Tag Archives | Silhouette America

Silhouette Cameo vs Silhouette Portrait

Today instead of posting the next giveaway for the big Scrapbook Update anniversary, I am going to take an opportunity to answer a recent comment from a reader about the Silhouette Portrait machine that I use.

Scrapbook Update reader Michelle commented on my last Silhouette article that “I’m having a hard time figuring out the distinction between the two,” meaning the Portrait and the Cameo machines.

This seems a good time to discuss the differences between the two machines because a new Silhouette promotion is launching today that focuses on the Portrait machine. (Details on that awesome deal coming at the end!) Despite my personal love of the Portrait machine, it is most definitely the wallflower of the Silhouette line, with most Silhouette fans using (or coveting) the larger Cameo machine as their machine of choice.


The Silhouette Portrait machine was announced nearly two years ago in October 2012. I bought mine a few months later. For some of those locked out of the Cameo by the $299 MSRP, the $179 MSRP on the Portrait machine is much more reachable (and the frequent Silhouette promotions make it even more affordable). But what are you giving up for the discount in price on the Portrait?

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Trend | Project Life Out of the Pocket

A new trend is becoming more and more visible in scrapbooking. Many people are enjoying the convenience of the coordinated Project Life and other pocket style kits so much, they are using them for non-pocket pages. Often times, this usage of the pocket cards is coming along with another trend borrowed straight from pocket layouts – grid style layouts.

The straight lines, symmetry, and heavy graphic overtones of this look is in sharp contrast to the random vintage collage look that has dominated the space for the past few years.

First Day Of School Layout


  • Project Life by Heidi Swapp (Favorite Things Core Kit) – currently exclusive to Michaels Stores
  • Heidi Swapp Interchangeable Stamp – currently exclusive to Michaels Stores
  • Heidi Swapp Date Stamp – currently exclusive to Michaels Stores
  • Heidi Swapp Paper Pad (Hello Today)
  • American Crafts Remarks Alphabet (JFK Neutrals)
  • Silhouette Printable Foil (Gold)
  • Silhouette Portrait Machine
  • Brush Script font
  • Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Brushed Corduroy, Picked Raspberry)
  • Bazzill Smooth Cardstock (Marshmallow)
  • Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen (Superfine – black)

This layout, with the use of the cards from the Heidi Swapp Project Life core kit as its main elements, came together extremely quickly. I spent some time selecting out a few cards and then arranging them on the background – kind of like playing a creative game of Solitaire! Shuffle, lay out, rearrange, shuffle…

After deciding on a card layout I just layered a few elements on top, just like my process after I’ve selected my cards when I’m making a pocket layout. In this case, I needed a title which I created with my Silhouette and letter stickers. (Another trend sneaked onto this layout too when I made the title out of metallic gold!)

First Day Of School Detail Date Stamp

Then I used the date stamp to stamp the date in a medium brown. I wanted it to be visible but not “in your face”. The result is a tone on tone look that blends in with the other designs on the kraft background paper but stands out enough to be seen.

The last element was the circular element created with the Heidi Swapp Interchangeable Stamp.

First Day Of School Detail Happy

If you have the stamp, you know that it stamps with a built-in black ink pad. And yet, my impression is pink? If you hold the stamp in the compressed position (as if it were stamping), you can wipe off the stamp with a baby wipe, ink the stamp with whatever color you want, and then make a quick impression with it. Yes, it is a bit of a tricky task requiring some manual dexterity and strong hands…but the results are really fun and bring more versatility to the stamp.

After a little bit of trial and error, I’ve discovered it is much easier to get a good impression with both the Interchangeable Stamp and the Date Stamp if you “prime” the stamp with an artist’s eraser and then use a pigment ink.

For more interpretations of this trend, check out these examples:


Silhouette | School Calendar Magnets (and Promo!)

Last week, I showed you the dry erase whiteboard that I decorated with my Silhouette Portrait for us to keep track of my daughter’s new virtual school calendar. It now hangs on the wall above the side of her desk, conveniently showing us her week at a glance.

Weekly Dry Erase Board

In addition to being a whiteboard, the board I used is magnetic. I decided to use that property – and my Silhouette and printable magnet paper – to keep the board more organized, easier to read and change, and looking neater.

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Silhouette | Back to School with a DIY Weekly Dry Erase Board

It’s time for back to school at our house next week, and so we are in full preparation mode! This year, preparation is a bit different as we are planning to enroll our daughter for the first time in virtual school as she goes into 6th grade. So instead of buying backpacks and school uniforms, we are worrying about turning her computer desk into a full-time school area at home for her.

One important part of virtual school will be keeping track of when her lessons are, to make sure that she doesn’t miss attending one and that she gets all of her hours in. So after some research I have come up with the idea of a dry erase board that can be refreshed weekly with a schedule of her lessons and activities. Regular weekly schedules are designed for office cubicles so they are expensive, small and boring. We wanted something fun, large and affordable for our new “classroom”. So I decided to make a DIY weekly dry erase board with the help of my Silhouette Portrait machine!

Weekly Dry Erase Board

The blank dry erase board is from Walmart, and cost about $8. It’s 17″ x 23″ in size, and came with a pen and two colorful magnets (it’s also a magnetic surface).

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Project | Travel Album: Going Places

In my usual efficient (not) scrappy way, I am finally getting around to putting together a travel album for the trip that I took in January to Germany for the CreativeWorld trade show. It’s a daunting task, since I took about 900 photos over 7 days (two of which were travel days spent on planes, of course).

With that many photos, and the speed at which I create (molasses) I know the only hope I have of getting all of them in an album is to use a Project Life type pocket scrapbook. I’m starting the album by creating my first page, a layout about my prep and flight over. Later, when the album is complete and I see what it ends up looking like, I’ll make a title page for it that ties together the style of the whole thing.

I bought several kits of journal cards to use in the album because I have a lot of different types of photos to scrap: ultra modern convention center, historic tourist pictures, and random travel stuff. For this starter layout, I primarily used the very graphic designs of the Urban Traveler collection by Simple Stories, but there are also several other designs worked in as well.

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