Eeek!!! I have always wanted to join the world of DIY electronic cutters but have been a little intimidated by what I feared was a steep learning curve. Although reasonably computer savvy, I am a busy working mom who lacks any skill at putting machines together and doesn’t have a lot of time for fiddling with details or learning complicated software.
Well, I have jumped into the electronic die cutting water with a Sizzix Eclips 2 and I will write a series of blog posts describing my adventures right from getting it out of the box to cutting simple shapes, importing cut files and maybe even create and modify my own designs. We’ll see how it goes.
It looks sleek and powerful and sounds like an awesome machine. The Eclips 2 has an enhanced motor with industrial strength gears for speed, precision cutting and reduced noise. It will cut all sorts of materials – paper, cardstock, fabric, vinyl, etc. – right up to thin chipboard. It comes with free eCal lite software to create your own designs plus cut, score and draw/edit unique shapes. At first glance, the software appears very easy to use and is essentially the same as Sure Cuts a Lot (SCAL) software that some of you may have previously used with Cricut machines (except eCal was written to work only with the Sizzix Eclips).
Part One: In the Beginning
The Eclips 2 is quite a large machine, lengthwise anyway, and must be used with a computer, so you need to think a bit about where you want to put it. For right now, I`ve parked the Eclips 2 on my dining room table so I`ve got plenty of clear space to work until I clean up my scrap room. Setting up the machine is really easy. I got the Eclips 2 out of the box, dropped the blade into the blade holder and placed the blade holder in the machine. I then downloaded the free eCal-lite software as per the instructions provided, plugged everything in and turned it on. I was ready to cut.
The eCal lite software opens with a picture of your cutting mat and a library of basic shapes and a library of true type fonts. Imagine – you can cut any font any style and size that you want from the roughly gazillion free fonts available on the internet.
I’ll talk about finding and installing fonts in a future blog post. Today I am just going to focus on the shapes that come with the Ecal-lite software. The basic shapes are pretty basic but it is enough to get started. There are snowflakes and arrows, talk bubbles and tags. Here are some of the swirls in the basic shapes.
Basically it’s just drag and drop – click on a shape or letter and drop it onto the picture of your cutting mat. Once there, move it, resize it, flip it or rotate it until you get your images the way that you want. Then, it’s simply a matter of loading the cutting mat by pressing the load button on the software and then pressing cut. Easy peasy.
For my first project, I used some of the basic fall shapes provided with the free software. I dropped them onto the virtual cutting mat, adjusted their size and position, loaded core’dinations Kraft-Core cardstock from the Shattered Collection and pressed the cut button. The Eclips2 cut quickly and quietly.
To make the cut shapes look more interesting and add some texture, I spritzed the leaves with a little water and crumpled them up. After they dried, I sanded them lightly to expose more of the kraft paper.
Then I just put everything together – a simple layout made from cardstock. I decided to make it a little more special with a new product from Tsukineko/Imagine Crafts – irResistible texture spray. I love the vibrant colour!
Supplies used: core’dinations Kraft-Core cardstock and sanding block, Imagine Crafts irresistible texture spray, Brother sewing machine, Sizzix Eclips2 electronic die cutter.
Until next time – Happy Scrappin
To see more of Connie’s work visit her blog – Every Day’s an Adventure