I have done some experimenting with alcohol lift ink in the past month and learnt a few things along the way. There are a couple of variables that can affect the process and results. The main thing I learnt is that it does not hurt to let things dry longer than you think might be necessary. Let me give you some examples. So far I have done all my experimentation on yupo paper with one or two colours of ink and some rubbing alcohol to help move the ink around and create colour variation. When you create an abstract background on yupo paper let it dry for at least 10 minutes but preferably longer; if it is humid weather it will need to be longer. Sometimes I have so much fun creating pretty background panels with alcohol ink I end up with a lot of ink on the yupo; the process will work best if I give all that ink plenty of time to dry.
Once the coloured panel is dry it is time to use the alcohol lift ink. The ink takes out some colour but not all the colour. You can see in the two panels below it went from dark to light. Even with a light panel the lift ink will still remove some colour but the contrast will be less and the effect more subtle. This Darkroom Door collage stamp was perfect for the technique and shows you that solid stamping and fine detail stamping both work with the alcohol lift technique. I positioned the stamp in my stamp positioner, inked it with alcohol lift ink and pressed it down onto the coloured panel. After a few seconds I lifted the stamp, removed the panel and set it aside for more waiting. While I was waiting I pressed an envelope down onto the stamp which was now covered with the ‘lifted ink’. I pressed the edge of the envelope onto one side of the stamp because I did not want the whole stamp image. You could put a piece of cardstock into the stamp positioner and stamp the whole lifted image.
After at least ten minutes of drying time I returned to my alcohol ink panel and started dabbing the lift ink off with a paper towel. Each dab picks up some colour so I kept rearranging my paper towel so I would not be dabbing colour back onto my panel. When there was no more evidence of ‘shiny’ lift ink on the panel I gently buffed the panel with a clean area of paper towel. If all the ink is dry at this point the stamped image will get clearer as you polish. If there is any wet alcohol ink or lift ink the image will blur or spread. This is why it is worth giving the panel plenty of drying time and dabbing time.
The card on the left was made with just ranger pitch black alcohol ink and rubbing alcohol; I ended up with black, pale blue and burgandy areas on the panel. The card on the right was made with ranger indigo alcohol ink and I think some cloudy blue as well but I didn’t write them down so I’m not sure. The stamp has its own frame so I just trimmed my panel close to that and attached it to a white card base.
It is worth watching a couple of alcohol lift ink videos before you try the technique. After completing a few panels I found myself wondering which stamps I would try next.
Stamps: butterfly garden, happy birthday sentiment stamp (DD)
Inks: pitch black , indigo ranger alcohol inks, ranger alcohol lift ink, distress chipped sapphire, versafine clair nocturne
Paper: yupo heavy white, neenah solar white
Tools: stamp positioner
Thank you for the lovely comments you left on my previous post, also featuring the grevillea stamps. I love hearing from you and was very touched by your sweet words about me and my dad.
I’m sharing cards over on the Darkroom Door blog today. If you haven’t visited there you should; there is a collection of amazing artists who share their creations there. I have a couple of grevillea cards to share with you today. One of them not too realistic in colour but still bright and bold like the real thing. I stamped the grevillea in versamark twice and the foliage twice then embossed in silver embossing powder on hot pressed watercolour paper. I sprinkled brilliant red brusho around the flower heads and prussian blue brusho round the perimeter of the panel, spritzed with water and let the brusho activate before adding any more. I then played around with adding more water and tilting to make paint move. I also used a brush to pick up wet paint from panel to move it to an empty area then let it dry.
For a background I stamped mesh textures stamp four times on white card base with versamark ink (you could use mesh background stamp if you have it to fill card base) and embossed in silver. I stamped a sentiment from happy birthday sentiment strip in versamark on red cardstock and embossed it with silver powder. To complete the card I matted the grevillea panel with red cardstock and attached it to the card base.
For this more realistic colour scheme I painted a circle in wild honey distress stain on cold pressed watercolour paper and let it dry. Then I painted scattered straw distress stain over whole panel and let that dry. I inked the large grevillea flower in wild honey, ripe persimmon, spiced marmalade and forest moss distress stains, spritzed stamp then stamped on the watercolour panel. I repeated by spritzing the stamp to get a paler impression then followed the same procedure to fill the base of the panel with flowers. I inked the foliage stamp with forest moss distress ink, stamped and restamped for bold and paler images.
To finish I stamped a sentiment from ‘happy birthday’ set in rusty hinge distress ink then trimmed and attached the panel to natural white card base.
