OK – I have the machine – what now???
I don’t profess to know everything the Silhouette machine can do – I have had some version going back 4 years and I have barely scratched the surface of what this great machine can do. Lucky for us there are some WONDERFUL talents out there that have simply awesome Blogs and You-Tube Videos that can tell us everything you want to know…from basics to far more complicated projects.
WHAT DO I DO FIRST?
Well first thing you do is get your machine out of the box and get it hooked up. Silhouette runs on software – the software has to be loaded to your computer – IT MUST BE A COMPUTER of some sort with an operating system – a PC with some sort of Windows OS or a Mac with a MAC OS – it will not work on a tablet or a cloud based system, like a chromebook.
If you received a disk with your machine chances are it is not the latest version of the software – you can load it up from the disk and once you have everything loaded the software may prompt you that there is an updated version available. You can always download the software too directly from Silhouette http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/software/silhouette-studio/
Note there are a few different versions of Studio software – more in depth info can be found on the Silhouette site linked above
STUDIO – this is the basic version of the software and is free, there are currently two versions – the most current version is referred to as V3 – this version saves files as .studio3 files – there is also a legacy version that is referred to as V2 – this version saves files as .studio files. You can open .studio files in ANY version of Studio, but .studio3 files can only be opened if you have V3 on our system. All versions of Studio can also open .gsd and .dxf cut files, all are able to import picture files (.jpeg, .gif, .bmp,.tif, etc…) for tracing
DESIGNER EDITION (DE)– this is a “pumped up” version of Studio – there is a cost to buy it – depending on where you purchase it the cost is anywhere from $20-40. This gives you a few more tools to play with, along with the ability to open .svg files
BUSINESS EDITION (BE) – this is an even greater “pumped up” version that has all the features of the basic and the DE along with even more tools, including the ability to run multiple machines from one program.
OK – software installed, machine ready to go – now what?
READ, READ, GOOGLE, READ, GOOGLE SOME MORE, READ
Silhouette Manual – yes it can get a bit confusing, but it is imperative you scan through it and get to know the basics through the manual. It has a lot of good information about the basics – from typing in words to cut, to using the silhouette store, to explaining what all those icons are.
Blogs, Blogs, Blogs & You Tube – there are a multitude of blogs that are fairly specific to the functions of the silhouette machine in general. While there are many out there I am going to highlight a few of the ones I turn to from time to time when I am trying to figure out how to do something new.
SILHOUETTE AMERICA – - http://blog.silhouetteamerica.com/ yes Silhouette has their very own blog – did ya know that? – they have a variety of designers that post their own projects using files and materials you can purchase from Silhouette – they also have videos showing how to use the various kits and how to use the various tools in the software -https://www.youtube.com/user/SilhouetteAmericaInc
SILHOUETTE SCHOOL - http://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/ - a very through blog with tons of tips, tricks and tutorials using a wide array of materials. Melissa does a wonderful job explaining everything – first things first check out her post for newbies - http://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/2014/12/silhouette-beginners-and-newbies-start.html
CLEVER SOMEDAY - https://cleversomeday.wordpress.com/ - Kay is a goddess IMO – she has a ton of great information on her blog, especially information pertaining to the technical kinds of things when it comes to Silhouette. She has an tab on her site that is all about FONTS – something very important in the Silhouette world…love me some fonts – and for those that are in LOVE with Laura Worthington fonts (i.e. the delicious Samantha font) she has some great tips and tricks to get the glyphs working for you in the Studio software – She also has an EXCELLENT You Tube channel filled with all sorts of videos - https://www.youtube.com/user/CleverSomeday/videos - including the must watch Tracing without Tears series
UNDER A CHERRY TREE - http://underacherrytree.blogspot.com/ - lots of tips and tricks and tutorials – especially for print and cut
JOYS LIFE - http://joyslife.com/ has a variety of tutorials available - http://joyslife.com/silhouette-cameo-tutorials/ as well as some great videos - https://www.youtube.com/user/wwwJoysLife
THE PINNING MAMA -http://www.thepinningmama.com – tutorials – also has a great post that links to other great blogs – check it out http://www.thepinningmama.com/2014/02/19/blogs-to-find-silhouette-cameo-project-ideas-silhouette-cameo-sale-discount-coupon-promo/
INFARRANTLY CREATIVE - http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/silhouette/ - ideas and tutorials
KENS KREATIONS - http://kreativeken.blogspot.com/ - mainly works with the Cricut Explore machine and software, but has some tutorials that can be used with the Silhouette machine – also has some videos utilizing the silhouette machine https://www.youtube.com/user/hesskr
PINK & LEMON - https://www.youtube.com/user/SewCrafty718/videos
GOOGLE WILL BE YOUR BEST FRIEND EVER…I swear…
There are a lot of different blogs and you tube videos out there that cover just about every topic, trick, tutorial out there…there are at least 39 ½ different ones just for those darn glitter ornaments alone. If you want to know how to do something – just google – type in what you are looking for and viola (although I don’t recommend simply typing in “glitter balls” – not such a good idea) – I usually precede it with “Silhouette Cameo” XYZ.
OK I LIE…GOOGLE WON’T BE YOUR BEST FRIEND - PINTEREST WILL…
If you don’t already have a Pinterest account I will wait while you go sign up…go on now – head straight to http://www.pinterest.com/ and sign up. So once you are all signed up be prepared to lose yourself for a number of hours – if you have small kids, just scatter the cheerios on the floor now. Pinterest is THE place to go – simply create a few boards – maybe a Silhouette Tutorial Board, Silhouette Idea Board, etc… and start pinning – once you put Silhouette Cameo in the search box it is like the skies open and the angels sing. You will find a multitude of tips, tricks and tutorials and you can PIN them and refer back to them time after time after time…no more “oh where did I see that” or “gee I wish I remembered the web address for the tutorial to do XYZ” – it is all in ONE place…to get you started you can check out my Silhouette Tutorial Pinterest board – a few to get you started – but there are many, many more… http://www.pinterest.com/jenmouer/silhouette-tutorials/