I trimmed the paper down to about 8 inches wide so it would fit through the feeder (it started as 12x12).
I loaded the paper onto the carrier and fed it to the machine (please say it with me: "nom nom nom nom nom"). One of the trickiest things for me at first was lining up the paper on the carrier. I've gotten better at it. Part of my problem originally was probably the fact that I was using printer/copier paper to test out the machine before I started using good paper. It was thinner and seemed to stick to the carrier more than scrapbook paper does.
I left the lid open so you could see inside the Silhouette SD. It looks a lot like a printer, but there is a blade that moves around rather than ink.
The perfectionist in me wishes it were at least a little better. The sleepy, sleepy girl in me thinks it's just fine!
Erica, if you happen to be reading my blog, sorry to spoil your gift! And sorry we didn't give it to you in June. :O)