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BIG CARDS – Six of Hearts

Yesterday we did a usual Sunday event.  We marinade 5 or 6 different things and BBQ meat for the week.  We did thick pork chops in BBQ sauce, Chicken in lime and mustard, sausages and burgers.  That gives us plenty of quick meals with less effort till the next weekend.  But while dishing up the plates I first had to lift the tin foil (damn the no-window-screens/living in a field/flies combo) and it CUT me.  Never had THAT happen before.  So this morning, as I await the re-scheduled BT appointment (2 hours left in the slot and counting….) I was contemplating the bandage on my finger and thinking about the tin foil and…

I added glue to the paper and brayered on the crumpled tin foil to give a good adhesion

I pounced on first Red Pepper alcohol ink, then a combo of some greens and blues over that.  No blending solution, to give a nice mottled effect.

I added some red paint thru a stencil.

The light from the window, reflecting off the foil, makes seeing the colour difficult,  If I hold the piece under the desk, away from the light, you can see it a bit better

Lastly, I coloured the letters with a Copic, thru a stencil. Red first, then outlined with black.  Tricky with the brush tip – one rare occasion when I wish I had a ProMarker with a fine bullet tip!


Interesting effect.  I’ve seen tin foil used for cards but never really played with it.  This is heavy-duty tin foil, on a roll, from Costco.  I wonder if it would be a reasonable substitute for the foil sheets from Ranger?  I’ll have to see how well the glue stick holds it all – it seems a good stick, but I’ve found glue stick loosens over time.  I’ll check it in a week and see if it’s still strong.

Now, where is that BT team??  I swear if they miss me again today I will be LIVID with rage…..

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BIG CARDS – Two of Hearts

I admit that I did much of this yesterday.  I was playing around with water marbling and not having any real success.  The one thing I KNEW worked well (scraping pastels or chalks over the surface then dipping) I couldn’t do because I can’t figure out where I stashed my pastels.  I have my chalks but they are very pale so really a bit of a waste to use them.

I moved on.  I tried a few things, mostly knowing they wouldn’t work WELL but I thought they might work a bit.  Ink sinks and colours the water – so does Cosmic shimmer mist, acrylic mists, really any other water-based thing.  So I thought back to my childhood, and the immigrant community where my Grandparents lived.  Every Easter they used to marble eggs.  God, it was probably dangerous to eat them, but we all did and survived.  They had a tub of water that they flicked oil paints over, swirled with a stick and dipped.  It was very long ago, but somehow I feel like gasoline was involved at some stage, as that was the overwhelming SMELL I recall.  Perhaps it was just that they always did it in the garage.  Frankly if gasoline WAS involved I can’t imagine my Mom letting us eat the resulting eggs.  But I digress….

What I did have success with, a bit, was dropping alcohol inks into the water.  As you may be able to see the water still has the ink, mists, etc still in it, with the alcohol ink floating on the surface.

So I was thinking about surfactants – what might allow the water based ink to float (important: that I HAD ALREADY)?  I thought about dishwasher rinse aid.  I tried it – not great.  Here are the samples of the two alcohol ink dips and one that was rinse aid with inks dropped on it.

Interesting but not perfect, any of them.  I did a larger sheet with AIs and then dripped spots of AI colours onto that and set them all aside.  I wasn’t happy with any of them really, and when I went to bed the plan was to get up and try something new. They were all left in a jumble, on top of each other, overnight.

But when I got up and moved them I found that the larger piece done with the AIs, which had the others on top, had picked up some colour from the rinse aid and ink one.  I really liked it. So I decided to build on it.

I added a bit of Distress Ink, some dotty mask areas, a bit of stamping and ended up with this:

Interesting, yes?

The areas that picked up the inky bits are quite cool. You can see the bright blue and hot pink in this area particularly well.

Now, I don’t fool myself into thinking that I can ever recreate this – it was too much of an accident to expect to have it happen again.  That is partly why I carried on and used the piece.    Like all things arty, accidental is interesting but who wants to spend the time to refine something to the point you can get expected results even 80% of the time, wasting resources to get there? But it might be something worth playing with when time is more free, just to see if it is possible. I’m wondering if just brushing on rinse aid then dripping ink on and laying it over other stuff is enough….

I do know that floating AIs on a water tray DOES work, although it is def. more blotches of colour than true marbling.


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BIG CARDS – 4 of Spades

I love crafting with household things.  After my play with waxed paper, I cast my eye across my stash and it fell upon my frequently-used box of freezer paper.  This is such a useful item.  I’ve used it to stabilize things to send thru my printer (like printing on paper towels) and for a few other things, but not as the actual “paper” before.  The plastic-y coating is shiny and what I thought was that would take alcohol inks pretty well.  It does, with a few surprises.

