Monday, July 23, 2012

Castle Combe Christmas

It's Christmas in July, so time to make something winter-themed. :D

That, and I wanted to enter this month's challenge at Crafter's Companion.  And while I've entered my mom's birthday present, I'm not sure it really qualifies since it's not technically a stamp (though the CD *is* found under a stamps category, so we'll see).  Thankfully, I found out that I can enter up to three times, and I've been wanting to do something with this stamp anyway, so...

I decided to use the Castle Combe Art-Kure stamp and a winter themed embossing folder from Cuttlebug, then cut the center out of the resulting embossed section to make a window to peek through.

I'd intended to color the stamp with my tombow markers (I don't have any spectrum noir and don't know if I even like alcohol markers), but I discovered that I had something wrong.  Pigment ink is not the same as archival.  The black ink pad I have is not water proof.  This makes coloring with markers difficult.

So I tried with my prismacolors, but colored pencil just wasn't quite strong enough for this one.

I thought about leaving it black and white, but liked the effect of color.

What I ultimately ended up with is discovering that my sakura glaze pens didn't smear the ink for some reason.  And, I learned you can somewhat blend them (though not to the level you can with tombow markers or what I've seen with spectrum noir or letraset).  Enough for what I wanted, at least.

So I colored it with glaze pens, used three different glues to apply the polar white flowersoft, then added a touch of glitter to some of the embossing.  The three glues?  The flowersoft glue goes down heavier so I used it for where I wanted the thickest snow.  Then my quilling glue gave the next best dimension, and finally used the sakura quickie glue pen for the flattest areas of snow.  I also used the sakura glue pen for applying the glitter.

What I've learned...

I need a new ink pad, for one.  Glitter gets EVERYWHERE for two. And I love flowersoft. :D

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sticky Situation - which glue to use?

So, my first foray into using glue for crafts in many, many years was a few months ago when I discovered quilling.  At that time, I got a kit from Lake City Quilling (Well, technically from Hobby Lobby) that was a good starter's kit.  It included all sorts of tools, including glue.

What glue?

I have no idea, beyond that it's an acid free crafter's glue.  And that it works wonderfully.

It's a fairly thin glue that flows easily (necessary for quilling), dries very quickly, dries clear, and has a good bonding.

I was using that for my other papercrafts, but really wanted to try some of these other glue applicators for larger surfaces.  I was also curious about the glue pens that can be both permanent and repositionable.  That just didn't make sense to me.  How can it be both?

Then, furthermore, I had the flowersoft glue to consider.

What's the best?

And something I didn't find easily online... what's the drying time?

So, I got a few and decided to do my on comparison.

These were my candidates. The Zig glue pen from EK Success, the Tombow Multi liquid, the Sakura quickie glue, and my two fine-nosed applicators both with the quilling glue in them.

Though, it turns out they apparently don't *sell* the fine tip applicator on the left any more.  Naturally it's my favorite. :p

Anyway, back to the test.

I made a mark with each of the pens, and started a timer. As you can see, both the Zig and the Sakura go down blue.  Theoretically, if you apply something when it's blue, it's a permanent bond, or wait until it dries clear and it's repositionable.  As you can also see, the Zig pen was ok to write with, the Sakura pen wrote just like I was writing with any of their other gel pens, and the Tombow was not so easy to write with.  The T is from the narrow tip, the smear from the broad tip.

Once I got the three two-way glue samples down and started the timer, I went for the quilling glue using the applicator on the left. For this applicator, the cap is a pin that is supposed to be rust proof. For me, the shape of this applicator works wonderfully, though I have had trouble with pins rusting in them even though they were supposed to be rust proof pins. Anyway, for a fine, steady line, the quilling applicator worked the best. Which you might expect since it's used in quilling.

Clock ticking (we were at 3 minutes by this point, and you can tell the quickie has already mostly dried, as have the thinner sections of the zig) I went to use the other quilling applicator....

Um. That's not how that's supposed to work.The cap is supposed to come off the needle nose, not bring the nose with it.

So, after a bit of working, we were hitting the 15 minute mark, but I still wanted to show how the applicator worked.

I finally got the needle nose back in the proper place on that applicator, then applied a line.  Which, as you can see, isn't as smooth as the other quilling applicator I liked better.  It's not even as consistent as the flow in the Tombow, but is certainly a finer line.  You can also see that after fifteen minutes, the quickie is dry, the zig is mostly dry, and the quilling glue (which is 3 minutes shorter in timing than the other samples) is almost dry at 12 minutes.  (And I can vouch for the fact that when used to press two piece of paper together, with pressure applied rather than just sitting there air drying, the quilling glue dries to a usable hold in less than a minute). The Tombow glue is pretty much nowhere near dry.  Though it's also not really usable to spread at this point, either.

By thirty minutes, you can see that the quickie is still dry, the zig has caught up and is now dry, and the Tombow is showing signs of reaching the dry state.  At least for the smeared stuff.  The T is still thinking about it.

