Thursday, May 15, 2008

Domino Workshop 1

Hello Everyone!

Well, I am quite late with this, and I'm not really sure how frequently I can update with more workshops since I'm going through (still!) computer hell! We have our OLD computer back up right now, because the new one needed to be taken in to the shop already! So, we're using the old, still malfunctioning computer at the moment until the new one gets back from the shop... then we'll take this one in to get it optimized for the kids to use. At least, that's the plan!!!

Anyways! It's time for Workshop 1. For our first workshop, I'm going to first introduce you to some products that I use to alter dominoes, and then show you how I use the products to alter the dominoes.

First, let's discuss markers. I use Sharpies. I like them because they're permanent, and can mark on just about any surface; on dominoes, they dry quickly and create a (somewhat) permanent mark on the plastic domino surface. I say somewhat permanent, because you CAN remove the mark, if you want to. But I'll explain more about that in a bit.

I've tried other markers such as pitt pens (which I love for other applications, but not dominoes) but they simply do not work on the dominoes.

I prefer using Sharpies on dominoes rather than alcohol inks because you have more control over the colors and how they blend with the Sharpies than you do with alcohol inks, and I think that the colors are more vivid and bright with Sharpies than with alcohol inks.

However, one important supply/product that does come from the alcohol ink family is the blending solution. I love this stuff. Remember how I said that the Sharpie ink is somewhat permanent on the domino? Well, that's because the blending solution can also act as an eraser! Don't like the color combination you create on a domino? Just squirt a few drops of the blending solution onto the domino surface and wipe clean with a rag. Accidentally dribble ink onto the back of the domino? Just whisk away the color with a drop of blending solution and a Q-tip.

Because it's such a powerful "eraser" for your inks, you need to be careful with this stuff, or you'll erase the color you want too..... it requires a little practice to get the hang of it... after a few months of not working on dominoes, I find I have to 'reteach' myself on just how powerful the stuff is, and work with it a bit before I get the hang of it again.

Besides the domino, sharpies pens, and blending solution, I used the following tools to create the final background: Q-Tips, wax paper and an inexpensive paintbrush. (Don't use your expensive paintbrushes for this application)

So... let's get started!

First, lay out a sheet of wax paper -- this is to protect your work surface; the wax paper also serves as a palette onto which you can squirt the blending solution.

Next, choose 2 or 3 sharpie colors that blend together well. For this example I chose red, bright pink and purple. You don't want to select colors that contain all 3 of the primary colors (red, blue, green) because you're likely to end up with a muddy look on your domino when the colors blend. Here, since pink is a hue of red, and purple has red and blue, I need to avoid yellow ink.

Scribble your colors onto your domino randomly, like this...

You'll notice that the ink dries quickly on the surface. Now, squirt a small puddle of blending solution onto the wax paper, and grab a q-tip and absorb the blending solution onto the cotton tip. Working from the red corner of the domino, in a circular motion, begin blending the colors. End with the purple color (or dominate color of your chosen palette).

Here is what the domino looks like after I've blended the colors together.

The blending solution also dries almost instantly when applied with an applicator (the q-tip). You can now add some more color onto the domino, I used a similar pattern to what I started with, this will just enhance the colors already on the domino...

Now, using an inexpensive paintbrush (I have a small round tip brush that I use for this), I dip it into a puddle of blending solution. Working in a similar circular motion, I blended the color a bit more on the domino.

Now, to soften the colors on the surface of the domino, dribble two drops of blending solution directly onto the domino, one on the purple area, and the second on the red/pink area. Blow gently onto the small pool of blending solution to let the colors blend together. Keep blowing gently until the surface is dry (it dries pretty quickly). By blowing gently on the surface, it keeps the colors moving so that they don't pool around the edges of the domino and create dark edges. If you do get some dark edges that are not pleasing, you can soften them with your q-tip dipped in blending solution, and blending gently. (you need a very gentle hand with this, or you will remove all the color)

Here's the finished background. I scanned this, rather than photographed it, so the image looks a bit grainy... in person, it's a lot smoother.

So... I showed you mine... now... you try it and take a picture, post it to the group. Next workshop, we'll add an image to the domino, and add some finishing touches.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Domino Workshop Update & More Altered Books!

Alrighty everyone, I'm nearly ready to get the domino workshop off and running (and only about 5 months LATE!)... we just got a new computer which I will be hooking up within the next couple of days (we have to do some back up disks of information on this computer first), and as soon as I have that up and running, I will dedicate myself to getting the domino workshop going! I'm very excited about this! Woot!

And I've still been working in altered books... This is a pic of an altered book spread I finished last week for Tanya's Angels book...

I really don't think the scan did this one justice, it's really much nicer in person... The gold and silver paints shimmer really nicely. I am very happy with this spread. I hope that Tanya likes it!

Oh... and in case you haven't checked out my tea journal lately... I have a new tea out now! It's Green Apple Tea... if you like flavored green teas, this one may be right up your alley, and for those who are somewhat timid when it comes to green teas (I used to be, so I totally understand it!) you should give this one a try... the flavors are so exquisite! Yum!

Hope your weekend is going well, mine is!