Tuesday, September 15, 2020


Alcohol Inks are such an amazing product and I am continually amazed at how many different styles of art you can do with them.  This technique is using the alcohol inks to create floral effects, yes I'm doing flowers.  Those who know me realise it's a stretch for me to do flowers but these are just so simple to do and look so wonderful, how could I resist?  These are way easier to do on a larger format, say the size of a card (4" x 6") or even an A4 piece.  On an ATC, a single drop of alcohol ink is all you need to create one of these flowers (ATC size is 2½" x 3½").  Using a rubber puffer and a little 91/99% alcohol is how you get the whispy effects.  The metallics are Pinata Brass and Ranger Alloy Foundry.  Black acrylic ink and a white water-based Sharpie marker create all those other little finishing touches.  I have used Kirkland Photo Paper (the back matte side) for my substrate but this works just as well on Yupo.






"Embracing life"

"Germinate Grow"


Tuesday, September 1, 2020


 Stencils can be used with various mediums and this technique is probably one of the simplest ways to add texture to a background.  You can use either a clear embossing ink pad to press through the stencil to get your layer of embossing ink down before embossing with your embossing powders, or, you can use gesso to scrape through your stencil and then add your embossing powder while the gesso is still wet.  You should leave the gesso method to dry a little before heating with a heat gun (don't worry, the embossing powder will just sit there until you're ready to heat it).  If you heat too early, you can get little white explosions coming through your embossing powder.  However, this is a cool look in itself so maybe try it this way to see if it works with you have in mind.

"Social Distancing"



(For this one, I drew along the edge of a city stencil with

a clear embossing pen before embossing to get the

outlines of the buildings)

"Eat glitter"

(The sun rays are glitter embossing powder while the

bird is a JAC paper shape covered with leafing foils)

"Art is an experience"

"Wild side"

(Love this 2-tone spotty embossing powder called 101 Dalmatians)

Tuesday, August 18, 2020


 Some time ago I bought some watercolour drawing inks and a glass dip pen as I loved the look of the various colours of inks.  Fast forward a few months and I found a couple of artists who were using acrylic drawing inks on top of alcohol inks.  I loved the contrast between the freestyle whispy background of the alcohol inks with the more solid lines that acrylic inks can create, without messing up the alcohol ink as acrylic ink has no solvent in it.  So the base of these are all alcohol inks with accents added using black, burnt umber or red acrylic ink applied with a skewer, a stylus or simply blown with a rubber puffer to create the spiky tendrils.  Love this technique!

"Rainbow of life"
(The birds are the acrylic ink accent)

"Little bit broken"
(The black tendrils are acrylic ink)

"Dog gins"
(I used a stylus to add the drop shapes 
with red acrylic ink)

(The branch is burnt umber and black acrylic ink and the weird 
shape down the bottom is a striped fluffy chenille
stem that is supposed to represent a caterpillar)

"5 Second rule"
(The tree and roots are burnt umber 
acrylic ink drawn with a skewer

"Not too late"
(Black acrylic ink was drawn across in 3 sections
and then a skewer was used to pull down
sections of it to create the vertical lines)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020


I have three sets of metallic watercolour paints (Gansi Tambi) as well as 50+ pots of Twinkling H2O's which are also watercolour paint.  These paints are solid and will activate when you spritz with a little water or use a water brush.  Because of this, they are very portable and you can leave the lids off them and they won't dry out.  The metallic watercolour paints work beautifully on black cardstock as well as white.  I have used plain black cardstock and white watercolour card for these samples.  Because plain cardstock isn't as water-friendly as watercolour card, you need to be mindful of how much water you use.  In some of the samples I have used the metallic watercolours purely as a wash over the background, others I have coloured the stamped images in.  The die-cut leaves in the 2nd sample are cut from a black piece of card that was painted with the watercolours as a wash, then die-cut.  Unfortunately, as hard as I tried, it's very hard to convey the shimmer that is in these samples.  Trust me, you'll just have to do some yourself and see how wonderful they can look.  I have embossed with white embossing powder before colouring and also stamped with black pigment ink and then clear-embossed (less chance of those stray black bits of embossing that way).

"Rule number 1"

"Feel the rain"

"Hum of bees"

"Inhale the future"
(The tree die-cut has also been made from
a piece of black card that was coloured with
green and gold metallic watercolour
paints as a wash before die-cutting)

"Life is short"

"OMG same"
(The raised centres of the flowers are made from
Ferrero Rocher chocolate gold wrappers, with
double-sided adhesive on the back for stability
and stick-factor, then punched out with a sun-
burst punch, then a little square of black foam
tape in the centre, then attached to the centre
of each flower.  Can you say:  fiddly???
I also used a baby wipe to wipe off some of
the metallic paints around the little man
and flowers.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2020


Mica is a product that has been around forever.  I remember buying some nearly 20 years ago and I still have some of it left.  Since then I have used several different types of Mica, from donut shapes to different colours of Mica through to Mica flakes.  The Mica I have used for this class is absolutely clear in colour, transparent and also flexible so it doesn't shatter the same way that my other Mica does.  Consequently, I used alcohol inks to add colour to it so it would look different from say, a piece of acetate (because that's exactly what it feels like!).  However, because this is Mica, it is heat resistant and you can emboss on it.  I even tried using the Distress Glaze Embossing Powder on it and it works beautifully as it just changes the colour of the Mica but also gives a nice bumpy sort of texture.  There's no sample of that here amongst these ones, I was just trying out all sorts of things to see what would work and what wouldn't.  Love that I can staple or brad these pieces on too.  I even die-cut a piece (the heart on the 2nd ATC) though that took a bit of hand-cutting too.  It made me want to do another class using the other ordinary Mica, though there is nothing ordinary about any Mica!  Love it all.  

"Plastic melts"

"No refunds"


(Yes, you can even stamp on it with Black
Archival Ink and heat set with a heat gun)

(I've been waiting for ages to use
this quote 😉)

"Take the leap"
(The leaf shape in brown is the Mica coloured
and with some clear embossing on it)

Finally, these last two are samples from last week's class, Embossed Waxed Backgrounds.



Tuesday, June 23, 2020


 This technique embraces the depth of the 3-D embossing folders that are available through the various companies now.  I've used plain black cardstock and only 3-D embossing folders for this technique, though you could try it with your normal embossing folders as well.  A trick I learnt was to lightly spritz with water one side of the card stock before running it through.  This relaxes the card stock and allows for the deep impressions without causing excessive cracking and tearing which can happen if you skip this step.  It's not a bad habit to get into when you're using your normal embossing folders too!  I followed up with some distress oxide ink as these will show up on dark card stock (stick with lighter colours though and don't expect a true colour representation!), then I applied the Art Alchemy Waxes from Finnabair as well as my old collection of Treasure Gold waxes.  These waxes show up really well on black and are a staple of many a mixed media/card maker/paper artist.

"The heart"
(This little folded 3-D heart from Sizzix is a test 
of your patience, but oh so worth it)

"Don't look back"


(The computer does enjoy fiddling with the 
tones and shades of metallics, rest-assured
all these silvers match)

(The squiggly lines in her hair are made by using
the fine Distress Embossing Marker Pen, then
just clear embossing.  A neat effect!)