Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back to School Card and Book

It's "Back to School" season and today I have a card and composition book to share with you.  I mentioned yesterday that some packages had recently arrived at my house and I used products from two of the packages for this project.

First, a bit of news...  I have joined the Creative Team for Square1 Masterpiece - an amazing product which is a great alternative to vinyl.  Square1 is an adhesive backed fabric which contains no PVC so it is much safer to use in your home.  It comes in a variety of colors with both permanent and repositionable adhesive options.  They also offer a printable version which you can use in your inkjet printer to make totally custom designs.  I am just starting to explore the possibilities of this product and I look forward to sharing my projects and some helpful tips as well.

I received a sample pack with a variety of colors in permanent and repositionable adhesive, some of the printable sheets and samples of the newest glitter, glow in the dark and iron on materials.  One of the advantages of this product over vinyl is that it will not stretch the way vinyl can.  I decided to try out both the red permanent and the yellow repositionable samples for my project.

I thought that a good test would be to cut some overlays and see how easy they were to lift and transfer to a book or card.  I chose this ABC overlay cut from the new Artbooking cartridge from CTMH (you can get it HERE).

First, I did a test cut with my Cricut settings at medium (3) for speed and pressure and a blade depth of 3.  The little heart in a circle was my test cut and it worked perfectly.  I used a mat to hold the product for cutting in the Cricut.

I cut the ABC overlay found on page 43 (the "Z" key) twice.  The first time I set the dial for 5 inches and kept the blade at a depth of 3.  This produced a cut that was about 4 3/8 inches high and 3 3/8 inches wide.  The cut lifted from the backing fairly easily but I did have to poke out a few of the tiny centers to some of the letters.  I cut the same design again at 7 inches and changed the blade depth to 4.  This slightly larger cut was easier to lift from the backing - there were just a few places where I had to push out background pieces.  You can see this cut in the photo above.

The permanent adhesive product is very sticky and you do have to be careful in order to move an intricate cut like this without using transfer paper.  I found that it wasn't hard to move the cut since it didn't seem to have the static clinginess that I have observed with vinyl.  The trickiest bit was the "@" sign at the bottom right which is not fully connected to the frame in the design of the overlay.

I wanted to use bright primary colors and fortunately there was some of the repositionable material in a bright yellow.  I layered the permanent adhesive red cut directly on the yellow sheet.  You do have to be careful to keep it straight as you layer the cut on the second sheet.  I found it helped to work at a 45 degree angle and smooth the overlay down evenly.  It probably would be a little easier to use transfer paper for a cut this intricate but for more basic shapes I don't think it would be necessary at all.

After I had smoothed down the overlay, I trimmed the yellow backing to frame the shape.  I used a punch to round the corners.  The punch worked very easily which surprised me a bit - I'll have to try some of my shape punches and see how they do cutting through the material.

I bought some composition books in various colors at Staples.  The blue was perfect for my red and yellow image. 

The Square1 fabric is slightly transparent and I didn't like the way you could seen the white block for the title through the yellow background (if you look carefully in the block with the letter "I" you will see what I mean).

Since the yellow layer is repositionable, I peeled it off and then cut a piece of plain white cardstock to fit behind the layered image.  This worked perfectly and even added a slightly raised center to the design. 

I burnished the design down paying particularly attention to the edges and it is very securely attached.  After a few hours I tried lifting a corner and I was able to lift the design - so I could use it on a second book when this one is filled up.  The repositionable fabric is slightly textured and reminds me of a very fine bandage.  The cover will be much more durable than it would be if I used paper and there is definitely an advantage to having the adhesive over the entire back of the image - no messy and smelly spray adhesives needed!

I applied the smaller overlay cut to another piece of the yellow repositionable material and trimmed it to fit an A2 sized card.  I decided against rounding the corners of the yellow piece.

I was able to remove the entire front piece even after it have been on the card for a few hours.  There were some bits of blue lint from the card base clinging to the back but it was still easy to stick down again.

I used another cut from Artbooking for the inside of the card.  The "First Day" cut is found on page 68 and I cut it at 3 inches (real dial size).

I had some skinny strips of the yellow left after trimming the front pieces of the composition book so I used a couple of them to add interest to the inside of the card.  Using a gridded mat is a great help in keeping the line straight, however, since the material is so easily repositioned you do have several chances to get it right. 

I was able to move the strip again after I had cut the extra off the end.  Since it is not stretchy like vinyl it fit perfectly even after I moved the strip. 

I added this stamped sentiment because it reminded me of things my mother would say when we were starting anything new.

The sentiment stamp is from this CTMH set called "Wicked" but unfortunately this was a Stamp of the Month set for August 2011 and I believe it is no longer available (I wanted to show it in case you do own the set since it seems an unlikely place to find a sentiment for a back to school card!).

The book and card would be cute for any grade school child starting off the new school year.

I'll be writing much more about both Artbooking and Square1 in the weeks to come.  While I have been doing more projects with my Silhouette machines lately, the Artbooking cartridge is one of the best Cricut cartridges that I have seen in a long while.  I'll be doing a full review soon - there is so much on this cartridge that it takes a while to figure it all out!  My friend Joy Tracey of Obsessed with Scrapbooking is a CTMH consultant and she would be happy to help you with questions and orders.  You can contact her through her blog HERE or her CTMH website HERE.

I am curious to know how many of you have tried Square1 - or is this product new to you?  I have some plans for the printable material that I hope to try before the weekend...

***One last reminder - today (Wednesday, August 21st) is the last day to place an order on the Creative Memories online sites.  If you have a last minute order and don't have a local consultant you can order on my CM site HERE.

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