Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Frosty Kisses & Warm Holiday Wishes - Wall Decor using Better Than Acrylic, the Cricut and a Printer

Fun, Fun, Fun... that's how I am describing BTA.  I am truly having a blast trying all these new techniques.  Now that I've played with it awhile... I feel like I'm getting more creative. :)  Back to my story kind of projects rather than a single cut.

I love how the layering of pages gives so much dimension.  The top page is the lamppost cut from Cricut Noel and a computer generated title placed on a sheet of BTA.  More on  printing on BTA at the bottom of this post.
The 2nd page is a layer of "snow" and a cute snowman cut from preprinted cardstock... also layered onto a sheet of BTA.
The last page is patterned cardstock with the trees that show through the BTA.  Then hidden when the pages are closed is a pocket that can hold photos or mementos.  I added a quick tag just for the picture.  The pocket was left plain so it could be used to write a note or special memory.
The back  side of a page.  Images were adhered using my Xyron adhesive.  Because it puts adhesive evenly over the entire die cut... it gives a nice professional look on the back.  No need to try and hide the adhesive.  Now the back of the stripped oval would be a good photo mat or another journal spot.  
This was a very quick and easy project.  So  much more could be hidden in the pages if you like.  I was short on time so I kept it quick.

Here is my post with ordering information for BTA  HERE.  I am placing the order this afternoon.  If you miss ordering today and would like some... let me know as I plan to order some extra stock.

Printing on BTA - I do not think it will work with an inkjet printer as the ink will smear.  Also, all printers are different and some can take heavier mediums than others.  Try it at your own risk.  

Here is what I found:

My printer takes toner so it comes out dry.  Also I can load it from the front so I don't have to put the BTA in the paper tray.  I cut a sheet to fit my printer 8 1/2 x 11 inch and loaded it from the front.  It went through fine for me.  I have also cut small pieces of BTA and adhered to regular printer paper and ran through for small sentiments with good results.

One thing I did notice and I'm not sure why, but ever  so lightly it's almost like it printed my sentiment on my 8 1/2 x 11 sheet twice.  You have to hold it up to the light to see it, but there is a very light 2nd printing of the frosty kisses and holiday wishes.  It does not show in the photo nor does it show by looking at it in person unless you lift up the top page and hold it just right in the light.  Not a big deal to me, but wanted to share.

I have made several posts on BTA.  I will be compiling all the information I have to date in one post for you very shortly.  It will have my recommend Cricut settings and lots of details.  That way it's easy for you to get information when you get your order and are ready to play.  Won't be long! :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Baby Album ... Using Better Than Acrylic and Iron On Transfers

How about another fun technique ... BTA and iron on transfers ... Oh My! :) 

I must say ... I am new to designing clear albums and it does take a bit of thinking to get it right.  To keep this one easy I only did the cover in BTA and used cardstock for my pages.
I Love the cute iron on duck.  The perfect accent for my album cover.  

Let's take a closer look at the album cover...
The top cover is the iron on duck and a couple of rub on sentiments.  Here it is with some color behind it so you can see the rub on's better...

Where did the "BABY" go?  It is actually on the second page.  That's the fun part of making a clear album... experimenting with layers and placement of images.
This is not even a full page, but just big enough for my wording and a little machine stitching.  Baby is cut from Base Camp Cricut cartridge.  I used my Xyron adhesive for the letters.  It sticks perfectly to the BTA and gives a nice even layer so it looks good from behind.  (I wasn't thinking, but I should have taken a picture from the back side).  I will do that next time.

Here are the two pages layered together.  The dark paper is just for the picture.

I am not finished with the inside pages, but here are a few pictures.  I am keeping the inside very basic.

 The postage stamp embellishment is a die and folder that came with my Cuttlebug.  I used it with BTA and added a brown layer behind so it would show up better.

I haven't added anything to these pages yet, but had to show you because I Love this paper from K&Company.

There are so many ways of doing clear albums and pages.  However, there is one designer that truly inspired me with the layering of her albums and pages.  Kathy over at Chocolate Chips and Coffee.  If you want inspiration you must see her Amazing work HERE and HERE.  Her layering is phenomenal!  

