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Little Boxes art journal page

I am still doing my best to do the Mixed Media Emporium FB challenges and the one from July I didn’t yet manage was the Tone-on-tone one. I also have not played with my Dina Wakley goodies for a bit so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and use the gloss sprays in all the blues for the challenge.

I went back to that odd HiTi paper (that I have a ton of) and when mad with the sprays, adding in a bright blue from the set I got from Lidl – plain acrylic, not gloss – and a spritz of alcohol at the end:

I stuck the labels in my small journal to make a page. The Dina stamp had words on it that didn’t fit my theme so I added the printed text, except the word laughter, which fell nicely in with the words I wanted to add, sort of.

The quote is from The Little Prince and is said by an adult who feels more kinship with how a child views the world than how other adults do (or that’s my take on it anyway :D) – it was either this or the Pete Seeger lyric about “little houses all made out of ticky-tacky” and a comment on suburbia, which might have worked back home in the DC suburbs, but from my little Dorset town, not so much…

Oh it does feel good to get back to pure play and I find challenges helpful as a jumping off point to rev my engine. New challenge, two videos today in the group so I will watch them and see. Perhaps this will be my weekend share moving forward….


Too hot to do much but I managed some ATCs

I have had a hankering to test something out. I decided to have a go at the Complimentary Colours challenge in the Mixed Media Emporium group. I missed out on the tone-on-tone one cause my back was just not up to sitting at my desk once I had the time to do so, but I like doing them so made the effort. My crafty space is upstairs and pretty darn toasty in this heat. I cannot believe everyone I know was moaning about the rain and miserable British Summer and now we get heat that is way more than anyone wanted. By the time this posts it should be back to temps in the low 20s and rain and I am very much OK with that LOL!

So I wanted to make some ATCs. They are small and not too onerous to make as in this case it’s a matter of stages. I can do a bit in the morning when it is cool (-ish, anyway) then even if it is hot, the next thing is just a short burst then I can go back to the cooler part of the house. I began by gessoing a sheet of watercolour paper then marking out a grid for the ATCs. I used Picked Raspberry and Cracked Pistachio Distress Oxide inks to give me my complimentary colours, with some Picked Raspberry and Mowed Lawn Distress Inks for a more vibrant pop of the same colours.

I was trying to…ignore the grid marks, basically, and try to treat the space as a single canvas. I made the stenciling cross the grid lines and hope that might create some interesting and unplanned areas, IYKWIM. Not sure how successful that was, but I expect I might try it again. I feel like larger stencils will work better for this sort of technique. Once I got the colour down, I grabbed a clutch of stamps that I have – some of my oldest, wood-mounted stamps – to add the focal point. I had six stamps so my goal was to get six ATCs., which was good cause one stamp didn’t work well on the rather bumpy surface the first time and another didn’t look right the way I oriented it. I did get my six in the end!

Peeling off the tape revealed the results:

I dragged some thick blak paint along the edges to really frame them and added some spatters as well:

I had to think, then, what was the best way to finish them off. I opted for the phrase Just one word… on each of them, then a little gem to call attention to the word I wanted to highlight, because some of the stamps had multiple words, like the D with Dream, Discover, and Destiny. I don’t have a Distress Ink colour that matches the Cracked Pistachio so opted for Mowed Lawn instead to edge the printed text.

And just a closer look at one of them:

I am also looking at a folded thingie from the Art Of the Fold book as a potential ATC holder, but it might just be too much work, when the other ones I already use are cute and simple to do. We’ll see….

Now if I can just sort out a swap that would be good, lest I become overrun with ATCs!


