Monday, October 16, 2017

More Glazed Alcohol Ink Washers

Though gem necklaces have overtaken them as the most popular post on the blog, the washer necklaces I've created with alcohol ink are still some of my most visited posts. I was surprised at how long it had been since I had tried something new with or revisited washer necklaces, so I picked up some washers at the local hardware store and decided it was finally time to try glazing again. A while back, I tried using Diamond Glaze (one of the resin type glues on the market), and they didn't turn out very well. Way back when I first started the blog, I had some success using Paper Glaze with some washers decorated with scrapbook paper, so I knew I could get a better result on washers. Since I didn't have any Paper Glaze (and the smoother surface might not work out as well as one covered in paper), I tried out some of the Ranger Glossy Accents.

So I started the same way I would any time I make washer necklaces, with a craft mat, some alcohol ink, and a felt applicator. I applied a few drops of ink to my felt and stamped a base color of blue and green on 3 of my washers. I stamped until the ink started to separate and create little bubbles. Then I switched to the other side of my applicator and added a few drops of purple. I made one of the washers nearly all purple and then used it as an accent color on another as it was starting to dry out. Then I changed felt and continued to add colors until I liked the way my washers looked. In the process, I made one with an orange and yellow base just for something different.

After applying pink to the orange washer and some of the yellow to one of my green and blue washers, I was good to go. I only made four washers this time since my main goal was to test the Glossy Accents glue. All of these glazes are glues that imitate resin. Resin is smelly, expensive, and much more difficult to work with (from what I've seen), so I'm trying all of the glue products before I try working with resin.

After the ink dried on my washers (usually just takes a few minutes, but I left them for a few days before I put on my glaze), I used the Glossy Accents to apply a ring of the glue around the washer. Make sure not to shake the bottle before you apply the glue, and the glue seems to acquire fewer bubbles if you glue in one constant stream looping around the washer without picking up the tip or stopping. I tried not to get too close to the edges of the washer or the center since I had such a big problem with the glue oozing off the edges the last time I tried. The glossy accents seemed thicker and less prone to bubbles as I applied than the other glazes I've tried. I was very hopeful as I left them to dry.

The next morning they dried from their cloudy color to a hard, clear, glossy surface. I noticed one of my washers had oozed into the center and that the colors seemed a bit blurred by the glue. Though, I was generally impressed by the glossy accents for this particular project. The glue seemed thicker and dried glossy and clear, but it did react with the alcohol ink a bit.

You can see in the close up of the one that oozed into the center, how the glue looks a bit pink from the alcohol ink. Also, the glue didn't settle as much as the thinner varieties, so if I overlapped my glue trails it was thicker, and in the areas I didn't quite go to the edge, it didn't spread or run to the edge--this is good because it is less likely to run over the edge, but definitely something you have to be careful about when applying.

In the end, I got three pretty necklaces out of the batch and I think the Glossy Accents worked better than the Diamond Glaze for these washers. I may try sealing the washers before adding the glaze glue the next time so there's something with a bit of texture for the glue to latch onto and so that the glaze doesn't muddle the colors. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Stamping Alcohol Ink on Ridged Surfaces

The last time I was at Dollar Tree, I saw this cute little jar with a lid and thought,"Could I ink that?" If you've been following Sarah Jane's Craft Blog for any amount of time, you know that's a common question I ask at Dollar Tree. :) So I thought, "Maybe, I could." I actually like the "maybe" answer the best because that means I get to try something new. So I bought the little jar, and it sat on my craft supply shelf for months (yes, it's been months since I've been to Dollar Tree--time for another trip!) before I finally decided to try to tackle it.

I brought out my regular inking supplies (craft mat, alcohol ink, applicator and felt), but I also grabbed some makeup sponges and a few cotton rounds.

I knew that if I tried stamping the ink onto the jar with the regular wooden applicator, the ink would just sit on the top edges of the ridges. It would be very stripey--which probably wouldn't be a bad look either, but I wanted to try to get more coverage. I brought out all of my blue, aqua, teal type colors so they would compliment each other and dripped one of the turquoise inks onto the makeup sponge. Then I stamped the jar, but most of the ink was sucked into the sponge. It left light circles across the jar. Not quite the better coverage I was looking for. (Though, I'll try to keep it in mind if I ever have a strong desire for alcohol ink polka-dots.)

