1st Try: Jack
What I Learned: The photo was too light on the right side, so the copy machine did not pick up much pigment there. That meant there wasn't a lot to transfer so that part of Jack's face didn't turn out. I realized I need even, darker photos. Also, I put the medium on the plaque instead of the photo, which caused me to use too much medium. So some parts of the photo didn't touch the plaque and didn't transfer. Also, I used just my finger to smooth out the photo - not a great idea. I did allow it to dry all the way before rubbing off the paper. This caused me to rub too hard, and I ended up rubbing off splotches of ink. Jack's one eye ended up looking okay...I could see how this process was supposed to work. :)
2nd Attempt: Carter
What I Learned: I loved this color combination (French blue, harvest green, & parchment). I chose a photo with even lighting across Carter's face and with definite lines. My problem came with the transfer process. I had read somewhere else on the Internet to not wait until the medium was completely dry because that might make it too difficult to rub off. I suppose I didn't wait long enough in this case. I went to rub off the paper only to rub the left side of Carter's head off. Oops. Also, instead of using my fingers, I used the back of a spoon to smooth out the photo. That still left blobs of medium between the photo and the wood, so that ink didn't transfer. (That's what many of those blotches are.) But, between the colors, the wording I chose, and the fact that Carter's sweet nose, mouth, and eyes transfered nicely, I didn't think this was a total bust. There's definitely room for improvement.
3rd Time's a Charm: Presley (my daughter)
What I Finally Did Right: I'm thankful I practiced before doing this one as this is going to be a gift for my detail-oriented mother-in-law when I visit in a week. Using my finger, I rubbed just the right amount of medium on the photo instead of the wood. (I did this in Carter's too, which is one reason why his turned out better than Jack's.) Also, I used a rolling pin. (Yes, I know I need a brayer.) But the rolling pin worked perfectly. I waited longer than Carter's but less than Jack's (about 20-30 minutes), and then slowly began rubbing the paper off. I did this gently until I knew for sure the image had transfered. Bingo! The right amount of medium, the right photo, and the right amount of patience did the trick.
And now I can sell them.