Saturday, December 28, 2019

Crafty Book Review: Playing with Creative Alcohol Inks

One of my favorite things to do on stay-at-home holiday days is explore new art supplies and craft projects with the kids. Over Thanksgiving break, we did several hours of origami, for instance, and ahead of us on this peaceful holiday vacation is latch hooking using the supplies that I splurged on this morning (and yes, I DID go to both the big-box craft stores so that I could use both of my 50%-off coupons, mwa-ha-ha!).

We did this even when we traveled for every holiday--I vividly remember introducing the kids to homemade modeling beeswax during one summer visit with my Pappaw, and dyeing dried pasta vivid colors during another Christmas visit a full decade ago. I'd happily give several years off my own life to have Pappaw back, but I will say that it is very, very, very nice to stay home for the entire Christmas holiday now. It's absolutely my favorite thing about Christmas.

On an earlier trip to both big-box craft stores to use another set of 50%-off coupons (Will also needed metallic embroidery floss for her recent obsession with making friendship bracelets, showing that my holiday-break-equals-new-craft-project tradition is passing itself down quite nicely!), I bought a small set of alcohol ink, and then I hit up Amazon for a small pad of Yupo paper, all recommended by this book, Creative Alcohol Inks, sent to me by a publicist:

The kids and I loved doing faux alcohol ink art using Sharpies and rubbing alcohol so much that I thought it would be worth seeing if they might also like using real alcohol ink.

Reader, they DID!

The day after Christmas, while Will was off reconnecting with her best friend, the public library, after two entire days of it being closed, and Matt was at the gym, Syd and I sat down with a billion supplies and tried to recreate some of the techniques from Creative Alcohol Inks.

Just as with Sharpies and rubbing alcohol, alcohol ink, itself, is a fun process-oriented supply. The Yupo paper, too, is very forgiving, and I was able to goof around with the alcohol ink on a single piece of Yupo paper, then saturate it with rubbing alcohol and essentially wash all the ink off before doing it all again.

At one point Syd looked over at me and said, "Wow, that piece of paper has been through a LOT." Thanks, Kid.

When I was done messing around, I made one of the suggested projects from Creative Alcohol Inks, an embellished porcelain ornament:

My ornament isn't actually porcelain, but a clear plastic ornament coated on the inside with white acrylic paint. Pro tip: that makes it look like porcelain!

While I was playing around, though, Syd was steadily mastering everything about alcohol ink:

We had one mishap associated with the Yupo paper; it's technically a plastic paper, and apparently shouldn't be combined with long blasts from the heat gun that we were using to dry the alcohol ink (because I'm the kind of person who knows where her heat gun is but not her blow dryer #nOtLiKeOtHeRgIrLs).

You can see in the below photo how the corner of Syd's paper is warped from the heat gun--oops! Fortunately, short blasts worked fine, so I did not, in fact,  have to go hunt down the blow dryer:

I have a new phone, which was my Christmas present from Matt (OT Question: How many presents do you and your partner exchange? Is it one? Is it five or more? I'm more of a multiple present person and Matt's more of a one-present person, but frankly, I always love my one present from him way more than I'm pretty sure he mildly likes his multiple presents from me. Dude is DIFFICULT to find presents for!), and this phone is amazing! And does time lapse videos! And from now on every one of my blog posts is going to include a time lapse!

So here's a time lapse of Syd's process creating something awesome from alcohol ink, Yupo paper, and paint pens:

How cool is that?!? Please ignore the fact that all of y'all have probably been able to do this on your phones for a decade by now and tell me it's super cool.

I'm really eager for Syd to scan in some of her alcohol ink creations and then embellish them in Photoshop using her Wacom tablet, but on this evening she was was more into hand-drawing on top of them.

Hey, do you want to know that looks like?

OMG, you DO?!?

Okay, here's a time lapse!

You're welcome!

And, fine, here are some still shots, as well, because having a fancy new camera on my fancy new phone doesn't mean that I'm not still obsessed with my behemoth single-lens manual camera:

Here's my finished product, hanging up happily on our Christmas tree:

And here are Syd's favorite two masterpieces!

You might remember that we had some trouble figuring out a good way to seal our tile art creations without desaturating the Sharpies, so I was super excited to see that Creative Alcohol Inks includes the specific supplies and techniques that you need to seal these creations.

Including yet another mention of resin, which I have been seeing mentioned EVERYWHERE lately, and it's making me more and more invested in the idea of buying some and playing around with it.

Perhaps a project for New Year's Day?

I received a free copy of Creative Alcohol Inks, because I can't write about a book until it's inspired me to spend an afternoon low-key sniffing rubbing alcohol and hanging out with my kid.

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