Aren't they just the greatest things you've ever seen, they totally blow away those paper strip ornaments which still remain pretty awesome but come on! The PaperMatrix blog also ruined my life, but also very generously gives you the pattern to make these spheres. As I looked at both the intracacy of what had to be cut out along with how many you needed to cut out, I realized that what was truly needed here was (sigh) a digital cutter. I wondered if they'd come down in price since last I looked...?
But I really wanted one.
So I did some creative visualization and put it out to the Universe, I would like to have a digital cutter. In fact I started acting as if I already had one, I love my digital cutter so much, I'm having so much fun with it. Then, because I feel the Universe likes it when you do your part, when I took out cash for the week, I started socking away a $20 in the mason jar I keep by the washing machine (because I don't know about you, but any money I find in pockets when doing laundry belongs to me, finders keepers). And I started doing some comparison shopping in earnest, seeing what models would work best for me and the kinds of projects I wanted to make. Eventually I settled on the Silhouette brand, with their Portrait model as the ideal, and I started trawling online and on eBay. Finally, one showed up: not a Portrait or Cameo, but an earlier Silhouette model that the owner said still worked with the Silhouette Design software and was a great starter model for those just venturing into this world of digital cutters. $150 with free shipping. The Universe was not just putting this into my hands but hitting me over the head with it. I said "yes, ma'am," cashed in the mason jar and I bought it.
I screamed and I hugged it. And now, I am in love.
The road to love has not been a smooth one. First of all, I didn't have a PC to hook the Silhouette up to or run the software on. Using the house computer upstairs would involve hooking up the machine every time I wanted to use it, setting it on a stool nearby along with my materials and basically trying to be crafty in the middle of household chaos. Not to mention fighting the kids off to actually get some damn time on the computer. No, I wanted my own setup and I'd gladly petition the Universe and start socking money away in the mason jar again to obtain it. Lucky for me my brother fixes and refurbishes computers as a side business, and he was able to assemble for me a system out of mongrel parts. Finally I was set up, and so began the learning process. This had its own frustrations as I learned that creating Nanetta Bananto's designs wasn't as easy as opening the file from the CD and just cutting. I had to learn to use the "trace" feature of the Silhouette software to replicate the pattern, as I would for any JPG or PNG design I wanted to cut out. That was an eye-opener, and took a couple weeks to master. Then there was learning how to adjust the blade settings, cutting paper versus cardstock, and discovering that cardstock bought at Michael's is flimsier than cardstock bought through Stampin' Up, and settings that work for the former will not cut through the latter. And so on and so forth but finally I felt I was ready to attempt a project, and in my tendency to go for the hardest version of anything first, I decided to make one of those paper spheres.
A lot of you already know this story. I'll skip to the ending and say that I did make one. But I don't know if I'll attempt making any more because while they are utterly fabulous, they were quite possibly the hardest, most frustrating project I've ever attempted in my life. You hear me? In my LIFE!