Category Archives: failures



It’s not very often that a card I make is a total effng fail, but this one sure is:


It’s so bad I felt I had to memorialize it.  How many things can you find wrong with it?  Let me know in the comments!

Oh, and on top of everything, the damn cat stepped on it too.


SYS – Outline Stamps


This is my attempt at Debby Hughes’s stamping and coloring on wood project, and it is not great:




The wood here is birch veneer, and it is very porous — even the VersaFine with which I stamped the image bled out.  Why did I stamp and emboss in black instead of white? I dunno, just habit I guess.  The birch is darker than the balsa wood Debby used, so I used brighter colors. Not sure that was a good call.  I used my cheapest alcohol markers, the American Crafts Chromatix.  (Which are not good markers, I do not recommend them.)  You can see where the purple bled out really badly.

The sentiment says “Simple joys,” and it is a Tiny Words Dazzle peel-off sticker.  It was silver, but I colored it black with a Sharpie.  Damn, maybe I should have left it silver!

The little buds or berries on the stem are filled with Key Lime Liquid Pearls.  Because Liquid Pearls is good at that, and I have so much of it, I need to use it.

The birch veneer and the Liquid Pearls are NBUS.

I was planning to leave this as an Artist Trading Card, but it occurs to me just now, that if I stick it on a card with some busy patterned papers, its deficiencies might not be so evident.  I don’t know, I have to think about it.

Watercolors: Embossed Resist


The next step in our exploration of watercolors, and also of the Online Card Class, is watercoloring over heat embossing.  This is supposed to give interesting effects as the paint pools around and within the embossed design.

Well, I’m getting frustrated with it, and I can’t be the only one.




Here is my third attempt.  I’m sorry to say, this card looks crappier on camera than it does in real life.  But both ways, the paint is blotchy, and I am disgusted at how the orange paint stained the embossing on the sentiment.  Why did it do that? Why only the orange?  This is after three separate attempts to clean it, too.

Trying to clean the sentiment dabbed paint away from around the letters, so I went in with a fine-detail brush and tried to add more paint around the letters of “You Are,” to try and increase the contrast. Not sure it really worked.  One of the things the instructors for the class reiterate again and again with the watercolors is that less is more — you have to let the watercolors blend and move on their own.  The more you try and fuss around and fix it, the worse you will make it.  I think this is an example of that problem.  Trying to fix the stained sentiment just made everything worse.

Another thing they stress is that you won’t really know how a piece looks until it completely dries — the colors and the lines of where the water went and mingled change when dry.  That happened here, too — it wasn’t as streaky when it was still damp.

So, this card is not bad enough to pitch straight in the circular file, but it is hardly my finest moment.  I mounted the panel on some plain white watercolor paper, and then on black cardstock.  Maybe when I look at it tomorrow, it will not seem so hideous.

We’ll see.  Either way, I’m about ready to move on to other techniques.








What’s on your Workdesk Wednesday.  Gosh, I hadn’t realized it’s been last Wednesday since I posted.  A week goes by so fast these days! I think most of what’s on my desk is what was there last week.

Long weekend or no, I haven’t made much progress in cleaning my office.  I bought a new bookshelf and put it together, put some things on it, but that’s about all.  I’m still settling into my new job, and I’m just so wrecked when I come home in the evenings!  The weekend was mostly about recuperating.  And, we went out of town to see family on Easter Sunday, and the hubster and I both found the drive home unusually taxing this time, so we didn’t get much done after that.  Went to bed way early, for us.

Excuses, excuses.  I guess i can shuffle a few things around tonight before i g to bed.  If I do a little every night, eventually it’ll get done.

Dazzles with Colored Glitter


I have this and one more project with Dazzles to consider, and then I will be quite ready to move on.  Any suggestions about what you’d like to see next from the stash list?

This card involves using the Dazzles as a border to contain white glitter on double-sided adhesive, and then coloring in the results.  I’ve seen this technique used in one of the Online Card Classes, and also done by Julie Ebersole on her blog.  It works like this:

Apply an adhesive sheet to a layer of cardstock (or maybe use a Xyron if you have one big enough?), uncover it, and then lay an outline Dazzle carefully down on the adhesive sheet and press it down.




Adhesive to adhesive, this is a very tricky step.  You can see my first, failed attempt stuck to the scrap paper on the left there.  For this project you do want a nice, open outline dazzle with a lot of negative space to fill in. (But you might want to use one made with thicker lines than the one I used here — it was so delicate, it was really hard to manipulate.)  You can see how I did not get it quite right there at the bottom.

Once the Dazzle is down, cover the project surface liberally with a white or clear fine glitter.  Julie Ebersole recommends micro-fine.  What I had on hand was extra fine, so I used that.




Press the glitter down onto the card surface.  Then shake off the excess, and burnish the attached glitter into the card surface with your fingers, so that it clings firmly, the excess is rubbed off, and the glitter assumes an even, tightly packed surface.  It should look something like this:




Once it is all tightly burnished, you can color the glitter inside and around the sticker with alcohol markers.  The sticker, which resisted the glitter, will look rather like the leading in a stained-glass window, separating and containing the colored shapes.

This again is another tricky step — the glitter is a rough surface, not easy to color. You have to kind of dab at it gently with the brush tip of your marker, and build up color in small spots. Kind of a pointillist technique.  The markers I am using here are American Crafts Chromatix markers, but you can use any alcohol markers.




This is the finished project:




I’m not going to lie, this project was not easy, and I am not happy with the final result.  I had real trouble getting the sticker to cleanly attach to the adhesive surface, as you can see.  And in the end, my glitter did not burnish thickly and evenly to the adhesive cardstock.  There seemed to be a lot of empty, unglittered space on the panel.  Whether this was because my adhesive was not sticky enough, or because I did not use micro-fine glitter, I don’t know.  Maybe a combination.  I tried to supplement the glitter with a second layer, filling in gaps with liquid adhesive, Glossy Accents — but this gave the piece a bumpy appearance, which you can’t see too well in the pictures, but it’s there. Also, the coloring — it’s blotchy and just not good.  It looks better IRL than it does in the photo (honest!) but it’s still not great.

I have tried a variation of this “coloring glitter technique” before, in one of the Card Classes, and that also did not turn out too well.  Here it is on my other blog.  Here, I stamped on DCWV glitter cardstock with Staz-On ink, and colored with cheap alcohol marker (Bic Marks-It, I think.) The problem here is, the coloring came out very splotchy and uneven, not attractive.

So I have not had good success with this technique. In lieu of afflicting you with more of my botched efforts, let me refer you to Julie Ebersole’s much more effective and beautiful version, which she even has a video for — here.

Thanks for sticking with me through the failure! Hopefully our last Dazzles technique will be better.