Since I faithfully followed the steps of the initial experiment but got different results I tend to think that other factors than skill level are involved. I tried to do something that just wasn't meant to work in this way.
Of course it's very disappointing when you've got a certain technique in mind and nothing else will quite do, but you have to learn to leave it behind you. There's always more than one way to approach and solve a problem.
My problem is I need a simple transfer of lettering to a very small surface. It's much too small to paint or carve in. The item also needs to handle 275°F. There are no letter templates small enough and I only have ink jet photocopies to work from (I did the design I'm using on the computer). So far I've failed with 2 mediums and about 6 techniques, but I'm far from the point of giving up.
The thing is not to let the failures bring you down, if it was all easy the results would probably be mediocre. You seriously have to get over it, put your mind to new solutions and plow through until you find the answer.
I do believe if there's a will there's a way. Sometimes you can deviate from your original concept in small ways, so always look for the opportunity to improve on your idea, but don't lower your expectations and take the chance of compromising your art by opting out for something that wasn't in your vision.