Hello there Magpies, welcome to August! This month I decided to concetrate on using the Illustrated Faith, Basics, Shanna’s Favourites Paint Set and also, Nuvo Crystal Drops. I love both of these products! I’ll talk about the paints here and the first 3 LO’s and then tell you about my adventures with the Crystal Drops with my 4th and last LO.
So the paints, they really are gorgeous! The colours are so vivid and bright and the coverage is great. I’ve taken a photo of my paints here on a background I painted on black cardstock and you can see the colours are bright even on black. If you’re a fan of Illustrated Faith like I am, these paints are a great match for the Illustrated Faith lines. I don’t actually do bible journalling but I do think the paints will be fantastic for making a background in your bible for creating on. Whether you use the paint straight from the tube (like I did with all my backgrounds here) or watering it down to make more of a wash.
So I am a big fan of these paints and I am looking forward to the arrival of the new lines from Illustrated Faith and Bella Blvd because I know these colours will mix right in with them too. Here’s a close up of my first LO so you can see the paint coverage. As soon as I got them I wanted to make a background with stripes of each colour. So that’s what I did, using a large paintbrush. I just squeezed out a smoosh of each colour on to my background and swiped it with the brush. The paints don’t come with a green so I mixed my own up using the blue and yellow and it worked really well. Also in this close up you can see some of my Nuvo Crystal Drops and She Blooms, Enamel Hearts Mix.
I also used these Bible Journalling Stickers, His Word, the owl is so cute isn’t it! I must admit, some of these stickers are going to be pretty hard for me to use, like the church, but I do like a challenge and I have got creative in covering some things up!
I actually did this LO and stopped, see left. Then I decided I would add some Nuvo Crystal Drops, see right. And some more. And more, and more, and more! I thought I would show you both LO’s here so you can compare. I really can’t decide which one I like better. I think I probably went a bit overboard adding dots on the right but I was thinking I was focusing on them for the blog, so I should use them….. and then I kept picking up more colours and adding a few, then another colour for a few more lol!
So I started this LO by painting stripes of paint. When that dried I layered up some offcuts of an old Amy Tangerine paper (the chevron) which were laying on my table. I didn’t think I needed any more paper on this LO, the paint was enough. My title is made with old Dear Lizzy Phrase Thickers which were gold but they didn’t suit my LO so I coloured them with a Sharpie to make them black. Then I layered around bits and pieces from the Genesis Collection, Label It Stickers, Paper Pieces Die Cuts, Pop Culture and Bible Journalling Stickers, His Word. The chipboard ‘Loved’ word comes from the She Blooms Chipboard Icons sheet and the little enamel hearts are from the She Blooms Enamel Hearts Mix pack and I added a ‘special’ Hey Little Magpie Flair Badge because it was my birthday when this photo was taken.
As I said above, I went a bit overboard adding Nuvo Crystal Drops to this LO…. it’s kinda addictive adding the blobs lol! Colours I used here are Ebony Black, Rhubard, Ripened Pumpkin, Dandelion Yellow, Caribbean Ocean, and Apple Green. Some are out of stock but definitely sign up for an email alert when they’re back in stock because they will be restocked as soon as possible. You definitely need the Caribbean Ocean colour, it is super lush!
I used these label stickers on the LO above and below, they’re really useful, the Genesis Collection, Label It Stickers. I love the colours of them, they’re so handy for adding a date to a LO or for me, covering up some of the more religious sayings on some of the stickers in the Illustrated Faith lines!
And I used some of the die cuts from the Paper Pieces Die Cuts, Pop Culture to layer up as well, I do love the coloured tabs and I had to use those glasses, even if I’m not wearing my glasses in this photo lol!
To create my background this time, I used some watercolour paper I have and it’s not 12×12 so I layered it on this awesome paper from Bella Blvd, Lets Go, Taxi, I loved the black and white checker pattern. When I put my background on it, it needed a little something extra so I popped a small mat of turquoise cardstock behind as well and that helped to pop things.
The painted background I just played with the turquoise and pink paints from the paint set and swiped my brush over the paper a few times. To be honest, I was trying to get a watercolour effect and it didn’t work at all seeing as these are acrylic paints! So I just carried on and eventually liked what I’d done. It’s a bit messy for me but I love the way the paints layer up on top of each other, they really are cool to work with.
Once I had my background layered up, I popped a little more of the Taxi paper behind my photo. I chose the title ‘to be continued’ because my hair is a continuing story, every time I get it cut, I get more highlights added so it’s changing quite often. I needed something to help pop the ‘continued’ so I used an offcut of the turquoise cardstock I used around before. Then I just layered up a lot of the stickers from the Labels & Die Cuts packs as well as some stickers and sequins from Pinkfresh Studios and then dotted some more Nuvo Crystal Drops on.
