Alcohol Inks | How To’sday

So summer blahs have set in and you’re looking for something new to add a little zest to your crafting? Why not put today’s alcohol inks tutorial by Charissa Miller to the test? I admit, I’ve never used alcohol inks but the agate technique looks particularly intriguing and fun!

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One of my favorite things to do with alcohol inks is to create full backgrounds for cards with the Alcohol Ink Agate Technique. This technique creates a multicolored, multi-dimensional, beautifully colored background that can have the feel of agate stone or a gorgeous sunset.

You’ll need glossy paper for this technique to work. Don’t use photo paper or cardstock as it will just dry into a muddy mess of not cute! Use a glossy paper intended for inking/crafting. You’ll also need an inking tool and a felt pad to add to it. This felt is a one-time use only because alcohol inks are flammable and you do NOT want to store a bunch of felts that could combust. Finally, you need tp pick out your colors. You can use as many colors as you want, but I tend to stick to 3-5 colors so all the colors show.

The alcohol inks line also has what are called Mixatives—these are metallic, pearl, black or white pigments that add opaque (alcohol inks are translucent) patches to your design. I love adding the gold or silver to give some shine. Only use a TINY amount of the mixative though, or it could overwhelm and block out your actual alcohol ink colors.

To get started, take your inking tool and squeeze out a small amount of ink onto the felt. You only want a single spot of each color to ensure that you do not end up with too much of one color. Once you have all of your colors, add a tiny amount of mixative, if desired.

Next, dab the ink tool over your paper. Don’t swirl, blend, or move the felt while on the paper, just pick up and dab, pick up and dab. Turn the tool before each dab so you apply the color in a different pattern and don’t end up with a repeat pattern.  The ink will dry within seconds so you don’t have to worry about smearing it.

Once you have your base layer you can add more colors (including new ones) by adding more ink to the felt. You can make a color lighter by putting a dot on your felt and then squirting blending solution on top. You can also lighten the entire background by applying some alcohol blending solution to your felt and dabbing that on your paper.  It may go through a couple ugly stages, but just keep working it and it will turn out beautiful.

Here is an ugly stage:

Here is the completed background:

If you’d like to stamp over you design, use an ink that can dry onto the slick glossy surface.  I prefer Archival Ink because it dries on the glossy surface and easily shows over the background color.  I use it in black, but any color could work.

And this is the completed card:

Here are a few cards and backgrounds made with the Alcohol Ink Agate technique.

Hope this inspires you to give alcohol inks a try.  They definitely are a lot of fun!

Fiskars Everywhere Punch Window System | Monday Card Madness #95

I’m sure hope I’m not the only one that sometimes gets crafty-lazy. The thought of making windows by carefully making cuts with my paper trimmer or plotting exact measurements on my Silhouette kind of makes my brain wiggle.  With today’s steal, the brilliant Fiskars Everywhere Punch Window System, that’s no problem. With a simple 1-2-3 you can punch that window wherever you want! Better yet, it takes up hardly any space and is perfect for projects on the go.

I decided that I wanted to show how the punch system could work for a series of windows, so I used the fun flower punch to create this tri-flower window card.

I then used the square punch and created a similar card. You might notice how adding a few pop dots behind the window panel makes the card rich with dimension.

I then thought how cute it would be to use the flower punch around the edge of a piece of paper as sort of a “chomp”. Because I couldn’t come up with a cute “chomp” type sentiment it sort of morphed into this unique congrats card. I kind of like how it turned out!

The time has finally come to announce the winner of the Operation Write Home prize package sponsored by We R Memory Keepers. Deborah Johnson, you are the lucky lady that will be receiving an amazing Red White and Blue stack pack! Please email our service department at and let them know that you’re the winner of the Operation Write Home prize package and we will be happy to get shipment arranged for you!

I just want to say thanks again to any and all that participated in the Operation Write Home program and hopefully we all did our part in helping We R Memory Keepers reach their goal of collecting 50,000 cards!

Don’t forget that the month is nearly over and you have until Friday at 11:59 MST in order to create and post a card in order to be eligible for this month’s Monday Card Madness drawing. Wow. Where has the summer gone?

Have a lovely day and be sure to check in tomorrow for How To’sday!

American Crafts Flower Shoppe

Are you ready for another amazing Design Team Friday project? I sure hope so! Today Regina Mangum takes the stage in a bounty of blossoms as she makes today’s steal, American Crafts Flower Shoppe, flourish with fabulousness!