Stamps: grevilleas, happy birthday, mesh textures (DD)
Card 1 Inks: versamark
Card 2 Inks: wild honey, scattered straw, ripe persimmon, spiced marmalade, forest moss distress stains, rusty hinge distress ink
Paint: brilliant red, prussian blue brusho
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural white cardstock, neenah solar white, red cardstock
Also: stamping platform, silver embossing powder
My father lives not too far from Darkroom Door in NSW, Australia. When I knew he was coming to visit this summer I asked him to pick up some new stamps and bring them over. Not only did he bring what I’d ordered he also studied the stamps and came up with a challenge for me. I completed the challenge a while ago but the busyness of our summer has meant that I am only now getting this post written. Below you will see my dad’s words then I will wrap up at the end.
The Grevillea is a beautiful Australian Native Plant found across the continent and popular in many home gardens. There are many varieties from low ground hugging varieties to shrubs both small and large, sparse and thick. Their flowers are both small, individual and delicate as well as thickly clustered with the appearance of large flower heads. The bright colour of their flowers covers most of the spectrum, attracting many birds, particularly colourful parrots and lorikeets seeking nectar from their flowers and camouflage protection amongst their leaves and branches They tolerate hot seasons, have low water needs in comparison to many plants and have an extended floral season. They are very popular in home gardens as well as parks and their native bushland settings. The grevillea is frequently portrayed on Australian greeting cards and seems to be popular in all seasons. The beautiful range of colour and form seems to relate to a range of sentiments for both personal and seasonal occasions.
The sentiment stamps from Darkroom Door demonstrate that a message, be it seasonal or personal, happy or sad, celebrating or apologizing, or much more, can be expressed in a great variety of ways.
My suggestion to Heather, or was it a stampers’ challenge, was that, before she cuts either of the new stamps into individual stamps, she design a card using at least two of the grevillea images and at least half the sentiment expressions from one of her new stamps. She has agreed to the suggestion and I am confident she will rise to the challenge. What follows is Heather’s response to her dad and her explanatory notes for you, her fellow stampers.
For this first card I based my colour choices on the grevillea juniperina sulphurea . I used distress inks and markers to ink first the flowers then the tips in scattered straw, wild honey and spiced marmalade. I stamped the main image and, without re-inking, stamped pale images behind. The leaves and stem are stamped in peeled paint, again first and second generation stamping. As stated in the challenge I kept the sentiment stamps together (they still are) and stamped the strip three times across the card base in memento desert sand ink. To finish I splattered some spiced marmalade stain, matted with a mustard cardstock and added some linen twine.
The colour scheme for this second grevillea card is based on the grevillea superb. This time I aimed to keep the tips of the petals yellow while the rest was red. I inked the whole flower in love letter and rhubarb stalk ink to fill the centre of the flowers with colour. Then, to preserve the tips I wiped ink off the ends of the petals and stamped. To finish the flower I added dandelion ink to the tips of the petals and stamped again. To get background images I spritzed the stamp and got a second generation image behind. For this one the leaves and stems were stamped in memento olive grove ink.
To make one sentiment stand out from the strip I first stamped the whole strip in dandelion ink then placed tape either side of the target words on the panel. I inked again with olive grove ink on the smaller section and stamped over the yellow.
I chose an olive cardstock to frame the panel and finish the card.
I hope you enjoyed my response to my dad’s challenge. If you have kept stamps together for projects rather than separate them I would love to hear about or see your designs. I am also interested to see more colour schemes for the grevilleas. I’ve taken inspiration from a few different grevillea so far and have another couple of approaches to share later in the week!
Stamps: grevilleas, happy birthday (DD)
Card 1 Inks: scattered straw, peeled paint, wild honey, spiced marmalade distress inks & markers, desert sand memento ink
Card 2 Inks: dandelion, love letter, rhubarb stalk, olive grove memento inks & markers
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural white cardstock, green cardstock, mustard cardstock
Also: stamping platform, linen twine
There is plenty of texture on today’s card, more than most of my projects. The pretty shimmer which is only just apparent in the photos is from Nuvo pure platinum embellishment mousse. I pressed it through the Darkroom Door mesh stencil onto watercolour paper. Once the mousse had dried I added distress stains over the mousse. It soaked into the paper but was easily polished off the mousse.
To create the butterfly panel I stamped with the same colour inks as previously used stains. After stamping the butterflies in one colour I blended with water and added drops of another colour to make them all all two tone. You can also see some dots of blue because I love a little splatter here and there.
I completed the card with a sentiment, some silver cord and co-ordinating blue mats.