In true Junk Journal fashion…

…I made use of some junk on my desk to add a journaling spot. I had printed out a couple of the quotes I thought I might use for that art journal page yesterday and one of them was just sitting there on my desk waiting to be utilized. I just inked the plain cream cardstock a bit to make it look more interesting

then added a bit of dyed lined paper and a stamped image from a Rubbermoon set that I don’t use enough

and stuck it down as a fold-over spot. I added the half-circle on the edge to catch and hold the fold-over closed so it doesn’t flap open every time I open the journal

and add my journaling for the day – private thoughts, as with most days. I need to be better about hiding the words and not depending on my crap handwriting to do it for me LOL!

I have to say, since the 100 days project I feel like I have done a better job of the recording-my-thoughts journaling than I ever have before. I do tend to focus on a few topics, and my thoughts are not always deep and meaningful, but I am finding the process useful and interesting to look back on, even a few months ago.

Another funny thing is I am looking forward to turning the page – the next spread has the little tea-bag pouches and some of the WOYWW swap stuff on it and I am keep to work on them. The page itself is a bit of a hot mess, with no cohesion, again, in true junk journal fashion, nothing pretty about it. But I am still looking forward to it. Why?


Art Journal – too many people…

Finished the page. It was quick, but fun, and I love it.

I really let the stamps do all the work for me, just adding a tiny bit of Stabilo All and a sweep of the water brush to shade the images.

I had a selection of quotes I collected, not a ton, but I liked them all. I may use them for something else at some point:

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. Malcolm Forbes

Too many people miss the silver lining because they are expecting gold. Maurice Setter

Albert Ellis:

Too many people are unaware that it is not outer events or circumstances that will create happiness; rather, it is our perception of events and of ourselves that will create, or uncreate, positive emotions.

For many years now I have had the quaint idea that all humans … are out of their fucking minds.

Too many people are unaware that it is not outer events or circumstances that will create happiness; rather, it is… ourselves….

A couple of the Ellis ones were a lot longer, but I prefer the slightly condensed versions, especially the middle one. When he said it there were 6 million people but now, Goggle says over 7.5 million so cutting that bit out works for me.

I went with Be with people who know your worth. You don’t need too many people to be happy. I have seen it credited to Wiz Khalifa but also listed as uncredited in many places so not sure what to believe. There are so many mis-attributed quotes out there.

I also looked quite critically at those stamps. There really is no way to cut faces and the grid apart. The fine lines criss-cross each other in such a way as to make that impossible. Oh well….

I am still up in the air on what my weekend sharing will look like. I may just opt to take the summer weekends off. It was “Freedom Day” on Monday but it still feels like things could spike again so we are all still being as careful as ever. But getting out to some big open space on Saturdays at least would be lovely. The Hubster and Darling Daughter are back to the long Sunday trip to her disability skating group in Slough, but it is indoors and social distancing with a large group of people that have additional needs can be tricky.

It might be devoted to the Mixed Media Challenges, but they debut on a Sunday, and I realize it’s been a few days since I wrote in my Junk journal so that needs my attention. Just too much that I want to work on and my butterfly mind can’t settle on any one of them….


WOYWW 633 – not so tidy

Happy Desk Hoppin’ Day, WOYWWers! It should be Throwback Thursday, really as for one week I return to my bad old ways and show you what my desk looks like in the morning. Ok, so I snapped the shot on Tuesday but my desk will be as this in the morning I am sure. Too darn hot to do much of anything upstairs! Still taking it a little easy so my back doesn’t relapse on me. Always the worst idea to think Hey, yeah, I’m FINE! then overdo it. Can’t afford to have that happen.

I think this is pretty restrained, not a lot of mess at all. I am in the middle of an art journal page, one that I thought I would be finished with to share but nope, not today. Still working in the small journal and finding it so easy to use. The lovely base pages all have something of interest on them already so it is just figuring out what and where the focal image should go and how that will support the text – usually a quote. I have three or four I am considering for this one, all with a similar vibe. Hoping I can get it sorted for tomorrow.

