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Copic coloured image transfer

OK, here is the info you need for doing a Copic coloured image transfer to fabric.

As I have said, I have a couple of t-shirt transfer sheet brands.  THIS one works well with Copics.  The packaging does NOT have the info printed on it (I’m guessing it was originally on a printed sleeve maybe?) and the packaging looks different now so I hope it isn’t a case of them having changed the paper and that it will still work the same way.  They also have DARK shirt transfers, which could be cool on a black t-shirt.


I think the key has to be the WAY you apply the transfer.  For THIS paper you must peel off the image, apply it face UP to the shirt, lay the silicone backing paper over the image then iron.  It’s a pain to peel, but that could be because mine is old.

You can either STAMP with Memento ink or PRINT a digital stamp onto the paper. This one is one of the Octopode Factory Alice stamps.


You cannot blend on the transfer paper like you can on plain paper, and you do not want to apply the Copic ink wet-on-wet.  That disturbs the transfer film and can smudge it more than tear it but it isn’t good. You want to either apply the ink in broad strokes in one layer or let the ink dry before going over it.


Use a light touch. If you want layered colour, your can apply one colour, like in her hair here, then let it dry and apply the other colour.  I’ve done light first then darker highlights, which works best.


Instead of stroking on the colour, you can fill in by pressing the brush against the paper, like so:


OR you can do hair with a series of little flick strokes instead, like I did on this image from DillyBeans (and can you see how I did wet-on-wet on her face and the smudging that happens?):


As you can see in the last Alice, I trim close to the image but leave a larger area against a large area of the image – like the head.  This just means that the trimming of the tricky, thin bits are done before I peel off the transfer and the area left to trim is easy, if that makes sense.


Peeling tips: GO SLOW.


Now, I think in future I would leave at least a halo all around the image.  I trimmed VERY CLOSE to the feet and when I ironed it on….



The rest of the image worked a treat, but that area was a disappointment.  Can you see on the skirt where I did dark over light to highlight the folds of the skirt?  Nt blended like on paper, but it does give the effect.

For this one I think you have to test out some papers that are available where you are.  The DecAdry paper is on Amazon UK, but as I said the packaging is different so I cannot be sure it works the same way as the stuff I have.  I will probably get some more to see.  It’s the problem when you hoard supplies and don’t always keep the original packaging!


BIG CARDS – 7 of Clubs

I had a lot of ideas for this one but I was feeling pretty crap due to a nasty cold so went with something easy.  I simply embossed the background card, then brayered over some embossing ink and het embossed with some sparkly black embossing powder.

I left the middle empty for the letters.

I used my Copics to colour the arcs – very bright, very random.

The letters are little foam ones, which I also coloured with the Copics to match.

Probably one of the brightest of the lot.  I think had I been more mentally on the ball, I would have done two things – first, I would have matched up the embossing on the black card and second, I would have  brayered on the embossing ink over the black card as well, and added the sparkly black embossing powder to it too.  I may still be able to add that but not today.


Houses in progress – and a Copic Trick!

I had a blast making the Steampunk Castle but it was def. brown.  Craving some colour, I went back to what had been the original plan when I had the idea to decorate one of the book-templates, and that was using the DillyBeans digital stamps.  I had a problem with the first set she sent – and to be honest I have no idea if it is her, me, my email, her email, PSE or some other weird problem, but the images were small when I got them.  The artist, Megan, has been brilliant in trying to sort this out, but I’m not sure we are there yet – I’m still seeing them at 96 DPI when I open them in PSE.  Any ideas, please LMK – if it’s some setting and the fault of my machine or tools, I’d love to let her know.

The 2nd set of images she sent work when resizing MUCH better, so I am happy to use them as I planned, and have made a start:

I need to get some A3 black card before I can continue, or play around with some A4 card and see if I can make it work.

Anyway, I’ll be cracking on with that today, but I wanted to share a little trick I found when colouring in.  First, let it be said that I am not a Copic-colourng expert.  I have a shaky hand when it comes to fine detail and while I can usually manage a pretty decent job, I am in AWE of some of the pieces I’ve seen.  Maybe it’s the card, maybe it’s my printer ink in combo with the markers, maybe it’s me, but the ink will seem to overflow the printed lines – more so with my new Canon than it ever did with my Epson. So I have to do the trick of using the colourless blender to push back the ink.  It doesn’t ever seem to work as well as I hope it will, leaving too much of a halo of colour.  But I had some success with a make up sponge in one hand, marker in the other.  I’ll explain and try to show you.

Here you see my intentional mistake – I’m shaky, but not THIS bad.  I did two leaves so I could try to show the difference!

