Monday, 30 November 2020

Happy Smiles and Twinkling Eyes...

Happy Monday friends...

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and as the brand new week starts, it's time for the new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and this week our theme is all about ALCOHOL INKS and if you'd like to play along, then all you need to do is get out those beautiful inks and start playing!

For my project, I chose to create an alcohol inked background on an Etcetera Tag but I wanted to use the card in a slightly different way this week, so inspired by a recent Tim Holtz Facebook Live, I created a patchwork effect by cutting the inked panel into pieces using the Tim Holtz Stacked Tile Hexagon die from Sizzix. And the alcohol ink fun doesn't stop there because I also used a selection to colour my gorgeous little baubles, something that by now, you might have noticed I absolutely LOVE in Tim's range ~ to be honest, I think maybe can find a use for them in so many different ways on a plethora of projects. But for this particular one, it's all about Christmas and I used them in a traditional way, a cluster of baubles, cascading around the feet of these two adorable little children, who are all dressed up ready for the big day, waiting for Santa to arrive!

So, let's get started and here's how I created my mini sized etcetera tag with an alcohol inked background and two little girls, with happy smiles and twinkling eyes.

To begin with I prepped my mini etcetera tag and for this I primed the surface of the tag using gesso. Once the medium is dry, I then started adding colour and texture and applied a layer of Speckled Egg Distress Paint over the gessoed surface. I then dried it before adding the next layer of paint, and for this I used a palette knife to scrape gesso over random areas of the painted surface, still allowing the majority of the blue paint to show through. Allow for this to dry, before then applying another layer to add the texture and for this I used, Distress Crackle Paste. Again, I used a palette knife to apply the paste over random areas of the tag and then once the cracks have appeared and the paste is set, I took my Walnut Stain Distress Crayon and applied it around the edge of the tag and over the crackle pasted areas. I then took a semi damp paint brush and blended the crayon into the cracks, wiping away any excess or areas where it became too dark, or the blue wasn't shining through.

To complete the tag, I painted the hole reinforcer piece with a combination of Walnut Stain and Antiqued Bronze paint and attached it over the hole at the top.

The tag is now ready and I moved onto having some fun with the alcohol inks.

For my inked panel I used Heavyweight Yupo card and inked it with a selection of colours:

Moss, Slate, Gilded Alloy, Aqua, Monsoon and Turquoise mixed with Alcohol Ink Blending Solution.

I applied the inks to my Yupo card, let them do their thing but in some areas I blended them and softened the overall look with a AI Applicator Tool. Once I was happy with the blend, I used the Stacked Hexagon Thinlits Die set to die cut a selection of various sized hexagons.

I then attached each hexagonal panel onto my painted tag with Matte Collage Medium, leaving some empty space top and bottom.

To add shading around each hexagon, I used Black Soot Distress Marker Pen ~ blending out any harsh lines with a damp paint brush.

Whilst you still have the alcohol inks on my desk, I started adding colour to the baubles and used the following inks for this:

Pink Sherbet, Pool, Gilded, Foundry and Citrus

Just as Tim has shown on his FB live, I place the baubles into lidded containers or little sealed bags, add the ink and then shake them around to give them a good coverage. I then apply a small amount of Mushroom alcohol ink to create more of a vintage feel.

Now to start building the scene and I began with my ledge, using the medium sized, deepest Bracket Etcetera Trim and the same length pinked trim, but this time using the one that is slightly less deep than the bracket.

I painted each with a coat of gesso and once dry, added some Crackle Paste over the surface.

Allow for the paste to do it's thing and for the crackles to appear before applying a touch of Walnut Stain Distress Crayon over the top to accentuate the crackles.

Attach the bracket trim directly onto the tag, placing it with the point facing down and then attach the pinked trim at a 90 degree angle to form the ledge.

Add some Hardware Heads, painted with Picket Fence Distress Paint to the Bracket Trim and directly beneath the trim, I added a strip of Design Tape from the Christmas Trim tape set and stuck this across the bottom of my tag.

