Learn To Make This “Happiness Is..” Cats Handmade Card

by Iris Rodriguez

Learn To Make This "Happiness Is.." Cats Handmade Card

This card was inspired by my cat. An awesome, adorable orange tabby named O’Malley. If you first looked at the picture of this card and noticed the sentiment “happiness is…” and your answer was orange tabbies; that is the right answer, of course, lol! I made this card in a monochromatic style by inking spots of yellow and orange Memento inks, then added a layer of Orange Zest StazOn Studio Glaze. The glaze covers the paper with a nice vibrant, translucent color. I find that it unifies the background nicely. Perfect for my unified looking orange cats card.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 30 minutes

Directions


Step 1

Ink random spots of the Dandelion then the Cantaloupe Memento inks with the Inkblusher.


Step 2

Ink random spots of Tangelo then Lady Bug Memento inks with the Inkblusher.


Step 3

Squeeze a line of the Orange Zest StazOn Studio Glaze. Using a plastic scraper or an old credit scrape the glaze across the paper.


Step 4

After painting and inking the background, stamp the sentiment; cut to the desired size and assemble card.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Cardstock paper
  • Laurel Burch Rubber Stamp – Whiskers
  • Crackerbox and Suzy Stamps – Happiness Is

Color of the Month is Peacock Feathers

Color of the Month for March is Peacock Feathers! We love this bright teal color and feel it is the perfect color to kick off the spring season. Not quite green, not quite blue, we really feel teal is in its own color category. Along with this beautiful color hitting your eyes all month long, we are featuring a whole new ink line to be announced this Tuesday, March 5th, 2019. So stay tuned for that super fun announcement!

In the meantime, we have a couple of inkpad brands to recommend to add to your teal collection. Try VersaFine Clair in Warm Breeze. It is a beautiful solid stamping ink and will look great for block printing or large surface coverage. If you need a beautiful ink for blending try VersaMagic in Turquoise Gem. The heavy pigment load and long open time are perfect for blending across a background. If you enjoy working with fabric projects then try the Fabrico Marker in Tropical Lagoon.

We hope you try some of these inks, in the meantime here are some sneak peeks for March

Mermaid Tin by Roni Johnson 

sneak-peak-mar 2019-iris

Bird Stencilled Card by Iris Rodriguez

Stay tuned for the New Product Announcement on Tuesday!

Learn How To Create A Sgraffito Style Clay Bowls

by Iris Rodriguez

Learn How To Create A Sgraffito Style Clay Bowls and All Purpose Ink

Sgraffito (an Italian word meaning “to scratch”) is a decorating pottery technique produced by applying color to clay then scratching off parts of the clay when it is leather hard, creating contrasting images, patterns, and texture that reveal the clay color underneath. This technique has been around since around the 15th century. For this project, we’ll follow in the footsteps of potters in making sgraffito bowls (minus kilns or firing glazes). Instead, the bowls are made with store-bought air dry clay that is similar in texture and behavior as ceramic earthenware clay and Tsukineko’s All-Purpose Ink.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1 hour to make the bowls, 2 days total for bowls to air dry

Directions

For this project, I used Activa Plus clay. I like this clay because it’s similar and behaves like earthenware ceramics clay, ideal for sgrafitto. This clay is fine, moist, malleable, firm, but not hard.
Step 1

First, let’s talk clay. For this project, I used Activa Plus clay. I like this clay because it’s similar and behaves like earthenware ceramics clay, ideal for sgrafitto. This clay is fine, moist, malleable, firm, but not hard. Keep it moist by spraying a little water. Adding water also makes it softer. When the clay is wet, it is beige like color, and when dry it turns off white color. Imagine’s All-Purpose ink is ideal because it’s a lightweight, but highly pigmented ink and the clay is porous, which, allows the ink to seep through. It clay air dries. The rate that it dries will depend on the thickness of the project and room temperature. The drier the room, the faster it dries.

You can use a roller used roll out dough or use a clay roller.
Step 2

Roll out a sheet of clay. You can use a roller used roll out dough or use a clay roller.


Step 3

The clay is usually very smooth when it’s rolled out. If it is not, then smooth out the clay with your fingers, clay scraper or wet sponge.


Step 4

Using a stylus, draw out the desired shape. Use a template or other item you can place over the clay and trace. If you change mind, remove the line by smoothing out the clay.


