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by Julie Brooks

Polite notice. All designs are copyright protected. I hope you will be inspired by my designs but please do not copy them. Thank you.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Fun with distress inks, alcohol inks and acetate

Hello again
Firstly, to those of you who have visited my blog recently, thank you for looking. To those who have left lovely comments, an even bigger thank you! And to my new followers - welcome and I hope you will find something here to inspire/entertain you.

The last couple of days I've had a bit of playtime. I don't get much time for crafting because of looking after my autistic son, but when I do get time, usually it's with the intention of making something which is floating around in my head driving me batty! However, I decided to just play this time.

Here's a list of the ingredients I played with:

clear acetate sheet
Tim Holtz Movers & Shapers die Mini Butterflies
Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Inks - Poppyfield and Sail Boat Blue
Tim Holtz Alterations Texture Fades Embossing Folder - Burlap & Swirls set
Watercolour postcard
Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Spun Sugar, Broken China, Twisted Citron, Worn Lipstick, Pumice Stone
Stampendous Fran-tage shabby green embossing enamel
assorted flowers
sequins and buttons

All of these ingredients were in my stash, some of which I purchased back in 2010! It's a good feeling to use what I already have.

I haven't used acetate much before and had a whole pack of it, quite thick good quality sheets, so decided to see what I could do!

I die cut four butterflies from one of the acetate sheets and then embossed them using the Swirls embossing folder from the Texture Fades set. This gave them a lovely embossed swirly pattern on the wings. I then set about colouring them, and I didn't get the mix right the first time so had to wipe them down and start again. Thankfully second time around I was happy!

Once I was sure they were dry I used my heat tool to soften the acetate so that I could add shape to the wings. You may or may not know this, but if you've embossed the acetate, when you heat it up, you lose the embossing because the acetate softens and becomes pliable. Now, this could be quite disappointing, BUT, what I was left with was a lovely swirly pattern on the wings where the ink had settled into and around the embossed areas, so I still ended up with a great effect and something which is actually way more realistic in many respects than a butterfly with a raised pattern on its wings - well, that's my opinion anyway! Needless to say, I love my swirly patterned butterflies. Here are some photos:

Now, I suppose I could have inked them first and then embossed them, which would have given a completely different effect, but again as soon as I heated them to shape the wings I'd have lost that embossing, so I'm not sure it would have given the same pretty result doing it that way round actually. I might try it one day just to find out if my theory is right!

OK, so I'd made four lovely butterflies and the question was what to do with them! All sorts of ideas came into my head and I may well follow through on several of them, but for now I have just used one on a little piece of artwork, which leads me onto the next part of my make quite smoothly!

I chose some distress ink colours which I particularly like, being some of the brighter shades in the range, and just randomly applied them to a piece of watercolour card. Then I used Tim Holtz's spritz and flick method to apply random water droplets to the coloured surface and let the reaction do its magic! I loved the result. I made sure all the water droplets were dry using my heat tool and dabbed with a piece of kitchen towelling where it was a bit wet still, like using blotting paper I suppose.

Next I chose a random selection of small flowers. Their colours weren't right, so I spritzed them with water and gave them the distress ink treatment so that they tied in! The end result was that they are now two-tone flowers, which again I really love!

I arranged them diagonally across the centre of the card and added some wire swirls. A few sequins here and there, a couple of buttons, two small lengths of ribbon, the word "Hello" and my butterfly in place and I was pretty much done. I sprinkled some of the embossing enamel here and there and heated that from underneath. This enamel mix has tiny gold flecks in it, so it adds an extra sparkly element to the project. And the last things I did were to add a pearl to the butterfly's body, two more underneath the ribbon, and go all around the edges of the card with my trusty Pumice Stone Distress Ink - this is my go to colour which I use for edging all of my makes. I love how it's not too brown, not too grey, just somewhere in between and for me works really well. And here is the finished piece:

I haven't decided yet whether to mount this onto board, or put it in a frame, but I'm sure I will decide in time!

I hope you like this little make. I had a lot of fun doing it and I'd love to hear from you.

And finally, before I go, a lovely lady asked what glue I'd used on my last project - the floral heart canvas. I am not very tech savvy so don't know how to do replies, so hope it's OK to reply here instead. The glue I used was Cosmic Shimmer Specialist Acrylic Glue.

Right, that's all from me for now.

Take care, keep warm and I'll see you all soon.

Julie x