I’ll admit that I planned on writing this blog post a little while ago, then chickened out because I wasn’t sure I wanted to admit how difficult I found using the Cameo. I had wanted the machine for so long and was so excited when I received it for Mother’s Day. After I made a home for it, I found a file I loved on the Silhouette store, opened it–then gaped at the monitor. All the components were on the screen and when I moved one piece, they all went together. I clicked on a lot of different options, but couldn’t find how to separate the image.
I spent hours on a Friday night trying to figure it out and growing more frustrated. I Googled: splitting SVG image on Cameo, having one part of the file on the mat, using the Silhouette Cameo 101. Nothing. I finally decided to call it a night and try again in the morning. I hoped a good night’s sleep would make everything clearer…or at least bring back my patience. I wanted to love the machine…believed I would love it…but at that moment was wondering why I ever wanted it.
The next morning, I decided to start over and act like I just opened the box and set up the machine. I also told myself not to compare it to my Cricut Expressions. The reason I had always longed for, but was never “brave” enough to ask for the Cameo, was that I knew it took some computer skills. I can type on the computer. I think I’m actually pretty good at it. But, my computer is basically a typewriter that I get internet on and where I store digital pictures. As much as I love my technology (computer, Ipod, Kindles), I only know the basics on how to use them.
After a cup of coffee, I got to work. I went to a scrapbook message board and read through the threads about the Cameo. Since Amazon had the Cameo on sale for an awesome price (which is why we got it), I figured others had bought one as well. I was right! And there were some new Cameo users also trying to learn how to use the machine.
I was so thrilled to learn that what I wanted to do was call “ungroup”. Once I learned the proper term, I was able to get down to some cutting business. I discovered that to split the images, you click on the image and a box would surround all the pieces, then right-click and a list of functions popped up. Click on ungroup.
All the parts of the image will now have their own “boxes” around them when you click on the separate pieces. Now, the pieces can be moved off the cutting onto the gray area.
What I loved about the Cricut was the ease of using cartridges. All I had to do was push the proper labeled buttons and I’d get the different layers of an image onto the screen to cut. What I disliked about the Cricut was having to buy an entire cartridge when I only wanted a few of the images. Now, with the Cameo I’m able to purchase individual files rather than a collection of them, and hopefully one day I’ll learn how to make my own cut files. Until then, I’m enjoying the ones I get from the Silhouette store and also from PPBN Designs (my favorite place to buy files).