Alcohol Ink Class

alcohol ink cardsI had a wonderful time teaching some easy techniques using alcohol ink and Yupo paper at Scrappy Chic last night. I loved how the students mixed up and changed their cards. They were so beautiful, I had to take photos and share …

FullSizeRender (3)

The tree die I had used on the sample card, quit cutting. I’ve never had that happen after so few cuts before! In fact, I’ve only had two thin-metal dies quit cutting on me — and they had been cut more than 100 times!

Anyhow, I made a couple of substitutions that they could choose from …

FullSizeRender (7)
FullSizeRender (6)

I love how different each card is …FullSizeRender (5)
FullSizeRender (4)

I’m offering this class at Boyne Highlands during the Girl’s Just Wanna Crop event in October. There are two weekends being offered this year and there is still room in the second weekend. Let me know if you are interested and I’ll send you the info.

I’m also working on a follow-up class for Scrappy Chic … stay tuned!

Alcohol Ink Card Class

alcohol ink cards

Alcohol ink is back! Yes, it’s the same Tim Holtz/Adirondack/Ranger stuff you bought years ago, but it has returned — with a new surface, Yupo, to play on.

Join me for this class at Scrappy Chic in Livonia and we’ll use four different techniques to make card backgrounds. Then, we’ll turn them into quick, fun cards you can send to anyone.

Click here for details … call the store at 248-426-9020 to register.

Discovery! Enameled Metal


I love when I discover a new technique. It does not matter if it is an old technique that everyone in the world already knew about … it is new to me and so, I have to share!


I purchased these little metal pieces from The Green Door Studio in Brighton to use on some shutters and windows I was repurposing. I knew they would be easy to transform …


I used alcohol inks and it was pretty, but it was not quite the look I was going for, so I decided to paint over them.

metal_technique_Candy_Spiegel3Now, many probably know that acrylic paint does not go over alcohol ink well, but I did not. And this is where the magic began …


When the paint dried, even more of the color came through and I had this beautiful arrow filled with depth and texture …


Then, I decided to gloss it up a little with a thick layer of Glastique.


Resulting in this beautiful piece …

Here are some other pieces I did using the same technique.


Altered Shutter


I have found a new love … altered shutters!

I know … it’s nothing new, but I finally got around to making one!

I made this one for my son and future daughter-in-law. She loves black and distressed, so that is what we did … (I apologize for the blown out photo … I had to lighten it in order to see the details.)


The shutter was brown when I purchased it. I painted some random colors in places with the hope of seeing the color underneath when I sanded off the black of the shutter … it didn’t work quite as well as I planned (I think I covered it with too much black spray paint), but there are a few spots where you see the color.


I used stencils from Wendy Vecchi and black glossy embossing paste to add a bit of texture and some fun words to the shutter.


I used alcohol ink to alter a brass metal piece that I placed on top. Beacon’s 527 glue held the metal clip and topper in place.


next came a bit of washi tape from Love My Tapes and Tim Holtz.


And, some Piccolo pieces coated with Enamel Embossing Powder were added to the side.


I altered a few old keys in alcohol ink and used a ribbon to dangle them on the side.


A handle attached to the bottom, some additional clips and some photos of my kids finished off the piece. I really wish I had better photos because it is a stunning piece, but I was in such a hurry to give it away, I didn’t look at the photos first! grrr…

Technique Thursday: Crafters Workshop Templates

Technique Thursday is back … a little late, but better late than never, right?!

We took last week off because most of our customers were attending the Great Lakes Mega Meet, a scrapbooking convention in Novi, MI.

And, this week time just seemed to get the better of me, but never fear, I will be at Capture A Memory from 2-6 p.m. today sharing some things you can do with templates from The Crafters Workshop.

These templates have been around for years … I have some that are several years old … but my style has evolved in a way that I am using them now more than ever. As an added bonus, they are not expensive (about $5 for the smaller ones) and they are thin plastic, so they are easy to store. I keep them in their packaging and hang them on the side of my desk.

They come in a variety of styles and designs, but you will see some of my favorites here.

Naturally, you could take a pen or marker and trace the patterns, like any stencil. But, you can also use alcohol ink

or airbrush them with Copic Sketch markers


or color them with Distress Ink

or spritz them with Glimmer Mist or Perfect Pearls Mist or use embossing enamel


I use Removeable Glue Dots to help hold the template in place.

If you only want to use a portion of the stencil, use sticky notes or tape to seal off the area you don’t want to use.

Clean the stencils like you would normally with the product used … use hand sanitizer with a high-alcohol content to clean off alcohol inks or Copic markers. Use water to clean off Distress Ink. Use rubber stamp cleaner to clean off permanent inks. Just be careful to rub gently … some of the stencils have tiny parts that may get bent if you scrub too hard.

Don’t be afraid to layer them or go back over the image with rubber stamps for a vintage or shabby chic look.

