Kielty Alcohol Inks

Welcome to my first playtime with the new Kielty Alcohol Inks straight from Dublin, Ireland. Yes, I know Joggles is also selling the inks themselves but not all the fun extras you can get when you buy direct.

I first heard about Kielty inks on YouTube. They have several selling points. I will copy and paste the main ones from the Kielty website:

  • Kielty Inks are formulated to be free of ethanol and methanol and are non acidic.
  • Kielty Inks have exceptionally low toxicity compared to other brands which are acutely toxic (skull and crossbones symbol), you would need to drink our ink to notice negative effects.  Even then it would take multiple bottles to do any real harm, its not exactly tasty, so unless you have screws loose you would not be drinking it.  Yes, I tasted it.  I am a scientist…. with screws loose apparently.
  • Kielty Inks are Alcohol Inks that are 100% handmade in Dublin, Ireland with soul and love.

According to the YouTube person I was watching these inks are odor-free. Not totally true but pretty darn close. If you open a bottle and hold it under your nose and sniff – you get a faint, light smell of alcohol. Almost imperceptible. I think I spelled that right 🙂 The primary reason I ordered from Ireland is they are the only way to get the needles that come with the bottles. These needles go down inside the tips of the bottle and allow you to make almost pinpoint precision dots of color. I haven’t gotten that part downpat yet but I’m working on it and hopeful. Hahahaha! I did expect this package to take forever to get here. It did not. I ordered late Tuesday afternoon and the box was here Thursday morning. All the way from Ireland! I don’t even get in-state mail that fast. Bonus points for Daryl at Kielty!

First off let me say this is a screen shot from who is also selling the inks. Not the needles, the inks. The color names on the bottles are in Irish – I totally don’t speak Irish, so I am thankful Barb posted the names along with their English counterparts.

For this project I began with aqua blue and some isopropyl alcohol. A squiggle line of alcohol and two drops of aqua blue was all I needed.

I began moving the color by tilting the 5″ x 7″ piece of Grafix Craft Plastic. Just letting the color and alcohol move and cover a decent amount of the surface. Hard to believe all that color came from two drops.

Then I added a couple drops of violet. This bottle was a little stiffer and harder to squeeze out color so I got probably three drops of color. I was a little concerned about how dark the color was initially but I shouldn’t have worried. It is an absolutely beautiful color!

I used my distress marker spritzer tool to blow air onto the puddles and push that color around hopefully creating beautiful cells of awesomeness! This tool is a hand squeeze thing that wears your hand out but the price is right. And I have it already. Hahaha! It does work great other than it makes my wrist feel like carpal tunnel in the future.

As you work with your air source, rotate and turn your tile to make things work for you. Don’t let it control you. Rotate and turn. The main thing is as long as your product is wet keep working it with the air until you get something you love.

I work fairly close to the surface and squeeze out puffs of air – all the time and working the paper.

Can you see the bubbles in lines along the top? That’s the edge of the alcohol. Just keep pushing. I used two colors on this piece but because of the way the alcohol combines and blends the color – you end up with a whole lot more! Now look at the lower edge. There is an area I thought was way too dark, so I added a drop of alcohol right on top of it.

Then I used my air tool to push alcohol and color and lighten that area.

I thought this area was too dark also, so I added a drop of alcohol here.

See how the air pushes the color out? I gave it a big ol’ squeeze! You can puff little bits of air, too, and work your color gently. But I really wanted to lighten that area up and I am impatient.

I came to a point where I knew this was complete. I love all the little bits of color, the little cells of cool! You can really see here how two colors – aqua blue and violet – can make others and tie the whole piece together. Can’t wait to add tangles to this piece! Although I think it is pretty much perfect already! Let me show you a couple more I made.

Yellow and harvest.

Yellow and clover.

Olive and aqua blue.

Aqua blue and purple.

Blueberry and aqua blue.

Red violet with a liberal amount of alcohol.

Overall I love the Kielty inks. I know Daryl is in the process of changing out some of the bottles and I think that will take care of the stiffness I had with one or two of the bottles. He said it will also take care of the small amounts of graininess I got in a few places. Although I don’t mind those bits of grain. I love that there is basically no smell. That translates into no headaches. No fumes-induced migraines. And I got some really nice extras! A wonderful padded zippered carrying case that holds all 27 ink colors, a bottle of the retarding solution and has two slots to add more colors or solutions when I want to. My set came with 20 blunt needles and a cleaning syringe. I also got some layering solution and a jar of super fine glitter dust. Haven’t played with it yet but will probably do that later today. Stay tuned for more fun with Kielty. Barb has the 27 colors available at or you can check out Kielty itself by clicking here.

