Sunday, May 3, 2020

New Spectrum Noir Sparkle Ink Pots

Hello, Everyone - I hope that you are all having a lovely weekend! I just wanted to pop in with another quick preview post for Tuesday's upcoming shows on HSN - this time featuring one of the beautiful NEW Spectrum Noir Sparkle Ink Collections: Mystic Tones.

I LOVE the Sparkle Ink Pots - and many of you will have seen me use them a number of different ways. I have posted several cards in the past featuring the glue/ink/tissue paper on acetate method - in fact, a few of my very first design team assignments utilized the technique! And while it's always messy good fun, I wanted to try something slightly different this time. Since I had recently received an order of the newest Crafter's Companion Layering Stencils, I thought it might be fun to come up with a way to include them as well - and this is the result! I hope you like it and might give it a try yourself. Please let me know if you do!

You will need:

Spectrum Noir Sparkle Inks
Heavy Acetate (I recycle the packaging acetate from old CC die sets.)
Art Glitter Glue (Or any other *water* based glue that dries clear. Mod Podge works well too.)
Tissue Paper (White)
Modeling Paste (I also tested this technique out with Heavy Gesso and regular Texture Paste - and while both of those mediums will work, my favorite result was achieved with the Modeling Paste.)
Your favorite Crafter's Companion Stencil

Step 1: Secure stencil over acetate on a craft mat or other "craft safe" surface. (Yes, this will get messy!) Using a palette knife, apply a thin layer of modeling paste over the stencil onto the acetate. Make sure not to miss any areas - you don't want any gaps or bubbles! While the modeling paste is still wet, VERY carefully remove and wash your stencil. Set aside your stenciled acetate sheet to dry for at least an hour - the longer the better!

Step 2: Apply a generous coating of glue over the entire stenciled side of your now dry acetate. Remember, all of the work for this technique takes place on what will become the *back* of your acetate. So slather that glue all the way out to the edge. Since we are using water based glue, cleaning up the front of your acetate is a breeze once everything is dry.

Step 3: Now, for the star of the show! Drip, dribble, squish, or splatter your Sparkle Ink over the entire glue-covered surface of your acetate. You'll need to work somewhat quickly - you don't want to let your glue dry! If necessary, you can use a ratty old paint brush to spread the ink out completely, but I prefer to simply tilt the acetate around and let my various ink colors meld and blend together more organically.

Step 4: Cut a piece of tissue paper slightly larger than your acetate. Wad it up for texture, then smooth it out and carefully lay it over the wet ink/glue/stenciled acetate. Now, there are a couple of ways to make sure your tissue paper thoroughly adheres: one option is to simply place a piece of baking parchment over the top of the, *project* and gently pat everything into place. (No smashing!) Another method I like to use is to lightly dampen a sponge brush and gently pounce the tissue into the glue. Whatever method works best for you is fine - heck, use your fingers if you consider inky digits a style statement - but ultimately, you need to be sure that there are no bubbles or air gaps between your ink/glue layer and your tissue paper. Make sure to pay particular attention to the edges.

Step 5: Now, the hard part - let it dry!!! This is a LOT of wet on a non-porous surface, so this will take a while to dry. Please, as hard as it will be, resist trying to flip your acetate over and get a peek at the outcome until everything is at least dry to the touch - if not completely cured!

Step 6: Finish up! Once your project is completely dry, it's ready to neaten up and use as you wish! Trim the excess tissue paper overhang from around all the edges and using a damp paper towel, carefully clean the front - smooth - side of your acetate. If you have a particularly stubborn glue/ink spot, you can even use a bit of window cleaner. Just make sure that you avoid getting any of the backside wet.

That's it - you're done! Use your snazzy new artwork as a card background, accent layer, or however you desire. It's a great way to add depth, texture, and visual interest to any project!

Spectrum Noir Discovery Kit #2

Hello, Everyone!

Just popping in with another Spectrum Noir Discovery Kit make - have you had a chance to check these out yet? Right now they are *ALL* available on the Crafter's Companion website, so what are you waiting for? Try something new for a fantastic price and enjoy yourself!!!

Featured: Spectrum Noir Discovery Kit, Illustration

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Spectrum Noir Discovery Kits

Is there an aspect of crafting that stresses you out? A sort of cardmaker's Achilles' heel? While I truly enjoy almost ANY kind of craft - even when I'm under a tight deadline! - I for sure have a nemesis: alcohol markers!

I've never made any secret of the fact that I love watercolors. Of any kind. AquaBlend Pencils, Sparkle Ink Pens & Pots, my beloved AquaTints...these are all crafting meditation and relaxation at its best! I can be as slow and meticulous as I want. I can paint half a leaf and go back two weeks later to finish it. I can blend, and layer, and mix, and bleach, and play, and enjoy every soothing moment of it.

And then...there's alcohol markers.

I stress. I obsess. My shoulders tense up to my ears. I find myself holding my breath until I'm woozy. My fingers lock themselves into a death grip on the marker barrels to the point that my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will flare up in abject misery for a weeks' worth of sleepless tear-filled nights.

Why? I honestly have no clue. I'm inclined to say that a major portion of my neuroses lies in the time factor. When it comes to coloring, I can either go slowly, stay in the lines, and do a half decent job of it - or I can go fast and make a complete wreck of it. The "hurry, hurry, hurry and blend before it dries" aspect of coloring with alcohol markers makes me feel as if I have a giant Poe-esque pendulum whooshing back and forth above my neck. And the more I obsess over it, the worse my coloring becomes!

Ultimately? I'm simply not very good at it. But, I am trying! Which brings me to the BRAND NEW Spectrum Noir Discovery Kits. These are so cool!!! Is there a skill you're wanting to improve upon or try for the very first time? Creative Coloring? Modern Calligraphy? Illustration? Magna & Comics? There are GOBS of great kits to choose from, each containing multiple projects, guided pamphlet tutorials and professional tips, and ALL of the Spectrum Noir products needed to complete - and maybe even master! - your chosen skill.

I truly hope that you'll join me outside the comfort zone and give these kits a go when they make their HSN debut on May 5th! You'll for sure learn something about craft, and maybe even about yourself!

Featured: Spectrum Noir Discovery Kit, Magna & Comic