Hey Magpies, Rachel here with more Nuvo Crystal Drops talk! I’ve already done one post about Nuvo Crystal Drops and it’s here if you want to read it – Nuvo Crystal Drops, the good, the bad and the ugly! Since I wrote that post in September 2017, nothing has changed. I LOVE Nuvos,
My collection has grown somewhat from September last year but my advice has not changed, store your Nuvos upside down. I know this is hard to swallow, the bottles are pretty, the lids are crystals so we want them upright to admire. But they really need to be upside down to stop them drying out and clogging up the nozzle. It won’t stop the nozzle clogging altogether but it will stop a lot of the problems. Since I’ve turned my bottles upside down I don’t have to stick pins down the nozzle very much at all. So that is my first tip, store them upside down.
If you need the bottle to stand up easier, you can take the top part of the lid off, just push it to one side and it will come off, leaving a flat surface for the bottle to stand up. It looks ugly, I’m sorry about that but it sure makes like easier. This is what mine look like, I have taken the top crystal off the bottles and I also write the colour on the bottom so they’re easier to find.
With Nuvos, practice makes perfect so the more you use them, the better you will be at doing it.
People always ask me how I get my Nuvo dots so perfect and I really can’t answer that. I did have a good think about what I do and here’s my tips for using them:
Get in a rhythm, I count when I dot but if there’s music playing I do love to dot along to the beat so I think having a rhythm going helps keep the dots flowing the same size and the same distance apart.
Don’t touch the nozzle to the paper. I sort of hover over the spot and squeeze. Sometimes the Nuvo is flowing well and you just squeeze and it’s done. Sometimes the Nuvo is a bit thicker and I do swirl the nozzle a bit to get a nice circle. Some bottles you’ll find are super easy to use and some are a little thicker in consistency and take a little bit more babying to get a good dot. But don’t touch the paper with your nozzle because then you might get a flat dot.
If you’re dotting, especially if you’re doing a border or a line, try not to stop in the middle. Trust me on this one, you will lose your rhythm if you stop and start again and the dots will be different sizes or it will all just go wrong. So pending a disaster, don’t stop unless you really, really have to. I mean I usually stop at each corner and do a hand shake if I’m doing a full page border cause otherwise you get cramp from squeezing that bottle! But really try and keep going until you’ve finished for continuity.
If you’re doing two or more colours of dots, I use little glass jars to stand the bottle in while I’m dotting. Here are my jars, they end up with colour in the bottom, it’s been ok for me, I haven’t had any colour transfer.
I put the jars in a line, in the order of colours I’m using and just pick them up one by one to dot my different colour border. Yes, it takes time & patience but I love the effect.
If you make a mistake, don’t worry. Usually, nobody will notice except you. I have done some shockers that are all I can see when I look at the LO but nobody else has ever noticed, sometimes people say how are your dots so perfect? And I’m thinking what???? They’re a proper mess! So unless it’s a real howler of a blunder, just carry on cause it’s probably not going to be as obvious as what you think.
With the lighter Nuvo colours, you can wipe the dot away if you’re careful. Don’t bother with the darker colours cause they will leave a big mess but the light ones will wipe off with a tissue or a wet wipe.
Don’t try and fix a blunder by adding more Nuvo to it. Especially if it’s dried a little bit already. Again, trust me on this! Don’t worry about it, it’s likely that nobody else will ever notice it. See here below, the first yellow dot on the bottom line came out all runny and gross cause I hadn’t shaken my bottle beforehand, and I didn’t do a test dot. It’s always good to do a test dot just to make sure it’s working ok etc. So I did that dot, it was bad so I ignored it and did my next pink one. Then the second yellow one came out bad too, very runny and not good, I should have shaken that bottle! The third yellow one isn’t good either cause it has a little bobble out the side for some reason? I tried to fix the first dot by adding some extra to the top of it and it’s just ended up looking like a double-dot, or some kind of weird double bread roll!
But if you see the whole LO, you really don’t see the dodgy dots do you. I know they’re there, you know they’re there now too but they don’t stand out as much as you expect do they. So if you make a mistake, keep going. Usually it is not as bad as you think it is.
Don’t dot too close together cause they sometimes will join up. It seems to depend on the consistency of the bottle. Like I said before, some are thin and some are thick. And it’s not like it’s the same colours that are thick cause I’ve been through a few bottles of some colours and sometimes one bottle is thick and one is thin so it’s random. I have actually found that when you’re getting to the bottom of a bottle, that’s when the problems sometimes start. So be extra careful when you’re getting to the bottom of the bottle and maybe give a little bit more space between your dots if you’re doing a line as you might get a bit of spread going on and squeeze carefully because sometimes they splatter when they’re running low.
I am a big fan of doing a full border of dots around the edge of my layouts but I’ve tried to come up with some new ideas for using them this month.
So finally, I’m on to talking about this months layouts! I chose the Crate Paper, Wild Heart to work with my Nuvo Crystal Drops. For this first LO I went with a giant photo. Then I used the banner flags from the 12×12″ Chipboard Elements Sheet across the top of the LO. Then I added a couple of eyelets and some old bakers twine to make it look like bunting. I also used a frame from the Chipboard Elements sheet to put my title inside of. The title is from the Maggie Holmes Designer Sticker Book and just fitted perfectly in the space I had! I also dotted around some of the butterflies from that Sticker Book too. The Designer Sticker Books, they are such good value and OMG, there’s so many sheets in them!
