Blossom Birthday

Yes, I have more alcohol in projects! Like gel printing, alcohol inks are quite addictive. When you work with them on plastic film (such as grafix craft plastic or yupo) you can keep changing the design with the addition of more ink or isopropyl alcohol. You can also remove ink with isopropyl. Depending on the amount of staining from whichever colours you choose you can even get the plastic white again to start fresh. I think that is why there is always on more thing I want to try when experimenting with alcohol inks.

Last year I posted a video where I used a stencil to create a pattern on craft plastic with alcohol inks. I used a more open stencil that the one featured today but the process is similar. The Darkroom Door stencil ‘blossom’ has a lot of plastic surrounding the blossom cut out. When laid on the wet alcohol ink there is contact with most of the craft plastic panel and only a small area where the alcohol ink is drying in the air. This means you need way more patience as you let the ink dry under the stencil.

Not all my experiments with stencils work but I love the way this one ended up with distinct flowers and soft background. I finished the card with a sentiment from the DD ‘all occasions’ stamp set embossed in white on olive cardstock.

In other news I will be on Craft Roulette on Friday February 10 which is three days away! Craft Roulette is a live improv card making challenge on YouTube. I have no idea what kind of card I will be making, I only find out what the parameters are while I am on the show. Hope you can drop in a join the chat on Friday 7:10 pm EST

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Old Stone Doorway

Isn’t this a sweet front path and door? It makes me want to head inside or wander around the garden. This digital stamp is another design by my daughter which is available in her etsy store, Echidna Studios. I printed it on Arches cold press watercolour paper. You know I generally use Fabriano hot press watercolour paper but I am trying to ‘use what I have’ so I pulled out the Arches for a change. I like how the texture of the paper adds texture to the front of the house.

Using my Sennelier watercolour paints I painted a wash of brown over the brickwork, blue over the door and grey for the stonework. I also mixed a bluey green for the hedges. Next I switched to watercolour pencils and added shading to the bricks and stones, coloured the leaves and painted from the tip of my pencils to make the window and door frames grey and the reflections light blue. The sentiment is from Simply Graphic and is stamped in prize ribbon sketch archival ink

I almost stopped a couple of times as I wasn’t happy with the colours I had chosen and the lack of detail in the washes. I did keep going though and it pulled together. One thing that helps is that I didn’t use too many colours and I like the way the watercolour fades away at the edges. There are little white patches where I didn’t touch up the painting and I think they work too in adding a highlight here and there. I have printed another one out because a red brick house might also be fun to do.

The designer of this stamp is coming over for dinner tonight so I will ask where this door is in real life…

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Art Journal Adventure & how it started

I have been art journaling for quite a while now but I only started teaching in-person art journaling workshops in 2022. I was inspired to start after doing an online class with Dina Wakley and talking with the owner of the Crop A While where I have taught for years. The page shown here was completed using Dina Wakley supplies and techniques she demonstrated.

One of the things that made me enthusiastic was the journal she used. The size and the type of pages are a great match for me and for a class setting. The journal is 6″x6″ and the paper is heavy weight watercolour paper. In class we have covered a whole range of techniques and mediums because the paper can take it.

This page features acrylic paints, printed tissue papers, black markers and a chipboard bird. The page Dina demonstrated was definitely more abstract than mine; it took me a while playing with the torn papers and textures but I finally settled on a loose ocean and sunset theme.

When I started teaching Art Journalling I called the class ‘Art Journal Adventure’ and it turned out to be aptly named. It has been a a wonderful adventure so far. I have made new friends, learnt and taught new techniques and developed quite strong mixed media muscles! Last year we had seven episodes of Art Journal Adventure and I am starting up again in 2023 with season 2. The titles ‘season’ and ‘episode’ are just fun titles I settled on; you can start at any time (you don’t have to join at the beginning).

The first episode for this year is now posted on my ‘classes‘ page and the Crop A While website also. I guess the theme does take something from the page shown here as we will be layering semi-transparent papers such as printed rice paper, table napkins and tissue. Are you an art journaller? What size journal do you use? What’s the paper like? I am always interested to hear what my creative friends are enjoying.

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Pretty Paint Pour birthday card

I am not the best at remembering birthdays in a timely manner. Also, I don’t make many birthday cards for children so when I need one I don’t always have one in my stash. I did, however have this groovy paint pour! Shall we bring back the word groovy? I have only done paint pouring a few of times. The last time I did it, a talented friend took me and a few others through the process step by step and we got some lovely panels like this one.

You know I love to have blues and purples blending in my cards so this panel featuring both colours along with some gold, black and grey definitely made me happy. Because of the the few pops of gold I chose gold metallic cardstock to frame it and add alphabet and heart die-cuts. It’s a larger than usual card because why would I want to cut off some of that yummy paint pattern and texture?

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Streaming

As I write this a snow storm continues outside so there will be scenes like this one to enjoy in days to come. The whole scene is one of Penny Black’s beautiful scenic stamps; this one is called ‘streaming’. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper in a stamp positioner and had splattered masking fluid over the panel before I began.

