Setting my Sights

Guess I haven’t posted in a while.  Huh.

I’ve actually been quite busy.  You see, I came up with an Idea.  And it has kept me busy.

The Idea is this: I meet certain goals I have set for myself, and then once they are met I can request a die-cut machine for my birthday.  Hooray!

A die-cut machine, for those who don’t know, is a device that works like a printer, but it cuts instead of printing.  There’s quite a few of them on the market.  At first I was planning on requesting a Cricut with the third-party software that lets you cut from .svg files (most of the die-cut machines, including the Cricut, do not require a computer but instead expect you to drop insane amounts of money on cartridges with pre-loaded shapes and fonts) but because I have a wonderful and generous Hero I will probably end up with a Silhouette SD, which is nicer and larger and comes bundled with its own software.

And I’ve wanted a die-cut machine off and on for quite some time, but in the past I’ve thought I wouldn’t get enough use out of one to justify the cost.  They can cut freezer paper, for quick and easy freezer paper stenciling of clothing, which would be awesome but not enough on its own.  Then I mentally added wall decals, since there’s a couple spaces I want a decal for, and I’d been intending to design it myself and then find someone to cut it for me, but that gets expensive and it would be much simpler to cut the vinyl myself.  And then I added in the fact that Beauty is on the verge of being ready for Crafting, which if memory serves me correctly usually means the mother spends an awful lot of time sitting there cutting out endless numbers of hearts or circles or stars or letters or whatever.  So.  Die-cut machine, not so crazy after all.

But even with that I didn’t want to buy one on a whim, so I’ve set two goals.  The first is that I finally finish my quilling project, which I began shortly before I got pregnant.  Go google quilling (also known as paper filigree) if you don’t know what it is; it’s quite pretty.  I’m making a large-scale installment to decorate the giant mirror in our living room.  At this stage I’m mostly making zillions (okay, 40) quilled flowers, which takes a while but isn’t terribly difficult.  So each afternoon when Beauty goes down for her nap, I sit in the study and watch Veronica Mars on Netflix and make my quilled flowers.  They take 15-20 minutes each, and I’m probably three episodes away from being done.

(Of course, when I ordered the rest of the quilling papers I needed, I also ordered more for another project I have in mind.  But that will wait.  The papers are much easier to store than the completed flowers :)

My second goal is more directly related to the die-cut machine: I’m finally learning Inkscape.  As I said, the die-cut machines I want can print from .svg files.  Some people stick to what they find online, which is a pretty extensive collection, especially since it includes wingding fonts at and similar.  But if I’m going to have nice things I like to think I can use them properly.  So Inkscape it is.

It’s been quite fun.  The first time I tried Inkscape, I used the “official” tutorials, which are well-organized and comprehensive and thoroughly boring and actually quite ugly.  It has you make a flag of Sweden for your first project.  There’s a thrilling start.

exciting! interesting! beautiful!

This time around, I found the tutorials at, which are well-written and actually very pretty.  It’s far more fun.  I get to make designs like this:

paisley isn't my favorite motif, but it was fun to make anyway

and this:

with different coloring, these would be cherry blossoms. but I like switching colors around.

and I am happy.

I’ve also been creating hair clips and toys for Beauty, and of course keeping up with meals and baths and laundry.  Well, I never really keep up with laundry, but at least it’s within sight.

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1 Response to Setting my Sights

  1. Shula says:

    I have a Making Memories Slice die cutter and I enjoy it tremendously.
    Enjoy your die cutter! And that’s way cool about the software. :)

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