Recently I received a 6″x9″ Mixed Media Journal from Grafix and decided to turn it into a swatch book. It’s maybe not the most artistic use for the new mixed media journals but I am hoping it will be useful for me as I create projects and teach classes using alcohol inks and non-permeable surfaces.
As you can see from the top photo the journal is disc bound which means I can add new pages as I buy more products! I filmed my swatching process so you can see how I am using my mixed media journal.
So far I have swatched alcohol inks, including mixatives and alloys. In doing so I realised how many were almost empty, which means of course I can get a few new ones!
I’ve also swatched alcohol markers and paint markers. I’m not swatching all my markers on the craft plastics and dura-lar pages as many of my markers are made for paper. (that’s another swatch book waiting to happen)
I work with the paint markers on craft plastic and glass so I swatched on black craft plastic and clear dura-lar.
The mixed media journals also come in 6″x6″ and are a new product so I can’t tell you exactly where to find them right now but I do know DeSerres, Crop A While and Foiled Fox all carry Grafix products as do most art stores so you could ask them to get one in for you.
I am excited to keep adding to mine and to use it when ever I’m working on plastic surfaces.
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Last week I posted a video showing my method for abstract alcohol ink backgrounds. This week’s video is less abstract. In it I show you how I created the purple flower in the card above. I’ve been experimenting with creating flowers and sometimes have more success than other times. I’ve included four cards in this post but there are several panels that I will probably wipe clean.Did you know you can wipe your yupo or craft plastic clean with rubbing alcohol? I don’t always get the panels back to pristine white but so close it doesn’t matter.
To create this rose I used only two alcohol inks, eggplant and gilded alloy along with plenty of isopropyl alcohol. You can see my process in the video below.
The next flower is on black craft plastic, messier and more experimental but a similar process of moving the inks towards the centre leaving rims of gilded and indigo ink as I went.
On the panel below I used Ranger flamingo and gilded alloy inks. The pattern is a bit lopsided but it’s definitely floralish. I added a gold mat and gold die cut from the PB set ‘celebrations’.
Have you tried alcohol ink flowers? Do you think you might?
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I’ve had the alcohol inks out recently and spent some time trying to get soft wavy patterns on craft plastic. I have seen several artists who do this technique beautifully but I am very much still a beginner with it. I have a few cards to share today along with a video showing my process for two of the panels. I worked on white craft plastic from Grafix which is heavyweight and totally opaque. For most of the panels featured today I used only two alcohol inks plus plenty of 99% rubbing alcohol; each panel was created with a metallic and a non-metallic ink.
This first panel was made with turquoise AI and gilded alloy AI; I love the range of blues when diluted with rubbing alcohol. The ‘for you’ Penny Black die cut is two layers of turquoise cardstock topped with one layer of pale gold.
This warm toned card was made with honeycomb AI and mined alloy AI then die cut with a WaffleFlower square nesting die. I used the WaffleFlower additional square dies to cut a larger copper square then added the PB ‘light as a feather’ die cut and a PB birthday sentiment embossed in Brutus Monroe penny embossing powder.
You can see the process for both cards above in the video below.
As I am working on alcohol ink panels I am evaluating my process and working out what I want to try next. I just bought a cheap lazy susan to work on the blown flowers and I’m pretty sure I don’t need to use as much coloured ink when I make the initial drops. You can be sure I will let you know what I discover.
I have a couple more cards made off camera using the same technique shown in the video. The card above features juniper AI and statue alloy AI with the PB ‘many thanks’ die cut from antique gold cardstock and stacked twice.
When this panel was finished it reminded me of photos of the artic and far north where the icebergs and glaciers are made up of beautiful shades of blue. It’s kind of a cross section perspective where we can see below and above the ice the bears are walking on. I did use two blue inks plus a silver for this one, ranger turquoise and stream with pinata silver. The bear die is ‘polar bears’ from Penny Black.
We’ve been watching Cecilia Blomdahl’s youtube channel about her life on Svalbard, an island off the north coast of Norway. She lives in the world’s northern most town. Polar bears are definitely around so you don’t wander outside the village without your weapon!
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I teamed up with Grafix to create a couple of snowy projects on their Duralar plastic films. The card you see on the left and below was inked on white craft plastic, also know as DuraBright white. It is totally opaque and has a bit of weight to it. For the votive wrap I used Dura-Lar matte film which is lighter weight and has a frosted transparent appearance which was what I wanted so the light from a votive would shine through.
