like your Nestabilities and your punches–they are often quicker to use than the Cameo.
So that’s my two-cents’ worth for today. I hope I gave you some food-for-thought. If you have some Cameo or other crafting advice that you would like to share, please leave me a comment and I will be happy to share it with my readers.

Autumn birthday card

Oh, the curse of being born on Halloween! My mom has been putting up with jokes about being a Halloween witch for 83 years! Luckily, she’s a good sport! Well, I sure didn’t make her a witchy card. I decided to go with an autumn theme and here’s what I created. There is a bit of a glare coming off the gold cardstock; it’s much more subtle when there isn’t a bright light shining directly on it.

 

In this second picture, you can see  the birthday sentiment on the inside. As with every single card I make, I forgot to photograph this one before signing it