Alcohol Inks – A Project in the Making Part 1

No, it’s not what you think. However, I suppose you could use a good Vodka or Moonshine
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 Alcohol Ink Art

Sister and I started doing this and we are having too much fun learning. It’s even become an obsession (at least for me). I know what you are thinking. Aren’t all crafts and hobbies an obsession? Well, I say yes! They are! We are keeping the inks at her house, so when I don’t go over, I go through withdrawals!
Now, I will admit, AI isn’t cheap. HOWEVER, there are ways to get around that. Let’s start with the basics.
(I am not a pro and don’t claim to be, just an obsessed AI groupie, wanting to share the love!)
This is by no means a full list of items you (need) want and NO you don’t have to get everything on the list! 
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Alcohol Ink
There are several brands out there. We are using  Ranger – Tim Holtz  for now. Simply because there aren’t a lot of choices at the local hobby stores (there is evidently a bottle shortage). A pack of three colors run about $11.99 here in Colorado. Amazon, $11.98 + free shipping (but not PRIME eligible)
You can also use, Sharpies or Copic markers. These are great for adding lines or to highlight edges
Alcohol – Best to use isopropyl alcohol with a 91% if you want to make things happen.
Alcohol Blending Solution – This and the Alcohol, do somewhat of the same thing. So if you are on a budget, start with just the alcohol. The blending solution does a bit more magic than the IA. The Blending Solution is formulated to dilute and lighten the AI’s vibrant tones. Plus, it is great for lightening and blending the AI colors and it will help remove the colors from slick surfaces, hands and art tools.
Blending Tools:  Something like a ball tool
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Something to paint on
 
Non Porous items:
We started with tiles. You can get them at the hardware store for like .17 cents a tile! PLUS, if you make a mess or something didn’t work out, you can clean it right off!
There is paper out there called Yupo paper, which is essentially, plastic paper.
Also, dominoes, glass, metal, ceramic and lots more!
You can also paint on some porous mediums, however, we haven’t even attempted that…so, stay tuned
Paint Brushes
Latex Gloves (the inks stain)
A Palette 
Cotton Balls
Q-tips 
Toothpicks
Straws and/or Canned Air
This is by no means a full list of items you (need) want, but it’s a great start. Also, we haven’t sealed our tiles yet, so we don’t have the 411 on sealing them, quite yet.
Here is a start to my latest project.
Step 1:
I cleaned off the tile with some IA, just to make sure it’s all good and not yucky from others handling it.
Step 2:
I used a White (if you are using a dark color, you will need a lighter color behind it to make it visible) and some Blending Solution and just moved it around to make some movement on the tile
Step 3:
I then added the Sunflower Yellow in drops and then added the Blending Solution and then also tilted it and used the canned air (gently) to make more definition where I wanted it.
I kept adding yellow and white until I was pleased with the coloring.
Then I added some Orange to the party and just kept working with the Blending Solution, the air and straw and even some of the alcohol.
This is where we stop today
Alcohol inks are an acid-free, highly-pigmented, and fast drying medium to be used on non-porous surfaces.
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*this post contains photos which are not mine, no copyright infringement meant*Disclaimer
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DK
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Me Monday: Anniversary, Pokemon and the Kiddo

