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.

DIY “Enamel” Dots

Ok, you’ve been eyeing those cute enamel dots in the Scrapbooking shops.  And you’re totally jealous because you’ve seen some super cute things coming out of the design teams using them.  But you just can’t pony up the cash? I hear you sister!  Me either!

But then I remember…. When I was a kid, my mom (she’s an artist) made these AWESOME “stained glass” (read: Melted Plastic!) window pains for my dad’s office door.  It was this gorgeous underwater scene with tropical fish and scuba divers (my family are huge dive fans!)  And, sure, she used a bunch of those melting crystals you can buy… but she needed something else to give some extra textures and shapes…. she used PONY BEADS!  Yeah!  Cheap old PONY BEADS!

Pony Beads

I grabbed a few red ones, some wax paper and my cookie sheet.  Turn my oven on to 400* F and stuck them in til they were smooth puddles.  (About 15 minutes.)  A word of warning… they do smell as they melt.  And create a bit of smoke, so you’ll want to have a fan ready to extract!  That smell totally took me back to my childhood, though!

Here’s how mine turned out:


DIY Pony Bead “Enamel” Dots

If you want to make smaller ones, you can!  Remember those bead images you made in Kindergarten?  Something that looks like this:

Plastic Melting Beads

Those can be melted into smaller pools of plastic, too!  And so can a lot of cheap beads you can buy.  Just make sure they’re plastic, not glass!  Cheap plastic buttons will melt, too!

Be sure to check back soon to see what I’ve done with my dots!

Playing With My New Toys!

I finished a LO this evening! Did something I’ve never done before: Used a SEWING MACHINE on it! I was going round to a friend’s house this evening for dinner and asked if I could borrow her machine. I figured I’d do it at her house, but she sent it home with me! Woo hoo!  Actually, there are several firsts on this.  I’ve never had Prima Flowers before, never used Stickls on flowers, never altered flowers, in fact! Also, not sure, but don’t think I’ve ever used buttons on a LO before, either!  It’s also my first time altering chipboard!  And my first naked chipboard, too!  Also my first clippy things!  All sorts of firsts on here!

Here’s the LO:


Remember that ENORMOUS package I said I got last week? (If not, the whole story is Here.) Well, this is the Kit out of that package. She sent the Kit as part of a Double Kit Purge Swap. Where, she sent me a kit and kept an identical one for herself. She’s doing a double LO, too, but neither of us know what the other is doing with the kit. This is something that Paper-Klipz Jenn organised. It’s pretty fun! You’re only allowed to add a couple of details (not including photos) from your own stash. I added the threads for the stitching, and the ink around the chip board spot. Everything else was out of the kit.

CS – Cordinations
PP – K&Company Adison Line
Chipboard – ?
Flowers – Prima
Ribbon – ?
Binder Clips – TH?
Stickls – TH Distress : Worn Lipstick (pink), Broken China (blue), Antique Linen (sandy)
Pearls – Recollections
Title – Cricut, but I don’t know what font
Buttons – ?

Liquid Acrylic

Have you seen this stuff?  Liquid Acrylic?  It’s said to be amazing as an adhesive.  Haven’t ever used it as that.  But it’s fun stuff!  I’ve been using it for a while, now.  Didn’t realise at first that was what it was.  It’s marketed in the UK different.  But, I recently sussed out that the stuff in the UK being sold as “3D Glaze” is the same stuff!  I started using it to make glossy homemade Thickers.

They look really slick and aren’t difficult to do.  But, I figured out another fun usage for them this week.  I was doing a LO about my bird having destroyed my keyboard, and it just needed a bit extra to finish it off.  I was talking to my sister about it and she suggested that I draw the keys that run along the top and bottom of the keyboard, then cover them with the clear acrylic stickers.  I thought that sounded like fun!  So I dug through my stash, but realised…. I didn’t have enough of the right size sticker.  Darn.  Ok… back to the drawing board.

Oh wait!  Liquid Acrylic!!!  So I drew the tiles out, and then started in with the liquid acrylic.  Oh my…. nearly had a disaster there!

NOTE: The stuff will warp your paper!!!

Now, I knew that!  Just was thinking that the cs I was using was thick enough it should be ok.  Nope.  It curled.  Real mess it made, too.  So… how does one keep them flat?  Normally, when I make the letters, it’s no problem, because the letters are already stuck town to the page.  But, I didn’t want these to blur if the acrylic spilled over the edge.  So I needed a temporary adhesive that was strong enough, on something heavy enough not to bend.  Hmm…. what do I have that sounds like that…..

