Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Good Life Canvas

Here is a project I did. I found an article on gesso and how they used it to texture the canvas, well so I got playing and used a regular foam brush and just blotted the gesso on. And well, that's what playing gets you.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Techneek of the Week - Lindsay's Technique

This week I'm going to show you a totally rad technique that my girl Lindsay "developed." Using a couple of alcohol inks, a felt applicator and a transparency you can create a beautiful, "stained glass" effect. And depending on what colours of ink you choose, you can create the perfect look to suit your page.

First and foremost, and I can't stress this enough, you should protect your workspace and your clothes.

Choose your colours. For this project I'm using Terra Cotta, Ginger, Cranberry and Pitch Black. You will also need an applicator. The one I'm using is made by Ranger, and has a nice wooden handle with velcro strip to attach the felt pads to. Make sure you have enough felt that you can use a different one for each colour. That way the colours won't get muddy.

Apply your first colour to the felt applicator, then stamp it onto the transparency.

Keep going with the first colour until you cover the area you want. You might want to have in mind a general "pattern" of where you want the colours to be. Don't apply it all over the transparency because the other colours won't stand out as well.

Leave the first colour to dry for a moment before adding the next colour. This way the colours won't totally blend together and get muddy. Use a new felt piece.

Apply this colour in the spaces you left when applying the first colour. You can leave more blank space to fill in with the next colours, but I didn't, as I knew I wanted to add the red and black only as accents.

The next colour I used was Cranberry, the red. I applied it along the edges where the two other colours meet. If you apply one colour into the other colour, it will blend a little and create those neat little circle patterns. Don't worry if the colour seems too bright or too strong a contrast now. Once you get all the colours on, you can go back and add more of one of the first two colours to further blend the contrasts out. Just remember to let things dry a little before moving on to the next step so the colours don't seep together and get muddy.

The last colour I added was the Pitch Black, and only as an accent along the edges. Even though I added very little, it seems very dark here. BUT...

I went back in with the Terra Cotta the Ginger to even out the contrast and create more depth of colour. The more layers you add the brighter the colours become, and now the red and black look like they belong!

The best way to perfect this technique is to PRACTICE it and play around with different colour combinations. Start small, with only a couple of colours, just to get the hang of blending and getting the colours to "get along" with each other without looking like mud.

I used the strip of transparency as if it were a regular pattern paper on this layout. By creating your own pattern paper with alcohol inks, you can customize it to your project. Plus it's super fun!!


  • Bazzill cardstock
  • Colour Conspiracy pattern paper (brown #21)
  • Hambly transparency (gold at the top)
  • Doodlebug and American Crafts letter stickers
  • My Mind's Eye journaling spot
  • Kaiser Crafts brown bling star
  • Assorted ribbon
  • Ranger alcohol inks

Monday, August 25, 2008

Project - Kaiser Crafts Mini Album


Seems life has caught up to me once again, and I forgot to send Juli the instructions so she could do up her fancy little downloadable file. So you're stuck with me again this week!! But at least the project is super cute!!

I used the Kaiser Crafts wooden tag album, some Heidi Swapp paper and random embellishments from my stash to create this great mini-album! It would be perfect to showcase the photos from a mini holiday, a birthday or anniversary, or just an everyday great day!

And it is super simple to make. Grab some similar themed or coloured patterned paper, trace the page from the mini-album (in pencil) on the pattern and cut it out. I sanded the edges down to match the distressed look of the paper, and because it covered up my croked edges! I used less than one sheet of 3 different double-sided pattern papers, and the Heidi Swapp paper is especially good for a project like this because it also comes with some die-cut tags attached, which made it even easier to embellish. Check out the tags on the cover and pages 4, 7, & 8.

After I had covered each page with my pattern paper, I went through my embellishment stash and pulled out anything I thought would match. This included: rhinestones, ribbon, rub ons, flowers and stickers. Try and limit your embellishments to one or two pieces per page. That way you keep things simple and leave yourself enough room for a photo!!

