Sunday, May 7, 2017

Glass Bead Glitter Gel Makes Christmas Bright

One of the tubes in my Gelatos mixed media kit is called Glass Bead Glitter Gel. Doesn't that name sound positively dreamy? Of course it does. The glass beads reflect light beautifully, and glitter is always good...especially when it comes in a sticky substrate rather than loose and apt to stick to your face, hands, clothes, dog, and every other blessed thing in your house.

Glass and glitter make me think of Christmas, so here's a holiday card that would be VERY hard to mail.

You might notice similarities between this card and Friday's card. First, the Gelato background was created on a small piece surrounded by white, Second, the design elements on the background incorporate white, thus making the whole seem more unified. Third, there are two cut-out words and one shaped image...that's it.

These were all on purpose because once I find something that works, it seems only sensible to experiment with variations on it. And you'll note that today's card has a completely different feel than Friday's card. Where color bursts off the first card, today's is simply white and gold.

The process and products used are also different.

This card started with a rectangle of white mat board. I painted the board with gesso to prime the surface, and then mixed the glass bead glitter gel and some gold metallic Gelato to form a thick paste. Using a damp brush, I painted the the paste onto the mat board, leaving the top relatively light while gradually pushing lumps and clumps and texture toward the bottom, keeping everything very loose and irregular.

The star started as a plain wooden cut-out painted with two thick coats of gesso. Once those were dry, I added glass bead glitter gel straight from the tube...also loosely so it wouldn't look neat and tidy, as is my usual modus operandi.

The words come from a Winnie and Walter Christmas set: The Big, the Bold, and the Merry. They are hand-cut and popped up on dimensionals.

While this card lacks the colorful impact and really strong texture of Friday's card, I prefer it. It feels more like me, if you know what I mean. Monochrome. Very simple. Sparkly. But it would be tough to mail with mat board and the wooden star, and I'm considering framing it to put on my mantle for Christmas instead.

The glass bead glitter glue was very easy to work with and results are stunning. The gold metallic Gelato coated the glass beads and made them opaque, so they don't shimmer and shine at all, even if they do add some lovely texture. The glitter sparkles through the Gelato, though.

My next experiment with this gel will be to paint Gelato color on as a watercolor onto the dry gel to see if that preserves the sparkle better.

After a week or so of playing around, I've made some spectacular messes that ended up in the trash, especially a laughable attempt to stamp on semi-dry whipped spackle. I also long for the days of whipping up a card in ten or 15 minutes with no pesky drying time slowing things down. Patience may be a virtue, but I don't have much of it apparently.

The glass bead glitter gel, however, is truly pretty and might need to be standard in my stash. It looks just a bit different from Stickles, and if watercoloring on it keeps things pretty and sparkly, it may well serve a need I didn't know I had.

Whipped spackle, however, might be too complicated for me. Not sure yet!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Winnie and Walter The Big, the Bold, and the Merry
ink: Archival potting soil
paper: Papertrey white, mat board
accessories: gold metallic Gelato, glass bead glitter gel, gesso, wooden star, glue, brush, dimensionals


  1. So shiny. So glittery. So pretty.

  2. Agree with you...this one should be framed! Love it.
    Lu C

  3. it's so pretty. love that shine

  4. Love this card, Susan!
    I especially love how you adapted this technique to fit your style!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. This one deserves a frame. It is very eye catching. Thanks for spreading your wings.

  6. Susan, this is indeed a very pretty card, and if you do want to mail it, I have two tips that were given to me, so I'll pass them along. USPS allows ¼ inch-thick mail to be sent for regular postage, so I made a structure from foam core with a ¼x5 inch cutout. When a card has embellishments, I place it in an envelope—if it passes through the cutout, I know I can put it in the mail. The second tip is to fold the card so that the outside is on the inside to keep it from jamming the sorting machines. I usually add a Post-it to tell the recipient!

    1. Thanks! This one would definitely not pass the test, and I worry that the glue might crack on the back of the heart and let it fall off. If I do end up mailing this, it'll go to someone very, very special in a bubble envelope!

  7. Your experiment has me very curious about the glass bead glitter gel, so I looked it up and found several sources and lots of samples on Pinterest. See what you've done to me. Lots to think about there. Very pretty with the gold!

    1. I'm thrilled to have piqued your curiosity! I do think of all the media in the kit, this is my favorite!

  8. That beautiful gold piece reminds me of Gustav Klimt painting!

    1. THAT'S what it reminds me of! I knew there was something but couldn't put my finger on it. Of course, he has a lot more going on in his paintings, but I do love them! Thank you!


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