Thursday, August 03, 2017

Kodak Anna Griffin Verite 6 printer review

HSN all day craft days always cost me a fortune!!!  Their July day was no exception.  I ended up with lots of really cool stuff (which you will most likely see in later posts) and one thing I never even considered.

Anna Griffin gives sneak peeks of all her products every week on her blog. You know long before air time exactly what she is selling. She previewed her printer the week before the big day. I looked and thought....Nope, no need for a printer....and moved on with my life.

On craft day, the printer was the daily special. The introductory showing was the opening segment at 12 am (EST). I'm on the west coast so, 9 pm. I stayed up and watched. Uh Oh!

Hubby watched too, he NEVER does that. He started DO NOT need a printer! And we watched as Anna printed on vinyl, and canvas, and magnet what? I don't need to print on those things. And then she did it, she paired it with her Cricut Explore and printed up images, using Print Then Cut, on card stock. Normal, plain white card stock. And the images were Bright and Vibrant!

When I print on card stock using my Brother MFC-JW70DW the colors are dull and muddy. Don't get me wrong. It is a great printer! Images and text are crisp, the ink lasts 'forever'. Color prints on photo paper? Gorgeous. Color prints on paper or card stock....bleh.

The hubs and I were stunned. Was it just the lighting? Was she not really using regular card stock? They showed the printed material from several different angles. It looked fabulous. I looked a hubby, he looked at me. The host said....over 2000 of these are already gone. This is going to sell out in just a few hours. Hubby said, You better go buy it now. It will be gone when you wake up.  

So I did!  :-)

Am I happy I took the plunge? You bet! 

Here it is sitting beside my Cricut Explore Air 2 Anna Griffin edition. It is almost a perfect match. (the Explore is ivory and gold, the printer is white and gold) I am not someone who needs their stuff to match but they do look nice together.

In this picture the back of the printer is actually on the left. I now currently use it with the back facing me since the back slot is where you feed the special materials and heavier card stock.

Since my only issue with my other printer is color on card stock that is what I tested first. If that didn't impress me then back it would go. 

The top birds were printed on the Brother, the bottom on the Kodak.
The difference is noticeable in the photo. In person it jumps out at you!
This is Staples 110 lb white card stock and it now looks amazing.

The printer is compatible with your computer and can connect via wifi (you can hard wire it into your computer too with the USB cord that comes with it).
There is also a Kodak app so that you can print photos directly from your phone or tablet (or so they claim)
Any special materials must be set up via the app which some people are not happy about but that doesn't bother me. What did bother me is that they advertised that you can use Apple or Android apps...which technically is true but you cannot alter the Anna Griffin content unless you use an iPad (at this time)
When buying the printer from HSN, it comes with an Anna Griffin package of pre-designed cards.
If using an iPad, you can change the text on the cards to suit your needs. Once I figured out I had to use my iPad not my Kindle Fire it was very easy to create a card.

I was able to change the text to thank hubby for setting up my printer. He liked the thought but wasn't thrilled with the feminine card lol
The app walks you through step by step showing you which direction to load the folded card base....yes, already folded card to turn it to print the front or back and then how to get the inside printed if you want (you cannot edit the text for the inside - but if you have a Cricut Explore, have it write your message and cut your card base then do the outside printing)

Anna gave us greeting cards like above, ten different ones, ten photo cards which are fancy frames that you can center your own photo within and print, and ten thank you cards. I usually want to make my cards from scratch but if you are in a hurry this is a great alternative and they look very pretty.

This is my crazy girl Minnie on a photo card. Such a silly girl.

From the app you can print photos and envelopes, scan things, copy stuff and print directly from social media. 
I haven't done all those things yet but have tried printing photos. You choose your photo from your device, pick your print size ranging from 4x6 up to Executive (not exactly sure how big that is) you also have a Legal option and borderless options for 4x6 and 5x7.

When I tried just 5x7 and loaded a 5x7 piece of card stock here is what I got.

As you can see, it did not print 5x7, it didn't even print in the center of the card stock.
I tried several sizes and every time it would print up in the corner and smaller than the chosen size.