Have fun!

I hope to see you today from 2-6 p.m. at Capture A Memory in Flint Township.

Technique Thursday: Shimmer Sheetz UPDATED

It is Thursday and that means it is time for another technique.

This one is double amazing — amazingly simple and amazingly beautiful…

See what I mean? And they look even better in person! You can stop by and see all of these samples, and try it for yourself at Capture A Memory in Flint Township today from 2-6 p.m. today.

Let me tell you how easy it is … you only need three products: Shimmer Sheetz by Elizabeth Craft Designs, an embossing folder (I used ones by Sizzix/Tim Holtz) and StazOn Ink. (I used jet black.)

Shimmer Sheetz are an acid-free mylar, or type of plastic. They come in two different varieties: iris and metallic. While both types come in a variety of colors, the iris ones are the ones with the gradient and iridescent colors, like the sample above. The metallic ones are solid and can be used with some additional techniques, which I will share a little later.

First, let’s do this quick and easy technique …

Step 1: Cut the sheet of Shimmer Sheetz to the desired size (it cuts easily in a paper trimmer or with scissors).

Step 2: Place it inside a textured embossing folder and run it through your die cut machine (Big Shot, Vagabond, Cuttlebug, etc.)

Step 3: Flip your StazOn ink pad over and smear it over the front of the Shimmer Sheetz. You may need to apply a little pressure, but not too much. The idea is to just ink the highlighted areas on your image. Let it dry for a minute or two and it is done.

Simple, huh.

To turn it into a card, you can mat it, like I did in the sample above, or do something like this …

For this one, I cut the Shimmer Sheetz into 3 parts (after I inked it) and then placed them side-by-side on the card. Then, I added a strip of ribbon and a couple of pins from Maya Road. Then I used a punch to create a circle out of some unaltered Shimmer Sheetz and stamped on it with Staz On ink.

So, now you know you can cut, emboss, ink, stamp and punch Shimmer Sheetz. You can also sand it after embossing for a different look and you can run it through your die cut system and cut it with a steel-rule die — the thick ones by Sizzix/Tim Holtz.

But wait, there’s more …

The solid color or metallic sheets of Shimmer Sheetz take alcohol ink!

There are a few cautions here …

1. DO NOT use the iris colors. The alcohol ink will remove the color.

2. Only ONE side of the Shimmer Sheetz works. The alcohol ink will remove the color on the other side.

So, how do you tell which is which? Take a bit of blending solution and apply it in a corner. If you are on the right side, nothing will happen. If you are on the wrong side, it will first turn silver and then become completely clear — which might be a cool look, but you could save yourself some trouble and use acetate for that!

Anyhow, I applied layers of alcohol ink with the felt applicator, letting it dry between layers. (I noticed it takes a little longer to dry than normal. I kept finding my fingerprints permanently inked in places, so take your time and really let it dry.)

Then I embossed and added ink just like the ones above. Then, I cut it into pieces and applied it to a cigar box that I had painted black. I used additional stickers from Elizabeth Craft Designs to cover the seams. And, when it was all dry, I added a coat of Diamond Glaze to the entire box. And, when that was dry, I added one of the new knobs by Tim Holtz and a few metal gears.

The piece on the front was not embossed, so you can see how beautiful it is with just the alcohol inks.

It is a little bit funky and extremely shiny and not really, “me,” but I absolutely love it and I am dying to show it to all of you!

Stop by  Capture A Memory in Flint Township today from 2-6 p.m. today. I cannot wait to see you!

Art Glitter Design Team 2012 Audition

I am excited over two things today …

The first is that I am applying for a position on Art Glitter’s design team. You probably know how much I love Art Glitter and Designer Dries Clear Adhesive and that I have served as a guest designer for them twice. Now I am applying for a DT position that will last an entire year. How exciting is that!

Secondly, I am excited to share this project, which I have been creating for a few weeks and I love how it turned out. It’s one of those things that you have in your head and then you jump in with both feet and try it and then it works and, well, you know the satisfaction and excitement I am feeling right now.

First, a little background … I have been wanting to make something to hang in the window that would reflect sunlight and make little rainbows in my house (just like in the movie, “Pollyanna.”) I think the cats will enjoy it. While I was milling that over in my mind, my husband brought home some pieces of acrylic that he planned to use for windows in the chicken coop he was building. Well, as soon as I saw them, I knew they would make a great piece of window art so I started asking questions — if he could cut it, if he could drill holes in it (it’s very thick) and if he really needed four windows in the coop. He agreed three would be plenty, cut down one of the pieces, added holes at the top for a hanger and holes at the bottom for hangings and presented it to me.

With the base obtained, I discovered a bit more inspiration in the Little Yellow Bicycle Saturdays collection. With that piece of paper in hand, I sat down to work and created this: (click on the photo for a larger view)

I hung it on a white wall to photograph it, but it will soon be hanging in a window.

