The Darkest Night

Susan Robinson
July 23, 2020


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.


A Moment’s Peace

Susan Robinson
July 20, 2020


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.


Create Art

Susan Robinson
July 15, 2020


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.


Mood du Jour

Susan Robinson
May 7, 2020


I love colour and am always very conscious of it in my surroundings. Some days I just feel the need to wear clothes of a certain shade, and if for some reason I can’t (like I haven’t done the washing) it does affect my mood.

While I had the alcohol inks out to make the background for my last card, I thought I might as well make a few more for future ones. Playing with inks can be a messy business. I love how the pink just catches the top of her cheekbone.

Stamp: ‘Mood du Jour’ by Inkadinkado (Dawn Houser) 95241-Y


Fence Sitting

Susan Robinson
July 12, 2018


So many different effects you can get with alcohol inks, depending on how you apply them. This card has been done on Yupo paper, which I find gives the most vibrant colour finish.

dies: Men Siting on Fence 17283 by Paper Rose Studio; Birds from Scarecrow set 662382 by Tim Holtz

stamps: Gum Tree 632F by Stamp-it; Moments C2768 by Hero Arts

alcohol inks: Rust, Caramel, Oregano, Lettuce, Sunshine Yellow, Bottle & Espresso

For this card, I squirted some alcohol inks onto my Teflon mat in lines, then swiped my paper through it horizontally so the colours mixed minimally. The paper kind of sucks onto the matt though so the colours do mix as you peel it off.

This will dry almost immediately. Then I stamped the gum tree and sun in black Archival ink. (Don’t use a StazOn pad as this also being a solvent ink, will cause bleeding).

I put a small puddle of Bottle and Espresso ink onto my acrylic block, picked it up with paint brush to colour in tree trunk and canopy. The Sunshine Yellow ink I placed a drop directly from the bottle over my stamped sun image and allowed it to spread out.

Cut out dies in black card, then glue into position over alcohol background. Matt onto black card, then folded orange/brown backing card.

Stamp out wording on scrap of matching card and cut to size. Sponge all edges with sepia ink and glue into position.


Following in Dads Footsteps

Susan Robinson
July 10, 2018


Another great Aussie die ‘Farmer and Boy’ 17511 from Paper Rose Studio.

I created the background by swiping Oregano alcohol ink over Yupo paper with a thin cotton square. Working quickly I held the paper on its side, then ran Stream, Meadow, Caramel and Rust inks in streams down it. Keep adding from both sides until the paper is completely covered. It will dry by itself very quickly.

I poured a few drops of Alcohol Blending Solution into a bottle cap, picked up with a paintbrush and applied dots over card to create patterns. I then did the same with glue pen. Set aside. When dry, lay gold Fab Foil sheet over glue dots, press down with finger tips, then lift off. The gold colour will adhere to the glue dots.

Cut out complete die in black card. Cut out boy only a 2nd time. Rub silver, gold and copper Rub-Ons over boy using fingertips to colour. Magic Mount in place. Matt finished card onto layer of black then rust card, before adhering to green folded backing card.

Stamp wording onto rust card, matt onto black, then Magic Mount onto top right of card.


Bird on Wire Fence

Susan Robinson
July 8, 2018


Still playing with alcohol inks. When I do backgrounds, I usually make a batch of them at a time so I have some ready prepared in the event I need to make a quick card. Saves time. Plus inks can be messy and I’m not always in the mood or dressed appropriately.

die: ‘Bird on Wire Fence’ 17403 by Paper Rose Studio

stamp: Happy Birthday 3320C by Stamp-it

alcohol inks: Butterscotch, Caramel, Rust, Stream, Lettuce, Oregano

Create alcohol ink background. This is always a serendipitous journey. Even if using the same colour inks, each time you swipe it through, you will get a different result. I love it!

I cut out the complete die twice, and then the bird only a 3rd time.

I wanted to use a combination of silver, gold and copper Fab Foils over the wire. I thought they would compliment all the colours in the background and be a bit more arty. I did each colour separately, appling glue to the places that I wanted silver, setting aside to dry, appling the silver Fab Foil, then the same again for the gold, then the copper. A bit more time consuming but not so messy.

Once I had foiled all the wire, I Magic Mounted the die onto my alcohol ink background. I then took my 2nd copy of the die – cut off all the wire, leaving only the fence posts and bird with grass along bottom, and Magic Mounted this over original. The extra bird I had cut, I edged with white ink, then Magic Mounted it over others.

I decided to loop some real silver wire into place over the paper spirals for a more realistic effect. I secured into place behind posts.

I stamped and embossed birthday wording in silver onto light green card, sponged sepia ink around, then matted onto black corrugated card and glued into position at top right of card.

I matted card front onto black card, then onto Butterscotch folded backing card.



Gathering at the Windmill

Susan Robinson
July 6, 2018


Keeping the colours fairly neutral for this one.

I first used various Distress Stains directly onto the rubber of wording stamp to colour, before flipping it over to stamp out onto kraft card. This is not a precise art, but try not to make the rubber too wet or you won’t be able to read the words at all. For a crisper result you could use water based texters instead.

I cut out the windmill and ‘kangaroo in forest’ dies in black card. The kangaroo one I cut up and only used part of it as you see. I then sponged around the edge of kraft card with sepia ink and matted it onto a larger piece of kraft card. Glued everything down except the kangaroo which I Magic Mounted.

I coloured the sails of the windmill with silver Rub-ons and attached a large silver brad to their center, which I had embossed with a combination of silver and black embossing powder.

I cut out a grass die in kraft card and attached along bottom of design. The echidna is a Carl punch. Smudged some copper Rub-on over kangaroo back and face. I applied some black Accent for his eye.

Matted finished card front onto dark green layer, then attached to folded mid-green backing card.