Monday, January 30, 2017

Valentine's Day Collection

This week's post has been interrupted by a nasty cold, while I'm getting better, check out a collection of Valentine's Day craft projects to improve your winter spirits.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Alcohol Ink on Mirrored Candle Plate

Last week I tried alcohol ink on a surface I hadn't tried before--a textured bowl. This week, I'm trying another new surface--a mirror. At Dollar Tree, they sell these little mirrored candle plates, so I picked one up to try as an experiment.

I started out by dripping some red (watermelon) and orange (sunset orange) onto the mirror. Then I added a drop of rubbing alcohol to help thin the ink out.

Then I used a can of electronic duster air to spread the ink out. I used a plastic container lid as a shield to blow the ink towards so it wouldn't get all over my table.

When I was done, I ended up with something that looked like the one above. If looks a little blurry from the reflection of the mirror. I wasn't pleased with my first try, so I tried it again and again and again. I think I wiped it off with a paper towel and rubbing alcohol about 5 times.

This one (above) was my best--sadly, I kept adding ink after this photo was taken, and ended up redoing it again. So what I learned from this experience is that mirrors are not a terribly forgiving medium for alcohol inks. I might end up trying mirrors again with a different application method in the future.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Alcohol Ink Decorated Pressed (Textured) Glass Bowl

I was at Dollar Tree the other day, and I was looking for things to use alcohol ink on that I hadn't yet. It's a strange sort of affliction: "Could I put alcohol ink on that?" "What about that?" I was looking for a plain glass plate as I haven't inked any plates yet, but they didn't have any, but they did have this pretty pressed bowl. I haven't done any bowls yet, and I certainly haven't inked anything that had this much texture, so I figured it was worth a dollar for the experiment.

I grabbed some inks, my craft mat, my applicator (I made my own) and some felt.

I picked twilight purple, sailboat blue, and pool to start. I dripped the colors onto my felt (three or four drops of each color to start).

I made a first pass with those colors and wasn't getting too much coverage. I had to stamp a lot and press fairly hard to get it onto all of the raised areas of the bowl's design.

I kept adding drops of ink and added a few additional colors to add depth to the colors (raspberry, clover, and a tiny bit of watermelon). It took quite a bit of stamping, but since I kept the colors all on the cool side of the color wheel, I was able to keep the same felt for the whole stamping process.

You can see after I got most of the bowl covered, there were still some raised areas that weren't inked. I had to go back over with more ink to make sure that all of the raised areas had color on them. Then I added a couple dots of raspberry pink to brighten up some of the darker areas. When I was finished with adding color, I put a little rubbing alcohol on the corner of a paper towel and I cleaned up any ink that got on the glass above the textured pattern.

I was really happy with how it turned out. It took a bit more ink and a bit more pressure than most glass projects do, but it came out really cool. The ink sits on top of the textured design and highlights it. It turned into a really neat decorative bowl. If you plan to handle your bowl or keep it near any alcohol based liquids, be sure to seal it with some spray sealer or mod podge.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Layered Cut-Out Bookmarks

It's been a pretty cold and dreary start to 2017, but I did manage to make a project with some of the cardstock I marbled with spray paint ages ago. It was so much fun to make, but I always forget I have it to make projects with. Well, since I'm trying to get better at using my Silhouette for projects, I thought this was a perfect excuse to use some of that cardstock to make some bookmarks.

So I used one of the free designs that Silhouette gives you--a tag design. I stretched it out so it was about six inches long and grabbed a couple other free designs to cut out of the bottom of the tag. 

They cut out very easily. I was worried since the cardstock is a bit thick and just a smidge wobbly from the water and paint. I just dialed the blade up one notch from the recommended cardstock setting to compensate for the paint, and it worked perfectly. You could easily cut out the bookmark shape with ascissors and cut out a design with a paper punch if you don't have a cutting machine.

To make the bookmarks more rigid and provide some contrast for the cut-outs, I layered them on top of some colored cardstock. I traced around the bookmarks and cut the paper out.

Then I had to figure out how to adhere the two piece together. A good quality glue stick would be a good choice, but I didn't have any, so I went with some double sided tape.

I applied my tape to the back side of the marbled paper and then stuck the two sides together. Then I used a regular hole punch to make a hole in the blue cardstock and attached a ribbon. These would be a great candidate for running through my laminating machine to preserve them, but they're pretty sturdy as is. I look forward to learning how to make more projects with my cutting machine.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Best of the Blog 2016

Happy New Year! To celebrate 2017, I thought we'd take a look back at last year's most popular posts (and a few of my favorites).

1. This year's most popular post, by far, was the one where I used my Cuttlebug to emboss aluminum foil. I also used some dies to cut out some shapes (as seen in the photo above). I guess this one was popular because it's such an easy project. It's always fun to take something (like aluminum foil) that we have around the house and make something really cool with it.

2. My second most popular post was the one where I tested 90% vs. 70% rubbing alcohol as blending solutions with alcohol inks. Though I think the post's popularity is due to the cool splatter tile I made with the rubbing alcohol and an eye dropper.

3. This year's 3rd most popular post was a compilation post of all of my alcohol ink glass gem tutorials. These glass gems continue to be one of my most popular projects. They are so much fun to make!

4. My 4th most popular post this year was when I used a contact paper heart to make a resist pattern with alcohol ink on a ceramic tile. It turned out so neat that I can't wait to make more!

5. My number 5 most popular post was the only non-alcohol ink post of the bunch this year. I used some 4th of July star napkins to decorate dollar store altar candles. This is one in a long line of decorated altar candles, but it's really fun to see one of the projects get a little extra attention.

Honorable Mention: This year's 6th most popular post and honorable mention (especially since it's only been up since November) goes to my tutorial where I inked glass gems and added foil tape to the back to create more shimmer and opacity.

The rest of my highlighted projects are favorites of mine that haven't had as many page visits.

My first of this year's "favorites" is my plastic wrap alcohol ink glass bottle. This was a new a fun technique and the bottle turned out really neat (it might not quite come across in the photo, but it's really iridescent in person).

My second favorite for the year is these little faux stained glass pendants I made with glass slides and aluminum tape. They turned out so classy, and I can't wait to come up with new ways to use these glass slides!

Next up was my wire wrapped button charms. I think these little button pendants turned out great and were really simple once I got the hang of the wire.

And the last of my favorites from 2016 are my embossed domino pendants. Though figuring out the best way to ink the dominoes definitely included a bit of a learning curve, but they were so much fun to emboss. I look for excuses to wear these necklaces as often as possible!

It's always fun to look back at a year's worth of projects and see which ones had the most page views and which ones were neglected favorites. Here's to another year of crafting!