Here’s a close up of some details, you can see the paint on the watercolour paper here and the awesome Nuvo Crystal Drops.
And another close up, I love how the paint layered up and the cool ‘lets do this’ die cut from the Die Cuts pack.
I do like alphabets and last month I decided I really needed some yellow ones in my stash. I was chuffed to find this Puffy Yellow one in the Pinkfresh Life Noted collection so I bought 2 of those! I also bought the Puffy Yellow Freckled Fawn Alphabet as well. Sometimes you just need your title to pop and what better way than using a yellow alphabet!
I was so chuffed with my painted background on this LO that I went super simple with my embellishing! To make the background I just started with the yellow paint at the top and blended into the pink and then the turquoise. The paint is so vivid and it blends so well making orange and purple for me. After that dried I put a line of Nuvo Crystal Drops above and below, the yellow is either Dandelion or it might be English Mustard, I can’t remember but the blue is definitely Caribbean Ocean, that colour goes so well with the turquoise paint in the set!
Once I had my photo (of Auckland Harbour Bridge) on the background, I really didn’t want to add much more. So I used one of the Pinkfresh Studios, Life Noted Acetate Titles above and popped the ‘happy’ banner from the Maggie Holmes, Bloom, Rubber Shapes and a heart from Freckled Fawn Puffy Hearts and Plus Signs, I love how those are matt black for a change. Below the photo I used the Pinkfresh Studios Yellow Puffy Alpha for my title and the Silver Foiled Here Arrow Flair badge. And then I stopped. I’m sure I could have kept going adding embellishments but I decided to let the background shine on this one and stepped away from my desk!
Here’s a close up to show you my line of Nuvo Crystal Drops, you can see there’s one there that I made a bit of a hickey on top of, and they’re really not the same size when you start looking at them closely but I don’t think it matters so much when you are looking at the LO as a whole. I don’t let it stress me if they’re not perfect!
Another close up to see the awesomeness of the Illustrated Faith Basics Shanna’s Favourites Paint Set. Look how well they blend and how thick the paint is. I can see the brush strokes in it, I love it!
So I’ve talked about the Illustrated Faith, Shanna’s Favourites Paint Set and now I want to talk about Nuvo Crystal Drops! I LOVE these! Please sign up for an email alert if you want any of the out of stock colours because they will be restocked soon. I also have used a couple of colours that I purchased elsewhere but I’m sure they will be stocked in the store, Sarah and Lianne have stocked all the colours available at the moment but they will get the other colours I have mentioned as soon as they’re available. I bought some bottles for almost double the price they are in the shop when I heard about them so I was so glad when Sarah & Lianne started stocked them at £2.99 per bottle, yay! Aren’t the bottle so cute! I love the lids, they’re like big crystals!
I have managed to amass 28 bottles now, but I only have 25 colours, I stupidly bought 3 colours twice because I’m a bit stupid like that! Here’s my storage solution, a wooden divided box that I used to have embellishments in. What I’ve done as well, is put a blob of colour on the lid of each bottle, so I can see them from above easily.
Another thing I did, just to have a play, was do 3 little drops on an offcut off cardstock. I did one white and one black because those are the usual colours that I use as backgrounds. Also, I can slide these swatches on to my LO and see what colour will work best for me. I’m a little bit OCD about some things, I admit it!
I did think about doing a quick video about how to use Nuvo Crystal Drops but seriously, there’s already loads out there on You Tube. So if you want to get some tips on using them, have a quick search over there and you’ll find loads to look at. The best tip I got was when you’re dotting to make an ‘enamel dot’, don’t touch the nozzle to the paper. If you do that, the dot might drop in the middle like a donut. But just have a little practice before you start on some scrap paper. I am fairly sure that I dotted this line below, before I learned that tip and my dots aren’t donuts! One of my friends asked me if they end up looking like Iced Gem Biscuits lol! I used to have that problem using Stickles or Liquid Pearls but the Nuvo Crystal Drops do even themselves out and make a nice even top. So even if you get a peak when you pull the nozzle away, it will flatten out. You can make your dots quite flat or quite bulbous depending on how much you apply, it depends on what you want. I just love being able to make tiny little dots because I always wanted more smaller dots when I bought a packets and I end up with those massive gigiantic ones leftover, unused. So I love being able to control what size my dot is. I just dot straight onto my projects but I’ve been dotting with Sharpie’s and other various mediums for years so I’m quite used to it. If you don’t want to risk doing that, you can dot onto a non-stick craft mat, or even greasproof paper and then the dot will slide off there and you can adhere to your project. So you don’t need to dot directly on of you don’t want to.
