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Interesting effect – mucky bubble wrap

Just a quickie today.  I am working on something (not quite ready to share, sorry) but I achieved an interesting effect that I DID want to share.

If you Gelli print, or even if you use it for other art journal type things, I’ll bet you have some mucky bubble wrap floating around.  I tend to press it to the Gelli plate to impart the dotty texture to a print, but I often go a few sessions without cleaning it off.  Who am I kidding?  I probably have some bubble wrap I’ve never cleaned off.  Sometimes, when the paint on the wrap is still wet, I’ll press it on to something else, which SORT OF cleans it but not totally.  Well today I was printing on some coin envelopes and found that pressing the still-damp wrap onto a still-damp print pulls off a LOT of the paint from the wrap –  thick, textured, multicoloured old paint – for an interesting result.

Hard to see in the first photo but better in the second, I hope.



If you look closely at the bubble wrap you can see some very obvious almost bare areas, where the thick old paint pulled off. But look at the effect on the print:



See how textured and chunky it is?  See the layers of colour?

The key is the paint on the wrap needs to be wet – ideally having sat for a minute or two, to let the moisture loosen the old layers under it.  And the print you are pressing (quite firmly) to needs to also be slightly damp.  Once it all dries you aren’t going to get any transfer, so plan for it.

I just think it looks nifty, and I have now vowed to NEVER clean off my bubbles! It’s too good to waste. I’m thinking a really layered and messy bit of bubble wrap is going to add, in a simple step, a really unpredictable and colourful texture layer with such little effort.  Nice.


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Switching Gears – PL Just Add Color printables

So I saw that PL will have a new kit, exclusive to Home Shopping Network in the USA, that will include some interesting changes – it will have 2×2 and 4×4 pockets.  Well, who could resist playing with that?

I had a bash at converting a few of my previous printables to coordinate, colour-wise and size-wise.


The PDF is here.

but I just noticed the 1 is too close to the bottom edge. Give me an hour and I’ll sort it. Sorted!

I also saw there were clear overlays, to allow you to add a photo over a pocket to create a flip-up.  I thought that the Avery full-sheet clear sticker labels might work as a substitute so I had a play with THAT as well.

I cut the flip photo a bit smaller, mostly because I messed up with the cropping of the behind photo.  I should have shifted DD either more left or more right so the photo on top covered just background.  I think the photo needs to be SHORTER in any case so the hinge part isn’t on the photo above.  I didn’t have any divided PPs so just imagine that corner of a normal PP is actually a Project Life one {wink}

Not as perfect as the commercial overlays but I am sure I read someplace that they are sold out anyway, so this would certainly work as a substitute.  The only issues are that the sticker sheet needs to be pressed down quite firmly to the photo to make sure it is as sheer as possible.  There is a SLIGHT haze, due to the texture.  One benefit is you could PRINT on to it if you wanted to before you do the overlay.

I wonder if that kit, and the different PPs will become available in the UK at some point…..???


Three Gelli experiments

I do a lot of experiments with my Gelli plate.  I’m always looking for something new to do with it.  I think that’s WHY I enjoy it so much, it’s so ripe for experimentation. But not everything works.  Even when it DOESN’T work, it often gives me an idea for future play.

Let’s start with a FAIL.  I have had the idea that printing with puff paint could offer some interesting effects, especially as a final, top-layer. I have been looking for commercial Puff Paint at every crafty store I see to no avail.  Well, Hobby Craft as some but it costs a lot for a tiny bottle. I went back to an old home-made recipe (1 tbls self-raising flour, 1 tsp salt, mixed with a tiny bit of water and mixed to a creamy paste) but substituted acrylic paint for tempra paint or food colouring (the other mix-ins suggested) because I feared the food colouring would stain the plate.  I had no trouble mixing the acrylic in to the other mixture.


It was a bit goopy on the plate, but it rolled out OK. The real issue is that the paint is too goopy to get a really clean pull.



It did “puff” when I heated it with an embossing gun but as the coverage was patchy it wasn’t as uniform a puff as I wanted.


What worked way BETTER was squidging the paint thru a stencil.  But really, Why?  Texture paste, Gesso, or even just thick plain paint give pretty much the same effect.



I still am convinced commercial puff paint will work, and I may just have to break down and order some online to satisfy myself one way or the other.

Next, and this one did work, I tried an old technique – covering cardstock with masking tape, then pulling the print over that.  Really liked that effect.


I smudged over paint to give the uniform background then pulled the print on top


I did worry that the rough surface might not leave me with a good print, but it did. Perfect for ATC backgrounds, I think.