In fact, it took almost a full hour before the Tombow finally dried to its full "repositionable" state.

So how good (or bad) are these tackies?

Well, pressing  my finger to the Quickie glue, I could lift the page up a couple of inches before it lost tack and fell off.  Zig got maybe an inch farther than that.  Quilling?  It wasn't meant to be repositionable, so didn't try.  But the Tombow?  I got a good foot off the table with no sign of losing tack, shook my finger a bit and it still held well, yet came loose cleanly when I pulled it free.

How about for actual *gluing*?  As in take a scrap piece of paper, apply glue to one corner, and fold the opposite corner to stick to the glue?  Then apply pressure...

The quilling glue dried to the point of usability in 30 seconds.  So did the Tombow, and the Zig, and the Sakura, and the flowersoft glue (which I didn't use in the drying test).  So, for what glue is actually *meant* to do?  They all glue.

But which is my favorite to use?

Hands down for just gluing, my quilling glue.  It cleans up easily, flows smoothly, and just works well all the way around.  But for anything I want repositionable?  The Tombow is my preference.  Even though it takes longer to dry, when I want something repositionable, I generally want it to stay where I put it until *I* tell it to move. And I'm not 100% convinced the other two will.

My least favorite?  The Zig.  While it's true that the only glue applicator in my bunch that you don't have to squeeze is the Sakura quickie glue pen, the Zig was the hardest on my wrist and fingers.

Hopefully, this little science experiment will help someone decide on which glue they might want to use in the future.

And maybe someday I'll add to it with some other options as well, like the elmer's glues.  That'll be the next time I decide to spend an evening watching glue dry...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Paintbox Poppets present

Mom's birthday was this month (Happy "21 again" birthday, mom! Love you!), and so I finally got to share a project with her that I've had in the works for a few weeks.

The lovely Kathy over at Kathy's Double-K Krafts did a project (scroll down on the post to see it) using the Paintbox Poppets CD available at Crafter's Companion, and it really struck me as something absolutely perfect for my mom.  So, I ordered the CD.

I expected maybe 10 projects we'd want to do from the CD....

Try more like 50?  Those who have reviewed the CD to say it is packed with projects weren't kidding, nor were they exaggerating.  It took me over an hour to decide what project I wanted to do.

This is what I decided on...

The project as presented on the CD is a box frame, and as first printed it comes out so that the full thing is not quite 5 inches square. That made the girl inside a bit smaller than what I really wanted. I found that by telling Acrobat (which you do need for the frame projects) to fit to printer margins, it made the whole thing closer to 6 inches square. I also ended up printing 3 copies of the decoupage page and making a decoupage frame instead of using the box frame that printed with the original project. For my tastes, the box frame that was printed was too deep for the project and overwhelmed the girl. That's not necessarily the case for all of the frame projects, though.

Anyway, after cutting and applying the decoupage pieces (of which there are 5 layers), I used my sakura glaze pens to add some dimension and shine to the fruit and the honey, then used flowersoft on the flowers. I also touched up the girl's skintones with a light touch of the prismacolor colored pencils and discovered that just the tiniest bit can make a subtle but significant difference in appearance.

For the frame, I didn't just want three layers of a flat square, but didn't like any of my dies for embellishments, either. What I ended up doing was cutting a lacy edge on corner triangles, then outlining the edge with a green glaze pen for just a touch more dimension.

Finally, I used my nifty envelobox creator to create an envelobox for the project, and used a dimensional sticker for the clasp. A touch of tombow glue allowed to dry to be repositionable made the finishing touch so the box would close and stay closed yet be easily openable too.

Viola! Birthday present for mom!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Another blog candy giveaway :)

Berrylicious has a great giveaway for some fun blog candy as a celebration of hitting 100,000 hits.  Hop on over and take a look :)

Huge giveaway of Prima products!

Ingvild Bolme is giving away a huge stash of Prima products in celebration of her new blog design!  Hop over and take a look

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Koi Pond

This past year (or more!), my mom had a koi pond put into her back yard. A month or so ago, she went out to feed them and discovered that she had more koi than she'd stocked the pond with. She was so excited to have baby koi, I knew I had to do a project with a koi for her. Really, I'd been planning something koi for a while, but hadn't come up with anything I liked until we found some koi stickers and I started quilling.

Then it came together.

Several weeks later (granted, I did work on other projects at the same time, and had to hide it from mom so it would be a surprise), I finished her koi pond. It's a little under 6 inches on a side.

I used parchment cardstock, some Martha Stewart punches, a sizzix die, Michael's recollections soft flowers (the type that come in glass bottles, and which may not be available any more...), koi stickers, flowersoft, and did some quilling.

I also used the envelobox creator to make an envelobox to store it in, and for safe transport from my house to mom's. Besides, the envelobox is a new toy, and you gotta play with new toys when you can. ;)