Saturday, July 4, 2015

MISTI and Foldio 2 Review

          Happy 4th! Hopefully you all are having a fantastic July 4th holiday. I'd like to take a moment to send a big THANK YOU to all of our Military men and women who have served or who are currently serving. My family and I greatly appreciate your bravery as well as all the sacrifices that you and your family have made that allow us the ability to celebrate the freedom we have. There will never be enough Thank You's said to show our gratitude!
          My apologies that this blog didn't post yesterday. Apparently I didn't click publish so the scheduler didn't know to post yesterday. Something told me to check the blog this evening and thankfully I did because I would have never known it didn't post.
         Today's blog post is going to be quite lengthy as I am sharing my reviews of the MISTI tool and the Foldio 2 'fold-able studio'. I haven't had these products very long so I am basing my reviews on how they have performed thus far so as I use them more should I find I learn something new or the my opinion of the product changes I will let you know. As for now though, I LOVE BOTH of the these products.
          Let me first start with the MISTI. If you haven't heard of the MISTI, the MISTI is short for the Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented. It is an acrylic stamp tool much like a stamping acrylic block use with a positioning tool, but this tool does so much more than an acrylic blog used with a positioning tool could ever do. Just to mention a few of the things this tool allows you to do is perfectly re-stamp, stamp multiples, and stamp with proper placement. As I said that is just the beginning! I was going to do a video to show you how it works but there are already so many videos out there, so I am going to post some of the ones I found to be most helpful. Let me start though first with where you can purchase this amazing tool. I purchased mine directly through the inventor/manufacturer My Sweet Petunia. I found purchasing it directly through the inventor/manufacturer gave me the best/lowest price. At the time I bought mine it was on back-order but that didn't affect my order at all because I ended up receiving it just 4 days later. I was told they are constantly restocking so the wait times on the back-order are usually only a few days, but just to be sure I would contact them because this baby is in high demand so the turn around times can vary. Other places you can purchase it are from Simon Says Stamp and My Favorite Things. When purchasing this I highly recommend you purchase atleast a couple of magnets as well as the Novus Plastic Polish/Cleaner. I purchased 2 magnets but wish I would have purchased more. Be very careful with the magnets as they are extremely strong so you will get your fingers pinched if not careful. DO NOT stack the magnets together either as they are nearly impossible to separate since they are so strong. There is also a warning on the manufacturer's website that these magnets can break or chip because they are made of Neodymium so be sure to read that warning if you chose to purchase the magnets. Not only are these magnets strong but they are also the perfect size which will allow the lid to close properly and allows your stamps to stamp properly. Using other magnets might be to thick or large and not allow for the tool to be used correctly. The Novus Plastic Polish/Cleaner is also important to purchase because it is currently the only cleaner the manufacturer recommends and says won't damage the acrylic. According to the manufacturer other cleaners can crack, dull, scratch, and fog the acrylic where as the Novus Plastic Polish/Cleaner is specifically formulated to be used on acrylic. Another item available for purchase is a Grid Paper Pad. A lot of people have loved the grid paper pad, but I chose not to purchase it because you can download a free grid template, use graph paper, scrap paper, or even make your own template. I chose to use the free grid template as well as make my own template that I just make copies from. This allowed me to customize it to my likings and specific ways I do things with the tool. Currently the MISTI tool has a screen printed grid line on the lid, so because of that, the MISTI will come with a clear vinyl cling to place on the lid. This will help protect the screen printing from coming off, so be sure to place that over the lid immediately upon receiving your tool. My tool already had some of the screen printed grid missing and was told this is normal due to it being hand made/screen printed by hand. Mine as well also had some scratches and bubbles near the hinges and also squeaks which again I was told is normal due to be being handmade, but that it will not hinder the use or quality. Now if there are any cracks, that is not normal so contact the manufacturer to notify them. By the way this tool can be used by a right handed or left handed person. To change the MISTI tool for a left handed person click here for the video. One other thing that I loved about this tool was that I was able to use the outside of the lid to stamp as well. I had to prop up my card stock on a book since I was using the outside of the lid but everything still stamped really well. By using the inside as well as the outside of the lid, I was able to stamp 4 cards with 4 different images and sentiments. This was amazing because I then made 10 cards of each of those 4 so overall I stamped 40 cards in about 12 minutes. All I had to do was change the cards, ink, stamp, and then repeat. I have not seen a video of anyone doing this yet, so I will try and get a video done soon so you all can see this technique.
          As I mentioned there are so many videos on the internet on how to use the MISTI tool so you can research the Internet/YouTube to see them all but these are the ones I have found most helpful:
My Sweet Petunia YouTube Channel
Jennifer McGuire - Introduction (Speed up to the 5.48 minute mark)
Jennifer McGuire (techniques)
Jennifer McGuire (techniques)
Jennifer McGuire (techniques)
Darlene DeVries
Maureen Wong (browse through the channel as there are many MISTI tool videos)

