Monday, November 30, 2009

December Technique

A brief introduction (subtitled It's Not All My Fault)

Its not just me.  Most of us have arrived at the 'art' we are doing now via a long experimental road through a myriad of crafts. In our excitement over the new craft we went out and bought all the whiz bang supplies to go with it - then eventually tired of it in time and moved onto the next big thing.  Problem was we still had copious supplies of our previous addiction that sat and gathered dust as we went out and purchased new supplies for our new addiction.

Over the years I have given away all my porcelain doll supplies, fabric and lace from sewing, quiliting and cloth dolls - but still have boxes and boxes of threads from counted cross stitch and dyes from the cloth dolls.  In one of my many studio re-organisations and clean ups I came across the dyes and a light bulb went on only and 8watt one mind, but a glimmer of an idea nonetheless.

Nothing was done about it for a few weeks till a friend came to stay and I mentioned it to her... we spent a very enjoyable (and very messy) day playing and ended up with some gorgeous papers which I then glued to ATC blanks for future use.  This tutorial is borne of that day.

  • Assorted blank paper (copy paper, watercolour paper, cartridge paper even white adhesive labels work)
  • mica pigments (pearlex, luminarte, perfect pearls. Moon Glows)
  • fabric and/or silk dyes
  • fine mist spray bottles
  • water
  • gloves (not a good idea to do this with bare hands!)
  • newspaper for your table top (again not a good idea to skip the newspaper  LOL)
  • baby wipes or paper towels for cleanup
Note:  you can also use mica sprays if you have then on hand.. I had some Starburst Stains, Glitz Spritz and Moonglow mist that I used as well

Mixing The Colours
Into an empty spray bottle add some mica pigments - how much you add will depend on the size of the bottle.  For a 2oz (60ml) bottle I added a goodly slightly heaped teaspoon.
Next I poured in some liquid fabric dye - enough to about 1/4 to 1/3 fill the bottle.  Then top it up with warm water, cap it and shake it like mad to mix it all together. It needs to be warm water to get the pigments mixed together  so they don't clog your spray bottle

If you are using Ranger mini mister spray bottles go for the same quantities Tim suggests (one scoop on the end of paddle pop stick, and eyedropper of dye (instead of the ink) and then top with water).
How concentrated you want your colour is all in how much you add... if you want a softer  colour - add more water less dye.  If you want a really rich colour add more dye less water - the 'recipe' above will give you a rich concentrated colour.

With the fabric or silk dyes you can also mix the colours just like in the primaries.. a bit of red and blue dye will give you purple, yellow and blue = green and red and yellow will give you orange.   Orange dye with copper pigments was super yummy, and purple dye with green pigments looked great too.  I also loved the green dye with copper pigments.. YUMMY!

Spraying The Paper - Step One
When you spray the paper, don't do a light coat all over and then add more other colours on top - it will all meld into a turgid solid sort of goopy colour (very technical term).

Choose two or three or four colours that you like and spray the first one (doesnt matter which) into patches on your paper... then on 1/3 of the remaining white paper spray your second colour and on the last third spray the third colour. If you have chosen four colours work in 1/4's

Dont worry if it 'beads' on the paper, it will settle and soak in.. I find its best too be quite liberal too - more is def better than a light mist.. you need it WET.  Let the spray pool on the paperand put aside to soak in and dry.  If you are in a hurry you can use a heat gun - it will give you interesting effects as your push the pooled spray around the paper with the force of the heat gun.

For the paper to the right I sprayed first with green, then with orange and lastly with yellow (all with the gold or copper mica pigments in them.
When it was at the stage in the fourth pic, I picked it up and let the edges of the pools run into each other around the page, floating one colour over the other, then I put it aside to dry.

From here you have several options:  You can consider it finished and do more on it when use it as a background or:

Once the dye is no longer in pools on the paper, take a mask, punchinella or the like and lay it on your paper, press down firmly or roll with brayer (you dont want the spray under it) then spray some  more with your darkest colour you used, over the mask and lift off.  Dont introduce a new colour - just use the darkest of your three colour already used.

