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More collage progress.

I am trying to get at least one a day done, but life tends to get in the way some days.

I like both of these quite a lot, and I feel like they reflect the musings from yesterday pretty well. I feel like I am really beginning to identify my “style” and using the same sort of elements again and again.

I think that while they share elements, like the black die cut letters, the open circles, and a mostly vertical lines orientation, those things appear differently in each piece. I mean I don’t see them as copies of the same design, just variations. And they share a similar vibe with this previous piece.

One of the hardest things I think, is to identify your style. And I often seem to do things that go against the grain, my grain, I should say. I place something and I think to myself Well, that open circle is something I have used a lot. Maybe I should use something else… instead of thinking Open circles are my thing. Is there a place for one in this piece? There is no need for constant innovation. Was it Picasso that had his blue period? Maybe this is my open circle period. Maybe I just happen to have a ton of the waste bits from previously punched circles in my scrap stash! Who knows? What I do know is I rather like the small pieces, and when I flip thru the pages I’ve done, the first few, the ones that are more bitty, and don’t share those elements, make me less happy and maybe even seem like they don’t belong!

But then these two DO feel like they work with the others, or at least they work better. No idea why.

It is all very interesting. One thing is the one that feels very out of place, above? That is the one on the slightly smaller block, turned the wrong way so it is very out of place on MANY levels. I might just ditch it and carry on with the style I think I’ve identified and see where it leads….

Hoping I was going to have all of them done for binding on Thursday, but we will see if I manage that. Got sidetracked by a custom project that had a deadline. Now that is completed I can focus my energy a bit better.

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Collage progress with a deviation.

As you saw end of last week, I made a larger collage in my journal, as planned, then flipped over and began making one on the back.

Then I realized a couple of things. Firstly, I am not great at this technique. I mean I have made collages before that I really loved. Like these:

But those were using a coordinated set of papers that were created with the collages in mind, rather than a completely random set of scraps from creative play that could be years (decades?) old. I considered. And I decided smaller was better to begin with. So in addition to the few I shared, I made more of the smaller pages.

I have thoughts. For me, working on the smaller size is doing two things. They feel a bit like warm-ups so there is little pressure. The amount of space is smaller, so fewer pieces can be used. THAT has revealed that for me, lots of bitty pieces appeal less that mostly large chunks but with some smaller overlapping layers to focus the eye. Lastly, leaving “white space” or background has more impact when the overall space is small. I think these are helping me focus on the decisions I am making maybe because I have to make fewer of them to fill the space?

Anyway, I have a pile of the mall pages cut and punched and once I complete them all I will be able to try that slip knot binding. So that will be fun. I would like to mention I was able to use one of my image transfer with white paint experiments from a while ago. Can you see it?

I like it a lot.

So yeah, I will be playing with these little ones then at come point I will move on to a bigger canvas. That’ll be…interesting.


Embarking on collage

I had a bash at a page in my journal, earmarked for collage, then turned over and started on on the back (kinda going with the flow) then realized if I made something I really loved, and, for example, that I wanted to pull out and frame or display, I would sacrifice the one on the back. Yikes. So I preemptively pulled it out and decided to work only on the one side from here forward.

I will say it looks slightly better in real life than in the photo, but I am OK with having pulled it out LOL!

Then, I saw a nice video on the slip-knot binding. Really liked it.

I have made literally 100s of mini-albums and handmade books, and have tried dozens of binding methods over the years, but never done this one. So, as is quite often the way, I altered my plan. I thought I might make a smaller series of collages, 4×4 inches, and kill two birds. I will be getting some practice on collage in the smaller size, save my nice journal for when I can (hopefully) make some more quality work, and make a little book like this to practice the binding. Win-Win-Win!

I began the smaller pages, and made one plus the reverse side as well. Different issue with the two-sidedness on this one ‘tho.

You can guess. The binding requires holes to be punched and I really need to know where they will be lest I punch a hole in a place that would be less than ideal (like the little scrap at the top or the bright pink block at the bottom, on the photo on the left!) Made a little guide, which I would need anyway for the binding work, so I can carry on now.

One thing about collage, it both uses and produces scraps. Oh dear. I will never use them all up, will I?


Progress on my sorting. Major progress!

Remember the pile of bins I showed? Well.

I now have a series of fairly well organized boxes and bins, divided up by … type I guess. Let me share.

Most of what I have are gel prints in some form. I have those divided mostly by size. I have what I call true scraps, A5 or smaller but not true scraps, and A4 sheets, fully covered or partially covered.

And some of those A4s are quite nice, including the one on the top of that box (above right) and this one – really love it.

I also have bins that are plain white, black, shades of cream papers and one that is my stash of various dyed papers. Coffee and tea are very usable, some of the colours might not be colourfast, due to how I dyed them.

