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.


Snowday @ 60*: CSI 108

Wow, I can’t believe this is the last reveal for January!  And therefore, my last Guest DT reveal for CSI!  It’s been so much fun solving these cases as a Special Detective.  I’m going to miss it.  Of course, I will continue to solve their cases every week!

This week’s file:

Case File 108

Case File 108

This one really challenged me.  But eventually I found a way to solve it.  Here’s my LO:
Snowday @ 60*, CSI Case File 108, Special Investigator

For my background I used a geli plate (I’ve GOT to get me one of those!) and paint to create snowflakes using the file’s colour scheme.  Then I cut the snowflakes out, layered them with Tim Hotlz’ tissue paper, modge podge over the top, and then modling paste over the top to create a “snow” effect.  It was quite challenging, but I’m totally digging the results.  And thanks to Mooney for the use of her geli plate!  Don’t forget to check out her version of the file!

Yep. I Like This One. Case File 107

It’s reveal day!  Woooohoo!  And here’s another LO I’m really excited to share with you.  I find that when I’m doing LOs for a team I put that extra bit of thought in, which pushes my skills.  Also, when I’m working with photos that I love… well, you always want those to be perfect LOs, huh?  Be sure you check out Mooney’s version!

Here’s the Case File:

Case File 107

Case File 107

Since the Testimony was about compliments, I went with things about friendship, because I think that voluntarily spending time with someone is high compliment.  Time is precious and there are so many things that pull at us, so if I spend time with you, that means I value you!

Here’s my LO:

Case File 107 - Special Investigator

Case File 107 – Special Investigator

Friendship is so weird.  You just pick a human you’ve met and you’re like, “Yep.  I like this one.”  And you do stuff with them.

That’s the inspiration behind my journaling.  The word strips are all things that remind me of our friendship:

Dear Best Friend:  I honestly don’t know what I’d do without you.
You are my Happy.
If you have Crazy Friends, you have Everything.
Best Friends are the people you can do anything & nothing with and still have the best time.
Holmes & Watson
I am looking for someone to share in an Adventure.
You are crazy…. but I like that in my friends.
A friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself.
Everybody deserves somebody who makes them look forward to tomorrow.

I had a lot of fun with the background on this LO.  There are layers of different mediums: gel, modeling paste, crackle paint, ink, distress ink, fiber paste…. I used like 4 different stencils.  It just was such a fun LO to make.  The rain drops are actually done on thin acetate, and then laid over the top of the photos.

Hope you can join us over on CSI this week!

Up to No Good – Case File 106

Yesterday was reveal day over on CSI again!  And this is the 3rd week for me as a Special Investigator, and 3rd week of using the same photos as Mooney.  Don’t forget to check out her blog to see her version.

Here’s the Case File:

Case File 106

And here’s how I solved the case:

Case File 106 - Special Investigator

Case File 106 – Special Investigator

I had so much fun with the ombre effect!  That was one of the prompts from the file.  To achieve mine, I first used heavy gel and a stencil to get a resist effect on white paper.  I let that dry, then took several different colours of spray ink and started with the darkest orange at the top and worked my way down to the yellow.  After spraying the ink, I sprayed with water to make the colours blend better, and be less “spray” and more “watercolour”.  Then I tipped it up on end to let the colours blend and bleed.  Love how it turned out!

Hope you’re inspired to come solve the case as well!


November Inspired By

Hey everyone, hope your November is warm and cozy and you’re looking forward to the Holidays!

I’m sure you all saw the inspiration photo on the Blog.  Just in case, here it is again:

November Inspired By Photo

I got inspired by the ship, itself.  Here’s my LO of the HMS Gannet a lovely ship at the Chatham Historic Dockyards.  If you’re ever down that way (SE England), it’s totally worth a visit!

