Saturday, 21 May 2011

To Foil or Not to Foil?

A few months ago I was watching Create and Craft and the lovely Patsy May was demonstrating her Foil It Machine, which works by heating toner foils on to laser printed images. The machine itself was quite large, taking A3 Paper, which is a problem for me as I work off of our ex dining room table (sadly the "ex" is because it is no longer used for dining purposes, not because it is being utilised elsewhere!) and so have little room to add more "toys". Fortunately my husband, saw part of the demo and encouraged me to buy both the machine and a laser printer!

I am not however a very impetuous person, bar the odd C&C purchase for small items, any purchase generally involves some internet searching before I actually flash the cash :) In this instance my internet searching was very rewarding, I discovered that the Foil It machine was in fact an advanced laminating machine, with extra hot heat settings. As I already had a laminator I decided to hold fire on the Foil It machine and simply buy the foil direct from the Patsy May which is cheaper than buying from C&C and allows you to buy more colours and in any combination.

I bought a small laser printer from Amazon for £49.99 a dinky Samsung ML1660. If you have room for a bigger one I would recommend getting one that feeds from the back and the sheet unloads from the front. The Samsung is excellent for paper and card up to roughly 200gsm, but as it flips the card and only has a central roller it doesn't like coated card, pearlised or anything vaguely substantial! If like me, you have issues with space then the Samsung is lovely (and far more economical for document printing than my colour inkjet printer!)

Once all the various bits and pieces had arrived and been set up I was ready to experiment. I put my Sigma laminator on to its highest setting (which is photo) and left it to warm for 20 mins . I chose a design from my PC and printed it using the laser printer. Covered the design with toner foil (colour side up) and then put a normal piece of A4 copy paper over the top. I fed this sandwich through the laminator, and then fed it through for a second time without the copy paper on top. The results were surprisingly good, pretty much an even foiling and a fabulous effect. The first piece I tried was a digi stamp from the lovely Pink Gem Designs which I used for a very simple birthday card for Tamzin the daughter of my good friend & fellow crafter Gemma. I coloured it in using copics.

My second experiment was to use foiling for my cousin's wedding invitation cards. Again the results were pleasing, although I would say that if you intend to foil large quantities of cards it would be better to buy the foil it machine, rather than over-use a normal laminator.I created a topper which was then modified to create the final card (photo to follow later).

Obviously foiling does not photograph particularly well but I have enjoyed playing around with it, and have also made some lovely foiled sentiments, which I have then cut using Nestabilities, to create a very professional result at little cost, SIMPLES :)

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Blog Number 1 :)

Well, this is it, my first attempt at a blog and I think "Attempt", is the appropriate word! I'm not exactly happy with the layout of this but for now it will have to do, if I wait to produce a "good" personalised blog it might be charting my life as an O.A.P (and I'm not quite there yet!)

I am an amateur card maker and my main love is stamping and colouring using copic pens, it strikes me that when you see the question, "If you could only save one thing from a burning house what would it be?" (barring family & pets) for me it would undoubtedly be my case of copics- how sad is that !

My favourite stamps are Lili of the Valley but I also have a lot of Crafter's Companion ones & I can't wait for the upcoming Humphrey launch. I shall attempt to blog each day and am going take the bull by the horns and upload a photo of my Mum's birthday card.
I used the LOTV Hello Cupcake Stamp, Copics, Card candy and the Grand Calibur. the flowers were a mega bargain at Ally Pally :) x