Once I was done embellishing the pages, I tied some ribbon around the binder ring, holding the whole thing together, and called it a day. Once I get some ink for my printer, I'm planning on using some photos of my son on a super-fun day we had last month, as a kind of mini-keepsake of all the fun we had this summer hanging out together!

  • Kaiser Crafts tag album (these little wooden albums come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are super durable!!)
  • Heidi Swapp pattern paper and die-cut tags
  • Prima bulk flowers
  • Doodlebug rhinestones ("Lily White")
  • Fontwerks rub-ons
  • Sassafraslass stickers
  • Bulk ribbon

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Techneek of the Week - Alcohol Ink

Last week I showed you how to use Metallic Alcohol Ink to jazz up your chipboard. This week I am going to show you a basic way to use regular alcohol ink to colour your acrylic shapes.

First and foremost you need to protect your work surface. I save all of my Treasured Memories paper bags for this purpose, but you can use newsprint, cardboard, whatever you have laying around that you don't mind getting ink all over! You might also want to think about protecting your clothes...alcohol ink will stain.

After you've got the boring part taken care of, you can choose the colour of ink and the plastic shape to use. Let's start with only one colour...then next week I can show you how to use multiple colours on one project!! Oooh..aah!

I chose Stream alcohol ink, by Ranger. We carry this line in the store, and it comes in a multitude of colours, as shown in the last Techneek post.

I chose the Pageframe Designs acrylic photo corner for my shape. This company makes a variety of shapes, including butterflies and stars, and also carries clear frames for displaying your favourite layouts! You could also try this on Heidi Swapp ghost shapes and letters, and Build-A-Book clear albums. Or try punching or die-cutting your own shapes out of transparencies!

Remember to peel off the protective layer from both sides of the clear shape.

Start applying your alcohol ink. The more you apply, the stronger the colour will be. You can apply it directly from the bottle, using the dropper tip.

Once you've got some ink on the shape, lift it up and tilt it to move the ink around. This way you won't have to apply as much ink, a lot of which is wasted if it leaks off the sides.

Keep applying more ink and tilting the shape until you get the coverage you want. If you want it to be darker, wait until this first coat has finished drying before you apply more ink. Alcohol ink does this funny thing if you apply a drop on an area that is still pushes the original colour out of the way and leaves bare spaces where once there was colour.

This is the finished product, after only one coat.

Once it dried, I used it directly on my layout. You can adhere the shapes down with glue dots, liquid glue, etc...anything that is "clear", and because you have applied colour to the once-clear shape, you won't see much of the adhesive underneath! I recommend adhering the shape with the coloured side down...that way you don't notice the inherent imperfections in the inked side, and it just looks like a shiny, coloured you bought it that way!!

Check back on Saturday for the next Project: a very cool Kaiser Crafts wooden tag album!!


Products used on finished layout:

  • Buzz and Bloom leaf chipboard shape (measures about 10" x 10")
  • Wheatfields Glimmer Mist and Rangers Lettuce Colour Wash
  • Rouge de Garance die cut paper
  • American Crafts Thickers foam letter stickers in Daiquiri font
  • Prima flower and leaves (available individually)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jenni Bowlin Banner

Here are the photos for the Jenni Bowlin banner. I used paper and embellishments from the August Kit, and some Jenni Bowlin chipboard shapes to make a nice little banner.

Or you could try:
  • Do a banner with your son or daughter's name to put in their room. Use their favourite colours!!
  • Make a "Happy Birthday" sign for the next party at your house.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the instructions to Juli so she could do up her cool pdf file, so here are some basic ones for ya!

  1. Pick your pattern paper for the first shape, trace the shape onto the paper and cut it out. Adhere it to the shape, then sand the edges (using sand paper or a sanding block). Do this for all the shapes.
  2. Decorate each shape with embellishments and ribbon from the August Kit (or choose some of your favourites from your stash!!) I also used some Daffodil Glimmer Mist to add a little sparkle to the paper and one of the shapes.
  3. Use sticker letters to spell out your message.
  4. Punch holes in the shapes (two in each shape, and only one hole in the shapes on either end), and tie ribbon through and knot it in each hole.