I have to say, this past weekend was one of the best I have had in awhile. See, it was my anniversary; hubby and I have been married for 22 years. Which, when you look back on our years, it’s kind of amazing he has stuck with me. Between the illnesses, the stress of working three jobs and me just being a complete pain, he has truly honored the wedding vows; in sickness and in health, for worse or for better. Don’t get me wrong, he’s been a handful too! He has one of those faces, when he is listening to you, he looks like he’s about to explode: but he is the best father and grandfather and would move mountains for anyone in the family or friends.
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My son also came to visit!!! Whooo!!! There is something about a mother’s bond with her son(s), that’s truly amazing. He and I have been through a lot too and I am pleased to say, he turned out awesome! He has a great career (sometimes, I think he takes too much on himself), he is respectful, wears his heart on his sleeve and has really never given me a bad day! (OK, there was that one…two times)
Friday night we all (B, A and I) went out downtown and did some Pokemon Hunting. I know, it’s so last year (at least that’s what my niece tells me), but it gets me out of the house and A is one who will make me get out and walk. We have to battle and take over the gyms. Catch the little fellows and he is trying to teach me what he knows in just three days. I have battled and taken over more gyms this weekend and I know I can battle without him, but it’s the time spent with him that makes my heart full! B and Max went with us Friday night too and poor little Max hasn’t had one of the long walks in quite a few months, so after walking eight blocks he was one pooped pup! I was right there with him. EXhausted!
Saturday, we took A up to the Grand Mesa and out to Lands End. It was a balmy 45° and the wind was blowing around 10-15 mph; so, it was COLD! But the view from Lands End over the Grand Valley was awesome; while most of the Aspens have turned and lost their colors, the Scrub Oaks were beautiful! The lower part of the Mesa was filled with brilliant oranges and reds on both the Aspens and Scrub Oaks which made for a great time! I did see some wildlife this time and I did get a photo of them. Blue Jays and of course there were chipmunks too! A few couples were already up there and feeding them, so they were in hog heaven!
We stopped at a small shop called the AppleShed, in Cedaredge: they produce their own hard ciders and I have been told, the Carmel Apple is fantastic. Must be so, since they no longer had any in stock! So, the boys got to do a tasting and we walked out with some fantastic hard ciders. I don’t drink, but I did get some apple juice and man oh man, that is some smooth apple juice!! YUMMO!
Sunday was a day for just A and I and Pokies! We were out for four hours catching, battling and spinning (if you have no idea what Pokemon Go is, here is the link to check it out). Another two miles walked, out in the sunshine, and just taking in the cool fall air. Lunch was with family at Olive Garden. I love that place, but think their prices are just a smidge high!
And then…Game 5 of the World Series. No, I didn’t watch it. But B, A and Momma did! I listened and I have to say. GO ASTROS!
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My perfect weekend is going for a walk with my family in the park. I don’t think there’s anything better.
Anne Wojcicki

DK

Me Monday: My Favorite Pictures

Last year I decided I wanted to start taking pictures: you know, something other than just the phone kind?
Now, not knowing ANYTHING about Digital cameras, I sort of did some research on the different ones and decided I like the Nikon Coolpix l340. I wanted a point and shoot, this would do it. Once I started taking pictures, I wanted to take more of the sky, the moon and the stars, my little camera wouldn’t work for that. For my birthday, my son took me to the store and we “upgraded”, wanting just a bit more, but still within budget, I stayed with the Coolpix and choose the D500, in purple. Now, the kiddo wasn’t happy with the color choice, but I reminded him, it was my camera. So off we went.
Still isn’t exactly what I want; would love to have a DSLR, I really want to take pictures of the stars! For now, I totally love my little purple camera and it suits me just fine. I love it’s so compact, easy to use, not too heavy and takes great pictures.
I have found there are times I want to take pictures and I don’t have my camera with me. What to do, what to do? I use my camera on my phone; takes GREAT pictures (for a phone), always with me and compact.
Here are some of my very favorite pictures.
Moon Shots
 Moon shots are my favorite. It’s a mystery, it’s a force, it stays the same, but is always different.  The moon has been accused of causing craziness on a full moon; but did you also know it’s been blamed to increase ER visits (humans, cats and dogs), sexual activity, auto accidents, murder and suicide. While those may be myth or fact, I love the moon! It’s a calming force within me.

Sunsets and sunrises are the most beautiful time of the day. I see way more sunsets than sunrises, nothing like the sky saying Good Morning or Good Night!

Storm Clouds

These are all taken with my phone camera. The dark black one with the extreme white ones are my most funniest (and probably not such a smart idea). The black is like two seconds before the WHITE of the lightening. I could feel the electricity, see the lightening bolt and where it hit, just across the street to the left of the frame. I jumped and ran back into the house and into my hubby’s arms, where we both just laughed. It was AWESOME!

Flowers and Travel

I love taking photos of flowers, just as much as I do of the moon. This year I didn’t get as many rose photos as I usually do.

