Resource Links

We're often asked for our favorite supplies, resources, and other ways to get started on your grounded journey.  Below are some of our tried and true favorites for alcohol inks, essential oils, and life hacks. We update this quite frequently so check back often and feel free to suggest anything you find that you're loving!

FRAME LINKS

Here are some of the best frames I have found on Amazon (and by "best" I mean value priced with fairly good materials).

Gold Floater Frame - Multiple Sizes

9" x 12" Floater Frame - Multiple Finishes

6" x 12" Floater Frame - Multiple Finishes

Alcohol Ink Resources

SURFACES: Alcohol inks can be used on different surfaces. What is most important is that the substrate is nonporous (meaning, the ink or alcohol will not sink into it). Common applications are on white porcelain tiles, nonporous paper, and heavily sealed canvas boards. I have also seen them applied to glass or tile ornaments for the holidays! Each surface needs to be sealed differently, although you have some options depending on the finished look you want to achieve and the use for your art (e.g., coasters need something different than a wall hanging).
5x7 Yupo Paper (medium weight, white, 15 sheets)
6x15 Yupo Paper (medium weight, white, 10 sheets)
9x12 Yupo Paper (medium weight, white, 10 sheets)
9x12 Yupo Paper (heavy weight, white, 10 sheets)
9x12 Yupo Paper (translucent, 15 sheets)
11x14 Yupo Paper (medium weight, white, 10 sheets)
Circular NARA Paper (6” diameter, white, comes in other sizes, too!)
9x12 NARA Paper (10 sheets, not great w/heat but no staining!)
Black NARA Paper
INK BRANDS: There are many different brands of alcohol inks. So, what differentiates them? Many artists insist that some inks have better “flow” than others (I haven’t tried them all so I don’t know really…and the surface you’re working on makes a difference, too!). One of the biggest differences I have notices is the colors and the bleeds (the coloration around the primary when the ink spreads and flows). Many artists will do “swatch” samples from each ink before they use it to figure out these color differences; and will then keep these swatches available to help with their work. All inks brands can be used together, but again, some may flow better than others and create different pools or textures when they interact.
The primary alcohol ink brands are: Ranger/Tim Holtz, Jacquard Piñata, Brea Reese, T-Rex, Kielty, and Marabu. Some artists also use alcohol ink pens and refills such as those for Copic Markers. I learned using Ranger inks so I gravitate towards those but I am starting to branch out into Piñata and Copic. If you’re just getting started, I would recommend buying 1-3 sets of the 3 bundled inks from Ranger/Tim Holtz or Jacquard that usually sell for around $10/set.
Click here to shop with my personal discount link for amazing Trex Inks!
And here are a few of my favorite Ranger/Tim Holtz trios from Amazon:
Wild Plum/Butterscotch/Stream | Shell Pink/Willow/Cloudy Blue | Flamingo/Patina/Amethyst | Raspberry/Clover/Pebble
Some of my other favorites:
Jacquard Pinata Brass & Copper
Ranger Inks - Full Metallics Set (6 bottles)
Tim Holtz Mega Ink Set (24 bottles) - love these colors!
Ranger Full Ink Set (50 bottles)
Ranger Brand Ink Storage Tin
ACCESSORIES & EXTRAS: 
Travel Ink Storage Case (Ranger or Jaquard inks only)
Water Brush Pen (just fill with alcohol blending solution instead)
Black POSCA Pen - single marker
White POSCA Pens - set of three tip sizes
Colored POSCA Pen Set - fine point, 15 markers
GellyRoll Pens - Set of 5 assorted metallics
ONLINE TUTORIALSIf you want to go further with alcohol inks, you may find these online resources & artist teachers as invaluable as I have!
Astuary Art Video: How to adhere Yupo paper to wood panels
Jane Monteith Video: How to resin your alcohol ink paintings
Lorrie Brewer Video: AI Painting Demos (I love how honest she is about the “ink’s plans” versus “your plans”!)
SEAL YOUR WORK: It is widely recommended to seal your paintings with 2-3 coats of Kamar Varnish, followed by 2-3 coats of UVResistant Spray. Read can instructions for application and storage (temperature effects performance). You will also want to take great care in spraying in a clean environment so that unwanted bugs, hairs, dust and other particles don’t find their way onto your paintings (you won’t be able to get them off)! These two applications will seal your inks and prevent the natural fading that occurs with these inks. It’s still recommended that you hang paintings away from direct sunlight.
Kamar Spray Varnish
UV Resistant Spray Finish
SAFETYIf you’re going to do this more than once, please use a paint project respirator mask to help block volatile fumes and chemicals from entering your lungs.