I used a few different inks so I could blend in some areas and get sharp images in others. The first thing I stamped was the top of the stamp including the horizon in uncharted mariner distress ink. Once I could see the horizon I painted more of the same ink to fill the sky adding a little black soot to the blending at the top to darken the sky. I let the panel dry before stamping the stream also in uncharted mariner ink. I took my time blending the stream because I wanted a bit of variety in the depth of colour. You can probably see a few areas that look quite dark where I added black ink to create the look of shadow at the water’s edge.

I inked the trees in black archival ink and black starless sky ink (from Ciao Bella) I also used black and blue markers here and there to add ink to fiddly places. I painted some of my own shadowy snow drifts to fill out the scene.

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Deer and Alcohol Ink Skies

I know it is yet another alcohol ink sky post! If you look closely at the panel below you will see one of the things I love about alcohol inks and dye inks and that is the separation of pigments when a colour is diluted. It is more obvious in some inks that others but you can see it in the eggplant ink below. There is purple, grey, blue and shades of maroon. So yummy!

The panel above was diluted with isopropyl alcohol more that the panel below but I definitely used it on both to move the inks around.

To complete the cards I die cut the PB deer from white cardstock and add small simple sentiments. Small sentiments are my favourite; I think I’ve mentioned that before.

I think my next post might not be alcohol inks! Stay tuned!

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Alcohol Ink Sky Baubles

Yes, I have a few more alcohol ink skies to share. This time I have layered navy die-cuts over the alcohol ink panels and cut them into circles so they look like Christmas tree baubles. These ones were already cut and ready in my pile of possibility I just had to find suitable backgrounds and add cord and sentiments.

The skies were part of a big panel, alcohol ink on white craft plastic and there are some hints of gold here and there. Some is from gold alcohol ink but there are also threads of gold foil pressed onto the panel.

The backgrounds are embossed panels; sorry I don’t know the name of the lovely branch one, it doesn’t belong to me so I’m not sure who made it. The dies are Penny Black, ‘trees & hills’ and ‘around town’.

I added some gold cord and Taylored Expression sentiments to finish them off.

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Alcohol Ink & Trees

I have another alcohol ink sky to show you today paired with a very sparkly tree. I don’t own the tree die or the sparkly silver paper but this tree was a leftover from a class I attended and it looks so pretty against the blue sky. It is hard to capture on camera but there are lines and dots of silver foil on the alcohol ink background.

When playing with alcohol inks on yupo or craft plastic you sometimes end up with areas of thick sticky ink. You can dilute and move it with isopropyl alcohol or you can press foil on it while it is still a bit tacky. Once again I cut a snowy hill by hand and added a Penny Black sentiment.

On this second card the tree is the coloured instead of the sky. I cut the tree from white craft plastic and added alcohol inks (both original and pearl formula) to another piece of craft plastic so I could then press the tree onto the alcohol inks to make a pattern and pick up the ink.

I attached the tree to an embossed background and added a Taylored Expressions sentiment. There are a few more alcohol ink Christmas cards still coming. I am happy to have inspired a few of you to look at your stash of panels to see what you might be able to turn into backgrounds and skies.

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Alcohol Ink Winter Skies

It is unusual for me to be making Christmas cards in January but the supplies are still handy and I will be happy to see the cards in October! I have a small stash of alcohol ink panels in my pile of possibility so the next few blog posts will feature those backgrounds paired with wintry scenery and Christmas greetings.

I’m sorry I can’t tell you exactly what techniques I used for these panels but it looks like I added blue and green inks to white craft plastic, added a generous amount of isopropyl alcohol then blew the liquids around the panel with a hand held air blower. I love the frilly ribbon look on the sky above.

I chose the wonderful ‘tall trees’ dies from Penny Black and hand cut some snowy hills from white cardstock. The sentiments are once again from Taylored Expression because they are so handy and neat!

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Cosy Cup of Cocoa

‘Tis the season for sitting by the fire, drinking hot chocolate and staying cosy. Since I last posted we have had snow, rain, ice and more snow! To create today’s card I paired a watercoloured Echidna Studios image with a alcohol ink gel print. I printed the cup from the ‘cocoa and cookies‘ digital stamp set on hot pressed watercolour paper then painted it with Sennelier watercolour paints.

I added a Penny Black sentiment then framed it with a gel printed panel. It may seem like an odd combo of images but I like the way the colours worked together and it looked a little like a floral tablecloth underneath my cup image. I have only recently started using alcohol inks on my gel plate and discovered how the highly pigmented alcohol inks sometimes give me three or four prints from the one design. This pale one was either the second or third print pulled with paint after creating a colourful design on the plate with a stencil.

Hope you are staying cosy in the northern hemisphere or refreshed in the south. It is a strange thing to now celebrate my wedding anniversary and birthday in the bleak mid winter even though I was born and married in the height of summer! This weekend my husband and I are celebrating 33 years!

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