I found a way to remedy this. I send my picture to my computer, size it in Photoshop to 5x7 or whatever size I want then send it back to my device then use the app to print. Now it is already the size I want and prints correctly.
On the below picture, since I was already in Photoshop, I added a border to match the yellow on the typewriter. Photo and border combined were 5x7.

Now it prints centered (more or less). I still haven't figured out why it won't just print the correct size right from my iPad but I will keep working on it.

You also have the option in the app to "Print Your Own Design". This is the area that allows you to chose custom materials.
You choose your material size and type. You can choose paper, card stock, fabric, leather, canvas, cork, iron-on, magnet sheet, printable vinyl, sticker paper or tattoo paper. Pretty cool right?

I have tried the magnet sheet. (samples of magnet, canvas and printable vinyl came with the printer in the Anna Griffin bundle)
It printed beautifully. It feeds through the back slot so that it never bends or rolls the material.

I haven't tried the canvas or vinyl yet. I can't see myself actually printing on these extra materials that often but it's nice to have the ability to do so if the urge arises. 

But, when you say craft printer and tell me it will print on lots of things besides paper/card stock of course I have to try something off the wall.

This is Tucker (still miss him!). I used the plastic from a Cricut cartridge package. It is a fairly firm acetate. It ran through perfectly and did not smear the ink (that part surprised me)

It laid down a fairly heavy layer of ink. So heavy that 2 days later it was still damp lol

So I blotted it on a blank sheet of copy paper.
The blot dried immediately, the acetate took a few hours to dry.
Both are legible prints and usable in a project.
I am going to have to see if there is something like a "fast print" or "ink saver" mode and try again. But overall, I was impressed that it printed without smearing.

Then someone asked me, is the ink waterproof?
Only one way to tell. This image is one from Anna Griffin. The app has several inspirational quotes you can print up and add to projects.
This is printed on Staples 110 lb white card stock.
When I just ran it under water nothing happened. So then I rubbed my fingers over the ink and tried to smear it. Again nothing. So I let the water thoroughly saturate the paper and let it sit. As you can see the ink did finally begin to bleed, but only the tan not the green.
My impression is, if you accidentally get something wet, if you were to wipe off the water right away, I don't think it would bleed.

My overall final thoughts?

I bought it for printing on card stock for the Cricut Print Then Cut feature and for collage projects. 

Does it do what I expected? Defintely! The prints are clear and vibrant. It works beautifully with my Cricut (without even calibrating - I have the original Explore {as well as the Air 2} and you have to calibrate your printer- usually)

Do I think the ability to print other material types is good? Yes, you never know when you might want to print on something an old Cricut package lol  Although that was not the primary reason I bought it.

Do I think the app works well? Yes and No. It is fun to print right off your phone but the fact that things will not center on the material is annoying. 
I know how to work around that but it takes more steps than they imply...or maybe there is something I still need to figure out (but others online are having similar issues so...)
And I can always print on a larger sheet and then just cut it out but that kind of defeats the purpose too.  More to come on this issue.

Would I recommend this printer?  Yes. If you can get it with the Anna Griffin extra content.
Being able to quickly print beautiful cards and having the option of adding beautiful frames to photos is really nice.
Being able to print on cool things like magnet and canvas is fun.

If all you want or think you will ever need is to print on paper or card stock then no, you can probably find something else that will do that just as well and cost a bit less.

Overall I am happy. There is always a learning curve with any new product and I am sure I will work out the centering issue.
The quality is fabulous and I look forward to printing a lot more projects.

Here is the card I made using those test birds. The embossing folder and die cuts of the cage and branches come from Anna Griffin's Birdcages and Branches set (also from HSN on the July craft day)

I did some more Print Then Cut using Anna's latest cartridge...Her digital library vol. 1. (I told you that day really grabbed me lol)

Aren't these just the coolest????? This picture isn't even that great and kind of dark and yet they are still vibrant!

Here they are on a card.
The card base is from Anna's window box card set (not bought on the July craft day lol). I used the cutting dies included in the set.
The girl is from the new Gorjuss Girls set from that day on HSN (yeah I know lol)
And the Hello border strip is a Diamond Press cutting die.

Don't those shells and crab look great with the little girl listening to a sea shell?

That covers all my thoughts and tests so far. I hope some of the information was helpful to you.
I will share new info and tests as I get them done.

