Wednesday, 4 September 2019

More ways to use the alcohol ink backgrounds

Whilst making the alcohol ink background for the Simon Says Stamp card I recently posted about, also made a couple of sheets more or less the same - so had some left over to play with using some Memory Box dies. Came up with two cards shown below - and AI stands for Alcohol Ink:
I used:

- 5.5" x 4.25" white card blank, tent style

- piece of AI made using Tim Holtz 'Sparkle' alcohol ink card stock and a mix of Flamingo Pink, Amethyst and Aqua alcohol inks plus some blending solution

- used Stick-It backed 200gsm white card to die cut the Memory Box 'Starflower Frame' die then popped it onto a rectangle of the background card, adding the white panel from the die cut back into the centre as well and ran the panel through the Cuttlebug using just the cutting plates to press it firmly down

- then stamped the sentiment using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a stamp from the Penny Black 'Special Thoughts' sentiment set - plus the Misti of course

- die cut the frame using the biggest Avery Elle's 'Postage Stamp' frame die and more white card, a bit heavier weight than 200gsm this time, possibly 250gsm

- backed the frame with very narrow red line tape and then added the image panel face downwards onto the red line tape. The image panel had been carefully trimmed a teensy bit at a time to be just a tad bigger than the aperture

- backed the whole panel with white fun foam and glued it in place onto the card front, finished!

This is a lovely die, a first outing for it although I bought it with possible Christmas cards (poinsettias) in mind  and certainly before I got into sparkly alcohol ink backgrounds. Will have a play again and show what my original idea was - having said that, it's really great for using as I just did! Another example of existing dies in your possession being useful for trying out Jennifer McGuire's Tim Holtz Sparkly AI card stock ideas.

At the same time, I made this card - didn't catch the light as much, should have taken the photo sideways on :
I used:

- 5.75" x 4" white card blank, side opening again, a non-standard size to suit the panel and sentiment placement

- piece of alcohol ink background made using Tim Holtz 'Sparkle' alcohol ink card stock and a mix of Flamingo Pink, Amethyst and Aqua alcohol inks plus some blending solution ( I know, more of the same - for now!)

- the butterfly frame took a bit of thinking through. When I ordered it a few weeks ago, the image shows what you see on my card front (if you reach into your screen and lift the butterfly's wings up!) - a frame of card with a big flat butterfly sitting just above the centre - attached on either side. However, the die itself doesn't come with a frame, it's more of a panel to just cut a solid butterfly into a background I guess. My way round this was just to measure the 'panel' die and add quarter of an inch to the top and to one side, then use the trimmer to cut a white panel of Stick-It backed card(200gsm)

- and at that point you can go ahead and die cut the Memory Box 'Vivienne Butterfly Silhouette' from said rectangle and end up with exactly what the packet shows - but, it did puzzle me for a while I freely admit, and I bet my explanation wasn't very clear either! Sadly MB didn't even have any examples (even though it's been out for sale since 2017) when I searched, I'm sure there must be some other way of using this lovely die - watch this space kids!

- I'd bought the 'Vivienne Butterfly Silhouette' die as I already had the two 'free flying' matching butterfly dies (bought years ago) and could see that it would expand and possibly update the versatility of them as they've been little used I'm afraid

- so next I trimmed the piece of AI background to a teensy bit smaller than my 'self' made' butterfly frame and popped the frame onto the background then ran the panel through the Cuttlebug using just the cutting plates to press it firmly down

- then die cut a solid butterfly using the Memory Box solid 'Darla Butterfly' die from the last scrap of AI background

- die cut a lacy 'Vivienne Butterfly' die from 200gsm Stick-It backed white card and adhered it to the 'Darla' butterfly - and ran it through the Cuttlebug to make sure it was pressed firmly into place

- backed the whole panel with white fun foam and glued it in place onto the card front - just above the sentiment, which had been carefully placed in readiness when I stamped it (darned OCD - no, make that CDO!!)

- and then added the 'butterfly of two layers' with a little piece of red line tape in the centre so that the wings can be flipped up 

- and only at that late point in the whole proceedings did I spot that there was a wee dark blob of AI which drew the eye and spoiled the whole 'flow' of the card. So, out came the sequins and I added five (card makes like to work in odd numbers apparently) using Glossy Accents

- and that was it - end of story!

Or is it? Probably far from it! I have to admit to buying three dies recently from China - it's against many of my principles but I think I certainly do more than my bit to support UK and other Western craft manufacturers and suppliers so I figured I would just dip my toe in the water. In truth, it still doesn't sit easily with me - but I'm amazed to be honest. Price, quality and speed - phew! ANYHOW, one new die from China has led me to need more AI colours from the UK, costing several times more than the die did - so it's a knock on effect. And that, is what I meant when I said 'far from it'!!


