Experimenting with Cobs and Astrid. AKA: Testing the Stickability of Anita’s 3D Clear Gloss.

Craft Product Recommendation  Of The Week!

Craft Product Recommendation
Of The Week!

Regular readers of my blog will remember that I have already blogged a Recommendation on Anita’s 3D Clear Gloss many moons agoHowever a fellow blogging buddy [the wonderful and immensely talented] Astrid,  wrote and asked me how well Anita’s Gloss stuck things.  I couldn’t answer this truthfully as I hadn’t tested the Gloss for ‘stickability’ so we’ve been testing it (via emails – as she lives at one end of the UK and I live at the other) – and I’m back here sharing the results with everyone – so that you all know too,  – and I’m  Recommending this product again as Craft Product of the Week,  simply because of the great results I got from this  ‘costs way less than that other particular brand of Glossy stuff which you can buy from the hobby retail outlets‘.

I’ve taken before and after photo’s … but … they aren’t brilliant in standard.  It’s dark and dingy weather here, and no matter what lights I had on or off, I couldn’t get a decent photo.  So … my apologies for the rubbish photos, but they’re the best out of a bad bunch of over 40.

The ‘before’ photo – so that you can see what types of things I chose to stick with the Anita’s 3D Clear Gloss:

Combination of items I experimented with to test out the 'stickability' of Anita's 3D Clear Gloss

Combination of items I experimented with to test out the ‘stickability’ of Anita’s 3D Clear Gloss

You can click on all of these photographs in order to make them load bigger – but remember to click ‘back’ in your browser so that you come back to this page to continue reading.

I scribbled on the scrap card so that I could show you what I stuck and where I stuck it.

  • The Glass Beads selection of 7 types,  are (as you’re looking at the photo) bottom left and bottom centre.
  • All the 8 various different metal charms are top left and then trailing down into the middle of the card.
  • Top right are a mixture of flat back plastic (pink) pearl.  Flat back glass Dew Drop (in clear pink), and a little mix of plastic gem type stones.
  • Bottom right is a  green plastic button

The metal charms:  Some are flat, but others are undulated or are more of a rounded back, and the Angel (in the top left corner) is hollow back – but I wanted something larger so that I could pour liquid all over it to see what happened – so this seemed like a great one for that test as it was all bumpy.

Anitas Experiment 10.11.14 2

The Angel you can see close up in this ↑ photograph, and you can see how I totally smothered it – just so that I could see what happened.  The two ‘Made with Love’ little heart charms – I put a smaller dot of medium on the uppermost one, and a large blob of the medium to stick the lower positioned heart – just so that I could test one against the other for stickability.  The ‘doughnut’ or ‘polo mint’ embelli just had three tiny little dots of medium on it.

Anitas Experiment 10.11.14 4

The glass beads:  I chose two different sets to squeeze a little (and it was only a little) of the gloss over them, to see how it behaved and so that I could compare it to the to the other glass beads which I simply lay on top of some of the 3D Gloss which I’d squeezed out a tiny bead, and spread it slightly, then popped the glass beads on top of it and with my finger, I gently pressed to make sure that the beads were in contact with the medium.  I then left them all over-night.

Anitas Experiment 10.11.14 3

The following day, everything was stuck firmly.  I turned it upside down and gave itdarn  good  shaking.  Nothing fell off.  I set it flat and holding on to the card, I pushed each of the items very firmly.  Nothing moved.  I took my index finger and flicked each one repeatedly with a good flick, over and over,  and I know that with some other glues this action would have been enough to send some of those things flying across the room – but nothing moved.

Anitas Experiment 10.11.14 5

The Glass Dew Drop was a real surprise to me, as I’d not found anything (up till now) which would stick those little b*ggers securely – but this 3D Gloss had done the job.

But the real test was to try some really rough handling.  So since I hadn’t been able to move any of these things by the type of basic rough handling (which I would say they might possibly encounter on a postal journey) … now I wanted to really tug on them.  I wanted to force them to part company with the card:-

Anitas Experiment 10.11.14 6

The smothered Angel … she really was very well stuck and I broke a fingernail getting her off – but she didn’t come off the card, the card came off the card with her.  She was still stuck to it.