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.” …
— Ansel Adams

Me Monday: Crafts & Hobbies

Happy Monday!
Happy Fall!
Happy October!
Today is about me and crafting or rather me and crafting addictions.
I am kind of picky about the crafts I do. But then, you just never know.
I’ve always loved to decorate cakes. I started decorating when my youngest sister graduated high school and I got to make her cake. I had never had any instructions, just picked up the Wilton Yearbook and found what I wanted to do. Back then YouTube wasn’t around and quite frankly, I don’t have patience for YouTube. I would rather do a one on one with someone or a class to learn something new. I can’t ask YouTube questions and they can’t see what I am doing; right or wrong. Cakes were baked, frosting was made and I was going to have to do 50 Royal Icing roses. I had never done roses OR messed with RI. My grandma and I rolled up our sleeves (well, she got up on her stool to watch) and dug in. RI is tricky and if you don’t start out with it correctly made, it won’t work. Except, if you’re me and you just keep trying to fix it. 3/4 can of Royal Icing mix and 250 roses later, my wrist was swollen and in great pain (who knew RI got firmer and firmer with more mix AND more air?). But, I got it done. It wasn’t my best work, but it was my first cake.
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One of my last cakes I made after “quitting”
I continued with cake decorating; taking & teaching classes, making them for friends and family and finally running a cakery out of my house. I haven’t done many cakes since I had to quit in 2013 due to my health problems and I had a wedding cake that completely me shook me to my core. I was happy with it, but it wasn’t exactly like the bride wanted so I freaked out. I miss it, but then I look at all the new techniques and get a bit overwhelmed.
Next was ceramics. My mom did that when I was little and also thought it looked fun. I started out with the pieces you paint and not fire and moved onto the unfinished pieces. I really had a great time with those, but after a while, I decided it just wasn’t for me. I have one piece I love and still have.
At 42, I learned to knit (and crochet). It was something I had wanted to learn for some time, so I treated myself to knitting lessons. I now hold the world’s title for most “yarn explosions” and I can complete one kind of blanket and some scarves by knitting and washcloths and towels, with crocheting, that was nice years ago.
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I’ve also tried (very unsuccessfully) scrap-booking; I bought lots of fun stuff…with very little results.
Bottle cap jewelry/hair bows/key chains etc. I had a lot of fun with those. They got me through my surgeries. Gave me something to do. I now have about $500 in supplies and $1500 in finished caps!
Coloring; I love to color. It helps reduce my stress and let’s me think without having to pay attention to what I am doing.
Photography; I took this one slower, mainly because I didn’t have the money to purchase the camera I wanted. I received several gift cards for Christmas one year: The camera was on sale, with the GC’s I paid $90 for the camera, case and memory card. This your for my birthday, my son gave me an upgrade on my camera. My dream camera would be one I can take pictures of the moon, the stars and the skies! Mostly, the moon and stars!
And now, painting rocks. I have really kept myself in check cost wise and found, I still have a good time!
The moral of the story, if you don’t find your niche with one craft project or hobby, don’t be afraid to try again. Just don’t go out and blow your whole paycheck each week for supplies!
Go forth and CRAFT!
A young actor once asked me, What do you do between jobs? I said, Hobbies, hobbies, and more hobbies.
Robert Duvall
DK

Try it Thursday: Christmas in July

OK, I know it’s not July still, but I thought about doing Christmas in July too late. So, I will be doing some more random ones through the rest of the holiday season.
Today we do another tree. I already had the form so I was saving money. Right?
I found several different instructions and since I am working with a budget, I found I really liked the one with buttons. I LOVE to collect buttons, I have some of my grandfathers, some new ones, some from the store, but I had to purchase some gold(ish) ones for the look I wanted. I didn’t use any of the fancy buttons of my grandfathers, saving those for something else.
Off to the hobby store to find some gold or Christmasy buttons. B was in the car with me, in fact he was driving, so he also got the pleasure of taking me to the hobby store. I have to say, he is not one for the hobby stores, but he does make times fun. I’ve learned  to play WITH the shenanigans instead of against them. Usually we end up with lots of people laughing with us, which is better than laughing AT us…which that happens too.
Bruce
Yes, I LOVE going to the hobby store
Anywho Back on track.
I had my tree form, buttons, stick pins and glue gun.
Glue gun wasn’t in the project, however, when I got to pinning, there were gaps and instead of the pin heads on the teeny tiny buttons, I just glued them on.
Start from the bottom of the form and work your way up, I found it easier to use bigger buttons on the bottom and then different sizes on the way up. Make sure you secure the button with a stick pin (and maybe even a splash of hot glue). I choose the pin heads with a white pearl color instead of just a white; I wanted red, but didn’t find any. I found a small box of the pins for just $4.99 for 150, my buttons were on sale for 50% off (regular price was $5.99 for 32) for just $3.00; the cost of the tree, just about $10.
Randomly add your buttons all the way up, took me about 45 minutes to complete. May have taken just a little less if I hadn’t decided to hot glue a button to my finger. Yes, it stuck, yes it burned and yes, it blistered. I know, I know, I gave the PSA about using HOT glue guns, which makes this even worse to tell. Once I started, I thought of all kinds of other things I could do to this, but I just didn’t have the buttons I really wanted.
Since I had a Christmas back drop, I took a “family” photo of the trees
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Hope you enjoyed the Tree Series. Next week, Peaches!!! It’s harvest time!
“The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort towards wholeness.”
― Madeleine L’Engle,
DK

Coming July 6th! Try It Thursday

Ever wanted to try a new recipe? A new pattern? A new hobby? A new product?

Here on Thursday’s I will be doing just that! Starting July 6th, I will be adding to the schedule, Try It Thursday. Suggestions are welcome!

See you then!

Deni