Step 5

Using a clay needle tool or knife, cut out the shape. Smooth out the edges with your fingers. Also cut out a small piece of clay, as a test sample.


Step 6

Using a stylus, lightly draw your images. If you change your mind, erase it, by smoothing out the clay.

Paint the clay with the Thyme All-Purpose ink
Step 7

Paint the clay with the Thyme All-Purpose ink. Use a soft brush, so that you don’t get brush strokes. Also, paint the clay sample. I like painting the clay while it’s wet, because this clay is very porous, the paint seeps in nicely into the clay.

Paint the clay with the Thyme All-Purpose ink
Step 8

Place the clay bowl into a real bowl or other object and allow it dry. It will take on the shape of the object. Let dry for 8-12 hours, but no more than 12 hours. The rate of dryness will vary on humidity and dryness. The drier the room or if placed in the sun, the faster it dries. Test your sample clay by carving into it. If you can carve without the clay distorting or dragging; the shaving is coming off cleanly, then you are ready to carve.


Step 9

Carve out the image that you drew earlier with clay carving tools or carving tools used to carve rubber stamps. I tried both and found both works well. Do not wipe off the clay crumbs with your fingers, only wipe off with a dry, clean paintbrush. This prevents from accidentally distorting the clay, or break off unwanted pieces of clay.


Step 10

After carving the images, allow the bowls to dry for another full day. Test by looking at the natural clay color; it will turn an off-white when dry. Also, if the clay feels cold then it’s still wet. It’s important to seal the bowls with spray sealers, or brush on sealers like polyurethane. The sealer protects the ink and clay from liquids, dust or other particles and looks nice and finished.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Activa Plus Self Hardening Clay – White
  • Clay carving tools or rubber stamp carving tools
  • Sealer (spray, or polyurethane)

See How to Create a Journal Cover with Walnut Crystals

by Iris Rodriguez

“Bloom where you are planted” is a phrase that means to make the best of our situation…a theme for my art journal page this month. For this journal page, I used Imagine’s Walnut Ink Crystals, which I find to be absolutely fabulous. Use them to create mottled, scumbled, drippy, sprinkly, watercolored painterly effects. Use this effect as a background or paint images with these effects. It plays well with other inks.

Skill: Advanced
Time: 1.5 Hours

Directions


Step 1

Begin by stamping and embossing with Imagine’s white embossing powder. I was going for a theme of rulers and flowers, denoting growing and blooming.


Step 2

Spray the paper with a little water in random areas. Sprinkle the Walnut Ink Crystals, they look like coffee grinds. Spray more water in random areas, to allow the crystals to dissolve more than others. To color in sections, use a paintbrush to color.


Step 3

Techniques for varying the look of the Walnut Ink Crystals. Leave crystals as is, spray more water on some areas, for a watercolored look-paint with a brush, hold the paper up and spray water on the top of the paper and allow the ink to drip down. Allow the paper to completely dry.


Step 4

Add a different, but contrasting color. Place a few drops of Tropical Lagoon All-Purpose Ink on your surface, spray a little water into the ink. Brush the ink in random areas. Spray water and allow the ink to drip. Allow the paper to completely dry.


Step 5

Touch up areas with the walnut ink with a brush. Dissolve a few crystals completely in water to make a solid ink solution. I like to scumble ink in areas, making it look, a little like soil. Allow the paper to completely dry.

Step 6

Using white acrylic paint and Imagine’s Jumbo Dauber, stencil in flowers in random sections. Wash the dauber right away. Allow the paint to dry completely.


Step 7

Place the stencils over the same flowers that were just stenciled with the acrylic paint and color in the flowers by inking with pad directly or using InkBlushers.


Step 8

Vary the look by blending several color inks. Color the flower’s outline with a white Posca pen. Add a sentiment and you’re done.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Watercolor paper 9 x 12 inches
  • Carabelle Studio – Steampunk Metre stamp
  • Flower stencils
  • White acrylic paint
  • Posca pen-white (fine)

Show Your Love With a Mixed Media Wall Hanging

by Iris Rodriguez

Wooden wall hanging with a your are loved sentiment on a flying clay heart made with Tsukineko and Imagine color products.