The little metal heart which was stuck on more lightly than the other – also stuck fast.  The metal hand – again so well stuck that it pulled the card off rather than it was pulled off the card.  The metal charm I thought would be the easy one was the irregular shaped open heart with the arrow through it – but again – it pulled the card off with it.

The Dew Drop was probably the easiest – but that didn’t part with the card, it again took the card with it.

I couldn’t get the plastic gems off at all. (and didn’t want to risk another fingernail).

The glass beads … the only ones I got off  ‘easily’ (but not really) were the big charcoal coloured round ones – but again – they brought the card off with them.

If you click on the ‘after’ photo above it will open up much larger so that you can see the results for yourself.  (remember to click back in your browser again though so that you come back here).

All in all – I was stunned and amazed at what a great job it did of this ‘stickability’ test, and because of that I’m repeating my Craft Product Recommendation so that you can see for yourself the results of this test which Astrid and I decided needed to be done!

Link to my previous recommendation about this product:  https://thecobweboriumemporium.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/anitas-3d-clear-gloss-my-recommendation-of-the-week/

Link to the wonderfully talented  Astrid’s Artistic Efforts  blog (you’ll fall in love with her too!):- http://astridsartisticefforts.blogspot.co.uk/

Thank you so much for sharing a little of your time with me, here today.  I really appreciate your company, and if you’d like to leave a comment, please do – even if it’s only to say hello!  I so love to hear from folks who come for a read.

Have a truly fabulous Tuesday.  Do something today which makes you happy!

With all my love ~

Cobs siggy sml

 

Huggies Baby Wipes – My Craft Recommendation of the Week!

Huggies  ... a crafters best friend in the craft room

Huggies
… a crafters best friend in the craft room

There’s one product that, as a crafter, I’ve never  ever been without in my craft room and that product is Huggies Baby Wipes They’re the most incredible thing for clean up jobs  –   for work tops, blending mats, glass cutting mats and they’re brilliant for cleaning your hands after you’ve been playing in your inks and blending.

They work with paint, stamp pad inks,  spills, and all the general madness which goes on in craft rooms.  They’re  FANDABBYDOZY  at cleaning up glitter – and we all know how that can spread itself around the place.  The glitter sticks to the Huggies wipe and you can just collect it all up and straight into the bin!

Price wise, here in the UK, I normally find them for around £1.  I know that Superdrug normally stock them for 99p;  and I’ve bought them from Tesco’s when they’re on offer – and stock up with them when they’re on a buy one get one free. Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons,  Boots and Waitrose either stock them for a pound or you can buy 2 for £2 – (buying just one pack makes them more than a pound, but buy two at the same time and you get the offer).

Huggies actually make six different wipes, but I only ever use Huggies Pure which are in a soft biscuit coloured pack,  (see a pack at the top of this post) or Huggies Natural Care – which are in the familiar green pack.

Not just for babies bottoms!

Not just for babies bottoms!

For Stampersthose who use rubber stamps to craft – Huggies are one of the best wipes to use as they contain no alcohol.  Alcohol is a stamps worst enemy as it slowly breaks down the rubber of the stamp and you then end up with a print which is exceptionally poor, and since stamps are so expensive they’re worth taking care of.

Now I know that there are special wipes which are apparently made just for crafters.  There are, I’m led to believe, even wipes that are made for crafters which can be used, washed and re-used.  But …  why would you want to do that?  If that’s what you want to do, then why not buy old towels from a charity shop, cut them into wipe sized squares and use those?  Surely the one thing us crafters don’t want to spend time doing is using the washing machine and sorting whites, mixed colours, woollens, darks and … crafting wipes!  (You really wouldn’t want to wash them with your lovely clothes!) And besides which … I’ve looked on the internet and these ‘special crafters’ wipes cost a fortune!

Nope … my recommendation of the week  year  CENTURY, is  Huggies Baby Wipes.

Oh .. and want to know something else great about them?  I’ve found that the Huggies Pure wipes (the ones in the biscuit coloured pack) – are fantastic for removing your cosmetics at the end of the day, and boy do they leave your face soft!  Double whammy!  Yay.

Happy Crafting all!

Cobs siggy sml

Cheap as Chips Cosmetic Sponges – My Craft Recommendation of the Week!

Cheap as Chips Cosmetic Sponges They're for more than just your face!

