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Nom Nom Nom Nom Brownies

I decided to try out my idea of using the Silhouette SD to make a stencil for decorating brownies. It sounded so cute, and hey, if I happened to end up with a huge tray of brownies when I’m done then that’s just fine with me.

I used the classic brownies recipe from smitten kitchen. I usually go with Nigella’s recipe from How to Be a Domestic Goddess (my favorite baking cookbook), but I’m always open to trying a new one. The brownies were easy to make, and they smelled delicious while they were baking.

Making Nom Nom Nom Nom Brownies

After taking the brownies out of the oven, I set them aside to cool while I made my stencil. I typed out “Nom Nom Nom Nom” (suggested via Twitter), and used Mister Sirloin Well for my font. Then I cut the letters out of card stock with my Silhouette SD. You could do it by hand too, but I’d suggest something shorter in big block letters, like “YUM”.

Making Nom Nom Nom Nom Brownies

Once my brownies had cooled, I transferred them to a pretty tray (this one’s an old Thomas Paul design). Then I had to decide how to use my stencil. I think making the letters out of powdered sugar would have left a clearer design.

Making Nom Nom Nom Nom Brownies

I decided to do the reverse though, so I could use more powdered sugar.

Making Nom Nom Nom Nom Brownies

I didn’t have a fancy little sifter, so my application got a bit messy. It’s still pretty cute though!

Making Nom Nom Nom Nom Brownies

Mmmmm. Or should I say “nom nom nom nom”? I think all blog posts from here on out should be written while eating yummy homemade brownies. And that recipe? It’s a good one.

p.s. You can still enter the giveaway for a Silhouette SD by entering here. The contest is open until the 31st.

Paper Crane

I checked another one off my 30 Before Thirty list today; I made an origami paper crane while Eleanor took her morning nap.

Paper Crane

I’m thoroughly impressed with those that have made 1000 paper cranes, as Blair from Wise Craft has recently done. As for me, I’m happy with my single crane, the first I’ve ever made.

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!

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