Create Eye Catching Alcohol Ink Backgrounds

20141025_0825333 I love alcohol inks for the vibrancy of color that they yield and Ranger’s Dyan Reaveley’s “Dylusions” are at the very top of my list of favorites. They’re a fast and easy way to create eye-catching backgrounds with concentrated colors that really pop. That being said, you do have to give some thought as to what you’re going to do with your background once it’s done.

Alcohol inks are water based so they react differently to the various wet mediums and while spraying water over them gives them an amazing blendable quality, we don’t always want our colors to run; just something to keep in mind.

You’ll find many videos and methods for sealing Dylusions available on the interweb, so play around, find which gives you the results you’re looking for.

My personal preference, if I’m going to be layering paint or other wet mediums, is to spray my dry background with a couple of coats of a fine mist sealer or fixative, letting it dry then adding a layer of clear gesso over it.

Ok, so let’s get on with making pretty stuff, shall we?

I created this background using Dylusions Ink Sprays and plastic cling wrap from our kitchen. 2014-10-25 08.40.39 I first protected my work surface, which I recommend if you don’t want overspray  everywhere, and liberally sprayed my substrate with ink.

For this particular background I used Tangerine Dream, Vibrant Turquoise and Cherry Pie. 2014-10-25 07.23.50 When the inks were nice and pooled on my page I covered it with a sheet of plastic cling wrap, making sure that I cut it a bit larger than my journal page, and moved it around with my fingers, creating folds. The folds will create the texture, so don’t be afraid to really move that plastic wrap around. 2014-10-25 07.24.53 Next, I let it dry. I’m not the most patient of people, so I sometimes do this part before I go to bed and by the time I wake up it’s ready to go. This morning, however,  I didn’t make my page as wet as I sometimes do so it didn’t take too long to dry.

Once dry, I peeled off the layer of cling wrap and tada, vibrant background with fantastic texture and movement created by the folds in the cling wrap. 2014-10-25 08.23.21 Just look at all the yummy colors created by the 3 colors blending; this is exactly what I love about Dylusions ink sprays! 2014-10-25 08.25.031

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Play around and have fun creating your own backgrounds, just remember to seal your pages if you’re going to be layering other wet mediums over them.

Documented Life Project – Week 43

This week’s challenge, to sketch what was in front of us, was one of the most challenging for me. My sketching skills are in much need of some development and I had my moments of arrgghh but I persevered and ended up with something perfectly flawed and uniquely my own.

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My inspiration for week 43. This little bunny lives on a shelf in my studio.

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For the tip-in I used a “Happy” tag from the Gossamer Blue October kit, layering it over a painted and stamped background. I added “Make your own” to complete the sentiment and cut out some hearts and the little bird from some 3×4 Project Life cards I had. To finish off the tag I used a bit of silk sari ribbon, by Darn Good Yarn and journaled some thoughts in the hearts.

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Washi Tape Storage Solution

My Beloved is wonderfully supportive of my creative endeavors and has helped me set up a spare room for use as my studio. That being said, I loves me some art supplies and they DO tend to multiply so I’m always looking to maximize my space. Washi tape is one of those supplies.

I remember starting off with just 2 rolls and here I am, with… well let’s just say a few more than what I started with! So, how to store them?

I need my creative space to be functional and having to open drawers or lifting the lid off my current storage container each time I needed a bit of washi just wasn’t working, so I set about to search for something open, vertical and with a small footprint, to save space on my desk.

I do believe I’ve found it!


This was originally designed to hold K-cups for single serve coffee brewers but I think it’ll serve my need just fine. It takes up less room than what I used before and the best part is that my washi tape is now within easy reach.

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Mixed Media in 15 Minutes


This morning I sat down for 15 minutes of mixed media before work using colored modeling paste over a #TraciBautista stencil, acrylics, homemade washi tape, rub-ons, a handcarved stamp and a couple pens for doodling.

Getting that creativity flowing is a fabulous way to start the day!

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Mixing Traditional with Pocket Scrapbooking

imageI’ve been asked if you can mix pocket style layouts and traditional layouts in one album. My answer is sure you can, it’s your album, do what makes you happy!

Many years ago, when I first began scrapbooking, there was no such thing as pocket scrapbooking or project life, so all of my layouts were what we now call “traditional” layouts. After a while, my interest and desire to devote so much time to scrapbooking began to wane and my many supplies went untouched for a long time, up until about a year ago. Thanks to Project Life and pocket style scrapbooking, my interest was piqued once again and I was off and running with a new obsession, as I’m oft prone to do.

While my main style of scrapping these days are pocket style layout, I still sometimes want to showcase a particular photo or event on a larger scale and a traditional layout is a great way to do it. You can find various sizes of page protectors or cut and stitch your own to size, then just slip it right into your album along with all of your other layouts.


There’s no wrong way to scrapbook. So whether you journal a little or have a lot to say, use just a few embellies or embellish a lot, or whether you mix pocket style layouts with traditional layouts, your album is Your story, tell it the way You want to and above all else, have fun with it!


Credits: Embellishments and striped washi from Freckled Fawn, the sentiment and “Happy” was a card from the Coral PL kit that I cut, the paper is from my own stash and the darker washi is home made, made it myself.  Thanks for looking!

