Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fail's Day!

Embarassing - but I am a fan of some of those crazy funny websites like Fail Blog that make fun of the mistakes in life - sometimes failure is just a silly little part of life and if you learn to see your mistakes with a sense of humor, they can be a riot! Here is another way of looking at things - at one of the first ETM crops that I went to, Kim passed along a few words of advice that I have always taken to heart. "There are no mistakes, there are only opportunities for embelishment!" So true!!! April Fool's day can be fun. I am somewhat of a prankster - but I couldn't think of anything to prank for today. . . instead I have come up with an awesome showcase of failures. . . er. . . LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES. . . of my own to share with all of my friends!

First, here is a little before and after. I made this card for the Febuary ETM Expressions kit and at first I really loved the little paper flowers. After making this card I set it aside and a few days later, guess what I discovered. GLUE FAILURE. Glue failure is seriously the bane of my existence!!! I hate glue failure! If you zoom in on the photo you can see that I used not one, but at least two kinds of adhesives to get those flowers to stick. But guess what, BIG FAIL!!!
Glue Fail: The wrong product or technique was used to get these flowers to stay put!
Fix: When working with a new technique, embelishment or adhesive, give your final product a few days to "sit" - come back, evaluate the effectiveness of the combination that you used, and try again if needed. I'm glad that I didn't send this card out in the mail right away. :) Better yet - evaluate the effectiveness of your adhesives over a long period of time. I keep scrapbook pages and cards for many years - every once in a while, I find an adhesive product that fails over time. NOT GOOD. I am also a fan of using weights to help things stick. I will often leave a finished card or page pressed under a large book, healing mat, or paper weight overnight to ensure that the glue gets a good bond.

Here is an older one. If anybody got this Christmas card in the past - I sincerely appologise. :D
Glitter Fail: I tried stamping with a regular stamp pad and I sprinkled some glitter over the ink while it was still wet on the paper - thinking that this would make the glitter stick! After a few days, the glitter flaked off and the sentiment can barely be seen.
Fix: This might work if you want only a light dusting of glitter on your stamped image. Clearly, it was not enough to make this sentiment stand out. There are glue pads that you can stamp with that are better for this technique, or maybe I should have tried to learn heat embossing. . . that would have worked much better. This card is still fixable - I could cover the glitter fail with another piece of stamped paper with a sentiment on it - or some flowers or a tag. :)

Here is one that I actually blogged about last year. I was SOOOO excited to purchase these awesome "puff" pens - they are opaque ink in these bright colors and they are supposed to look fantastic on dark colored card stock. I must say that the white one is really my favorite for writing on black paper with, and I have used the other colors a time or two. But here was an idea that just went really, really wrong.
Technique Fail: I taped a plastic template to a piece of black cardstock and used the gel pens to color in the flowers and butterflies. Sadly, I used a piece of black cardstock that had a texture to it - lots of little grooves and places for the ink to run and spread. When I lifted the template, the ink had run underneath causing a runny sticky mess. The cardstock even dried to the template and ripped and ruined both the paper, and the template in lots of places. In the end, my template was destroyed and I wasted a ton of my new pen ink and a lot of time. This technique may have worked on a flat piece of cardstock - and actually it works well on things like clear acrylic, and surfaces that are totally smooth. But this was a bad, bad failure.
Fix: Start small! When you are going to try a new technique, try it on a small area with a piece of scrap paper first. If it works well - go with it! If not, try again! I could have saved a lot of ink, time, paper, and my cute template if I had tried this on a smaller area first.

The following is a result of things that just go wrong sometimes. I like to blame sleep deprivation a lot. . . but that is not always the case. This is a really sweet little card that was designed by Tiffani at card day last year. . . I was so meticulous about placing the layers of torn pink papers along the bottom edge and getting that stamp to be *exactly* in the center of the circle that I failed to notice one small detail. Check out what direction the card opens up, eh? Nice!
Brain Fail: I spent so much time working on the little details of this card, that I did not notice that my card base was upside down underneath all of the intricate work. I reluctantly admit that I have actually done this on more than one occasion. :D
Fix: Take time to step back and look at the big picture. Don't get so focussed on the small details that you forget to visualize the final outcome. If you DO make a brain fail card - don't try to rip it all up off of the card base. Instead - cut the card front off and just glue it down to a new card base. Problem solved. Unless you glue it on backwards again. :)

Here is a whole page full of learning experiences to share! Whenever I get a new stamp or digital image (This one came from Hambo) I experiment with it by copying it several times on different papers or maybe by using different kinds of inks or mediums to color it with. Then I use this page in my spare time and I practice coloring or embelishing it in my spare time - while watching TV or before going to bed. Stamping, coloring, and any kind of paper crafting is just like playing a sport, or a musical instrument in that way. You have to practice a lot and not be afraid to make mistakes to get a final product that you are happy with. This photo shows that I practiced four different coloring techniques before I finally found one that I was happy with - the fourth try got cut out and used on a card. The other three, well, they remain in my FAIL PILE with a lot of other fails so I can remember later on what works and what does not. You can even use a pencil to remind yourself what ink or coloring technique combination that you tried. Sometimes things that don't work for one project, work out for something else. Don't be afraid of failures! Just get out there and try. :)

One final FAIL before I go. I was surfing facebook and websites and blogs late into the night last night and my son came along and let me borrow his Transformers pillow. I was also comfy in my hubby's borrowed sweater and seated in a comfy chair - probably a bad combination - also it is not very wise to leave the camera out next to me on the desk. Alex came along and snapped this photo because he thought that it was funny that Mom was dozing off. . . and anyway, I am having some schedule fail this week as I am returning to night shift for the weekend. So off to nap I go. :) Happy April 1st everyone!!!

Sleep fail: Repeatedly trying to adjust to the day schedule of a mom wife and scrapper to the night shift schedule of my job.

Fix: Nap! Also, this is my last week of working full time on 3rd floor. . . I will miss my friends but my new schedule is going to be much better for my brain and my poor old bones. :)


Seongsook Duncan said...

Nancy, how nice of you to share your experiences and tips how to fix. I enjoyed reading your post. First, the title caught my eyes and my mind once I started reading it. Thanks very much. Nice way to start April!

Karen McAlpine said...

Hi Nancy, nice article. I have some fails too. I actually went through my failures box last week and was very ruthless. I threw them all out. Have a great day and get some sleep.

Leslie said...

Hi! I'm loving your blog XD *favorite clicky link* Erm.. yes :) I've finally started making cards! I sent out three for Easter. I'm very excited to have found this hobby. I haven't been truly interested in doing anything in months (at the least)

Anyway, that's me. Much love, sis.