After a damp and drizzly start to the day, the sun is trying really hard to break through the gloom.
I'm still trying to catch up with un-blogged projects, so you might have seen today's pictures already. A blog post gives more chance to tell you about them though.
For Christmas last year my OH gave me a hot-foiling machine and every now and then since it arrived on my desk, I've been playing around with it and trying to get to grips with what works and what doesn't. What I've discovered for myself, and what I've read, or seen on videos, is that it's very much a case of trial and error. The card that works, the shims you need to use and the dies etc that work, even the die cutting/embossing machine you use to roll the hot plate through - all are a bit 'liquid' as to which combination works best and you just have to try things out.
There are loads of ways to use a hot-foiling gadget - just do a bit of Googling to find out more about them.
For the cards I've shown above I used once of my favourite dies from last Christmas. It's the largest die from this 'normal' die set
When you use your existing metal dies, the parts that are foiled will ONLY be the raised cutting lines. This means that some dies work better than others when used for foiling - you just have to experiment.
You can also buy 'hot foil 'stamps (aka plates) which work in a similar way to regular stamps - the raised parts of the stamp will give the pattern on your paper. If you look at this next photo the red example is a made for purpose hot foil 'stamp', the silver tree on the blue example is a normal cutting die. You can see that the space between the cutting lines on the tree stays blue, but the foiled areas on the hot foil stamp are more like a regular stamped impression.
I would advise anyone buying one of these machines to also buy a couple of the made for purpose hot foil stamps. I didn't do this straight away and just used cutting dies and found the process frustrating and disappointing because it was hard to get a decent result right from the start.
The other basic issue I had was that I just couldn't get the foiling to work using my electronic die cutter (ebosser).
Once you've done the heating part of the foiling process you need to roll the removable platform of the foiling gadget through your die cutting machine. The platform is about 2.5cms thick so it needs to be one with a fairly deep 'mouth'. The tolling process fixes the foil to the card and must be cone fairly slowly and usually a couple of times through. I've found that my ancient Cuttlebug works perfectly so keeping it as a standby cutting machine was a good move!
Going back the cards I'm sharing here this time, they were the result of an experimenting session, so I took a picture of what I ended up with after the foiling was done.
The photo shows the die I used (see above for details), next to that is the piece of silver foil I used, then the navy and black pieces of foiled card. The interesting thing about this is that I used this same piece of foil for all three of the foiled images and could probably use it again, its worth knowing that you can often get more mileage from a piece of foil than just a single image.
I made all three into quite simple cards, using apertures, silver card, silver twine, a few gems or a die cut snowflake to embellish them. I think they are quite effective so will make a few more in the same style.
Here's the silver foil on black version
Thank you so much for looking, I hope you found it interesting to read of my hot-foiling 'adventures'! My main problem is that the experimenting tends to take over and I've hardly any completed projects to show for it!
Oh well, its just another way the Bad Fairy of Procrastination makes her presence felt!
See you again soon