Please Respect My Work...

All of the cards, layouts, handmade items and art work displayed on this website are copyright to me, Lynne Mizera. Of course I hope to inspire and encourage you and would be morethan happy for you to use any of my work to that end; however, please respect me and my work and do not directly copy any of my projects without crediting me or enter any of my work into any magazines or competitions without my express written permission. All my cards, layouts, projects and art work are not to be used by any commercial enterprise for any financial, marketing or commercial gain.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

HELP ME! I Have Over 100 Bottles Of Spray Inks! (Sharing My Storage Solution)

Today I am up on the Mixed Up Magazine Blog sharing the system I created for my spray inks.  I am a wee bit embarrassed to reveal that I own more than 100 bottles of ink sprays.  I can justify this incredible number because I use all of them on a regular basis, but I am sure you can imagine the storage nightmare I have created for myself.  I needed to find a storage solution that allowed me to see all my colors, that kept the bottles within easy reach, and most important of all I need a system that was simple to maintain and made it easy to put everything back.  Here is my solution!
I had these shelving units custom made.  I am sure I could have found similar shelving from a store, but these units, that were modified from a unit designed to hold essential oil bottles, have a tiny lip on the front of each shelf as well as each shelf slanting slightly toward the back all of which keep the bottles from falling on my head.  (This is very important I have discovered as I am constantly having tubs of modelling paste falling off the shelving unit on the left side of this photo and hitting me in the head all the time!)
I LOVE my shelves!  They are mounted above the paper-covered spot where I do all my messy work, and they hold up to 98 bottles of sprays.  I have organized my sprays by color families -  warms, cools and neutrals - which makes it really easy to find the colors I want and their compliments.

The best part is that no matter how big the mess I create I can put everything back again onto the right spot in seconds.
But after using my awesome ink storage system for a while I discovered that I was wasting a lot of ink when I was trying to choose just the right color spray.  I would spray the inks onto a paper towel to see the exact shade and to compare colors, and often times I would spray more than once.  I finally decided it would be worth the time to create some sort of visual catalog of my inks. And this is it!
To create this visual index I scored two pieces of 81/2 x 11 inch 90lbs card stock every 1.25 inches.  This created a grid of 35 squares - five rows of seven squares across each page.  Then I sprayed my inks onto some thick card stock, cut out a square that fit into my grid and then numbered and labeled the square.
I added the corresponding number to the spray ink bottle using masking tape and a waterproof marker.  I think the numbering is what makes this system so easy to use.
And finally I added basic color wheel information to the back of each sheet and then laminated them and put them on a metal ring.  They now hang next to my sprays and are a my "Go To" reference sheets for both spray color and color matching!

Now I can pick the perfect shade of spray every time and I can see which sprays sparkle, which glitter and which just shimmer.  I find I am using all my colors more often instead of always grabbing  my "go to" bottles and that I am can now factor in the glitter qualities of each spray on  my projects.  So What do I do with all these sprays? Well....
I use so many spray products in my art journalling and mixed media card and tag making that I have a huge stash of beautifully inked paper towels and I now use inky paper towels in all my mixed media art.  Lately, it seems, every one of my projects start with a first layer of inky paper towels glued to the substrate and I go from there.  Here are a few examples: This is a stretched canvas covered in inky paper towels and a bit of gesso waiting for me to pull out an image using paint and paper...
Here is a canvas in progress that started like the one above.   I am use acrylic paint and inks to start pulling out an image of whimsical flowers that I see in this inky paper towel base...
And here is a plain old cardboard box which I turned into pretty storage for my open shelves using inky paper towels, stencils and pastes and some stamped images....
Can you see all that delicious texture the paper towel layer created? 
So that's my share for this month... I hope you enjoyed your peek into this corner of my creative space and I hope that now you too will start using your sprays and hoarding inky paper towels to use in a whole new way!  And here is a little teaser for another blog post:  In my studio space I create storage that is both functional and pretty acting as art work on my walls and visual aids in my studio.
So you will want to keep coming back to see what I share next!
Lynne Mizera, Mixed Media Artist
for the Mixed Up Mag Design Team


  1. WOW, WOW, WOW! I'm totally floored and not at all jealous LOL! (Let me just get this green off my face!) Your colour charts are awesome too, not to mention the canvases!

    1. Thank you Zsuzsa, your comments always leave me with a BIG Smile on my face! And believe me, I KNOW how fortunate I am these days. I am absolutely living the life I aways dreamed of in a home that fulfills every single wish or dream I ever had... Swoon!

  2. Oh no! Great ink wall! I had no idea there were this many kinds of spray inks. AllI have is DyLusions. I too have things fall on my head so I understand your pain. I am going to start saving my paper towels now.

    1. Aaaaah, Another Convert! Thank you for stopping in and for leaving me some blog Lovin'... And I would love to see what crate with your inky paper towels!!

  3. As always, a delicious post, Lynne!


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