Something a little bit different this time –
and before I start – please don’t think that there’s nothing in this post for you if you don’t have a Cameo and have no interest in having one – If you make cards then you may well be interested in how well any image on screen transfers to Crafty Bob’s paper when printing, or if you have another digital cutting machine (especially the CraftROBO or earlier Silhouette machine) – you could expect similar results.
So – what’s this post all about – well ….
Crafty Bob has sent me some of his special “Crafty Bob’s A4 Premium Gloss Craft Photo Paper” to try out in my new Cameo to see how well it works and then write a review. The paper arrived in the post Thursday and I set to putting it through its paces to see how it would perform when printing designs and then cutting out using the Cameo.
But I’m not going to just “write a review” though – I decided that, as us crafters judge by looking, I’d just make a photographic record of my trial so that you can judge for yourself.
Obviously I was going to use digital downloads I’d bought via craftsUprint, Crafty Bob’s home, to do my testing, and use a variety of different style of material – some bought in as cutting files, some as print & cut, and some other downloads I’d set up my own cutting files to work with them for ease of cutting when I’m having “bad” days or that are beyond my cutting even on my “good” days.
I’ve decided that for my initial testing I’ll give you small screen dumps of the digital designs I’m working with in each case (well I’m obviously not going to upload copies of the original, high quality, designs, as these images are just here to show you what I’m working with, not for downloading and use – if you like anything you see then you’ll find links to the location where you can get the originals in the “Information” area at the bottom of each test section). This means that you’ll have a reference as far as initial colours are concerned.
Then I’ll scan in all resulting items on my all-in-one printer/scanner, so that there’s no different lighting conditions or photograph angles to contend with.
Well the first thing I needed to do was think about what things I’d usually want to “Print & Cut” in my digital/electronic cutting machine, what sort of things I may print off as backgrounds and then cut shapes out of the background, and what would be real tests for the paper.
I decided to start with one of the Print & Cut sheets I’d designed myself, using some Designer Resources I’d bought via craftsUprint, because the cutting was confined to straight edges and circular layers. Let’s start simple I thought!
(Remember that you can click on the thumbnail images to have a better look at each item.)
(I haven’t done any image manipulation in any image manipulation software as far as colour, sharpness, etc., is concerned – the only thing I’ve done is some cropping off of the background areas and resizing the images.)
- This first image is a screen dump of the file, after I’d designed the card front in one of my graphics programs, imported it into Silhouette Studio and set up the cutting lines. I used Designer Resources to create this card front with circular pyramage design.
- The second image is of the design scanned in after I’d printed it out onto a sheet of Crafty Bob’s paper using my HP Photosmart Premium C309g-m (original manufacturer’s inks) at settings: Photo Printing – with white borders; Paper type: Other photo papers; Print quality: Best.
- This third image may look the same, and it is, except that I’d scanned it in after cutting out the lines with my Silhouette Cameo. I put the settings to: Cardstock (Heavy – 80 lb), but then adjusted the blade setting up to 4.
- Here you can see the same design, but after pulling off the waste paper and gently removing the design pieces from the cutting mat. I’ve put them against a black background to see if there are any white bits or separating of photo paper layers to be seen – It all actually looks fine to me.
- This is a closeup of one of the layers with a white and a black background behind it for you to judge for yourself how well you think the Cameo has managed to cut out the circular layer.
- This is a real closeup of the edge.
Next I thought I’d go a bit more challenging. If I wanted some ornate mats in colours that go with a design I’m working on but don’t have cardstock that match, I may well want to print out co-ordinating or neutral backgrounds and then cut out the fancy mat layers out of these printed background sheets. So I chose two different cutting files with slightly different edge designs, together with a light and dark backgrounds to work with for this test.
Same process for both colours, but chose different mats from the cutting files, so the second one contains more of the plain layers but also contains a cut out greeting. Images for both Dark and Light test are as follows:
- Screen dump of background from my computer screen.
- Scan of background after printing out (same printer and settings as for Test 1).
- The layers from the two different cutting files separated out and put into Silhouette Studio software ready to cut from each colour.
- Background after cutting out in Cameo using same settings as previously.
- Layers as they were cut out after removing from cutting mat. (unfortunately I was a bit heavy handed with removing the waste paper from around the purple layers and yanked off one of the circles off one of the mats. Should have slowed down and teased the background off with my silhouette tool rather than just yanking – never mind, nothing that a flower or bow won’t cover up!)
- Closeup of one of the layers.
- Even closer look at one of the layers.
