Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Guilty GiveAWAY!! By Karen McGovern

Well, hello there! It's been quite a while since I blogged here...been up to my eyeballs in LIFE. You know, that pesky thing that gets in the way of EVERYTHING?!? As many of you know, my husband and I run a wildlife conservation center focusing on tropical endangered species, (RSCF). Spring and summer = BABY SEASON here and I have had my hands full hand-rearing endangered sparrows and parrots, not to mention caring for our 40 acres of primates, antelope and other avian species. 

From left to right, top row mountain bongo antelope, baby red-browed Amazon parrots.
Next row Florida grasshopper sparrow chicks, Ninita, the Queen of pygmy marmosets.

It's been BUSY and I'm EXHAUSTED. So, forgive my absence, but my guilt is your gain because I to win your favor again I am going to GIVE AWAY a super-cool cuff while offering a quick tutorial on how I made it. 

I have recently begun experimenting with alcohol inks on metal. I've seen many beautiful designs created this way and wanted to give it a go. Aluminum is one of my favorite materials to work with for cuffs. It's hypoallergenic and very easy and forgiving to work with. Forms easily because it's so soft, but hardens up nicely as you work with it, shines up beautifully and will never tarnish (plus WAY CHEAPER THAN SILVER). Yesterday I stole a few minutes to head to the studio to play and this is what I came up with. 


I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type artist. By that I mean I have little time to spare, am impatient and always looking for products and methods that yield quick results. I also do not "plan" a design per se...I sit down and kind of go for it. I love "accidental" designs, and this cuff is an example of that. 

Alcohol inks are a blast to work with, providing Immediate, INTENSE colors that work well on many metals, aluminum included. I got mine at Michaels, but you can find them at just about any arts and crafts store and a million places online. GOOGLE IT.

First, I covered my work space with paper because alcohol inks STAIN FOREVER. Bear that in mind regarding what you are wearing as well (sigh...goodbye favorite T shirt....). If you are fussy about your hands/nails wear rubber gloves or something. 

Prep your metal. I texture all my cuffs by hammering the length of metal on a paving stone I have in my studio. I love organic textures on metal. You can leave it smooth if you want, but texturing gives the inks cool fissures and marks to fill and run--I like that. Next, clean the metal. I gave the cuff a quick scrub in the sink using Dawn and water. Dry thoroughly, try not to touch the surface too much with your fingers (but alcohol inks are pretty forgiving too--I've had good results on metal I totally forgot to wash). I use 6 inch lengths for cuffs and get my aluminum on Etsy. Just search "aluminum cuff blanks". For this cuff I trimmed the metal to give a tapered effect--slightly wider at one end than the other, about 2 inches wide at the widest end. 


Lay it flat on your surface and--well--splash some ink on it! I have cotton swabs, paper towel and a small paint brush handy to work the inks around as well. Mostly I drip on some ink (the bottles have a nice dropper tip), tilt the metal and let the ink flow and drip. At one point I didn't like what I saw and while the ink was wet I wiped the entire piece of metal from one end to the other with a paper towel to see what happened. It made a BEAUTIFUL base coat of pale color! Surprise! I then began dripping and swirling again. Once I got the look I wanted I let the cuff dry fully in the sun for about an hour or so, Next I bent the cuff into shape with my handy bracelet bender, adjusted by hand to fit, then sealed the metal with 4 coats of spray PermaLac clear coat for metal, letting the cuff dry between coats. THE END.

This is not my image, I lifted it from Jewelry Making Daily. It is the exact bracelet bender I use. I clamp mine in a vise.

In creating the cuff I had to clean up drips and drabs that got on the back and edges and found the inks really hold up well and do not come off easily. I used a sanding sponge to get the drips off and had to rub pretty hard. After sealing, the colors remain true and bright and really hold up well. I will definitely be playing around more with this technique!!

Sooo, all you have to do to WIN THIS CUFF is comment here with your favorite summer vacation memory. I will add all your names to a random name generator and the winner will be announced NEXT TUESDAY (July 26th). My favorite summer vacation memory is visiting St. Augustine beach with my husband and watching him play in a tide pool like a 6 year-old. BEST. DAY. EVER. Now, your turn!

If you also use alcohol inks in your designs, share an image of your work! In the meantime, I hope you all are enjoying a fantastic summer. Now, GO MAKE SOMETHING AMAZING! 

27 comments:

Meaghan Hastie said...