Using the colourless blender and pushing the ink made it better, but by no means GOOD:

And when it dries you can see where we are – the colour is still leaching out from the “stamp lines” and looks…not great:

Now check this out.  By pushing the ink with the blender and immediately dabbing it with the make-up sponge, it gets a lot better:

You should  be able to see the difference between the petals. Now, the slightly greenish cast you see is because I tried this technique with a bold green Copic and there was a bit of that still on the sponge.  DOH!  This won’t make a huge difference with those colours where pushing the ink doesn’t, in and of itself, make a big difference.  Reds and Greens are the worst for that, in my experience, which is part of the reason I tried green, to see how it worked.  It makes a LITTLE difference but not enough that you can really see it in a photo.  But if you have over-spill, why not try this and see if you can make a better fix than just with the blender?  My guess is that the sponge is absorbing the ink, both blender and colour, and drying the card before it has a chance to seep.  But who knows?  All I know is it made a BIG difference on one of my little skellies so I will def. try it again if I need to.

I am liking the Dillybeans – they are more cute-creepy than creepy-creepy like the Stampotique ones (which I still adore) so at least my sister will be pleased.


Safmat fun

As you may recall from my WOYWW, I got a sample pack of Safmat transparent film to play with.  I looked at the link on the site and they had some nice projects there, but nothing I personally would do.  I don’t struggle to print on small pieces of card, I just stick it with temporary adhesive to a bigger sheet and it goes thru my printer fine.  I don’t have candles, except for emergency use when the power goes out. Most of what I saw on t’internet all seemed to focus mostly on using Safmat as a sort of rub-on substitute.  Fine, too, but I have 1000s of rub-ons and I never think to use them.   So it got me thinking about the properties of Safmat – what makes it unique?  What can you do with it that you really can’t do some other way.  And then I got one of those brainstorms (all too few and far between)

OK, so Safmat is clear. Fine, so is acetate.  But acetate is a pain to attach invisibly.  And you use your printer…

The key to this is your printer does not contain white ink.  It assumes that you are printing on white paper, and ignores any white areas of your design, so they “print” clear.  Well, I had seen the Stampotique challenge, and mistakenly got it in my head that the challenge was CLEAR, not acetate (DOH!) so was thinking also about something to do for that.  I wanted to do some sort of cage, with a figure inside, on a background that was scenic, like clouds and grass, place the gazebo over the background and the figures, sandwiching them between the Safmat and the background, with some extra stamping at the bottom of the gazebo. I had a couple of images from The Graphics Fairy already on my Mac. While browsing my files I picked out the gazebo and a pair of wings. And shifted firmly into Safmat experimentation mode.  I knew the gazebo would work perfectly but the wings intrigued me more.

As you can see, the images have a white background.  Fine if you want to print on white or patterned paper.

Edited to add: I sort of glossed over the fact that while, yes, you could simply print the image onto patterned paper, you can’t PLACE the image precisely.  The beauty of the Safmat is you can see thru it to highlight a specific area of the paper (in this case some little circles that look a bit like the markings on butterfly wings) which I think you would struggle with if you tried to place the printed image with your printer!

Get it?

Look – clear wings, zero effort!

I wanted the wings to have a  subtle pattern. And I just love this paper scrap.

I applied the Safmat to it and cut the wings out. It ALMOST makes it look like you stamped over patterned paper, but with a lovely sheen.

Those went behind my figure.

Shame the card doesn’t fit the challenge (clear, yes, sort of, but def. not Acetate! So I’ll have to do another one) – and I was experimenting, after my Copic class, with cutting out my stamped figure with a halo on one side, then colouring that with grey ink so it looks a bit like a shadow, but am not sure it was totally successful.

I did use the traditional application of Safmat, printing the text on that then applying it over a piece of the same patterned paper, but I could have just as easily printed directly on the paper.  The Safmat does give it a bit of a sheen, which is nice, but now I know this cool way to use it, I don’t really want to waste it when something else works as well.

Edited to add: in this photo you can see, I hope, more clearly the circles I mentioned before.

So, Think about all sorts f images with white backgrounds that you could use!

This one is on my list, also from The Graphics Fairy:

Oh, and the rest of the quote? My sister should look away now…

You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar…

I thought it might work well for a teenage girl, or maybe even for one going off to college soon.

So there you have it.  I think a new way to use Safmat for adding images to tricky or time consuming to edit, merely printing to remove the background.

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Metal embossing templates

Binkin’ ‘eck!  The day I have had!  I’ve been playing around with the little metal embossing templates that I unearthed in my stash and everything I tried with them failed – mostly because I have the wrong cardstock.  I wanted to try something that looked a bit like Letterpress – ie depressions (DEbossed rather than EMbossed) filled with colour.  But everything ran, bled or smeared.  Usually when I use my Copics, there is a stamped image so the black ink acts, I think, as a bit of a barrier.  I know I have successfully coloured in on the cardstock I was using in the past, but today, it was all just a huge mess.