The first thing I did was grab a strip and crumple it up.  The crumpling, even when you iron it later, will still result in a slightly smaller end product so make sure your starting sheet is an inch or so bigger on all sides! I swiped a Staz-on ink pad across the ridges made by crumpling and let it dry.

This is a bit tricky.  I loaded up my ink applicator with a few blue Alcohol Inks and pounced that over the inked ridges.  Pressing too hard will remove too much of the Staz-on, being they are both solvent based products. Some of the AI will mix with the Staz-on but some of the ridges will remain very black.  The wetter the inks are the more they remove, so the first few pounces take more away, later ones, as the felt dries a bit, will remove less.

Iron it.  Use a non-stick craft mat against the shiny side as the iron will melt the plastic coating a bit.  Or don’t – I did one with a paper towel against the shiny side.  It adhered to the melted plastic, but gave an interesting texture from the towel!  Some bits did stick and were hard to get off, but that in itself may produce some interesting effects.

I used a template to sponge thru Staz-on, then outlined the inked areas with a Sharpie.

The Sharpie, also solvent based, did work well.  And while the template was a mess with the Staz-on all over it, a quick swipe with some Surgical Spirit took care of that! And gave me a further idea.

I started off using a stencil to draw on the letters with a Copic marker.  The Copic dissolved the inks and gave an interesting effect, but then I though more about the Surgical Spirit.   I used a Q-Tip (ear bud for my UK friends) dipped in Surgical spirit to make the ink fluid again then whisked it away with the a clean one.  This has to be done quickly as the spirit dries very fast so no step by step photos – I had my hands full, and moving fast. Once the area inside the stencil was very pale I filled in with a bright Copic.   I didn’t take it to the point of pure white, although it will get there, as I wanted some of the distressed looking quality to be in the letters as well.  But I can see just taking off the ink in the stencil areas rather than making it darker with pens as a neat alternative.

So here you go.

The colour on the close up isn’t great – too dark and dismal here this morning but here it is anyway:

I like how the darker ink pools around the edges of the letters, almost framing them. The freezer paper is quite sturdy so really takes a beating and still holds up.  It has a leather-like quality to it by the end.  I think you could make some pretty flowers by doing a sheet then punching and layering them up.  I would say punch thru from the paper side (or use dies) and you shouldn’t have any trouble.  I may give it a go myself later. Have fun with it and LMK if you try it.



More alcohol ink with UTEE

I was so excited by the effects from my play with AIs and UTEE the other day that I had to try a few more colours.

Here is what I did:

I punched out a few tag shapes from some heavyweight cardstock – I don’t have the packaging but I am sure it is about 260 gsm. I swiped them with clear embossing ink then covered with UTEE and heated.  You can either then dip the hot tag in UTEE again, or let it cool slightly then swipe again, cover with UTEE again, and heat again.  You want 3 to 5 coats of UTEE.  Then you can let them cool, or put them in the freezer for 10 minutes or so.  Flex the cardstock till cracks appear.  If the coating cracks, just put it back in place.

Then, pick a few colours of AI.  I did Red Pepper, Terra Cotta and Caramel; Eggplant and Raisin; Lettuce, Meadow and Bottle; Caramel, Latte and Ginger.  Have your felt wet with ink – you want it to sink down through the cracks to the cardstock.

Can you see how it is darker inside the cracks? And some of the ink pools under the embossing?

Now re-heat.  The colour will lighten, so be generous with the AI. Also, sometimes the UTEE will retract from the edges of the cracks, exposing the cardstock, or making almost a burn-hole. You can see it best on the red sample.

You can then let them cool and swipe on more embossing ink and more UTEE and re-heat.  Or you can just leave it, depending on the look you want.

Heating it again lightens the AI more – see the eggplant and raisin one?  It’s very pale. The more you heat it, and the closer you are with the embossing gun, the lighter they seem to get.  To keep the colour you can heat as far away from the piece as you can and still melt the UTEE.  It takes longer but gives a different effect.

You can add MORE AI and reheat if you want an intense colour. See how that brought the eggplant one back to life?

I also tried just doing one coat of UTEE, no cracking, just daubing on the AI.  That actually worked too,and was less effort, but you don’t get the mottling you get with multiple coats of UTEE and with the ink pooling under it. But it IS flatter and thinner, if that matters. With multiple layers of UTEE it just seems to do some interesting things.  You can see the ink is almost suspended in the UTEE, between different layers.

I think you really can only use it for fairly small pieces.  I tried it on a paper flower, which was interesting, but I’ve not QUITE perfected that so a little more playing is required.

Give it a go.  The tags came out almost like glass