Stamps: Butterflies, Thank you
Stencil: Small stencil mesh (DD)
Inks: spiced marmalade, festive berries, stormy sky distress inks
Stains: spiced marmalade, festive berries, stormy sky distress stains
Also: nuvo embellishment mousse, silver cord
I have a second grevillea card today featuring another of the flowers from the Darkroom Door ‘grevilleas’ set. (you can see my first one here) There are many different shapes, sizes and colours of grevilleas; this one I coloured to look like the ‘coastal sunset grevillea’. To get my background grevilleas I stamped ‘wet into wet’. I painted water over a piece of cold pressed watercolour paper, inked my stamps with distress stains and stamped onto the wet panel. The ink immediately bled into the surrounding area giving me a loose watery image. I blotted the panel with paper towel to stop the ink from moving too much and to soften the depth of colour. I painted a little blue stain around the edges.
I wanted the foreground images to be sharper so I dried the panel with a heat tool. In order to keep the tips of the grevillea yellow and the rest of the styles red, I stamped first in yellow then in red but I wiped red stain off the ends. I used one of the foliage stamps and inked it with two greens for a more realistic look. I spritzed ever so slightly to make the inks blend a little but not so much as to loose the definition in the detailed stamp.
Once my panel was complete, stamped with one sentiment from the new ‘happy birthday’ strip, I cut across the panel to separate the piece containing the sentiment so I could pop it up on a piece of foam.
Stamps: grevilleas, happy birthday (DD)
Inks: mowed lawn, peeled paint, scattered straw, festive berries, tumbled glass distress stains, nocturne versafine clair
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural white cardstock
Also: adhesive backed foam
My father is visiting from Australia at present; he has attended all three graduations with us. Before he left home I asked him to pick up some new stamps from Darkroom Door. It’s been pretty busy here but I finally found some time earlier this week to try them out. Grevillea is a plant native to Australia and some other southern hemisphere islands. There is a wide range of grevilleas with different shapes and colours. The new grevillea stamp set includes four different shaped flower heads and a couple of foliage stamps.
I searched for grevillea images on line and chose a couple of different colour schemes including this purple/burgandy one know as ‘Simply Sarah‘. I used both dusty concord and seedless preserves distress stains to ink the stamp, spritzed, then stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper. I spritzed again without reinking, stamped again and repeated a couple of times to get lighter images. I inked one of the foliage stamps with forest moss distress stain and stamped it a few times in and around the flowers. Finally I splattered some dots of scattered straw stain over the panel and added a sentiment from another new DD set, ‘thank you’. All the thank you sentiments are on one long strip so I masked with some post it notes to leave a space for just one sentiment.
When my dad first arrived he took a close look at the stamps he’d brought and came up with a challenge for me, but that will be a post for another day.
Stamps: grevilleas, thank you DDSE002 (DD)
Inks: scattered straw, seedless preserves, dusty concord, forest moss distress stains, monarch versafine clair
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural white cardstock
I have a couple more shimmery leafy cards to share today. I created these with leaf stamps from Darkroom Door and Shimmerz spray paints. The panel started out as a square that I intended to turn into a large square card but when it was complete I decided to slice it up!
I began by stamping the two smallest leaf stamps from the Darkroom Door ‘fine leaves’ set in gold ink on hot pressed watercolour paper. I stamped in gold so I could see where I had stamped, versamark makes it tricky to do that. After I had filled three quarters of the panel I embossed with gold powder and started spritzing the panel with heliotrope shimmerz spritz spray. Can I point out right how that heliotrope’s full name is ‘Walking a Tight Heliotrope’ Shimmerz Spritz Spray! I also spritzed with Bamboo Leaf shimmerz spritz spray and let them blend and pretty much flood the panel. I dried it before adding more spray a couple of times then splattered some droplets over the dried panel.
I wanted the leaves to stand out just a tiny bit more so I used a dark blue and an olive green pencil to shade around each leaf so they appear to be lifting slightly off the paper. Once I’d decided to create two cards I matted both panels in gold shimmer cardstock and added embossed sentiments.
The chipped sapphire ink was exactly what I needed for the little sentiment above so I stamped in versamark first then over the top with chipped sapphire which made it possible to emboss in clear powder and get a blue sentiment.
Stamps: fine leaves (DD), all occasions (DD)
Ink: versamark, chipped sapphire, encore gold
Shimmerz Sprays: Walkin’ on a tight Heliotrope, Bamboo Leaf
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural white, gold shimmer cardstock
Also: WOW gold metallic rich embossing powder, Faber Castell polychromos pencils