Wednesday, July 2, 2014

ALCOHOL INKS - POLISHED STONE TECHNIQUE - If you don't believe in miracles and Dream with your eyes wide open

Wanda here today with a focus on alcohol inks, specifically the polished stone technique with a few extras thrown in.  Alcohol inks and the polished stone technique have been around for years and it's easy to set them aside and forget how wonderful they are while we play with new supplies and techniques.  It's time to pull them back out and have a play.  If alcohol inks and polished stone are new to you, I encourage you to read on and see what you think.  I'll take you through a variety of backgrounds and then I have two completed projects at the end.

On the Quietfire Design site you can find alcohol inks and accessories HERE and you can find glossy cards and envelopes HERE.  

This picture shows bottles of alcohol ink, blending solution, an alcohol ink applicator, extra pieces of white felt, and pieces of glossy cardstock - all you need to make a plethora of fabulous backgrounds!!  

The first time I tried this technique I sat down with a stack of papers and just started playing - different color combinations, different amounts of blending solution, no blending solution, tapping the applicator, rubbing the applicator, etc., etc. - all of these things will give you a variety of different looks and it's fun.  When you are finished you will have a stack of backgrounds just waiting to be made into cards, used on scrapbook pages, used in journals, or wherever you want a pretty paper.  It's possible that you'll get some pieces that you don't think are very pretty at all but don't let them fool you - it can be amazing what a little stamping on top or stenciling or embossing or cutting up can do to a piece.  

The basic technique - put a piece of felt on the applicator, add one or more colors of ink to the felt, press (pounce) the felt to the paper lifting and pressing until the paper is covered.  Blending solution can be added to the felt at any time, right away or after you've put some color down on your paper.  When and how much blending solution will give you different looks.  

There are Alcohol Ink Mixatives (gold, silver, copper, pearl) that can be used along with the colors to give you metallic or pearl highlights.  These are very concentrated and only a small dot should be added to your felt.  You can also use Krylon markers with the inks for metallic highlights. These could be dotted on the felt along with colors and blending solution and applied to the paper or you can put a few dots on your paper and then immediately pounce over them with your felt and blending solution.    

The other color I should mention is snow cap.  Alcohol Inks are transparent except for snow cap and when you use snow cap along with other colors on the glossy paper you get an opaque, mottled matte/glossy look rather than a transparent glossy look.  Very cool!!!!


In the next two pictures all the samples use the colors denim and raisin.  

(Top Left)  I put both denim and raisin on the felt, pounced in on the cardstock, adding blending solution to the felt and pounced over the cardstock again.
(Top Right)  I put both colors and blending solution on the felt and pounced over the cardstock.
(Bottom)  I used the same piece of felt adding only more blending solution and pouncing over the cardstock.

(Top Left) I'm still using the same piece of felt.  I added more denim and raisin to the felt but not any blending solution.  I then pounced lightly on the carstock leaving lots of white showing.
(Top Right) Still the same piece of felt.  I didn't add any more color or blending solution.  I pressed the felt firmly on the cardstock and twisted, repeating over the whole piece.
(Bottom) Still the same piece of felt and again I didn't add any more color or blending solution to the felt (I was just using up what was there).  I pressed and dragged the felt across the cardstock first in one direction and then in the other.

The next three pictures use the colors stream and lettuce.  The first picture is a scan and the next two are with the camera at an angle trying to pick up of the gold highlights.  

(Top Left & Right)  I've used gold Krylon along with the colors and blending solution. On one of them I put the Krylon on the felt and dabbed and the other I put it on the cardstock and dabbed. 
(Bottom) I used gold mixative along with the colors and blending solution. 

The middle piece is the one with the gold mixative.  It tends to give more of an all over sheen whereas the Krylon separates more giving areas of just color and areas with gold.   

Same pieces, the picture is just angled a little more trying to catch the highlights.

(Top) Colors - butterscotch, terra cotta, red pepper.  I started with the lightest color on the felt along with blending solution and pounced it over the top approx. 1/3 of the paper, put the next color on the felt adding more blending solution if needed, pounced it on the center section, added the last color to the felt and pounced on the bottom section.  As I moved from color to color I overlapped slighly to give a nice blend between the colors.
(Bottom) Colors - raisin, denim, snow cap.

Next are the in-process pictures of the piece with raisin, denim, and snow cap.  I first used just raisin and denim with blending solution.

Then I added snow cap to the felt (same piece) and pounced it over the color already on the paper.

Next I added a bit more color to the felt (same piece) and pounced over the paper again.

This next pic is a close-up of an area of the one above to show you more of the design; however, the colors didn't come through true so just use your imagination.  

(Top left and bottom) Colors - bottle, espresso, oregano.
(Top right) Colors - oregano, espresso

This was fun and I love the look!!!  After pouncing the colors along with blending solution onto the cardstock, I then used a stencil (Dylusions letter jumble) and either blending solution or 91% rubbing alcohol to remove color.  In the top two samples I put blending solution on a paper towel and rubbed through the stencil.  On the bottom sample, I laid the stencil on the colored piece, sprayed the rubbing alcohol moving my hand while I sprayed to get a light misting over the whole thing, blotted with a paper towel and removed the stencil.  