When the Tangle is Too Hard

Tangle patterns come in all levels of ease – from easy peasy to oh my gosh what was I thinking!!! Normally when I hit one of those hard ones I push myself and give it a good go. If it is still beating me about the head – I move on to something else. But it’s Inktober and I picked the tangle patterns for my Facebook group Tangle All Around to use. I don’t try the patterns first. I just pick them, trying to have a good variety of types and skill levels. You know – to keep everyone challenged. And then this week happened. You know the kind of week I mean. Hahahaha!

I want to begin the post with Windmill. At first glance, this pattern is a grid based one. Grids aren’t really my thing. My brain hurts when I try to do grids but I wanted a well-rounded selection for Inktober. And it is good to push myself to try new things, and I thought this would be a fun pattern to work with. After I threw two really lovely colored tiles with messed up windmill attempts into the trash I thought about not doing this pattern at all. But I am the ‘leader’ of the group and I felt pressure. Hahaha! I have since gotten over that but on this day I felt pressure. So I came up with a way to make this pattern work. Let me show you what I did.

I drew the grid structure on my tile and placed the tile right on top of the step out page that I had printed off for this purpose.

I was going to work on step two, so I placed the tile under the step two photo and drew the lines shown in red – making sure that my tile looked like the drawing for step two. I know . . . not real zen-ful but at least it worked. Then I slid the tile over underneath the step three drawing and drew the curved lines for step three.

That worked so well that I moved my tile to step four. I could’t make my hand work to draw in that orientation, so I rotated the whole page AND my tile and turned it upside down. Then I was able to draw the curved lines for step four. By simply rotating the whole thing as a unit I was able to draw the step four lines the same way I had done step three. By starting at the bottom of the work area and drawing my lines upwards.

Notice in this photo that I drew an arrow in pencil to make sure I knew which side was the top of the tile. And then I moved on to steps five and six. They were the same as three and four – just going out to the sides, so I rotated my paper and worked on my tile sideways. Always moving the tile and paper as one piece. Yes, this was a bit much of a pain but I felt like I had to do this tile since I had picked it out.

And I was able to complete the basic steps of my tile by doing this rotate thing. At this point I know that I will never draw this pattern again. Ever. But I was able to make it this once. I even added some embellishments because it looked a bit like there was way too much space on the sides. Not zen-ful at all! But at least I thought far enough ahead to take photos so I could make this post! Hahahaha!

And this is how it turned out. Moving on.

A couple days later we had this pattern. I love Sandra Strait’s fun and easy tangles. Always so cute and full of fun! I was really looking forward to working with her little Dragon Fly! The inktober prompt for the day was dragon so this was going to be perfect! Two tiles in I realized I was going to need to cheat a little. My dragon fly was working ok but placement on my tile was not working. I wasn’t allowing enough room for this little guy’s tail and wings. I needed a plan to make that work because I wasn’t going to let this one get away from me. Hello! He is a dragon!

I did not want to ask Sandra for help, but I did think about what Sandra would do. And I remembered how she divides her animals up into shapes. Geometrics. And I was able to go from there. I began with a pencil and tried the shapes out on the back of the step out sheet, then moved to my tile and sketched them out there. I darkened this up so you could see it better. Not awesome but there is room for the head, the body, feet, tail and wings. As long as I stayed mostly in those specified areas – my dragon fly would fit! Yayayayay!!! Cause he’s a dragon!!!!

Working with the step out sheet in plain sight – sound like a cop, don’t I? – I was able to make my cute little dragon fly and I hope I made Sandra proud. I look up to her. She and Jennifer and Robin and Shay are my art heroes. I always want to make them proud.

I know I showed him to you a few days ago, but here he is again. I usually name all my dragons. Perhaps I will name this one Sandra <3

I hope I have been able to give you a few ideas for working on harder patterns. Today’s tangle was a particularly hard one for me. It’s called XOX. I tried it and threw one tile away and moved on to printemps and crescent moon instead. Hahahahaha! Have a great day!

Inktober, Days 10 – 13

It’s hard to believe but Inktober is almost half way complete. Glass half full? Glass half empty? Hahahahaha! It’s amazing how many people are staying caught up. Including me! Let me show you the last few days!

My least favorite tile of the month so far. Hahahahahaha! There has to be one or two that I won’t care for. I picked the patterns we are using in Tangle All Around and I chose ones of various levels of ease. This one comes down to – I am not such a fan of grid patterns. I am using Tiles from Hahnemühle and technical pens from Zebra Pen each day this month. The color in the background here is Lindy’s Magicals. I was trying a couple of the colors I wouldn’t normally use. Can’t waste this product and you never know what I might end up liking. Like that black alcohol ink I tried a while back. And hey! Bonus! You can actually see the sparkle in this photo – that’s almost impossible to capture! The tangle for the day was windmill and the official Inktober prompt was pattern. Day 10 – √

Prompts for day 11 were Victorian Flake for the pattern and snow for the Inktober list. As I chose the tangles to use this month I tried to match them up with the Inktober prompts to make it easier for my members. Background color here is Spectrum Noir ink pads used as a watercolor. You can see how right here.

