CSI -136: Far Away Places

Here’s the Case file for this week!  Don’t forget, you have two weekends to complete each challenge.  They run 9 days!

Case File 136

I immediately loved the image when I saw the file, but I was a little at a loss for how to crack it.  I sometimes feel that all my life is solitary, and other times that I don’t do anything solitary!  But I was flicking through the photos on my computer and I found this image:

Queenstown, NZ

Queenstown, NZ

I was inspired by the fact that the only “person” in my photo is my own shadow.  I do most of my travelling alone.  Travelling, for me, is often a solitary pleasure.  So, that’s where I got my inspiration.  Here’s my LO:

Case File 136 - Solved

Case File 136 – Solved

I did the same gel image transfer here that I did on the my “I’ve Left My Heart In So Many Places” LO.  It’s such an easy way to add a huge impact.

My evidence is:
Fold/Roll something (butterfly wings are folded up)
Wet Medium (geso, paste and paint)

Far Away Places with Strange Sounding Names
I want to see for myself
Those far away places I’ve been reading about
In a book that I took from the shelf.

I know that I’m burning to see
These far away places with strange sounding names
Calling, calling me.

(Song by Joan Whitney and Alex Kramer)

Though I enjoy travelling with others, most of the time, I’m on my own.


This song speaks to something in my soul.  It’s mournful, soulful and somewhat lonely.  It’s longing for adventure.  The lyrics echo my desire to see what is going on in other places.  It’s not that I think life is better anywhere else, it’s just that it’s different.  And I want to understand it.  I just love that song.

This is another LO that is practically identical to what I had in my head when I started off.  Apparently I’m better at expressing that image when it has to do with Travel!

CSI 134 – Monster Splash

Here’s this week’s Case File:

Case File 134

Case File 134

I am totally loving those monsters!  Aren’t they just adorable?  And since I have a Monster all my own (well, ok… he’s my nephew, so I guess I only get to borrow him!) I knew just what the subject of my LO was going to be.  Choosing which photos was harder.  I have SO MANY options!  He’s just such a cute kiddo!  But these ones from February were just so perfect for the colours, I couldn’t resist.

Here’s my Solved Case:

Case File 134 - Solved

Case File 134 – Solved

Seriously, how much more perfect could it be?  Technique wise, it’s pretty simple.  I used Crate Paper and a bit of Distress Ink, and a few brads.  That’s it.  Pretty simple.  But so adorable.

Space Images

Journal about an outdoor event.
‘”Auntie, can I splash in the puddle?” my nephew asked.
“It’s the middle of winter…. OF COURSE YOU CAN!
In fact, let me go fill the bucket to give you more water to play in!”

Yep.  I’m the coolest Auntie ever.’

Lest you think I got in trouble from my sister for letting him splash in the puddles in February in Utah… I told my sister after the fact and she laughed and said, “Sweet!”  She’s almost as cool as me.

This Case File is open through next week, Sunday (17 August), so you have loads of time to play along!  Plus, don’t forget there’s a Special Case File this month, with Scrap365!

CSI/S365 – I’ve Left My Heart in So Many Places

This LO has been many months in my head, and it turned out as wonderfully as it looked in the head.  Which is amazing because, that never happens.

CSI/S365 August Crossover

CSI/S365 August Crossover

The first thing I did was google how to do an image transfer.  I used the gel medium method.  It’s super easy (if a little time consumptive) and works perfectly the first try!  Seriously.

To do it, you have to start with wether or not you care if the streaks from your brush are going to show.  If you do, you will have to either have a reservable image (one that has no left/right side)  or you will have to reverse the image yourself (I used Photoshop Elements to do that.)  Then you must have an image that has been laser printed.  That means either a laser home printer, or a professional photocopy.  I used FedEx Copy Store to print mine off a USB device.  If you’re using something like a tourist map you picked up at a shop and you don’t care if the brush strokes show, you can use the original, and just put the gel on the front.

