Monday, September 30, 2013

MIXED MEDIA MONDAY Returns - sort of ...

With the craziness of summer behind me, I'm trying to get back to work on a regular schedule again. I don't have an actual mixed media project this week but did want to share a couple of things.

For as long as I can remember, I've always brought up the tail end of a trend... with enough space between me and the rest of the group to drive a semi through. I'm at that point again. I'm finally getting brave enough to play with alcohol inks. The reason I'm behind is because I have avoided the expense. Like Copics (which I am NOT good with), I was afraid of putting the money out for something I wouldn't like working with... or worse yet, would want ALL of them LOL.

I've known for some time you could make your own. And I've wanted to do this with my SU ReInkers. So with my coupons, I've been picking up the 3-pack mister bottles from RangerInk. They'll be perfect size for a minimal amount of the Alcohol Inks and I can store them with my other SU ink products.

I still need 5 more packages of the mister bottles to have enough to do the current SU standard color families. Then I'll worry about the retired colors in the art room and the In Colors - both current and retired. My goal is to have an alcohol ink to match every SU color I own. 

The Cut n Dry pad is for the next stage of the process. In one of the many videos I watched there was some discussion as to whether the extra 'cush' was necessary or if you could do just as well adhering the velcro and felt sheet directly to the block. My thought was this: If you're 'pouncing' the pad as Tim does, I think the extra padding would help with the overall effect. If you're 'swiping' as some artists do then maybe the extra pad isn't necessary. 

Hubby and I have enough scrap lumber in the shop to make small applicators like the one shown HERE. I bought 2 sheets of felt to cut my own pads based on the size of the applicators I decide to use. I also bought Industrial Strength Velcro to put on each one. 

While watching videos on home made applicators, inks and blending solution there was a division as to whether having just the one applicator then needing to remove the inky felt pads while they're still wet was an issue or not. Alcohol Inks are PERMENANT and although I won't wear the plastic gloves when working on projects most of the time, I would want them on to remove the pads. I know I wouldn't reach for a glove to do that. I don't like wearing gloves of any kind (because they never fit my tiny fingers) So I like the idea of having at least three or four applicators I can work with at once, let them dry then remove the felt. I could buy the RangerInk ones. They are not as expensive as some of the videos lead you to believe. I found them at Michaels for $4.99. That's doable for a couple even without a coupon. For those artists who want one for every color, yeah, maybe not so much. Another point one of the video instructors made was that she tends to grasp the block directly when applying the inks rather than using the post handle. I think I would be doing the same thing so why pay for something I'm not going to use all of when I could easily recycle wood from the shop.

TracysTreasures24 on YouTube was the first video I saw on recycling stamp blocks. Although this gal isn't the one I originally watched, I love her rounded applicators. I think they'd be more conducive to work with when the arthritis flares up. Keep in mind... her video has a warble in the sound but you can at least see how hers differ from the traditional block. 

One of the coolest things I'm going to love about Alcohol Inks is that try as I might I can NOT find YELLOW bling. I can find ones in a slightly yellow/ orange tone but no true Yellow to use for flower centers. With alcohol inks, I can buy bling in the clear whenever they're on sale and make them ANY COLOR I need! Whoo Hooo!

So tell me, do you use Alcohol Inks? Share your experience and usage tips! 
Creative Blessings!


  1. hi Kelly . I love all your DIY tips and instructions. I can say that yes you can use alcohol inks to color bling with experience with my copics. as for the sprays I have not forayed into those expenses either . As you learn about them and share , I can be ready and prepared when I do . thanks for all that you do

    1. Hey Brandy! Thanks for stopping in! There are so many cool things to play with, is it any wonder there are not enough hours in the day? LOL