Custom Switch plates

February 13, 2017 in Mixed Media Posts, Video Posts by Ursula Smith

I have a bunch of old youtube videos that I made years ago for another site, and decided to go through and post some of them now and again. Here is an oldie, but goody – nearly 5 years ago!

Make sure you watch the tip at the end if you have switch plates on a stone wall or wood island and they stand out like a sore thumb ;) . I’ve made lots of these- some are dimensional with copper mesh and cut outs and the like. They can add a bit of your flair in something as pedestrian as a light switch cover! Enjoy!

DASS Stone Paper for Stencils

November 30, 2016 in Mixed Media Posts, Video Posts by Ursula Smith

Well it’s been a while since I have posted ;). I have been off learning about metal jewelry techniques and metal clay! I am having so much fun combining these new skills with the mixed media techniques that I already have been playing with! One of the things I use in all my work is stencils. And in one of my other videos I talked about the paper I use to cut on my Silhouette for use as a stencil. This is the stone paper sold by Digital Arts Studio Seminar (DASS) found here . I made a quick video showing the results of cutting the stone paper on the Silhouette. I did not use any special cutting settings- just the normal paper or card stock settings will work just fine. It cuts so much more cleanly than card stock does! For intricate designs it can’t be beat! This is coated paper so I do recommend using a separate cutting mat. The clay dust may coat your mat and make it lose its stickiness more quickly. I spray my mat with temporary adhesive spray so you might want to give that a shot on an old mat ;) .

DASS Art sells stone paper for use in your ink jet printer and that prints really nicely, so I know buy that pack instead to use for both purposes. It is a beautiful matte surface for your ink jet prints.

And of course if you are into transfers, you should check out the transfer solutions sold by DASS Art as well.


Here’s something I made with the stencil I was cutting in the video…

Embossing Plate Paper

Embossing Plate Paper

Here is a variation on one of the stencils I showed in the video…

Medallion Flourish Background

Medallion Flourish Background

MGXCopy Review

October 14, 2016 in General, Reviews by Ursula Smith

Hi all! I just wanted to give a shout out to MGX Copy, an online printing company based in San Diego, and give them a quick review. I had them print a book that was both text and images and they did a fabulous job! It was a gift and so I had very high expectations. I used a different print service first (The Book Patch) and they did not meet my expectations. They were cheaper, however I would not use them again. They had no idea how to center the images in the book when printing from my pdf even though they were centered in that document. I wasted 2 weeks with them and finally gave up, and they did not refund my money. The Book Patch service people were polite, and they did try to print a second copy, however it seems like their printers are set up weirdly and  they could not figure out how to print my pdf and have it look normal. Luckily I only printed one copy and not all 12 that I actually needed!

I searched around again and decided to give MGX Copy a try. They were a bit more expensive, but so worth it! Their directions were clear (and correct!)  and whenever I asked a question they responded quickly. MGX Copy  requires that you go through an approval process. During this process, my service person, Jazmin, was extremely helpful and they even moved the pages around a bit when I mentioned that I should have positioned my title/image pages all on the same side. They were quite capable of printing the book centered as I wished it to be. Following their directions, I was even able to have my images be full bleed (and this was without using InDesign! I again printed a single copy  first, and then was able to work with the same service person and have them re-print the rest of the books for me.

Here is what I chose:

Perfect Bound Books
Quantity: 1
Document Length: 131 Pages/Document
Paper Type: 80 lb. Text, Gloss
Dimension: 8.5″x11″
Colors: Color Printing
Finishing: Premium 100 lb. Cover, Gloss, Add UV Coating

I also chose to have them shrink wrapped. They came out so beautiful! And they were much, much nicer than the Book Patch product. The covers were gorgeous, and so were the pages.  It does take a few weeks to go through the whole process from start to finish, so this is not a quick print overnight kind of deal. But if you are looking for a beautiful book product, they are worth the extra time and money.