A family vacation to Prince Edward Island when I was ten (30ish years ago). So many good memories from gorgeous beaches, Anne of Green Gables house, drives around the countryside and fun with my siblings and parents.

craftyd said...

Gorgeous bracelet! My favorite vacation was the year my daughter graduated from high school and we took the whole family to Utah for our vacation. It's a beautiful state and I would love to go again.
Dolores

Leslie A Pope said...

Your bracelet is stunning. I am not a metal worker but am always fascinated by the people create with it.

My favorite Summer vacation would have to be anyone where my family and I went to the beach. I love the beach, I wish I could live at the beach.

Cindy Martin-Shaw said...

I just HAD to have alcohol inks and bought some well over a year ago. Tried one experiment with them, didn't like the result, and so on the shelf the bottles sat. You have inspired me to try again. Thank you. I've been in a creative slump lately, so your post came at the perfect time. Favorite summer vacation memory? Any time from my childhood with my parents on Lake Erie.

Kathy Lindemer said...

My favorite summer vacation was always spending time on Lewes beach with my children.

Robbie said...

So many childhood memories....but best was on 'off' farming days (baling hay, picking strawberries, etc.) my cousin and I packed a lunch and would ride the horses bareback staying gone all day!! We weren't allowed to ride with a saddle unless our cousin's mom rode with us. She figured if we got throw off the horses we wouldn't get our feet caught in the stirrups! Sure learned how to ride a horse! And having so much fun with my cousin(s) and the horses and farm are memories I will always cherish.

Camille said...

Camping trip with my grandparents when I was 8 years old. We always made a big fire and grandpa would tell scary stories right before bed haha. Great times!!! ♡

Debbta said...

My favorite vacation memory is from about four years ago. It was a very late summer trip to visit my son in Seattle. We went out on a boat for a whale watching tour. And those beautiful lovelies didn't disappoint. It was truly moving.

Karen Z said...

Vacation? What's a vacation? Best by far was in and around Manchester, NH. Stayed with friends, social time every night, and exploring the coast by day. One of the best, we rambled back streets and dead ends from Portsmouth to Ogunquit, ME--arriving just as the lobster boats were coming in. Bought a cratefull from the dock and had the greatest bake that night with our pals! Beauty around every bend in the road. Ahhh.

Donna Raterman said...

My favorite vacation was with a friend to Jamaica! One of the locals to us on a private boat ride up along the coast to the light house! It was such a beautiful trip! Some great pics!

Gerald Holt said...

I loved going to the beach w/my favorite uncle and aunt and their children. Sometimes it was a whole week or just the weekend. We had such a blast! We would play in the surf or the pool. Ah the great times we would have!

Maryalice Leister said...

Days at the Jersey shore. The hours in the water and walking the Boardwalk every night. Heavenly!

Erin Fish said...

Boating in Georgian Bay with my husband and two dogs. The scenery is amazing and the time is the most serene and peaceful ever!!!!!!

Simon Potter said...

Great article. Thanks for the tips on alcohol ink on metal. And the part about the bracelet bender and where to get it.
Also, thanks for the wonderful work you are doing with the wildlife.

Lee Anne Messerschmidt said...

Love the tutorial and the bracelet! So bright and colorful... One of my favorite vacations was with Hubby and a friend, who had moved to Nashville, and his wife and My girlfriend from when I was 10 and she was 6... then 28 and 24 and her boyfriend Clark... He kind of looked like Clark Kent!lol.. anyway we all met in Ft. Myers Beach, Fla.. Shared a condo and had a great time.. we had fun watching the guys trying to get the best best pictures with their cameras and Frisbee, etc... Clark was the athletic one ! It was a wonderful time with great friends...I miss them both...
Oh crap this was suppose to be happy... Well It was !

Toni Charland said...

Your cuff is beautiful.... My favorite summer memory was taking a trip with on line friends from Australia.. We started in Ontario with Niagara Falls, CN Tower in Toronto and then on to Ottawa then Montreal. A few days in the eastern townships and then to Quebec City and the Isle de Orleans... We then went through N.B and took the ferry to PEI. We enjoyed Nova Scotia and followed the Cabot Trail and then the Bay of Fundy... We then headed to Boston to meet up with other online friends and then back toward home up through NY state crossing back into Ontario.. Our whole trip took 3 weeks and we became fast friends... We met doing genealogy....and became life long friends.

