brand new fun

I have officially had my Silhouette SD digital cutter  for three weeks now.  My first action was to cut up the box it came in to make a hut for the baby, which was very silly of me because we might have needed to return it, and there was a diaper box I could have used instead, and to be honest I don’t think she liked it as much as I liked the idea of her liking it.  But I had been reading about making things out of cardboard that day and I got excited.  Oh well.

Fortunately we did not need to return it.  Setting it up was easy enough, though it took a little trouble to thoroughly subjugate the software.  (Actually, I noticed the other day that there’s something else to poke at.  Sigh.)  The CD included had an outdated version of the software, which had to be updated before it would take .dxf files without crashing, and then Hero had to step in and force the computer to recognize the machine as a printer so I could cut directly from Inkscape.  But I have been playing with it quite a bit since.

(These pictures are okay but less than ideal, mostly because I had to make do with what I could get before the baby stopped singing to herself and started calling for me.)

I made this:

(clear contact paper, cut and then painted with acrylics before putting it on the bathroom mirror.  pictures of mirrors are not easy.  Font is Amaze.)

and this:

(try reloading the page if this isn’t displaying right.  it’s being a bit troublesome.)

(flowers cut out of paper and glued to my dresser with homemade liquid starch, which is my new favorite technique.  It holds fabric or paper on the wall quite beautifully, and comes off cleanly when you change your mind.)

and this:

(letters cut out of cardstock and stuck to the wall with more liquid starch.  it’s not as crooked as it looks in the picture.  The letters are Hebrew: “hodu l’adonai ki tov; ki l’olam chasdo” meaning “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love/kindness/grace endures for eternity”  The Hebrew font is what you get when you take a screenshot from, trace it in Inkscape, and hit Simplify once.  The flourish is from the Neoclassic Fleurons font, though I had to tweak it a bit.)

And, funnest of all, this:

This makes me so happy.  It was really really fun to do – all the fun of artwork and painting and very little difficult work.  Interestingly enough, it’s also the first real piece of art that I can imagine selling.  In the past I’ve felt too attached to my work to ever consider selling any of it.  I don’t have any immediate plans to sell this, but I really could.  It was fun to make and someday it will make someone else happy.

It was simple enough: I painted the brown layer, cut out contact paper in the shape I wanted, put it on, and painted over it with the cream paint and the dots.  It was truly luxurious – messing about with colors and lines and paints and brushes and knowing that the finicky work was done by the machine.  I didn’t want to use someone else’s flourish (that counts as cheating, in my mind, even using designs that are freely offered) and I didn’t want to design it from scratch, so I ended up using elements from the Floral Primitives vector pack from  That way I had all the fun of assembling my own decorative shape, but I didn’t have to start quite from scratch.

I have more plans, of course – decorations for various places in my house, and I’d like to cut some shapes for the synagogue’s new nursery, and I want to make another painting for one of the ladies in the synagogue.  And it’s really very good for me to be working again, so everyone’s happy.

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1 Response to brand new fun

  1. Pingback: The Remedy | My Brain and Other Curiosities

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