Here is a quick leaf done in lighter colored alcohol inks, UTEE and BTA.
I bet embossing powder in place of the UTEE would give another pretty effect with the alcohol inks.  I will have to try that.

If you are interested in ordering Better Than Acrylic you can find ordering information HERE.

Thank you to all who have ordered.  I can't wait to see what you come up with using BTA.  I will try and figure out how to host a linky party so you can post a link to your projects if you like.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Better Than Acrylic and Alcohol Ink for A Stained Glass Look ...

I could not shut down the computer for Thanksgiving without posting a couple more BTA projects for you all. :)

Rather than frosty snow globes as in some of my previous projects... how about the look of glass or even better... stained glass.

Is your mind twirling with ideas?  "Glass" mobile for your porch or in front of a window.  A pretty place setting for your Thanksgiving table.  So many ideas for these little glass jewels!  Since you can cut  BTA on the Cricut you can make "glass" jewels for any occasion or project and in a range of sizes.

How to get the look of glass ... Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel aka UTEE.  Rather than a frosty look like embossing powder it is much clearer and shiny.  For stained glass all you have to do is add a little alcohol ink and let it dry... then proceed with heat embossing.  Are you as excited as I am?!  I only have three dark alcohol inks, but my mind is swirling with ideas for pretty pink and lime green... stained glass butterflies and flowers.  Or how about some red glass hearts for Valentines?  Of course I like the clear look, too.

How about one more project?

Sorry... had to make it another snowman! :)  Notice the snowman in red.  I over embossed it's twig arms to see if it would make them look more like twigs.  You know... a little more realistic.  They kind of curl up a bit.

Can't you see these little glass jewels strung on a garland or hanging from a branch on your Christmas tree.  Of course they would make adorable gift tags as well.

I am loving the "glass" look.  Face is a Peachy Keen stamp and Stayzon ink.  Cheeks are chalk over the embossed UTEE and a dab of Glossy Accents.  

I am beginning to think the possibilities for BTA might be endless.  I have so many things I want to try.  The days just aren't long enough. 

One thing about your Cricut cuts ... you can cut very small with very good results.  I cut a fairly detailed snowflake at 1 1/4" and it cut every detail Beautifully!  After Thanksgiving I will try some other detailed cuts and I will try to go even smaller and see how they cut.

I have several posts and projects on BTA... if you scroll the first page of my blog.  Here is the post with the ordering information if you are interested.  Ordering Information.  

If you email me after tonight regarding BTA... it will be after Thanksgiving before I reply.  I probably won't be back on until Sunday.  I hope you all have a Safe and Blessed Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Better Than Acrylic - PreOrder Information & A Simple Project

First here is a very simple snowflake cut from the Joys of the Season Cricut cartridge and heat embossed for sparkle. 
I Love how nice and clean all the details of the snowflake cut.  This snowflake was cut at 4", but I cut a much smaller one with the same great results.  I am telling you... this stuff cuts Beautifully on the Cricut.  
I have so many things I want to try using the BTA, but things have been so busy.  I haven't had as much time to play as I had hoped.  With trying to get ready for the holidays... I didn't pick the best time to launch this.

Also... I know I have been posting lots of snowy projects, but don't get stuck in the mindset of winter and snow.  How about a nice and frosty snow cone or a big glass of sparkly lemonade?  Or something a little more elegant such as a monogram page or card.  I bet a vinyl monogram would work beautifully on this.  I will have to try that...soon!  That's just a few more ideas and I bet you already have many more ideas for the Better Than Acrylic!

At last and without further ado... here is the information you have been waiting for.  If I missed something or you have a question please let me know.  My email is bugjunkie@live.com.

There has been a small change from my last post... I  am having the Better Than Acrylic cut down to 12" x 12".  It will be easier for me to handle and will be a lot easier for shipping purposes as well.  I think most of you will be happy with this change and if not... I apologize in advance.

I will be placing the order on Tuesday November the 27th.  My goal is to be shipping preorders out  by Friday December 7th and at the latest... Monday the 10th.  

The Better Than Acrylic is $2.45 per 12" x 12" sheet with a 10 sheet minimum order.  You can order in any increment over the 10 sheet minimum.


