Wednesday, September 23, 2009

An Early Birthday Present for me and More Fun with Laminating

I was so happy to get an email from an admin on the Cricut messageboard, telling me that I won one of the Cricut Celebrates 100 - Winter Woodland cartridges in week two! In case you hadn't heard, Cricut is picking out 100 winners in celebrating of their 100th cartridge, WW. They're choosing 20 winners each week for 5 weeks, so make sure you go enter every remaining week! :) It's on the Cricut messageboards under Cricut Chat.

I'm so excited about winning this cartridge! I love the 3d houses especially - I used to cut something similar by hand from index cards many years ago! I got the idea from a long ago show called The Home Show. I believe Carol Duvall did the project. I made little churches, complete with steeples. I used different colored magic markers over wax paper inside them for the tiny arched stained glass windows. Then I'd put them on our Christmas mini-lights and the windows would light up. I've read some complaints on the messageboard that a 12" x 12" sheet wasn't large enough for this feature and remember my index cards and have to believe I can make them smaller! I can't wait to try it!

Meanwhile, my laminating machine and I have been getting very familiar. I've come up with another new idea of using it with the Cricut, too! I was looking at my Alcohol Inks (AIs) again and thought that maybe I needed to use more ink than I had earlier. Then I started experimenting with adding different papers in the folder before laminating, because the inks definitely look better with something white behind them! So I tried both vellum and cardstock.

Vellum was interesting to use because the amazingly vivid color of the AI's showed through from the other side. So you got a muted effect on one side and a brilliant one on the other. Of course the page ends up more translucent than transparent that way! And cardstock, while allowing you to use two different AI colors on either side of the page, of course makes it all opaque.

THEN I decided to see what glitter would look like, laminated in with the inks. I have this extremely fine holographic glitter that I sprinkled liberally in the folder, and it came out gorgeous! I wish you could see just how beautiful they look, the photos don't translate that well. The individual pieces of glitter have the rainbow appearance the way CD's do, all reds and blues.

This photo shows a laminated folder with a piece of vellum inside. I also used Stazon to stamp a flourish inside, too. I believe I used Yellow, Orange, and Watermelon AI's. The dark spot is actually another darker sheet underneath the vellum layer.

The blue one below was created with Pool, Stream, and Sailboat Blue. As you can see from this picture and the one above, using the glitter inside makes the lamination a little less smooth and a bit lumpy. I don't think it will matter unless you use vinyl - that shows every imperfection in the material underneath! The blue is just gorgeous in person and is possibly my favorite!

The pink one below is Watermelon, Wild Plum, and Purple AI's. The yellow page visible on the photo below that one is the other side of this sheet! It shows how opaque laminating a sheet of cardstock makes the page...You'd never know there was a completely different color on the other side. Using a sheet of cardstock stiffens the page up quite a bit, too.

The other side of the pink page above is the second yellow sheet below. The top one shows the importance of finishing your sheet all the way to the edge, to cover up the glaring whiteness of the paper inside! It only matters if you aren't cutting off the edges with the Cricut, though! The whitish splotches on the blue sheet below are either Pearl or Silver AI's. They really tend to make the sheet sort of opaque.

One more shot to show you the transparency of the vellum with the blue underneath.

And of course I had to try my experiment on a plain folder! No AI's. The circular object (below) is a bunch of 2" circles I punched from one sheet that got wrinkly in the laminator. I punched holes in them with my Crop-A-Dile and used the butterfly and flower brads from the Dollar Store to attach them all together. I thought I'd make a tiny album. I guess it's not a Twinchy, more like a Twoundie? Anyway, it's sitting on several of the clear glittered sheets I made. You can see the clarity that still remains near the bottom of the can see the wood table through it. The clear ones are really amazing in person. I would definitely make an angel wing album with these! The photos just don't do them justice.

A couple of things new since my last post: I found the instructions that came with the laminator and they show there's two possible thicknesses, 3 and 5 mm. I also tried laminating one folder inside the other and it works very well. There isn't much difference between those and the laminating folders with the acetate sheet inside as far as how stiff it is, either. There are two advantages to not using the's much cheaper, for one thing! But also, the acetate is a little smaller than the laminating folders, so there's a 1/4" unusable border around them after laminating. Since the folders are the same size, there's no border. Which makes the usable area a little larger, too.

So I guess my next experiment is to try stamping Perfect Medium and Pearls and laminate! I had considered using embossing powders but I don't think the laminating process gets quite hot enough. I wonder how the glittered sheets will cut. I have a feeling that they'll be tougher on the blades! Anyway, if you try any of my experiments, I'd love to hear about them! Happy Cutting!