Finally, I thought about the tissue paper cover technique, but tried it with crumpled Deli paper instead.


I stuck it with Gesso, but I suspect matt medium might have been better – that, or waiting till it had fully dried.  You can see it pulled up a bit with the background pull.  The photo doesn’t show the subtle pattern of bubble wrap texture but it’s there….


But again. the pull on top does still show some interesting texture.


I have a piece of canvas that I tried something on (which did NOT work at all) that I have now covered with crumpled Deli paper and I am going to have a go pulling a print directly on top of that.  I have some ideas.  But when you pull on paper, if it goes horribly wrong, you haven’t lost much, just paper,  If a canvas goes wrong, well, it’s a bigger     loss, so I am taking the time to let it dry fully, and considering exactly what I want to try on top.  The magic and the mystery of the Gelli, so unpredictable…..


Gelli positioning tool project

I am trying to be good about actual projects, not just how-to posts and in that spirit, here is something I did using the Lego corners.

The idea grew out of my comment that you could use the tool even with smaller paper so long as you attached the small paper to a bigger piece that fit your positioning corners.  As I thought, the frame idea works great, with an interesting added bonus.

First, I cut a rectangle, slightly smaller than the paper I was printing on. Save the bit you cut out.


I taped the smaller paper to the bigger one.  The print will be on the “clean” side, without the marks.  In fact you really don’t NEED the marks so feel free to skip them.


It’s easier in the photo to see the pattern on the plate on the frame than the busy book paper, but you get the idea.


Adding layers


I then added a foam stamp, across both papers.


Peeling off the book paper, you can see how it is framed where the FRAME masked it.


I stuck that scrap I cut out to the back, just behind the printed part – both for stability and to leave the edges lighter and slightly sheer.


After adding some extra bits, like distress inked edges,  a bit of charcoal pencil, and some gold thru a stencil, this is the final project. I’m thinking I could easily have sliced just the top curve of the white stamped circle then tucked in a photo.


Because of the positioner, and the frame and the book paper being pulled at the same time, you can see the pieces match up.  With a thinner area surrounding the smaller piece that would be greatly enhanced – also using a stencil that has a repeating pattern.  Can you see the book paper is mounted on pop dots for extra dimension?

I think this would look super if you stuck the smaller piece to a canvas, for example.  You would only need to mount it on something ever so slightly larger, or maybe fill the empty part of the frame (maybe with black or white?) then mount the piece over it to get the same effect

I also had a play with using the positioner with the 6 x 6 plate, to print multiple layers in the SAME PLACE on a bigger sheet.  Worked a treat.


Placement tool for perfect Gelli Pulls

Oh the irritation of two standards!  The Gelli plate is 8 x 10 and A4 paper is… not.  I was finding that all too often my pulls were not QUITE as lined up as I would have liked them to be.  Sometimes there was a pattern from a layer off-centre, or drifting off the edge, leaving a blank area on the opposing side.  Now, I KNOW part of the joy of the Gelli is the randomness and the SURPRISE element of a pull – you just don’t always know what you are going to get!  But there are times when you really do want to do an intentional pull, when you want things to line up.  Let’s say you wanted to frame something, for example, and wanted the edges to be fairly neat.  This may help with that.

OK so there are really two parts – first, I was tending to use my plate still stuck to the clear backing plastic sheet it comes on.  THAT resulted in a bit of slippage – the plate would sometimes slide about when I was brayering on the paint. To solve THAT problem, I bought a cheap (£1) teflon baking sheet and stuck it to a larger piece of matboard. I just used double-sided tape.  This is not a permanent bond to the TEFLON (it sticks pretty solid to the matboard) but you can easily peel off the Teflon sheet for cleaning or replacing.  You may need to add more adhesive at some point, but not every time.


Try to stick it as flat as possible – the fact the Teflon doesn’t stick completely securely to the tape will allow you some wiggle room.


That, in and of itself, is handy.  As you can see it lets me work on my desk (or would if it wasn’t a horrible mess) or on my little side table, and I can pick the whole thing up and move it off to the side if I need to.

Part two is the equivalent of a stamp positioner, and uses that old staple of the home-made stamp positioner, Lego Bricks. Just build a couple of corners (or ask any 8 YO kid to do it!) then add the double-sided tape to the bottom.


The tape will stick well enough to the Lego to let the Lego stick to the Teflon but is still removable.  I will store these Lego corners stuck to a bit of plastic.  I could even just stick then to the top of the Gelli Plate box, they won’t stick forever but should stick well enough to store them.