          Now let's talk about the Foldio 2. The Foldio 2 is a 'fold-able photo studio'. The new Foldio 2 is much larger and brighter than the original. I purchased my Foldio 2 during their Kickstarter Campaign so I got it for a great price as well as being able to get it before it ever hit the market/stores. If any of you have ever backed a Kickstarter Campaign you may know there are pro's and con's to it so this Campaign was no exception. I expected to receive this back in March but due to some manufacturing issues it took longer than expected, but I finally have the product now and I LOVE IT! What is great about the Foldio 2 is that it comes with 4 backdrops, a dimmer, multiple styled plugs for traveling to other countries, LED lights, portable, comes with a carrying case, and soon will have an app to do cool things with your pictures. There were some issues with the stickers coming undone and a magnet sticking to another but it's an easy fix and something you can do yourself. You just locate the magnet remove it and reinsert it into its original position. The sticker re-sticks just fine but in the event it doesn't they have included extra stickers. Some people reported flickering with the lights but if you simply swap the plugs with one another the flickering goes away. I then marked mine so I would know how to plug them in each time or you can just leave them plugged in because it is a 2 part plug so the lower half can be removed for storage. The Foldio 2 is approximately 15" squared when fully open where the original Foldio is 10". When closed and stored in the case it is 15" squared by about 1" to 1½" thick. I purchased this to take pictures of my cards and other craft items I make and I will say that the quality of my pictures has been amazing! So crisp, clear, and bright! Below are some pictures of the Foldio 2 as well as pictures for you to see the difference in my pictures before the Foldio 2 and now with the Foldio 2. If you are interested in purchasing the Foldio 2, it is currently available for Pre-order through the manufacturer/developer Orange Monkey. To go to the Orange Monkey website and learn more about the Foldio 2 or to pre-order your Foldio 2, click here.

Foldio 2 - open with lights off/unplugged

Foldio 2 open with lights on. The card I have in the center is 4.25" x 5.50" so as you can see with this 15" overall, there is still plenty of room to put larger objects inside.

Picture of my card WITHOUT using the Foldio 2

Picture of my card WITH using the Foldio 2 (I did not use any of the backgrounds that come with it so the backing you see is the Foldio 2 interior itself, but the picture below is using the white background that comes with it.

Taken with the Foldio 2 and using the white background. The backgrounds I received with my Foldio 2 through the Kickstarter Campaign were the white that is shown, grey, black, and green.

I think that about sums it all up for my reviews of these two products. If you have any questions on these products don't hesitate to ask. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today. I hope you all have a blessed, safe, and wonderful holiday weekend!

(Disclaimer: Any supply links listed above are links solely being used as a guide to show you what those items are. Some links may come directly from the manufacturer while others may not. Unless otherwise stated all products were purchased with my own money and in no way am I affiliated with these links nor the businesses associated with them. Please use discretion should you choose to shop from the links listed above. Thank you)

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