Scanncut machine

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I don’t think I’ve blogged about this… Apologies if I have!

Towards the end of last year I treated myself to a rather extravagant purchase…  The brother scanncut machine. At £300 or so (it was on sale), it was a bit of a risk – would my hands be up to using it? Turns out mostly yes. Thankfully!

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From a hands perspective, you need to navigate using a small touch screen (using fingers or provided stylus), you need to set it up (or get someone else to) and you need to feed the paper in on a provided mat. This has been ok for me on good days but I struggle to change some of the settings eg cut depth as this requires you to manually adjust something. But I’ve got it set up on the right depth for the card I use most of the time. However it also cuts paper, fabric etc.

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I’m definitely not using it to its full potential but it’s really helpful for me as I struggle to use scissors very much. In addition to cutting card, this model can draw, make stickers and, possibly uniquely, it can cut around images you scan in (duh, scanncut!).  You can link it to their online software to make files but being able to scan images really opens up options.  It comes with a number of preloaded images, shapes and fonts and you can access more through the ScanNCutCanvas projects page.

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A lot of designs are set up so you can cut out different layers at different times eg if you want different colours.  A lot of the templates and designs I’ve found online (free or to purchase) seem to be of this type as well.  Personally, I prefer the cut out/silhouette effect.  This does mean if you want to cut straight out the front of a card, you have to think a bit about placement and choosing the right image; if there’s any lines within an enclosed line, they will not appear on your card.  I know it’s obvious but it’s easy to forget when you’re looking at lots of pretty images.

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To create this I hand wrote the word, scanned it into the machine, set it to cut a few mm outside the lines and pressed cut.  Lovely way to personalise cards etc and you can save the image so you can reuse it later and print out as many as you want in different sizes etc!

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One annoying aspect of the machine is that it doesn’t handle SVG files directly. As most electronic cutting machines do, most templates are in svg format. Which means if you want to use them you have to add an extra step to convert them. It’s easy but it’s also annoying!

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Getting my mojo back!

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It’d been about a month of okish, it’ll do, kind of pages in my journal. They weren’t especially inspired or exciting but the outcome isn’t the reason for keeping an art journal. That said, when I managed to create these pages this weekend I was pleased/proud/relieved. Relieved because a month of so so pages was starting to feed the voice that says I’m not creative, I can’t do this etc. Some pages, not necessarily the most attractive pages, feel right. They make your heart sing a little. This is how I feel about this weekend’s pages.

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These pages were in response to a wanderlust prompt: what do i see in the mirror. My face was a photo printed in grayscale, glued onto the gesso and covered with gesso, paints etc. Much easier than trying to draw it and far less painful for my hands.

And if that wasn’t enough, I even unpacked (yes, I’ve moved house, whoop! But that’s another post) my scanncut machine to make a few cards.

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