I will do everything I can to get it to you as economical as possible.  I will be happy to ship USPS or Ups.

If you email me with the number of sheets you want and your zip code I will get a shipping quote for you via both carriers.

Another option is to combine orders with your friends and family and make the most of a large flat rate box via USPS.  A large flat rate box shipped within the U.S. is $15.45.  Insurance is optional.  There is also a flat rate box for international orders and I can get a price if anyone is interested.  

I will not charge any handling fees.

I did have to purchase the mailers so there will be a $1.25 charge for the mailer.  Unless you want to ship USPS in the Large Flat Rate box as those are free of charge from USPS.

If you ship via Ups your package is automatically insured up to $100.00.  Insurance via USPS runs $1.85 for packages valued up to $50.00.and $2.35 for packages valued over $50.00.

I am not going to require you to insure your package if you are in the U.S., but I highly recommend it.  If you choose not to insure... I will not be responsible for lost or damaged packages.  I would at minimum get delivery confirmation.  I think it runs about 0.75.

I will ship internationally, but will require the package to be insured.

If you are needing chipboard I still have it listed in the left sidebar of my blog and will be happy to combine shipping with the BTA.


You can pay via Paypal.

You can also send a cashiers check or money order via snail mail.

I do have a merchant account if you want to pay with Visa, MC or Discover.

Placing Order  

Email me at bugjunkie@live.com and let me know how many sheets of BTA you want and the zip code I will be shipping to.

I will then get you a shipping quote and will get you the best price possible.

Once you get the shipping quote and are ready to order... you will need to email me and let me know.  I will then send you an invoice.

Once payment is received your order will be locked in.

I know this is a lot of information.  Please feel free to email me with any questions at all.

If you have missed my previous posts on the Better Than Acrylic you can see them by clicking the links below:

Better Than Acrylic - Snowman Card

Better Than Acrylic - On the Cricut

Better Than Acrylic - Heat Embossed Christmas Ornament

Once again I will be placing the order on Tuesday after Thanksgiving.  Be sure to get your order in now so you can have it in time for Christmas.

Please Note:  As of this coming Tuesday evening ... I will be shutting the computer off so I can spend Thanksgiving with my family.  I will check back in on Sunday to answer any emails.    

  Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Better Than Acrylic - Update

I wanted to give everyone a short update on my findings.  The Better Than Acrylic comes in 12" x 24" sheets... making it very easy to cut down to fit your 12" x 12" Cricut mat.  YAY! :) I will ship it in it's standard size so you have the option to use it for your larger Cricut projects... with your 12" x 24" mat.  Of course it cuts like butter with scissors or a paper cutter so you can cut it down to any size your heart desires.  Oh the possibilities!!

I will be posting the price and a link for pre orders shortly.  I am planning to have this in and shipped to you well before Christmas.  What a fun Christmas gift for that special crafty friend or maybe for yourself! :)    I am continuing to test this fabulous and amazing product and will have more projects and test results for you... very soon!

P.S.  I have had some inquiries on international shipping.  Yes, I will be happy to ship worldwide.  All I will require is that the package is insured against loss or damage.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Better Than Acrylic - Christmas Ornament

I know I did a snow globe project yesterday, but I decided a snow globe was the perfect die cut to show my latest technique... using the better than acrylic (BTA) material.  So what is this technique I think is so wonderful?  I figured out how to heat emboss on the BTA without melting it.  I'm shocked as I just knew it was not going to work...so glad I gave it a try.  My mind is racing with ideas for the BTA and heat embossing. :)

Snow Globe Christmas Ornament
I Love how it looks like a real snow globe.  Since it maintains it's transparency...Santa is adhered behind the globe so it looks like it is snowing on him.  

 I Love how it looks like snow is really falling.  I know I already mentioned it snowing on Santa, but I just had to say it again. ;)
Close up...  As you can see ... the BTA didn't bubble, curl or melt away.  YAY!

In case you missed my first post regarding the BTA material... you can see it HERE.

