Gardenpinks' Blog

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Archive for the tag “alcohol inks”

Another Texture

Sheelagh is behind the Fun Weeks Challenge over on Cardmaking Paradise and is encouraging many of us to experiment with and explore different textures in our crafting. For the next piece metal foil or duct tape is being used; I opted for aluminium tape which can be bought from Pound shops, DIY shops or similar. This tape is on a roll and has a paper backing under which is an adhesive.

Starting with a house shaped piece of greyboard various items were glued to the greyboard – in my first piece I used card shaped £ sign, wooden shapes, charms, piece of chain and twine. Once everything is adhered into place then the aluminium tape is carefully ‘massaged’ over the shapes; to define the various shapes I used cotton buds. After covering the whole piece with tape I used an embossing stylus to make indentations around the edge of the piece, then used a blunt pencil to draw other shapes.  Then I covered the whole piece with black acrylic paint, let it sit for a minute and wipe it off with kitchen towel. This gives the effect of Pewter; other colours can be added even alcohol inks can be used. To highlight particular areas a small sanding block can be gently employed.

metal tape used to cover items

metal tape used to cover items

The flower was made from a tomato puree tube; once opened out and cleaned  to expose the lovely golden sheen of the inside of the tube a flower stamp was stamped using Stazon black ink and cut out with small scissors. I dabbed over the shapes with alcohol ink, glued two flowers shapes together and curled the petals. A button was added for decoration.

Not being satisfied with making one house shape I went on to create another one!

Home Sweet Home Plaque

Home Sweet Home Plaque

For the shapes and texture I used an open weave taper such as used by plasterers to cover joins when putting up plasterboard and readily available from any DIY or hardware store. It is slightly sticky so can be just pressed into place, I used this plasterers tape to texturise the roof and represent a window. Small wood discs were adhered along the roof line; a wooden bird on a branch was adhered to the greyboard with other charms added. The row of ‘flowers’ are made from flower shaped wooden buttons with thick yarn as stems. On the oblong plaque is a metal button, shrink plastic cat, metal key charm and wood heart. The letters are greyboard/chipboard. All covered with aluminium tape and the shapes emphasised by using cotton buds to press around the shapes. The whole was coated with black acrylic paint as for the top house shape only this time I added other colours of acrylic paint and wiped them off . The house shape had blue and red paint added but the oblong plaque had yellow and orange.

Thank you for looking x


Altered Bird Cage

For Christmas I received an ornamental bird cage; I’ve wanted one of these for quite some time so I was both delighted and surprised to actually receive one as I hadn’t realised anyone had heard me!

It is constructed from metal with both an opening domed top and a small doorway. Around the sides are vines and flowers and it was painted a boring cream colour so I just had to change that. Using alcohol inks and Goldfinger (a product similar to rub ‘n’ buff ) this is how it turned out:

Inked up bird cage

The bottom vines were coloured with Ranger’s Denim alcohol ink applied with felt; the door way and inside perch bar also had Denim patchily applied. The sheaves of flowers in the middle section and the vines in the top section had a mix of Bottle and Terracotta alcohol inks dabbed over them and the flowers amongst the vines in the top section had a smidgeon of Orange Sunset dabbed into their centres and then Copper Goldfinger smeared over the petals. Green-Gold Goldfinger was rubbed over all the bars with Denim alcohol ink smeared over the top of the green-gold on the domed portion.

One thing I knew that I didn’t want residing in my bird cage was birds! I hate the thought of birds being trapped in a cage so I used butterflies – as Rod said butterflies can easily get out of the cage if they want to. Kath from UK Stampers kindly sent me some beautiful die cut butterflies and I painted them with Twinkling H2Os to make them shimmery.

‘Caged’ butterflies

Initially I had hoped to suspend most of the butterflies with one or two settled on the perch bar but no matter what was tried these butterflies would not suspend without tipping to one side or almost upside down so I had to rethink. Finally I came up with the idea of sticking two vellum rosettes back to back with thread sandwiched between them and adhering a butterfly on either side – hey presto! Suspended butterflies. Two more rosettes had smaller butterflies attached to them and then magnets adhered to the rosettes and then placed either side of the bars. A ruffled flower had a magnet attached to its reverse side so it would ‘stick’ to the perch bar and a butterfly adhered either side of the flower and, finally, a flower and feather placed into the bottom of the cage with a butterfly adhered to the flower! So it was completed. Our daughter who gave me the bird cage fortunately loved what I had done – expected her to be horrified!

