First Play

This was my first play with alcohol inks.

I bought a set of Pixiss alcohol inks with 25 assorted colors, some Yupo papers, a couple bottles of 91% Isopropyl Alcohol, and 10 empty bottles with fine metal tips. As expected, the plastic tips on the Pixiss bottles are larger. That’s okay if you make normal size art, but I like to work in miniature.

What I did not expect was the frikkin child protector caps. Push and turn; repeat every frikkin time, even with the black seal rings removed. I am 60 years old. My studio door and supply closets all have keyed entry locks to prevent visiting grandchildren from drinking chemicals or playing with sharp and dangerous tools. I do not need child protector caps on little bottles that require repeated opening while working on a project.

Easy solution: just pour inks into the other bottles. Correction: squirt inks into other bottles, and maybe best to just to squirt a little of the colors being used as there is no going back. The Pixiss bottles are not made to be opened. I tried prying around a tip base with my fingernail thinking that I could wiggle it up and out but those buggers must be press fitted in. DRATS!

Fast forward past initial frustrations and oh my… I really, really, absolutely love these inks!

Alcohol inks do not behave like other inks. The special paper required is a type of plastic. It’s not absorbent.

I spent several hours playing with the inks, exploring the effect of wetting the Yupo paper with Isopropyl first, adding tiny drops later, layering colors wet into wet as well as wet on dry. This is a medium that requires relinquishing control to a certain degree because the inks will do their own thing.

Here’s a little video made to show my cousin what is beyond words to explain.

That drop was first drop on my third… shown below is my first play, alcohol inks on 2.5 x 3.75 inch translucent Yupo, trimmed to ACEO size (2.5 x 3.5 inches).

Thanks for reading!

Another Pattern Try

Of course, I just had to try a new mask pattern that was floating around on Facebook (sorry, should have saved the link to the video to credit the designer). This one is cool because it is quick and easy to sew from four identically cut tapered rectangles (the flaps are folded in half and sandwiched between the other two layers before stitching along the two curves). I like how it lays flat when not worn. If you fold it in half, it kind of looks like a little purse. I didn’t bother to rotate the ear loops to hide the knots (or change from blue to white thread) since I was making it for myself.

Masked Selfie, July 2020

Obviously, if you choose fabric with a one-way design like I did, you’re not supposed to wear it upside down. Did anyone notice? No… most people don’t pay attention to such details.

It feels comfy enough, with plenty of room inside (no lipstick smears), and stayed where it belongs okay without a nose wire.

Downsides? It’s not reversible and it’s kind of boxy shaped, goes closer to my ears than other masks and I want to retrofit it with a nose wire but there is no seam on the top edge to sneak a hair pin wire in.

I’m going to try making a smaller version for the grandchildren. If I make more for myself with this pattern, I’m going to sew a pipe cleaner in during construction. I’ve slacked off on making masks to donate or sell, mainly because there are local mask makers cranking out masks by the hundreds in short time, some with obvious access to wholesale supplies. Even those who can walk into a fabric store are way ahead of me… I haven’t stepped foot into a Walmart or any other high traffic store since before the plaque. As for shopping online, I don’t even want to crank the math to see how deep I’m in the hole.

Still, what do I do? Order ye $40 in fabrics today… a fat quarter of candy corn print for Halloween masks, snowflakes and snowmen on red for Christmas, another red with tiny stars, and a couple yards of black, plus lace and trims, because I have ideas in my head and a few crystals in a jar.

I’ve been sewing other things… a fitted slipcover for a chair and a topper for this stool.

Yes, it is the same gold swirl cotton fabric that I used for masks, one of those online purchases with a min. order of 3 yards. I think it looks alright.

Thanks for reading!