Friday, April 13, 2012

FRIDAY FOCUS - Venise Lace

Hello and welcome to our regular Friday feature - Friday Focus - where we focus on a product that is sold in the Funkie Junkie Boutique and show you ways to use it.  Linda Coughlin here to share with you my love of delicate Venise lace and appliques.  I love using the lace and especially the beautiful appliques in my paper crafting.  And if you read my blog, you know I love to dye/alter everything I can get my hands on.  This lace is no different.
We mostly sell the pristine white, unaltered lace in the boutique, but we do offer some hand dyed or hand painted appliques.  I am going to share with you how I dye and paint these laces.   Let's start out with the ivory and mocha colored laces.  A reminder about the photos, just double click and they will open up very large so you can see all the beautiful details.

All of the colored laces, except the tiny flowers, were dyed with coffee in varying strengths.  In the top left photo, from the top down, the first one was soaked in plain coffee and gently blotted with a paper towel but most of the coffee was allowed to stay and dry right in. It was allowed to air dry rather than being dried with a heat tool.  I like that method because it causes the edges to be slightly more brown, giving it more of a vintage tint.

Next down was soaked in coffee and blotted a little more with a paper towel take out most of the excess liquid, then dried with a heat tool.  The third row down was soaked in the same straight coffee and all the liquid was blotted and squeezed out with a paper towel and then heat dryed.    Fourth down was soaked in coffee but rinsed thoroughly under cool water, then blotted and dried with a heat tool.  The bottom row of lace is plain white unaltered lace.

Top right photo, the top lace was saturated with plain coffee, blotted and allowed to air dry.  The bottom lace is unaltered white.  The bottom left photo - the top lace was dyed with concentrated coffee solution.  I put left over coffee into a sauce pan and simmer it until it is reduced by approximately 50%. The lace and also the butterfly in the photo to the right were both dyed with the concentrated coffee solution and then rinsed with cool water.  The lace at the bottom right is a comparison of unaltered white so you can see how it started out.  The ivory butterflies in the photo on the right were saturated with straight coffee solution and blotted with a paper towel, then left to air dry.  The white ones are the original color for comparison.  The two small flowers were originally white and were painted with two colors of pink dye.
To take altering one step further, it is possible to paint your lace with dyes or reinker solutions.  Here I have dyed the original white lace with coffee, blotted it well with paper towel and dried it with a heat tool to give it a nice ivory tint.  Once dry (make sure it is completely dry to help prevent the dye from leeching outward), I used a water brush with no water in the chamber, dipped it into my dye solution, blotted a bit off the brush and with light rapid strokes painted the dye onto the lace.  Do not load the brush up with dye, dip it in lightly and if it is too saturated, brush some off onto a paper towel or scrap paper.  You don't want to soak the spots or the color will bleed.  You can see the arrow pointing where I had some bleeding.  When trying to photograph the painting, I let my brush rest there for a moment.  I over saturated that spot and it bled outward a bit.  If the light rapid strokes do not provide enough color, it is better to let it dry and give it another light coat rather than to over saturate your lace to deepen the color.

I use a combination of organic dyes such as coffee and tea along with SU and Tim Holtz DI reinkers and water to create the colors of dyes I am aiming for.  If you don't have reinkers, no worries.  Just smoosh your ink pad onto your craft sheet, spritz with water to dilute and pick up the color with your paint brush.  Below are more examples of painted appliques.
In closing, I would encourage you to play around with dying your Venise lace.  It takes the color very well and dries beautifully.  All the Venise lace and appliques will be discounted 15% in The Funkie Junkie Boutique today through next Thursday.  Just look for the first category in the shop sections Friday Focus and everything in that category will already be marked down 15%.  And while you are there, browse around.  We now have over 300 products in the boutique, including over 150 Tim Holtz/Ranger products at really terrific savings!  And right now through the end of April, for orders of $75 or more we'll split the shipping 50/50 with you, including international shipping - such a deal!

I'll leave you today with a few examples of how I have used the Venise laces and appliques in my work.
Feel free to leave any questions in the comments below.  I will update the post with my response so everyone will benefit so be sure to check back for the answer.


  1. Hi Linda. This is fantastic as I really fancy doing some vintage lace craft pieces. I have never been a flowery/lacey girl as you will see in my blog, however, having added lace to a piece the other week and having visited a felllow Scot's web site, I am really keen to give this a try. Thanks for the tutorial and your cards are fantastic very inspirational.....Thanks for Sharing..hugs Annie x

  2. One of my favorite products you sell, Linda!! This post is SO timely, because I really wanted to give this a shot!! Jaw-dropping cards - blue is my FAV!! You always continue to inspire! Hugs, Marcy

  3. I love the Friday Focus. Since I have quite a bit of your lace it is great to know how to color it. Thank you so much for the great directions.

  4. Thank you, thank you Linda. I've been wanting to know how you painted your lace. Beautiful lace. I love your cards and work.

  5. Hello Linda
    This may sound like a silly question, but how do you die-cut your corrugated cardboard without flattening the ridges?
    Great cards.

    1. Hi Sue,

      Thanks for asking about the corrugated cardboard. For the corrugated cardboard sold in the boutique, dies cut it just fine. It get a bit smooshed, but not so that it is really apparent. Everything you see on my work has been run through my Cuttlebug with either Spellbinders or Sizzix dies.

  6. Wonderful post and beautiful examples for inspiration!

  7. Hi, Linda,
    I am new at this computer stuff. So I might have lost what I wrote earlier. I love your work. I've been wanting to paint appliques, but did not know how to begin. Thanks so much for sharing.