I used a lot of products from a lot of different companies on this piece. That’s one thing I love about art like this — you can mix and match and use up little leftover parts. I also used quite a few techniques. So, if there is something I don’t explain here, please let me know and I’ll give you the directions. Otherwise, I am afraid this may be the world’s longest blog post ever!

First, I used a Crafter’s Workshop stencil and Alcohol Ink to create the background. Alcohol Ink will fade in the sunlight unless you spray it with a UV protector. But, I want to see the process, so I left mine uncoated.

Then, I added papers by Little Yellow Bicycle and BBP, each aged a bit with Distress Ink.

I used ColorWash to color the large blue flower (Prima) and the ribbon (Tim Holtz) and used Designer Dries Clear Adhesive to attach everything. Notice how it dries so clear you can use it to attach clear buttons (BBP).

I used a stamp set from Darcie’s to stamp the saying and the little birds. Then, I went back with Designer Dries Clear Adhesive and added Vintage Glass Glitter to the branch the birds were sitting on.

The candelabra is a wood cut from KaiserCraft. I painted it and then decided it needed a bit more something, so I covered it in three different colors of Microfine Glitter. (You will definitely want to use the fine metal tip for this) I left a couple of spots that weren’t covered completely with glitter just to add a bit of interest.

I added some transparent glitter to the edges of the flower for additional interest and some Vintage Glass Shards to the ribbon and around the clock face (Tim Holtz) to spice things up a bit. As a side point, the Vintage Glass Shards will change color in the sunlight as well … can’t wait to see that result!

I also added a hint of glitter to this little clipboard I made.

A friend gave me this little bird cage to go on my art piece. We all agreed it needed a bird, but no one had one, so I made one. I used the same stamp (the birds on the limb) and stamped them on cardstock. Then, I cut the bird out and covered both sides with glitter. Finally, I added a tiny bead from my jar of black Gala Glitz (Art Glitter) as an eye. Then I used Designer Dries Clear to adhere him to the cage and to keep the cage door open.

And, with the addition of some charms, beads, hardware pieces and ribbon, I can call it done. Naturally it’s been cloudy since I finished the piece, but I cannot wait to see how it reacts in the sun!

Remember to post any questions here and I’ll answer them shortly.

Thanks for looking!

Making Copic Jewelry

Each year, I make my children a special gift for Christmas.

After all of these years, it is a bit of a challenge to come up with something unique. I’ve already made them ornaments, mini albums, trash cans, mirrors, posters, photo collages and more.

This year, I decided to make my daughter a necklace and I learned a few new techniques along the way.

I started with a photo I printed of Marilyn Monroe (my daughter is currently fascinated with her). I ran it through a copy machine to make it black and white and allow me to make a photo transfer with it. (Ink Jet doesn’t work, but Toner, like in a copy machine, does.)

Next, I covered the image with a piece of clear packaging tape, trimmed the edges and then dipped it in a bit of warm water. I rubbed the paper off of the back so I was left with a clear image (only the black ink remains on the transfer.)

I pulled out a sheet of metal “paper” from QuicKutz, but I believe Ranger’s metal sheets would work in much the same way.

Using Copic Markers, I airbrushed the sticky side (after removing the protective backing paper) in a few shades of pink. Then, I attached the transfer (the metal remains sticky) and trimmed the edges.

I inserted it into a Memory Frame from Ranger Inkssentials, along with two pieces of glass. I added a bit of Grungeboard to fill out the space between the transfer and the glass in the back.

I then took a few Baubles from Tim Holtz and placed them in a tiny plastic bag. I added some Alcohol Ink to color the beads gray and attached them with a jump ring.

Finally, I added a bit of cording I picked up at Michael’s and my daughter had a beautiful, unique, one-of-a-kind necklace. The colors change from pink to red depending on the light and the metallic paper shines through. It really turned out nice — the photos don’t do it justice …

Look what I did with Maya Road!

Products released during CHA last January are finally hitting the scrapbook stores and I’ve been playing.

I have created plenty of nifty embellishments, but have yet to complete any projects.

So, I thought I would share this one with you …

This is one of the Vintage Alterable Beads by Maya Road. They come in two sizes.

I used Staz-On Black Ink and a Hero Arts Background Stamp to stamp this design onto the back of the bead.

When it dried, I applied Art Glitter in two different colors to the pattern.

I love the finished result … just have to figure out what to attach it to!

Then, I made this …

This is also from Maya Road — It is a Resin Blossom that also comes in two sizes — this is the smaller of the two.

I added Butterscotch Alcohol Ink and some Solar Glass Beads from Art Glitter to the middle. This one is attached to a project I will share in a few days …

Do you have ideas for these two new products from Maya Road? I’d love to see what you create.