So in the end, I was actually happy that The Book Patch screwed up and I ended up with MGX Copy! I would definitely use them again!

Using Vinyl as a Mask during Salt Water Copper Etching

July 15, 2016 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

I posted a video a while back showing how I do my Salt Water etching on copper. I mentioned that I used a vinyl mask to protect parts of the metal that I did not want to etch. Here is a quick video on that idea. Enjoy!

Here is the results of one of my etching sessions before using the etched copper in any projects…

Salt Water Copper Etched

Salt Water Copper Etched

and some other examples…

Vinyl as a Mask for Etching Copper

Vinyl as a Mask for Etching Copper

Salt Water Etching Copper

April 4, 2016 in Mixed Media Posts, Video Posts by Ursula Smith

Hi Everyone!

I have been off experimenting with lots of stuff- resin, molds, metal, etching etc. I showed some friends some of my experiments and they asked for some tips on how I did Salt Water etching on copper. There are loads of full tutorials on this subject with all the gory details on why and how this process works, so I just did a quick video on the items I used for the Salt Water etching process.

I started out with 9 volt batteries, as mentioned in many of the videos, but they quickly ran out of juice, so I went on to using a car battery charger. The one I used is 12 volts and it already comes with the negative and positive clamps already set up. In my video, it isn’t very clear in the section where I talk about the actual copper that I am going to etch. This piece of copper is place in the etching salt water bath, but there must be a piece of copper that sticks out of the water so that the positive (red) clamp can attach to the copper without the clamp going in the water. Most folks attach a piece of copper wire to the back of the copper to be etched with tape (since a lot of folks use tape on the back to protect it from being etched. I found that was a pain. Other folks drill a hole in the copper to be etched and make a hook from the wire and hang the copper piece from the wire. I didn’t want a hole in my bracelet blank. So, I used flat (thicker) bezel wire and hooked/wrapped the wire around the copper piece so that the wire was touching the copper and then the rest of the wire hooked over the edge of the container while the piece of copper could be sitting in the water. The red clamp could be attached to the wire  and that worked fine for the etching process.

I stress that caution should be used at all times when using this process. I do not touch any part of the set up, unless the battery charger is turned off. So first I get all the pieces set up, and only then do I turn on the charger while staying away from the salt water container. If I need to check or tweak something I turn the charger OFF and only then will I touch any part of the set up.

So with those dire warnings aside- here is the video. Enjoy!

Here are some of the items I have etched with the Salt Water process:

Salt Water Copper Etched

Salt Water Copper Etched

Salt Water Copper Etched

Salt Water Copper Etched

Bleached Out Tag- Take 5 Project

January 22, 2016 in Mixed Media Posts, Video Posts by Ursula Smith

Here is something you can do with a Clorox bleach pen- and it doesn’t include doing laundry!! This works best with a fresh pen, but don’t forget good ventilation and/or a mask ;) . Enjoy!!

And here are the results…

Bleached Out Tag

Bleached Out Tag

Watercolor Technique and Tuck-in Border

November 12, 2015 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

Here’s an old but goody video I did lots of years ago :) . It uses the water color technique with one of my Memories of Greece Rubber Stamp sets (find it here) and then has a different take on attaching a gift card or ATC to the back ground. Enjoy!

Here is a picture of the finished card:

Memories of Greece Greek Rubber Stamps Sample Card

Memories of Greece Greek Rubber Stamps Sample Card

Rusted and Embossed Paper- for real

October 15, 2015 in Mixed Media Posts, Video Posts by Ursula Smith

Last week I showed you how I make faux rust, but this week I am using real rust to make some cool embossed paper. The secret? Old, decrepit, rusted ceiling tiles. The paper came out so cool! If you liked this paper, you might need to start haunting your favorite antique stores :) .

Here’s how I made the rusted, embossed paper:


and here’s some pictures of finished papers:


Rusted Embossed Paper-1

Rusted Embossed Paper-1

Rusted Embossed Paper-2

Rusted Embossed Paper-2

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