There are some reviews saying that these drops never dry, they stay soft and they’re nothing like proper enamel dots. I’ll give you my honest opinion here. They’re not exactly the same as enamel dots, they’re not 100% hard like a diamond. Yes, I have just tried to stick my fingernail into the ones pictured below and yes, if I push really hard, I leave a dent. The thing is, do you ever do that with your embellishments? I don’t go around poking any of mine! If I run my finger over any of the dots shown on this page, they all feel hard to me. So I wonder if it depends on where you live as to how these dry? I wonder if your house is air conditioned, that might have something to do with them not drying as hard, or maybe they dry harder? I’ve read about Americans having problems with Thickers not sticking, and finding their LO’s adhered with Herma, all sitting at the bottom of the page protector after a couple of years and I have not had any of those problems. So I wonder if atmospheric conditions and house temperatures have something to do with these things? I don’t know but I haven’t had a problem with the Nuvo Crystal Drops, I can dig my fingernail into them if I want to but I can dig my fingernail into a lot of embellishments if I want to as well. To me, they dry hard enough for what they’re intended to do, I am very happy with them and love the control they give me.
Above I used Nuvo Crystal Drops on some Wood Veneer hearts, I think these are old ones but there’s lots of different Wood Veneer available in the shop. I had a few disasters in colouring the wood veneer and I found it was much easier to do a thin layer first and then do a thicker layer on top of that when it’s dried. If I tried to do one thick, juicy layer the first time, it would dry quite uneven and often drop like a donut in places. Below, I have covered a chipboard title from the Bella Blvd Basics Line, this one is from the So In Love sheet. I quite like the effect I got but it’s not totally even or anything. I think the Crystal Drops are probably better covering smaller embellishments like the wood veneer hearts above and below this, rather than something as large as this ‘love’ title. I don’t mind the effect as it’s something a bit different but if you’re looking for something that is perfect and looks like an enamel shape, I think you would be disappointed. Maybe my technique isn’t that great but if you get a dip when you touch the nozzle to the background, it’s just too hard to cover something like the love title without touching your nozzle to it. So you’ll get dips and drops.
I was really proud of this little Wood Veneer heart below, it worked so well! I used the Caribbean Ocean colour, did a thin layer first, a fatter layer on top when that dried and it just looked perfect, like glass! I also dotted some yellow around too, there’s 3 dots on the side of that chipboard banner and if you look above, there’s an ‘awesome’ wood veneer which I added dots too as well.
So here’s my LO where I’ve used a lot of different bit with Nuvo Crystal Drops. I didn’t actually do this LO for the blog, it’s one that I’ve had hanging around for ages and had never stuck down. So one day I got it out from where it was sitting and stuck it down before I dropped it and couldn’t remember how I had it laid out! That’s when I decided I could use Nuvo Crystal Drops on it. The thing is, I’ve used really old Maggie Holmes lines here so I can’t link to specific papers and embellishments that I’ve used, but you can definitely get similar products and papers in her newer lines that are in stock as linked. The thing I love about all of Maggie Holmes lines is they keep co-ordinating so I keep all her lines together and they all go! So I think the only things I can link you to in the shop from this LO is the blue label sticker under those yellow hearts, that is from the Genesis, Label It Stickers and the HLM Gold Foiled Good TImes Flair Badge.
But this LO is a classic design that you can use over and over again. Just punch circles and make a grid around, above or below your photo. I decided to put all my cicles below the photo but I could have done one row above and two lines below and it would have worked just as well. This is a great way to use some of those busy papers in a small format so they’re overwhelming. And it’s always cute to layer things up too!
So I hope I have given you some ideas for using the Illustrated Faith, Basics Series, Shanna’s Favourites Paint Set as well as Nuvo Crystal Drops. Definitely have a play with the Crystal Drops before you apply to your project and watch some videos on You Tube too. These are both great products, I am sure I’ll be dotting a lot of lines with my Crystal Drops and I am so excited for the new lines from Illustrated Faith to arrive, there’s one called Bright and Brave and it is seriously bright! I hope to use that for my September post if it arrives in time. There will also be a Christmas line called Illustrated Faith Christmas and then there’s a line coming a bit later in the year called You Are Loved and I am so in love with that too. So I can not wait for these new lines from Illustrated Faith to arrive, I know they will work with the products I already have which is great! See you next month Magpies, have a great August!