Lay a piece of the paper you intend to pull on over the plate then frame the top two corners of the paper with the Lego corners.


Now, I made the decision that the most useful placement FOR ME is an A4 sheet of paper on the 8 x 10 Gelli plate.  Once I had placed the corners I removed the paper and drew around the base of each corner with a Sharpie.


I don’t feel you need to draw around the Gelli plate – so long as it is close to centred within the corners and stays in the SAME PLACE for the entire multi-layer pull it will be fine.  I worried the Sharpie might stay on the plate if I drew around it anyway.

The reason I did this is because it is tricky to roll on the paint with the corners in place.  Because the tape is removable and re-stickable, I just wanted to be able to replace them in the SAME PLACE after I rolled on the paint.  So roll on the paint, and do your first technique (jumbo bubble wrap – cheers Annette, you didn’t even know that was an added bonus in the blog-candy box!)


Place the Lego corners, then slip the paper into the corners and down onto the plate to pull.  I didn’t have any trouble applying the pressure I needed to pull the print with the corners in place, but once the paper is placed you can certainly remove them to get fuller pressure if you need to!


OK, now you can add your second layer of paint as you like.  I thought about the reasons why placement might be important, other than simply getting neat edges, and thought about a border sort of design.  Really I should have had the border hanging off the edges, which would have demonstrated it better, but it’s early and I’ve only had one cup of coffee! I added the hot pink thru one of my Cricut stencils.  I was lazy and left the corners in place and it was fine.


and then placed the first pull using the corners to guide me


Check out the near perfect match!  I have NEVER achieved even close to that eyeballing it.


I can see this working well with masking, if you want to ensure something is going to fall exactly in the same place.

If you are using different sizes of paper, all of which are larger that the Gelli plate, you could easily draw the corner placement in different colours.  With smaller paper this is not going to help you at all – unless you stuck the smaller sheet to one the size of your usual sheet (for me, A4) and then lined up to the larger sheet.  That would work.  Might also give you an interesting surround on the base paper, rather frame-like once you remove the smaller sheet.  Gotta love a twofer, hummm?

You COULD use it effectively with the 6 x 6 inch plate, if you wanted to do a complex, multi-layer pull and have it all line up centred on a larger sheet.  Then you could easily frame the print with a nice border around it.  It would look fab on say watercolour paper, or in the middle of a large format dictionary page or even scrapbook paper!

HTH if you ever want to be precise with your prints.  And if you don’t have kids who have Legos, Duplo (the toddler version that is much bigger)  may work as well.


WOYWW225 – OMG! blog candy win

I am beyond thrilled to finally share my BIG WIN.  I never win anything.  Seriously.  Usually when it comes to blog candy and WOYWW I am most likely to just comment as usual but say leave me out of the draw. I might enter one for Jofy stamps cause I adore them and can’t seem to narrow it down to just a couple so I keep putting off actually shopping for them, but other than that I have so much stuff I figure give others a better chance by staying out of it.  But when long-time UKS member, and someone who’s work I adore, VoodooVixen (Annette) posted her draw to wind her stunning Bisto tub spool I went ahead and entered.  And OMG! I won!!

I have ben waiting to share since Saturday when it arrived, but wanted all the WOYWWers to see.  Her photos are way better and you can see all the detail here. The top is particularly beautiful and my shot shows a different angle:


There was a lovely card in a sleeve as well:



and here is a close up of the hanger topper:


and the actual hanging – check out those amazing paper beads:


It is perfect down to the smallest detail! And I adore the little identity tag too –


Believe me I was about as excited by a piece of mail as I ever have been.

So for today there is nothing of my desk – I’m tidying, then ice skating and an Info evening at DDs college.  I made a much better showing in last week’s WOYWW and aim for more of the same this week.  Have a good one, y’all.


A random selection

In the spirit of showing what I do with stuff rather than just how to make them, I thought I would share a few things that are almost completed projects using tools or techniques I’ve shared.

First, a Gelli print that uses a foam stamp I cut on the Cricut Mini from a cart image – the skull – as well as some circles I cut with dies.  They are mounted on the cut up bits of plastic placemats as mounts.



Liking that one – you can’t really see it too well but the green letters in the centre section are also from a stencil cut on the Mini (now I have to hunt back to find it… It’s from Edge to Edge) and the lighter green swirls that are buried but you can faintly see at the very bottom,  are also a stencil that I showed in the review, on the right:


Next, an ATC from that same Jake Blues dingbat mask:



That one has the mask, the foam letter stamp cut using the QuicKutz die plate, and printing then embossing on to washi tape.

