The Road Less Traveled


Monday, August 2, 2010

USAQ DT Tutorial # 4 - Totally Organic With Mica Flakes Kit

Texture and color drives my love of these highly pigmented mica flakes.  Very organic in look and nature, mosaic in shape and feel.  The Mica Flakes Collection Kit takes mica tiles to another level!!  Wow, I am in love!!

Here is a look at this rockin' (literally) kit!  Look at all the jars of highly pigmented mica flakes to choose from, 16 in all.  In addition you will receive PPA Gloss, 2 scoops, a high grade artist brush, and the tin to hold it all in.
To me, the brush itself is the price of admission.  Good grade brushes make all the difference, not having the right tools can make creating a chore, designing difficult.  USAQ carries several sizes of Perfect Brushes and the quality is phenomenal! 

Get an early start to Christmas present making. Completing gifts now lets you enjoy a worry-free holiday to enjoy entertaining, pageants, Caroling, and other fun holiday activities.

My project for this tutorial is a votive decorated with Pinata inks and mica flakes.  Flowers or other accents are fun to create, if you want to keep it holiday related, a poinsettia can be done instead of the flower.  The flower is made with mica flakes on Folio cardstock, and then die cut with a hand cutter like the Cuttlebug.  The center of the flower is added after cutting to define the floral look.  The combination of Mica Flakes and Pinata Inks add shimmer and glow to create an amazing gift!


Mica Flakes Kit (USAQ)
  Mica Flakes
  PPA Gloss
  Litte Dipper Scoops
  Fine Detail Brush
Folio Cardstock, any color you choose (USAQ)
Pinata Inks - 2 colors (USAQ) - Saphire Blue, and Senorita Magenta used
Krylon Gold Pen
Glass Votive Holder with Votive Candle
Small Block of Wood
A scrap piece of White Felt
Hook from Velcro Hook and Loop
Die Cut Machine and Die (I used a flower shaped)
Craft Glue Dots

1.  Create an applicator to apply your Pinata inks.  What I do is glue a strip of the "hook" (the grabbing part of of Velcro) part from a strip of Velcro Hook and Loop onto a thin side of wood.  I think it is something like 1-2" by 3-4".  The Hook from the Velcro will hold a thin strip of white felt. 

Here is a picture of my applicator, the scrap of felt already has alcohol ink on it.  You would place a clean piece of felt on the wood block.  You can see the little "hook" teeth on the Velcro strip. 

Image shows adding alcohol ink to felt.  Bring tip to felt and lightly squeeze.

2.  Take the first color of Pinata ink, adding 2-3 drops on the right side of the felt that is attached to the wood.  Add the other color of Pinata ink to the left side of the felt so that each color is next to each other side by side.
3.  Alcohol ink dries quickly so you will be able to work each side without smearing what you have done.  To design the votive with the ink, start with the Krylon pen - shake it well, remove the cap and run free-form lines and small dashes on the votive.
4.  Next take your wood applicator and apply ink in random patterns that overlap on the votive.  Turn the wood applicator to the left and to the right so that one color overlaps another color.  I used magenta and blue and formed purple where the colors overlap.  The more you tap over an area, the more pattern you will get.  As you play you will get the feel for how this works.  (There is a chapter in my book that shows how to apply alcohol inks to shrink plastic)   Apply ink to all four sides of the votive and even on the bottom.
5.  Starting with one side of the votive at a time, place the votive on its side.  Squeeze PPA onto the bottom part of the votive in a wavy line.  Scoop one or more colors of mica flakes and pour over the area.  Let dry and tap off excess flakes back into their jar.  If you have several colors mixed up, I store them in a separate container with a lid.
6.  Repeat #4 only do another wavy line just above the first area of flakes that have dried.  Find a contrasting color to accent the first color(s).  Follow the same directions using the scoop (or your fingers) to sprinkle the flakes on the area.  Let it dry.
7.  Keep turning the votive and do the same pattern on all four sides.  On the Folio Cardstock, brush PPA all over the surface and sprinkle colors of flakes all over the cardstock.  Add a little more PPA and sprinkle more.  Let dry and run the Folio Cardstock through your Cuttlebug to cut out a flower.  Attach the flower with a Craft Glue Dot.  Put the votive candle inside and light!

Make an assembly line and design several votives at a time.  A small amount of Pinata Ink goes a long way as well as the Mica Flakes.  With the Mica Flakes Kit, you have so many colors to make many gifts.

Below is a nature piece.  I love how the flakes look like sky, earth, or even water.  I first applied Duo Glue to black Folio cardstock.  I used both Jewelz Mica Pigmented Powders to decorate the background before adding the mica flakes.  There are a couple jars of finely crushed flakes that give a soft but textured finish (Not as fine as glitter) but like sawdust.  I adore the gold that is finely crushed. 

Another Christmas idea is cards or decorative art.  Here I took a paper mache' star which can be made into a removable ornament.  The ornament is done in cinnamon flakes and a chipboard star is added with the finely crushed gold to accent the star.  The background is finished like above with Duo Glue and mica pigmented powders and also Gildenglitz to give that shimmery, festive look.  A gold cording and a chipboard sentiment is added.  The gold swirls on the chipboard was added as well.


  1. So much fun looking! Those mica flakes are to create for!

  2. Dearheart Lea - What wonderful projects! You have simply outdone yourself. I am so proud to have you on the design team. Thank you. Sue

  3. Fabulous Lea, looks like a lot of fun!! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Love your projects, Lea. The votive candle would make a great Christmas gift.

  5. Stunning!! I just love your projects!!