Inspired By November DT

Inspired By November DT

To make the gears, I used a heavy gel medium and a stencil.  Once the gel had dried (my oven and I are very good friends.  LOVE the “warm” setting.  Dries the paints, gels and pastes without bubbling them.) I used a TH Disstress Ink (Walnut Stain) to distress the gears.  The gel acted as a resist medium and let the paper show through, though it did discolour a bit.  I could probably have cleaned it off with a damp rag, but I quite liked the look.  The next step was using embossing paste (Studio 490) and the brick stencil.  I knew that the distress ink would bleed up through the paste, which worked awesome to distress the brick.  That’s it.  That’s all I did to the background.  A little washi, a tied knot (love that knot.  Super easy, super effective.  I’ve used it before.) and done.  Seriously, this LO took me… half an hour?  And mostly that was waiting for the wet mediums to dry.

Don’t forget to link your LO to our blog, and be sure to let us know what inspired you!

Little Boys are Made Of

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails Curiosity.  That’s what Little Boys are Made Of!

It’s another fabulous challenge from Child’s Play today!  Curious George is our inspiration pint today. I saw these photos of my nephew from this spring and knew curiosity was totally the perfect theme for them!  So I combined that with the age-old nursery rhyme about little boys, and boom… the page was born.

Child's Play Challenge - Curious George - DT

Child’s Play Challenge – Curious George – DT

I did a lot of play with this background.  I used watercolour paper, then gel medium through one of my favourite stencils.  Let it dry.  Ground up some blue geloto and dissolved it into a tiny bit of water (grinding it up helps it dissolve smoothly) and just splashed it onto my page.  Let it run wherever it wanted.  After that dried, I took some spray inks and splattered with several colours.  And finally, I took a chevron stencil and embossing paste (Studio 490) and slapped (pretty literally.  I was going for messy, not tidy) it down in the middle.  The lightbulb is a TH stamp that I then fussy cut and coloured with spray ink.  Edged the page with a BoBunny chicken wire stamp…. and done!  Another fast LO, except for waiting for the mediums to dry.  (I usually speed that up with the warm setting on my oven.  I love that thing.)

Have fun!  And don’t forget to link your LO to our blog page, and let us know what inspired you!

Inspired By’s First Fabulous Fall Blog Hop

Hello!  And welcome to Inspired By’s First Fabulous Fall Blog Hop!  You should have arrived here from Melissa’s Blog.  If you haven’t, please pop over to the Inspired By Blog to kick start your journey.

As you (should) by now know, the DT for Inspired By was given this sketch:

October Blog Hop Sketch

October Blog Hop Sketch

And this is the “other” inspiration:

October Blog Hop Inspiration

October Blog Hop Inspiration

And, as you should ALSO know by now, I’m a MASSIVE Whovian.  (Massive as in obsessive, not large in stature.)  For Halloween last year, I made a start on an Epic Weeping Angel Costume.  I’m working on upgrading the wings this year.  But anyway, I used those photos for my LO:

Don't Blink: Inspired By Blog Hop

Don’t Blink: Inspired By Blog Hop

I learned a new trick on this LO: Modeling Paste works great with embossing powder!  I thought it might, so when I spread the paste through the Heidi Swapp stencil I then dumped Stampendous’ Shabby Silver (love those shabby enamels!) to see what would happen. It stuck. I actually ended up using this technique twice on this project. I heated it both whilst the paste was still wet, and once it had dried. Both worked fine. I found that heating from the back was infinitely superior to heating from the front. It does, however, use a lot of powder very quickly. But totally worth it.

I know, you’re saying, “But Adele, you said you used “those photos” plural. There’s only one photo on here.”

Well, maybe there is only one photo… But this is a Weeping Angel we’re talking about. And as any good Whovian knows, “the image of an Angel becomes an Angel.”

Blink and You're Dead

Blink and You’re Dead

“Don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead. They are fast. Faster than you can believe. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t blink. Good Luck.”

If you get lost, here’s the complete list of participants: