Friday, August 31, 2012

Technique Tutorial - Salt Inking

I read a message on one of the forums I follow or it might have been facebook and someone asked how to do salt inking. As I'd never heard of it myself, I did some googling and browsing and came across some instructions and images so decided to give it a bit of a go.
The techniques are really easy unless you are impatient like me. If you are impatient, this may not be the technique for you. You can't speed it up, cos it just doesn't work. You do need to leave these overnight (or sometimes longer) to dry naturally. Of course drying time may differ Winter compared to Summer or if you are really desperate and want to rack up a power bill leaving the dehumidifier running all night long.
  • In a nutshell... colour your tag or project with your choice of colourant - more on this later. (I would suggest a cardstock rather than light weight patterned paper).
  • Spritz with a little (or a lot) of extra water.
  • Sprinkle wet cardstock with choice of salt - I tried natural sea salt and table salt
  • Leave to dry (this feels like forever!!!)
  • Gently brush off salt when colourant is dry
  • Admire the end result
Although I called the tutorial Salt "Inking" it is possible to do this technique with a number of different colourants.
  • Inks - distress ink is ideal as you can spritz this with water to blend as much as you like
  • Water colour paint
  • Colour wash/mists
Salt Type:
Depending upon which type of salt you use, the end result will differ. I used both table salt (non-iodised but not sure if this would make a difference) and natural sea salt, though many of the tutorials recommended Kosher salt. I didn't use this as I could find it in our local supermarket.
Table salt - the end result was finer more detailed, so more subtle than the effect created by the sea salt.
Sea salt - created a bigger, bolder effect
Both worked well on all colours tested, though some results were better than others. 
For each picture below table salt on left and rock salt on right.
Adirondack colour wash Stream and Lettuce. 
I was a little impatient with the rock sale version on the right - you can see I smudged the colouring when I brushed the salt off. Note to self - be more patient!!!
I really like the way the table salt version shows almost a natural crystal formation... kind of looks like I'm performing a science experiment and successfully trying to grow bacteria in agar LOL.
Distress Inks - Mustard Seed, Crushed Olive and Faded Jeans.
I was surprised at the effect of the salt particularly on the Mustard Seed (yellow). Around where the salt crystals sat the colouring became quite a bit darker than the colour of the ink. I love the effect on the blue (Faded Jeans) on the rock salt version (right).
Distress Inks - Walnut Stain and Fired Brick.
I was a little disappointed in what happened with the table salt as the effect really isn't all that clear however I love the intensity of the rock salt version. I can see this looking really cool if you were trying to DIY an animal print look. May have to try that soon... hmmmmm.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Red Stick Pins Swap

To go with my red flowers from here, I also made some red themed stick pins for another swap on the same forum.
I've just re-watched the first four Twilight movies so I had to play homage to them with my Twilight stick pin. I love the mini cube beads and the contrast to the mini round beads.
I created a very simple matchbook to put the stick pins in. (I refuse to send stick pins without some kind of protection for the sharp end). Just red cardstock with a simple strip of washi tape to accent the front of the matchbook.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Red Flowers Swap

I've signed up for another couple of swaps this month over at the new forum at Scrappers Obsessionz. This month the theme was "Red".
Every time I hear the word "red" I can't helping thinking of my favourite speech from one of my favourite movies - Kinky Boots. 
To quote Lola "Burgundy. Please, God, tell me I have not inspired something burgundy. Red. Red. *Red*. *Red*, Charlie boy. *Red*! Is the color of sex! Burgundy is the color of hot water bottles! Red is the color of sex and fear and danger and signs that say, Do. Not. Enter. All my favorite things in life."
This month's flowers...
There are three people in each swap group and we each create three flowers.
 These are a sheer organza with a burnt edge.
 These are lace with a painted cardboard button and rhinestone accent.
These are tulle and ribbon with rhinestone accent.

I have to say I'm finally starting to enjoy making flowers, though the perfectionist in me still thinks they need more work.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Halloween Classes

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was working on some samples for classes I will be teaching at Caz Dezign's October Scrap Retreat. The classes notice has gone out so I wanted to share the finished products for the two classes I will be teaching.

Class 1 - Halloween Tag
Class 2 - Halloween Layout - using Tag from Class 1
Participants will be able to choose what colours they wish to use for their tag and layout so if they don't wish to make Halloween themed, they can do something else.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Yes I know there is no such word as "scraples", because I just made it up out of thin air, but that is what I have been doing a lot of lately. With my laptop out of commission, I've had a lot more time on my hands, so I've been creating some "scrapbook samples" = scraples; for a class I will be teaching in October at Caz Design's October Scrap Retreat.
You will have to come back later to see the finished samples for the class I will be teaching... can't let it all out of the bag today... but I can show you some of the other scraples I created along the way.
A lot of these were testing colour combinations, or trying to create colours that I didn't have the exact colour of ink as well as showing a variety of different techniques. So enjoy and let me know which is your favourite.
Distress Ink (Weathered Wood, Old Paper, Crushed Olive, Faded Jeans); Adirondack Colour Wash (Stream, Lettuce)
Distress Ink (Antique Linen, Tea Dye, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain); Antiquing Solution (Walnut Ink, Terracotta)
Distress Ink - Mustard Seed, Faded Jeans, Fired Brick
Distress Ink - Mustard Seed, Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans
Distress Ink - Mustard Seed, Fired Brick, Dusty Concord
Image stamping L - R: Royal Purple Staz-On; Jet Black Archival Ink; Coffee Archival Ink

