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Creative Chemistry 101

I’ve always loved the look of the Tim Holtz Distress Inks by Ranger. They have a vintage feel but at the same time are very bright and fresh. Other than how they looked, I didn’t know anything about them. This summer, Online Card Classes and Tim Holtz are offering a great opportunity to get to know the Distress Ink products and how and why they work the way they do in their Creative Chemistry series.  Creative Chemistry debuted in 2012 with Creative Chemistry 101 and then 102.  This summer, they are re-releasing 101 in June, 102 in July and offering a new 103 Course in August.  In these courses, Tim explains the properties of the inks and materials and then demonstrates different techniques that illustrate how the ink reacts to create different effects.

Here is what we created using the Spritz & Flick Technique:


So far, so fun!


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Letterpress Bookplate

Saturday I had the opportunity to spend a few hours in a workshop learning how to use a letterpress with polymer plates. The class was offered through Irvine Fine Arts Center. I had taken an introductory workshop about a month before with a great instructor, Madeleine Zygarewicz of Panorama Press, and she was back to show us more! We worked on a Vandercook SP15 Proofing Press.

Below is the two-color bookplate I produced.


To get this image we had to prepare three separate plates. The first polymer plate held everything you see in black. The ink roller was loaded with black ink and the impression was made on the paper.

The second plate, also a polymer plate, held the image of the butterfly. For the second step, the entire machine had to be cleaned to remove the black ink, and a custom red ink had to be created. The previous black impression and the new plate with the butterfly had to be aligned so that it would print in the correct place, involving a lot of measuring and securing the plate in the correct position.

Finally, the type is added, a very involved process that included selecting and setting a typeface and setting the name. No cleaning was necessary this time as the name was the same color as the butterfly. The third impression was made and the paper was cut.

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Monochrome Rose


I’m Lisa, and this is my first post on my new blog, Live2Color. I’m excited to be sharing what I’m working on with you and hope you enjoy visiting my site.

That’s all the introduction I have, so let me talk about my latest project.

I saw a great Halloween card by Dawn Olchefske that used black embossing powder in the background and decided to try it out on my own. Her video shows the basic steps I followed for the embossing, so you can click on the link above to check that out. I used a Cuttlebug embossing folder for the frame. After embossing the card, I couldn’t just leave the frame empty, so I drew the rose and colored it in a monochrome palette using Copic markers  (BV23, BV25, BV29) and then spent a little while cutting it out. The paper for the card is Neenah card stock, and the rose was colored on X-press It blending card. I used double-sided adhesive foam tape to give the rose a little depth.


I like how one leaf is falling out of the frame. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.