Anyway, I found, in the end, that if I edged the debossed areas with gold gel pen it keeps the Copic ink from bleeding.  YAY!  It looks ok, but I am not sure I would wast too much more time on it, if I’m honest.

You can’t really see that it is debossed in the photo, but the light is fading and so is my patience! It actually looks quite pretty IRL.

In the end, I think I prefer the one that I coloured, still the debossed side, with Distress Inks:

But there you go.

I suspect they will end up on cards one day, if I don’t lose them LOL!

I have some other cards to make, so really must get on with that….


SDC card redo

Well, I kept looking and looking at the card from yesterday and in the end I think I don’t like the pink, and the bluish skin.  LOL!  I do that a lot.  Make something, then only once I look at the completed project do I decide what I need to do to make it better. Sometimes I do wish I would realize BEFORE it is complete, but I think I just need to SEE the whole thing done before I can decide.

So anyway, I did say I would share how I did it, but I am using the new, improved one, rather than the other one.

I stamped the big head with Memento ink in Tuxedo Black. I then stamp again on a Post-it note and cut out a mask (just INSIDE the edge of the stamped image, so I can avoid as much of the “halo effect”.

Once you cut out the mask, store it with your stamp – as you can see I;ve used mine quite a bit!

I use a stamp positioner to ensure the body is in the right spot.

I cut a mask of the body as well and with both bits masked, stamp the background over top.  I used the stamp positioner again, because I wanted the feet to be straight above the line at the bottom of the background stamp.

Then I grabbed my trusty plastic mesh and laid it over the image (with the mask in place again!)

That gives me a lovely grid pattern on the background.

I added the leters and coloured the image in shades of grey.  I like it MUCH better.

Just a couple of other things – first, the letters.  I really love how they turned out.  I took some letter stickers and dotted on the Copic ink. As the dots dry and new wet dots get placed over them, the ink sort of bleeds and spreads – it’s a bit like Alcohol ink when it gets tamped on.

I’ll def do that again!

OH!  and before I forget.  I’ve mentioned before that I am haunted by the idea that I had seen the big-heads on a little body someplace, and every so often I go searching to see if I can find where I originally saw it.  As I was doing that it came to me that the stamp involved was Moth Fab, so I added that to the search string.

And guess what?  I found the post I was looking for! As soon as I saw the header I KNEW it was the place.  and “head transplant” rang a huge bell.  So I wasn’t totally remembering it right, Kaz just switched two heads, Prom Queen’s head  on Moth Fab’s body, but it was the seed of the idea to use a BIG head instead.  PHEW.  Now I feel a whole lot better 🙂


WOYWW 17/11/2011 – Lil’ Grumpies

Another week, another WOYWW.  Very excited that I may get to actually MEET Julia at a crop very soon.  Lucky, lucky ME! Do drop by and see what creativity is blooming on desks (and floors, and kitchen tables, and corners of bedrooms….) across the world

But me?  I am busy trying to sort out some of my site stuff, as well as get the house back to normal after our long visit from the in-laws, and get some Christmas tasks done, and just load and loads of “have to do” stuff when I want to do “WANT to do stuff”

I am loving my Li’l Grumpies from Smeared Ink.  I have been playing with my Copics and experimenting with colouring in and cutting out – those little wispy hairs are tricky.  So much fun.

I am excited that Make the Day Special has more Smeared Ink on the way. I love love love  Nevermore.  I am very keen on at least two of the new releases, one with a fab ink blot and one with great wood grain and tree bark backgrounds.  I love the Grumpies and for a change the word stamps that come with them are handy too – I had picked out “I’m watching you” for the pink girl, “here’s the deal” or “What are you looking at?” for the purple one, and def. “look into my eyes” for the brown one.  I saw a fab card on Deze is ook leuk! and am planing to incorporate these little guys into something like that somehow.  While cleaning I found a card I made that was very similar (probably the “origami” version she refers to in the video, I’m guessing) before we moved over here in 2001 but never sent.  I think I am going to give the one from the video a go and see how they differ.  anyway, I think the Grumpies would be a fun surprise inside when you open the “box!”

Hope you all are having a crafty day – and Happy WOYWW!



SDC19 – Girly Girl

Ah good to be back to normal.  I found an old craft book in a bookstore in Hay-on-Wye when we were in Wales and it had a pattern for a brilliant paper rose.  It’s a bit like the ubiquitous Tim Holtz one although I like how the center works a bit better, I think, and the petals are more shaped.  Anyway, I knew I wanted to make one and when I saw the current Girly Girl challenge on the SDC blog I knew this was what I wanted to use it for.

