Friday, June 3, 2011

If you are into journaling or altered books and have ever wanted a age paper look here is a trick to try.

Giving paper a aged look can be tricky. Why, because aged paper has a subtle yet very specific yellowish color. Manly this is caused by time, oxidation. If you try and use the usual paints and dies the color will often come out to yellow, to brown or just to intense to look real.

So what do you do? Well there is one substance that I know of that stains paper just right to make it look believably time worn. It is a exotic substance made from a small bean that has been carefully cultivated and is prized by people around the world, especially those that have a hard time waking up in the morning!

Coffee, ya your morning Joe.
As we all know coffee stains as well as it perks us up, so why don't we put it those staining powers to work for us.

There are two ways I recommend to use coffee to "age" paper. One means you get to have your coffee and craft with it too. The other...not so much.

The first and easiest way to age your papers with coffee is to brew a fresh pot and then take the grounds and sprinkle/ spread/ dump them all over your nice paper. And then don't touch it. Really just leave it there. Really...HEY! I said don't touch it. He he.

Okay once it is dry you can brush off all the grounds. You will be left with a piece of paper the has a aged and parchment look to it.

The second method is my little twist on using coffee as a dye. What if you want a even aged look to your paper or maybe just around the edges or in a certain area. Or you just don't want the time and mess involved with the grounds. Here is what you can do.

Fill a paper coffee filter with about half a cup of ground coffee. Fold the sides up so that it looks like a little bag and wrap it closed with a rubber band.

Next take your little bag of coffee and soak it in a cup to two cups of 90% rubbing alcohol. Just watch. The alcohol is making a coffee extraction. Cool huh! Let the coffee steep in the alcohol until it is nice and dark ( maybe a half an hour or so ). Now you can poor it into a spray bottle and you have a control able, store able, portable, coffee scented, aging dye for your papers.

Just spritz it on to your papers and let dry, or use your heat gun to dry it. You will love the effect and the easy control the spray bottle gives you.

And don't worry about it going bad, because it is a alcohol extracted dye it will have a long shelf life.

Who said aging wasn't fun!

Pics will be added soon.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Goofy Discovery Tip!

So I was sitting at my drafting table the other day dilegently doodling on my calendar when a stray copic marker came rolling down from the pile of work related items at the top of the table. It came to rest against one of my favorite multi tasking tools. Yep the good old toothbrush. Sooooo, I had to try it. If you take a fairly fresh Copic, one with a good amount of ink in it and start pulling it towards you ( you want to pull it towards you so the things fly away from you ) across the end of the toothbrush bristles it will make a very nice, fine and relativley even ( depending on the condition of the toothbrush ) spray of ink!

Give it a try.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Copic Marker tip

Ever wonder how to get really smooth blends with your Copic markers?
There's a trick. Do you wanna know what it is? Ok, but you can tell anybody. (looking around to see if anyone is listening ). Its call tip to tip blending. Really it is. I don't make this stuff up, well some of it but not this.

Here's what you do pick two colors you would like to blend to have blend together an fade into one another.
Start with some thing simple like blue and yellow or red and yellow. Take the tip of your yellow maker and rub it across the red or blue one. (Be sure to take the caps off it works better. Do ask me how I know that.)
Ok now look at the end of the yellow makers tip. There is some red or blue on there right.? Ok now start coloring with that part of the maker. A you color the color you "lifted" for the other maker will gradually run out creating a soft even blend. Pretty cool! You can repeat this process over and over to build up the color as you want or apply it over another area you have already colored.

Try it with a Colorless Blender and see what happens!

Try using this trick to blend colors together to make highlights and add depth to your creations.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wondering where I have been?

So where have I been? Well, between trying to get the new studio open, being sick off and on with a cold that just wouldn't go away and a car accident, and teaching a bunch of classes last this past week I have been kinda busy.  But I think I might find time in today or tomorrow to post a quick tip. So keep looking! Because I am back and ready to play, err I mean work!