Toni Charland said...

The best day was with my Australian friends on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls... Wet, laughing and hugging....

Unknown said...

Beautiful bracelet! (I found your site thru a pin on Pinterest) Hands down, my favorite summer vacation memory happened last year, late summer, when my gentleman friend and I went to Florida. I am a lifelong Midwesterner, had never seen the ocean, so he took me to New Smyrna Beach. I was loving walking around in the water, squishing sand between my toes, picking up shells... and when I turned around I saw him on one knee with a ring, asking me to marry him. This weekend, we will be making another good memory together when we head to Northern Wisconsin to be married in a little rustic campground!

freshbakeddesigns said...

What a great gift of this bracelet tutorial! Thanks so much!

Lisa Mack said...

Thank you for your gift of life to the animals and your treasure time!
My favorite memory was seeing my husband enjoy his first New York Yankees game. The boy from Hannibal loved the team and fought w his Grandpa because he was a traitor to the Cardinal team. He survived great illness. A vacation was in order. Hello NYC!

Deb Fortin said...

Love the intense colours . I too have alcohol inks , though I do NEED more colours myself as I only have 6 and I KNOW they come in lots and lots of hues.
That bracelet bender is the bomb. I think I need to get one of those too.

I recently played around with my alcohol inks and aluminium blanks I got from my sons work place . a factory where they make stranded wire. the raw spools come with aluminium tags for identification and they get tossed out when the roll is used up . SO i have access to a ton of these.

I cut and pounded and hammered and drilled all sorts of holes and textures and then dropped on the inks , letting them run where they may. I'm quite please with how it turned out.

I tried to upload a photo into this comment but it didnt work



Anonymous said...

My favorite vacation was when we surprised our girls with a trip to Disney Land!!! I secretly packed our clothes into my parents motorhome. We told the girls we were going for a drive and ended up at the ferry. (We live on an Island!) and they saw Grandma and Grandpa. They were so excited to see them. Still no idea we were going anywhere. They asked them where should we go. Grandpa said we should go say hi to Mickey Mouse. The girls calmly said ya that would be fun. So we said ok lets go do it. The look of shock on their faces was the best moment of the whole trip! We loved every minute of our vacation. One I will always hold dear to my heart. (Kam).....posting as anonymous as I don't know how to do it any other way!!

Anonymous said...

You are so talented! I love your energy! What you do for the beautiful creatures on this planet deserves a standing ovation. I realize one person can't do it all but if many people did a little bit, overall we can make a difference.... Thank you for what you do!
My favorite summer vacation was with my sister and her two girls, we rented a place on the Big Island in Hawaii... There was a supermoon one night, we were swimming in a private little beach area and the moon was so bright we could see night rainbows!!!! It was amazingly spiritual and unforgettable. My niece, 8 at the time, was singing to the moon and the rainbows in absolute rapture. Truly one of the most touching experiences I've ever had with nature. Also any stay-cation I have here at home in Alaska is usually enriching. I've always had a way with animals, inherited from my dad... Many times I've snuggled or pet a wild moose (Do not attempt! They can kill you!) Theier noses are softer than horses!!! 🌸🌸🌸🌸
-Genevieve Gabbert

Irene Snyder said...

My favorite vacation memory is when we were house boating on Dale Hollow Lake in Kentucky. We tied off the big boat and took the speed boat out to explore the coves. A local guy at the dock told us about a great waterfall and how to get there. We anchored the boat when we got to a shallow creek, and the four of us waded for about 1/2 mile up through that enchanted place. It was about 90 degrees, and we could smell the sultry scent of flowers blooming everywhere. We heard a loud humming, and looked up to see maybe 15 Hummingbirds flying overhead! We could also hear the waterfall, and when we finally got to it, we stood underneath the icy cold water and just hooped and hollered like little children! That experience was true sensory overload, and I hope to recall it in all of its vivid details before I die.

Here Bead Dragons said...

The best/favorite summer memory is my husband and I trailering our horses to Wyoming (from Washington) and riding all over Wyoming. It was a magical two weeks.
~cryssT

Kristen Ferris said...

Family vacation at Milfrid Manner - my Mom taught me how to blow bubbles with Hubba Bubba bubble gum ... the vending machine was empty by the end of the week!

Natasha Malhotra said...

That's a very beautiful bracelet that would go well with all dresses. Also all those animal babies are so cute! Thanks for sharing :)

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