Cheap as Chips Cosmetic Sponges
They’re for more than just your face!

As a crafter I’m only too aware of how us crafters can be convinced  (conned?  who said ‘conned’?  see me after school!)  – convinced into buying products that,  well … we could either do without or could buy something far cheaper which works just as well,  or sometimes even better.  Cheap cosmetic sponges are one of those things which I know from experience works just as well,  –  or,  for me at least,  far better than a well-known make, little wooden handled thing with the [costly] replaceable pads which is meant to be the crafters dream blending tool;  or some of the other expensive sponges that I’ve bought in the past which were ‘designed especially for crafters’.

I’ve been using cheap cosmetic sponges in the craft room for quite a while and find them far easier to use than any other option available.  I can control the pressure a lot easier.  I can add as little or as much of the medium I’m using as I want and where I want.   I can dab, swish, pat, splodge, circle, stripe, wipe, swipe and all manner of things which will all give a different effect or ‘finish’.

BUT .. please don’t go to your local supermarket or pharmacy and buy their pack of 6 for £2.99 or some other such ridiculous price.  Go instead to your nearest pound shop and find them in there for just a pound, and that’s for a lot more than half a dozen too! 

I currently buy mine (the ones the photographs) from Home Bargains (here in the UK).  The one pack cost me 99p and the other cost £1.  In the grey pack there are the traditional wedge shapes that we all know as being the ‘normal’ cosmetic shaped sponge.  In the other pack are the assortment of shapes – all of them very much useable.

The 'assorted shapes' pack, unpacked so that you can see them all clearly

The ‘assorted shapes’ pack, unpacked so that you can see them all clearly

You can see in the photo above one of the pads which I’d used two days ago.  (I saved it because I knew I was going to take photo’s for this recommendation).  The sponges from the red/pink bag are all different types, but you’ll be able to use every single one of them for various different projects.  And the best bit?  —> Because they’re as cheap as chips you don’t have to worry about trying to wash these out.  At £1 for so many, you won’t fret about throwing these away when they’ve outlived their usefulness.

But .. added to all this wonderfulness from a crafters point of view  –  … if you should find yourself out of make-up sponges – these are actually ok to use on your face too!  (see the photo below, for the information from the back of the pack).

Not just for crafting ...

Not just for crafting …

Please give them a try.  I honestly don’t think you’ll look back once you’ve tried them.

Thanks for visiting.  Please, have a look around while you’re here, and even perhaps leave me a comment or two so that I get to know you.  It’s so lovely to know who’s reading and what you’re interested in.  If there’s any questions you’d like to ask please ask away in a comment.  I’ll be more than happy to help if I can.

Have a really great start to your new week.

Cobs siggy sml

N.B.  I have not been paid, either in money nor ‘goods’ of any sort to make this recommendation.  This is a personal recommendation based upon my own use of a product and my own experiences in using that product.

Anita’s 3D Clear Gloss – my recommendation of the week.

Craft Product Recommendation  Of The Week!

Craft Product Recommendation
Of The Week.

This weeks craft product recommendation is:  Anita’s 3D Clear Gloss.  Some of you may have already discovered this product – which is brilliant,  but some of you may be buying expensive alternatives because you think that because they cost more, they’re somehow better.

I’ve been using this product for a while now and LOVE it.   It adds a glossy accent to any part of your card, scrapbooking page, project … or even a photograph, and does it so amazingly well.  I think I probably use this more often than any other of the craft products in my craft room (oh, apart from glue of course).  It’s amazing how much I call on this one to just give something that extra bit of texture, glamour, loveliness or simply to accent part of something which just adds that certain something to a project.

If you’re using an old vintage photograph of someone crying … this is what you’d use to make that teardrop glisten.  If you’re making a card with a picture of children painting … use this on [some of] the paints and especially use it on the water pot – for that bit of realism and highlight.

Making a card which features a pond?  Make the water look more realistic with this.  Fishing scene?  Splashes will POP out of the card with this added to them.  Raindrops on a rose?  Yup, you’re getting the idea now.