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I got to play with a plethora of posies from the American Crafts Flower Shoppe line of decorative flowers and I am so glad I get to share them with you for my first official design team post! These flowers are stunning and the colors range from bright and fun to soft and subtle.

I love trying to keep up with my rugrat’s scrapbook when I can, but I have to admit that when I saw all the flowers I didn’t think I could really incorporate them into a page for a boy. But I remembered a recent trip to a very cool garden, and one particular photo I loved. I had been meaning to scrap it and wondered if they would go together—and I was glad I paired them up!

I used the largest of the decorative flowers and these blooms turned out to be just perfect to help me create a “frame” for my photo. I didn’t do it here, but the pearls on the flowers are actually removable brads and can be replaced with something else if desired.

Next, I created a sweet and simple little canvas bag “no sew” project. I simply adhered some ribbon onto the bag with some scor-tape, adhered the cute flowers in rows with glue dots, and voila! I have a nice little bag large enough to hold a water bottle or some necessities.

Lastly, I created a clean and simple card using some bright and fun patterned paper. This quick and easy card is bright and cheery. I simply pierced lines below each bloom to create stems. Easy-peasy, yes?

I hope you enjoyed my Flower Shoppe projects today as much as I enjoyed creating them. Thanks so much to and Kristy and Brittany for giving me this wonderful chance to create with such a terrific product!

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Regina—amazing. I simply adore how you added the flowers to a “boy” page. Having two boys after three girls I’m always finding myself adding a little floral fun to my boy pages. Yours is true perfection!

I hope you all have an amazing weekend! Hope you also find some time to get scrappy. :)

Kiwi Lane Designs Gift Card Giveaway!

At Kiwi Lane they think photos are the most important part of a scrapbook layout — that’s what tells the story! Their products help you do just that in new creative new ways. Create a gorgeous, unique layout in no time, layering paper like a pro. Looking for inspiration? You can find tons of inspiration over at Kiwi Lane Designs. They post new tutorials often, and have a full gallery of all their samples on their website as well. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for lots of inspiring layout ideas.

Two lucky winners will receive $25 gift cards to shop Kiwi Lane’s line!

To enter, head on over to their Youtube channel tell us what you like about Kiwi Lane’s framing concept by entering {this form}.

Contest ends Friday, July 27, 2012 at 11:59pm MT. Winner announced upon notification and will be chosen with The contact information you provide will not be shared and will only be used to notify winners. Click here to read our full privacy notice. Winnings are not for resale. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Participation open to U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years or older. One entry per person.

Kiwi Lane Designs Borders and Accessories | Mid Week Mojo

Pearl – Layout 3

Gosh, it’s great to be back Mid Week Mojo’n with you all! I’m thrilled that I get to work with the Kiwi Lane Designs Borders and Accessories.  My passion for paper crafting was rejuvenated when I was introduced to Kiwi Lane Designs. Combine that with how honored I am to be part of their 2012 design team and I’m pretty much giddy to be sharing my creations!

I recently returned from teaching a class at the Craft and Hobby Association show in Chicago. My class ended early in the morning so I had the rest of the day to hang out with a few of the lovely ladies that helped me in my class. We pulled up our tourist britches, jumped on the train, and spent the rest of the afternoon exploring downtown Chicago.

I love how today’s steal, the Kiwi Lane Designer Templates, works to create a layout in a snap! I’m crazy in love with the brackets and tags templates and use them often.

I love how perfectly the bracket templates work for a journaling block on the go. I created this layout last weekend at a crop and it was so nice to be able to create a perfect bracket without lugging around an electronic die cutting machine.

One of my favorite techniques with the smaller templates is to cut out paper and then fold them into a unique fringe. Each different template gives you a completely new look!

Of course, the tags make perfect banners. I simply can’t get enough! (Which is probably pretty obvious with my recent layouts and cards!) :)

If you haven’t had a chance to stop by and say hi to Kiwi Lane Designs, please do! Let them know that ScrapbookSteals and this Mojo Mama says hi!

I loved seeing the creative interpretations of Katrina’s sketch from last week and I’m looking forward to taking a stab at it myself! I’m happy so many of you found a little scrappy time in your schedule, especially this week’s lucky random winner Liz Martinez! I love the fun photos of her girls!

Liz, please send an email to letting them know you are this week’s random winner and we will be happy to send a prize to you.

On that note, I’m just so fired up about last week’s awesome participation (and the fact that I actually made a two-pager!) I think we will do a bonus random drawing next week. How’s that for a little extra incentive to get your scrappy on?

I hope you all have a positively amazing day!