Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Tutorial - Glimmer Mists

Well here we go, GM tutorial by special request, this is instalment one........instalment two to follow in a day or so when I muster up the enrgry to draw it all together. Can't believe I'm actually doing this and have to say right at the start I don't profess to know all there is to know about GM's, I just enjoy using them and am happy to share what I have learnt with those of you that have perhaps not yet ventured into the realms of these super duper sprays........can you tell already that I love them ?

Having never done this before my worry is that I may not provide sufficient clarity or worse bore you to tears with too much blather, but will do my best and leave it to your honesty to tell me ! I decided it would be easier if I do two tutorials, the first with the basic techniques and another moving onto using stencils with GM's. All of this will be far from exhaustive, I'm still on the learning curve as well.

I have been using GM's for a year now and using them in classes and the novelty still hasn't worn off which is quite something with new crafting goodies. I have tried most of the 'similar' products on the market but in my opinion none compare with the intensity of colour and shimmer......that's the bit that comes from the high mica content in them.

First things first, preparation:

1) I always use a large silicone mat, most good craft store sell them as do Lakeland (baking sheets) - always store it rolled, not folded, otherwise you will end up with horrid ridges that the ink runs into and all of that can be used again if your surface is flat. You can use newspaper, but then you waste all the overspray (I'll explain later).

2) Lay out everything you will need, GM's, kitchen towel, cardstock.
3) Select the colours you want to use - in reality they all blend together, but some definitely lend themselves to one another better thank others such as Honey Dew Mist and Lemon Zest, Timeless Lilac and Kiwi, Seafoam or Turquoise with Sandy Beach or Vanilla. We all have our preferences and these are just mine but will provide a good basis for starting your collection so you get best use out of your GM's. There are also two essential 'special' sprays that in my view everyone using GM's needs in their stock - Iridescent Gold and Pearl, these are white/cloudy to look at but added as a final spray give the finishing shimmer and blend the colours.

Priming your GM's:
When you look at a bottle of GM you will see sediment in the bottom, this is the mica - shimmer element. Even if it is only a few minutes since you last used a bottle, you still need to follow this procedure as the mica settles very quickly. Roll the bottle between your hands until you see movement of the mica then shake vigorously until the sediment is all incorporated into the liquid. This may sound like teaching you to suck eggs, but do make sure the top is on, you wouldn't believe how many times I have seem someone shake without the top on and I guess you can imagine the result - GM's ceilings can be nice if you like that sort of thing I suppose !

Basic Spraying technique:
The effect you create will be dictated by the way you spray and the height from which you spray. A swift left to right movement with the bottle held about 12" above your cardstock with gentle pressure on the nozzle will produce a nice fine misted effect The lover you move to the cardstock the thicker the intensity of colour.

People often ask me why they get a 'blobby' effects regardless, but this is usually down to technique. This picture shows where you finger should be placed on the top of the bottle, any further forward the spray will hit your nail, drop down to the card and this is what creates the 'blobs'.

Start with the palest colour first and build up with your darker colours. With practice is is quite easy to create a 'custom' piece of cardstock with colours where you want them like on this card or this one for example. Alternately spraying randomly you can create pieces like this one and some fantastic colour blends can be achieved.
A note on drying, you can use a heat gun to speed it up but if you have a lot of GM on your piece it's likely to make it run across the card, so try heating from the back. I prefer to let it dry naturally as it takes half hour at most. I tend to line them all up in the warmest place which is the conservatory in the summer (dog paw marks can be nice if you put them on the floor as I did last week) or across a radiator. You can see the mica twinke in the sunlight as it dries - little things !!

Using your 'Two Special Sprays':

Once you are happy with your colourways, this is the time to use your two 'special' sprays. There are two ways to do this, you can either spray immediately after spraying the other inks and you will see rapid bleeding of the colours which blends them together. Alternately, allow your carstock to dry and then spray with your 'special' spray, this will still persuade the inks to bleed but in a far more subtle way. The two samples below have both been sprayed with Lemon Zest and Honey Dew Mist. The one of the left was given more of the two main colours and Pearl sprayed on when wet. The one of the right had a lighter spray of the same two colours, was left to dry and then sprayed with Pearl. Two totally different effects.

Now is perhaps the time to say when you look at a piece such as the one on the left you might want to bin it because it's a bit messy. Don't because by the time you have stamped onto it everything blends together and the imperfections fade into the background.
Obtaining a softer finish:

If you prefer a softer finish, follow the basic spraying technique above but immediately after spraying dab it with a piece if scrunched kitchen towel. This produces a lovely base for adding more sprays from a similar colour family to achieve a nice mottled finish. I will cover this again in my next tutorial using stencils.Never waste a drop:

After a spraying there is inevitable a residue of ink on your silicone mat, never ever waster this. I always keep lots off offcuts ready and place them onto the mat to soak up the ink, if you squish your cardstock around you will pick up most of it. The same process can be followed after each colour has been used and you can end up with some fantastic colour combos quite by chance.

Maintaining a good even Spray:

Sometimes the spray nozzle blocks and you get a blotchy spray. You can easily clear this by unscrewing the top and running it under cold water.

