Sunday, October 13, 2013

365 Days of Zentangles - Day 37

Day 37! I did it. And a bunch of other stuff this weekend too. I swear sleep was what I needed. It was the first weekend I didn't feel stressed about work, which made my weekend that much better.

I battled ants yesterday in the garden. I tried to make muffins (fail). I succeeded in making tiny pumpkin pies. I doubled down on the tangles yesterday. I did something else but am not entirely certain what it was.

Today I got up and did yoga for an hour. I made coffee. I sat on the porch and drank said coffee while reviewing for my Contemporary Art midterm that is tomorrow night. I made a slideshow of all the pieces I may be tested on for that class (not sure why people make flashcards anymore, putting together a slide show is much more efficient). Started this project:

I've had this vision in my head for a couple of weeks now. When it is finished, I am going to mount it in a shadowbox frame.

This is where I got today:

I'm using M0rt for this project. I read a lot of people's complaints on the forums over at Craftwell. "it's not mat free. You have to use something." "It's ripping my paper." "It doesn't work right" "I should have kept my Cricut"

Having used a Cricut for work and having used M0rt, I have to say I like the e-craft (M0rt) more than the Cricut.

First things first, the cutting mats. e-craft is a "matless" cutting system, meaning it doesn't require consumable sticky mats that are a proprietary design and you don't need to buy a new one every couple of projects. Cost aside (they range from $7-$12/ea), they stink. They have an odor I cannot stand. It's repulsive. If I had to smell that every time I wanted to make anything, I'd get rid of the machine. Paper stick to the mats horrendously (I ended up losing a large number of cuts to the mat alone). Hair sticks to the mats. Dust sticks to the mats. It's gross.

The e-craft (M0rt) is matless in the sense it doesn't require a sticky mat. Some materials will need a "carrier" though. Light weight paper, fabric, cellophane, things like that will need a "carrier". What's a "carrier" and how is that different than a mat? The carrier can be anything that is thicker and sturdier than the paper in question. When I need a carrier, I just use the chipboard or lightweight cardboard from the back of a paper stack with a bit of Scotch "blue" tape (removable tape) to keep the edges down. I'm re-purposing materials, which is a big part of LaserGnomes.

I have to say that both M0rt and the Cricut actually aren't that rad for cutting really detailed pieces. Both end up having a bit of blade drag (which I have observed a way around, but can't exactly figure out what the eCraftShop Pro does to calculate a cut path). That being said, as frustrating and wasteful as it sounds, you ultimately need to have a new blade every 5 sheets of paper or so. In one of my art classes, we were told to use a new x-acto blade for EVERY CUT in order to attain the best results and cleanest cuts possible. Mind you, we were masking areas off with frisket for renderings and that takes a ton of cuts. This is the equivalent of that.

Cricut blades are about $10 for a 2 pack, whereas e-Craft blades are $22 for a 20 pack. This makes switching blades out a lot less painful.

There are some other reasons I really love M0rt that I will get into another day. It seems like a lot of the people who complain that it's not a Cricut are people who just want to push a button and choose from predetermined designs. Not how I want to craft, but hey, to each their own, right?

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