Note:  Your paper MUST be totally dry before you do this, if its still damp you will get blurred, blotter paper type edges on the mask. Best to make the paper one day and mask it the next.

In these pics I used Tim Holtz Mask and oversprayed with green, When you lift it off the mask retains the colour it was masking and the area around it is just a darker green.

Another option is to stamp on it randomly with a stamp in either gold or silver inkpad, depending on your chosen colours in the paper.

The papers themselves are much more shimmery than they appear here too - unfortuneatly the mica pigments dont photograph very well.. the pics to the right are actually of paper that is very shimmery emerald green and purple.. the dotty look you see is the mica on paper.

Once your paper is totally dry you can adhere it to cardstock to use as ATC or card backgrounds. I'm not a card person.. so I played some more and made up a batch of ATCs... I will upload pics of them in  a day or two

P.S You REALLY should wear gloves :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009


My apologies folks...I am a little late in getting my tech tute up this has turned hectic here since I returned from over-seas and I have had to dig deep to find my muse...then put a tight rein on her to keep her with me...vbg.
However, I hope you find this month's tute worth having a could save heaps on buying those special papers with this technique!

This technique can be found in Bernie Berlin's Book "Artist Trading Card Workshop". However, I have done it a little differently on a couple of them.
The ATC on the left has the basic Brite Shine rubbed back-ground. The right one has been stamped and rubbed over with an Oil Pastel and on the lower one, I used a glue stick to select shapes AFTER I used the Brite Shine, where Bernie suggested to do it before-hand.

I was also going to do the Citra Clean technique as well as the Brite Shine one, but I have misplaced my bottle of same and our Woolworth's no longer stock it. Again, my apologies to those who were looking forward to seeing it done.


For this technique you will need the following items.

1.Tin of Brite Shine (available from Big W or other car parts suppliers)
2.Images from a magazine with shiny pages. (I used a Woman's Weekly.)
3.Oil Pastels
4.Stamp and Ink of your choice.
5.Glue Pen of your choice.
6.Cardboard ATC Frame Template
7.Images for the finished ATC.
8.Transdermal Applicator.

Apply Brite Shine

Brite Shine consists of polish infused wool. It is a metal polish, used for polishing chrome and other metals.

Simply pull out a small wad of wool and begin rubbing over the area. You will see it blurs the images. You can rub as much or as little as you want  until you have the effect that you like.

Outline Shapes

After rubbing with Brite Shine to your liking, if you can see shapes still on the paper, you can go around them with a glue pen. If there are no evident shapes, you can simply make some of your own anyway.
Here I was able to select the leaf shapes.
Let the glue dry completly, then rub over the entire area with an Oil Pastel and smear with your "transdermal applicator". Use a darker Pastel to go over the raised shapes. As you can see here, I also used the yellow to pick out some lighter areas.

This is the ATC I made using the above paper. Unfortunately you can't see the effect of the glue shapes. I found the mouth and the cake "hat" in a magazine, as well as the stripe strip and the star strip. The stripes are taken from the Puzzles area and the stars from the Psychic Advertising area of a Woman's Weekly. She is finished off with dots using a white Gel pen and some text.

Stamp and Colour

After selecting the area you want to use as your finished background by placing the ATC frame template over it, stamp using your choice of stamp and colour ink. Then, using an Oil Pastel in a contrasting colour, scribble some shapes onto the stamped area. Rub with your "transdermal applicator" to smear it over the area.

Cut to ATC size and adhere to an ATC back, then add your images. Here is my finished ATC. Unfortunately the copper coloured stamping doesn't show up in the picture, but it is on the top right hand side.

I added a scrap of music sheet to the top and bottom of the ATC, distressed with Ranger Distress Ink, added eyes from a face out of a magazine and both sets of the wings are 3D mounted. I finished it off by adding the dots with a black Pitt Pen and some text, which is also distressed.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October - Fairy Garden Frame

Bit of a change of pace this month... a Fairy Garden  using  a stretched  canvas as the frame...