Here is a picture of the top left piece after adding color but before using the stencil. 

Here is a picture after using the stencil.

(Left) Colors - butterscotch, pesto, cranberry.  I put all three colors along with blending solution on the felt.  I started pouncing and then also did some pressing and twisting.  After the color was down, I put some blending solution on my fingers and flicked it onto the paper, let it sit just a bit and blotted it off.  Next I dripped some blending solution right onto the paper allowing it to spread out (also blowing on it a bit to help guide the puddle).  I let this sit and dry on it's own.  This makes a great "window" to stamp something in!!

(Right) Colors - bottle, currant, eggplant.  For this piece I did not use glossy cardstock but instead used regular cardstock that I put a layer of gesso on.  I used a palette knife to apply the gesso leaving lines for texture rather than trying to get it all even.  I let this dry completely.  I put all three colors and blending solution on my felt and pounced it over the whole piece.  Next I rubbed blending solution through a stencil (Dylusions dotted flowers) for the dots and flowers in the corners.  Then I dripped and blotted blending solution in the center to make the "window" - dripping and blotting gave me a bit more control in how large my window was.  Also it was much easier to lighten the colors over the gesso than on the glossy card.

This is the left piece after flicking and before dripping the blending solution.


Alcohol Inks - butterscotch, terra cotta, red pepper
Alcohol Inks Blending Solution
Alcohol Ink applicator
Glossy cardstock
Archival Ink - jet black
Spellbinder's die - romantic rectangles
Memory Box die - butterfly delights
Scrapbook Adhesives 3D foam squares
Pitt Pen black

Finished card - 4 1/2" x 5 3/4"

1. Create polished stone background.  Using applicator with felt apply butterscotch ink and blending solution to top one-third of glossy card.  Apply terra cotta with blending solution to center of card.  Apply red pepper with blending solution to bottom one-third of card.  Overlap colors slightly to get a nice blend between them.  

2.  Stamp quote onto background with jet black ink.

3.  Die cut quote with rectangle.  Layer rectangle onto black cardstock with foam squares and then to white cardstock with double stick tape.

4.  Stamp fiddleheads onto background with jet black ink.  Layer background to black cardstock and to white folded card.

5.  Layer quote onto card over original cut out. Add dots around background.

6.  Die cut butterflies from black cardstock and glue to card as shown.  


Journal Page...

Quietfire stamps - If you don't believe in miracles and Flourish 
Alcohol Inks - bottle, currant, eggplant, butterscotch
Blending solution
Alcohol Ink applicator
White cardstock
Distress Ink - peeled paint
Archival Ink - jet black
Dylusions stencil - dotted flowers
Memory Box die - loopy rings
Pitt Pen black

1. Cover white cardstock (4 1/4" x 6 7/8") and journal page with gesso using the palette knife.  This doesn't have to be smooth, texture is fine. Let dry completely.

2.  Apply bottle, current, and eggplant inks along with blending solution to gessoed cardstock using applicator, let dry.  Lay stencil on paper and remove ink by rubbing through stencil with a paper towel and blending solution.  Drip blending solution in center of paper and blot with paper towel repeating until your "window" is the correct size.  

3.  Stamp quote in "window" and flourish in two corners using jet black ink.  

4.  Apply butterscotch ink and blending solution to journal page with ink applicator and let dry.  Stencil flowers with peeled paint using an ink blending tool and dry with a heat tool.  Stamp flourish in corners as shown.  

5.  Glue cardstock piece to journal page.  Doodle lines around edges with black pen.  

6.  Die cut loopy rings from white glossy card and glue to page as shown.  Draw black lines around just the circles on the back journal page and add some additional drawn black circles (you can free hand these or use a stencil).  

A couple of close-ups.


Heather said...

Great pictorial, Very neat, I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday!

SherylH said...

Thanks for the great tutorial, in particular the use of stencils over the backgrounds. I will have to dig out my stash of alcohol inks and give this a try.

Teresa said...

WOW what a great tutorial Wanda... love how you mixed the inks and the cards are beautiful :)

Yogi said...

very nice. have a great day

I'm a Little Teapot said...

Thank you so much for the fantastic tutorial! I have never used alcohol inks but am very curious about them. Your tutorial makes me want to use them! Thanks for the inspiration and sharing your GORGEOUS cards!

Dorina D said...

Fun tutorial with such great ideas. Thanks for sharing the fun.

Holly said...

This is great Wanda! Love it when old techniques are new again, and your colour combos are gorgeous.

Jutta said...

Wonderful card Wanda! Very cool journal page! And a very inspiring tutorial, thanks!

Charity Chamberlain said...


Julia Aston said...

what a beautiful book you created using this lovely technique! wonderful colors on each page!

Dawn S. said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for showing so many ways of making a background.

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