I've written a more complete review and history ... maybe some details as to why you may want to add a Cameo to your craft room if you're a Cricut-only kinda gal. Rather than clutter this main page up with too much text, I posted the whole review on its own page; you can find it by scrolling over to the right side bar ("Pages"), or go there, by clicking this link: http://cardmonkey-business.blogspot.com/p/thinking-of-silhouette-cameo.html
Here is the card I made to feature in this review:
More details on the card: The background is a vintage pattern I got from Vicki Chrisman on her Etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/VickiC). It wrapped a vintage mini-mold that held the tiny spools of thread (at left, front of the photo) as well as the vintage buttons and S&H green stamp. For the images of the tops of the spools, I simply sat the two spools of thread on my copier and created my own vintage embellishments from the cut-outs. The pearls around the Sophie doily are from Mei Flowers. I set the sentiment on my computer and after cutting it with a Spellbinder's label die, I sponge-tinted the background of the label using Copic markers (pink and cool grey) and a blender (00) marker. The "stick pin" is an old embroidery needle. Pink thread by Coats & Clark. Faux stitching using a Gelly pen.
I purchased and downloaded the vintage sewing machine image from the Silhouette shop, downloaded it to my Cameo and cut it at 3.5” on Core’dinations cardstock, using the default settings to cut. I was amazed at how finely cut the paper is (see the top bit representing thread on the machine, which is only slightly wider than the actual thread I wrapped around the spool). A downside: the new mat is so sticky that one fine swirl of“thread” to the left got stuck/left on the mat when I removed the image.
The booklet that comes with the newer cartridges recommends minimum setting sizes for each image – and this one was 5”. While the image is cut cleanly (and I used a new blade for a fair comparison), it is far less smooth than the image cut with the Cameo. The curves are a bit jagged, and some of the smaller connections were more fragile than the Cameo’s tiniest cuts.
The bottom line:
For crafters who like the simplicity and guidance of images in a collection on a cartridge, a Cricut is for you. I have the Cricut Expression and a Cricut Cake. There are also a Cricut Expression 2, the smaller Cricut personal, the original Cricut Create, and the smallest Cricut Mini. ProvoCraft also sells a Cricut Imagine, which combines color inkjet printing and cutting together, for enhanced print/cut capabilities.
On the downside, if you limit yourself to a Cricut, you will not be able to use the vast array of millions of images created worldwide in the SVG format. However, ProvoCraft now releases dozens of new cartridges weekly (announced on “Hello Thursdays”).
ProvoCraft has expanded into a broader per-image market with the introduction of its new Cricut Craft Room (accessed at http://www.cricut.com/craftroom/default.html). If you have some computer knowledge (PC or Mac-based) and want to add to your capabilities beyond the cartridges but don’t want to (or can’t) invest in a new cutting machine, adding Cricut Craft Room (CCR) to your mix might be the next logical step.
But if you are comfortable with your computer and want to move into the world of SVG files, and creating your own files from JPEG images, then you'll need to move to an electronic cutter and its software that supports that endeavor. There are many companies that sell SVG files (and have freebies, too). Here are My Top Dozen favorites:
- SVG Cuts (http://www.svgcuts.com/)
- SVG Attic (http://www.svgattic.com/)
- My Grafico (http://www.mygrafico.com/)
- Lettering Delights (http://www.letteringdelights.com/)
- Paper Threads (http://www.paperthreads.com/)
- Two Peas In a Bucket (http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/)
- Little Scraps of Heaven Designs (http://littlescrapsofheavendesigns.com/)
- Treasure Box Designs (http://www.treasureboxdesigns.com/)
- Visual Designs by Chris (http://www.visualdesignsbychris.com/)
- My Scrap Chick (http://www.myscrapchick.com/)
- Paper Piecings by Nikki (http://www.paperpiecingsbynikki.com/)
- Designs on Cloud 9 (http://www.designsoncloud9.com/)