Until then, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 02, 2017

We are officially halfway

Can you believe it is already July? I told hubby last night that I think I need to start Christmas shopping. lol

Summer is probably my least favorite season. I am not a hot weather loving person. I prefer the spring and fall temperatures. I tend to sort of shut down as the heat rises which makes the Index Card a Day challenge an actual 'challenge'.

It was a struggle to get my cards done this week. I did get them all done but I was very uninspired on a few (which you can only view on my Pinterest board)

Day 26: Green

I think I finally got around to doing this one on about the 29th. Give me just a color as a prompt and I struggle. But here we have it. Nothing but green (and 2 little red eyes). This was done with Inktense pencils.

Day 27: Farm

My first thoughts were pretty basic...a barn, a cow, a pig, maybe a chicken all standing around. How it morphed into a barnyard selfie with photo bomb I do not know lol  But I like it!

This is done entirely with Prismacolor pencils. 

Day 29: Polka Dots

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot bikini.  In that song is the bikini yellow with polka dots or are the polka dots themselves yellow? 

This is outlined with Sharpie fine line pen and colored with alcohol markers. The sand and sky are Pan Pastels.

Day 31: Faux Wallpaper

I am not quite sure what 'faux' wallpaper is. I tried to create a vintage type wallpaper. I remember in my grandmother's houses, the wallpapers had pale colored backgrounds with something either painted or stenciled or stamped (be it flowers or geometric patterns...) and then the wallpaper had a raised, embossed texture that seemed to have nothing to do with the printed pattern. So, I used Distress Inks to create my background color. I then stenciled the swirls (this was from a Tim Holtz cutting die) and once it was dry I ran it through my Cuttlebug with Couture Creations Tied Together folder.

Have I done my card for today? Nope.  The prompt is "desert or dessert" (which I think was a prompt from last year too) Nothing has come to mind yet. Let's hope is does soon.

Until next time... I hope you all have a safe and happy Independence Day and Happy Crafting!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Challenge continues...

So far I am still caught up on the Index Card a Day challenge. I will admit that a couple times I missed a day and had to do 2 cards the next day but life happens and right now I am on track.

I only share a few of my cards on the blog (because I am not thrilled with every card I make). If you want to see them all...the good, the bad and the meh you can see them on my ICAD 2017 Pinterest board. 

Day 20: YinYang

This was drawn with Sharpie fine line pen and colored with Inktense pencils. I then rubbed Distress Ink Peacock Feathers around the edges.

Day 22: Vanishing Point

This is outlined with Sharpie fine line pen and colored with Prismacolor pencils.

Day 23: Alice in Wonderland

This was done with Inktense pencils.

Day 24: Caravan or RV

I am NOT a camping person. I love indoor plumbing and hate bugs! But I think the 'glamper' campers are super cute.
This was outlined with Copic liner pen and colored with Spectrum Noir alchohol markers.

Day 25: Portrait

A pencil sketch of my favorite baby giraffe, Tajiri. 

Here is the photo I used for reference. 

I did more than just index cards this week.
I received my order from Create and Craft. I ordered some hot foil stamps for my GoPress and Foil machine.
I think my biggest complaint about the machine is how difficult it is to find stamps in the USA.

I ordered TODO hot foil stamps which are the exact same thing just from a different maker/machine.

But even the selection from Create and Craft is dwindling down to nothing very quickly.

If you have the GoPress and Foil machine and would like to read my tips for perfect foiling every time go here

This is the TODO Seahorse stamp. Isn't he cute? That is the main reason I bought him lol

He is about 4 inches tall and as you can see, he foiled perfectly. I am thinking I will cut him out and create an underwater scene card for him.

I was super excited for this stamp. TODO's All Over Dot background. It is about 4.25" x 4.25". 
Again, perfect foiling, no missed dots or splotchy application.

Image the possibilities. A background on a card (ok that is kind of a given)
But what about foiling dots on your die cuts?
Or foiling the full square and then cutting die cuts from that?
Or cutting the square into stripes or smaller squares to use in mosaic patterns?

I think I am going to have a lot of fun with this one.