Now this.  Grrr.  It turned out SO well (at least to MY eye) that I so wish I had pulled it on to a canvas I have kicking around on the side of my desk.  It has just the look I wanted, like a grungy old painted and repainted wall, with graffiti on it maybe.  I just don;t think it would look any good in a frame, but I bet DS would like it.  I thought of maybe sticking it to a canvas but it’s not QUITE the right size, and I am not keen to risk completely ruining ti thru experimentation.


The image is actually cut from another print – perhaps as close as I am likely to get to “collage” – so I just do not know.  Suggestions?  Just stick it to the canvas and do something to hide the edges?  Deli paper prints maybe, or simply paint and ink??


I really do need to come up with something USEFUL to do with all my prints.  I can make endless mini-books, and a gazillion ATCs for sure, but I crave functional use.  and since I can’t make myself art journal no matter how hard I try, what the heck do I do?






Quick cards from those Printables

Sometimes I think that people don’t look at printables with an eye towards other uses.  I often mention ideas for using them, but I am really bad at SHOWING them.  So I thought I would take 20 minutes and quickly make a little trio of cards to show you how you can make use of them in other ways.

These two use the scrappy printables.  I hope you can see where the elements came from:





And this one would have been better had I not BROKEN MY SECOND Grand Calibur embossing with a folder.  Grrr.  The Raspberry plate cracked, there was a CLUNK from inside the machine, and that was it.  I can hear something rattling around inside.  Honestly, I don’t know why I keep buying them.  I am NOT doing anything wrong,  I’m using the right plates and nothing they don’t SAY works, not super heavy-weight card even, but still….

This one uses one of the 3 x 4 toppers.



I had no idea when I started the thread on UKS this AM about die-cutters that I would need the info so soon.

Not a great start to the week……


Scrapbooking Printables for Halloween

As promised, here is a set of more scrappy printables for you, to coordinate with the PL ones I posted yesterday.

The set includes 6 circles (to fit the 2″ punch or a similar sized Nestie) three small rectangles that can be used as embellishments or as photo toppers, and two long 10.5 inch borders.


A word about the set.  The photo toppers are meant to adorn a photo with a bit of space.  Here is my son on Halloween, many, MANY years ago.  I have no idea at this point why he looks so glum! But the colours fit so I’ve used the photo for the sample.  I think I’ve already scrapped better ones!



I often use the small toppers I make along the 3″ side of a landscape photo and they still work well enough.  You could use them for treat bag toppers if you mount them on a larger piece that you fold over the bag top and staple.

This shot, that I took yesterday when it was actually LIGHT out, is misleading.  I was looking for a way to extend the 10.5 inch borders so they would cover a 12 x 12 inch sheet, so I added a smaller strip that you could mount beside, or overlapping, to take it to 12 inches.  In the end I didn’t like the way the subtle pattern of misty dots lined up (or didn’t) and the obvious break where the two pieces joined.  I think you can still use the smaller border effectively (and if you do so I would love to see your layout!)  so I added instead two more circles.  THOSE would work well in a number of ways – they could work for cards, they could be mounted on top of rosettes, they could go onto banner flags.  The centre circles don’t quite fit a smaller punch (I did try, and would maybe keep that in mind if I do future sets like this) but with Nestie circles (or dare I say scissors?) you should be able to cut just the centre section and make use of them that way.





The original set was positioned so you had to trim off maybe 1/4 inch at the side for the punch to exactly punch the circles.  I’ve printed and tested the new set and certainly for A4 card the punch works with no trimming.  As US letter paper is wider and shorter that may not be the case, so just check the punch location and trim as needed.

Hope you enjoy them. As ever I would love to see a link in your comment to your own blog post that shows what you’ve done with them.

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Halloween Printables!

Well, now I have set aside my playing with the Cricut Mini and Craft Room, I thought I would have a play and make some Halloween Printables.  I’ve sized this set for Project Life, but hope to make a companion set of circles, maybe a border of some kind, or a photo strip embellishment, maybe journaling boxes too, although these have enough space to be able to use them for journaling boxes as well. I think.  Any suggestions or requests just comment and I’ll see what I can do.

The final of the National Chili cook-off is this weekend, so I have a bit to do to get DH prepped and ready, so I’m adding these without the photo of them cut.  You know the drill by now.  Round the corners to match your usual PL cards and they will be fine.