The Darkest Night

Susan Robinson
July 23, 2020

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This musician comes out of a nightclub in the early hours, his faithful dog waiting at the back door. Together they walk through the quiet streets, his adrenalin still pumping from the hours of playing, too wired to sleep. Eventually he leans against a lamppost, and slowly lifts his saxophone to his lips and starts to play softly, soulfully. Slowly the sun creeps over the rooftops, shining onto the puddles, illuminating the paving stones still wet from the evenings rain. And so a new day begins.

Another alcohol ink background, created by swishing Yupo card through alcohol inks (Sunshine Yellow, Pesto and Pitch Black) with Isopropyl Alcohol on a Teflon mat. The Pesto has some brown elements to it and the Black, some purple. Makes for interesting results. I really love how this one turned out! Consequently I didn’t want to cover it up too much, so chose my stamp and die carefully.

I have been experimenting with foiling my alcohol ink backgrounds. You should be able to see the gold veins through the above card. This only seems to work on Yupo, not gloss card. As Yupo is plastic, not paper, the inks stay wet a little longer, and actually get slightly ‘sticky’ where the inks pool. This allows the foil to adhere. Success is all about the timing! Put the foil sheet on too early, and the inks simply lift off with the sheet, ruining your lovely inky pattern. Put in on too late, and the inks are dry and none of the foil will stick. Bit tricky, but fun. If you mess it up, just add more alcohol inks and try again. I have 2 more samples to follow.

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Art Therapy

Susan Robinson

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On a personal note, thought I’d make myself vulnerable here and share a journal piece I created earlier this year while sorting through some emotional issues. This is something I recommend everyone to do, using whatever medium you’re most comfortable with – writing poetry or in a diary/journal, drawing, painting, paper collage or mixed media. I love words and appreciate their power, but sometimes my emotions overwhelm me and I find it hard to express my feelings in that way. I am a visual person, and being a card maker (not an artist) I used what skills I had to visually express the turmoil going through my head at the time. It makes no sense to anyone else of course, but I know what it means, and I found it really beneficial to put it onto paper. By doing so I was able to clarify the thoughts in my head and transform some of the negative feelings into a pretty montage which makes me feel good now to look at, despite the process I went through getting it there. We all hurt at times, we need to learn to heal ourselves. For me, ART helps.

If anyone would like to have a go at making their own montage but is unsure where to start or doesn’t have the art supplies, I am more than happy to do a free one-on-one session with them, with access to mine. Just email me at artatticstudio@gmail.com. Please note that I have no qualifications as an Art Therapist. The aim is just to provide a fun and cathartic way to express emotions.

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A Moment’s Peace

Susan Robinson
July 20, 2020

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I have always loved this quote by Katherine Hepburn. I’m sure there are many women out there who can relate to it.

Sometimes I’m not that enamored with a background. This alcohol ink one I felt was a bit bright, so I chose a large die that would cover a large portion of it.

Then I put it into an embossing folder that had fancy scrolled corners. When I took the card out, I ran a fine sandpaper over the raised areas of the pattern to remove the colour and help lighten the look of the card. I also put the diecut girl into the embossing folder, so part of the scroll pattern overlapped her legs. This I ran a white pigment pad over. Some of the embossed pattern also went into her hair, but I ignored that, thinking it looked a bit like a hair ornament.

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Create Art

Susan Robinson
July 15, 2020

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ALCOHOL INKS – I have had for ages, but only recently started using them with Yupo, which is a synthetic (plastic) sheet. It is available in different weights, but I prefer the thicker 200gsm, as it’s easier to handle. I love how vibrant it makes the colours! It can be a bit slippery though and I was disappointed when I smudged my stamp on the left. I do have a hinged stamper, but keep forgetting to use it!! Anyway, I am trying to ‘embrace the imperfection’. That’s what makes it a hand made card right?

My Blending Solution is running low, so thought I’d try substituting with the cheaper ‘Isopropyl Alcohol’ instead. A 91% or higher is recommended. Due to the current Covid situation, it proved very hard to find, as many people were buying it to make their own hand sanitisers. Bunnings were all out, Chemists only sold 64% (which takes too long to dry), Jacksons Art Supplies sell it but it doesn’t state on the label anywhere what % it is, so I didn’t buy it. Finally I found it at an electrical store, as apparently they use it as a cleaning agent. A 99.8% 1 litre bottle cost me $20. I decanted some into a small bottle with an eyedropper, and some into a mini mister.