Its the swap on PaperArts next month, and I have the Grand Neice here for the weekend, so it was a good opportunity to make it and give one to her as a gift to take home.

  • ONE STRETCHED CANVAS needs to be the recessed type not flat.  One thing to bear in mind is the deeper the frame the more difficult to get your background paper in there.. I made a shallow depth 6 x 4 inch and a deeper 8 x 8 - the deeper one was a bit of a challenge on thicker paper lol
  • PRINTED IMAGES - I have added a zip file of images but you can use any.. for the great neice I actually added her head to one of the faeries...  It works best if you print your faeries and trees on stronger matt photo paper, and the background on regular copy paper. Scroll to bottom for download link of images
  • MOUNTING TAPE to give your images some depth

Step One:
    Paint the outer sides, inside edges and back of your canvas with your chosen acrylic colour.

    Step Two:
    While your canvas dries, cut out all your images, trees, fairies, butterflies etc.,  Be sure to cut out the white 'inner' bits on the trees and fairies, as well as go around all your edges with a dark marker.  This covers over the white cut edge on the thicker photo paper and gives you a much better appearance.

    Step Three:

    Cut out your background, add some glue to the white inner canvas area and push your background paper into it.  You have to roll it and push it in to go under the edges, dont just cut it to fit the centre or you will end up with a disconcerting white border all around your print...

    Step Four:

    Cut your tree down the centre and glue one half to each side of the frame

    Step Five:

    Add the fairies with a mixture of glue and mounting tape.. standing faerie is glued down, reclining faerie is attached with mounting tape.

    Add the butterflies with just a small square of mounting tape in the middle so the wings can be bent to sit up a bit.

    Your pack of images (trees, background, two fairies and a some butterflies) can be downloaded free from

    Ellah's Garden... This is the bigger 8 x 8 stretched canvas I used.

    I printed the tree out twice and cut it into a couple of clumps of leaves, adhered them with the mounting tape to give a bit of dimension to them and some more butterflies.

    Ellah is also added with mounting tape....dancing down the path to the faerie glen

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    Slight Delay

    Hello to all our lovely followers.... just letting you know there will be a day or two delay with the project this month.

    The lovely Barb is heading off overseas for a ten day holiday and I will be doing the October project with you in her abscense.

    It should be up by Saturday 2nd (Australian time) which is the day before in the US...

    see you then :-)


    Tuesday, September 1, 2009


    This month we have a variation of the 'Take Ten' cards.. its a 10 minute card OR an ATC.

    The main images of the bird backgrounds were made using Photoshop and PS brushes, the sheet is a free download at

    It contains 3 ATC sized and two card sized images ready to print on transparency


    • Transparency sheet (you can use the free sheet and print from your computer or use a prepurchased one)
    • 6" x 4" glossy photo paper
    • 2 sheets of cardstock to suit the alcohol ink colours (I used Black and Rust)
    • Alcohol inks - 3 colours that work well together, I used Adirondack Rust, Lettuce and Gold
    • Alcohol ink applicator
    • Blending Solution in fine spray bottle
    • Craft mat
    • Krylon Pen
    • Double sided tape
    • Eyelet setter (I used my crop-a-dile)
    • Word to go on your card.. I used the Tim Holtz Adage tickets but you can use anything.
    • distress ink to age your word

    Squirt the Inks

    Lay your craft sheet down and squirt the alcohol inks onto it.

    give it a good spray with the blending solution... if using the Adirondack alcohol inks you do need to use the Adirondack Blending Solution - but if you are using Pinata Alcohol inks then good old Methylated Spirits works just as well for a fraction of the price!

    Next, place your photo paper, glossy side down on top of inks and press and 'smoosh' the card around.


    When you lift the card up you end up with a lovely mottled effect. This is great as a background behind transparencies, but you can also stamp on it if desired

    Apply tape to transparency

    Cut out the transparency leaving a border around the black edge.

    place double sided tape on the back of transparency in this border. This excess will be cut away - the tape is to postion it flat so that the eyelets can be applied

    Attach To Background

    peel the paper from the tape and place it on your pretty alchol ink background.