After you get your image, you take gel medium (I used Golden Brand Regular Gel, and honestly, it would be awesome if I could get it in a lighter weight) and brush all the way across your image (ink side up, not the paper side).  This is where if you’re using the front of your image to brush the gel, you will want to be sure that you’re keeping the brush strokes as even and long as possible.  Let the first layer dry completely.  Once its dry, brush at a 90° angle from your first layer.  (So, if you brushed left to right, now brush top to bottom.)  This makes sure your image gets covered without any missed spots.  If you want a more distressed look, you can deliberately miss spots.  Anything not covered by the gel will not transfer.  Let the 2nd layer dry.  Repeat the process, rotating the direction of your brush strokes by 90° every layer (I did left-right, top-bottom, right-left, bottom-top to get even coverage across all the image.)  The directions I read said you need 8 layers of gel.  I think that’s excessive, though it’s possible I use a thicker layer than the person I was following.  So, my suggestion is 4 thick layers is enough for most images.  It won’t tear, it will be stable.  If you want something fragile, go with two thinner layers. (I will tell you about that in a post later this month.)

Once all the images are dry, you will cut out your image (cut as close as you want to your image.  I cut maybe 1/8th of an inch away from mine), then soak the paper in warm water.  (NOTE: The gel will turn opaque white.  Don’t worry.  When it dries again, it will be clear!)  Once the paper is good and soaked, you will start rubbing away on the paper side.  I used my fingers to rub the majority of the paper off.  Once I thought I had all the paper off, I switched to a scrubby sponge, and got the last bits of paper that I couldn’t actually see when it was wet.  (As it starts to dry, check your image.  If it develops a white “haze”, you haven’t got all the paper off, soak it and rub some more.  That’s where the scrubby sponge REALLY helps.)  If you’re working on the back side (so you will be flipping your image over to adhere), you don’t have to be as careful, as long as you’re putting your image on a pale paper (white/cream/yellow…)  Once all the paper is off the gel, let it dry (I try to do this the night before I start working on the actual LO, so that it has all night to dry.)  Once it’s dry, you can put it on your background paper.  Its vitally important for the image to be totally dry before you do, though, or it will shrink a tiny bit which will seriously warp your paper.  Trust me, let it dry.

I was afraid that the gel image would be very fragile, and tear, or I would rub the image off.  I had two copies of the map printed so that if I messed up, I would easily be able to start over.  Turns out… it was sinch!  Seriously, so easy.  And the image, whilst flexible, is pretty robust.  So, you’re in no danger of tearing your image.  Even when you’re scrubbing the paper off the back, it takes some real pressure to rub the ink off!  I love this technique.

So, back to how I did my project, specifically.  I knew that my map and photo were going to cover the centre of the page, so I wanted to do some extra work on the edges.  The first thing I did was stamped my hot air balloon images on watercolour paper.  I used embossing ink, then white embossing powder.  Normally I use clear, not white, but my clear had gone missing (so much so that I searched for it for at least 2 months, and finally bought a new one!)  I sometimes do black powder on black paper, or white powder on white paper, but I really like the effect of the clear.  It has a slightly different look.  Anyway, that’s how I did the balloon images.

Next, I soaked the paper in water, then dropped ink over it.  I do this technique a lot, so I’m pretty familiar with how the water reacts with the paper and the ink.  If you haven’t done it before, you may want to practice on some scratch paper.  It pretty much works the same as on card stock, but the watercolour paper is thicker.  It just makes it easier to work with the water.  I let it dry totally (oven on warm.  It’s marvelous!)

Once I had that done, I used gel medium to apply the map to my page.  (That was the hardest step!  Getting enough gel that it stayed wet, but didn’t squish!  That won’t be so bad if you have a smaller image.  My image was LARGE.)

Then I took strips of washi and tore them length wise, and built up my top/bottom borders.  I used different patterns and colours to give it a distress-y look.

Then I took a stencil and my glass bead gel (seriously, if you haven’t tried this…. it’s amazing.  Probably my favourite.) and made some patterns over the edges of the various previous layers.