I also purchased the Butterfly & Flowers background. It is about an 1/8 inch bigger than the dots but I haven't had time to try it out yet. I will show it to you once I do.

And last week I promised to show you the birthday card I made for my sister.

This is the Adirondack Chair box card from SVG Cuts. It is part of the Garden Party box card set.

Isn't it cute?

That covers my past week. The temperatures have been in the triple digits the past few days. Ugh!!!
I hope you are all finding ways to stay cool.

Until next time...Happy Crafting!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Five and a half weeks to go

Working a full time job really cuts into my art time! Then again it allows me to buy all the wonderful supplies and gadgets that catch my eye. Such a dilemma.

Thankfully my index cards don't take much time (usually) and this is a slow card making time of year.

I am in the middle of week 3 and, for the most part, not disliking any of the prompts.

I have five cards to share with you today.

Day 11: Tetrahedron (I had to google that is a 3 sided pyramid)

Ok, so technically this isn't a tetrahedron because I am pretty sure the Egyptian pyramids have 4 sides but I don't care.
The pyramid and camel were colored with alcohol inks, the sand is Inktense pencils and the sky is Pan Pastels.

Day 12: Wings

The dragonfly body was painted with Inktense pencils, the wings were drawn with fine line Sharpie and then painted with Iridescent Blue Twinkling H2Os.

Day 14: Leaves

So I picked up a new embossing folder a few days ago and then get this prompt of 'leaves'. Seemed like fate to me. :-)

I created the background by rubbing Distress Inks (scattered straw, bundled sage and pine needles) on foil then spritzing heavily with water. I then laid my card into the puddles to create the light yellow/green mottling. Once dry I debossed the card using Darice's Trop Leaf Background folder. I then rubbed Distress Black Soot over top. 

I stamped the leaf (EK Success Nostalgiques Botanicals set) with Distress Black Soot and colored it with alcohol markers.

Day 16: Rainbow

I read rainbow and immediately Rainbow Brite jumped into my head. I'm not sure why. I have never watched Rainbow Brite. I remember seeing her all over the place in the 80s but being an adult at that time and not having kids I'm not sure why she popped up this week. But here she is.  Gotta love those moon boots! lol

Her skin was colored with alcohol markers. Everything else was Inktense pencils.

Day 17: Sprout

And sticking with the animated character theme (lol) we have Green Giant's lil Sprout.
He was colored entirely with Prismacolor pencils. 

I am current with my Index Card a Day challenge (today is day 17) and had a few minutes here and there so I got a jump on birthday cards.

Here is this years card for my nephew. I love it, I think he will too.

This is from SVG Cuts and is the Side of Fries box card from the Pit Stop box card set. 

This was the easiest box card I have ever made. I think from start to finish was less than 30 minutes!

Don't they look real? They do in person too!

I made a card for my sister too but forgot to photograph it so I will try to remember to do that for next week.

Until then, Happy Crafting!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Index Cards :Love Em or Hate Em

I am halfway into week 2 of the Index Card a Day challenge (ICAD). 
I never had an issue with the actual index cards before but this year they are driving me nuts. (and it is still the same batch of card from last year so ...)

The fact that I can't get color to lay down smoothly is bothering me (it never laid down smooth before so why that bothers me now I have no idea lol)

And my alcohol markers are bleeding uncontrollably....which is also bugging me.

Maybe I am just in a grumbling mood this year lol

So let me share a few cards from this week.

Day 5: Kawaii/Cute

I know this isn't Kawaii but she is cute. :-)
She is colored with alcohol markers. Gotta love those pink toe nails and spikes!

Day 7: Alliteration

She Sells Sea Shells by the Sea Shore
Again, colored with alcohol markers.

Day 9: Ombre

The girl was colored with alcohol markers.
The mod wallpaper and checked flooring were colored with Prismacolor pencils.

Day 10: Sunshine Yellow

We have a routine at our house. Each morning, after we are up and dressed, we open the blinds so that when the sun comes up it will slowly spread it's beams across the bed.
Minnie loves to snuggle in and follow the beams until they disappear.

If we forget to open the blinds she comes and lets me know lol

She isn't on the bed in the picture but I gave her a pillow to lounge on.