I also have a bin that is full of more translucent items, deli paper, tissue and tracing paper or vellum. AND one that is mostly commercial tissue papers and napkins of mulberry style paper. I adore that tissue with the big foiled gold dots. I looked for it again recently and wasn’t able to easily find it. Oh dear!

I have quite a bin of magazine pages – I often rip out pages I come across that have beautiful images or just pretty colours, and always have a plan that rarely comes to fruition.

I have a good sized collection of colourful paper towels, baby wipes, and the like, mop-up pieces mostly but some where I printed intentionally.

Lastly, for today anyway, I have a 12×12 box that has all my colour combo experiments from the artist group I am part of, and the gel-print scraps masterboards I made maybe last year. All these have been scanned so I can use them without using them, IYKWIM. Really hard to cut into those 12x12s.

There was one I simply adored, and I cut it before thinking to scan it and now it’s gone. So sad.

So there we go. Now I am ready to fill a collage journal. At this point I have no idea if dividing the stuff by type of paper is the right call, but trying to divide it my colour would be impossible, and I feel like when reaching for stuff I am going to look for a small piece, or a sheer piece or a full-page cover piece, right? And having them divided this way is going to force me to riffle thru a whole bin maybe, to really assess what I have. We shall see.

Off to the hospital tomorrow for an appointment. Not looking forward to what they will recommend, as all the options suck. At least I made it thru Christmas without a serious relapse. Oh wait, No. I got Covid. DOH!


WOYWW 713 – out of chaos comes order?

Happy WOYWW!

and Yikes. Crazy computer things last weekend but luckily I had a plan! I decided, based on a few inputs, including our own Caro and a couple of ladies in my mixed media art group, to embark on a collage project. It is an art form that I haven’t done much of, but would like to get better at. And lord knows I have what is technically referred to as a shit-ton of collage papers. I literally dragged even bin and box and file that I had stuffed loose gel prints or pages torn from magazines or stashes or dyed papers and set out to sort them into divisions that I felt might make sense. There is a LOT.

This is actually a large round spare table that I dragged into the small open area in my art space to be able to have enough room to put all those bins and boxes on one level. Again I say YIKES.

My desk is actually quite tidy, as I also dragged out the fodder keeper I made and a wire-bound art journal I have had for ages, which was always intended for this collage project. I’ve just kept putting it off.

I need to replenish my keeper with more bits! It’s looking a bit sparse in some places.

I will share my progress. This week I have two Drs. appointments, both in response to those not-great test results I may have mentioned. A change of medication is required, and sharpish. Ugh.

Lastly, Cat. She keeps finding new places to hang out. This past week she seemed to make an old chair in the bedroom her home. To be fair, she likes the back of the chair, which is right by a window, best, but that window has obscured glass in the bottom pane so she eventually decides to sleep on the seat.

She hasn’t completely abandoned me – when Dear Son shuts her out of his “office” to make phone calls or play games or program, she will sometimes find me to cuddle up to. I’m told she is unusual, and that most cats are not as cuddly as her. No idea as she is pretty much the only cat I have even spent any time with. Cat lovers and owners, you tell me. Is she deviating from the norm? Darling Daughter is already stressing about when Son+Cat might move on, and is asking about getting her own cat. Yikes for a third time! Thinking we love this cat but unwilling to risk the uncertainty of another that might be quite standoffish and…cat-like!

I was later last week due to some scheduling issues around home (electrician, cleaner, various calls and appointments) and then the computer over the weekend, but hoping this week, with Wednesday fully clear, I can get around early and fully. I’ll be hopping by yours soon…


Excavating layers of past work.

I will share more of this, but I am trying to make sense of the piles of papers I have created over the years, mostly gel prints but not just that. I have stashes of things in multiple places, that are where I stuff experiments, finished pieces that I have no clear purpose for, but also things like images or pages I ripped out of magazines that I thought I might find a us for or I just wanted to save. I have also found a bunch of complete pieces – I have collected up some of these to share, but am not sure how best to use them. I must have had a plan once….

This piece was using a hand-drawn stencil I cut – the left is just a sample and the right is one I liked well enough that I framed it and it’s on my art space wall.

Not sure what my intention was for his piece, but it is might pink, isn’t it? LOL! Hard to see but the central book page is actually mounted above the background, for a more 3D look. I suspect maybe I meant to frame it but never did.

These three were experimental pieces with no real intention for them, then (when I made them) or now! I think the heart was using the gel plate as a stamp, by mounting it on a large hunk of acrylic block – common now, but I had never seen it done back when I made it. I still really like the middle one a lot.

This one is pretty recent, Distress inks and Vaseline resist on tracing paper with a stencil. Love the colours, but it’s backed with heavy mat board so unless I deconstruct it….