Next, I tried the cotton rounds. I was a bit worried when I dripped the ink on and it immediately spread out, but after a few quick passes across the jar, I could tell it was working better. I stamped the jar as much as possible with the first few drops of ink and then added a few more drops and made another pass.

I was able to get pretty good coverage with six drops of ink. It didn't get into all of the indents from the ridges, but it did work great to get ink on the entire curved surface of the ridge.

The ink did seep through the cotton round a bit--but less than I expected (back of cotton round pictured above). So you may want to use gloves for this method if you don't like getting it on your hands.

I didn't take any pictures of my last step, but I had the applicator out, so I went ahead and added some darker blues and some brighter greens onto the regular felt applicator to go around the jar and add a bit more dimension to the color. I opted not to do any wild contrasting colors because I wanted the jar's ridged pattern to stand out and not have to compete with the ink too much.  So, success! I inked the ridged jar and learned a new method for applying ink to curved and ridged surfaces.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Using a Felt Applicator to Apply Acrylic Paint Experiment

I haven't had any time to do a proper craft this week, so I thought I'd share a test experiment that I tried out using acrylic paints on glass gems and metal washers.

A while back I got a set of these little metallic paints. They are called Lumiere paints by Jacquard (yep, the same company that makes the other set of alcohol inks). They come in these little ink like bottles, but they are, in fact, just metallic acrylic paints in fun colors. Truth be told, I didn't really know what to do with these little guys, so I set out on an experiment.

I grabbed the felt applicator that I use for applying alcohol ink (it's just a wood block with some fun foam and velcro glued to the top that you can stick a piece of felt onto) and put a couple of dots of paint onto the felt. I had no idea if it would work. The first layer went on fine, but it didn't cover very well. So I layered on another color and kept stamping.

It seemed to work fairly well on the glass gem, but the paint started sticking to the felt a bit on the metal washer. When it stuck, it would pull a bit of the paint off. So after a few different colors, I had to call it quits. But I might have been able to let it dry and add some more.

I was actually surprised by how well it turned out in the end. I will definitely try to find reasons to use this paint on the glass gems again in some way as it seemed to work very well on the glass. I'm still not sure how well it will hold up over time (if it will scrape or flake off, etc...), but I'll keep you all posted!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Alcohol Ink Glass Gems with White Ink

I have made my fair share of projects with those flat marbles that you can get at the craft store or dollar store. The glass gems have been glittered and backed with paper, but the most popular projects all involve alcohol ink. I have tried several different methods for making the colors stand out more on the clear surface: paint, stickers, foil tape, tinfoil....So I came up with another trick to try. I realized that the Pinata set of alcohol inks comes with an opaque white ink (Ranger has one too called Snow Cap--but it's sold individually and kind of hard to track down for a decent price). I almost always use Ranger brand Alcohol Inks as they are little thinner and easier to use (but mostly because I'm just used to them and they come in way more colors), so I hadn't even really thought about using Pinata's white one, but it dawned on me that it might be yet another way to get the colors to pop more.

I laid out my crafting mats to protect the table and grabbed my alcohol inks and some rubbing alcohol. I selected some gems from my stash (I picked some larger and smaller ones--both of which I'm fairly sure I bought at Dollar Tree) and got to work.

I was excited to try out some new colors that I had picked up that included a turquoise, bright green, and bright orange called Spring Break. I combined the blue and green along with some sailboat blue to create a base color on a few of the gems. I used my new orange with some hot pink to create a base on the others. As always with these gems, I drip just a dot or two of ink onto the felt applicator and stamp until the ink starts to separate a bit and create patterns.

Once I had the base colors, I brought in some accents with darker colored blues and purple, etc... until I liked what I saw on the gems. Then I set them aside for a minute or so to dry and brought out my white ink.

I dripped a couple drops of the white pinata ink onto the felt and stamped over the colored ink. The ink reacted much the same way other alcohol inks do, it mixed with the colors a bit. I think in the future I would use very little of the white and maybe even let it dry a bit before applying so that it would mix together less. The last gem that I applied the ink to when I was almost out or dried up on the felt turned out the best. 

After I was done inking over the predominately blue ones, I put some white ink on the other side of my applicator to ink over the pink and orange gems (so I wouldn't have blues and greens turning my pink and orange gems brown).

