Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Four dollar Silhouette Cameo- I get the best deals!

It is true, I get the best deals! It is not accidental that I am thrifty. I come from a fairly modest background of hand-me-downs and make it if you want it. From an early age my sister and I made our own toys. I was always taking things apart to see how they work and putting them together in “improved” ways. It is a wonder I never got electrocuted. As a teen I discovered the local scrapyard- Worly Steel, where you could get anything for 10 cents a pound! I bought my VW beetle a new hood with pocket change. I scoured the pile finding bicycle frames and all kinds of great stuff.
This has carried on into my adulthood. I am an avid thrift store, antique mall, flea market, and yard sale lover. I put in the time, and only buy it when I think I have found something special. It was during one of these safaris to a thrift store that I saw a translucent printer-looking thing with a four dollar price tag that piqued my interest. It looked like one more of the millions of inkjet printers, but had no place for ink. It was labeled Xyron Wishblade.
Inside was taped a brand new blade still in the package with the original price sticker for 42 dollars. At that point I pretty much knew what this was. This was a craft cutter like the Silhouette, or the Cricut- a machine for the serious scrapbooker or crafter! As an avid fan of arts and crafts supply stores, I was very familiar with the all too expensive machines.
A quick search indicated that this machine was from 2007 and retailed at around four hundred dollars back then. I took it home and found out that the wishblade was a very versatile cutter at the time, unlike the Cricut. The Cricut was limited to fonts, shapes and designs they supplied. This one could import images and draw anything you want to cut! All the reviews indicated that it was a bit of a nightmare to learn, and didn't support software updates past XP and Vista.
Remember, I am a cheap bastard! This would not discourage me- I had a plan. I would look for a software solution and if I didn't find one I would throw together an ancient machine just to run this! Then I discovered one line buried in the comments section of a blog that indicated that the same folks who made this old Xyron are now producing the new Silhouette Cameo! I went to the Silhouette site and downloaded the design suite of free software and the Xyron runs like a dream! And since it is new software, it is easy to navigate and use! The Silhouette Cameo is a newer, cleaner, repackaged Xyron Wishblade!
I am successfully test cutting all kinds of things, but I will be scanning the thrift store shelves from now on for those “obsolete” devices that cost a small fortune a decade ago! In our mass consumer society, it pays to be a late adopter- happy hunting!

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