“But,”    I hear you asking,   “there are other products which do exactly the same as this, why is Cobwebs recommending this one?”    (You are saying it, I can hear you.   ….  OK .. maybe you weren’t  …  but I’ve got you thinking about it now, haven’t I?  <insert a smiling face here>).    Well I’m recommending it in order to bring your attention to it because although it probably does the exact same thing which you’ve seen those (very) expensive products demonstrated do,  it’s a fraction of the cost to buy it.

I buy it for around £1.75, and you can get it from all sorts of places – from The Range to Ebay and all sorts of other craft emporiums across the globe – and I think in some places it’s even cheaper than I pay for it.  (I buy it from The Range – simply because it’s so near and so convenient)

I’ve tried to take a photograph of it in action …  (forgive the photo, I’m rubbish with a camera) …

Craft Product Recommendation of the Week

Craft Product Recommendation
of the Week

…  what you’re looking at is a die cut ribbon slider which is actually as flat as a pancake.  I’d cut it out earlier and rubbed it over with an ink pad in the hope of it showing the Anita’s 3D Clear Gloss up better in a photo.   I gave it time to dry and then gently tipped the ‘pen’ of the 3D gloss up so that no air bubbles got trapped, and very gently gave the sides of the ‘pen’ a tiny squeeze to allow the liquid to flow.  DON’T give it a hard squeeze, it flows out easily by just the slightest encouragement.  Just gently move the nib around the parts you want to accent with the Gloss and then slowly stop squeezing to stop the flow of the liquid.

Give it a practise first so that you get the feel for how much of a squeeze you need to give it, and also see how gently and easily it flows,  and how it seems to know where you want it to be.

Word of warning though ... DON’T SHAKE THE PEN!  You don’t need to ‘mix’ the liquid inside the pen, it’s already ready to ‘go’… and if you shake it you’ll introduce air bubbles to the liquid and then have an air bubbled finish to your gloss – which you probably won’t want.

If you do get the odd bubble in the liquid then don’t panic.  Wait until you’ve finished putting the gloss on to your project and then simply take a pin and pop the bubble(s) – or … if you get skilled at using the ‘pen’, you can actually suck the bubbles out using the ‘nib’ and ‘unsqueezing’ the bottle.  (You’ll get the knack if you practise a little on some scrap paper).

Craft Product Recommendation of the Week

Craft Product Recommendation
of the Week

Give it a try.  I’m pretty sure you’ll quickly grow to love this product.

Just a note …  I’m not paid to make these recommendations and I haven’t been given any products to act as payment or to encourage me to recommend them.  I will only recommend a craft product which I’ve actually tried and use regularly myself and found to be a great success in my own craft projects.

Have a wonderful, crafty weekend all.

Cobs siggy sml

The Ranger Melting Pot – my recommendation of the week.

The Melt Pot by Ranger is highly recommended by the Cobweborium Emporium, as a great addition to the craft room.

The Melt Pot by Ranger is highly recommended by the Cobweborium Emporium, as a great addition to the craft room.

 

I saw the Ranger Melt Pot demonstrated on Create & Craft early in 2013 and thought it was a lovely bit of kit – but the price, at the time, put me off buying it and so I put it on the  ‘I’d like one of these’  list.

A fellow crafter mentioned that a craft store near her had the Melting Pots on special offer just for that week as well as free postage and packing.   It was such an incredible deal that I ordered one straight away, along with some clear ultra thick embossing crystals, just to give me something to start with.

It arrived really quickly and although I unpacked it from the packing box I left it in its actual proper packing for weeks!

I think I was a little scared of it.  It seemed such a major product  . . . but  after weeks of uhmming and erring … I opened the package and decided NOW was the time to put on my big girl knickers and play with this magical machine.

From the moment that I made my very first bit of Ranger Melting Pot magic – I was well and truly   HOOKED.

“Hello, my name is Cobwebs and I’m a Melting Pot Addict.”

I thought that I’d developed some sort of  super power  which turned solid objects into a liquid.  You pour a some Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel into the pot, put the lid on and VOILA!  You take the lid off and where there was a solid matter there is now liquid magic.

I’d set myself up to make something simple … a tag or a topper.  Small enough to not really care about making a total pigs ear of it, but something that I could use if it turned out to be a joyous success.

