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."