Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Play Day with Alcohol Inks

2 friends and I have a bit of a tradition of having Play Days for our birthdays....most recently we made paper mache tea cups. I shared mine HERE. On a recent Saturday we got together again, and the first thing we did was share our completed ones :
This time the birthday girl's choice was to have fun with alcohol inks. We set up
and then started with some simple monoprinting on photo paper
These make lovely backgrounds which may be doodled upon or stamped : 
Then we tried a technique which I've been dying to try for ages : blowing alcohol inks with a straw. See a video on YouTube for blowing patterns onto transparencies HERE. This was my first try on photo paper ( I think I put the blending solution on the surface before I dropped the ink) - also note the cool underpaper from the previous monoprinting :-)
and it didn't seem to be enough to do just one....
And here's what I did on the transparency - this was just a little one
but it was so much fun I decided bigger must be better - so hard to stop!....
I'd also seen this blog post where CeeCee had used this technique on vellum, so I figured it would work on Tracing paper
and it did
It was also cool on glossy cardstock
There was a fun effect that Zsuzsa had shared on her blog HERE. She dropped the inks over stencils and then removed them once dry. We tried this first on vellum : We used paper cut-outs as stencils, and also dripped some blending solution to encourage the ink to move (we may have used the straw as well to help move the ink around - just for fun!)
And then on a transparency - which I didn't think was quite as pretty
but note the piece of ceramic tile in the first photo that I'd pressed on top to get some of the excess ink - I finished it off with some copic markers and it now rests on the sill by my art desk (it's my word for 2016)
This post talks more about ceramic tiles and making coasters for gifts.
This next technique is also using a transparency - go HERE for the instructions. You need to alcohol inky up your transparency/acetate, then stamp on it with archival ink. 
Once dry, you can rub the ink off for a very cool ghostly effect 
When the play day is finished, you have all these cool 'bits' that you can add to your journal
or turn into cards
and keep a stash to add a certain "something special" to future projects :-) Even the under papers are cool - as a background in your journal
or for card making as seen in my previous post
I really encourage you to get at least one person or a small group together to play with some art supplies. In my experience, I am far more likely to push myself to try something different, and in a group setting it's much easier to laugh at the things that don't turn out, to move onto something else instead of getting discouraged, and to learn from others by seeing what they're doing.
We've also had a play day where we used alcohol inks to colour metal. Check that out HERE
And although there's not been much time for art, I continue to capture my life with photos and add them to my journal
If you look back at the last few posts you'll see the Mothers' Day card, the bereavement cards, and the background under paper photographed above is in the bottom left hand corner. Click on any of the photos to see them larger. You can see my Flickr album with all my daily journaling spreads HERE. 


  1. Super effects! I really like what you did on the vellum surface. It looks so dreamy! The resist technique on the transparency is fantastic as well! I haven't played with my alcohol inks since I wrote that post - thanks for linking it! :) You ladies must have had the time of your lives just playing together!

  2. Thanks Zsuzsa - posted late last night - I was going to warn you that you were featuring :-) We had a great time indeed - my birthday's in June so I'll have to decide what we're going to play with next....

  3. How about polymer clay? I really want to make one of these one day!
    Happy birthday for June!

  4. I've tried that too! You should definitely have a go :

  5. those are awesome! I'm glad you shared the link with me.


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