I turned the melt pot on poured some crystals into deeper well part of the dish and put on the lid.  It takes just a minute or two for the UTEE to melt into a see through liquid, at which point I took the bit of chipboard card which I’d already prepared.  It was about the size of a business card –  to which I’d added a chipboard bird shape with a little double-sided tape and  ‘stroked’ a little teal coloured gilding wax (from Creative Expressions)  around the edges of the bird and the card,  as a sort of highlight.

I then held the chipboard tag in my tweezers and carefully, gently placed/dropped it face down into the melted crystals in the melt pot.  I left it there for just a moment, then carefully lifted it out and let it drip for a few seconds, before laying it flat  (on it’s back) on my heat-resistant mat.

I gazed at what I’d made and couldn’t believe how something so mundane as two bits of chipboard card had taken on a look of something really rather ‘arty’ and expensive.

I had a little test tube of tiny glass beads on my desk, and I opened them and added a few glass beads to the still wet liquid.  Wow! this was really turning out to be something quite lovely.

I waited until the tag had cooled and ‘set’, then picked it up, snapped off the dribbly bits around the sides and dragged the sides of the tag over the lipped edge of the hot walls of the melt pot pan – to smooth out the edges and make a clean-looking finish,  and  then dropped the tag,  again, face down, into the pan again and gently pushed the back of the tag with my metal tweezers to ensure that the whole of the face of the tag was in contact with the UTEE melted crystals.

I picked up the tag with my tweezers and again allowed it to drip a little, then put the tag down on the heat mat to set.  ……………… I looked at it and ….  I was  well  and  truly  HOOKED.

The Melting Pot became a passion.  I dipped things, poured the liquid on my heat-resistant mat and pressed rubber stamps (only use red RUBBER stamps – as most other stamps can’t be used) into the poured liquid.  I used metal cookie cutters which I’d so far only used for polymer clay, and pressed the cutters into the poured hot liquid in order to cut shapes.    I used  glass beads; little wooden flat backed adornments;  old, rusty looking metal sayings (such as: believe;  TRUE LOVE;  beautiful soul;  wish  … that type of thing) and everything suddenly took on a much more magical, amazing appearance.  I coated paper flowers which I’d cut out using some Sizzix dies and they became something delicate, but so much more amazing than just paper flowers.  I dipped leaves off silk flowers.  I dipped a  short length of cotton into the clear crystals and then carefully draped it over a Tag which I’d made, to add some more texture and depth.

The limit to what you can create with the Melting Pot is only the limit which your creative mind puts on it.

BUT … that’s not all….

You can colour the clear melted crystals – either with solid colours:  black, white, blues, purples, pinks, greens,  silver, gold, bronze …. by using ultra thick embossing crystals (I use Cosmic Shimmer brand).

You can add Melt Art Heat It Inks  or (my own choice of liquid colourants) Cosmic Shimmer Melt Inks – either of these inks are safe to use in your Melt Pot inks.   They’re especially made so that you can add these inks directly into your Melting Pot.  Any other inks ..well I honestly wouldn’t know if they were safe to use,  but I personally wouldn’t try them unless I’d checked with Ranger themselves first.

Inks + Melted UTEE + HOT Melting Pot =  a  possible dangerous happening.  So don’t take chances.

Either of these mentioned inks will add colour, but leave your project translucent  –  so you’ll be able to ‘see’ through it, like you could see through a coloured piece of glass.  But … if you add white UTEE to the blend then the colour changes to an opaque colour.

You can add ‘pearl’ ultra thick embossing crystals, which gives the translucent colours a special finish which looks like someone waved a magic wand over the project and the magic twinkles which came out of the end of their wand got stuck in the liquid and are held there forever more.

What other things can you make? 

Rings …  you can use silicone moulds to make flowers, roses work well.  The liquid cools quickly – in minutes and you can then simply glue the flower to a ring base (which you can buy on Ebay or from various places which sell jewellery making items.)

Pendants … using moulds, or even simply pouring the UTEE out onto your craft sheet and pressing a metal cookie cutter into the hot liquid then leaving it there until it’s cooled a little (remember to poke a hole by pushing in a bamboo stick and holding it there  – then once everything has cooled a little you can (while it’s just still warm) peel away the outer setting UTEE and push out the inner UTEE shape which you’ve made.

Or – you can use a bezel and make pendants like this one which I posted about in the Melt Pot category of my blog.