Some close ups of the butterflies:

butterfly on floor


butterflies and flower on perch bar


butterflies either side of bars


Many thanks for taking a look x




Dominoes…basic guide to altering part 1

I have taken 6 white dominoes and a small black plastic domino to alter and share how I have set about the job! On all the dominoes we are working on the plain side; I’ve used a selection of inks and markers to create the background. This first picture (sorry about it being out of focus) shows them all together to give some idea of the size of the black domino!


Now here they are individually:


The above one was coloured with Promarkers (similar to Copics but much, much cheaper); as these are alcohol ink based they dried without any assistance.

The next dominoes had alcohol inks splodged (good technical term!) onto the surface. How much splodging is done changes the patterning. I found that if the ink was sponged on then it tended to wipe off the shiny surface hence splodging or dabbing..which ever technical term you want to use 🙂

Bottle & Denim alcohol inks

Yellow & orange alcohol inks

The following one has had VersaMagic chalk ink sponged on using cut ‘n’ dry; this ink won’t dry on its own so needs to be dried off with a heat gun. Note of caution here – when using the heat gun, the dominoes retain the heat for sometime so be very careful especially when using embossing powder/UTEE!

pinks - Versa Magic chalk ink

The final white one was coloured with a dye based ink, Whisper Royal Blue, and again needed to be dried with a heat gun.

Whisper dye base ink - Royal Blue

At this stage I had not done anything with the black domino but will show that in part 2!

It isn’t necessary to colour the edges of the dominoes but, of course, if you want to then carry on. Anything goes!

Hope this has given you some ideas so far 🙂

Altering dominoes

Just a quick post aimed at Leslie who has never done these before and wants a guide – well Leslie I will show you the better ones and then a bad one!

First of all the side to work on is the one without the dots, this is a great surface to use alcohol inks or any other type of ink. If using anything other than alcohol inks for the background colour then use a heat gun to dry it off before doing anything else.

If you are stamping an image onto the coloured background then Stazon ink is best especially if you intend to glaze the whole domino with Glossy Accents because I discovered that some inks don’t like GA as you can see below!

The slug!

The image started life as a seashell and by the time the GA had finished drying it ended up resembling a slug! In this case I used alcohol inks for the background colour, stamped the seashell in Impress Chocolate dye ink which I zapped with the heat gun, masked the seashell and stamped a script image in Stazon black ink. Now all was fine and dandy until I used the Glossy Accents.

These others turned out okay:

Altered dominoes

I adhered a bail with GA to the top left one so ribbon or a chain could be threaded through and the domino worn as a necklace. You can see in the top right domino how the ‘slug’ should have really looked 🙂 All the other images were stamped with Stazon and all were glazed with GA and some gem stones dropped into the glaze before it dried on the flourish and hot air balloon ones.

Stamping is not an essential for altering dominoes – pieces of patterned paper can be adhered onto the coloured background; images can be embossed with embossing powder; small beads or any charms can be glued on; UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel/powder) can be used and a stamp pushed into the top layer whilst the powder is melted and still hot. There are endless possibilities.

The edges of the dominoes can be covered with tiny beads, edged with gold or silver pen or ribbons & cords. The dominoes can be drilled using any hand drill to make holes for jump rings to be threaded through or charms to be hung from. On the dotty side magnets can fixed for the dominoes to be used as fridge magnets or brooch pins attached.

If you don’t have bails or don’t want to drill holes then a large bead glued on horizontally on the top edge is a good substitute for threading cord, etc through to use the finished domino as a necklace.


I ‘made’ this domino several years ago..I coloured the background with inks and then covered the ink with this slightly transparent image so the yellows would show through. This image was in fact a cover I removed from a cigarette lighter and is a thin plasticised material.

I haven’t yet decided up on what I shall do for my next dominoes but hope these have given you a taster of what can be done. Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Thanks for reading x

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