More information on today's techniques and something that doesn't work very well:

1.  The best thing I have found to adhere to the BTA... that will not show through if applied correctly is Glossy Accents.  As long as you spread it out in a thin layer over the entire image... you will not be able to see it.  That's how I adhered the Santa to the globe and as you can see there are no glue lines. 

2.  I know I said you can use hot glue on the BTA and you can, BUT one of the things I glued yesterday ...I was able to pop right off today.  So not the best choice.  Also will not dry completely clear and will show glue lines.

3.  Heat Embossing ... things to know:

A.  I used a VersaMark pad and dabbed it over the area to be embossed.  Snow globe in this case.

B.  Then I sprinkled with embossing powder.  It is IMPORTANT to shake off as much of the excess powder as possible.  In this case... thinner is better.  If you have too much it will take too long to emboss and the BTA WILL MELT.

C.  When you apply the embossing gun... Do not hold it in one area until it is done.  The BTA will get too hot and start to curl and melt.  It is better to lightly hit an area for a few seconds... then move to another area.  Continue doing this until you've went over all of it.  Then you can go back over all of it again... for a few seconds at a time.  I went over my globe 3 to 4 times.

D.  If you think the BTA is getting too hot... turn off the heat embosser and let it cool down.  That's the good thing with heat embossing... you do not have to hurry.  Once the powder is sprinkled on you can take your time.  I turned my embosser off 2 or 3 times while doing the globe.

I will continue to experiment with heat embossing it and will let you know my results.

Another idea for this technique... a frosty glass window for the ever so popular window card.  You could frost the entire "glass" or make it look like the snow has gathered in the bottom corners.  Thinking I will have to try this.

How about some big frosty snowflakes for your favorite projects or to suspend from the ceiling to complete your holiday decor.

Possibly you could use colored embossing powder and create some big sparkly Christmas balls / ornaments.  There are lots of ornaments on various Cricut cartridges.

So many possibilities.  I would love to hear your ideas if you care to share? :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Better Than Acrylic on the Cricut

I have been very busy in the craft room doing lots of testing on the better than acrylic material and I must say...I am Super Excited!!!  I will share a little bit of my testing finds at the bottom of this post, BUT I have a big one that I will share in my next post.  I will work on it tonight after dinner...otherwise I will lay awake all night... working it over in my head. :)  Do you do that too...stay awake all night dreaming up craft projects with an idea you haven't had a chance to try out?  Maybe I'm weird, LOL!

On to the project... see how pretty the snow globe cut out on the Cricut! :)  It cut perfectly and the edges are nice and smooth.
I decided to do a shaped card and tested a lot of techniques on this one.  One being the sentiment ...I used brown Stazon ink and stamped directly on to the better than acrylic...it worked!  Black Stazon shows up much better, but the brown matched my card.  Sentiment would have looked great stamped on the inside as well and in the brown color it probably would have shown up better.

The second technique I tried was...Sewing on it.  I am so excited that it was a success.  I had my doubts thinking it might be too slick or the thread might pull out, but it super easy to sew on.  I even sewed in a circle...Wow! :)

Here is a close up.  I decided not to emboss this one, but leave it smooth.  However, I did sprinkle a little snow glitter over the globe. You can add a clear drying adhesive and then sprinkle, but I wanted to try to get it to stick with a little static electricity.  The glitter may move around a bit and you may loose some, but enough did stick to be visible.

Card is from Joys of the Season and cut at 5".  Cut the full snow globe twice.  Once in the BTA (better than acrylic) material and once in cardstock (for me the red and white dots).  Then cut the globe layer in cardstock (snowflakes for me).
To adhere the globes together I sewed 4 or 5 stitches on the top of the globes.  Then I punched a 1" circle and folded it in half.and put over the machine stitching.  I put a couple stitches to hold it in place on the back side of the card and used my ATG to adhere the front.

Today's testing results:

1.  You can sew or machine stitch on the BTA.  Just go slow and it sews wonderfully.

2.  You can stamp on the BTA using Stazon ink.  Just let it dry real good before you touch it.  Approximately 10 or 15 minutes, depending on humidity and conditions.