Once all that was done (took 2 days!) I applied my photo, and the rest was pretty much traditional scrapping.

Yes, this took a while, but I really love the results.  I will (and have!) used it again.  Really gorgeous results.

CSI 133 – #PWNED

Here’s the CSI Case File for this week!

CSI Case File 133

CSI Case File 133

Ha.  Ha.  So, I have these “friends” who think the funniest thing in the world is to Pink Prank me.  The first year (we have an annual retreat) they pranked me with pink shirts, I happened to be wearing orange.  Seriously, perfect photo to use for Case File 133!

Here are the results:

CSI 133 - Solved

CSI 133 – Solved

This was just fun to make.  And it made me laugh again.  I wrote the journaling using the “How To List” prompt.  Yeah… I had to actually BUY pink paint and ribbon.  I really, honestly, didn’t own any.

So, come play along!  Looking forward to seeing how you solve the case!

August Inspired By Sketch

Hello all!  I hope you’re enjoying using the sketch this month.  I had a whole lot of fun making it!  And if you’re a digi girl, you’re welcome to pop over to the downloadable psd file.

For Halloween a couple years ago, my sister suggested I start an Epic Costume (that’s a costume that you use more than once, and improve on from year to year) of a Weeping Angel (only the most frightening monster in the Who-niverse).  She was, as always, brilliant.  So I started.  2013 was the 2nd year for me using it, and I wanted to make improved wings, but just didn’t have time.  I moved, instead.  Trust me, it was a win in the long run.

On Halloween my sister and I took her 3 year old to the town centre for Main Street Trick-or-Treating, and met up with some friends.  As we’re walking along the sidewalk, I get this thrill every time I hear someone (usually older teens or early 20s kids who have probably only ever seen the reboot Doctor, but I’m not complaining!) say something about “Don’t Blink!” (the way to defeat the Angels is to keep looking at them.  If you look away, even for the space of a blink, they will win.)  Then… I spot HIM…. err… her, in my case.  The Doctor!  A young lass had dressed up as the 11th Doctor… defeater of the Weeping Angels!  We had fun taking a couple photos of her defeating me.

That’s the story behind my LO.  Don’t Blink – The Angels Have the Phone Box.

To create the background, I soaked the background paper (watercolour paper) with water, then droped my ink onto the wet, which caused it to spread cool.  I let it dry, then used gel bead medium and a stencil to create the circle/stripe shapes.  Once that had dried, I went over it with yellow ink to give it a bit more punch.  It’s actually a really simple technique, but the results are amazing!

Don’t forget to post your LO and link it here so we can see!  Happy Scrapping!

Inspired By – Backyard Birds

Hello everyone!  Hope your summer is going great (for those in the Northern Hemisphere.  For those of you down south, well… hang in there… summer’s on it’s way!)

 My family is big on birds and feeding birds, so this month’s photo was such a perfect match for us.

July Inspired By Photo


Loving the bottle feeder.  It’s gorgeous.

 My brother-in-law loves taking bird/nature photos, and he’s done quite a few out the front window.  It’s been such fun getting to know all the local bird varieties.  We obviously knew some of them, but it’s been fabulous to learn others, like the Grosbeak and Tanager.

Adele’s July Inspired By LO

Who knew there were so many yellow/orange birds in the desert in the United States!  Pretty awesome to watch.  The group splashing and the one vertical photo next to it, they’re the same species: Evening Grosbeak.  The left hand photo is of females, the right, of a male.  My sister’s been attracting such a wide variety of birds since she set up the birdbath.

To make my background, I started with a plain piece of white cardstock.  Then I used a variety of distress stamps and TH Distress Inks.  I used several different washi tapes, ripping them to make them more distress-y.  Finally I drew the splash spots and went over the top with Glossy Accents.  It’s an easy way to add a bit of realism to wet pages.

Don’t forget to upload the photo to your blog, or to our FB page and leave us a link here on the blog.  Be sure to let us know what you were inspired by!  Thanks for playing along!