I do have an idea that seems to be working but it began with the cutting of a stamp, again. I think, when the whole long-legged guys issued happened, that people got the idea that somehow I was scared to cut my stamps. Not at all, not in the least. BUT I prefer to do it when I choose to do it for reasons that are MY reasons and not because there was a flaw in the manufacturing process. I’m stubborn that way…. I like these little faces and (for now) want to keep the stamp with the open faces and the grid lines intact. But I have cut the solid faces into strips.

Ideally, I will cut the sketchy faces out of the grid, and cut the solid faces apart into individual stamps, so I have all the faces loose and free and the grid as just the grid. I need to really look carefully at it to see if it is possible. Not quite there yet.

Finally, I went to my other desk to add the MBD cards – I think I read Kyla pulls FIVE cards so I did too! In this case blasts or weeps for work equally as well, but this is my headline and I’m stickin’ to it!

Hope you have a lovely day visiting all the WOYWWers. If you don’t join it, why not? It’s such a lot of fun.


Art Journaling, and some thoughts on inspiration

I have been keen to get back into regular art journaling and yet I keep coming up with other “projects” that keep me from doing it. I just decided I needed to take the plunge and make it happen. It doesn’t help that it has been HOT and while the downstairs of the house is quite cool all the time, the upstairs, where my art space is is pretty toasty. I was considering my various made-but-unfilled journals and decided the little one I made from a class by Roben Marie would be a good one to work in. You can see some detail on that one here. I do love it, and almost hate to work on some of the pages cause I like them so much in their bare bones state. I really, REALLY loved this pair, and almost hated to add the packing tape to it, but I did. I love how the pages are not blank. They really need almost nothing more than a focal image and a bit of text to really sing.

One of the first few pages I did in that journal was on these pages, and when I was looking thru the journal, looking for inspiration, I came across that page:

I love everything about this page, and it occurred to me that as an arty person, I am always looking for inspiration everywhere. I join FB challenge groups, I watch endless YouTube videos, I read a handful of blogs regularly, and I love the Wednesday desk hop that is WOYWW. But what I don’t do very often is look back at MY OWN WORK for inspiration. Why not? I love my journals. Many of the pages have become more treasured with time, even if I was not over the moon with them when I made them. So I decided to look back to my own work and get inspired. From this page I take the stamped flowers and I have just enough gel print masterboard paper left to make a page. Still loving this stamp from Rubber Moon:

The fact this is actually the very first page in the journal makes the text work especially well, for me. Silence the inner critic, just have fun, and make a damn page. I really think this is a revelation to me. I like my art. Looking back thru all my completed art journals makes me very happy. Why would I NOT find that inspiring and if I do, why would I not BUILD on that inspiration when making new pages?

I’mma gonna do this more, I think.


A delaying tactic – 2022 Circle CD calendar

Well, typical. I threw out my back over the weekend and was in no fit state to sit at my desk. So, as I have been asked for this a few times, I thought I would add my 2022 Pretty CD Calendar. It gives me another day to recover and prepare for the week ahead.

It is a new version, but the same IYKWIM. Different fonts, a different ornament, but otherwise just like the perennial favourite. I know people do like to get started on their calendars for the upcoming year quite early, and many of the people who got in touch to ask if this was coming soon did so because they want to use it for making Christmas gifts. I always mentally mark JULY as the month to add it and I feel like I have hit that target. And Grrrr. for making me think of that winter holiday far too early for my liking…

You can download it here!


Last cards – Thanks, Sympathy and Just a note

Hello/Just a Note

I made a LOT of plain Hello cards, because they will do for almost any occasion, even Sympathy, as long as they aren’t too happy and vibrant.

Thinking of You/Sympathy/Get Well:

Again, Thinking of you cards can work for Sympathy if the colours and decor aren’t too crazy happy:

Thank You

Thanks/Thank You cards are the other thing I tend to need a lot of, so I made quite a few of them as well:

And lastly the couple of flip-out cards, one kinda lovey-dovey and one generic Hello:

28 of the ones from today were for this A Card A Day project, four are old ones! 79 cards, 66 of them new. Not bad.

