Alcohol inks, embossing and inkjet transfer

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Hi all!

Playing with various techniques is what’s makes crafting journey so exciting. This time it was no different. I decided to try this awesome method of transferring inkjet print out onto wood. It involves covering your printer paper with glue and after it dries you simply print out an image of your choice that you then stick face down onto a surface treated with a thin layer of Mod Podge (any other acrylic varnish will do the job as well). Spray mist the back of the paper and gently remove the excess paper with your fingers. You need to repeat that step enough times to receive a clear image. Seal it with spray fixative and then with acrylic varnish of your choice. paw1a

The sides are embossed metal sheet, primed with gesso and treated with several colours from the wonderful range of Tim Holtz Alcohol Inks. Sand paper was used to reveal the metal bits from underneath the gesso and inks layer. A few mm thick stripes of embossed sheet were also used to ‘frame’ the top.

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Flowery elements were cut out from a piece of embossed paper, also treated with inks.

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As the peacock image came out quite pale, I needed to boost the colours with inks, using a fine tip brush. It was later sealed with a couple of polyurethane coats, followed by several coats of Maimeri glossy varnish.

And a close up:

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and that’s the bottom:

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Must say, I definitely will be playing with the inks some more :)!

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Mica powders decoupage butterfly bowl

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Spring is (slowly…) coming to town! Hence the change in my decorating mood :). This time I was curious how easy is to ‘paint’ with mica powders. It turns out that when applied on a slightly wet surface that was primed with gesso several times, they are very easy to work with. You just need a flat, soft brush and some wet wipes in case the surface you are working on begins to dry a bit quicker than expected :). The best way to seal mica powders is a spray varnish, followed by several coats of glossy varnish by Maimeri. The butterfly and floral motifs are cut outs from 3 different paper napkins. Actually, gluing down these tiny pieces proved to be the most difficult part here. As they say – patience is a virtue! 🙂

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The reliefs were made using a flexible stencil and modelling paste mixed with gold acrylic paint.

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And that’s the back:

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Grey rosette box

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I love playing with colours, but this time the box came out pretty monochromatic. At least on the outside. Not a single splash of colour, just various shades of grey on a brown background.

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and the inside:

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While the outer rosettes were made with stone grey modelling paste, the inside has two relief ornaments made with a translucent structure gel and topped up with mica powder sprinkling :). Transparency does not photograph well, even enhanced with colour, so you need to take my word for it – the effect is just stunning!

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Gilded mdf box and a stamping trick!

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Just by accident (I love crafting accidents :)!) I discovered a nifty trick to use when playing with faux gilding, ink and stamps.

But let us start from the beginning. This little mdf box was firstly covered with lots and lots of paint, bitumen, patinas, gold flakes and stamping inks. It was then give a few coats of glossy varnish by Maimeri. A small, square cutting from a paper napkin was glued from the underneath the little window in the middle of the lid. Another piece of gold leaf covered the bottom of the image, and since I cut the napkin in several places, the gold leaf begun the show through these tiny holes.

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and a ‘before duck’ close up:

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The bottom part was covered with gold leaf and distressed with several shades of stamping ink with ‘green winter’ as the primary colour. I then used a clear stamp, and by ‘clear’ I mean I did not ink it with any colour. It was used to remove the winter green ink from the gold leaf, a sort of reverse embossing. This was as if the green ink was removed, lifted off the surface with the stamp. It created a beautiful, almost cloisonne like, floral effect. I really do recommend playing with this nifty technique. Let’s call it ‘reverse embossing’, for a lack of a better expression :). And a note to myself – I wonder how this trick would play out with paint, and not ink… hmm… must try this one out next time.

Reverse embossing aka stamping onto gold leaf with no ink 🙂

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And the finished piece:

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Citra-solv transfer and UTEE stamp embossing

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Hello again!