3.  You can add glitter using a clear drying glue or with the fluffier glitter such as "snow" glitter...just sprinkle a little on and let static electricity hold it.  Yes, eventually most of it will probably fall off, but at least you won't have any glue smears on your project. :)

4.  Here is something surprising that I thought wouldn't work ... you can use hot glue on it.  I have a 2 temp glue gun and had it on the hottest setting.  I was sure it would melt it, but it did not hurt it a bit.  Of course the hot glue will show through the BTA, but you can use it in areas you won't see such as adhering "glass" to the back side of a window or to adhere something that will have cardstock behind it.  Now, I can't tell you how the hot glue will hold over the long haul.  Possibly it might get brittle and pop apart so use at your own discretion.

5.  OMG, this is a good one.  It is so good I must show you rather than tell you.  Telling just won't do this technique justice.  I wish I would have used it on this card, but didn't think of it until it was too late and I thought there was no way it would work, but so far so good on my samples.  I will be working on it this evening and will get it posted... hopefully tomorrow.   Thank you for patiently waiting. :)

For those that have missed my previous posts... go HERE to get more information the the better than acrylic material.

Better Than Acrylic - Snowman Card

Here is a very quick and simple card.  I want to do a few projects showcasing the better than acrylic so you can get a better look at it. I am hoping to get a video put together as well.

This is a 5x7 card.  When embossing the front cover... I used the  Sizzix / Tim Holtz embossing diffuser in the oval shape, so the center would not emboss.
The snowman and the large snowflake on the left are rub ons adhered to the  front of the card.  The small snowflakes are adhered to the inside of card.  Clear gems are placed in the center of a few of the embossed snowflakes.

Inside of card with computer generated sentiment and rub ons.  The upper snowflake did not adhere very well to my cardstock so I used a little glue creating a bit of a mess around it.  It is cheap cardstock so maybe that was the problem with it not adhering very well?  However, it worked amazingly well on the front of the card.

Back of card with a place to write your message.  

Close up... it is hard to get a good picture without the lights glaring on it.  Unfortunately all the pictures have a few shadows.  It is much cuter in person. :) 

By using rub ons on both the front and inside of card it creates a lot of dimension.  Notice how the big snowflake on the left looks like it's right beside the snowman while the ones on the right look farther back.

A little information when using this material to make a card:

1.  Although you cannot tear it by hand ... when you make a tight crease such as the fold of a card... the front and back will separate after opening the card a time or two.  To remedy this I used a hole punch and added ribbon bows to hold the front and back together.  I think is the perfect addition to this card and would probably add anyway.

2.  It embossed Beautifully with crisp and clear details.  No cracking or splitting.

3.  The rub ons adhered perfectly with ease.

In case you missed my first post regarding this material you can get more information  Here

More projects and information coming soon!  TFL!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Better Than Acrylic ...

I have something very exciting to share with all of you!  I've got my hands on something I think is Amazing and so much fun to work with!  It is a crystal clear material that cuts like butter on the Cricut and should with most die cutting machines. And look how it embosses... BEAUTIFULLY!  It will not crack or split like normal acrylic or vellum and you cannot tear it by hand, but it cuts easily with a pair of scissors.  That means it is Super Durable yet Easy to work with.

Here is a sneak peek of a Christmas project I am working on for all of you.  It is using this super wonderful material.  See how crisp the embossing is...I Love it!! :)  

Not the best picture, but trying to give you a better look.  What are some of the possibilities ... clear acrylic albums and pages, snow globe cards and die cuts, tags, clear embossed photo mats, window cards...it's the perfect "glass"for your windows, doors and lanterns.  For those of you that have had luck printing on acrylic or other slick materials...this would be amazing for your journal tags and printed images.  I personally have not printed on it or any acrylic type material, but have seen others do it.  I have however used rub on's on it and they worked perfectly.  These are just a few things off the top of my head.  I'm sure you all can come up with a lot more ideas.

So where can you get this amazingly wonderful crafting medium, you ask?  Well, I am trying to find out how many of you are interested in getting some.  If I get enough interest I will make it available for purchase on my blog.  I am still working out the details and trying to see what shipping is going to run.  I will make a new post with all the information as soon as I have it.  If you are interested please leave a comment on this post.

In the meantime keep an eye out for a fun Christmas decor / mini album...coming soon!