Thursday, 4 August 2011

Shadow Box for our Nephew’s Wedding–Part 2

Over the past few days I’ve been working on the mount. I have covered both the underside and upper side with silver mirror card, and lined the aperture with strips of silver sticky strip, which was quite hard to make stick down. The underside has been stuck down onto the glass using narrow double-sided tape around the outer edges – this will be sandwiched between the frame and the top edge of the box, and won’t be seen.

While I was doing this, I inadvertently touched a bit of the sticky side of the strip to the mirror card and it left a mark, which would not rub off. I decided to rub it with a bit of Crafter’s Companion Stick-Away, which is a wonderful spray which removes all sorts of sticky deposits and is a real crafter’s friend – but not in this case, alas!! It not only took away the glue, but also the silver surface of the card – so if you learn something new every day, what I’ve learned today is: “Do not use Stick-Away on mirror card!!!!!” (Might be worth storing that bit of info away because you could lay a stencil down on some mirror card and rub with Stick-Away and create a pattern by removing the mirror surface!! Worth a try?) You can see the white mark on the corner of the mount in this photo.

06 Mount with Silver Mirror Card

Fortunately I had already decided to add decoration and embellishments to the mount and frame, so I shall be able to cover this up OK, but it’s still a bore…

I worked on a sample piece, stamping some butterflies onto silver mirror card, using the acrylic ink I used on the iridescent butterfly. I tried several variations to see which would look best, including painting the ink onto the rubber stamp with a small brush, stamping with black Stazon ink alone, with Stazon and then painting over with the acrylic ink. When dry, I applied glass bead gel all over, so that the coloured butterflies showed through. The best one was definitely the Stazon painted with the ink, and this was what I decided to proceed with. As I haven’t got any green iridescent acrylic ink, I made up a green acrylic glaze from Hooker’s green acrylic paint diluted with Golden GAC-100 polymer, adding some iridescent gel medium.  This produced a lovely translucent glaze which allowed the mirrored surface of the card to show through.

After the colour was dry, I applied a couple of layers of glass bead gel, not over the whole mount, but covering all the butterflies, and spreading a little onto the glass itself to soften the square outline of the mount aperture. The glass bead gel on top of the reflective surface gives a marvellous sparkly effect which alters as you turn it in the light, and the butterflies show through beautifully.

09 Mount

Unfortunately this photo fails to show the sparkly iridescent effect that I’ve achieved with these glazes and gel mediums, but you can at least get an impression.

Glass bead gel medium is amazing stuff; it looks opaque white when wet, but dries crystal clear. Embedded in it are glass micro-beads which catch the light when dry. It looks a bit like miniature sago pudding! (Anyone remember that? – or does it date me too much! Nursery food…)

I also applied the glass bead gel onto the inner bevel of the frame, and also a little silver Treasure Gold to the stamped butterflies on the frame, but this hasn’t brought out the texture very well, but just given a bit of silver smudge to the frame! Never mind… it will be OK once the final embellishments are on.

I’ve now attached the butterfly to the acetate with Pinflair glue which dries crystal clear and so is virtually invisible. In this mock-up, you can see the printed acetate with the butterfly attached. There will be some paper flowers and leaves applied underneath this acetate layer, and maybe one or two on the acetate itself, as with the Silver Wedding box I made; these are reflected, giving the impression of more. The white edge is the double-sided tape, and once the acetate is stuck down, this edge will be covered with some silver self-adhesive strip.

07 Mock-up with Butterfly on Acetate 1

This project is taking me a good deal longer than I thought, because it’s a journey of exploration into new materials and techniques for me – a combination of enjoyment and frustration! Let’s hope the enjoyment bit wins out in the end.

The next step is to make up the paper flowers and some leaf trails, and assemble the project.


  1. Wow - that's beautiful!! All the hard work and new techniques will be worth it in the end. It's the perfect combo for me, blue and sparkles :D x

  2. This looks like such fun. How neat to see the experimentation with new materials!


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