Giveaway: Silhouette digital cutting tool

I've never been terribly excited about owning a digital cutter, thinking my trusty fingers and low tech X-acto knife can handle most jobs. But recently I received a Silhouette digital cutter to test and review. I'm afraid my poor old X-acto knives are going to feel neglected, because this thing is great. And you can win your own! Read on.

The Silhouette is a cute little number that's smaller than a printer, with a power cord and a USB cable that connects to your Mac or PC. After some confusion, I finally realized the accompanying instruction book is for old Windows software that doesn't look anything like the new Mac Silhouette Studio software I downloaded. Once I ignored the instruction book and referred to the Users Manual in the Help section of the new software, I was off and running. It's actually really easy to use, despite my first impression.

Now that I've got the hang of it, I'm super excited. The machine comes with 50 free shapes to cut, or you can choose from hundreds of other options available for 99 cents: boxes, cupcake wrappers, doilies, and more. Shapes are scalable and easy to modify. Or create your own shapes with the software, which works like a pared-down version of Adobe Illustrator. Or actually create your shapes in Illustrator and send them to the Silhouette. It will cut text-weight paper, card stock, adhesive vinyl, magnet or tattoo paper, and heat transfer material.

My first project was a little box. I pushed a button and the entire template was cut out in less than 30 seconds while I stood by and drank coffee. And of course it's perfect.

Then I forced it to cut something tiny and delicate from self-adhesive vinyl, just to see if it would explode. Also perfect. Dang. I'm not doing that with my X-acto knife.

For lots of project ideas, see here. As I try other things, I'll let you know how it goes.

The Giveaway: October 1 –11, 2010 (Now closed)
Want to win your own cutter? One lucky commenter will win a Silhouette machine (a $299.99 value) with everything you'll need to make it go: Software for Windows XP/Vista or Mac, a power cable, USB cable, 2 cutting mats (one for thick media, one for thin media), one cutting blade, and a $10 gift card to the Silhouette online store.

To enter the random drawing:
Leave a comment on this post by Monday, October 11 at midnight CDT. Open to US residents only; sorry! The company doesn't ship internationally. Silhouette winners from other giveaways are not eligible. Be sure to include a link or other way to contact you. The winner will be contacted and announced in this post on October 12.

Update: Giveaway is now closed. Commenter 1469, Kel O., was randomly selected and has been given the good news!
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