This “You are Loved” stamp inspired this whole piece. Made me think of those around us that you love and think about every day. Then you think if they are happy, sad or going through a tough time. You so badly want them to know that no matter what is going on, they are loved. Send them a reminder this with wall hanging made using a wooden substrate with embellishments. Wanted to make a custom-made heart to fit the stamp; made it from polymer clay. The wooden substrate is treated with Walnut inks. Check out how this project is made.

Skill: Advanced
Time: 1.5 Hours

Directions


Step 1

Begin by selecting wooden untreated cradled board (shadowbox like frame) or other substrate that is made of untreated but finished wood.


Step 2

Using the palette knife and Iridescent Turquoise Creative medium stencil a background onto the board. On a light surface, the Creative Medium appears as an almost translucent off white. Allow the medium to completely dry.


Step 3

Spray on a layer of the Terra Cotta Walnut Ink, completely covering the substrate. Allow this layer to completely dry. Spray the Walnut Ink on random sections. Allow this layer to completely dry.


Step 4

To protect the ink from humidity in the wood, seal substrate with Varathane Polyurethane by brushing on a thin layer. One layer will suffice. It has a nice soft finish and will not alter the surface and comes in matte, satin and gloss.


Step 5

While the substrate dries, work on the embellishments. Begin by working on the heart. Stamp the sentiment on a plain piece of cardstock paper.


Step 6

Draw a heart shape. Do not worry if it’s not perfect; we’ll work on that later. This so you get an idea how big the heart will be.


Step 7

Fold the paper down the center of the heart. Cut along the heart line. You will end up with an even heart shape and a template to cut out the clay.


Step 8

Take the clay out of the package. Condition the clay in a pasta machine or use a roller. Roll out a sheet of clay to about 4 mm.


Step 9

Place the template over the clay and cut out the clay using a clay needle tool or knife. An alternative to using a template is to sculpt the heart or use a heart shaped cutter.


Step 10

Smooth out the edges and any other areas.


Step 11

Ink the stamp using Nocturne VersaFine CLAIR and stamp into the clay. Do use an acrylic block. Before stamping, clean up any ink that may have gotten onto outside the image, this will stain the clay. Press down evenly and firmly into the clay with your fingers. Ensure that your stamp is deep. Pigment and StazOn inks work best on polymer clay. If you get ink outside the stamped image, clean up with fingers right away or dab with a clean cloth into a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol and clean the clay. Use it sparingly, if you use too much, it makes the clay soft and sticky.Bake the clay according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the package.


Step 12

Ink the heart with the Ruby Red Delicata and ink the edges with the Tuxedo Black Memento Luxe ink. It really makes the heart vibrant and gives a sense of dimension. Heat set the ink with a heating tool or throw back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Seal the heart using a polymer clay sealer or polyurethane, the same one used to seal the substrate.


Step 13

Add the chipboard or other embellishments. Figure out placement; cut the chipboard to ensure fit.


Step 14

Color the chipboard pieces using white gesso using a sponge. The gesso will allow the ink to better adhere, plus you’ll get the inks true colors.


Step 15

Ink the butterfly wings using the Turquoise Gem VersaMagic ink. Heat set with a heating tool. Then ink with the Golden Glitz Delicata ink. Heat set with a heating tool. Add two layers of the Shimmer irRESISTible Pico Embellisher. This gives the wings dimension.


Step 16

Ink the rest of the chipboard embellishments using the Rocket Red Gold Brilliance ink. Heat set with a heating tool. Then ink with the Golden Glitz Delicata ink. Heat set the ink with a heating tool. By adding a darker, reddish color as a foundation really make the gold stand out. In the end, you will see more gold. Add two layers of the Gold irRESISTible Pico Embellisher. This gives the embellishment dimension.
All the pieces are done. Simply glue the pieces onto the substrate.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Ampersand cradled wood board – 6×6 inches
  • Crackerbox and Suzy Stamps – You are Loved
  • Creative Embellishments chipboards – Circle Doodles frames; Flourish #12; Monarch Butterfly set
  • Sculpey Souffle – Cherry Pie (red)
  • Clay tools – roller, needle tool, knife
  • Varathane (indoor water based Polyurethane)

Learn How To Color Glass For A Valentines Gift

by Iris Rodriguez

The idea of sending a message in a bottle has been around since 310 B.C. The Greek philosopher Theophrastus used to plop sealed bottles in the sea to prove that the Mediterranean was formed by the inflowing Atlantic. In the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I of England believed that some bottles might contain secret messages sent home by British spies or fleet. As a result, she appointed an “Uncorker of Ocean Bottles”; making it a capital crime for anyone else to open one.

