Monday, August 15, 2011
Here are the charms I made for the online Christmas in July swarm via the cricut circle. I used the Christmas stocking from the Gingerbread cartridge. I sized it 2.62" wide x 3.27" high, it just looked good. I copied & grouped it to make rows, then filled in the digital mat. On the messageboard it was specified to make charms 1" finished size, so using shrink plastic, it should start 3". I found with my last experiments that its a different shrinkage ratio so I went a bit smaller, using the same brand plastic I used to make the Canadian circle charms. I placed a 8.5x11" rectangle on one layer so I would have the grey ghost boundary. That is to show me where to place the stockings on the mat, and where to place the plastic sheet on the mat before cutting.
Lessons learned in addition to my last shrink plastic experiments:
1. Peek at the cut before unloading to check that it cut through. Once it is unloaded it will never load & cut exactly where it left off, 1mm difference with the unload & reload screws up the cuts.
2. A dry static duster is a marvelous thing to pull away the little plastic shavings produced from cutting. After each page of cutting it is good to remove the blade housing, poke out the blade & clear away the shavings so they don't build up & interfere with cutting.
3. Working outside is best for shrink plastic, but being close to a wind break is important to keep from losing any under the deck.
4. Don't rush the separating cuts from the waste plastic, fussy cuts split, tear, rip, and are SHARP and POINTY.
5. Keep the Gypsy plugged in to prevent glitchy hang-ups with even slightly low battery.
6. Using parchment paper is great, sandwiching still hot shrink plastic between PP & putting a cool iron or book on top to get it flat works nicely.
7. Sakura Permapaque markers are nice, but they dry a little bit slower than Sharpie markers.
8. Colour with scrap paper underneath, save your table top.
9. Colour in circles if filling in areas of colour, it shrinks up less visually irregularly.
10. Trace around all the edges with the markers to make the colours more finished looking.
11. Some markers need to be sealed to keep colour from bleeding if these are worn against the skin as a pendant. I would try UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) or Modge-Podge. Clear nail polish would be okay, but it tends to get yellow & brittle with age. I didn't seal these charms and am hoping for the best.