  1. Two beautiful cards made using your AI pieces Di, and love the contrast of the darker background colours with the white frames, and sorry your butterfly frame proved not to be quite as straight forward to cut as it first appeared but the end results of both are gorgeous. x

  2. Amazing cards with your alcohol inks panels, very inspiring! Love so much the effect of the white diecuts with them! I have to put mine out and have a play! :D Thanks for the tip about running in the machine the diecut glued on the panel to press it firmly down!
    The layered butterfly looks great, no notice of all your fatiguing! :) I have two similar, but more small MB butterflies to layer -Pippi and Isabella - and love them! :)

  3. Hi Alice

    I love, and have, the smaller butterflies as well. Such sweet names as well - Pippi and Isabella :)


    Di xx

  4. Beautiful cards Di, love the look of the AI on the sparkly paper and that floral die is awesome! You're right too, perfect for almost any occasion, Cathy x

  5. Beautiful cards Di and I love your AI backgrounds.
    Kath x

  6. Two more great cards made using your AI sparkle pieces plus of course the detailed description of how they were made. I too have mixed feelings about ordering dies from China but as you rightly say one purchase so often leads to another ... and another ... so I guess it's not such a bad thing in the long run. In fact it seems a lot of the dies we buy from big names are also made in China anyway - makes you think!

  7. Two fantastic cards Di, the sparkle paper for the AI's looks fabulous. I have to admit to buying a couple of dies from China and the quality is good.

    Sue xx

  8. Hi Di your cards are both gorgeous. I love the backgrounds you have created and the dies you have used. Take care. Hugs Jackie

  9. Gorgeous! I love those deep purple backgrounds

  10. Need this schparkly stuff right this minute!! Great cards Di. xx

  11. Too bootiful cards herre Miss. Must admit that though I do have the bigger matching butterflies my first to go to are always Isabella and pipi.
    ActuallyI have just used on today’s card.
    Having fun and games here trying to get a tradesman to lay a concrete base down. First one wasted a week onn phones calls and. Appointments made and then failing to turn up. Second one came today and has given me a quote and will ring me back with a start date. Why do I feel like this is gonna be another waste of time!! Hugs Me.

  12. Fabulous cards! Love the sparkle coming through the AIs! I must try that TH Sparkle AI card stock. The butterfly and scattering of sequins are perfect, and the birthday one is a great design with the sentiment frame /flowers die.

  13. Really wonderful cards, Di. Thanks for inspiring me. I did get some of that sparkly paper as you suggested! Now to use it... Oh, and hugs and wishes for continuing pain free days.

  14. Wow, how have I missed hearing about that sparkly AI card stock? Now it looks like I have something else to add to my wish list after seeing these beautiful cards. The white die-cuts on these backgrounds really stand out and are showcased perfectly. Your description of how the butterfly card came together has me awestruck at your patience. I had to stop and have a snack before I finished reading the last steps! However,it was definitely worth it for the end result. Great save with the sequins as well. It's always so frustrating when you spend an hour working on a card only to realize that you ended up with a blob of ink, or a smear of color in the wrong spot.

  15. Stunning cards Di - love the way you have used the dies!! I too have succumbed to the lure of CCD's (Cheap Chinese Dies) with a guilty conscious. Here in the Antipodes the freight from the US and UK kills any shopping I may consider there. :(

  16. Di both of your cards are truly gorgeous so creative you are x

  17. Really love these two cards. Very pretty xxx

  18. Both cards look stunning with that AI colorful background and sharp white contrast of the dies! Lots of crafters are buying dies from China, and I wouldn't feel guilty about it, because as you said - you already buy plenty to keep stores around you in biz. Hope you are still on the path of being pain-free and healthy :)

  19. Love your cards Di and the white die cuts really stand out against that gorgeous background x

  20. Those alcohol ink backgrounds are absolutely stunning Di and I like the way the die cuts look against them. The sequins look wonderful in the second card so I think the blob of AI was a GOOD thing! x

    It's an interesting subject, the dies from China isn't it? I accidently bought two stamp sets from ebay recently, naively imagining they were the branded ones, and they turned out to be flimsy rubbish. But I expect the dies are not. Is it right to get the cheap dies, knowing that they will probably trigger further buys from the domestic market? Are the big brands charging too much for their dies? Will the competition prompt cheaper dies from the big brands? I don't know, but I do know that the big brands always find a way to make their profits and it's the small companies that get hit hardest.

  21. These are absolutely gorgeous! You have used those sparkly alcohol ink backgrounds to perfection with the pretty dies and your 'how to's' are brilliant, thank you! Hope you are ok my friend. Big hugs xxxxxxxxxxxx

  22. I couldn't resist one die set from AliExpress, but my conscience got the best of me. I threw them away without ever opening them. They truly are stolen designs, so I just can't do it. Your cards are really beautiful, Di--love the designs & colors!

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