I then set this to one side to dry and set and whilst this is happening, I coloured my adorable Christmas Paper Dolls. I used these cute twosome and coloured them using a paintbrush, and Distress Crayons. In each hand the little girls are holding wands and I wanted to add a touch of sparkle, so I used some die cut stars that I cut from gold kraft card using the Falling Stars Thinlits die set, (you will also need a few more to add to the background) and then I attached two of the tiny stars to the wands, applied a smidge of collage medium and sprinkled some Vintage Platinum Glitter over the top.

After attaching my little girls to the tag, using foam pads for support and dimension, I then added some Grit Paste around the base of their feet, applying this directly to the ledge before arranging my coloured baubles. Each bauble is fixed into place using Matte Collage Medium and adding them one at a time.

You will need the baubles to be set into place before going anywhere near the project but once the medium is dry, I added a touch of frosty sparkle by smearing some collage medium onto the ledge, and baubles and then sprinkling some mica flakes over the top.

We're nearly there and all that's left is to add the remaining die cut gold stars that cascade across the top section of the tag and then add the little plaque to the top right hand corner.

I took the 'Compliments of the Season" from the Snippets Ephemera set and matted it onto gold card. I then attached this to my tag using foam pads for added dimension. I surrounded the plaque with some die cut foliage that I cut from card inked with Rustic Wilderness and Peeled Paint using the Holiday Greens Die Set.

To add some frostiness to the foliage, I rubbed a smidge of collage medium over the foliage and dipped each piece into Rock Candy Distress Glitter before attaching the foliage to my tag. I finished with a couple more die cut stars, that I glittered in the same way as I glittered the wands.

Finally, I coloured some crinkle ribbon with the gorgeous new Rustic Wilderness Oxide Spray, and Speckled Egg and Antique Linen Distress Stain and attached this through the hole in my tag.

...and that completes my project for this week and shows you a couple of ways of how you can use Alcohol Ink. As always, if you're inspired by anything that I create, then please don't hesitate to contact me through any of my social media or here on the blog, and I will pop by to take a look.

Don't forget that every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $25 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp and you can join in up to 5 times, which means you could have 5 chances to winYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today ~ stay safe and well, and see you again soon.
Love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:

Distress Paint: Picket Fence, Speckled Egg, Walnut Stain, Antiqued Bronze
Distress Crayon: Walnut Stain
Distress Crayons for colouring paper dolls


  1. This is too pretty to give away! Your work is so beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your techniques.

  2. This is too pretty to give away! Your work is so beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your techniques.

  3. This is just magical! You have a wonderful imagination and you put in small touches that are just right. This tag makes me happy.

  4. I swear this is the MOST beautiful tag ever. The coloring is so beautiful and the tiny gold stars are GENIUS. I had to come here to figure out how you created them!! I just love this.

  5. Wow! I wish I could make a tag like that:)

  6. I am in love with this beautiful piece. How did you color the baubles? or where could I purchase them? BTW..I so enjoy your creativity!

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment and kind always makes my day to read them! The bauble are all coloured using various alcohol inks ~ I just place the baubles in a lidded container, add a couple of drops of the inks, give them a shake and then tip them out onto a paper towel before using them! Hope that helps... Emma x

  7. This is just wonderful! I can't quite figure out how you did that little ledge, which I love! I have been trying to figure out how to make little vignettes out of small canvases but can't figure out how to make a ledge for things to sit on. I love all the different techniques you used! This little tag is just a great work of art!

    1. Hi Jan...
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment and sweet words about my work, it means a lot to me and I appreciate your visit! :)

      Over the years, I've created numerous projects using ledges and once you've done one, I warn won't be able to stop! I will try and do a tutorial in the coming weeks showing you how I make them and fix the ledges onto the projects so you can add things to sit on them but it's really easy. Thy way that I do it, is to create a right angle using two flat pieces of chipboard, wood or Stampers Anonymous Etcetera trims and I attach these with a line of Tim's Matte collage medium to adhere them into place ~ forming the ledge and that right angle shelf that you see. Once they are secure, I then add them to my project, again using Matte Collage Medium! Hope that helps and I will try and do something in detail for you to follow! xo


Thank you for all your comments and messages, they are all appreciated and I hope you'll come back and visit again soon...
Emma ~xx

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