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Silhouette SD Cutting Machine (Review and Giveaway)

I mentioned wanting a Silhouette SD a few months ago after reading Melissa’s review of it, and much to my delight the company sent one to me to try out. Well I’ve been having so much fun with mine that I thought you might want one too, so I’m giving one away! Details are at the end of this post, but first let me show you a couple of things that I’ve made with it and tell you about my experience with the machine.

You know the little vinyl stick figure families that mark the back windows of minivans throughout suburbia? Yeah, this is my take on that. More modern, less cutesy.

Family Silhouette Car Decal

I used Adobe Illustrator to trace a silhouette of us, basing it on a photo from the shoot by James Julius. Of course, it’s only going to be accurate for another six months and then I’ll have to make a new one for my family of four.

I also framed Eleanor’s silhouette (the same silhouette I drew for her first birthday invitations) against a sheet of patterned paper.

Eleanor's Silhouette

So cute, right? And I could think of a million more things to make too… I especially like the idea of using it to make a stencil for decorating a pan of brownies with powdered sugar, but I think that’s just because I’ve been craving chocolate lately. ;)

My Review of the Silhouette SD

The machine itself is small, sleek, and well-designed. The interface is easy, and I had no problems following the directions to get the machine up and running. The software is not Mac friendly, but there is an Adobe Illustrator plugin for Mac users (and a helpful tutorial here). I like to make my own designs anyway, so the Illustrator compatibility is perfect for me.

I was impressed by the Silhouette SD’s accuracy and ability to cut finely detailed images. I found only two drawbacks: the machine is noisy when cutting, and the sticky cutting mats attract hair and dust particles like crazy. Certainly not deal breakers, but worth mentioning.

I’m pretty excited about all of the things I can make, so I’m really pleased with the machine. There are tons of ideas and tips on the Silhouette SD site, shop, and blog. I’m not sure how the PC software works, but if you use Adobe Illustrator like I do then you can use any font or vector image you like. Nice.

Enter to Win a Silhouette SD

If you would like to win a Silhouette SD of your own, just leave a comment on this post (one entry per person). This giveaway, open to US residents only, includes: A Silhouette Machine (a $299.99 value), software for Windows XP/Vista, power cable and USB cable, two cutting mats (one for thick media, one for thin media), one cutting blade, $10 gift card to the Silhouette Online Store. One winner will be chosen randomly on August 31.

And if you just can’t wait to see if you’ve won, I also have an awesome promo for you (good from August 23 through September 1 at midnight). If you buy a Silhouette cutting machine and enter the discount code “lovely“, you’ll get all of the above plus the following for $249.99: $50 off the Silhouette Craft Cutter, fuzzy white vinyl (valued at $7.99), light blue smooth heat transfer (valued at 14.99), yellow flocked heat transfer (valued at $14.99), and a home décor CD (valued at $50). That’s a total savings of $137.97!

You can also use the code “lovely” from September 2 through September 4 for a good discount of $50 off your machine, two cutting mats (one for thick media, one for thin media), one cutting blade, $10 gift card to the Silhouette Online Store, plus two free rolls of heat transfer (a total savings of $79.98).

Good luck! I’d love to know what you’d make with your Silhouette SD. And what did you think of my projects? Would you rock a family car decal like mine? Too close to the ubiquitous stick figures? Or do you (gasp) prefer the stick figures?

August 31: Comments (and entries) are now closed. The randomly chosen winner is Renanda (renparks). Congratulations, Renanda!

Halloween Projects with Better Homes & Gardens

Yesterday’s news can’t really be topped, but I do have another exciting project in the works. And no, we’re not having twins…

Halloween Project for BHG
(Above is a little sneak peek.)

I’ll be creating four Halloween projects for Better Homes & Gardens, along with three other amazing bloggers: Kathleen of Twig & Thistle, Liz of Mabel’s House (who also announced her pregnancy yesterday!), and Suzonne of Urban comfort. Our first project will appear in the October issue of Better Homes & Gardens, and the subsequent three will be online at I’ll share the first project with you in early September when the issue hits newsstands.

Eleanor’s Pillowcase Dress

I checked another item off my 30 Before Thirty list last night! #8: Sew a dress for Eleanor. I made a pillowcase dress, following Jaime’s tutorial on Prudent Baby.

I made this dress for Eleanor.

I was going to make my own bias tape because Jacinda’s was so cute, but then I hesitated after realizing that it’s probably a huge pain to do without the proper doodad. Twitter confirmed my suspicions.

So I went with the brown bias tape that I already had on hand, and some Amy Butler fabric that I bought for curtains but never used. The dress took me three hours from start to finish, but that is because I am most definitely a novice when it comes to sewing. It would probably only take an hour and a half, maybe two hours, for someone with more experience.

I made this dress for Eleanor.

The dress turned out nicely though. It’s so sweet! I’ll probably swap out the long satin ribbon for something a little more practical, but it was pretty for these photos.

I made this dress for Eleanor.

I made this dress for Eleanor.

If you’d like to make a dress for a little girl but aren’t sure of your sewing abilities, I recommend making a pillowcase dress. The trickiest part was attaching the bias tape to the arm holes, but if you can handle that the rest is easy. And it’s so cute. I want to make a million more.

I made this dress for Eleanor.

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