I knew my Mint was coming and I knew generally when it would be arriving...so when I saw the UPS truck pull up a few days ago I was all excited....until the UPS man walked up to my door with this box that was so small it couldn't be my Mint. Imagine my surprise when I realized it actually was! That tells you how small thing little machine. It can basically fit in the palm of your hand and takes up almost no desk space.
Like the CAMEO or Portrait the Silhouette Mint is pretty much a plug and play machine. Plug the power and USB cords in, fire up Mint Studio, and you're ready to go. When I first connected my machine with Mint Studio open, I was notified that my free designs were ready to be installed into my library.
So for my first stamp print I used one of them. I picked a round 'Best Day Ever' design. Then it's just a matter of picking the same size stamp sheet and virtual work areas and you're ready to print your stamp.
As far as Mint Studio, the software is different than Silhouette Studio. Many of editing functions overlap - although there are fewer in Mint Studio. There are also a lot of different icons than in Studio so they'll take some getting used to. Overall, Mint Studio is relatively easy to navigate.
After mounting and inking the stamp you have to wait 10 minutes or so for the ink to absorb...not good for people who like immediate gratification.
When I felt I'd waited long enough (maybe like 7 minutes hah) I tested my first stamp. I knew I'd need to stamp off some of the excess ink. You can clearly tell on this notebook page which were my first stamps. I was very impressed with how well the black areas stamped. Those little dots are no more than pinhead size and they stamped very sharp.
I was not so impressed, however, with the yellow area. I think a combination of the yellow ink and the small font size (the stamp is only 1.5" square so the font size is tiny) made the 'Best Day Ever' hard to read. The good news is when this ink runs out I can add new ink to that area and I bet I'll get a better stamp.
For my second stamp I decided to use my own design - the Silhouette School logo - rather than one from the library. If you use your own design you need to make sure that it's made into a compound path in Mint Studio before you print (again I'll get more into this when I share the Silhouette Mint for Beginners tutorial).
Again this stamp printed very quickly and the detail inside the S that was captured in the actual stamp blew me away - considering just how small this stamp is. It's actually the xx small size.
Since my logo is pink I thought I'd give it a try and mix blue and red inks in hopes of getting close to a purple..well that failed miserably. The inks didn't mix at all so I ended up with a red and blue blotchy - yet crisp - logo.
Now Silhouette America touts the self inking stamps as being able to stamp 50 times before needing to be re-ink. I can tell you with certainty that is not the case....believe me I tried stamping this thing at least 100 times to get rid of the ink so I could re-stamp and it was like the never ending stamp. So I can confidently say the inks will last you awhile because you don't need much for each stamp and the stamps just keep on stampin'.
Once I finally inked it out (I apologize if I am using all the wrong stamp terminology, I am so not a stamper) I re-inked with black. Again, you can see just how crisp and sharp the stamps are!
Overall I'm really impressed with the stamp quality, the inks and the ease of use.
Now for my gripes...because you know I like to shoot it straight and there are always going to be things that I think can be improved upon. Fortunately, overall, my first impressions of the Mint were much better than my Curio first impressions.
The Mint, which retails for between $110-$120 comes with enough supplies to make two stamps. Two. Umm...so you're telling me after 10 minutes the fun is over?! Unlike the other Silhouette machines I can keep on cutting and the supplies are pretty much endless and available from a wide range of retailers and suppliers. If all else fails I can cut printer paper. For the Mint you're pretty much out of luck unless you reach for your wallet and dig deep because the stamp kits are not cheap and you're limited to Silhouette brand due to the specialty supplies needed.
Fortunately for me, when Swing Design so kindly sent me a complimentary Mint, they included three extra stamp kits.
Also, I think one of the things that may attract people to the Mint is that you can rather easily make custom stamps - perhaps to sell. The only issue I foresee here is after the buyer uses up their 50 or so stamps how are they going to re-ink their stamp since these stamps require special ink....just something to think about.
So while I am impressed with this cool little stamp maker I'm somewhat disheartened by the high cost of the Silhouette Mint supplies that are necessary to keep it printing new stamps!
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Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School. If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!
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