    Being transparent you can position the image where you like to make the most of your background.

    Press down to secure.

    Eyelets and Trim

    Now that your transparency is sitting flat, you can add an eyelet to each corner to secure it permantly.

    Once secured trim your image along the black border line

    Mount on Cardstock

    Cut a peice of cardstock a quarter of an inch bigger all around than the transparency and attach your transparency card to it with double sided tape.


    Go around the edge with your Krylon pen

    Attach To Card Blank

    To create your card blank, cut a peice of cardstock
    9 1/2" x 5 3/4" and fold to create a card 4 3/4" x 5 3/4" (hamburger fold).

    Place double sided tape on back of card front, and attach to card blank.

    Add the sentiment

    Finally, add your chosen word or sentiment. (Age the edge of your word with the distress ink)

    If you are making an ATC the principle is the same, just on a smaller scale. The transparency for the ATC are slightly smaller than ATC size so that when you mount it on your ATC blank you have a narrow border

    Enjoy! dont forget to post a comment and leave the link if you do this project, would love to see what you all come up with :-)


    PS.. the bird image I used on the ATC can be snaffled below :-)

    Saturday, August 1, 2009


    This month I have used a background technique that a lot of you already may know and use, but as there are always "newbies" to the field of PaperArts/ATC making, I hope it will be helpful to them.

    I have also used one of my favourites subjects so here is the crow image I used that you can save to your computer and use yourself.

    Don't forget ...there is a prize drawn from the list of those that take up the challenge of making art using this technique and leave a link as to where it can be found.


    For this tutorial you will need the following...

    Aluminium Foil, cut to ATC size.
    ATC sized cardstock.
    Black Matt Board, also ATC size.
    Crow/Raven Image.
    Alcohol Inks, either Pinata or Ranger.
    Alcohol Ink Extender, brand matching Inks or "Isocol" rubbing Alcohol or Metho.
    Fine spray bottle for extender - I used Ranger's.
    Fine Embossing Powder - Silver preferably.
    Clear Embossing INK, either "Ranger Big & Bossy" or "Versamark".
    Chicken Wire Rubber stamp - Available from "Lost Coast Designs".
    Heat Gun.
    Egg shell- saved from your cooking day.
    Black feather.
    Golden's Acrylic Paints, Burnt Umber, Quiacridone/Nickel Azo Gold,& Micaceous Iron Oxide. (if you don't have "Golden" you can replace them with brands you have)
    Krylon Gold Pen.
    Ruler, fine blade paper scissors and sharp cutter.
    Good strong adhesive.. I use "Welbond", available from "Bunnings" in Australia.


    Cut out Crow image ,Sharpie the white edges and using the Gold Krylon pen, add a teeny dot as an eye for the crow.


    Randomly drop the two colours of Alcohol Inks onto the foil and then spray with the extender to spread it around. You can employ the use of the heat gun to speed up the drying process but I found that it takes the depth out of the colours and causes a "bloom" which dulls it.


    Add the crow to the foil, using a suitable adherent. I like to use Weldbond as it will adhere to almost everything. Allow to dry...using your heat gun to speed up the action.Then adhere the foil to cardstock to give it strength.

    Stamp foil with crow on it and emboss with the fine embossing powder.


    On the back of the black board, measure in 1cm (1/2") from each edge and rule lines to follow when cutting. Using a sharp blade, slice along lines thru' board. Remove and discard from centre.


    Using the black Sharpie, cover both inside and outer white edges.

    Coat frame with the Micaceous Iron Oxide (OR replacement paint of your choice)then when dry, dry brush on a small amount of Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold (OR your replacement paint of choice).This will give a rusty appearance to the Iron Oxide.

    Distress Eggshell

    Adhere frame to foil and add a feather and the crushed eggshell on top of it
    Mix a very small dot of Burnt Umber paint with water and wash over the egg shell embellishment. Here you see the results of before and after.
    I apologise for the bad images....the flash and foil didn't like each other.
    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me and ask.