This is a piece I love, using a homemade stencil – I think an image from one of my subscription resources. Still use it. Actually it might be both the stencil and a mask? Might have to drag it out to know for sure.

And finally, a pile of recent work – some of the postcards that didn’t make the cut for a recent swap, some background tags and some completed ones, all within the last few months. Destined either for happy mail or swap extras.

While this is by no means all the hoarded stuff, these are the things that I would call closest to being finished items, rather than samples or experiments. I’m kinda thinking the first seven might actually work repurposed to perhaps fill the last few pages in one of my art journals. I have two that really only need a handful of pages in each to be complete. And it might give purpose to them, with the addition of a quote or some text of some kind. The swap/happy mail goodies will get used, no doubt, but some bits could help fill those journals instead, if I prefer.

It’s interesting how much stuff you can amass in 20+ years of arty-farty pursuits. I suspect I could cover the walls of more than one room as if with wallpaper if I wanted to. Hoe nightmare inducing would that be? LOL!

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So much going on. Printables to begin.

Been a bit since I did some of these, but I did promise so ….

I created a sheet for myself of words that I would use as pairs. Any combo – I could pick them, to accompany a piece already created, or I could draw two at random, which could be fun and surprising, to work towards. Mediocre Scream? Ruthless Self-Portrait? Phenomenal Boredom? Zesty Madness?? I mean any combo could produce a sense of something expected or something odd. I always like a nice typewriter font in lower case and I also did an all upper case one. These are the ones I gravitate towards. Hope you find them usable too.

I used words from some previous printables, just things I had already printed and were lying around on my desk, to make the text on those tags from last week and that exercise prompted me to make these.

You can download the three-page set here and print them all or select only the page you want in your printer dialog box.

Grab them here!


What? A Saturday post?

I KNOW. Unexpected.

I have been having a bit of fun playing around with creating digital paper using the iPad and Procreate. I made a piece (yeah, I know, not really my style, is it?) and I thought I would share it. It is not big enough/high quality enough for printing (ie not a PDF to download) but I would love feedback on it. I guess the intended use would be as a junk journal signature, with some sort of companion piece to be printed on the back, making it foldable into signature shape.

Is it meant to be all misty and indistinct, so you can still write on it. I played about with making some tags as well, and a little fold-over.

I mean, it’s not award-winning or anything, but I had fun doing it and I learned something in the process. Now I just need to sort out how to make papers that are more MY style, maybe even using scans of my own prints. THAT could be both fun and useful.

Don’t get used to it. LOL! I don’t plan on adding in regular Saturday posts. Life is far too hectic at the moment and I am not feeling my strongest but I did want to share this out-of-the-ordinary play.

I have been toying with the idea of doing much, much more of this. Apparently I have a Creative Fabrica id – who knew? [ID: #1841799] and it is possible to seel there. Been doing some research on that and it looks like an interesting place to begin. We shall see….

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Determined. Not just PLAY but actual items made

I seem to have fallen into the trap of endless play days with nothing that you can call real finished pieces. Gel prints I love bit haven’t used for anything, endless experimental pulls that are piling up, just so so much stuff.

I am making a conscious effort the make stuff. So I had a play with those bits of card I pulled from the mostly dried up paints and made some tags. I always need things for extras in a swap envelope, or Happy Mail , and these will fit the bill quite nicely. The UK tags I get are not huge and I wanted to use the hole protectors too so I punched them out, then covered the tags with the papers.

I used bits and bods from my desk t decorate, including chopped up sheets of my various word printables and some collage fodder.

I ended up making six of them and in the process had a bit of an idea for a set of printables based on the two-word combos I ended up using. They should be fun and I’ll sort them in a couple different fonts then share them with you all. I like the idea of drawing “one from column A, one from column B” to get an odd and maybe surprising phrase to then build a piece around – tag, ATC, art journal page, whatever.

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Those paints worked a bit….

So if you saw yesterday’s post, you know I have been attempting to bring back to life some very old, slightly dried out paints I got second-hand many, many years ago. I did manage to get some useful stuff out of them by wiping the knitting needle I used to stir in the water (trying to re-hydrate them) on my 5×7 gel plate and pulling a simple print, either by adding a bit of texture, or even by just spreading it with the brayer and picking it up.

I actually got some pretty prints, and the final pick up one from everything dried on the plate I think is a stunner!

I rather like this one as well!

The best pick-up print from a plate that looks kinda meh.

I mean looking at it you wouldn’t think I could get much off it, but:

I cannot tell you how pretty it is IRL. Soft and grungy with a hint of texture, and little flashes of metallic paint here and there. I don’t know what to do with it but I think scanning it is step one! I will never get over the difference between a scan and a photo

I am still leaving the paints to sit and giving them an occasional shake, but will hope to find time for a proper play this weekend!