Thursday, 15 June 2017


Hello scraptastic friends! Today the team are having a chat about solid media...

Jess: I started out scrapbooking using Project Life and my loyalties still lie with pocket pages. I liked the simplicity of slipping in cards and photos and not having to do anything too artsy. I've always believed I am no good at art but I am learning lots as I go. Saying that, I refuse to use chalk, that stuff goes through me, especially when used on paper. I am actually tense just writing that. Does anyone else feel that way about certain textures? Anyway my chalk hating aside I do sometimes use solid mediums to add colour. I have used wax crayons but mostly I like pencils. There's just something kind of comforting about colouring in with coloured pencils. So much so that I own about 3 different packs of Crayola pencils even though they rarely get used. My favourite way to use them is to stamp images on to white card using black ink and then colour in with pencils or crayons. I can then cut the shapes out to use as die cuts. I've done this a few times, especially with floral stamps. I love it when creativity can be money saving.

Sue: I’m not really one for experimenting with media in my scrapping but I have always had a weakness for pens. I own way more than I will ever need! I use them on my pages for journaling, doodling, frames. My handwriting is large and bold so I almost always write with a Berol fine nib Italic pen - they are available in Ryman’s or, if you go through them as often as I do, buy in bulk from Cult Pens (a VERY DANGEROUS website for pen addicts!) My number one favourite for journaling on dark cardstock is the white pen made by Signo - the broad Uni-ball - try one from Paperchase then hop over to Amazon and buy in bulk from omghowcheap  or Cult Pens have them, too. Oh and a final tip - never leave your Sharpies in reach of a toddler!!

Emma C: Oooh OK, solid media is a bit of a tricky one and, honestly, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. The one that I use most often is texture paste, which is also often called modelling paste or holding paste depending on the manufacturer. A lot of scrapbookers use the Ranger Texture Paste and have great things to say about it, it’s thick and holds its shape well. I currently have some Pebeo Modelling Paste which is great but a little runnier than I would like sometimes. Texture paste is great for putting through stencils and giving a subtle pattern or element of interest to the background of your page. If you want to have a play with mixed media, texture paste is a fun one to try! Another solid medium commonly used is Faber Castell Gelatos, a kind of soft pigment stick that is creamy and smooth and reacts with water. They can be purchased online or Hobbycraft carry some too. I must say, I have only played with Gelatos once, at a retreat where I borrowed a friends, and I think they must take a bit of practice to achieve your desired effect. They tend to work better on a surface that has been primed, or Gessoed, and when applied direct to paper I found they take bit of work to get them to blend. However, many crafters really like Gelatos and love the effects they can create - check out Missy Whidden on YouTube as she has many videos using them to great effect!

Lisa-Jane: I'm experimenting a lot more with mixed media of various sorts but as usual I'm pretty late to the party. When masks etc came out a few years ago I bought a nice selection that could double as embossing folders in the Cuttlebug and I purchased a small pot of expensive texture paste. I'm always keen to try cheaper alternatives and I came across several blogs and YouTube videos showing DIY versions by mixing pva glue, acrylic paint and talcum powder. I tried it out myself and was pleasantly surprised! Much much cheaper, keeps for ages and you can make it as thick or as runny as you want depending on your needs. You can see how I've used it here through a Happy Scatter stencil to start building up a background. The great thing about the home made version is that you can add coloured acrylic paint to give you different shades of paste without making it too runny. My children have really gotten on board with getting different effects in pastes and paints and I'll often go into my studio to find a random bottle top or toy car tyre on my desk!

Roxy: Ah solid media. One of my favourites. Since I was little I have had a love for pencils, pens, paint pens. Basically anything in a stick form that I could create with. It took me a while to put two and two together and realise I could actually use all my arty products in my scrapbook layouts! I haven't looked back since. To this day my favourite solid media are Gelatos and texture paste. I find Gelatos the easiest to work with, just draw on some scribbles and blend out with my finger or a little water and voila, it looks pretty! I also have various other solid media such as Derwent Artbars and Derwent Inktense blocks, however, I mostly don't use these in stick form. If like me you find them a little overwhelming, I found the best way is to use them like watercolour paints! They blend well and are very pigmented. They create wonderful backgrounds or project life cards.

Pol: I really don't get on with Gelatos. It's probably lack of use but I just don't seem to know what to do with them! I used to use a lot of chalks in my early scrapping but I haven't used them for years now. I do like texture pastes used sparingly, they really give interest to a plain background. My favourite solid media though is my Pilot V5 black pen! I use it on nearly every single layout for journaling or adding hand drawn borders. It's also wonderful for creating zentangle backgrounds. However, I have also been known to steal my youngest son's crayons to use on a layout!

Laura: When I think of solid media I think of my lack of success with oil pastels (one big muddy mess) chalks (coloured dust everywhere including up my nose) and Gelatos (I just can't get the hang of them!) Then my eyes start twinkling as I think about my Inktense pencils. I love them. I even have a custom made roll so I can take the whole set away on holidays with me. Here is why I love them: their versatility is second to none.
I use them as regular colouring pencils in colouring books and fussy cut out the designs. They blend nicely as dry pencils. Then you can use them as watercolour pencils, the only difference being that they are permanent when dry. With lots of water you can get that soft watercolour effect but use them stronger for amazing intense colours. I also use them as I would inks/mists. Pop a little water on some packaging and scribble the pencil in. You then have colour that can be smoothed on to the page or picked up with a brush and flicked.
I have them all and the colour range is great, every colour is catered for BUT should you need another shade they mix beautifully.  Have I convinced you?!

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