Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Redhead Review: Idea-ology Fragments

Ever since I watched Tim Holtz' video demonstration on Idea-ology Fragments, I have wanted to try them out. I found some great Fragments on my last trip to my local stamp store, Absolutely Everything.

I'm going to show you two different ways to use these handy little pieces of plastic. The first way is dead easy and uses up all those pesky scraps you have hanging around by making custom embellishments!

What you will need:
Idea-ology Fragments - they come in a number of shapes and sizes
Scraps of designer paper or stamped pieces of cardstock
Ranger's Glossy Accents or a similar clear gloss medium

What to do:
Pick a palette of coordinating scrap pieces of designer paper for this first project. Of course, if you have a piece of untouched paper that you are dying to try that's okay too.

Select the style of Fragment that you want to use. The paper will become the background for this clear, reflective surface so you want to choose both the paper and the fragment with your own project in mind. Since this is my first time trying out these little darlings, I decided to play it safe and stick with squares.

Test out where you want to position the fragment on your paper before applying anything. My grand-dad was a woodworker and he taught me well - "measure twice, cut once". That old adage rings true a lot with crafting. Many a gorgeous piece of paper has had to be "repurposed" when I cut it in the wrong direction or made it the wrong size. I wanted to highlight these sweet dragonflies, so I worked out basically how I wanted them framed by the square Fragments.

Once, you are satisfied with the positioning, apply Glossy Accents to the tile. There is no up or down with these pieces so just apply to whichever side you want. Don't shake your Glossy Accents! This results in bubbles which you definitely don't want. Just turn the bottle upside down so the liquid flows into the tip and lightly squeeze. As Tim says in his demo, "scribble" the glossy accents onto the tile to make sure you have decent coverage.

Working quickly (this stuff dries fast), place the tile down on the paper and slide it around a little to smear that gloss medium. It will dry clear but the smearing will give you better contact between the two surfaces. Count to 10, literally, and it will be dry.

I had so much of my pretty double-sided paper left, I turned it over and made 3 more charms!

Now, all you have to do is cut out these little gems. You can adhere them to your project just as you would any paper. You may want to go with some glue dots to compensate for the weight of the piece or you can just use Glossy Accents again as it does make a great adhesive.

Tim suggests using these customized accents to create a mosaic which is a very cool idea, but I decided to use them to jazz up a notebook. I created a simple collage and then stamped an image onto a coordinating piece of designer paper and used the fragment to achieve a quick spotlight effect. I finished off by using my 6 customized embellishments to decorate the rest of the notebook. Loving these!

Here's the finished product:

Field Notebook
Stamps: butterfly, dragonfly, leaf and bee from Field Notes plate (Oxford Impressions)
Paper: Daphne from Perhaps line from BasicGrey; Poppy Garden from Debbie Mumm line (Creative Imaginations)
Cardstock: Garden Green, Chocolate Chip and Very Vanilla (Stampin Up)
Ink: Timber Brown (StazOn); Chocolate Chip, Creamy Caramel, Garden Green and So Saffron (Stampin Up)
Embellishments: Fragments (Idea-ology)
Other: Glossy Accents (Ranger); Xyron machine

The second technique involves using alcohol inks on the tiles directly. I learned this technique from Tim Holtz' DVD The Journey Continues: Inks, Powder and More. I really like both his DVDs as he goes much more in depth than he does in his online demonstrations and passes along a lot of good tips. I have watched the two Journey titles several times and I always pick up something new.

What you need:
Idea-ology Fragments
Alcohol ink in a few colors
Non-solvent ink
Metallic mixatives if desired
Blending solution
Applicator tool and felt
Soft cloth or paper towel

Ranger conveniently sells their alcohol inks in coordinating 3 packs. I used the Tuscan Garden set for this project! Pretty isn't it? There's a ton of combinations equally delicious!

What to do:

I started by applying three alcohol inks to the applicator and applying it directly to the tile, repositioning my applicator in between pouncing.

It doesn't matter if you don't get the exact look you want during the first layer - just try and get basic coverage! An important step when working with tiles is to stop and wait for each layer to dry or your colors will run together too much. The good news is that the ink dries very quickly so you just have to wait a minute or so in between layers. Here is my first layer:

I let the tiles sit to dry and then added some gold metallic mixative to my felt before starting my second layer. Remember to shake your mixative well. When you apply the metallic to your felt, keep in mind that a little goes a long way!

To make my tags more interesting, I used another technique from The Journey Continues, a resist. Using an oil-based or non-solvent ink (I used Memento), stamp an image onto the inked side of your finished tile. Tim suggests using a bold image with a definite shape. Avoid images which will not look good "backwards" or have too much detail. I chose a simple shell to start.

Then, simply wipe away the ink with a soft cloth or paper towel and voila! The ink wipes away as well as the alcohol ink underneath it!

Here are my three finished charms with a resist image on each:

Here's my finished card! I used 2 of the fragments on the outside of the card and one on the inside. To tie everything together (and not waste ink), I did a polished stone technique using the same inks on glossy cardstock for the background of my bather and the seahorse.

Eternity by the Sea
shells, woman with umbrella and seahorse from By the Sea plate (Oxford Impressions)
Cardstock: Ruby Red, Basic Black & Whisper White (Stampin Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento); Oregano, Mushroom and Red Pepper (Adirondack Alcohol Ink); Gold Mixative (Adirondack)
Embellishments: Fragments (Idea-ology); 3 black brads
Other: Alcohol Blending Solution (Adirondack); Glossy Accents (Ranger); paper piercer

My big take-away from using these charming tiles is that they are great for impatient people like me. I love to create really interesting backgrounds and accents but haven't the required patience, nor the hours, to devote to really time consuming techniques. Both of these ways to use Fragments were quick and simple - my two favorite things!

For more on how to apply alcohol inks, check out Tim Holtz's demo on his website.


  1. Totally awesome tutorial! I love the finished cards too, the fragments add such interesting dimension.

  2. OMG Sharon! Your tutuorial is awesome and your pieces are Gorgeous. Beyond Gorgeous! Wow!

  3. Great tutorial. O.k now I need to pull out all those fragments collecting dust and PLAY.


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