For day 12 I chose Sandra Strait’s pattern called Dragon Fly. Love her whimsical patterns! The Inktober prompt was dragon. You know how I love dragons! So this is what I drew!

I had some extra time – that never happens! – while Mark watched football so I pulled out a tile and tangled up some fun! This tile was colored in the water squirt gun challenge from a couple months ago. Tangles? Ringz and Amigo Two!

And that brings us up to day 13. At least it isn’t a Friday! The tangle of the day was Iffy. That would be the center section. I added diva dance rock ‘n roll along the outer borders. The Inktober prompt was ash. I opted to ignore it for this day. Hahahahaha! Looking forward to the next week’s worth of tangling! And I’m working on a new project for Zebra Pen! Can’t wait to share it with you!

I need to share with you that Hahnemühle has discontinued the Tiles. They are no longer available anywhere that I am aware of. This makes me really sad because I use these tiles almost daily. I may need to start cutting my own. I think I will use one of the other Hahnemühle papers <3 I will update you when I decide what to do. For now I still have a couple tins of the YouTangles that I will use first.

Technical Pens from Zebra Pen

A Little More Maine

Maine is beautiful! Is it the time of year? No, not really. Maine is beautiful all year long! We live in an isolated area with few people and love it! Of course our friends here probably wouldn’t think we are isolated but they didn’t come from Florida where mostly everywhere is crowded with too many people and too many cars. Here our little town has a population of 643. Here we have the opportunity every single day to enjoy what God created and appreciate what He has blessed us with. New hip included!

Blessing number one is having family close by. Not all our family, but our son Jason, his wife Bobbie and the Frankles decided to move here also – after visiting here just one night. The next morning they had questions about cost of living and what would it take to get them here. It wasn’t long afterwards till they were headed this way. Probably the biggest challenge was finding jobs that would support them. Not a lot of full-time employment in this area and none with the pay they were used to in Florida. But they are making enough. And the Frankles is in an area where they don’t have to worry about her getting hurt going to and from school. They don’t have to worry about home break-ins and armed robberies. They don’t have to worry about muggings. You know, the things that could happen when they lived in the Orlando area. People here in this part of Maine have no idea what I’m talking about. About the things Jason heard and saw as a police 9-1-1 dispatcher in Orlando, or that Bobbie saw as an officer on the street, or that Mark and I saw and had to deal with when we were law enforcement in Gainesville, Florida. Google the Gainesville Student Murders sometimes and you will understand. Just another reason to love Maine. Now, if we could get Kali and Nicole to move up here we would be great! Sorry, that got a little wordy!

Blessing number two is sights like this every single day! Blessed. And we love it! I am just going to show you some crazy stuff, that ok?

Check out this mushroom. Can you see the black goo dripping off it? This starts as a solid white, tall mushroom that reminds me a lot of a roll of tightly wound white twine. Over a few days, it fans out, then the sides drop down and finally this goo drips off, then the whole thing kind of disintegrates into the ground and disappears. Weird.

At nighttime we get literally 30 – 40 of these on the front porch because there is a light there. We get moths of all shapes and sizes and colors and some of them stick around the next morning for photo shoots. Hahahahaha!

Isn’t he pretty?

It is harvest time. Time to bring in all the potatoes. And let me tell you if you love potatoes – this is the place to be! Potato famers plant hundreds and hundreds of acres of potatoes – and that is probably not even a big enough number. (Nope, Google says 63,000 acres of potatoes are planted in Aroostook County each year. Wow!) And now it is time to harvest before the temperatures drop lower. Everywhere we see equipment that I don’t names of. Trucks that go down the rows and literally scoop the potatoes out of the ground. Trucks that shoot them into the big trucks like the blue one in this photo that takes the potatoes to wherever they take them to. We aren’t real clear on that yet. Hey, we’ve only lived here three years. Hahahaha!

This is what a semi truck of potatoes looks like. And we pass a number of these trucks every day right now. I wonder how many potatoes a truck like that holds? Ok, fun fact. I just googled and 1.65 billion pounds of potatoes are harvested each year in Maine. Wow!!! That’s a whole of lot of French fries and curly fries!

Yesterday we got stuck behind this guy. He is pulling the piece of equipment that scoops the potatoes out of the ground. I think. Thankfully it pulled off the road before long.

And they work until evening when the light leaves. Bringing in the potatoes. If you look at the top of this truck you can see the potatoes mounded up that high. And a really cool thing I love about this area – after the potatoes are harvested, the farmers let the people go in with buckets or boxes or bags and pick up all the leftover potatoes. The ones that were too small or just plain didn’t get scooped up. A lot of people keep their families fed during the long cold winter with potatoes that were free. Mainers help Mainers. We didn’t have that in Florida. You may get help from your church family but not from anyone else. This is pretty cool.

And one more blessing. We have sights like this literally everywhere. So much beautiful to be had here! Can you understand just a little why we love it here?