The cat is stamped. I have no idea who makes this stamp. It is part of a set of 16 clear cat stamps that I found on ebay for $2 from China. I took a chance that they were decent quality and they are but there are no markings and no label.

The window, baseboard and pillow were drawn with a Sharpie fine line and colored with Prismacolor pencils.

The sunbeam is Inktense pencil.

I hope you all have sunbeams you can follow this weekend.

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Holy Cow! It's June!!!

How did an entire month slip by since my last post? Ugh!!!

Maybe because I didn't do much in May? lol
I have a hard time getting motivated in May. I really only have a couple projects I need to Dad's birthday card (for the end of the month) and Father's Day cards for mid June. That leaves a lot of time where I have no ideas of what to create. (because I procrastinate and don't make those cards until the last minute lol)

Here is my Dad's birthday card.

It is the Hamburger Box card from SVG Cuts, the Sunday with Dad set. I think it is such a cute card and really easy to make.
Dad liked it too.

And I have his Father's Day card ready to mail (but not the cards for hubby or my father in law lol)

This is the Tackle Box box card. Isn't this just the coolest card! It is also from the Sunday with Dad set from SVG Cuts. 

I have to say, although it is easy to assemble, it took me all afternoon! (all those tiny pieces for all that tackle) I hope he likes it.

In case you missed it, there was an all day craft day on HSN in May.
I really need to stop recording those to watch after work. I know the couple things I want and order them at the beginning of craft day but then I watch all the recordings and see other things.....very bad (and expensive lol)

This is from a Crafter's Companion die cutting set. It is a flip card. Yeah, I have flip card dies already from Anna Griffin and I have a flip card cartridge. But they all have differences. And when you make as many cards as I do you enjoy having lots of options.

This is the front of my card. The hello in a circle was created in Cricut Design Space (see, my toys play nicely together)  The decorative panels are cutting dies from the Crafter's Companion set. I ran them through the Cuttlebug using a wood grain folder.

This set actually comes with lots of extras to make really intricate cuts in your cards. Sarah calls them 'kinetic' cards because they have movement.

You can see the entire set here.

The center circle 'flips' to reveal this little guy. I picked him up at Treasure box designs a couple weeks ago. He is part of their Stuffy Pals line and currently on sale. I changed up the colors a bit from what they show but he is the raccoon file.

Here is close up. Isn't he a cutie? His circle background was embossed with Darice's Flower Frenzy embossing folder.

And lastly...

It's ICAD season!!!!!

Yep the Index Card a Day challenge began on June 1st! This is my third year participating.
I will be showing some of my cards throughout the next couple months but not all of them.
If you want to see them all they will be posted on my Pinterest board.

Each year I make a matchbox style box to hold my cards. Here is my 2017 box. I cut the box pieces and the letters ICAD with my Cricut Explore. The numbers are from Anna Griffin's  Wishful Thinking die set. The page frame and pointing hand are from her Perfect Planner die set. 

Prompt #1: Sunrise

I used Gellatos to create my sunrise. 

Prompt #3: Vintage

The frame was cut using a cut & emboss die from Darice. I then rubbed Tea Dye and Walnut Distress Inks around the edges. The happy couple is from Tim Holtz new Paper Dolls set of die cuts. There are so many great images in that set. I had a hard time deciding who to use. The background was embossed using Anna Griffin's Cuttlebug folder Empire Arches. I then rubbed Distress Oxide Worn Lipstick all over to bring out the texture.

It looks like summer has finally arrived. I hope you all find lots of time to enjoy the sun and find lots of inspiration.

Happy Crafting!!!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Go Press and Foil Machine revisited

Back in March I wrote a review for the Couture Creations Go Press and Foil Machine. If you missed it you can check it out here.

For the most part, I liked the machine but I had some issues that were bugging me.
Mostly, the inability to get full, even foiling on the large frame stamp die.

Well, I was a bit obsessed with giraffes for a couple months (so was the rest of the world so don't judge me lol) but I went back to this machine this week.

I found a video on YouTube that really opened my eyes. It is from Scrapbooking Made Simple. You should check it out.

For me, since I already knew what this machine was 'supposed' to do, I was looking for some sort of tip on how to get even foiling. She says several times....there is hardly any pressure, you almost think there is no pressure it is so light. That was a light bulb statement for me.