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Hello blog readers. Right now I would dearly love to be posting a tutorial or some pictures of what I have been creating but alas I can't. My laptop has decided to play dead on me. (Borrowing hubbie's laptop which just doesn't have half the stuff on it that I need - grrrr).
My friendly IT man is looking at her now in the hope that he can perform a minor miracle and get her working again.
Until then I am crafting - doing lots of experimenting, creating some samples for some classes I will be teaching soon and generally catching up on a lot of stuff that has been put aside because it's not that interesting. Things like cleaning my scrap studio.
Hopefully I will be back early next week to post again.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Charm Swap

Theme - Moulin Rouge
I was a little bit stuck as to what to create for this swap, then I found the large gold safety pins in an emporium shop and just knew I had to use them.
They each have a slightly different charm on the longest chin - L-R - Slot Machine, Dice and Hand of Cards.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Stick Pin Swap

Theme - Moulin Rouge
These coordinate with the corset tag pockets and flowers posted earlier.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Flower Swap

Flowers for a swap on Crafting Passionz Forum.
Theme - Moulin Rouge

  For a step by step tutorial on how to make these rolled flowers - check here

Friday, August 3, 2012

Corset Tag Swap

I've always wanted to do something like this. I love the look of real corsets, (so sexy!!) and they provide so much inspiration be it colour, shape, style or sexiness.
I've signed up to a swap through Crafting Passionz forum for a corset tag swap. We were given a link to Gracie Brown's blog "Sew Gracious". I loved the idea of a corset tag pocket rather than just the tag shaped liked a corset, so I used this as my own inspiration. Gracie includes a template on her blog, but I used my own template I've had for years.
For this swap I am making a corset shaped pocket with a mini tag inside. The corset front and back are both lined to make it easier to get the tag in and out as well as resolving some potential problems that might come out of my using a non-stretch fabric on the outside of the tags and it just looks smarter. 

Cardboard - I used recycled packaging
Cardstock - black for backing
Fabric - I used leftover Japanese Tissue Lame from the flowers I made for another swap
Satin and Shear Ribbons
Double sided tape (lots of it)
Tacky Glue

As usual I am making a number of these Corset Tag Pockets, so I am doing things production line style. Each step is repeated for as many pockets as I am completing - in this case five. This also explains why the images show different colours :-)
  • Trace around templates or draw corset front and back shapes onto recycled cardboard as well as cardstock to be used as backing. If you are making a simple tag then you only need the front, but if you are making pockets like I am, then you need both front and back shapes.
    • As I was making five Corsets, I matched up pairs of fronts and backs to get the best fit, then made any slight adjustments as needed so each pair matched perfectly for both the cardboard and the cardstock. At this stage I labelled each pair so I knew what went together in case they got separated and also so I could match the correct facing cardstock correctly as well.
    • Carefully adhere double sided tape around the edges as follows:
      • Both sides of the cardboard corset front and back - to hold the fabric firmly stretched across the "good" side of the corset as well as the wrap around of the edges of the fabric.
      • The rough side of the cardstock corset front and back
    • I used double sided tape for this step as my fabric is quite thin and liquid glue would have spread through the weave of the fabric, ruining the metallic look of it. It did take some time going around all the edges as listed, but once done the next few steps were relatively quick.
    • Remove the backing on the double sided tape on the front of each corset shape. Carefully place this side down on your fabric making sure that the fabric is flat to avoid puckering or bunching up. Press the fabric down to firmly adhere in place.
    • Cut the fabric around the corset shape leaving an edge of about 1/4" (6mm) to turn over to the other side of the shape.
    • Evenly space snips around the turnover edge of fabric being sure not to cut into the cardboard. Remove each corner of the fabric so that you don't end up with too much bulk to fold over. Remove the backing for the double sided tape on the other side of the cardboard shape and press the slits of fabric onto the exposed double sided tape to adhere.
    The corners have been remove and the edges around both shapes just snipped ready to fold over.
    I've started to fold over the snipped edges. You can see on the back in particular the snips as I've folded over every second segment to show what I mean.
    On any convex curves, the snips may end up over lapping as shown above.
    On any concave curves, the snips will end up having gaps between them, as shown above.
    All the snips have been folded over an adhered in place.
    And the finished fronts and backs after the fabric has been adhered to one side.
    • Adhere the backing cardstock over the back side to hide the turnover edge of fabric (so no one can see the secret of how you got the fabric to fit so well). You can just see a little of the blue fabric poking out in the bottom left hand corner.
    • Repeat these steps so you have coordinated front and back to your corset. (I'm making five in total for the swap. I only have four colours of the fabric, so hence two golds).
    • To make the pocket for the tag, adhere the sides and base of the corset front and back to each other, leaving the top open so you can slide the tag inside.
    • Decorate your corset pocket as desired. I adhered a row of gathered lace around the bottom of the pocket (front and back). Then I added an over sized bow to the back just above the row of lace and some rhinestones accents around the upper edge.
    The lace detail around the lower edge (front and back). I originally used double sided tape, but I've since had to use some tacky glue as the tape didn't hold as firmly as I would have hoped.
    Over sized satin ribbon bow. I tied the bow then fitted the size to the width of the corset. It was adhered in place with tacky glue on the knot part as well as each loop of the bow. I then trimmed the end of the bow with a "V" to stop them fraying - and it looks cuter as well.
    The rhinestone accents on the front and back.
    • To finish these off, I made a simple tag with some left over cardstock. I adhered a sheer ribbon loop underneath a small "Moulin Rouge" vintage poster image I downloaded from the internet. I then tucked the tag in the pocket.

    Clockwise from upper left - Pocket front (Gold); pocket back with tag completely hidden (Purple); pocket front with tag pulled out half way (Blue); pocket back with tag pulled out halfway (Gold) and back with tag completely out of pocket (Pink).