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The results are in! Thank you so much to those of you who completed my 2014 Reader Survey! I loved reading your comments and learning more about what you’re looking forward to seeing at Essentially Eclectic this coming year. Here’s what I learned:
- A couple different categories tied for first and second as your favorite type of posts at EE: DIY Body Care, Tutorials, Recipes, and Crafts. This brought a big smile to my face, since this happens to be 95% of what I blog about! It doesn’t seem to be broken, so I don’t suppose I’ll fix this one :)
- The category of posts you were by far most interested in seeing more of in the coming year was “Life Stuff” — think lifestyle-blog type posts that are a bit more personal than your standard project tutorial. Tied for second place was Silhouette projects and Freebies, which means today you’re in double luck…
…because Santa brought a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas!! :) I was a little nervous to tear into it because I was told there is a bit of a learning curve, but fortunately I have some amazing blog buddies who are Silhouette experts! A few tutorials later, and my first project was finished:
This project is the first of 12 Silhouette projects (maybe more??) I hope to do this year as a part of my pal Lauren’s Silhouette Challenge, which she completed last year and is doing again this year with big group of bloggers who have joined in! The theme for this month’s challenge is Organization, so I decided to go with a project that was simple (since this is, after all, my first go) but still practical: A menu board! I needed something with a dry-erase-type surface that was inexpensive, so I decided to pull out an old photo frame and some ivory colored card stock.
The design for this menu board was inspired by Lauren’s A Thousand Thanks stationary project. I was able to use her tutorial to figure out how to navigate the Silhouette Studio software (which isn’t super intuitive but super easy to use once you get the hang of things) and create a simple design that fit my frame, one that could double as a cute dinner party menu too! Assuming, of course, that you remove SMTWTF from the design ;)
Once I had my design built, I was ready to cut! Here are a couple things I learned about using a Silhouette machine:
A FEW CUTTING TIPS AND TRICKS FOR NEW SILHOUETTE USERS:
- If an animal and R2D2 had baby, and then that creature proceeded to die a slow painful death, the sound it makes when dying would approximate the sound a Silhouette makes when cutting. Your machine isn’t broken, and it’s okay to leave the room and just let it do it’s thing.
- Use quality card stock! Cheap card stock tends to be more fibrous and those fibers can get stuck in your blade, causing your paper to tear around sharp edges and corners while your machine cuts. American Crafts card stock has been recommended by several Silhouetters I know as a good brand to use.
- Always use the lowest blade setting possible when cutting to avoid prematurely dulling your blade.
- Intricate designs may require a slower cutting speed.
- Silhouette Studio has cutting recommendations for various media you may be working with, but these are just guidelines to start from. Your medium may require different settings!
All in all, I would say this project was a success! What do you think? If you would like to make your own dry erase photo frame menu board, I have included the FREE cut file for you!
Click HERE to download the FREE cut file.
(Please note this free file is for personal use only)