Maximising effort:

Lots of people tell me they can't be 'faffed' with GMs' because they are messy. That's all part of the fun, but they are only as messy as you make it and if you prepare property the clear it all away as soon as you finish the mess is minimal but the satisfaction element great. I tend to have a 'GM session', get the whole lot out and spend an hour or so creating a stockpile ready for use.

Colour bends and results:

There is no limit to the wonderful finishes and effects you can achieve with GM's and below are just a few examples. The top left was done using black cardstock with Rum Raisin, Timeless Lilac, Gold and final spray of Iridescent Gold. Top left is onto white cardstock using Pink Bubblegum, Black Cherry adn Timesless Lilac, then run through the bug using birds and swirls folder and a final spray added of Pearl. It's always difficult to get the shimmer in pictures, but believe they all have a wonderful sheen.

The bottom left is for a project I am working on but afraid you will have to wait until Sunday to see it as it's some of my DT work. Colours used here are Midnight, Rose Tea, Seafoam, Sunflower and Gold. I sprayed this piece to tie in with a stamp and with careful panning it fits 'what I needed where' perfectly. The bottom right piece was stamped with versamark and embossed with detail clear before spraying to create a resist effect, then sprayed with Coral and Gold.

So in conclusion after completing my 'novel' I hope this will help some of you, inspire others to buy some GM's and have some fun and those of you who fall into the 'faff' category to give it another go and I would love to see what you create. Please do have a wander around my blog and look as some of the samples using GM's - the link on the sidebar is probably the quickest way to find them and feel free to ask me any question you have.


Sarah xx said...

Oh this was fantastic Brenda! Thank you so much. I have two of these hidden in my stash and had great plans for them which got lost in time. Am off to dig them out again xxx

Sally H said...

Wonderful tutorial Brenda! There's nothing better than getting really inky!

Cherry said...

Great tutorial Brenda, I haven't got any yet but keep hovering over them. Your tutorial is really helpful - will add them to my wish list. XXX

eiyiyi said...

You are a pro at tutorials. Clear and easy to understand. Takes the mystery out of GMs! Great job. Thank you so much for doing this!
eileen xoxo

Tracy said...

Oooo waiting for instalment two, and can you use them on flowers? I'm getting
Very interested in them now.
Thank you Brenda for opening my eyes to a new technique.
Happy crafting
Tracy x

Zoechaos said...

Thank you Brenda, I love my GM's and agree they are better than other similar sprays on the market. Have nothing like your experience and found this really helpful. Like everyone else looking forward to part 2.

Zoe xx

Jules said...

Wow Brenda

What a fantastic post. Thanks for all the time and effort you have put into this.

Can't wait for the second part.

I personally don't own any GM's - mainly because I can't be bothered with the "mess factor" or the "waiting" before I can use what I have created. I perhaps need to learn a little patience though because I love the finished look!

I do have Cosmic Shimmer Mica Pigment powders. I perhaps need to see if I can use these in the same way.

Thank you for the inspiration.

Love Jules xx

PinksyDoodles said...

Thank you for this fabulous tutorial Brenda. I haven't got any GM's yet but they are on my list! I have added this tutorial to my "favourites" so I can keep referring to it when I get some.
Have a lovely day.
Clare x

Nannieflash said...

Oh Brenda youve really given us a real fantastic tutorial there, it will help no end. With love and hugs Shirleyxxxxxxxxxx

Bee said...

Thanks for the great information on this product that I knew little about. Always good to hear tips from crafters who use and love the materials (and explain themselves very clearly as you have!)
Crafts By Bee

Lynda said...

Hi Brenda, Thanks so much for taking the time to explain all of this. If I can't afford the GMs soon they will definitely be on my Xmas list - can I wait that long?

Love Lynda xxx

Unknown said...

Brenda your a cracker!

Sorry it's taken me so long to come bk(you know I usually pop on every day) but had G'Son round for a few days he is adorable.

But how lovely to come back and find so many gems. loving this tutorial well done you! I am itching to buy my GM (you should be on commision)lol So I will be poping around over the weekend to see if I can see any bargins buy one get one half price or GOGOF (not likley is it?) lol

Thanx Bren pop bk soon xx

Linda Brun said...

Wonderfull tutorial. Thankyou for sharing.


Anonymous said...

Hi Hunny I was looking for a tutorial for my friend Kaz and googled it and I found you how funny is that!! COOL hu!!
te hehehee thanks hunny great tutorial!! :0)

JAN said...

excellent where in the Uk can i get some of this gorgeous spray..

Linda . J said...

Thanks you for the tutorial Brenda, I shall have ago at this even though I only have 3 GM but after seening your fantastic tutorial I will have to buy more lol, thank you again.
Hugs Linda

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Hi B, I have ordered new colours after reading your tutorial on it and been playing it going to put a link to your tutorial on my blog as I think is brilliant, on tomorrow's WOYWW post.... thanks so much, I pray you are keeping better these day..
Shaz in oz.x

jude said...

Fab tiutorial i just love the tattereed angel glimmer mists but Wow what a collection you have .Made me realize i need somemore.
Thanks judex

Sheree said...

Excellent tutorial! I'll try this at home!

zielonyszpinakk said...

Thank you for this great tutorial ! It helped me discover Glimmer Mists.

Marianne said...

Thanks Brenda. I'm all new to glimmer mists but I'm definitely considering getting some after reading your great tutorial and seeing the samples your made.