Armour of God Pendant 2

 

Adornments for your cards – again using Silicone moulds or fashioning things from paper, card, metal, wire or all manner of things – like these flowers simply made from shaped wire and dipped into the melt pot,

Ranger Melt Pot Flowers

Or … how about some Christmas decorations … maybe some snowflakes …  can you imagine the beautiful snowflakes you could make to hang off your tree using a mould like this one ….

Snowflake Silic.Mld

…..  although – these would look fabulous as card adornments – and the recipient would have a gift from you at the same time … a snowflake for their tree!  What a great card for a neighbour or for teacher at school!

BUT .. the fun doesn’t stop there with the Ranger Melting Pot … 

If you buy a project pan you can melt beeswax in your Melt Pot.  You must buy this project pan though – as the melt pot without the project pan gets too hot for beeswax – the addition of the project pan cools the temperature down to just the right amount for beeswax.

You could use the beeswax to make art from (for example) napkins.  Either make a canvas from a pretty napkin (single ply only – so separate the picture from the rest of the napkin, otherwise the napkin layers begin to bubble).  Or … you could decorate a candle and personalise it.

You can also use the Melt Pot to cure Fimo!

 

There is so much that you can do with this fabulous machine and I’ve only touched the surface of its talents.

I whole heartedly recommend this crafting tool.  But remember – just like you might have a microwave in your kitchen, or perhaps a potato masher maybe – you don’t use those tools every single day, so don’t expect to use your melt pot every day.  You’re a crafter, and that means that you’ll use various things, papers, cards, tools and your melt pot, as and when you need them/it.  And that’s ok to do that.  You might not use your heat gun every day, but you bought it!  You might not use your die cutting machine every day, but you have one and wouldn’t be without it.  It’s the same thing.

Finally ... I just want to add that I haven’t been paid to make this recommendation.  Nor have I been given any products or items;  no machine (I bought my own);  no UTEE crystals;  no moulds, or anything.  Nothing what-so-ever. 

My recommendation has been made purely on my own experience of my own Ranger Melting Pot … or  magic Cauldron (as I affectionately call it).

 

If you buy one .. then don’t sit and look at it for weeks, waiting to build up the courage to use it.  Get it out of the packaging, read the leaflet and then make something.  Just make something small.  Nothing that is going to stress you out, and nothing that you’ll expect anything big from.  Just make a tag or a card topper, or maybe a paper flower.  Make something.  Get used to it.  But most of all …. USE IT.  You’ll love it.  OH… and the best bit?  If you make something you don’t like, you can re-melt it and start again.

Fits my motto perfectly

If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you ever tried. 

Hey … it works for me!

Thanks for being here and for reading . . .

Cobs siggy sml

 

Products I Recommend

As a crafter I know that there’s a plethora of crafting tools;  products;  glues;  papers;  card;  adornments;  ribbons;  and even places to buy all of these things – and a whole lot more –  but how do you know which is the best one for you, when you’re stood there, in the store, or sat looking at the internet, trying to decide which item you want to buy for the job you want it to do?

I know that when I bought my Die Cutting Machine I wish I’d had someone to tell me what sort of experience they’d had with machines previously so that I’d have some sort of *real* guidance – rather than someone on a craft channel trying to talk me into parting company with my cash,  or a sales assistant in a shop who needed to make that all important sale.  Sadly, I’d just moved to the south of England, from many miles further up the country,  so hadn’t made any crafting friends where I now live and hadn’t found any crafting groups here either, so I was on my own and had to shop around  (and uhm and ahh)  for about three months before I finally made my choice.

So, in the true spirit of crafting friendship, I’ll use this category on my blog to chat about.  and add photos when I can,  of products I’ve tried and tested, and give you my truthful (and possibly sometimes blunt) opinion of things I’ve used, am using, love and can’t get enough of  …  or things I just wasn’t overly impressed with or tried and tested and found the products wanting in some way.

Please add your own comments because that way people will get another view-point, and I love comments as it kind of gives feedback.  If there’s anything you’re thinking of buying and would like to know if I’ve tried the product then feel free to leave a comment asking me.  If I’ve tried it, then I promise to tell you my opinion of what I thought about it.

Thanks for being here and reading . . .

Cobs siggy sml