Today the idea of message in a bottle is more of fun romantic notion, thanks to literature and Hollywood movies. Show some love with this heart shaped glass bottle containing a custom stamped message, on a ribbon, using StazOn ink. Embellish the bottle with StazOn Studio Glaze and other adornments.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1 Hour

Directions


Step 1

Begin by selecting a heart shaped bottle. I found this wonderful bottle at my local craft store. Working on glass can be a little tricky. For instance, getting some things to stick, getting an even texture (e.g. brush strokes) and color. It helps to prime the glass. For this project the glass is primed with on GlazOn. It is added to the glass; and in between the StazOn Studio Glaze layers. The Studio Glaze is a pigment ink medium. Start by brushing the GlazeOn onto the bottle. Brush using a crosshatch pattern; create X patterns without washing the brush. By doing a crosshatch pattern, allows you build up the GlazeOn evenly and eliminates brushstrokes. Brush on a section at a time. Let the glass dry completely. This product dries fast. Wash your brush in water right away. Dry the brush before using with the GlazeOn again. If you have water, it will active the GlazeOn or Studio Glaze and you will remove any medium you may have on the glass and get uneven surface.


Step 2

Squeeze out a small drop of the St. Valentine Studio Glaze on your grey craft mat. Using an Inkblusher sponge on the StazOn Studio Glaze, sponge one section at a time. Only place a few drops of the Studio Glaze at a time, then sponge. To increase color intensity, keep adding layers. Sponge one layer at a time, and allow each layer to completely dry. Brush on a thin layer of the GlazeOn in a crosshatch pattern. Ensure your brush is dry. Allow this layer to completely dry.


Step 3

Sponge on the Jet Black StazOn Studio Glaze on the sides and bottom of the heart. This adds dimension and interest. Allow the layer to completely dry. Brush on a thin layer of the GlazeOn in a crosshatch pattern. Ensure that the brush is dry. Allow this layer to completely dry.


Step 4

Squeeze a few drops of the Shimmer IrRESISTible Pico Embellisher, then sponge. This gives the bottle a slight shimmer. If not adding the Shimmer brush on a final layer of GlazeOn. Allow the layer to completely dry.


Step 5

The bottle is complete at this point. For added measure, once all layers have dried, seal the glass with a final sealer to protect the beautiful finish. Brush on a thin layer of Indoor water based Polyurethane. Any brand will do. Polyurethane is great for sealing art work on just about any surface. It comes in matte, satin, and gloss. It has a nice strong, but soft finish (does not have that plastic feel, looks natural.


Step 6

Stamp the message on the ribbon. This can be done while you wait for the products to dry on the glass. First a little about ribbons. Recommend using a Grosgrain ribbon. I tried stamping on satin and polyester ribbons, but the ink bled. The Grosgrain ribbon performed better due to its design; it’s heavy and tightly woven. This type of ribbon is widely available and comes in many colors and widths. Choose a size that will fit your alphabet stamps. I liked the one inch ribbon; it filled up the glass nicely and it fit my larger alphabet stamps as well.

This sounds silly to even say it, but before you begin to stamp your message, write it out on a piece of paper. There is something about concentrating on the stamping that makes you miss a letter here and there, if you’re not careful. You don’t want to send the wrong message (pun intended, lol!). Stamp the message while the ribbon is on the roll, you don’t know exactly how much ribbon your will need. Cut the ribbon after you finish stamping the message; leave a little extra ribbon at the end of the message.Singe the end of the ribbon with a cigarette lighter or it will unravel over time. The ribbon is flammable; singe by quickly running a cigarette lighter across the edge.


Step 7

Using heavy clear glue, adhere the ribbon to the center of the cork. Glue about ¼ inch of the ribbon.


Step 8

Allow the glue to dry. Use a piece of piece of tape or place something light on the cork to hold it in place while the glue dries.


Step 9

Place the cork and ribbon in the bottle and embellish.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Heart shaped glass bottle
  • Embellishments
  • Grosgrain red ribbon- between ½ to 1 inch width
  • Alphabet rubber stamp
  • Varathane indoor water based Polyurathane