Time to move on….

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Final Card Re-Cap

I am now very comfortable with the stash of cards I have set aside. My little stack of boxes is quite full!

I am sharing them by occasion, I guess, as the beast option. There are a few older ones that were all I had when I began this process, and if you spot them you will know how badly I needed a cardmaking session!

Happy Birthday: Men

Some of these could surely do for my gal pals in a pinch, but I think of these as more in the masculine realm:

I also have four more of the little star-squares, which I can stick on a cardfront in a few minutes, if the need arises. And I have these two older ones as well:

Happy Birthday: Women

I have a good sash of girlie birthday cards (what I generally need the most of) as well:

I have four more of the star squares as well! And these two – the blue one could go either way, depending on the choices I make for the final embellishments, flowers or plain words:

Generic Friendship

I feel any of the generic cards would also work for a birthday if need be:

Even the lone Congrats card would do in a real card emergency! Most of these are older one – the BOY card I made for the very old Best Of British scrapbooking contest book. Now that is going back some years…. The It’s All About YOU card was made using that odd stamping circle thing and the bikini cards are from a template I downloaded a very long time ago as well.

These should last me a good year, and if not I do still have a ton of scraps that I can use to make more. And although they are probably going to be a gift, I can’t ignore the note card set. Sorry to show it AGAIN – you must be sick of seeing it by now….

38 cards from this selection were from the A Card A Day project, nine old ones. Tomorrow I’ll share the rest.


Nearly the end of the card-making…

I am feeling pretty happy with the stash of cards I have at the moment. I plan to share a good look at all of them over the weekend then I will have a good think about what project I want to focus on. I have been missing a few things, like gel plate printing and art journaling thru the 100 days, junk journal making, and stash-busting cardmaking, and I did get that new art of the fold book, so it could be anything.

So this is the last session I did. I began by setting out a selection from the sleeves in my card-making binder. Sadly it is still quite full so I will probably sort the bits in that into the envelopes I am currently using to organize my scraps of patterned paper and cardstock.

Once I settled on the bits from each sleeve I was going to use, with no real plan I just took the scraps and created the cards.

I kept the bits together and as you will have seen, I made the set of notecards and the little box from the scrap pile of Card #5.

I actually altered that card because the very small flower on it just wasn’t right – I’ll begin with that one:

I’ve complained about the spacing of the letters of this stamp set before and while the space between the h and the e on heartfelt is a little wider than ideal it wasn’t a deal-breaker for me.

Another thing I have been doing a lot of is backing the sentiment die cuts with fun foam for a more dimensional look. And unlike most of what I have seen, I tend towards a dark foam (mostly I see white) and like the vaguely shadowed look it gives:

This half-tone die is also new-ish and will make a nice stencil, I think. Here is another example of the foam (brown this time) and again, I like how it makes the sentiment stand out. I think I need a few more pearl dots on this one, not sure.

I always loved this circle die and it was not as tricky as I thought it would be to get the backing circle just behind the main area.

I still think a basic Hello card can serve many occasions, so happy to have what may seem like a LOT of them LOL! I did NOT pop this sentiment up on the foam, mostly because of all the layers of cardstock behind it, only cutting two copies and stacking them, but I think it might have looked better if I had.

And finally one more sympathy card:

I tinted the sentiment with Tea Dye ink and it really tones better with the background in real life than it appears here. Very much a case where that darn Hobbycraft off-white/cream card that is very much NOT the White it claimed to be might have been a good choice!

So there we go. I am going to try to lay them all out in groups to share over the weekend as I contemplate my next move. Sorry if I have bored those who come here looking for mixed media stuff or fun folding or whatever else I do that appeals. For someone who has always said “I am not a cardmaker” I seem to have gone down an odd path. Time to get back on track till the next time I am in dire need of cards…. Thanks for sticking with me, if you have.