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

Is all cardstock created equal? Uh…no-o!

I was busy making a birthday card for my mom, today, when I discovered–or, let me say, confirmed–that the Cameo definitely works better with some papers than others. Here is a perfect example…

Shown in this first photo, is what happened when I tried to cut out some small autumn leaves, using Michael’s Recollections 80 lb. cardstock. What a mess!  I’m using the Silhouette Studio Designer software, with the upgrade that Silhouette America released, recently.My settings were: Speed 5; Thickness 30; Blade 6.Pretty disappointing results, right? In fact, I couldn’t even get it off the cutting mat because it wasn’t cut all the way through. Also, because this cardstock has what I call a “looser construction,” it pulls the paper fibers apart very easily and clogs the blade housing.

In this second photo, you can see that the cuts are very clean and the excess paper pulled away from the mat easily. I used exactly the same settings as I did with the Recollections cardstock. Just to give you an indication of the sizes, the smallest leaf is the size of the top third of my baby finger.

This time, I was using Stampin’ Up Whisper White 80 lb. cardstock. What a difference! This particular cardstock, along with Stampin’ Up’s Very Vanilla, is smooth and always cuts like buttah! I think of this cardstock as, “tighter, smoother, shinier,” and it doesn’t pull apart and leave bits of paper debris in the blade housing.

Does any of this make sense. As  you can tell, I am struggling to articulate exactly how the paper feels. I hope you kind of “get it!”

So, a rose is a rose is a rose, as they say…but not all cardstock is created equal.

Final thoughts:

  • Recollections cardstock from Michaels is great for the card base and for many other crafting projects–it just doesn’t work for me, when it comes to running it through the Silhouette Cameo.
  • Stampin’ Up cardstock is very reliable in the Cameo.
  • Before you blame your blade, try a different cardstock!

I hope this helps those of you who have been experiencing similar problems. If you have any suggestions or advice, please, oh please, let me know so we can help other crafters.

By the way, you can see my finished card in the next post. I came it quick and simple!

Making clean cuts with your Silhouette Cameo

How can I make cleaner cuts with my Silhouette Cameo?

That’s the $10 million dollar question, right?

Messy cuts can be the result of many things, such as a chipped blade; a blade housing clogged with paper debris; cardstock not sticking to the mat; poor quality cardstock, and “packet size.”

So what is “packet size?” Packet size refere to the number of “bytes” (bits of information) that are sent from your computer to your Cameo at one time. For example, let’s say you want to cut out  a reindeer from your Silhouette library; you select your reindeer from your Silhouette library and then your computer feeds the information to your Silhouette Cameo’s computer and then the Cameo cuts it out. If the information is being fed to the Cameo faster than it can cut, it may skip bits of the reindeer image, giving you a messy cut. Yuck! More paper wasted and you still don’t have a cut-out of that cute reindeer. So, let’s try changing the speed at which your computer sends information to your Cameo. To do that, we will change the packet size, as follows:

Select FILE (top left corner of your screen)
Select PREFERENCES from the drop-down menu
Select ADVANCED (highlighted in blue)
Select packet size 500 bytes
Select OK

Click on the image below to enlarge it.

So now, for a confession: I just discovered this setting and I haven’t tried it, yet. But, I have read that others have had great success cutting out intricate images by change the packet size. I’m going to give it a try…right after my husband and I bag up about 10 tons of autumn leaves! Let me know how it works for you!

Wedding Card for a Beautiful Couple


Eric and AnnMarie's wedding card front

Well, the Big Day finally arrived! My wonderful nephew, Eric married the one and only AnnMarie, the girl of his dreams. It was such a joy and an honour to be part of their wedding and to celebrate with them after they had taken their vows. (My husband and I danced like no one was watching…we had a blast!)

So, back to Eric and AnnMarie…these two are Solid! I know in my heart that 60 years from now, they will still be in love and, what’s more, they will still be best friends! They are planning to start their family, soon, so there will be little Erics and AnnMaries to bring more sunshine and laughter into the world!!

I wanted to make them a special wedding card, and I wanted it to be simple and elegant. The photo above shows the front of the card. As  you can see, my Silhouette Cameo and my Cuttlebug got into the act, along with a little bit of creativity. I decided on an easel card. It was my husband’s idea to put their initials on the front…good idea, Sweet P.! Oh, and by the way, their wedding colours were teal, white and black, hence the teal roses.

 Here is the card opened as an easel.

And, finally, here is the inside of the card. Lots of space to write messages!

 The verse says: “May the Lord bless your life together and may you fall in love with each other over and over again. Happiness always!”

And to that I say, “Amen!”

P.S. I will also be posting tons of photos of the mini-album that I made for them…what a fun and joyful project!

Silhouette Cameo: working with vinyl

If you bought your Silhouette Cameo with visions of all sort of wonderful vinyl projects in mind, raise your hand.

If you are having problems getting your Silhouette Cameo to cut vinyl, raise your other hand.

Okay, so now you have both hands in the air, you’re frustrated and ticked off because you spent almost $300 for a machine that isn’t doing what you want. Right? Okay, put your hands down and read on.

As a Cameo owner, and self-professed research junkie, I have done extensive research on Cameo problems and solutions–and, happily, I have come across some fabulous sites that offer really helpful information. I’m listing them below for you to refer to.

Make-the-Cut has an post entitled, Silhouette Cameo and Skipping Issues. After your read the post, be sure to read the reply that follows it.

Expressions Vinyl Blog has a beautifully illustrated post that describes in great detail the steps, settings, etc., to complete a beautiful project using vinyl.

Also at Expressions Vinyl you will find charts that provide the speed, thickness and blade settings for a whole range of vinyls. There are separate charts for Silhouette Cameo, Silhouette SD and Cricut.

Hope this helps, crafters!!!


Silhouette Cameo–all is quiet on the home front!

OMG, it’s been a week since I last received a plea for help from a Silhouette Cameo owner. Does this mean that Cameos are being delivered with good blades? Could it mean that cutting mats, everywhere, are neither too sticky, nor too not-sticky? Is it possible that every single solitary Cameo owner now has conquered the Cameo? If the answer is, “yes,” to even ONE of these questions, then I am a happy, albeit lonely, little Globug!

I’ve learned so much from the questions that I have received over the past eight months, since I took delivery of my own Cameo. I have read every blog, viewed every tutorial and sought out every bit of information available on the care and feeding of the Silhouette Cameo. And, it was all worth it! Besides the fact that my Cameo has become my most precious crafting tool, I have met (through Globug Ideas) dozens and dozens of passionate crafters. We have worked through so many problems and issues, such as defective blades, broken blades and debris-covered blades; mats that are too sticky, mats that are not sticky at all, and ones that keep slip-sliding around. We’ve figured out settings for blades, thickness and speed; we’ve dealt with print-and-cut, trace-and-detach and cardstock issues.  Veni! Vidi! Vici! Or, as we North Americans say, “We came! We saw! We conquered!”

So, now, after a week with no questions to answer, no problems to solve (I mean absolutely none), I feel a bit like the Maytag man. I’m ready, willing and able to help Cameo owners go from, “I hate this @#$@$@% Cameo,” to

“Sigh…I LOVE my Cameo!”

Stop by anytime, and let me know how you’re doing. Or, if you have any more questions, are feeling confused or frustrated, remember, there are solutions to EVERY problem! And, if you have some tips or projects you’d like to share, we would all love to hear them.

Thanks, Cameo-owners! Have a wonderful weekend, and keep crafting!