  1. Using eyedropper, squirt some Isopropyl Alcohol onto teflon mat. Add chosen colours of alcohol inks. For this sample I used Sunset Orange, Pool and Lettuce. Swish your yupo paper through to colour until entire paper is covered.
  2. Stamp images using an Archival pad. Do not use a StazOn pad, as this will bleed, and if you use a dye or pigment ink, they will not dry.
  3. I stamped the paint tubes a 2nd time onto scrap of gloss card, coloured them in, then cut them out and positioned over stamped ones on main card.
  4. I laid the Bubble stencil over card and used a Alcohol Ink Pen (filled with Blending solution) to remove colour from select circles of stencil.
  5. Stamp wordings out. I matted and Magic Mounted the ‘Art’ into place, sponging some colour onto it to match background.
  6. I silver foiled the top of paint brush handle and tops of 2 right-hand paint tubes. I applied Glossy Accents to paint bristles and used Liquid Pearls for dots on left and for paint squeezing out blue tube.

The stamps were from an Indigo Blu magazine pack I bought from my local newsagent.

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Sew Sweet

Susan Robinson
July 11, 2020

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Who can resist these sweet little sewing fairies? They’re from Penny Black’s ‘Stitches’ set 30-303. Wish I had one of them sitting on my shoulder every time I get my needle out!

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Dresses Galore

Susan Robinson
July 5, 2020

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Getting back to my current favourite technique (recently shown in the “Seahorse Siblings’ post) of inking up embossing folders before placing your card inside and rolling through the Big Shot machine.

stamp: Dress by Stamp-it; embossing folder: Small Dress Forms by Darice; die: Mini Sewing Room by Sizzix (I cut the shoulders down to fit the dress)

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Running with Scissors

Susan Robinson
July 4, 2020

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Running with scissors… makes me feel dangerous.

Well, that tells you all you need to know about my life.

stamps: Running with Scissors by Deep Red; Mannequins by Stamp-it

Distress Stain spray background. Gold and silver embossed stamps. (And yes there is an ‘e’ after the ‘g’ in dangerous, though they’re a bit squished together).

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Green Bug

Susan Robinson
June 30, 2020

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I had some unfinished business with these bugs! I normally like to post in themes (I still have a few more sewing cards to come) but thought I’d break it up a bit, before moving onto ‘Alcohol Inks’. Really excited by some of the backgrounds I’ve made, just have to decide now how to decorate them.

  1. Colour card using ‘Bells of Ireland Green’ and ‘Jack in the Pulpit Teal’ Lindy’s Starburst sprays. Mixed in with the green ink base colour, they have an iridescent blue which dries in little puddles. Gorgeous!
  2. Stamp bugs into position on green card, and a 2nd time onto scrap card. Colour them. I coloured the cockroach brown, before covering it in Glossy Accents (adding drops of Black Accent for eyes), then put aside to dry. The other 2 bugs I covered in tacky glue, which when dry, I rubbed green and blue ‘Fab Foils’ over to give them that iridescent shine.
  3. Cut a circle out of clear film and place over lower bug. Lightly sponge around circle with blue ink to create a halo effect.
  4. Leave circle in position to act as a mask while stamping over card with large script writing stamp. I used blue ink as I wanted a subtle effect.
  5. When decorated bugs are dry, cut bodies only out and glue or Magic Mount over ones on green card. I added some black wire as antennae for blue bug.
  6. Assemble backing card layers. I found a piece of metallic blue mesh which I slipped in between, which works well I think, picking up the shine of the blue bug.

stamps: ‘Entomology’ CMS328 & ‘Theories’ CMS329 By Stampers Anonymous (Tim Holtz Collection)

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If Happiness fits…

Susan Robinson
June 28, 2020

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While still in the peachy zone, I created this background using Dried Marigold and Worn Lipstick Distress inks. Can you believe that when Dried Marigold first came out, I thought it was a bit boring?!? Now it is the colour I most often reach for.

stamp: Dress Form CS884 by KaiserCraft

With the inks still on the teflon mat, I re-spritzed with water to re-moisten, then swiped another card through for this next background.

stamps: Attic Treasures CMS123 by Stampers Anonymous (Tim Holtz collection)

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Making Dresses

Susan Robinson
June 25, 2020

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Clearing out my cupboards and came across some old card kits (I think these were from a Christmas class. Yes, I get bored doing the traditional colours every year, so like to mix it up a bit). Very convenient that the pieces were already cut to size and ready to assemble, so I thought I’d re-purpose them. And as I am currently in the mannequin mode – this is what they became, VOILA!

stamps: by Stamp-it Australia

Below are some other kits I made up into completed cards, using Stamp-it stamps and Tim Holtz Alterations Movers & Shapers ‘Mini Sewing Room’ set siz657487. The sponged background on the right ended up a bit brighter than I’d intended, but sometimes you just have to stick it down and move on.

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