Cloth Paper Scissors GIFTS Magazine Review and Giveaway!

I was recently asked to participate in a monthly review of specials issues and publications by Cloth Paper Scissors for 2011.

To kick things off, this month, I received the first annual GIFTS Holiday Issue. 

This gorgeous magazine has tons of inspiration and original projects for handmade gifts and techniques that will take you way beyond the winter holiday season.

I was inspired by so many articles, from Barbe Saint John's embellished bobby pins on page 60 (a short video here to inspire…)


…to a group of ATC cards attached as gift tags on page 129 by Linda Blinn.  But the article that had me leaping from the dinner table to my studio was the Digital Recipe Book on Page 92 by Jenn Mason.

As a former IBMer, I'm always looking for ways to mix technology with physical artforms.  I rarely do an entirely digital project, preferring the hybrid feel of ink and paint on my hands.  Jenn's article talks about printing vintage recipes onto muslin using Golden's Digital Grounds, and then adding your artistic flair to them.  This keeps the originals intact and allows you creative freedom with lovely vintage pieces.  How appealing!

I have worked with Digital Grounds many times before, but Jenn's article made me reach into the studio to try out something new tonight.  Isn't inspiration the best part of what you want from a good publication?  Well inspiration HIT and I decided to try techniques with unique surfaces and mediums that I haven't thrown together before.  Buckle up….we're heading to the studio lab.

My twelve-year old daughter got some items for a room makeover for Christmas.  The theme is all purple and pink.  I decided to make her a window-hanging to add to the new room decor.

To start, I took a 12" x 12" acrylic shape from Clear Scraps and removed the protective film from ONE side only.  This is the side I will be printing onto.  Leave the film on the other side — essential for the printing step later on in the process. 

I recommend the shapes from Clear Scraps because they are flexible enough to bend easily when they go through the back sheet feeder on my wide-format printer.  Unless you have a direct-feed printer, flexibility is key.  I do NOT recommend the circle shape.  The acrylic on that particular piece is thicker.  Go for the other shapes.


Take some Gel Medium paints, such as these Glimmer Glam paints from Tattered Angels, and dribble, drip and spatter them onto the surface.  Allow to dry.

Place a stencil over the corner and use a stiff stencil brush (one that you don't love too much) and pounce leafing adhesive through the stencil.

Let it extend beyond and fill up the spaces in-between the images.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions.  This particular leafing adhesive starts blue while it is wet…

And then turns completely clear when tacky.  Now we are ready to apply the leafing material.

I've used a couple of different materials to show you their effect.  Leafing transfer sheets can be applied, right-side UP and pressed into place, but leafing flakes are applied by pouncing with a DRY, stiff stencil brush. 

When you remove the sheet leafing, you will see a perfect, crisp image, as in the upper left corner shown below.   But, it's a single color.  For a more graphic, clean look, this is great. 

But what I like to do, is then pounce over the exposed area with the loose leafing flakes, getting other colors to adhere around the single-color leafing.  It gives the project so much more pizazz. 

I haven't applied leafing to acrylic before.  It worked!  Cool.

Now let's see what else we can put onto the surface.  I'd love to add to the dimension to this surface, without adding dimension to hit my printer heads.  For me, that means glass bead gel.  This medium has teeny, tiny glass beads, suspended in a translucent acrylic medium.  For a more traditional application, you could mix this with acrylic paint to create colored textured effects.


I only want the translucent textural effect, so I'm going to apply the glass bead gel directly to my surface.  I use some empty packaging, or a large acrylic block or palette knife to evenly 'frost' the surface with the gel.

Think of applying a light layer of frosting to a cake.  You only want a thin layer of glass beads. 

Admittedly, this is nerve-wracking.  It looks so OPAQUE at first, that you think you've lost all of your prior work.  But remember, we are working on a CLEAR substrate.  Even if I mess up, I can flip over.  Isn't that freeing?  Besides soon I see the glass bead texture coming through, and the white begins to disappear. 
And wait for it to dry.

And wait…

And wait…

But it really is drying!  Working on a non-porous surface has its drawbacks.  No air comes through the material to aid in speeding drying time.  So we only have surface air (which needs to be at least 55 degrees, so don't do this in the garage during wintertime) in order to dry our glass bead gel.

Look, it really is drying!


Why do I seem surprised?  Because I am!  Here in my studio lab, I am willing to fail spectacularly in order to try something new.  But indeed, this experiment appears to be working so far.

And since waiting for gel to dry is what I am doing right now, that is all I'm going to show you for today.  *insert evil laughter*.  To see the rest of the process, including PRINTING directly onto this fun surface, you are going to have to come back tomorrow!

Meanwhile go pick up a copy of Cloth Paper Scissors "Gifts", for $14.99, it is a collectible, super-sized treasure at 148 pages and can be found at Barnes & Noble or JoAnn's.

Or you can comment below and WIN A FREE ISSUE!! by Saturday, January 1st, 2011.  I'd love to hear your comments on this topic:

What creative techniques and/or projects have you decided to tackle in the new year?  How do you plan to take them on?  Will you take an instructor-led workshop?  Sign up for a course at an art school?  Attend a retreat?  Or just dig in to your own lab and learn as you go?  

Post your answers here, and I'll pick a winner on New Year's Day, Saturday, January 1st, 2011 right before midnight EST to kick off the start of 2011!

And come back tomorrow for the conclusion of SL's latest Studio Lab experiment…


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