I used a lot of the leaves and things from the Wild Heart Die Cut Ephemera Pack across the bottom of my LO and then added the pink heart from the Puffy Stickers pack and some of the stickers from the 6×12″ Cardstock Sticker sheet. The final touch was just dotting around some Nuvo Crystal Drops which is the first way to use them, just like enamel dots, dot them all around everywhere. The beauty of Nuvo crystal Drops is, you’re not going to run out (well, I run out of bottles quite often but when I start running low I order another bottle, so I’ve always got a backup lol!) and you can have dots as big or small as you want. I always found with packets of enamel dots, there was never the size or amount I wanted. Like I’d want 3 of one size but they would only do 2. Nuvos are perfect, you can do whatever you want with them! I did worry that they would spread out too much on the gloss of the photo but they didn’t at all (I practiced on an offcut), they stayed exactly as I squeezed them out. Perfect!
Another idea for using Nuvo Crystal Drops is to incorporate them into your paper design. So I went looking in the store and found some papers I could easily add Nuvos to and check out this Pinkfresh Studios, Let Your Heart Decide, Escapade Paper. I can not take credit for picking this one on my own, I saw my fellow DT member Julie Taylor use the reverse side which is the same but in tones of green and she sewed around the edges of the green squares, see it here on her April Blog Post. So when I saw this paper I thought ooh, I could put Nuvos around the edges! So that is what I did. After I’d put my picture and embellishments on, I picked yellow Nuvos that matched as best as I could. I used, Sugared Almond, Limoncello, Orange Marmalade, Rosewater, Buttermilk, Dandelion Yellow and English Mustard.
For the photo, I used a tag from the Die Cut Ephemera pack and then I just used bits from the 12×12″ Chipboard Elements sheet, the parrot is from the Embossed Puffy Stickers and there’s some of the 6×12″ Cardstock Stickers too. My title is from the Wild Heart, Copper Glitter Icon Thickers and I also used Pinkfresh Studio, A Case of the Blahs, Puffy Alphabet Stickers which are some of my favourite alphabets ever and I’ve got lots of packs of them lol!
Here’s a close up of my lines, look how wonky one of them is. Did you notice that in the full size LO? Did you just scroll back up to have another look? Like I said above, I just don’t think that mistakes you make on a line of Nuvos show up that badly when you’re looking at a LO as a whole. You know it’s there so you might not be able to stop staring at it. But I bet other people probably won’t even notice it!
In looking for papers I could add Nuvo Crystal Drops to easily, I stumbled across this Shimelle, Box of Crayons, Promise Paper and OMG, it’s my new favourite paper ever! I just ordered 12 sheets of it lol! I want it in my stash forever and ever. It’s so lush.
I built my LO up with a square of that paper, my photo and then I used one of the Standouts Layered Embellishments, the title is from the Copper Glitter Icon Thickers and yeah, I’m gritting my teeth that favourite isn’t spelled properly! I used a couple of Chipboard Stickers from the 12×12″ Chipboard Elements sheet.
Then I got loads of different colours of Nuvo Crystal Drops and I just started dotting on the floral pattern. I had so much fun doing it and it looks so cool in real life, I don’t think my photo does it justice but adding some Nuvo dots to a patterned paper is a great way to add texture ad interest, it looks fab!
The next paper I used, Simple Stories Good Vibes, You Got This, I actually bought to cut out the arrows on the reverse side! But I saw the spots and thought ooh, I can add Nuvos to those! So I built up my design using one of the cards from the Wild Heart, Wildly Paper and some of the papers from the 6×8″ Paper Pad. I used some of the Clear Foil Stickers and lots of the Chipboard Elements and then I was off, putting massive dots of Nuvo Crystal Drops on the background paper!
Here’s some close-ups so you can see the dimension on my big dots! I did not try and colour between the lines on this, I like that some of my dots are over the edge cause the dots on the paper are not perfect, so I carried that on.
For my last LO, I created this awesome border! This was a new technique to me and I discovered it by mistake when I was getting to the bottom of a bottle of Nuvos and when I was dotting, it spread out and joined the dots on either side. I went grrrrrrr, set it aside and stomped off in a huff. But when I came back, it had made a cool border! So I tried it properly with black and white and look how cool it looks!
Here’s how I did it. First do all the dots in one colour, leaving a space in between for the other colour.
Then do your second colour dot in between the first colour. It does look a bit wobbly and wonky when you’re doing it but the dots will sort themselves out and become more of a smooth line because they are self levelling. You can see in the pic below that one of my black dots (the second to last one) isn’t quite touching the white dot on it’s right. So after you’ve finished dotting, have a quick look and make sure the dots have joined together and if they haven’t, poke your nozzle in and give it a little swish around so it does touch. I did that after I’d done each side of this border.
It will look a little blobby, but don’t worry, it will smooth itself out.
Yes, just dot another colour right in between the first lot of dots you did.
I was very excited about this new style of border I could create with my Nuvo Crystal Drops! I have tried a couple of colours but Gloss White and Ebony Black are definitely my favourite so far. It’s very effective!
I used Shimelle’s Promise Paper again because I love it! I did a wide border and then used an offcut under my picture. My title is one of the Copper Glitter Icon Thickers, I’ve used one of the Standouts Layered Embellishments and some stickers from the 6×12″ Sticker Sheet and I was done. I am loving this new border, I’m sure you’ll see a lot of them on my LO’s from now on!
So there’s my tips and techniques with Nuvo Crystal Drops. They are definitely one of my most favourite products and I use them on practically every LO I do! If you do have any questions about Nuvos please pop on to our FB Chat & Inspiration Group and ask me there and I will do my best to always answer you. Please try out Nuvos if you haven’t already, they’re so cool and easy to use, don’t be scared of them, they rock!