Cricut Matts!

I took an old Cricut Mat and sprayed it with repositionable adhesive.  Then I layed out my keys and pushed them firmly onto the matt.  Then, I carefully filled in the shape with the acrylic.

Note:  You have to be really careful not to get bubbles in the liquid.  If you do, they’re tough to get out.  Wait a minute or two, till the acrylic has slightly dried and it’s easier to pop the bubble.  Using a large needle helps push the liquid into the cavity formed by the bubble, once it’s popped.

I let that dry (had very little overspill 😀 ) and applyed a second layer.

Note: if you use a light hand, it just comes out glossy.  If you want 3D effect, use a heavy hand.  If you want REALLY 3D, use a double layer.

Let the second layer dry overnight.  The next morning I had these perfect beveled edged keys!  They looked amazing.  I was really pleased with them.  And, they went PERFECT on the LO.  (Click on the photo for a closer look.)

Cricut Mat Tip — Just Learned!

Ok, for all of you Cricut users, don’t you dread the day that the paper doesn’t stick?  I HATE having to replace the mats.  I’ve heard about using a spray adhesive, but I’m always a little worried about that, because I don’t want it to be TOO strong, and then there’s the whole gumming up the machine thing.  I’ve done it, but it’s never been my favourite trick.

But.  This.  Is.  Amazing.

I learned it off the Creating Keepsakes Club CK board that I’m a member of.  It’s a fantastic resource for all things scrap and card and paper related.  One of the other MB members posted this tip there.

Anyway… here’s the tip.

Cleaning the mats with baby wipes removes the dust/oil/bits of paper…. and….. leaves it STICKY!  Perfectly sticky.  Fabulously sticky!  Wonderfully sticky!!!  USABLY STICKY!!!!!!

Actually, since I don’t have kids, I didn’t have any baby wipes on hand.  But I did have some handy wipes.  They worked just the same.

So, happy Cricketting!

Friend Ships!

Ok, I know, I know . . . I keep saying I’m not a card maker.  And then I keep putting up a card!  But, this one was just too cute (and too easy!) not to put in.

I got this adorable card in the post yesterday from a friend (The Crazy English Girl) and I thought she did an ‘Admiral’ job.  (Sorry!!  Couldn’t help myself.)

So, the first thing I did (well, after emailing my thanks to the CEG) was figure out how to make one!  Here you go:

Start with a square piece of paper (I used 6×6):

Fold the paper like you’re going to crease corner to corner, but don’t go all the way.  I’ve creased about 1/3rd of the way to the centre of the paper.  That fold becomes the bow of the ship.

See how in that second photo the edge is starting to try and bend?  You’re now going to make that more obvious.  This is the tricky part, because you’re essentially going to complete that corner to corner fold, but the second 2/3rds of the fold are going to go backwards from what you would do if you wanted to make a triangle.  What you do to get the ship shape (Sorry!  That one was unintentional.  Honest!) is push the unfolded side of the paper back towards the creased side, pinching the folded point as you go.  This is what forms the bulk of the ship.

Now, you’re going to continue that fold where it is.  You won’t have 2 triangles at the end.  You’ll have something that looks identifiable as a ship.

And, in fact, you can leave it as done at this point, and have a sail boat.  However, if you want the smokestack shape, you’ve got one fold left.  Bend the top of the upper triangle down, at the angle of your choice (more fold = sharper angle).

And you’re done!  You can decorate it however you like, and they’re ready to set sail (or get under-way)!  Here’s my current Friend Ship Fleet:

My First Digi!

I’d love to be a digi guru.  It would be really awesome to be able to do the hybrid SBing stuff.  I’m afraid I’d never be completely satisfied with pure digi.  However, with my PhD commitments (amongst others!) I just never seem to have the time to learn!  However, with the launch of the new Club CK Website, I decided to issue an RAK Giveway for doing a LO about the new MB.  In order to start things off, I figured I ought to do one, myself.  Then, one of the girls on the MB (Annie) asked if I wanted to do a co-produced Double LO.  I thought that sounded like fun, so said, sure.  But, she’s in Nashville, I’m not even on the same continent!!!  So, that meant that the most practical solution was to do a digi page, so it could be emailed back and forth, and we could match colours, etc . . . Since I only have GIMP, which is a free editing software comparable to Photoshop, that’s what we used.  I did my left hand page, first, then altered the top banner to be a bottom banner for Annie, and emailed her both halves.  She then did her right hand page, and we posted them on the MB.  This is my effort.  I’m feeling pretty proud!!!  I felt it was pretty good for my first digi ever!