On our way home from my uncle’s funeral, we took a detour to Derby, to collect Sheba, my new Black Cat Cougar cutting machine. We had arranged this beforehand with the wonderful Dawn, who with her business partner Colin, has designed these amazing machines – collecting it in person saved me the carriage and insurance fees even if it did cost us a bit more in petrol. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to meet Dawn in person as she was busy, but we met her husband who had everything arranged ready for us.
I have joined the Black Cat Forum which is full of lovely people who are so friendly and helpful and always encouraging the Cubs (as we newbies are called!) to ask any questions we like. Now that I’ve got the machine I have been able to access the user manual which I am going to print out, as it will make good bed-time reading!
When we got home, my hubby carried Sheba upstairs to my ARTHaven and put her big box on the floor.
Opening up the box, I found her nesting all safe and secure:
where she’s unfortunately got to stay until after Christmas! I’ve got far too much to do to be able to play with her for a while – it’s going to be a steep learning curve discovering all her tricks, and I don’t want to rush it, or fall into the trap of thinking I can complete my Christmas projects using her, because this would only lead to frustration if I don’t know what I’m doing.
I am determined to take it slowly, learning each stage step by step before advancing to the next level, and taking the advice of others on the forum, such as keeping a record of every cut I make initially, so that it will be easy to decide what settings I need for each individual project.
Watch this space over the next few months! Although of course I want to be able to cut paper and card with Sheba, she is capable of so much more. I want to emboss and cut metal, and make 3-D objects such as jewellery and hair ornaments, and some new decorations for my wheelchair! I also want to work with leather – I’ve got a big box of scraps of fine soft leather in lots of colours, which I bought as a cheap job lot at the end of a craft show many years ago from a glove-making stand – I’ve only used a very small amount of this and there’s lots I can do now I can cut different shapes more easily.
You can also draw with any pen, but a special pen holder is needed for this. I was not able to get all the accessories I shall eventually want (such as the engraving tool), and anyway, there’s plenty to learn and get to grips with in the meantime, until finances allow me to get the rest. So far, in addition to the basic kit which consists of the normal mat and standard blade, I’ve got a “click” blade housing (something like the one on the Cricut), a blade for cutting thicker media, and the embossing tools and mat, so lots to play with! Also included is a small pen holder which allows you to use a ball-point refill – I think my gel pens should work fine with this for the moment.
I just hope this sleek black kitty will be content to remain in her box for a while and not get jealous of Jiminy Cricut as I continue to use him to complete my Christmas projects!! (He has been told that his days are numbered.)
This is a new adventure for 2012. I’m really excited!!
When we arrived home, I found a parcel of goodies that I’d ordered had arrived:
I decided after all to get the Tim Holtz seasonal distress inks as I need them for the bag skirts I’m making, and I also ordered a couple of distress stains that I was missing. At the bottom of the box is a stack of distress core’dinations papers which are just gorgeous, and then some Tack’n Peel which is a sort of sticky film that you can put on an acrylic block and then use it either to adhere unmounted rubber stamps or anything else you want to stamp with. Finally, the box on top was a free gift, a Martha Stewart embossing kit. There are a couple of small pots of embossing powder, an embossing ink pad (I now have 3… I wonder if I can manage to keep this one clean???) a very nice acrylic block and a sheet of clear stamps, several of which I think will be quite useful.
I’m hoping to be able to make my next bag skirt tomorrow and will be able to use some of these materials. Today I’ve felt pretty wiped out after all our adventures, but this evening I’ve designed the next bag skirt using some ideas of Penny Duncan’s, and also some Tim-inspired shapes! Hopefully once I get going it won’t take too long.
Then it’s present wrapping time again… Is anyone else as far behind as I am??