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So MUSHROOM For Potential! With Sophie From Tonic Studios

Hi there Tonic crafters and welcome to my first blog! I’m very excited to share with you my 10 colouring techniques using Nuvo Alcohol marker pens and even some common household items- all on that cute little toadstool from the latest Stamp Club release!

To start off, I’ve cut out some toadstools on Smooth Card as I want to show off the effects the techniques on a non-textured surface. However, if you did want more texture, I think watercolour card would work well too.

I’ve also coloured all the stems in the same colour as shown here:

Pens used:

• 476 – Ginger Peach

• 473 – Sweet Vanilla

The Techniques

The magic of the blender pen!

What you will need

Now when I first discovered our alcohol pens, I was absolutely amazed by the blender pen. You can use it to touch up little mistakes or even use it to soften blending- It’s like a colouring secret weapon! In this technique I’ve used it to press through the colour to leave behind lightened, grainy areas for the toadstool markings.

Pens used:

• 507 - Blender

• 375 - Plum Tomato

Colour Group Blending

The great thing about these pens is the way they blend together to make satisfying gradients. I’ve demonstrated this on this mushroom using the 3 pens in the Coral Reef colour group.

Pens used:

• 373 – Pink Grapefruit

• 374 – Tiger Lily

• 375 – Plum Tomato

Blending outside of Colour Group 

Now I know you usually blend within colour groups- but who says you have to stick to that rule? I had a little bit of fun with this mushroom to show just how well these pens blend - even between colours you wouldn’t think to blend together.

Pens used:

• 408 – White grape

• 361 – Natural Patina

• 416 – Vine Leaf

• 417 – Hunter Green (for the markings)

Unlocking more shades with layering! 

Yes, that’s right, using just one pen you can achieve at least 3 shades by simply layering up the colour with more applications. So if you’re sticking within a strict colour scheme, or even just a bit unsure to start with on blending, this will be a great technique to start with! I’ve also added some Nuvo Shimmer Pen over this in Opal Quartz to give a frosted Sugar-plum fairy vibe.

Pens used:

• 441 – Blackcurrant Tart

Other materials used:

• Nuvo Aqua Shimmer – Opal Quartz

• Nuvo Crystal drop – Plum Pudding

Alcohol gel 

Well, we can’t escape from it at the moment can we? So I thought why not try it out in some crafting! In this technique I’ve simply coloured the base with my toadstool colour and then used a cotton bud to apply the alcohol gel to create the markings. The more you use on the bud, the more intense the effect is.

Pens used:

• 391 – Butternut Squash

Other materials used:

• Alcohol gel (can also use rubbing alcohol)

• Cotton Buds

Pen & Stamp Cleaner

So this one I admit was an experiment for me! I used the pens to add some colour to my glass crafting mat, and then I used the mushroom shape to pick up the colour by dabbing it on to the mat- you can go a step further with this and add stamp cleaner to the mat to create some cool effects.

Pens used:

• 366 - Spectra Green

Other materials used:

• Glass Media Mat

• Nuvo Stamp Cleaner


Yes, I used some regular ol’ table salt for this one after applying stamp cleaner on top of my coloured mushroom with a brush.

** Tip: dilute some colour on a glass mat, and add on top of salt to create ink-stain effects

Pens used:

• 439 – Sugar Plum

Other materials used:

• Salt

• Stamp Cleaner

• Paint brush

Masking Fluid Mushroom

This one was a happy accident – I had intended to peel off the dried masking fluid after I’d coloured the mushroom, but then I saw how cool it looked coloured in! This one not only looks interesting, but has a cool, bobbly texture too from the masking fluid. If you wanted to make sure your dried masking fluid stayed in place, you could paint over some Nuvo Crystal Glaze which would also add a lovely shine!

Pens used:

• 466 – Shorthorn Brown

Other materials used:

• Nuvo Masking Fluid

• Nuvo Crystal Glaze


This one I love! I used regular Nail Varnish remover (you can use regular acetone if you have it) to add dots to my coloured-in mushroom. I used cotton buds with varying amounts of acetone on to create an interesting pattern for a traditional toadstool.

Pens used:

• 381 – Black Cherry

Other materials used:

• Nail Varnish Remover (or use acetone)

• Cotton buds

Nuvo Hybrid Ink!

This definitely needed a mention in relation to the Nuvo Markers(!) because it’s a hybrid ink, you can use it with your markers without worrying about smudging. I’ve made an example below where I’ve used the ink to stamp the toadstool, then coloured it after using the marker pens- perfect.

**TIP: for this one, stamp the toadstool on to your card first before cutting it out with the die.

Pens used:

• 393 – Spiced Orange

• 401- Lemon Drops

Other materials used:

• Nuvo Hybrid Ink

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