At some point I saw someone post regarding a challenge there who took a BIG head stamp and put it on one of the usual bodies.  I loved how it looked and made sure my most recent order included a big head so I could give it a go.  Now, I am horrified to realize I’ve lost track of the link I had thought I saved so I could give credit.  My vague recollection is that it was a contributor rather than one of the DT (making it a BIG pool to try to wade through!) but I would be ever so grateful if anyone from Stampotique knows who might have done this they would let everyone know by adding the info in a comment.  Anyway, here is my effort.  I can see I will need MORE big heads because I do so like how this looks and it makes the same stamps more versatile.

Interestingly, when I posted a link to Daniel Torrente’s blog a few Sunday’s back, I had also sent him a fan-mail email telling him how much I loved the clay dolls I saw there.  I asked if one in particular (the one with the sweet little girl holding a very big knife in both her hands, behind her back, with the title “Pick a hand” – still makes me smile) would ever become a stamp.  He replied to tell me it was Jill’s doll, and THIS stamp was his take on it, with the knife missing.  You can see she could be holding something  in that clenched fist, can’t you? I did consider adding a dollhouse knife, and may still, but it rather goes against the “girly girl” theme LOL!

I hope you can see the little letters on the petals, which say I feel pretty Oh so Pretty…. and would have carried on to say I feel charming and witty and gay had I had the room – and enough of the little letters.  I may have another sheet, which needs tracking down, and with careful trimming along the edges of each letter I might just manage to complete the quote.  Or I may be lazy and leave it as it is – it works well enough so we shall see.  The edges of the petals  are smudged with Tattered Rose distress ink and brushed with rose gold Stickles, if you can’t quite see it, and it looks very pretty IRL.


Digital stamps

I have to admit I am loving, but struggling with, digital stamps.  I love that you can resize them, love that you can get a perfect image every time, but hate that (at least with my printer) you can’t emboss them and that the ink from the printer will bleed sometimes.  I’m sure that my printer is the issue, but am not in a position to change it at the moment.  Oh well.

I am also struggling with cardstock – I read a lot online about the best cardstock to use for Copic colouring, but I don’t think the card I tend to see praised is easily available here off the shelf.  I got some someplace, store brand, maybe from Staples, that was great – no bleeding, thick enough but not too thick – and some that was on sale from WH Smith that is hopeless.  It seems the GSM is NOT the key.  Higher GSM does not mean better for stamping and colouring.  I saw some special Manga pads at Hobby Craft that they say are specifically for alcohol-ink based markers but it was something like £7 for a pretty small pad.  Ugh.

So as I am finding more and more digital images I love, I clearly have to devote some time to this, but not till after the in-laws leave, after the school holidays, and after DDs 14th birthday and the last LAST LAST EVER doll.  Ha ha, I scoff.  How many times have I said that in the last year??

This is an image that is on my list to acquire:

Love the girly one as well – you can get them both here:


Copic colouring frustration

I don’t normally post on a Saturday (too busy with family life – this AM we saw Despicable Me in 3D – fab, highly recommend it!)  but I spent yesterday doing some Copic colouring.  Not entirely pleased with the result.  Typical, the Copic class I had hoped to take was on the day DH was needed at the Tate with his iPad app and the next one isn’t for AGES.  anyway I found a great image online and decided to colour it and try to turn it into … well, not sure what.  Maybe a card, maybe something else.  I also wanted to mix in some stamps.  So the colouring went fine, the masking less well as I had a bit of a halo.  It was smudging on the Distress ink when it all went awry!  The cardstock wasn’t the best, although 220 gsm so not super thin, but the Distress ink (or my too vigorous rubbing) tore the card a bit.  And the darker shadow I tried the put around the figure wasn’t great either.  So now I am left with do I start again and treat it all as a learning experience or try to salvage it somehow?

I’m also less than happy with the printer ink, which has a tendency to bleed a sort of reddish colour, and the printed lines aren’t great at containing the Copic ink, running sometimes.

The thought of colouring him again isn’t hugely appealing, as it was a bit time consuming, and at the very least I think I would need to get some better cardstock first (luckily the new Hobby Craft opens near me this weekend!)

Here you can better see the rubbish shadowing and the a-little-TOO-distressed area:

Overall, I do love the image and 90% of the colouring.  I think the white part, with just a smidge of cool gray looks quite good, and I like the mix of browns and warm grays in his hair.  I may just set him aside fr a bit and see what I think in a week or so.

DD is quite the fan of Studio Ghibli at the moment so now off for another media hit in the form of My Neighbor Toturo.  I hope she’ll forgive me if I fall asleep during it LOL!