In April of 2015 I was visiting my sister who lives in Hawaii. (Convince someone in your family to live on an island. It is seriously the best way to travel there regularly.) Her husband has a screen printing shop and is insanely creative. I happened to mention my desire to get a cutting machine because I thought it would take my crafting to the next level. “I have a Silhouette I’m not using. Do you want it?” At the time, I hadn’t heard of Silhouette and I barely knew anything about cutters anyway. But I am definitely not one to say no to a free crafting too, so I took it home a Silhouette CAMEO in my suitcase.

I then proceeded to put it on a shelf. For 6 months. Seriously.

Friends, I don’t know what it was about that machine. It looked hard. It looked like it would take so much time and energy to figure out. (It also didn’t come in a box with handy instructions on set up.) So it sat.

Then, in January 2016 I started planning Little’s birthday. If you don’t know yet, Little is my Leap Day baby. I never knew much about Leap Day birthdays until I birthed one in 2012.

  • Did you know that most government offices don’t have an official policy on when to recognize February 28 birthdays in non-leap years? (I guess when Little is ready for a driver’s license, I’ll find out.)
  • According to, about 4.1 million people around the world have been born on Feb. 29, and the chances of having a leap birthday are one in 1,461.
  • People born on Feb. 29 are called “leaplings” or “leapers.”

(Sorry friends, I’m full of Leap Day facts and references.)

Back to the CAMEO. Since this was Little’s first “real” birthday since she was born, it had to be big. Big enough for me to get past my fear and figure out this white machine.

Imagine what a dunce I felt like when I realized just how easy it was to get going on the CAMEO. Months! I wasted months not using this fantastic machine. And so began my love affair with Silhouette.

My very first project was a Save the Date magnet and her invitations. (I let Little pick the theme of her party and obviously, she picked kitty cats and bumblebees. I’m pretty sure that theme was trending in 2016.)

How to design an invitation? I found some clipart of a bumblebee and I created a silhouette of a cat leaping (get it? I warned you that I was full of references.)

Also, because this was a big birthday, I wanted something different and memorable. I thought and thought about what to do. I needed an invitation, but I wanted a piece that people could keep. I decided to include a magnet on a birthday postcard.

I guess because it was a big birthday I picked a big started project – a print and cut magnet. This meant I had to:

  1. Create a design using registration marks
  2. Print the design on paper
  3. Stick the paper onto magnet paper
  4. Put the magnet paper onto my Silhouette mat to cut
  5. Cut the design precisely (you can see in the photo that there isn’t much room for error)

If you haven’t tried a print and cut project, they are great! Check out Silhouette School Blog for some great tutorials.

But when you have a specific shape with words and very little leeway for cutting, it’s a little tricky. Particularly if you are completely new to cutting machines. Most people would recommend you begin with a simple project. But I am not most people.

And, I managed it. (I’m sure I was more proud of myself than any of the recipients.)

And so began my love affair with Silhouette. I couldn’t even count the number of projects I’ve done since then. Any cutting machine is a wonderful addition to your craft toolbox.

If you’re on the fence about which machine to get (there are several out there), I personally think you should decide between the Silhouette Cameo and the Cricut Maker. (The Brother is handy if you’re a hard-core sewer/embroiderer.) Jennifer Maker’s post comparing the two might help you decide. Keep in mind that she is a Cricut lover. If you want to compare Jennifer with a Silhouette lover, Melissa at Silhouette School Blog’s post has some interesting information.

Both posts have me loving my Silhouette Cameo and hoping to buy a Cricut Maker some day.

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