This time I played with a very cool technique of pressing stamps into slightly melted black UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel) found here. Before using stamps to make an imprint, I added a bit of colour to the black, triple UTEE coating with various mica powders. Firstly, I tested the technique on a small, wooden heart. It worked well 🙂

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Next, I went for a small box and I chose to do a quick laser print transfer with citra-solv of a famous fornasetti image to decorate the top of the box. Further distressed with two shades of ink (Versacolor) and stamped, the top was treated with a few coats of satin finish. As for the bottom, all four sides were coated with UTEE, coloured with mica powders and stamped with four different stamp sets (for clear lines go with bolder designes).

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Make sure to check out other amazing techniques used by this very talented craft lady :)!

Embossed paper decoupage box

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Hi! Did I wish you all a Happy New Year… no, not really… isn’t it obvious that the 2013 will be the greatest ever? of course it is… for everyone…

I’m opening this season with a mixed media/decoupage box. I wanted to play a bit with decorating a wooden box with embossed pieces of paper. Firstly, I painted them metallic copper and once glued, they were treated with a silver rub-on. The top of the box has a scrapbook paper (both the background and the clock faces) glued to it with a thick layer of mod podge. Several layers of varnish later I carefully positioned a couple of brass clock on top of the clock faces to match the time theme.

The bottom was painted antique gold and then distressed with my favourite distressing tools, namely ink pads, a quite of few of them actually. I only gave a one layer of satin finish to the sides, this in contrast to the mirror like top finish.

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Christmas ornaments – salt & flour

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Let’s get straight to the point: grab some table salt, some plain flour, add some water and a bit of PVA glue, make a ball of dough, press embossing folders into it, and give it a shape of your choice. I had only a heart and a christmas tree cookie cutter. When oven dried, these were given some slight rubbing with patina by Pentart and a couple of shades of metallic rub ons (better than paint, glide nicely over the surface, I simply used my index finger to add a pinch of colour to the whole lot in less then 30 min.

The recipe found here (a blog from Poland) is this: 2 parts of salt, 1 part of plain flour, some water (add bit by bit and work into the ‘dough’), a table spoon of PVA glue (or wallpaper paste).

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Decoupaged Christmas bubble and relief paint ornaments

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So, this is the first one. And perhaps not a last one, who knows… it’s only ‘perhaps’… 🙂

To decorate this 12 cm clear plastic bubble, I cut out a couple of dozens of tiny foliage and bird motifs from a thick and shiny Christmas cards. To do the trick of gluing it all down I needed to make the paper the thinnest possible. Back of the paper peels off quite easily, but the difficult part is to be extra careful when soaking your piece, face down, in a small amount of water, on, say, small kitchen plate. It takes several minutes to clear all the paper fluff so that you’re left with an almost see through thin film. A sort of an image transfer, but with no medium, just water, your fingers and paper. To break up the initial layer of the card I used this rough side of a kitchen sponge. Next, all those pieces (well.. those that survived peeling off process :)) were glued down with a tiny amount of white PVA glue, a basic crafty one. Just a bit to hold it in place. When dry, the whole ‘picture’ was covered with a quite thick layer of the same basic glue (more than basic – the beloved by many MP would act the same). And then came a surprise; I finished it off with my usual glassy varnish for a shiny loo only to find little cracks appearing one by one. So, here’s good news; Mod Podge plus acrylic varnish (both thick layers) will produce a fine crackle effect.

I decided to fill in the cracks (bitumen by Maimeri) only partially, otherwise the fine detail would be covered by a darkish grid of curved lines. I also used Pebeo relief paint in silver and a peel offs for outlining the shapes and finished the middle with DecoArt metallic in bronze, antique gold patina by Pentart and liquid bitumen by Maimeri. To protect the cracks I sprayed the bubble with polyurethane varnish (outside!) a few times.

I must admit I quite like it 🙂

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Bird box and embossed paper

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Those who do scrapbooking know what Cuttlebug is and what it does to a plain piece of paper – magic, that’s what it does! Only recently I’ve discovered the power of embossed paper via embossing folders and Cuttlebug. And I’m in, for good.

This little box has only a tiny strip of paper embossed with a scripture embossing folder. It was a regular printing sheet of paper I started with, later embossed, glued, distressed and varnished. And you can still feel the raised scripture image under your fingers… I say… lush!!