Handcrafted Book

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With my focus being more on art journaling these days, I’m just not putting together as many scrapbook layouts as I used to. There are, however, a couple of monthly kit subscriptions that I just can’t bear to part with, the OhDeerMe kit by Freckled Fawn being one of them, so I decided to put some of those adorable embellishments to good use making a handcrafted mini notebook.

I’d been hanging on to some leftover pieces of cardstock “just in case” so I thought this would be a good opportunity to use those as well. Sometimes it pays off to be a “craft hoarder”!

Using fluid medium, I adhered an old dictionary page to the piece of cardstock that was to be my cover, then scraped on a thin layer of gesso using an old gift card. Once dry, I brushed on some Dina Wakley acrylic paints and used her stiff bristle brush to really work the colors until I got the desired blended look I was going for. Since I used such little paint it was dry enough to bind in a matter of minutes.

To bind the notebook I pulled out my Cinch Book Binding Tool and a scrap piece of cinch wire… yay, another scrap used! If you’ve never used Cinch Book Binding Tool, let me just briefly tell you it’s pretty darn cool and so easy to use! I got the newer version because I wanted the one with the square holes, but Amazon carries both versions at a decent price. Last week Scrapbook Steals had The Cinch as one of their daily steals and it may still be available in their archives.

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Once the notebook was bound, which took just a couple of minutes, I set about to make it pretty using embellishments, washi tape and stamps from various past OhDeerMe kits.


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Credits: Embellishments, star stamp and washi from Freckled Fawn, acrylics are by Dina Wakley, The CInch Book Binding machine is by We R memory Keepers and the paper is from my own stash.  Thanks for looking!

The Documented Life Project – Week 42

This week’s challenge was stars, which I always enjoy playing with, so I was excited to get started.

For the middle page, I started with an acrylic base in “sea glass” that I applied with a cosmetic sponge. Using my gelli plate, I pulled some deli paper prints in a couple of different shades of blue that I cut and used for the stars and adhered them to the page using fluid medium. To add a bit of texture, I used a crackle background stamp by Darkroom Door and a foam star shape that I dabbed in ink and used as a make shift stamp and two transparent titles that came as part of the Gossamer Blue August 2014 Life Pages Kit. I just repainted the lettering black and voila, they fit the week’s theme perfectly. I just love when it works out like that!

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2014-10-12 17.04.49For the tip in I used a base of “wild salmon” and layered torn pieces of a deli paper gelli print on top of it with more fluid medium. This is one of my favorite layering techniques; it’s fast, easy, and builds up nicely. Once that fluid medium was dry, I used the crackle stamp again, as well as a couple of different star stamps from Stampin’ Up.

For my focal point, I used a cut file from Erin Doran and my Silhouette Portrait to cut the “Fairytale Princess” and finished it all off by adfing “Notes and Things” rub-ons by Crate Paper, a few doodles, and a stamped sentiment from the Urban Chic stamp set by Stampers Anonymous.

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The Documented Life Project – Week 41


The challenge for week 41 was polka dots, so being the cheese-lover that I am, I naturally thought of cheese, Swiss cheese, actually. I mean holes… polka dots… close enough, right?

I used fluid medium and torn pieces of book paper over a watercolor paper tip-in then added a layer of gesso over it all. When that was dry, I used Faber-Castell Gelatos and a bit more gesso to blend the creamy colors together for a muted effect.

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With my base done, I turned to my Silhouette and its print & cut feature for the Swiss cheese. To give the “polka dot” holes a little extra depth I used an orange Derwent Inktense water-color pencil around the edges.

I knew that I wanted to paint the mouse myself, but using a cut file and the Silhouette again, I cut his basic shape out of white cardstock, giving me a base to work with, then painted him varying shades of grey. For his face, whiskers and other details, I used heavy body white, a pink posca paint marker, uni-ball signo white pen and my fave black pen…an Ohto Fude Ball Liquid Roller.

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Next came the lettering. Because I really am trying to embrace my lettering and I realize that only through practice will it improve, I decided to hand letter the sentiment rather than print something, so I used a fun quote about procrastination and of course….cheese!

I can’t say that I love the lettering, but it’s mine and I choose to embrace it and love what it represents… growth and effort.

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For the middle page I decided it was another great opportunity to dig into my stash of embellishments and used an uplifting 3×4 PL card from the Coral kit “Bring Your Own Sunshine” to create a little collage.

Lastly, I ran some “polka dot” ribbon through my Xyron to use as a border. (If you’ve never used a Xyron…omg LOVE!)

Life Book 2015

lb2015-halfad-finished-800 Beginning Jan 1st I’m embarking on a year long journey of art and growth by participating in Life Book 2015. It’s my first time participating and I’m so excited to begin! I really believe that the collective creativity of the group will prompt me to push beyond my usual comfort zones and take my self-expression to a whole other level. So what is Life Book 2015? “Life Book, a celebration and honouring of YOU” is a year-long mixed media art class organised by Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts. Tam is joined by 25 incredible art teachers who are all gearing up to share their mixed media techniques, tips and tricks with YOU! Themed around self-development and healing, you’ll be creating several loose mixed media art journal pages per month which by the end of the year you will bind into a glorious journal (a Life Book)! You will have a wonderful keepsake that you can treasure for the rest of your life! There are various packages available, there’s even a 3 part payment plan available! REGISTRATION OPEN NOW!

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