I used stream and denim alcohol inks and felt to apply the inks to the plastic films. To create the snowflake patterns I die-cut a Penny Black snowflake from felt and stuck it to the wooden back from a old stamp. You can see the whole process in the video below.
I cut the Penny Black neighborhood border from Dura-Bright white for both the votive and the card.
You can see in the video and the photo above how the colours in the votive surround look different with a light inside; I guess it would depend too whether your battery votive candle was a white one or more of a yellow glow.
I’m really enjoying working with the Dura-bright white for alcohol ink projects and will be trying more techniques on the Dura-Lar matte in the future. If you are looking for the bright white remember it also goes by the name white craft plastic. Crop A While might have some and Deserres does carry it.
I’ve been working on a few different alcohol ink techniques so there will be more cards to share and another video next week.
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What better subject for shimmer on black than a shiny little scooter. ‘The Ride’ is a PB rubber stamp. Once again I had trouble catching the real shine on camera but there is shimmer and shine in real life when the light catches it. I embossed with alabaster embossing powder from Brutus Monroe and made sure I kept the heat tool moving while I embossed so as to not buckle the craft plastic.
I used the new black craft plastic from Grafix to show off the little scooter and painted with pearlescent paints from the Finetec Artist Mica Watercolor Pearlescent paint set.
Painting on the craft plastic is very smooth and particularly straightforward with an embossed image. I also did some detail on the tires and black sections with a grey pencil but it was hard to capture that in my photo.
I wanted to highlight the little orange flowers so cut a mat and a sentiment strip from orange cardstock. The words are from the MFT ‘All About You’ set.
Introductions are necessary, I have a new crafting surface to share with you. Opaque black craft plastic has just been released by Grafix and I found it to be a perfect base for pearlescent paint. It was tricky to photograph but I think you can see the shimmer in the both the paint and the gold card base. Here is a video of my process.
The craft plastic also comes in white which I’ve used successfully with alcohol inks. I can’t wait to try the new Ranger Alloy inks on the black.
Grafix gave me the opportunity to try the black craft plastic and I had fun with the alcohol inks and paint markers as well as the pearlescent paints shown here. I’ll be sharing more projects in the future and I will be asking my favourite stores if they can carry this new product.
Last weekend I spent Saturday creating with alcohol inks while learning from Kathryn Kanadian who was in Ottawa teaching a couple of classes. Kathryn is a wonderful teacher and I now have a few new tricks to try and techniques to practice. This lavender panel was created with dots of ink on an applicator; I used passion purple, rich gold (Pinata) and juniper (Ranger) along with some blending solution or isopropyl alcohol. I dabbed the applicator all over the craft plastic for quite a while and added blending solution and more ink when needed. The gold ink didn’t move much but the other two colours created a lot of pattern. These delicate flowers which look a little like lavender are cut with PB ‘tall flowers’ dies. The sentiment from the PB ‘special sentiments’ set I stamped with dusty concord archival ink. I had a section of the patterned panel left over so I was able to die cut some more flowers to pop inside the card. You can be sure I put stick-it adhesive on those panels before I cut such skinny flowers out.
The panel of browns and gold below came together as Kathryn was encouraging us to experiment with blending solution to move the ink. I used more than I usually would and was delighted with all the variation of colour I achieved, the dotted patterns and the splotches of gold here and there. I used ginger, espresso (Ranger) and rich gold (Pinata). Kathryn had samples of her wonderful work including a coffee themed card that inspired this one.
I used the Concord & 9 ‘simple serif’ alphabet dies to cut the letters from antique gold cardstock and framed the panel in antique gold also.
The daisy panel was a bit of a breakthrough for me as I had only made landscapes with alcohol inks by accident or trial and error in the past. With the introduction of a stylus and alcohol ink brushes I was able to paint some daisies and splatter a rain shower over the top of them.
I began by creating a green background with the help of some isopropyl alcohol and green ink (not sure if it was meadow or pesto??) I used a stylus to dot the centres of the flowers in copper and pitch alcohol inks (Ranger) then I used a brush to paint petals around the centres and stems and grass at the base. The splatters of isopropyl alcohol pulled the composition together.
Although it looks black the cardstock framing the panel is actually dark green. I embossed a little sentiment from the PB ‘family sentiments’ set in white powder.
I created a few more panels during the class which hopefully I will turn into cards soon. Thanks Kathryn for a wonderful class.