So instead of being hungover with buyers remorse, I decided to get scrappy and play with a newly acquired cartridge Nate's ABC's. My rational was "if you play with it, (its Ok if) more will come" (MacCheezey Field of Dreams Reference). I decided to experiment with 3 images in hopes that I might gain a better understanding about inking edges. I never ink edges with client work for fear of making a mess. I always ink edges with my family projects and just overlook the mess. Frankly, the whole subject gives me anxiety.
My first project was to print and cut the darling inch worm on page 38. For simplicity's sake, I followed the color palette in the example. I use an Imagine so I was able to tell my machine what color to print rather than looking for the paper and then aligning the paper position on the mat with the virtual mat.
I love that!
I didn't have my computer handy so I eyeballed the colors instead of looking up proper RBG codes. I am terrible with the graduated color wheel but I gave it a try. After I was done, I was a little disappointed with my selections. I felt my greens turned out flat and the brown was way too light.
I don't like that!
To ensure my laziness will not trump color precision ever again, I printed out a RBG cheat sheet You can download a PDF version of the Cliford 500 colors color chart by clicking on the link below:
This is what some of the pieces looked like when I first removed them from the mat. Do you see what I mean about the color? Imagine allows you to select a border size and color for your images. For the sake of this experiment, I selected a white border so the inking and doodling would be obvious.
Below is the finished die cut with every edge outlined with the black micron. The effect made the die cut much more detailed but because I had Cricut Image add a white border, some of the black pen is thicker in areas (I didn't want any of the white to show). If there had not been any white border, the finished image would most definitely look cleaner. It is worth mentioning that drawing the outline with an ink pen can be time consuming business. I had a time limit before I had to pick up the kids from school so I rushed a little and it still took 20 minutes. Maybe after some practice it would go faster. Truth be told, from selecting the image on my Imagine machine until having a completed die cut, it took an hour to create this little guy.
Again, I eyeballed my color selections instead of assigning RBG codes, but this time the palette was a little better. I did not designate a border so the color went right to the edges. For this experiment I used Black Cat Eye chalk ink by Colorbox. I wanted to see if the effect was A) more subtle and B) easier to apply and less time consuming.
Above are all the colors and cuts Imagine made for me. The pale white items on the right are the boy's arm and the broom top. I decided that to save time, I would ink all of the edges first, then assemble the layers. When I applied ink straight from the ink pad, (or eye-pad :o)) I ended up with a lot of ink rub (This is what I call excess ink that is accidentally applied to the image making it look messy). In part, this was because the image was small and the edges were not straight. I pulled out one of my favorite tools, a Fantastix made by TSUKINEKO.
Ok, so all the edges were inked and I start assembling, but.... oh rats! Some of the edges were supposed to flow into a different color - the edge made it obvious that there were 2 separate pieces. This became an important lesson learned. Make sure you stack your layers before doing anything else so you can get your arms around the finished project!
There was no getting around this boo boo. I had ruined the look. In an attempt to save the die cut I pulled out my Prismacolor markers and started lining in extra details to take the focus off the obvious line between the arm in the tent and the arm outside the tent. This effort was futile. Sometimes we just have to accept that an idea has fallen apart.
I hate that!
It happens to me all the time, but I jot these boo boo's down in my Cricut notebook which I keep next to my machine. No need to make the same mistake a year down the road. I have my notebook casually divided by cartridges so that the next time I start on a project, I can look at my notes.
The last example I have is from Nate's ABC's, page 22.
And then it was 2:55 PM and I had to dash to pick up my monkeys. I hope this trial by error experiment was helpful. I'd love to hear from you. Please share your opinion and experience on the age old question, to ink or not to ink.