 

Essential Oil Resources

BOTTLES & SPRAYERS: Glass bottles are best for storing cleaning mixtures and other creations. Tinted bottles are a favorite as they block UV rays, which can break down your oils over time. Here are a few of my favorite sizes and colors from Amazon:
4 oz Fine Mist Sprayers - Great for carrying on the go, in blue, green, or amber.
Glass Roll-On Bottles - Love these blue or amber ones that come in a set of 6. Holds 10 ml, stainless steel roller ball.
Mixed Set - Amber glass set includes: 2, 16oz amber glass spray bottles with 3 black trigger sprayers w/mist and stream and 3 caps; 2, 8oz spray bottles with 3 black trigger sprayers w/mist and stream and 3 caps; 2, 2oz & 2, 4oz glass mist bottles with mist sprayers, 10 chalk labels.
DIFFUSERS: There are so many on the market (and many of them are ugly, IMHO). I stay on the lookout for ones that are both gorgeous and functional. For starters, I recommend going with the options available as part of your Young Living Premium Starter Kit. I started with the ‘Desert Mist’ diffuser and am very happy with it from a functionality standpoint (don’t love the look though). I am saving up for the ‘Aria Ultrasonic’ diffuser which is gorgeousness. 😍 They have some other options that could work with your home aesthetic, too. Young Living also has car diffusers and USB diffusers (currently on order so I’ll let you know how they are).
If you decide you need a few more (um, I have five now!), there are some other good options on the market. I am happy with this one from Amazon and really like that it holds enough water for eight hours of diffusing. (500 mL).
OIL STORAGE: My best advice is to decide what type of storage you want first before hitting Etsy. Wall storage, shelf, box, diffuser connected, portable, cabinet…. the possibilities are endless. Search under the type of storage you’re looking for so you don’t get overwhelmed. I haven’t decided on mine yet but will post some favorites here in the meantime: OilyHounds wood table display; CadesandBirch box; HisHersWoodworking wall shelf. {{these are not affiliate links; if you find anything else cool on Etsy let me know!}}
CAR DIFFUSERS: I love these super cute crafty diffusers on Etsy: Macrame Rainbow by MacramadebyKerry; Cactus car diffuser by KnotsbyOilivia; Mirror macrame charm by ReplantedGoods; Macrame feather car diffuser by ChickadeeMacrameArt. {{ again, these are not affiliate links so if you find anything else cool on Etsy let me know!}}
CARRIER OIL: There are many options for carrier oils to mix with your Essential Oils. I primarily use fractionated coconut oil or jojoba.
BOTTLE LABELS: Don’t forget what you put in your bottle! If you don’t have your own label maker, here are a few fun labels you can buy from Amazon and Etsy (support small business whenever you can!):
Lid stickers in fun colors or these from 27HuckleberryLane are very helpful for when your oils are stored in a place where you can only see the tops!
Fancy roll-bottle labels that inspire quick reminders of what to use each for. Kids labels from TheOilDropShop. Or colorful roll-bottle labels from FinyllCrafts.
Cleaner Bottle Labels from BleedCreative.
Bath Salt labels from TheOilDropShop (must make this soooooon!) {{again, these are not affiliate links so if you find anything else cool on Etsy let me know!}}
LAUNDRYHave you replaced your chemical-based dryer sheets yet? These wool dryer balls will set you free! Reduces wrinkles, saves drying time and with a bit of your favorite oils on them… laundry comes out smelling AMAZING! Once you get used to this new routine, you won’t want to go back.