Sunday, September 21, 2014

Come Join Me at the first ever Polymer Clay Virtual Retreat!

A year long online retreat with 22 talented world renown polymer clay artists from around the world

Who would like to join me on an adventure? Have you ever wanted to learn about polymer clay or would you just like a chance to win some awesome FREE prizes? Read on for more info and the details!

I will be among 22 talented, world renowned polymer clay artists teaching in the first ever Virtual Online Retreat. You can attend from anywhere! This is the first time this has ever been possible and you can join in from the comfort of your own home. Lots of videos, tips and tricks teaching everything from my own sun catcher mosaic tiles to Jewelry, Home Decor, Wall Art, Caning, Mixed-Media Arts and Functional Objects. It is a year's worth of ideas and knowledge that you can access anytime you wish all for one low price! Keep on your jammies and join us!

 Whether or not you are able to attend, you can still get a chance to win some awesome FREE prizes. There are three ways to enter for a chance to win:

1) Blog about this giveaway and be sure to link to this post in your blog. Make sure to leave a comment here that says "Blogged!"

2) Visit my facebook page here and Like, Comment and Share the post on your timeline. Be sure to link to the post with my affiliate link:
http://bit.ly/PCAChrisKapono2015 (this is very important!)
For every 300 shares, I will add another prize so encourage your friends to spread the word!

3) Tweet about the giveaway and include my affiliate link  http://bit.ly/PCAChrisKapono2015
 and use the hashtag MandarinMoon2015 so that I can find you.
 Three ways to enter to win!

Now for the fun part- The PRIZES!:
The grand prize is a free ticket to join the retreat! If 100 people join through my affiliate link, I will also send the winner a goody bag of supplies to make the tile in my tutorial. (tools not included)

Other prizes will include the tile I will make in the tutorial as well as some of the tiles in the photo collage in this post! Remember, the more shares the more prizes you could win! I may even include some of my journals and jewelry too. Start sharing now! Woohoo

The nitty gritty: Contest is open to anyone 18 years of age or older. No purchase is necessary to win. The contest will run from Sept. 21st, 2014 to midnight (CST) on November 30, 2014. Winners will be announced in December 2014.

Let's have fun!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Discovering the Joys of Adirondack Alcohol Inks

...and painting everything in sight :)
Actually that is not quite true...the cats won't sit still long enough heheheh

Here is my latest batch of eggs painted with alcohol ink, permanent marker and gold and silver leaf pen
What a variety! 
I was especially pleased to learn that you can thin alcohol ink with.....alcohol! When you do this you can achieve softer pastel colors like in this little bumblebee egg
First I drew the bumblebees on the egg with gold leaf pen. Then I waited (forever) until the gold leaf paint was dry. Next, I diluted blue ink with alcohol and began painting it on the egg. The gold metallic paint acted as a barrier (as I had hoped it would...whew!) so that my little bumblebees didn't turn blue. I love it when an experiment works! (just be careful not to put too much ink down at a time of it will run all over you design and you will not be happy!) Although I only used one color, I varied the amount of alcohol that I used to thin it down and still got a wonderful soft mottled surface.
Below are some step by step photos to show how I painted this egg:
Steps 1 to 4
I decided to forgo the messy wax process. This was a previous experiment where I used drips of candle wax as a mask. It worked but it was messy to clean the wax off the egg and left an oily residue. This time I decided to try using a clear acrylic floor finish to see if it worked to mask off parts of the egg. 
In the top left photo, I painted on polka dots of the clear acrylic finish (Future brand to be exact) :D 
It took a while for the little polka dots to dry so I had to paint on a section of dots, wait for them to dry and work on another section until the egg was covered.
In the top right photo I dipped a paper towel in butterscotch colored alcohol ink and began dabbing it on the egg hoping that little polka dots of the egg shell would show though. 
In the bottom right photo you see that, not only did the acrylic finish NOT repel the ink....it ATTRACTED it. 
Well durn it. 
Okay, well at least you can see them and it wasn't a total wash. My plan was to paint on polka dots of acrylic finish after each color was added so that I would have a rainbow of dots when I was done. It didn't work out like planned but I moved on. (I have another idea that I will try later heheheh)
In the bottom right photo, the polka dots show up even more when I add the next color. I'm kind of liking them more now. 
Steps 5 to 8
Now these photos show what I really love about alcohol ink. They react with one another! I dip my paint brush in sunshine yellow ink and dab tiny bits on the painted surface of the egg and these drops spread and do wonderful things. I love the mottled  texture this creates! The inks react differently depending on the colors and whether the surface ink is dry, damp or wet when you add the tiny dots of color. It's fun to experiment! (I really am a mad scientist!). I think I added dots of butterscotch, sunshine yellow and a green to my egg. You may be able to tell in these photos that I also dabbed blue on the top and a bit of green on the bottom of the egg. Dripping on color gives you awesome effects too.
The bottom right photo shows a little quail egg I was working on at the same time.

Steps 9 to 12
When the ink was completely dry I began drawing shapes on the egg with a Sharpie permanent marker. I am partial to leaves for some reason....and circles. Don't know what's up with that but I digress. I draw leaf shapes all over the egg and fill in the wider gaps with circles. I want as much of my beautiful painted egg to show as possible.
Then I take a very fine black Sharpie and fill in the spaces until the only painted surface that shows are my shapes. You can choose any shapes you wish of course. In the very top photo you see I also made some eggs with....circles....go figure. In the future, I am sure you will see that I have also painted some eggs with swirls. It's just my thing. ^^
Swirls and circles and leaves...oh my!

The finishing touches
On a previous egg, I drew in some detail on some of the leaf shapes and I really liked how that turned out so I repeated that on this egg. You can see that I left some without any detail too. I like variety!

Now shame on me but I forgot to take photos of the next few steps. What I did was spray on a matte sealer (mainly because it was all I had available at the time). I had to do this in sections of course and let each dry before moving on. Once completely dry it looked too drab so I grabbed the acrylic floor finish and painted the leaf and circle shapes leaving the black borders matte. This really makes the leaves and circles pop. They almost look like they are floating on the surface of the egg. Cool! 
In hindsight, the acrylic dots I first applied weren't worth the trouble as you don't even see them anymore. So, if you were going to attempt this yourself, you might want to skip that first part. :)
The finishing touch was to take my gold leaf pen and stipple tiny dots of gold outlining each leaf.
Here is a closeup of another similar egg that I painted the same way. The only difference is that I did not spray the matte finish on this one but left the whole egg with the satin gloss created by the ink
Here is another view of this egg
The tiny bit of gold chain you see is what I used to keep this naughty egg still while I photographed him. He kept wandering all over the table.

Well, there you have it. A glimpse into my creative process. XD I hope you enjoyed it!

Until next time!