I use my Cuttlebug all the time and I am sure you do too (or your Big Shot or whatever crank type embossing machines are out there) and we all know you need pressure to get a good cut or deep emboss.

We, that is one of the big secrets to this to no pressure. You really think surely it needs more pressure. But in reality you should barely feel any resistance.

So, no pressure and longer heating time. Those are my tips for you today!

Here is my first attempt at the frame from a couple months ago.

See how the foil is sparse? That bugged me. Shouldn't a foil machine, when using their dies and their foil and their directions, give you even foiling? I thought so.

Here is my frame from yesterday.

It is Perfect!
What did I do?
I laid the stamping die on the machine, closed the lid and let it heat up for about a minute.
I then laid the foil, background card stock and a shim (a piece of 110 lb white card stock from Staples folded in half) over all of it and closed the lid.
Then I waited. Well actually, I took some pictures of other projects, went and filled my water bottle, talked to Minnie...  I waited probably 5 minutes.
Everything was evenly heated when I ran it through my Cuttlebug.
I rolled it through very, VERY slowly....3 times.
I then removed my foiled cardstock and let it cool completely before removing the foil (this only takes a few seconds)

I was so happy I ran and showed Minnie. She was not impressed....she is a cat after all! lol (Tucker was always impressed but he was much smarter...sorry Minnie lol)

I wanted to be sure this wasn't a fluke so I grabbed the rose die. It's the third stamping die that came with my kit from HSN. I hadn't tried it yet because I didn't want to be disappointed with that one too.

The photo is dark so that the foiling shows up. Look at that! Even coverage! There is a stray bit of foil near the top but that was because I didn't trim my foil small enough...easily corrected.

The pink worked beautifully too!

I used the exact same steps as the frame. I don't think you can really over heat the dies and paper. The machine shuts off after 20 minutes or so if you forget about it. My theory is that if the heat has penetrated all the layers on the machine it works better. Less heat loss moving it to your embossing machine and actually rolling it back and forth.

So I had to retry using cutting dies. Remember, before they were cutting through my card stock as well as foiling. (there is that pressure issue again)

Not any more. I used the same 'sandwich' as on the frame. The cutting dies are thinner than the stamping dies so I really thought there was not enough pressure. I couldn't feel any resistance at all!

But I got perfect foiling with just a slight indentation in the card stock. Yay!

So, what do you do with just an outline of a butterfly?

I pressed mine into some wet Distress Inks. My intention was to then cut it out and ink the edges darker but I like the swirls of ink around the edges so I am going to hold off and think about it for a while. It could make a very nice card front as is....just add a sentiment and there you go. 

And then I is supposed to foil chipboard pieces. I don't have any (well that's not entirely true....I have some I'm just not sure where lol) but what about foiling die cuts? If I increase the thickness of the shims to mimic the thickness of chipboard...

I could not get a decent picture of either of these but you can see it is blotchy on the 'Father's Day" and you can see the blue card stock showing on the Hello.

I am thinking thicker shims, just a little thicker. Maybe a piece of cereal box....I'll work on it.

But these are not a total loss.

The foil resists inks. I grabbed my Distress Black Soot and rubbed all over the Father's Day. I then rubbed it with a tissue to remove the excess ink. It now looks like distressed metal. The picture doesn't do it justice. It is pretty cool!

And I rubbed Distress Tea Dyed on the Hello. It is very close in color and that one now looks like aged metal. Again, very cool.

The potential with this machine has increased for me. (and I thought it had potential before)

I hope, if you have been struggling with your Go Press and Foil Machine, that this helps you out. 

Once I work out how to get die cuts evenly foiled I will let you know....imagine being able to foil ANY die cut shape (even Cricut shapes) without them having to be cut from toner paper and run through the Minc (which I still love and use)

Happy Crafting and Happy Mother's Day this Sunday!

Oh, and I am still obsessed with giraffes!

Don't tell anybody but this is from one of the BadBaby round robin journals. We aren't supposed to share any pictures until after the swap ends but I couldn't resist (and how can you be a BadBaby if you don't break any rules?)

It was so hard to resist tearing out the pages and keeping this. :-(