When I was done, I let the ink dry. They turned out mostly pastel in the end, but a couple of them stayed speckled. I may seal the ones that I liked the best and turn them into necklaces, or I may try this out again with a little less ink and a little more dry time between stamping to get more of a white background look instead of a mixed with the white pastel look. Let me know if you've used white alcohol ink with success in the comments! Happy crafting!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Watercolor Rainbow Butterfly Cards

I participated in a card exchange at the end of the summer and decided to make my cards. I knew I wanted to use my new butterfly punch but I couldn't figure out how to use it. I figure you couldn't go wrong with combining it with rainbow paper. I didn't have any rainbow paper in my scrapbook stash, so I decided to make it.

I taped some watercolor paper to some foam board and mixed my colors with quite a bit of water to make a rainbow gradient across the paper in the traditional ROYGBIV order. This was a lot of fun and didn't take too much time. It really got me itching to paint some pictures again. I ended up making a few sheets of rainbow paper, but you could make 4 cards with one regular sized sheet of watercolor paper.

After my paper had dried, I cut it into fourths. I just folded the paper to guide my scissors, but you could also use a paper cutter to make it even neater. Then I used my butterfly punch to cut the silhouette of a butterfly out of the rainbow paper. I was then left with a lacy little butterfly to attach to the inside of the card.

Since I was just going for a blank notecard look, I kept it simple. I selected colored cards that seemed to correspond with the rainbow paper--peach for one side of the rainbow and blue for the other side.

I tried to use some double stick tape to attach the paper to the card, but it didn't get along very well with the watercolor paper. I also tried mod podge, but it wasn't very cooperative either--just too wet. Someone had recommended this glue in the photo above for paper: Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue. It definitely worked, but it was NOT user-friendly. I was used to glues that would wipe away with gentle rubbing when working with paper, like glue sticks or rubber cement. This stuff was permanent when wet and left big dark smears if you used a little too much near the edges. If left to dry, it remains super sticky, so it can be used like a post-it note and reattached. I'm sure there are situations when this stuff would be awesome, but I didn't care for it for general paper gluing purposes, so I'm still on the lookout for a good paper glue. 

So I glued the silhouette rainbow paper on the front of the card and the lacy butterfly on the inside. Then I wrote a quick note on each one. The ones without smeared glue on them turned out great, and I can't wait to get back into painting.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Recycled Tin Can

We bought a giant can of peanuts a while back at Big Lot. After my husband devoured them, I was about to toss the can in the trash when I realized it wasn't the usual foil lined cardboard, but was instead a full fledged corrugated metal can. It looked just like a big old coffee can with its resealable lid and all. So I knew I had to save it, if for nothing else than to throw nails in it in the garage. In my mind, I thought I could do something a little snazzier, though.

Probably the hardest part of this project (and not all that hard) was a step that I didn't get any photos of--removing the glue after I ripped the label off. It was that hard non-sticky label glue. My usual go to for excess glue is goo-gone. I sprayed it on the glue and waited a minute--nothing happened. So then I grabbed a butter knife and started to try to scrape it off. I didn't make much of a dent. Then, I decided to run the glue under hot water. This made the glue tacky again and I was able to scrape off most of the glue with a little bit of elbow grease and a pan scraper. After the hot water and scraping, most of what was left was sticky residue. Then I was able to use the goo-gone since sticky residue is its true strength. After I got the glue cleaned off, I set the cleaned can in a box and selected some spray paint.

I sprayed several light coats. The paint I selected is a hammered bronze. It has a bit of a texture to it, so it took a little more paint and a little extra drying time to cover the can than I'm used to.

Once it was dry to the touch (took about an hour and a half instead of the usual 10-20 minutes), I brought it inside to cure. I set it on a piece of tinfoil to dry for several days. The can turned out pretty good, but still looked very much like a tin can, so I knew I had to jazz it up somehow. I selected a striped washi tape from my stash and wrapped it around the top and bottom of the can (on the flatter sections). The great thing about washi tape is that I can peel it off and try out a new tape if I get sick of the stripes.

So now I have a can that I can store things in inside the house and not just in the garage. I'm pleased with how it turned out, but if I get another giant can of peanuts (or coffee) I'll probably decide to paint it a bright non-metallic color to further the illusion that it is no longer a "tin can."