  • Treasured Memories August Kit
  • Jenni Bowlin circle and star chipboard banner
  • Daffodil Glimmer Mist
  • white pen (doodles)
  • hole punch

Techneek of the Week - Chipboard & Metallic Alcohol Ink

So this week I am going to share a rad techneek with you, using some products that are near and dear to my heart...Riff Raff Designs chipboard and Ranger alcohol inks. Now normally I wouldn't recommend using alcohol ink on a chipboard product because it just soaks right in, but the METALLIC inks stay nice and bright and shiny!!

Step the First:
Choose the alcohol ink you want to use. I picked GOLD, but the Ranger Metallics also come in silver and copper.

Step #2: Pick the shape you want to use. I chose the new Riff Raff Dragonfly, but you can use any chipboard for this techneek. You don't need to do anything to the chipboard to prep it for the metallic alcohol ink. Just move on to Step #3...

...which is to start applying your ink. The bottle has a little dropper nozzle so you can apply it straight from the bottle. With the metallic ink you need to really shake up the bottle before you use it, in order to mix the pigment. If the ink stops running try shaking it up again, as there is a little bead inside that can get stuck in the neck. Keep going until you have covered the entire surface. You can use your finger to spread the ink around if it is too heavy in some areas. Now leave it to dry...which shouldn't take too long, but if you stick your finger in it to test it you're going to make a mess!!

And here is the finished product!! It's nice and shiny and ready to go on to your project!

Here is an example of what my talented friend Juli did with her dragonfly and some silver alcohol ink. She just added some pink bling to the tail to finish it off.

And her full layout:

A little note about RANGER ALCOHOL INK: This is meant to be used on non-porous surfaces, like plastic or metal. It is a permanent ink and will stain your clothes (and your countertops and your carpet!!). It comes in a whole bunch of colours and costs $4.50 per 15ml bottle. And it is totally rad!! Try using them to add some colour to an acrylic album, your Hambly transparencies, the Heidi Swapp ghost shapes, the old Making Memories metal words and shapes, etc. etc. Next week I'm going to go over using alcohol inks as they were meant to be used...on all these things and more! See you then!

P.S. For those of you who like the previous Techneek of the Week covering the various distressing techniques that are out there, stay tuned to the Blog for the September Classes update, as I know Juli is working on a neat-o Techniques class where she'll go over all of these with you. Plus you get three rad layouts out of the deal!! Coolio!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Techneek of the Week...delayed..again

I don't know what's wrong with me!! It must be the heat. I keep forgetting about my post. I AM SO SORRY! I will get something together this afternoon and post it tonight. I know we're ahead of the game with our Projects, but I always seem to be leaving things late for my Techneeks. Oops! Maybe I'll do a little something with my favourite chipboard...yep...that sounds good!!

Check ya later,

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Week 2 Project: Fancy Magnet

I made these after I found I wanted something pretty for my office. I love the Heidi Swapp crystals and think they fit perfectly on these little magnets. I made a 'few' samples to give you some ideas.

Instruction Sheet Here
Template Here

Used some Prima Paper, Heidi Crystals, Prima Flowers, Prima Flower bling, Heidi felt butterflies, and random letter.

Used: Prima Paper, Heidi Crystals, Prima Flowers, Prima Flower bling, Glitz green bling.

Used: SEI Paper, Prima Flowers, Doodlebug Bling, Riff Raff flourish photo corner (covered with stix 2 foil)

Used: Prima Paper, Heidi Crystals, Prima Flowers, Prima Flower bling, May Arts Ribbon.

Used: Dreamstreet & Doodlebug paper, Riff Raff music note (covered with stix 2), Heidi swapp paper bird, Heidi Crystal brads, Jenni Bowlin rub on letters.