Information: The files I’ve used to put together this test were: Backgrounds – Champagne Satin from 12 Sumptuous Satin Backing Papers – Marvelous Metallics by Emma Winnell and Purple Satin from 12 Sumptuous Satin Backing Papers – Gorgeous Jewels by Emma Winnell; Cutting files – Studio Oval Double Circle Mats by Angela Burke and Scalloped Oval Layers……Studio by Tina Fitch.
So far, so good, I thought. Now for something else I occasionally do. Print a background on the front of the card-stock, and print an iris-folding design that I’d set up to cut via my digital cutting machine on the back. This tests the printing quality on the back, to see whether it’s good enough for the “eye” to pick up the registration marks, and also tests whether putting the printed, front, of the cardstock down on the cutting mat would damage the printed image. For this test I also decided to change the print settings back to the standard settings – “General Everyday Printing” and leave Paper type at Automatic and Print quality at Automatic. I also decided to turn the blade setting back to 3, as I thought that the Cameo should be able to cut 200gsm weight card at the standard “Cardstock (Heavy – 80 lb)” without putting the blade any deeper.
- Screen dump of background to be printed on the glossy, front, of the card.
- Scan of the background after printing.
- Screen dump of the iris folding design to be printed on the back of the card.
- Scan of the iris folding design after printing.
- Scan of the cow aperture after sticking the card, background downwards, on the cutting mat and cutting out from the back. Looks like a good cut to me, even though the glossy finish layer of the paper was down towards the cutting mat, and not upward facing.
- Closeup of the only little bit of picture damage I found.
Although I’ve not had my Cameo for a fortnight, I have done a lot of cutting, so the mat isn’t nearly as tacky as it was when I first used it. I don’t think I’d put the glossy, printed, side anywhere near a brand new cutting mat. I’ll keep an older mat for doing this technique any time I need to. Not that it’s likely to be something that’s done daily, unless you do a lot of iris folding and want to set up cutting files for them for days when I can’t do any cutting by hand.
Information: The files I’ve used to put together this test were: One of the backgrounds from Someplace Backing Paper 2 by Carol Lepard and Cow Iris Folding Pattern by Margaret Jones which I’d set up a cutting file for to save me having to cut out by hand.
OK. Time for a design that I bought as a Print & Cut design from CUP. A whole sheet of photo real flowers which have very serrated edges.
- This is a screen dump of the design as it appears on my screen within the Silhouette Studio software.
- This is a scan of the page after printing out. As per test 3, I stick to General Everyday printing settings.
- This is a scan of the whole sheet of flowers after cutting out (again I stuck to the same cutting settings as I used for test 3). These are all still laying on the cutting mat but I’ve lifted and removed the waste paper from between the flowers.
- These are two sets of the flowers scanned in. The four on the white background are just lifted from the cutting mat with my Silhouette Universal Spatula and the four on the black background I’ve lifted and tried to give some gentle shaping to with my fingers.
Information: The file I used to put together this test was: FLOWERS 01 by Clive Couter.
Those of you who’ve seen any of my cards with flowers on will realise that I don’t tend to use them flat, I like to give them some shaping to give really dimensional flowers, so this is going to be a real test for the paper.
- I put the two backgrounds onto the A4 area in my silhouette Studio software and printed it out using the same settings as for Tests 3 and 4. I then dotted on several copies of layers from three different flower types. This is a screen dump of the resulting cutting file.
- This is a scan of all the flowers after cutting them out of the printed backgrounds. I’ve taken the waste paper away and just left the flowers in place on the cutting mat.
Information: The files I’ve used to put together this test were: Nesting Flowers by Claire Norman and Backgrounds: Navy Satin from 12 Sumptuous Satin Backing Papers – Gorgeous Jewels by Emma Winnell and Ivory Satin from 12 Sumptuous Satin Backing Papers – Marvelous Metallics by Emma Winnell.
Oh Dear! Just realised how long this blog post has got. I’m going to stop now and continue in another post on another day. Please check back again to see the results of Test 5. Test 6 – using the Silhouette Sketch Pens with the paper. Plus, of course, I’ve got to show you some of the cards I’m in the process of making from all these bits and pieces I’ve been busy cutting out.
CUP Newsletter Mailer – The big news in the latest mailer (sent out 10th February) is that Crafty Bob, and his Tombola, will be at the SECC Glasgow Show between March 8th and the 11th. This is great news for his fans in the north. Read all about it – here. There’s also some fun new 3d pop out word cards by the fantastic designer Carol Clarke, a showcase of some of the Platinum designers work, and much more.
You can see the cards Ive made using design sheets from CUP in my Crafter Showcase Area on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)
You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.